United Nations and Trump should heed 1989 Balfour Declaration

September 4, 2017 by David Singer
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A lot of bloodshed, pain and suffering sustained by both Jews and Arabs over the last 28 years could have been avoided had the United Nations heeded the 1989 Balfour Declaration presented by the 4th Lord Balfour at the 4th international conference of the Jordan is Palestine Committee held in Jerusalem in November 1989…writes David Singer.

The 1989 Declaration stated:

“The world should be fully aware of what was British Palestine; the misleading propaganda issued from oil-wealthy Arab states must be countered; Palestine has already been divided into two countries – Jewish Israel and Arab Jordan; the present governments of Israel and Jordan should be fully supported and upheld; and a third state as suggested by the PLO would upset the political and economic situation in the whole area”

The demand by the PLO to establish that third state – in addition to Jordan and Israel – in the territory comprised in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – remains unrealised in 2017.

President Trump at this point of time still seems wedded to this proposed three state solution – eventually formulated by President Bush in his 2003 Roadmap – and endorsed by the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

The Bush Roadmap was also accepted unconditionally by the PLO and with 14 reservations by Israel.

Bush – overwhelmingly supported by the Congress – made the following written commitment to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 14 April 2004 to secure Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the West Bank:

“… the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.”

The PLO has failed over the last 13 years to comply with these obligations.

Yet Trump still apparently appears willing to allow PLO Chief Mahmoud Abbas to stride on the world stage as he simultaneously refuses to unconditionally return to negotiations with Israel on the Bush Roadmap – stalled since April 2014.

However Amnesty International’s latest report presents an appalling overview of life under the PLO which could herald a rapid Trump-about face:

“The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip both continued to restrict freedom of expression, including by arresting and detaining critics and political opponents. They also restricted the right to peaceful assembly and used excessive force to disperse some protests. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained rife in both Gaza and the West Bank. Unfair trials of civilians before military courts continued in Gaza; detainees were held without charge or trial in the West Bank. Women and girls faced discrimination and violence. Courts in Gaza continued to hand down death sentences and Hamas carried out executions; no death sentences were imposed or executions carried out in the West Bank.”

Elections – the first since 2007 – are urgently needed to test whether the PLO should continue to dominate the lives of the West Bank Arab population and to prevent all hell breaking loose as the negotiating void continues.

The 1989 Balfour Declaration beckons if the above measures do not break the current stalemate.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network


5 Responses to “United Nations and Trump should heed 1989 Balfour Declaration”
  1. J-Wire says:


  2. Erica Edelman says:

    Your frustration is palpable David – your references
    reliable and timely. Now more than ever the “Palestinian ”
    chaos shows us that 1. Anti-Israel/Zionism is more prevalent than ever
    2. Abbas is not on the same page as Trump (or any
    Other president in the last 70 years) and vice-versa and
    3. Until and unless there’s a major catastrophe in the region
    Of Gaza and/or The West Bank (especially with Arab neighbors )
    Historical records will reflect “status quo” at this time.
    Your suggestions will all go unheeded.

    • david singer says:


      Yes Erica I guess I am frustrated after first having proposed in 1979 what the 1989 Balfour Declaration so eloquently and powerfully set out just ten years later.

      Lord Balfour set out the agenda for ending the Jewish-Arab conflict. He forecast that departing from it would upset the political and economic situation in the whole area.

      Despite this clear warning the United Nations (UN) and the European Union(EU) chose instead to go down a path supporting terrorism and violence that has impacted Syria,Lebanon,Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Qatar – with no end yet in sight.

      Two peoples – the Jews and the Arabs – need two States – not three – in former Palestine.

      How difficult is it for the UN and EU to recognise this simple historic, geographic and demographic truth as the starting point for ending a conflict that has raged unresolved between the Jews and Arabs for 100 years.

      Bringing Jordan into the negotiations with Israel to replace the PLO will have an immediate effect on the likelihood of resolving sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – something the PLO has failed to achieve since its founding 73 years ago.

      The UN and EU have backed the wrong horse and the Middle East and Europe are reaping the disastrous results of their irresposible embrace of the PLO.

      When will the UN and EU wake up and say “enough is enough”?

      • Erica edelman says:

        Thanks for replying David. Please pardon my ignorance
        For I am not as educated as you ( in these matters) but
        Here’s what I’m thinking. You speak of the UN and EU and
        Of Jordan and other (stake-holding) countries and in general of “outsiders”
        Who you would invite “inside”.
        All these entities are “third party” to the Israel/Arab
        Clearly since the Balfour Agreement (and before)
        These “third parties” have had no power, no clout, no jurisdiction
        And no effect essentially on many if not all the decisions albeit
        Bad ones, that have been made by country leaders – leading to the status of the present moment.

        The heads of the rogue countries and indeed
        Some of the more moderate places have all but
        Spurned, ignored and dismissed anything that these
        “Third party” Organizations have or have not suggested.
        The current day “set up” is clearly not working.
        “Third party” organizations would seem not only benign
        But ineffectual EVEN if they had something worthwhile
        To contribute.
        What’s necessary in my mind is to forget
        The “third party” paradigm. Rogue nations were Never
        Going to give their power away to a third party that, in their
        Eyes, are interfering with their intra-cultural brand of “winning the fight”
        We all know (and hate) that the UN and EU for
        That matter is “stacked” with incapable and biased
        Individuals. These ppl cannot be relied upon to give
        Clear counsel EVEN if the “third party” paradigm worked.
        Clearly leaders in Israel and leaders (doubtful tag) in Jordan/Gaza
        West Bank, Iran etc etc cannot make peace “happen”.
        You are correct in one thing you say
        Enough is enough is enough with the disruption
        And mayhem and chaos in the region
        Do not look to the UN or the EU or
        Any other “third party” to solve the Israeli/Arab
        The answer is not in historical memorandum
        Me thinks we are heading for the answer with
        More bloodshed and wars.

        • david singer says:


          1. Egypt and Jordan are not “outsiders”. They are the two Arab States who last occupied Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) between 1948 and 1967. Indeed the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) remained Jordanian citizens until 1988.

          2. Jordan itself comprises 78% of the territory originally promised as the site within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted – but that promise was subsequently postponed or withheld when article 25 was inserted in the Mandate for Palestine.

          3. The PLO is a “johnny come lately” – only created in 1964 – and it didn’t even claim sovereignty in Gaza, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) until 1968. It has failed to negotiate a deal with Israel on the future of Gaza, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) after 23 years of having had the opportunity to do so. Time for a divorce and for Israel to engage Jordan as a new partner in what will hopefully be a long lasting marriage.

          4. The UN and EU have contributed to the bloodshed for the last 28 years by ignoring the 1989 Balfour Declaration. They need to recognise their mistake and move to a more balanced position which could help provide the impetus for successful negotiations between Israel, Jordan and Egypt on the future of Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank). If the UN and EU do not do so then your prediction of more bloodshed and wars seems to be an inevitable outcome.

          5. History is important because it establishes facts, rights and interests. That is why the PLO is so vehement in wanting to air brush out of existence historical events such the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference, the Treaty of Sevres, the Mandate for Palestine, the Peel Commission and the UN Partition Plan. It behoves the UN and the EU to uphold and follow those decisions – which regrettably they have failed to do – swallowing false Arab propaganda hook line and sinker. Had they forcefully rejected this false Arab narrative the poisoned political climate in 2017 would not have been possible.

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