Palestinian victimhood is a bogus narrative and is PLO/Fatah/Hamas/alphabet soup propaganda. I expect more.
Although it is ridiculous and offensive to tell a sovereign state such as Israel where its capital city should be.
Professor Ben Saul arrives at the same conclusion, but by a very different route, and he commits several historical howlers on the way. We should expect better from the Challis Professor of International Law - a post once held by the great Professor Julius Stone, a leading Australian Zionist.
Saul says that the reason Jerusalem cannot be the capital of Israel is because the 1948 UN Partition Plan, which proposed the creation of Jewish and Arab states in the territory of Mandate Palestine, reserved Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a "corpus separatum" (separated body) to remain under UN jurisdiction. Apparently, Saul thinks that the Partition Plan is still leading a ghostly legal existence somewhere.
But this is nonsense. The Partition Plan was just that - a plan. It could not be implemented without the agreement of both sides. The Jews accepted it, but the Arab states and the Palestinian Arab leadership rejected it outright. Therefore it lapsed, and its provisions are as defunct as those of the Treaty of Versailles.
Second, Saul says "The plan was supported by many Zionists, but opposed by most Arabs, since it unfairly allocated a disproportionate share of land to Jews relative to their share of the population." This is untrue on three counts.
* First, the plan was not accepted by "many Zionists" (a deliberately vague term), but by the Jewish National Council, the elected leadership body of the Jewish community in Mandate Palestine. The Plan had the support of the overwhelming majority of Jews, both in Palestine and in the Diaspora. Had the Arabs accepted it, there would have been a Palestinian state these last 73 years.
* Second, and more importantly, the Arab side did not reject the Plan because of the proposed distribution of land, but because they opposed the whole principle of partition and the creation of any kind of sovereign Jewish entity in Palestine. That is why they refused to participate in the work
of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), which devised the plan.
* Thirdly, it is untrue that the Plan "unfairly allocated a disproportionate share of land to Jews." It is true that the land area allocated to the Jewish state was larger (though not much larger) than that allocated to the Arab state. But that was because the Jewish state included most of the Negev, which was then a desert. In fact the Plan allocated to each community the lands where most of its population actually lived.*
Saul next says: "Zionists relied on the plan for legitimacy when declaring Israel to be an independent state in 1948, a unilateral move not envisaged by the UN. But Israel refused to accept the plan for Jerusalem. The “plan” has underpinned the idea of a two-state solution ever since." This is also nonsense.
In drafting the Declaration of Independence, the Jewish leadership specifically rejected the idea that it was bound by the failed Partition Plan. David Ben-Gurion said: "We accepted the UN Resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don't accept?" The Declaration itself says that Israel is being established, first, "by virtue of our natural and historic right," and, only secondarily, "on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly."
Having rejected the Partition Plan, the Palestinian Arab leadership and five Arab states then waged an explicitly genocidal war against the new State of Israel. They were defeated, and Israel took possession of the land west of the 1949 ceasefire lines, including western Jerusalem. The idea that Israel should have refrained from entering Jerusalem because the failed Partition Plan had reserved it for UN jurisdiction, when the Arab armies were bent on killing the Jews or driving them out of Israel altogether, is frankly ridiculous. The losses that the Palestinians suffered in 1949, and in 1967, and in every contest with Israel since, have been inflicted on them by the folly of their own leadership.
It is also untrue that the many "two-state solutions" proposed since 1967 have been underpinned (whatever that means) by the 1948 Partition Plan.
No-one has ever seriously proposed that the Israelis and the Palestinians should return to the borders proposed by the Plan (which were in any case never delineated in detail). That boat sailed in 1949. Any two-state solution will have to be based on demographic reality, which is that a future Palestinian state can consist only of those areas where Palestinians are now a majority of the population: most of Judaea and Samaria, the Gaza strip and eastern Jerusalem.
Even that will be extremely difficult to achieve given continued Palestinian rejectionism, the growing Jewish population of Judaea and Samaria, and the extreme reluctance of most Israelis to contemplate a renewed partition of Jerusalem.
Nevertheless, that was in fact the plan which Prime Minister Olmert offered to Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, only to have Abbas literally walk out on the discussion. Once again, as in 1936, 1948, 1967 and 2000, the Palestinian leadership betrayed their own people by rejecting the best offer they were ever likely to get. I will be very surprised if any Israel government is ever again willing to put any part of Jerusalem on the negotiating table.