February 1, 2019
News Press Release

ZOA: PA Officials Now Falsely Claim 1947 UN Res. 181 Gives Them Right to State & UN Membership

PA Violated the Oslo Accords – Not Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony on 13 September 1993

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. released the following statement:

UN Resolution 181 Gave Palestinian Arabs No Right to a State:  As part of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s latest ploy to avoid direct negotiations with Israel, the PA is now absurdly claiming that United Nations Resolution 181, passed by the UN General Assembly in November 1947, gave Palestinian Arabs a “right” to a state and “right” to UN membership.  In fact, UN Res. 181 merely recommended partitioning the remaining 22% of the Palestine Mandate into Jewish and Arab states.  (The British previously wrongfully carved off 78% of the Mandate, which Britain held in trust for reestablishing the Jewish homeland, and gave it to Jordan.)  A mere recommendation of partition – which the Arabs immediately rejected in favor of a war to annihilate Israel – is not a “right.” 

A mere recommendation of partition – which the Arabs immediately rejected in favor of a war to annihilate Israel – is not a “right”…. It is absurd for the PA to try to invoke the Oslo accords now – when, from the very first day of the Oslo accords, the PA violated the Oslo accords’ key requirements to end terrorism by murdering and maiming thousands of Jews in intifadas.

The Arabs’ immediate rejection of the 1947 partition recommendation rendered the partition recommendation null and void.  Instead of agreeing to partition, six Arab nations promptly launched a war to destroy the Jewish state, in which the Arabs murdered 6,000 Jews – one percent of Israel’s Jewish population.  In that war, Jordan seized, and illegally occupied for 19 years, Judea/Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, containing the Jewish people’s holiest sites.  Interestingly, the Palestinian Arabs made no claim for a state when Jordan controlled those areas.

Further, the United Nations has no right to carve off and grant a Palestinian Arab state in any of Israel’s land.  The 1922 Palestine Mandate was a “sacred trust” held by Britain, under international law, for the sole purpose of reconstituting the Jewish homeland.  The Palestine Mandate gave no national rights to the Arabs.  (“Palestinians” used to mean Jews at that time.)  UN Charter Article 80 (adopted in 1945) preserved intact – even after expiration of the Mandate – all rights granted to the Jewish people under the British Mandate for Palestine.  The UN Charter thus made it unlawful for the UN to alter the Jewish people’s right to the Mandatory area via any resolution.  The only lawful method of altering any of Israel’s rights to the Mandatory area (which includes all of Israel and Judea/Samaria), is via agreement by Israel and the party seeking a portion of Israel’s land. 

Oslo Gave the Palestinian Arabs No Right to a State:  The PA is now also falsely and misleadingly claiming Israel is violating the 1993–1995 Oslo accords, and that Jerusalem, refugees and settlements must be “final status” issues whose status must not be changed pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.  First of all, in fact, the Oslo Accords (1995) only state the status of the West Bank and Gaza should not be changed pending the outcome of permanent status negotiations.  This provision means that the Palestinian Arabs cannot declare a state in Gaza or the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) without negotiations.  For years, the PA has refused to negotiate.  Hence, the PA’s desire to unilaterally declare a Palestinian Arab state is unlawful under Oslo.

Second, at the time of the Oslo accords, Jerusalem was already a united city under Israeli sovereignty, and had been so for decades (and was the Jewish capital for thousands of years before that).  U.S. recognition of Israel’s longstanding sovereignty over Jerusalem doesn’t change Jerusalem’s status.  Recognition of existing status is not a change of status.  Moreover, even if U.S. recognition of Israel’s longstanding sovereignty over Jerusalem was somehow considered to be “a change in status,” the Oslo accords do not prohibit changes in Jerusalem’s status.  

Third, at the time of the Oslo accords, the same “settlements” (Jewish communities) that are present in Judea/Samaria today had already existed for decades.  The continuing presence and population growth of these Jewish communities is not a “change in status.”  If population growth were considered to be a change of status, then the PA’s population growth and expansion in Judea/Samaria is likewise a “change in status.” 

Moreover, Jews’ rights to live in communities in Judea/Samaria are underscored by the fact that the Oslo accords call for Israeli jurisdiction over “Area C” – where Jewish communities are located in Judea/Samaria.  

Fourth, as ZOA has repeatedly pointed out, the Oslo accords never called for the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state.  Then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, in his 1995 speech to the Knesset on ratification of the Oslo accords, stated that the final resolution envisioned by the Oslo accords was “an [Palestinian Arab] entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority.”  

Rabin further explained that the final resolution envisioned by the Oslo accords included “First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty,” as well as the establishment and inclusion within Israel of the settlement blocs in Judea/Samaria.

Most importantly, it is absurd for the PA to try to invoke the Oslo accords now – when, from the very first day of the Oslo accords, the PA violated the Oslo accords’ key requirements to end terrorism by murdering and maiming thousands of Jews in intifadas. The PA also promptly violated the Oslo accords requirement to cooperate economically with Israel, by launching the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.    

The PA also formally repudiated the Oslo accords over three years ago.  PA dictator Mahmoud Abbas, in his September 2015 speech to the United Nations, proclaimed regarding the Oslo accords: “We [] declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements.”  

The PA Lies to Avoid Making Peace:  In sum, the PA is promoting bald-faced lies and distortions about UN Res. 181 and the Oslo accords, to avoid making peace with Israel – and to try to unilaterally carve up the Jewish homeland and claim a state that the PA has no right to unilaterally claim.