The Israelis have a very good legal backing for the lands east of the Jordan river, in a fair court of unbiased judges and juries, it would be a slam dunk.
Fitzgerald: Judea, Samaria, and “Occupied Lands”
Lebanon’s Daily Star carries an article today with the headline: “Jordan’s king to visit Occupied Territories, Israel.”
The word “occupied” needs to be carefully examined. It is ordinarily used when the country deemed to be the occupier has no claim to the land it occupies, and is only there temporarily, following a conflict, with no intention or right to remain.
Thus “Occupied Paris” or “Occupied France.” Thus “Occupied Germany” or “Occupied Japan” after the war. But to use the word “occupied lands” for lands which are part of the Mandate for Palestine is another matter. These lands were part of the two Ottoman vilayets that were deliberately set aside by the League of Nations, after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, for the establishment of the Jewish National Home. This was done on the perfectly reasonable and indeed irreproachable theory that like the Arabs (who were promised one Arab State), the Kurds (who ultimately never got any state), and the Armenians (ditto, except for a Soviet republic, only recently made independent), the Jews could be given a state of their own. The moral, legal, and historic claim of the Jews — some of whom had left the Middle East after the Jihad-conquest by the Arabs in the 7th century, and some of whom had remained to live as dhimmis in Iraq, Syria, Judea itself, Yemen, and North Africa — would be seen by fair-minded person who had bothered to investigate the matter as an overwhelming claim.
Indeed, when the British, who had made solemn commitments under their power as mandatory authority, simply closed off all of Eastern Palestine (which went to form present-day Jordan) in 1921, the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations was horrified. Arab propagandists –Rami Khouri, Rashid Khalidi, Saeb Erekat, and so on — like to refer rather quickly, and self-assuredly, to “occupied Arab lands” (or variants on the phrase) knowing that their interviewer or interlocutor will never stop to question them, about the long history of the word “Palestine” (and what it was defined as in Western Christendom) and the brief history of the phrase “Palestinian people,” about the real understandings, and weighings of claims, and equities, that lay behind the League of Nations’ decision to create, as it created other mandates in the Middle East and elsewhere, the Mandate for Palestine. Nor is much attention given by the BBC, or “The Guardian,” or RF1 or “Le Monde,” or NPR or any number of newspaper reporters, to another matter: the precise data on demography and land ownership (cadastral records) in what the Western world, but never the Islamic one until the last century, always referred to as “Palestine” or the Holy Land.