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Israel “has no historical roots” and is “an unnatural state… which the capitalist West established in order to realize its colonialist goals in the Arab homeland” – PA daily op-ed

Excerpt of op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: "The most important challenge of the Palestinian nationalism"

"Since the first colony was established on the land of Palestine in 1878 at the village of Al-Khalisa, the national identity has faced a challenge – particularly since this colony was the beginning of the Zionist project, which grew stronger from the advent of the Basel Conference in Switzerland in 1897 (i.e., the First Zionist Congress), the Campbell-Bannerman Conference in 1905-1907, the Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916, the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) in 1917, the British Mandate in 1920 that was officially established in 1922, to the [UN] partition plan of 1947 and the establishment of the Israeli colonialism state in 1948 on the ruins of the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) of the Palestinian Arab people…
The goal of the establishment of the Zionist project and its physical base, the colonialist State of Israel, was to eliminate and erase the Palestinian people from the Arab, regional, and global geopolitics and to leave the Israeli colonialist state that has no historical roots and is foreign to the Arab surroundings and to the Middle East in general. This is an unnatural state with no political and anthropological suitability, which the capitalist West established in order to realize its colonialist goals in the Arab homeland according to the decision of the Campbell-Bannerman Conference (apparently refers to the 1907 Imperial Conference led by former British Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the minutes of which disprove claims of a conspiracy theory to undermine the Middle East –Ed.), which was strengthened by the ominous Balfour Promise and its historical progress and development. This is because its implementers wanted to change the map of the region in general, and not to erase only the Palestinians. The capitalist West continues until now to strengthen its colonialist project at the expense of the interests, rights, basic principles, and identity of the Palestinian people, which has refused to die and insisted on staying and adhering strongly to its national project."

Sykes-Picot Agreement – A secret agreement between Britain and France negotiated by French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton Sir Mark Sykes and concluded in May 1916. The agreement had Russia’s approval and specified Britain’s and France’s proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East if the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I. The plan was revealed in 1917 in the Russian press, and subsequently in the British press, angering the Arabs as it contradicted promises of independence made to them - on the condition they helped fight against and bring down the Ottoman Empire. The plan caused lasting distrust on the part of the Arabs in relation to Western countries.

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that "His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate "responsible for putting into effect the declaration," which led to the UN vote in favor of partitioning Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state in 1947. In response, Britain ended its mandate on May 15, 1948, and the Palestinian Jews, who accepted the Partition Plan, declared the independent State of Israel. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the plan and together with 7 Arab states attacked Israel, in what is now known as Israel's War of Independence.

UN Resolution 181 (the UN partition plan for Palestine) was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947. It called for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as a separate entity under the rule of a special international body. The Arab state was meant to be comprised of the western Galilee, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and the remaining territory of the Mandate west of the Jordan River would be the state of Israel - Jordan (known at the time as Transjordan) had already been established in what had been the part of the Mandate that was east of the Jordan River. The resolution was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, but Arab leaders and governments rejected it.

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