On Thursday, November 20,the PLO Negotiation Department took the unusual move of sponsoring an advertisement from the League of Arab Nations in the major Israeli media.
The ad proclaimed that “57 Arab and Islamic states will establish diplomatic ties and normal relations with Israel in exchange for a full peace agreement” if Israel will accept the League of Arab Nations’ initiative which mandates that Israeli accept U.N. Resolution 194 that would allow Arab refugees to return to villages that were lost in 1948 and also mandate that Israeli withdraw soldiers and civilians from all areas that Israel acquired after the 1967 war including the Old City of Jerusalem.
The League of Arab Nations’ ad ran as a full-page ad in both major Israeli daily newspapers, Yediot Ahronot and Ma’ariv, featuring the Israeli and Palestinian flags at the top of the page and surrounded by a border of flags of Arab and Islamic states.
The text of the advertisement presents the Saudi initiative in seven clauses in Hebrew, and concludes with a brief summary in Arabic. At the bottom of the page appear the logos of the Council of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Conference. The ad was signed by the PLO Negotiation Department.
The significance of this ad is that the League of Arab Nations has remained in a state of full-scale war with Israel since the League of Arab Nations invaded the nascent Jewish state with seven Arab armies on the day of its birth on May 15, 1948, with the stated purpose of annihilating Israel.
The League of Arab Nations has never agreed to any armistice or peace treaty with Israel.
The same goes for the most influential member of the League of Arab Nations, Saudi Arabia, which has never signed any peace accord or armistice with Israel, unlike Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, all of which have peace treaties or armistice arrangements with the Jewish state.
It was the League of Arab States that founded the PLO in 1964 before the 1967 war, with the purpose of liberating all of Palestine. The PLO charter, which remains intact despite the Oslo process, also mandates the PLO to continue the war with Israel until all of Palestine is liberated. In that context, the PLO remains subservient to the League of Arab Nations.
Clause 10 of the charter of the League of Arab Nations, adopted in March 1945, defines Palestine as the sole nation that will occupy the land in between Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.
I asked the spokesperson of the League of Arab Nations office in Washington as to whether it intends to change Clause 10 of its charter. The answer was a terse “no.”