Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Saudi Arabia's View on a Palestinian State

With Israel continuing with its punishment of Gaza's civilian population, recent comments from Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah bin Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud are of particular interest.  


Here are bin Farhan's comments on a two-state solution when asked about the reactions of Israel after the formal recognition of a Palestinian state from Norway, Spain and Ireland:


Here is a transcript of bin Farhan's views:

"That's the nub of the problem.  The issue of Israel recognizing that a two-state solution is in its own interest.  I firmly believe that a two-state solution, that the establishment of a credible Palestinian state serves not just the interests of the Palestinians.  It delivers their right to self-determination.  It is also in the interest of Israel and delivers the security that Israel needs and deserves and the fact that the current government in Israel doesn't realize that, of course, is a matter of extreme concern.  And, I've said before that we must move towards and, I think, that's one of the issues we discussed today..."


And, here's the key:


"....we're trying to work towards is building a momentum to reinvigorate the two-state solution independent of Israel's position because Israel doesn't get to decide whether or not the Palestinians have a right to self-determination.  This is something that is enshrined in the United Nations Charter.  It is something that is enshrined into international law.  It is also a founding principle of the United Nations' decision to found Israel so it is absolutely necessary that Israel accepts that it cannot exist without the existence of a Palestinian state, that its security is served by building a Palestinian state."


As historical background, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 which stated the following:


"Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in part III of this plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948.  The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in parts II and III below."


Here is how Resolution 181 defined the boundaries of Israel:


"The north-eastern sector of the Jewish State (Eastern) Galilee) is bounded on the north and west by the Lebanese frontier and on the east by the frontiers of Syria and Transjordan.  It includes the whole of the Hula Basin, Lake Tiberias, the whole of the Beisan sub-district, the boundary line being extended to the crest of the Gilboa mountains and the Wadi Malih. From there the Jewish State extends north-west, following the boundary described in respect of the Arab State.


The Jewish Section of the coastal plain extends from a point between Minat et Qila and Nabi Yunis in the Gaza sub-district and includes the towns of Haifa and Tel-Aviv, leaving Jaffa as an enclave of the Arab State.  The eastern frontier of the Jewish State follows the boundary described in respect of the Arab State.


The Beersheba area comprises the whole of the Beersheba sub-district, including the Negeb and the eastern part of the Gaza sub-district, but excluding the town of Beersheba and those areas described in respect of the Arab State.  It includes also a strip of land along the Dead Sea stretching from the Beersheba-Hebron sub-district boundary line to Ein Geddi, as described in respect of the Arab State."


Here is a map showing the 1947 partition plan for Palestine which clearly shows that the West Bank and Gaza were to be part of the Arab state:


Here are a series of maps showing the dispossession of Palestinians from the land that was granted to them under Resolution 181 since 1946:



Lastly, here is a map showing the Israeli government's version of its own two-state solution:


Saudi Arabia has very significant influence among its peers in the Arab sphere.  These recent comments about Israel's reluctance to implement a two-state solution from a member of the Saudi royal family show that Saudi Arabia's recent moves toward a normalization of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel are dead on arrival.


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