Annexation of Palestine Began in San Remo | Scoop News –

Posted By on May 7, 2020

Thursday, 7 May 2020, 9:09 amArticle: Ramzy Baroud

100 Years of Shame: Annexation of Palestine Began inSan Remo

One hundred years ago, representatives from a fewpowerful countries convened at San Remo, a sleepy town onthe Italian Riviera. Together, they sealed the fate of themassive territories confiscated from the Ottoman Empirefollowing its defeat in World War I.

It was on April25, 1920, that the San Remo Conference Resolution was passed by the post-World War I AlliedSupreme Council. Western Mandates were established overPalestine, Syria and Mesopotamia - Iraq. The lattertwo were theoretically designated for provisionalindependence, while Palestine was granted to the Zionistmovement to establish a Jewish homeland there.

The Mandatory will be responsible for putting intoeffect the (Balfour) declaration originally made on November8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the otherAllied Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine ofa national home for the Jewish people, the Resolutionread.

The Resolution gave greater internationalrecognition to Britains unilateral decision, three years earlier, to grantPalestine to the Zionist Federation for the purpose ofestablishing a Jewish homeland, in exchange for Zionistsupport of Britain during the Great War.

And, likeBritains Balfour Declaration, a cursory mention was madeof the unfortunate inhabitants of Palestine, whose historichomeland was being unfairly confiscated and handed over tocolonial settlers.

The establishment of that JewishState, according to San Remo, hinged on some vague understanding that nothingshall be done which may prejudice the civil and religiousrights of existing non-Jewish communities inPalestine.

The above addition merely served as apoor attempt at appearing politically balanced, while inreality no enforcement mechanism was ever put in place toensure that the understanding was ever respected orimplemented.

In fact, one could argue that theWests long engagement in the question of Israel andPalestine has followed the same San Remo prototype: wherethe Zionist movement (and eventually Israel) is granted itspolitical objectives based on unenforceable conditions thatare never respected or implemented.

Notice how thevast majority of United Nations Resolution pertaining toPalestinian rights are historically passed by the GeneralAssembly, not by the Security Council, where the US is oneof five veto-wielding powers, always ready to strike downany attempt at enforcing international law.

It isthis historical dichotomy that led to the current politicaldeadlock.

Palestinian leaderships, one after theother, have miserably failed at changing the stiflingparadigm. Decades before the establishment of thePalestinian Authority, countless delegations, comprisedthose claiming to represent the Palestinian people, traveledto Europe, appealing to one government or another, pleadingthe Palestinian case and demanding fairness.

Whathas changed since then?

On February 20, the DonaldTrump administration issued its own version of the BalfourDeclaration, termed the Deal of the Century.

The American decision which, again, flouted international law, paves the wayfor further Israeli colonial annexations of occupiedPalestine. It brazenly threatens Palestinians that, if theydo not cooperate, they will be punished severely. In fact,they already have been, when Washington cut all funding to the PalestinianAuthority and to international institutions that providecritical aid to the Palestinians.

Like in the SanRemo Conference, the Balfour Declaration, and numerous otherdocuments, Israel was asked, ever so politely but withoutany plans to enforce such demands, to grant Palestinianssome symbolic gestures of freedom and independence.

Some may argue, and rightly so, that the Deal of theCentury and the San Remo Conference Resolution are notidentical in the sense that Trumps decision was aunilateral one, while San Remo was the outcome of politicalconsensus among various countries - Britain, France, Italy,and others.

True, but two important points must betaken into account: firstly, the Balfour Declaration wasalso a unilateral decision. It took Britains allies threeyears to embrace and validate the illegal decision made byLondon to grant Palestine to the Zionists. The question nowis, how long will it take for Europe to claim the Deal ofthe Century as its own?

Secondly, the spirit ofall of these declarations, promises, resolutions, anddeals is the same, where superpowers decide by virtueof their own massive influence to rearrange the historicalrights of nations. In some way, the colonialism of old hasnever truly died.

The Palestinian Authority, likeprevious Palestinian leaderships, is presented with theproverbial carrot and stick. Last March, US President DonaldTrumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told Palestinians that if they did notreturn to the (non-existent) negotiations with Israel, theUS would support Israels annexation of the West Bank.

For nearly three decades now and, certainly, sincethe signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993, the PAhas chosen the carrot. Now that the US has decided to changethe rules of the game altogether, Mahmoud Abbas Authorityis facing its most serious existential threat yet: bowingdown to Kushner or insisting on returning to a deadpolitical paradigm that was constructed, then abandoned, byWashington.

The crisis within the Palestinianleadership is met with utter clarity on the part of Israel.The new Israeli coalition government, consisting of previousrivals Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and BennyGantz, have tentatively agreed that annexing large parts of theWest Bank and the Jordan Valley is just a matter of time.They are merely waiting for the American nod.

Theyare unlikely to wait for long, as Secretary of State, MikePompeo, said on April 22 that annexingPalestinian territories is an Israeli decision.

Frankly, it matters little. The 21st century BalfourDeclaration has already been made; it is only a matter ofmaking it the new uncontested reality.

Perhaps, itis time for the Palestinian leadership to understand thatgroveling at the feet of those who have inherited the SanRemo Resolution, constructing and sustaining colonialIsrael, is never and has never been the answer.

Perhaps, it is time for some serious rethink.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor ofThe Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. Hislatest is These Chains Will Be Broken: PalestinianStories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons(Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-residentSenior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and GlobalAffairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His

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