Mahmoud Abbas to Israeli TV: We were wrong not to accept UN's 1947 Partition Plan

An Associated Press story published in Haaretz late Friday night reports that, in an interview with Israeli TV’s Channel 10, PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas has said that “the Arab world erred in rejecting the United Nations’ 1947 plan to partition Palestine into a Palestinian and a Jewish state … ‘It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole’, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Channel 2 TV in a rare interview to the Israeli media. ‘But do they (the Israelis) punish us for this mistake for 64 years?’…”

This report is posted here.

Has Abbas forgotten that the PLO accepted the late Yasser Arafat’s decision to issue a Palestinian Declaration of Independence at a meeting of the Palestine National Council in Algiers on 15 November 1988 –a Declaration which was based in part on the UN’s 1947 partition plan contained in UNGA resolution 181 of 29 November 1947…

Professor John Quigley, an American expert on international law, recently discussed aspects of UN Resolution 181, during a visit to Ramallah, as we reported on our sister blog,, here. In response to a question about the legality of UNGA Resolution 181, which many Palestinians believe was a serious infringement on their right to self-determination, Quigley replied that what gave UNGA Resolution 181 legality, or legitimacy [he avoided specifying the term] was the PLO’s own acceptance of it, over 40 years later, as the basis for the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988…

According to the AP report, in tonight’s interview on Israeli TV Channel 10 Abbas also “confirmed Olmert’s account that the Israeli leader was prepared to withdraw from 93.5 percent of the West Bank. The Palestinians, Abbas added, responded by offering to let Israel retain 1.9 percent of the West Bank. Peace talks stalled three years ago and last month, Abbas bypassed bilateral negotiations to ask the UN to recognize an independent state of Palestine. In his TV interview, Abbas acknowledged the Palestinians might not be able to muster the necessary nine votes in the 15-member Security Council to approve the statehood bid”…

Palestine Boundaries after First World War left to "the parties themselves" to resolve

From the
TREATY OF PEACE WITH TURKEY SIGNED AT LAUSANNE on JULY 24, 1923 [and published, among other places, here]:

and TURKEY, of the other part;
Being united in the desire to bring to a final close the state of war which has existed in the East since 1914,

And considering that these relations must be based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of States,
Have decided to conclude a Treaty for this purpose

[But it does not mention Palestine, except here:
Turkey hereby renounces all rights and title whatsoever over or respecting the territories situated outside the frontiers laid down in the present Treaty and the islands other than those over which her sovereignty is recognised by the said Treaty, the future of these territories and islands being settled or to be settled by the parties concerned.

Map of the Mandate Areas of Arabia - World War I document archive -