As we will see, the major cause for the continuing conflict today was the refusal of the Arab leadership, dominated by the Husseini family in Jerusalem, to be pragmatic, as well as their intimidation of more moderate Arabs in Jerusalem into refusing any resolution whatsoever.
In 1936, in response to the Arab Revolt against the British mandatory government and repeated Arab violence against Jews, the British government appointed a commission of inquiry headed by Lord Peel to assess the cause of endemic Arab on Jew violence.
The reasons for this violence lay in the aftermath of WWI and the creation of the British Mandate as a mechanism to administer the geographical area of Palestine after the disappearance of the Ottoman Turks.
In a series of 10 letters between Sir Henry McMahon (the British High Commissioner to Egypt) and the Sharif of Mecca (Hussein al-Hashimi), McMahon promised Saudi Arabian Hussein that if he and his sons joined in the fight against the Ottoman Turks and allied with the British, they would get a self-governing Arab state. In this correspondence, McMahon never defined the area of Arab independence. Yet for Hussein, Palestine fell within this area.
Thus in 1916, Hussein al-Hashimi began fighting for the British against the Ottoman Empire with the aim of ending Turkish Ottoman rule in Arab-speaking areas.
In 1917, the Jewish Legion, five battalions of Jewish volunteers who fought against the Ottoman Empire during World War I as part of the British Army, was formed.
In 1917 too, the Balfour Declaration recognized the right of the Jews to a home in Palestine.
Then the British made a fatal error.
While one leading Jerusalem clan, the Nashashibis, was in favour of a more conciliatory policy with regard to Jewish migration and peaceable co-existence, their main rivals, the al-Husseinis, were agitating for violent conflict with both the Jewish community and the British.
In 1919, Haj Amin al-Husseini, member of the Jerusalem Arab al-Husseini clan, began organizing small groups of terrorists to harass and attack Palestine’s Jews. In 1920, al-Husseini instigated the anti-Jewish Passover attack: six Jews were murdered and more than 200 wounded during an Arab orgy of destruction.
The British arrested and jailed him. And it was then that they made the fatal mistake.
One year later, in 1921, newly-installed British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel, eager to appease the Arabs, released and pardoned al-Husseini and appointed him to the post of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
It was this single decision that effectively led to the origin of the single most important obstacle to peace in the Middle East: the Arab refusal to accept Jewish sovereignty and even physical presence in any part of the Land of Israel.
As a direct consequence of Britain’s empowerment of him as Mufti, al-Husseini was emboldened in pursuing the aim of violently removing the Jewish presence in Palestine. Over the following two decades, al-Husseini’s hardened anti-Semitic worldview, together with his determination to extinguish any prospect of the Balfour Declaration’s promise from being realized, made him a natural Middle Eastern ally of Germany’s Nazi regime once it launched its war of conquest and genocide in 1939.
al-Husseini was a fervent anti-Semite, the most important Nazi collaborator in the Arab world, and a political activist who worked tirelessly for the ethnic cleansing and physical destruction of the Jews in Palestine and in the Middle East as a whole.
This Mufti defined and epitomised the Mandate Arab ideology of absolute rejectionism and even genocide. In effect, the Mufti denied that the Jews had any national rights whatsoever, and especially not in the historic Land of Israel.
As an example of the influence of this vicious anti-semitism legacy on following generations of Arabs, if we fast-forward to 2013, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti parrots the old Mufti’s claim anew: “Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian…. will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
Once you understand this, you understand why the “Palestinians”, despite numerous opportunities to do so, still refuse to make peace despite being offered 91% of the “west bank” in July 2000 and then 95% of the “west bank” in December of the same year AS WELL AS East Jerusalem as their capital…….
So, in July 1937, the Peel Commission recommended for the first time a partition of the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state alongside an international zone, stretching from Jerusalem to Jaffa, that would remain under British mandatory authority. The Commission also recommended an exchange of land and population between the two states.
The Peel partition plan was rejected by the Arabs, but it was widely considered by the Jewish community and leadership as a possibility.
That brings us to 1947 and the Partition Plan.
By this time, and amongst onging violence, both parties rejected the 1946 recommendation by an Anglo-American committee to establish a bi-national state in Palestine under UN trusteeship.
However, while the Jewish community accepted the 1937 and 1947 partition plans, the Palestinian Arab leadership, dominated by the Husseini family, rejected both plans categorically even though it designated only 20% of Palestine to the proposed Jewish state. Furthermore, the Palestinian leadership even rejected the 1939 British White Paper, which had promised them an independent state within ten years while limiting Jewish immigration and turning the Jews into a minority in an Arab Palestinian state.
So, reminiscent of the 1964 three “No”s of Khartoum, the Arabs, influenced by an aggressive al-Husseini clan, refused partition if it meant Jews having a state in a historical homeland they had lived and worshipped in 1,800 years before the birth of Islam.
It would not be unreasonable to posit that the Jewish community in Palestine might well have aspired to obtain a larger share of the country. However, it realistically considered partition as a minimal or tolerable solution.
The Arabs could not agree to be this minimistically realistic or pragmatic even though shortly, after losing a full-blown war of aggression, they would then blame the Jews for causing them to have a “catastrophy” or “Nakba” and losing territory they could have kept had they agreed to the Partition Plan in the first place……
Since then, both sides have been engaged in a bitter conflict which will only end when an unmistakeable victory has been won.
Today, with changing Middle East allegiances and alliances as internecine Muslim hatreds draws lakes of blood, the “Palestinians” have been relegated to the back burner as BDS and other forms of lawfare have failed to make much impact on the Jewish state.
In the end, none of this matters.
The sad irony is that after 71 years of the lie being repeatedly told, the Levantine Arabs in Gaza, Judea and sSmaria, eventually came to believe the tale that their Arab League brethren had woven around them as reference to a history that never was, in order to assuage the ego of a non-existent and fractured Ummah.
Israel is here to stay, and the Levantine Arabs in Judea and Samaria can choose the future they want for their children.
They would do well to take a leaf out of the book of the Jewish state.