Ninety nine years ago this April, on April 24 1920, at San Remo, the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers, consisting of Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan, agreed to approve the Balfour Declaration of Nov 2, 1917.
The San Remo Conference thus changed what had been only a statement of British intent, into a binding legal document.
This was accomplished by significantly changing the wording of Britain’s pledge from using their “best endeavours” to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine, to one which made Britain legally responsible for “putting into effect” this objective.
And it was solely for this objective that the Mandate was conferred on the land aggrandizement of the shattered Ottoman Empire.
In other words, post San Remo, the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine meant two important things:
- Creation of the state and country of Palestine which till that time officially did not exist in international law and that
- Palestine in its entirety was reserved exclusively for the self-determination of the Jewish people.
The two new entities were synonymous since they were both created at the same time and for the same exact purpose. That is to say that if it was not that the Jewish National Home was to be housed in Palestine, and that Palestine was to be the Jewish National Home, the country of Palestine would never have been created…..
It is important to remember that the San Remo creation of the Mandated state and country of Palestine was not created to satisfy the national aspirations of Arabs in any part of the country, either east or west of the Jordan. Those aspirations were covered in a different paragraph of the San Remo resolution where it was decided that those aspirations would be fulfilled by the adjoining territories of Mesopotamia (later Iraq) and Syria as well as the existing state of the Hejaz in the Arabian Peninsula.
The resolution was approved, in binding international law, by the subsequent Treaty of Sevres later that same year and by 52 nations in 1922, in addition to those nations which subsequently joined the League of Nations.
Equally importantly, the San Remo Resolution officially terminated and replaced the secret Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 where Britain and, particularly France, which bargained hard for, but ultimately failed to get, Palestine’s inclusion in Syria.
For the record, the Sykes-Picot agreement envisaged a confederation of Arab territories which would include Syria, Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and Transjordan.
What is of note here is that Palestine was never considered in that confederation of Arab states and it is this that makes the whole current-day concept of Judean Arabs and their enmity over 70 years nothing more than practised ethnic supremacism: the myth of “return” is merely a political ploy to remove a Jewish state seen as a blemish to ME Arab homogeneity.
The Jewish State of Israel exists legally both under the legal outcome of the actualisation of the Balfour Declaration as realised at the San Remo Conference as well as Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant which transferred de jure sovereignty (legal title) over Palestine to the Jewish People by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers who acted as the disposing agent by international law, by virtue of their military victory over Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire.
And, of course, it should not be forgotten that that very same Supreme Council of the Allied Powers also created Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, thus negating any and all Arab complaints, then or since, in light of the huge territorial benefits in recognition of Arab nationalism provide them by that same Council.
The 100 year Arab-Israeli conflict will be seen as by future generations as a negative example of Arab ethno religious supremacism and bigotry towards a nation, country and people who had both moral, cultural and legal right for the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in its spiritual heartland.