An edited version of this letter was published in The Jerusalem Post on 26 Sept., 2016:
Not only is Pres. Abbas’ declared intention to sue the UK over the 100 year old Balfour Declaration ridiculous, but it is also pointless. That is because the Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the Treaty of San Remo in 1920 after WWI, during which the former Turkish Empire was divided up. This and subsequent Treaties were the basis for the Mandates that were assigned by the League of Nations to the British and French in 1922 with the specific intention of establishing self-determination for the indigenous inhabitants. As a result the Arabs subsequently received what became Syria, Lebanon, Arabia and Iraq, while the Jews received Palestine/Israel. There was no provision for the formation of an Arab State in the Palestine Mandate, although the British used a clause regarding the East Bank of the Jordan river to establish the Arab State of Transjordan (later Jordan). This legal arrangement was subsequently ratified by the UN upon its establishment in 1945 and was the basis for subsequent UN resolutions. Therefore, to undo the results of the Balfour Declaration would require the unraveling of 100 years of history with impossible legal ramifications. Maybe next the UK should sue the USA for the Declaration of Independence.
Yours, Jack S. Cohen, Netanya
This stratagem by Pres. Abbas of threatening to sue the UK over the 100 year old Balfour Declaration shows how desperate the Palestinians are. They are trying to go back 100 years and turn the clock back and reverse history because they cannot face current reality. The fact is that the Arab Muslim world is in meltdown, several of the former countries have become failed states, namely Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Also, there is no clear way that the other Sunni States of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf States can maintain their future stability against the twin threats of IS and Shia Iran, especially with the lack of US support. That is why I hope that Hillary Clinton does not win the presidential election, for if she does it will be the status quo leading to greater Western losses. I support Trump, although I did not choose him, as the lesser of two evils.
Against this backdrop Israel is flourishing. Its population is growing, not only from natural increase with an increased birthrate, but with increased immigration from France, Brasil and Venezuela. The Israeli currency is stong and the economy is growing all the time. For a country of 8.6 million people (20% of them Arabs) Israel punches well above its weight. The fruits of Israeli high-tech innovation in such areas as transportation, milk production, solar energy and water conservation are attractive for under-developed countries in Africa and Asia. Against this, what do the Palestinians have to offer, nothing but continued hatred, terrorism and meaningless political sloganeering.