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Op-ed: “Colonialist” Britain gave Palestine to Zionism, Trump and Netanyahu are two heads of cobra that must be overcome

Excerpt of an op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “Pompeo, Balfour’s twin”

“The Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) was the first historical crime, when the colonialist empire, Great Britain, gave the land of Palestine to the Zionist movement in order to establish a state for the Jews of the world. The second crime, which [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu viewed as the correction of a historical mistake, is the granting of a ‘certificate of validation’ from [US President Donald] Trump to the Israeli Jewish settlement enterprise in the Palestinian territories that were occupied in the 1967 war (refers to land Israel gained control of in the Six Day War; see note below –Ed.)…
The decisions of the Trump administration and [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, as severe as they may be, are not worth the paper they were written on. We can compare them to the venom of a cobra snake, whose strengths and weaknesses must be known before and while we go out against it. This two-headed cobra – one [head] is Trump’s and one is Netanyahu’s – will kill us if we do not succeed in overcoming it and surrounding it with precise maneuvers before it succeeds in harming us and directly biting our arteries and veins. Even so, we can intelligently and bravely control our tempers – as our political leadership has accustomed us while dealing with critical and crucial moments such as these – and make the American cobra empty its venom on the rock of our resolve and rationality, such that it will have no more effect than polluted water that can easily be cleaned off.”

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.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US administration’s new position on Israeli towns in the West Bank on Nov. 18, 2019, stating: "After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate... the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law."

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