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August 12, 2008

UPDATED: Reuters Rewrites Rulership of West Bank

UPDATE: To its credit, Reuters has corrected the erroneous language.

Today's Reuters story about Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's peace offer to the Palestinians gets wrong the basic history of Palestine.

The piece, "Palestinians reject proposal by Israeli PM," asserts:

Under the proposal, Israel would return to the Palestinians some 92.7 percent of the occupied West Bank, plus all of the Gaza Strip, according to Western and Palestinian officials briefed on the negotiations.

The Ottomans are one of many former rulers of what is now referred to as the West Bank
ottoman map.gif

In fact, it is impossible to "return" West Bank land to the Palestinians, as they never were the sovereigns of this territory.

Before 1967, when the West Bank came into Israeli hands, the territory was ruled (and annexed) by Jordan. Prior to that, it was under British rule. Before that, it was Ottoman territory. The Egyptians ruled for some time, as did the Mamluks, the Crusaders, Arab Caliphs, and a number of other ancient empires.

But the Palestinians are not on this list. So while the West Bank could technically "return" to Jordanian or British sovereignty, it could not, however, return to Palestinian sovereignty.

Posted by at August 12, 2008 11:17 AM


From the same article, in both the original and updated form:

"Abu Rdainah was referring to the borders that existed prior to the 1967 Middle East war in which Israel seized Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt." (emphasis added)

If I remember correctly, Israel was attacked by Jordan, Syria, and Egypt and captured those territories from the respective aggressor nations.

Posted by: ben at August 13, 2008 01:09 PM

Hey...why let something as mundane as facts alter the story?

Posted by: Myackie at August 13, 2008 02:52 PM

actually, Judea-Samaria belong to the Jews by historic right which was recognized by the League of Nations in 1922 when it endorsed the Jewish National Home. Earlier, in 1920, the San Remo Conference had juridically erected the Jewish National HOme. Of course, from 1949 to 1967 there were no borders. The "green line" was merely an armistice line agreed to at the Rhodes armistice negotiations in 1949. The Arabs never agreed to any borders for Israel before or after the 6-Day War. Only in 1979 when the Camp David accord finally became ratified was any border recrognized.

Posted by: Eliyahu [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 14, 2008 06:33 AM

just give the Palestinians back their land.

Posted by: simon at August 16, 2008 07:26 AM

Eliyahu is correct. Simon's remark is a joke. And if Reuters (and AP, etc) are still distorting the Disputed Territories issue, despite all of the best efforts of Camera, The Israel Project, BICOM, and Honest Reporting- then perhaps a different solution should be in order.

Posted by: DemoCast [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2008 03:46 PM

Give back?? Whn have htey ever had right over it? There is already a palestinian state, it's Jordan!

Darn, i wish Israel could just take over jordan, make a palestinian state there and make another one for the Hachemite minority. But it ain't that easy, this isn't a territorial conflict, it was never about the land.

Posted by: Erick at August 23, 2008 12:22 PM

Simons remark of give them back the land they never had. Shows him for the fool he is.

Posted by: g sisak at August 24, 2008 01:56 AM

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