Palestinians did get their own state

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 April, 2002, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from K. J. R. Borthwick headlined 'US is tainted by Israel's violations of international law' (South China Morning Post, April 11).

Is Mr Borthwick deliberately distorting the truth? For example, he refers to ' . . . the creation of Israel in 78 per cent of Mandate Palestine'.

As he will be aware, the bulk of British Mandate Palestine, roughly 75 per cent, was Transjordan and that part became the Kingdom of Jordan.

Hence the Palestinians did indeed get their own state. Israel cannot be held responsible for the unwillingness of Jordanian Palestinians to extend a welcome to their brothers.

He also conveniently overlooks that Arab states attacked Israel in 1948 and they did so with the explicit aim of wiping Israel out. This attempt is largely responsible for the mess in the Middle East from that day to this. I am not defending current Israeli policy, far from it. But Israel's ultimate policy goal is to stay in existence. This existence is both legitimate and under permanent threat.