INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE’S COLLECTIVE RIGHTS OF SETTLEMENT AND SELF-DETERMINATION IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL
“בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ”, transliterated as: “Bereshit bara Elohim et HaShamayim v'et HaAretz”, and traditionally translated as: “In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” -- Genesis 1:1. In his famous commentary on the very first phrase of the Torah, namely, “בְּרֵאשִׁית” “Bereshit” (“In the Beginning”), Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, b. 1040 - d. 1105) states: “Rabbi Yitzchak said that it was not necessary for the Torah to begin except with [the Commandment]: 'This month shall be for you [the beginning of months.' -- Exodus 12:2], since this Commandment is the first Commandment that Israel was commanded [to observe as a nation]. And what is the reason that [instead] it [the Torah] begins with [the phrase]: ‘In the Beginning’? [This is] because of [the verse]: ‘The Strength of His Deeds He declared to His People, [in order] to give them the heritage of the nations.’ (Psalms 111:6). For, if the nations of the World should say to Israel: ‘You are thieves, because you have seized by force the lands of the seven [Canaanite] nations’, they [the Jewish people] could reply: ‘The entire World belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He. He created it and distributed [possession of] it in whatever manner was appropriate in His Eyes. Of His own Will, He gave [possession of] it [the Land of Israel] to them [the Canaanite nations], and of His own Will, He took [possession of] it [the Land of Israel] from them [the Canaanite nations] and gave [possession of] it [the Land of Israel] to us [the Jewish people].’” And, although -- in fulfillment of Prophecy (see Deuteronomy 30:1-6; Isaiah 54:7; and Ezekiel 36:18-35 & 39:28-29) -- the Jewish people have now returned to, and have resurrected a Jewish nation-state in, the biblical Land of Israel, the gentile nations do, indeed, claim that we are thieves who have seized the Land illegally from its “rightful owners”, namely, the “Palestinian” Arabs.
For most nations, the claim of an illegal Jewish occupation of “Palestinian” Arab territories is limited to the post-1967 districts of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem (which the World denominates as the “West Bank”) and (despite Israel’s expulsion of all Jewish residents thereof and withdrawal of all of its armed forces therefrom in August 2005) Gaza. However, for those Arab and (non-Arab) Muslim nations and for those terrorist organizations which reject the very existence of the State of Israel, the claim of an illegal Jewish occupation of “Palestine” extends, as well, to the entire territory of pre-1967 Israel (i.e., all of Israel proper, being the territory that became the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines). As a consequence thereof, all of the nations and their media -- at the very least -- consistently describe the districts of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza as the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”, and the Jewish communities there as illegal under international law, thereby manufacturing in favor of the “Palestinian” Arabs an international “legal justification” for their “resistance activities” -- in the form of terror attacks -- against Israel and the Jewish people.
However, since the Jewish people's possessory right to the Land of Israel derives solely from God's oft-iterated Promise of the Land to our people through the Patriarchs -- Abraham (see Genesis 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:7; 15:18-21; and 17:7-8), Isaac (see Genesis 17:18-21; 21:9-13; and 26:1-5), and Jacob (see Genesis 28:13-15; and 35:9-13) -- all as ultimately reiterated to Moses and the Jewish people in the form of a national Commandment (-- “'See, I have given the Land before you; come and possess the Land that HaShem swore to your forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.'” Deuteronomy 1:8 --), the concept of international law, as created by the amoral gentile nations, is a nullity in God's Eyes. Nevertheless, in this time before the Messiah has revealed himself, when many “civilized” Jews revere such concepts as international law as much as -- or even more than -- they venerate the Word of God, it is important for Jewry to know that, even according to the nations' laws, implementation of the historical Jewish rights of settlement and self-determination in the biblical Land of Israel is not only permissible, but even one of the objects thereof.
In fact, as will be proven elsewhere in this Essay, that which the World incessantly declares to be the Jewish State’s occupation of “Palestinian” territory is, in reality, the Jewish people’s reacquisition of Jewish territory. Stated another way, the World’s claim of an “Occupation” constitutes a historical and legal myth created to obfuscate the historical and legal fact that all of the Land of Israel collectively belongs to the Jewish people -- and only to the Jewish people.
With respect to the World’s concomitant claim that Israel occupies the stateless “Palestinian” people, it is linguistically important to note that even if territory is occupied as a result of war, the victor thereof does not thereby occupy that territory’s defeated population. Rather, the victor rules that defeated population. However, even if Israel’s present possession of the “West Bank” and former possession of Gaza constitutes a Reacquisition rather than an Occupation, and even if Israel rules rather than occupies the hostile population thereof, doesn’t Israel -- as repeatedly claimed by the World -- thereby rule approximately 4,000,000 stateless “Palestinians”? Well, no. If one subtracts from the aforesaid figure the populations of (1) Gaza, which is presently an independent political entity governed by the terrorist group Hamas, and (b) Areas A & B of the “West Bank”, which are presently governed by the autonomous and terrorist-affiliated Palestinian Authority, then what remains is the Arab population of Area C of the “West Bank”, which is ruled by Israel and which presently hosts approximately 70,000 “Palestinians”. Although the United Nations, through the report of its “Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs -- Occupied Palestinian Territory”, entitled “In the Spotlight: Area C Vulnerability Profile”, issued on March 5, 2014, claimed that the “Palestinian” population of Area C was almost 300,000 in 2013, that report erroneously and knowingly included Arabs residing in Area A, Area B and Jerusalem as residents of Area C (see page 2 of the report), thereby greatly inflating the latter’s Arab population. Consequently, it is accurate to state that Israel presently rules approximately 70,000 hostile, irredentist and revanchist Arabs in the Reacquired Jewish Territories of Judea and Samaria. Stated another way, 98.25% of the Arabs residing in the “West Bank” and Gaza are ruled by their fellow Arabs (respectively, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority), and only 1.75% of these Arabs are ruled by Israel. Moreover, the legal status of the resident Arabs of Area C of the “West Bank” is similar to that of the resident population of American Samoa (formally known as the “Territory of American Samoa”, being the eastern portion of the Samoan archipelago, located in the South Pacific Ocean, which Germany and the United States divided between themselves in 1899). Even though American Samoa (hosting a resident population of approximately 55,000 Samoan and other Pacific Islanders as of 2015) is part of the United States and is governed at the national level by the Office of Insular Affairs of the United States Department of the Interior, its residents, although having been born in the United States, do not thereby acquire U.S. citizenship, consequently rendering them non-citizen U.S. nationals. Moreover, millions more U.S. citizens are denied the right to vote in national parliamentary elections due to their particular places of residency within the United States, such as those U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. capital city of Washington, D.C. (also known as the District of Columbia), those U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico (formally known as the “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico”, located in the Caribbean Sea, which was seized by the United States from Spain during the Spanish-American War of 1898) and those U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands (formally known as the “Virgin Islands of the United States”, located in the Caribbean Sea, which was sold by Denmark to the United States in 1917). Most astonishingly, these longtime denials of national citizenship and/or national voting rights target Americans who have never made war against the United States. In contrast, as will be proven elsewhere in this Essay, the denial of Israeli citizenship to the hostile, irredentist and revanchist Arab population of Judea and Samaria has both demographic and security justifications.
Beginning in late 1917 and ending in late 1918 -- towards the end of World War I -- Great Britain (formally known as the United Kingdom) captured from the Ottoman Empire (which was based in modern-day Turkey) all of the non-sovereign lands comprising the region of Palestine. At the time of the British conquest, the region of Palestine did not exist as a distinct territorial unit within the Ottoman Empire. Rather, its lands were divided among several of the Ottoman provinces. The battlefield successes of Great Britain’s 38th, 39th and 40th Battalions of Royal Fusiliers, composed of Jewish volunteers from many countries (among them Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Argentina) and collectively known as the “Jewish Legion”, as well as the surveillance activities of the resident Jewish espionage organization known as NILI, were integral to Great Britain’s victory over the Ottoman Empire in that portion of the region of Palestine which was situated west of the Jordan River (i.e., between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River). Although Arab forces also aided Great Britain’s conquest of the region of Palestine (under the guidance of British army officer Thomas Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia”), their assistance was limited to that portion thereof which was situated east of the Jordan River in what is modern-day Jordan. At the time of the British conquest, Jews constituted more than 25% of the population of that portion of the region of Palestine which was situated west of the Jordan River (i.e., the territory which became the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza). However, Jews then constituted more than 50% of the population of Jerusalem.
From April 19, 1920 to April 26, 1920, an international conference was held at San Remo, Italy to implement the terms of the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919 which was the first of five peace treaties that formally terminated the hostilities then known as the “Great War” (subsequently denominated as “World War I”), including those provisions of the Treaty (namely, Articles 1 - 26 thereof, denominated as the Covenant of the League of Nations) which declared the creation of a League of Nations (predecessor to the United Nations) and which authorized the establishment of a system of international Mandates for the governance of the World's remaining non-sovereign territories and their respective populations.
The legal basis for the mandatory system was the international community’s declaration that providing for the “well-being and development” of the World’s non-sovereign populations constituted “a sacred trust of civilisation” (Covenant of League of Nations, Article 22, Paragraph 1), and that the League of Nations’ “best method” of effecting this global task was to create a “tutelage” relationship between certain “advanced nations” and “such peoples” whereby the former would serve “as Mandatories on behalf of the League” (Covenant of League of Nations, Article 22, Paragraph 2). In legal terminology, each mandate constituted a separate Trust, of which the League of Nations was the Settlor, the appointed Mandatory was the Trustee, the resident population (or chosen subset thereof) was the Beneficiary, and the administered territory was the Corpus. Under Trust law, the Trustee is obligated to administer the Trust Corpus on behalf of and for the sole benefit of the Trust Beneficiary in compliance with the Trust’s governing instrument; and when the Trust terminates, the Trust Beneficiary thereby becomes the legal owner of the Trust Corpus. Applied to the mandatory system, this means that, when a mandate terminated, the resident population (or chosen subset thereof) thereby became sovereign over the administered territory thereof.
The self-evident purpose of the mandatory system was to return those non-sovereign territories formerly occupied by the Ottoman Empire and its wartime allies to their respective indigenous populations, including the Jewish people.
Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (of the Treaty of Versailles) states, in full, as follows:
To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.
The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage of such peoples should be entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical position can best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to accept it, and that this tutelage should be exercised by them as Mandatories on behalf of the League.
The character of the mandate must differ according to the stage of the development of the people, the geographical situation of the territory, its economic conditions, and other similar circumstances.
Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.
Other peoples, especially those of Central Africa, are at such a stage that the Mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, the prohibition of abuses such as the slave trade, the arms traffic, and the liquor traffic, and the prevention of the establishment of fortifications or military and naval bases and of military training of the natives for other than police purposes and the defence of territory, and will also secure equal opportunities for the trade and commerce of other Members of the League.
There are territories, such as South-West Africa and certain of the South Pacific Islands, which, owing to the sparseness of their population, or their small size, or their remoteness from the centres of civilisation, or their geographical contiguity to the territory of the Mandatory, and other circumstances, can be best administered under the laws of the Mandatory as integral portions of its territory, subject to the safeguards above mentioned in the interests of the indigenous population.
In every case of mandate, the Mandatory shall render to the Council an annual report in reference to the territory committed to its charge.
The degree of authority, control, or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory shall, if not previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, be explicitly defined in each case by the Council.
A permanent Commission shall be constituted to receive and examine the annual reports of the Mandatories and to advise the Council on all matters relating to the observance of the mandates.
At the San Remo conference, pursuant to the authority of Article 22 of its Covenant, the League of Nations -- by a unanimous vote -- assigned to France, as Mandatory Trustee, the non-sovereign territory of Syria, and to Great Britain, as Mandatory Trustee, the non-sovereign territory of Mesopotamia and the non-sovereign territory of Palestine. These three mandates were denominated as Class A mandates, meaning that -- pursuant to the fourth paragraph of Article 22 of the Covenant -- all of the former Turkish-occupied territories to be governed thereunder, including Mandatory Palestine, were deemed by the League of Nations to be ready for independence after respective periods of tutelage under their appointed Mandatories.
The internationally-authorized Trust for the non-sovereign region of Palestine, known as the Mandate for Palestine, was created by the League of Nations on April 24, 1920. However, the Trust’s internationally-authorized governing instrument, also known as the Mandate for Palestine, was not finalized and enacted by the League of Nations until July 24, 1922.
Prior to its conquest by Great Britain during World War I, the non-sovereign region of Palestine had been occupied, with brief interruptions, by the Ottoman Empire since 1517 and, before that, by an unbroken chain of colonialist empires stretching back in History to imperial Rome (and, before the Roman Occupation, to the Greek, Persian and Babylonian and Assyrian Occupations of all or parts of the Land of Israel). The Roman Empire, after having crushed the third and final revolt of the Jewish people against its hated Occupation in 135, changed the Land's name from Judea (the Latin-language word for which was Iudaea, meaning Land of the Jews) to Palestine (the Latin-language word for which was Palaestina, meaning Land of the Philistines -- an Aegean people who had migrated to the Land of Israel in Antiquity and had subsequently become a fierce enemy of the Jewish people, but who had disappeared from History due to their extirpation by the Babylonian Empire more than 700 years prior to the renaming of the Land), as part of an unabashed effort to humiliate the defeated Jewish people and to delegitimize any further national Jewish claims to the Land. Although, as further punishment for the uprising, the Romans also massacred and expelled much of the Land's Jewish population, the remainder thereof continued to reside throughout the Land (including the areas of Galilee, Negev, Arava, Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, Gaza and Golan) under the Roman and all successive Occupations -- including that of the colonialist Islamic Arab Empire commencing in the 7th Century -- through the advent of the Mandate for Palestine.
In this context, it is noteworthy that the Land of Israel was home to the Jewish people for almost 2,000 years before the aforesaid Islamic Arab invasion of the Land. Stated another way, the Jewish people were residing in the Land of Israel for almost 2,000 years before the Arabs arrived en masse.
The Mandate for Palestine (i.e., the Trust) was created for the explicit purpose of reestablishing a Jewish National Home (and for the implicit purpose of creating a sovereign Jewish State) in the biblical Land of Israel (notwithstanding the fact that the borders of Mandatory Palestine and the borders of the biblical Land of Israel were, in some places, not identical). The Preamble of the Mandate for Palestine (i.e., the Trust’s governing instrument) states as its goal “... the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country ...” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 2); and the Preamble thereof further declares that “... recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 3). The League of Nations thereby acknowledged that, although having been widely dispersed amongst the nations of the World during the past several millennia, the Jewish people (comprised of those whose families had managed to remain in the Land from Time Immemorial, those whose families had more recently returned to the Land, and those whose families would in the future return to the Land) were nonetheless recognized by the international community as being (then and forever) the lawful indigenous inhabitants of Mandatory Palestine.
Conversely, the Arab and other gentile peoples then resident in the Land were not truly indigenous to the Land, as they came to be there by virtue of their ancestors’ past conquests of the Land (e.g., the colonialist Arab invasion of 638), their ancestors’ immigration during the Ottoman Occupation (e.g., Arab, Chechen, Circassian and Serbian Muslim immigrants) or their ancestors’ immigration during the Mandatory period (e.g., the successive waves of Arab immigrants from nearby countries commencing in 1920).
In agreeing to its appointment as Mandatory Trustee of this Trust, Great Britain did not thereby become the legal sovereign of Mandatory Palestine. Rather, Great Britain undertook to administer Mandatory Palestine and to govern its resident population in compliance with the provisions of the Trust’s governing instrument and subject to the supervision and control of the Council of the League of Nations (see Covenant of League of Nations, Article 22, Paragraphs 7, 8 & 9; Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraphs 6 & 7; and Mandate for Palestine, Articles 1, 14, 24, 25, 27 & 28).
The Mandate for Palestine of July 24, 1922 states, in full, as follows:
MANDATE FOR PALESTINE
The Council of the League of Nations:
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and
Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; and
Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in the following terms and submitted to the Council of the League for approval; and
Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions; and
Whereas by the aforementioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory, not having been previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League Of Nations;
Confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:
ARTICLE 1 The Mandatory shall have full powers of legislation and of administration, save as they may be limited by the terms of this Mandate.
ARTICLE 2 The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the Preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.
ARTICLE 3 The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.
ARTICLE 4 An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.
The Zionist Organization, so long as its organization and constitution are, in the opinion of the Mandatory, appropriate, shall be recognized as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.
ARTICLE 5 The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.
ARTICLE 6 The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the Land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
ARTICLE 7 The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.
ARTICLE 8 The privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed by Capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, shall not be applicable in Palestine.
Unless the Powers whose nationals enjoyed the afore-mentioned privileges and immunities on August 1st, 1914, shall have previously renounced the right to their re-establishment, or shall have agreed to their non-application for a specified period, these privileges and immunities shall, at the expiration of the mandate, be immediately reestablished in their entirety or with such modifications as may have been agreed upon between the Powers concerned.
ARTICLE 9 The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial system established in Palestine shall assure to foreigners, as well as to natives, a complete guarantee of their rights.
Respect for the personal status of the various peoples and communities and for their religious interests shall be fully guaranteed. In particular, the control and administration of Wakfs shall be exercised in accordance with religious law and the dispositions of the founders.
ARTICLE 10 Pending the making of special extradition agreements relating to Palestine, the extradition treaties in force between the Mandatory and other foreign Powers shall apply to Palestine.
ARTICLE 11 The Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the interests of the community in connexion with the development of the country, and, subject to any international obligations accepted by the Mandatory, shall have full power to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country or of the public works, services and utilities established or to be established therein. It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land.
The Administration may arrange with the Jewish agency mentioned in Article 4 to construct or operate, upon fair and equitable terms, any public works, services and utilities, and to develop any of the natural resources of the country, in so far as these matters are not directly undertaken by the Administration. Any such arrangements shall provide that no profits distributed by such agency, directly or indirectly, shall exceed a reasonable rate of interest on the capital, and any further profits shall be utilised by it for the benefit of the country in a manner approved by the Administration.
ARTICLE 12 The Mandatory shall be entrusted with the control of the foreign relations of Palestine and the right to issue exequaturs to consuls appointed by foreign Powers. He shall also be entitled to afford diplomatic and consular protection to citizens of Palestine when outside its territorial limits.
ARTICLE 13 All responsibility in connexion with the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory, who shall be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable with the Administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this article into effect; and provided also that nothing in this mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.
ARTICLE 14 A special commission shall be appointed by the Mandatory to study, define and determine the rights and claims in connexion with the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. The method of nomination, the composition and the functions of this Commission shall be submitted to the Council of the League for its approval, and the Commission shall not be appointed or enter upon its functions without the approval of the Council.
ARTICLE 15 The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.
The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.
ARTICLE 16 The Mandatory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision over religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths in Palestine as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government. Subject to such supervision, no measures shall be taken in Palestine to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of such bodies or to discriminate against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.
ARTICLE 17 The Administration of Palestine may organist on a voluntary basis the forces necessary for the preservation of peace and order, and also for the defence of the country, subject, however, to the supervision of the Mandatory, but shall not use them for purposes other than those above specified save with the consent of the Mandatory. Except for such purposes, no military, naval or air forces shall be raised or maintained by the Administration of Palestine.
Nothing in this article shall preclude the Administration of Palestine from contributing to the cost of the maintenance of the forces of the Mandatory in Palestine.
The Mandatory shall be entitled at all times to use the roads, railways and ports of Palestine for the movement of armed forces and the carriage of fuel and supplies.
ARTICLE 18 The Mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in Palestine against the nationals of any State Member of the League of Nations (including companies incorporated under its laws) as compared with those of the Mandatory or of any foreign State in matters concerning taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, or in the treatment of merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Similarly, there shall be no discrimination in Palestine against goods originating in or destined for any of the said States, and there shall be freedom of transit under equitable conditions across the mandated area.
Subject as aforesaid and to the other provisions of this mandate, the Administration of Palestine may, on the advice of the Mandatory, impose such taxes and customs duties as it may consider necessary, and take such steps as it may think best to promote the development of the natural resources of the country and to safeguard the interests of the population. It may also, on the advice of the Mandatory, conclude a special customs agreement with any State the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia.
ARTICLE 19 The Mandatory shall adhere on behalf of the Administration of Palestine to any general international conventions already existing, or which may be concluded hereafter with the approval of the League of Nations, respecting the slave traffic, the traffic in arms and ammunition, or the traffic in drugs, or relating to commercial equality, freedom of transit and navigation, aerial navigation and postal, telegraphic and wireless communication or literary, artistic or industrial property.
ARTICLE 20 The Mandatory shall co-operate on behalf of the Administration of Palestine, so far as religious, social and other conditions may permit, in the execution of any common policy adopted by the League of Nations for preventing and combating disease, including diseases of plants and animals.
ARTICLE 21 The Mandatory shall secure the enactment within twelve months from this date, and shall ensure the execution of a Law of Antiquities based on the following rules. This law shall ensure equality of treatment in the matter of excavations and archaeological research to the nationals of all States Members of the League of Nations.
(1) "Antiquity" means any construction or any product of human activity earlier than the year 1700 A. D.
(2) The law for the protection of antiquities shall proceed by encouragement rather than by threat. Any person who, having discovered an antiquity without being furnished with the authorization referred to in paragraph 5, reports the same to an official of the competent Department, shall be rewarded according to the value of the discovery.
(3) No antiquity may be disposed of except to the competent Department, unless this Department renounces the acquisition of any such antiquity. No antiquity may leave the country without an export licence from the said Department.
(4) Any person who maliciously or negligently destroys or damages an antiquity shall be liable to a penalty to be fixed.
(5) No clearing of ground or digging with the object of finding antiquities shall be permitted, under penalty of fine, except to persons authorised by the competent Department.
(6) Equitable terms shall be fixed for expropriation, temporary or permanent, of lands which might be of historical or archaeological interest.
(7) Authorization to excavate shall only be granted to persons who show sufficient guarantees of archaeological experience. The Administration of Palestine shall not, in granting these authorizations, act in such a way as to exclude scholars of any nation without good grounds.
(8) The proceeds of excavations may be divided between the excavator and the competent Department in a proportion fixed by that Department. If division seems impossible for scientific reasons, the excavator shall receive a fair indemnity in lieu of a part of the find.
ARTICLE 22 English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or inscription in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic.
ARTICLE 23 The Administration of Palestine shall recognise the holy days of the respective communities in Palestine as legal days of rest for the members of such communities.
ARTICLE 24 The Mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations an annual report to the satisfaction of the Council as to the measures taken during the year to carry out the provisions of the mandate. Copies of all laws and regulations promulgated or issued during the year shall be communicated with the report.
ARTICLE 25 In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18.
ARTICLE 26 The Mandatory agrees that, if any dispute whatever should arise between the Mandatory and another member of the League of Nations relating to the interpretation or the application of the provisions of the mandate, such dispute, if it cannot be settled by negotiation, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice provided for by Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
ARTICLE 27 The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.
ARTICLE 28 In the event of the termination of the mandate hereby conferred upon the Mandatory, the Council of the League of Nations shall make such arrangements as may be deemed necessary for safeguarding in perpetuity, under guarantee of the League, the rights secured by Articles 13 and 14, and shall use its influence for securing, under the guarantee of the League, that the Government of Palestine will fully honour the financial obligations legitimately incurred by the Administration of Palestine during the period of the mandate, including the rights of public servants to pensions or gratuities.
The present instrument shall be deposited in original in the archives of the League of Nations and certified copies shall be forwarded by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations to all members of the League.
Done at London the twenty-fourth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.
Except as set forth in Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine (further discussed below), although the Arabs residing in Mandatory Palestine were to retain their individual rights therein, specifically their civil and religious rights (see Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 2; and Articles 2, 9, 13, 15, 16 & 23), the Jews of Mandatory Palestine -- whether their residency predated or postdated the creation of the Mandate -- were to be accorded exclusive national rights thereto (i.e., collective sovereignty over the Land upon its independence) as a measure of restorative justice for the Jewish people (see Mandate for Palestine, Preamble Paragraphs 2 & 3; and Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 & 11). Although Article 3 does not state which of the several resident populations was to enjoy local autonomy during the existence of the Mandate, that provision’s placement between Articles 2 & 4, taken together with the explicit raison d'être of the Mandate, leads to the conclusion that the resident Jewish population was the intended beneficiary thereof. This embedded distinction between national rights accorded to the (present and future) resident Jewish population of Mandatory Palestine and individual rights accorded to the resident gentile populations of Mandatory Palestine is epitomized by Paragraph 2 of the Mandate’s Preamble, which specified that “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” should not come at the expense of the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. If the Mandate had intended to also grant national rights to the Arab and other gentile populations of Mandatory Palestine, then this preambulary provision would have been rendered unnecessary.
The Mandate granted to the Jewish people two distinct legal rights inherent in the reestablishment of the Jewish National Home, namely, the collective right of settlement and the collective right of self-determination. In order to effectuate both of these rights, Article 6 of the Mandate required the Mandatory Administration to facilitate large-scale immigration and land purchases by Jews. Concomitant with the foregoing, Article 7 of the Mandate required the Mandatory Administration to provide for the bestowal of Palestinian citizenship upon immigrating Jews. Moreover, Article 4 of the Mandate authorized the creation of a local Jewish government (in the form of the preexisting Zionist Organization co-founded by Theodore Herzl in the 19th Century, which is presently known as the World Zionist Organization) to assist the Mandatory Administration in the performance of its Mandatory obligations to the Jewish people. In furtherance of the League of Nation’s goal to prepare Mandatory Palestine for eventual independence as a Jewish State, Article 11 of the Mandate authorized the Mandatory Administration to delegate to the local Jewish government the performance of important national governmental functions (namely, the construction and operation of public works, services and utilities, and the development of the Land’s natural resources).
In emphasis of the Mandate’s grant of exclusive national rights to the Jewish people, the appellation “Arab” does not appear anywhere in the Mandate. Likewise, the appellation “Palestinian” does not appear in the Mandate, except in its reference to “the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 7). In fact, nowhere in the Mandate is there a reference, by name, to any ethnic group other than the Jewish people. Instead, the Mandate subsumes the Arab and other gentile inhabitants of Mandatory Palestine within the following generic categories: “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 2), “inhabitants of Palestine” (Mandate for Palestine, Articles 2 & 15), “other sections of the population” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 6), “the various peoples and communities” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 9), “the different religious communities in Palestine” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 14); “each community” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 15); and “the respective communities in Palestine” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 23).
Per the second paragraph of the Preamble of the Mandate for Palestine, the League of Nations, in formally issuing the Mandate, chose to explicitly incorporate therein the principles set forth in the letter of November 2, 1917 from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Zionist leader Lionel Walter Rothschild, commonly known as the “Balfour Declaration”, thereby elevating these principles from an important statement of British foreign policy (but lacking in any international authority) concerning the final disposition of the non-sovereign territory of Palestine to a foundation of international law with respect thereto. That letter states, in full, as follows:
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1917, subsequently confirmed that, by issuing the Balfour Declaration, Great Britain had intended to provide the Jewish people with the historic opportunity to reestablish an independent Jewish State in the Land of Israel:
“It was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a National Home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth.” (War Memoirs Of David Lloyd George (1933), p. 736-737)
Although, from 1915 onwards, diplomatic representatives of Great Britain had also made various written declarations to foreign Arab leaders (such as the 1915 - 1916 letters from Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner of Egypt, to Hussein ibn Ali, Sherif of Mecca and ruler of the Hejaz region of Arabia) which, to a greater or lesser degree, contradicted the principles set forth in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, thereby negating the concept of eventual Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel, and although, in June 1922, the British government even issued an official White Paper (known as the “Command Paper of 1922” and alternatively as the “Churchill White Paper”) explicitly stating that the reestablishment of the Jewish National Home in Mandatory Palestine was never intended to result in Jewish sovereignty over any portion of the Land, the subsequent enactment by the League of Nations of the governing instrument for its Mandate for Palestine necessarily superseded all such declarations. This is so, because -- unlike Great Britain, which lacked any international authority (whether by means of anti-Zionist or philo-Zionist pronouncements) to legally affect the post-World War I status or final disposition of the non-sovereign territory of Palestine -- the League of Nations, acting as the instrument of the international community, did possess such authority. And, pursuant to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (of the Treaty of Versailles), the League of Nations was prerogatived to exercise such international authority by establishing a Mandate (in the form of a Trust and its governing instrument) for the temporary governance of the non-sovereign territory of Palestine until its independence as a sovereign Jewish State.
Nevertheless, some have argued that, although the League of Nations was indeed preogatived by the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919 to create a Mandate for the non-sovereign territory of Palestine, it had been granted no authority by the international community to enact a governing instrument for that Mandate which granted exclusive national rights over that mandated territory to the Jewish people (rather than to all of the inhabitants thereof). This argument is refuted by the Treaty of Sevres of August 10, 1920 (formally known as “The Treaty Of Peace Between The Allied And Associated Powers And Turkey”), which treaty was signed subsequent to the creation of the Mandate for Palestine (on April 24, 1920) but prior to the enactment of the Mandate’s governing instrument (on July 24, 1922). Like the Treaty of Versailles, which incorporated therein the Covenant of the League of Nations as its first 26 articles, the Treaty of Sevres also incorporated therein the Covenant of the League of Nations as its first 26 articles. Section VII of the Treaty of Sevres (entitled “Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine” and encompassing Articles 94 - 97 thereof) endorsed all three Middle East mandates earlier created by the League of Nations at the San Remo conference (in April 1920). Article 95 of the Treaty of Sevres -- which sets forth the raison d'être of the Mandate for Palestine -- states, in full, as follows:
The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Mandatory undertakes to appoint as soon as possible a special Commission to study and regulate all questions and claims relating to the different religious communities. In the composition of this Commission the religious interests concerned will be taken into account. The Chairman of the Commission will be appointed by the Council of the League of Nations.
Moreover, Article 129 of Section XII of the Treaty (entitled “Nationality”) states, in full, as follows:
Jews of other than Turkish nationality who are habitually resident, on the coming into force of the present Treaty, within the boundaries of Palestine, as determined in accordance with Article 95 will ipso facto become citizens of Palestine to the exclusion of any other nationality.
The Treaty of Sevres, countersigned by Turkey in the midst of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919 - 1922, was never implemented due to Turkey’s later refusal to accept the initial Greek territorial gains that were enshrined in the Treaty. However, Article 95 of the Treaty of Sevres nonetheless constitutes an explicit instruction by the international community to the League of Nations via application of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (of the Treaty of Sevres) that the only authorized purpose for the League’s earlier creation of a mandate for the non-sovereign territory of Palestine was to effect the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” (Treaty of Sevres, Article 95, Paragraph 1). The subsequent enactment by the League of Nations of a governing instrument for the Mandate that bestowed upon the Jewish people exclusive national rights over the Land is fully consistent with the express language of Article 95 to that effect. Similarly, the failure of the Mandate’s governing instrument to accord the resident Arabs any national rights over the Land is fully consistent with the express language of Article 95 that the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” would possess only “civil and religious rights” therein (Treaty of Sevres, Article 95, Paragraph 1). The authoritative nature of Article 95 is further confirmed by the fact that its first paragraph (which explicitly incorporated the principles set forth in the Balfour Declaration) essentially became preambulary Paragraphs 1 & 2 of the Mandate for Palestine, while its second paragraph essentially became Article 14 of the Mandate for Palestine.
Finally, it is noteworthy that, even prior to the San Remo conference, United States President Woodrow Wilson, who fathered the League of Nations, bluntly stated that the purpose of the prospective Mandate for Palestine would be the creation of a Jewish State, declaring on March 3, 1919 as follows:
“I am moreover persuaded that the allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth.”
The Land subject to the Mandate for Palestine, consisting of 120,450 square kilometers, included territory lying west of the Jordan River, comprising 26,990 square kilometers (22% of the Land) and commonly known as cis-Jordania (consisting of the districts of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza, comprising 6,220 square kilometers (5% of the Land), and territory which later became modern Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, comprising 20,770 square kilometers (17% of the Land)); as well as territory lying east of the Jordan River, comprising 93,460 square kilometers (78% of the Land) and commonly known as trans-Jordania (consisting of the Golan Heights, comprising 1,160 square kilometers (1% of the Land), and territory which later became Transjordan, precursor to modern Jordan, comprising 92,300 square kilometers (77% of the Land)). This data is restated in the following table:
cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine
Land Area by Square Kilometer
Land Area by Square Mile
Percentage of Mandatory Palestine
Judea & Samaria & eastern portion of Jerusalem & Gaza
6,220 sq. km.
2,402 sq. miles
Israel within 1949 armistice demarcation lines
20,770 sq. km.
8,019 sq. miles
Total for cis-Jordania
(western portion of Mandatory Palestine)
26,990 sq. km.
10,421 sq. miles
trans-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine
Land Area by Square Kilometer
Land Area by Square Mile
Percentage of Mandatory Palestine
1,160 sq. km.
448 sq. miles
Jordan (formerly Transjordan)
92,300 sq. km.
35,637 sq. miles
Total for trans-Jordania
(eastern portion of Mandatory Palestine)
93,460 sq. km.
36,085 sq. miles
120,450 sq. km.
46,506 sq. miles
On September 16, 1922, Great Britain, as the Mandatory of the Mandate for Palestine, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, severed from the Jewish National Home virtually all of the lands of the trans-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, namely, that large portion thereof situated between the Jordan River and the Iraqi-Arabian frontiers, by barring all Jewish immigration thereto and land purchases therein and by creating therefrom the semi-autonomous Emirate of Transjordan, as a possession under British tutelage for Abdullah ibn Hussein and his Hashemite and allied Bedouin clans (in appreciation for the Hashemites’ earlier assistance in wresting trans-Jordania from the Ottoman Empire during World War I) after the Hashemite dynasty began losing the civil war launched against it by Abd el-Aziz ibn Saud and his Wahhabist clans for control over Arabia. Subsequently, in 1946, Great Britain, as the Mandatory of Mandatory Palestine, granted independence to the Emirate of Transjordan, which thereupon renamed itself the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (now formally known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan). While the earlier exclusion of these eastern Mandatory lands from the internationally-authorized Jewish National Home was explicitly authorized by Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine, the blanket prohibition against any Jewish settlement activity in the British-administered emirate created thereby (from its creation in 1922 until its independence in 1946) constituted an express violation by Great Britain of its Mandatory obligations to the Jewish people.
Article 25 thereof is reiterated, in full, as follows:
In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this Mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18.
Article 15 thereof, first paragraph, is reiterated, in full, as follows:
The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.
After Great Britain’s creation of the Emirate of Transjordan, the remaining Land over which the League of Nations had granted the Jewish people exclusive national rights consisted of all of cis-Jordania (i.e., the entire portion of Mandatory Palestine between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River) plus the Golan Heights portion of trans-Jordania. In this context, it is crucial to point out that no subsequent modification to the Mandate for Palestine was ever approved by the Council of the League of Nations during its existence, which approval was required by Article 27 of the Mandate.
Yet, despite all of the foregoing, some opponents of Jewish sovereignty in any portion of former Mandatory Palestine claim that, even if the League of Nations was authorized by the international community to establish a Jewish National Home in Mandatory Palestine, the League itself never intended that the Mandate for Palestine (i.e., the Trust) become a vehicle by which Mandatory Palestine would be converted from an internationally-supervised non-sovereign territory into an independent Jewish State, the proof being that nowhere in the Mandate’s governing instrument does it explicitly declare as its goal the creation of a Jewish State. Rather, the Mandate (i.e., the governing instrument) speaks only of a “national home for the Jewish people” and a “Jewish national home” in Mandatory Palestine. Conveniently ignoring that fact that the League of Nations’ consistent use of the word “national” in the Mandate to describe the status of Jewish habitation in Mandatory Palestine was deliberate, thereby signifying the League’s intention and expectation that the resident Jewish population would eventually achieve nationhood in and for that non-sovereign territory, these polemicists insist that, while the Mandate did grant to the Jewish people the collective right of settlement, it did not grant to them the collective right of self-determination.
The first response to this claim is that the entirety of Mandatory Palestine was intended to become an independent State. It will be recalled that, pursuant to the fourth paragraph of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (of both the Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Sevres), and by virtue of being designated as a Class A mandate by the League of Nations, the entirety of Mandatory Palestine was officially recognized as being among those former Ottoman-occupied lands which “... have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone.” Moreover, the Mandate itself (i.e., the governing instrument) acknowledged that the Mandate (i.e., the Trust) would eventually terminate in favor of statehood (see Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 1; and Articles 8 & 28)
The second response to this claim is that, except as set forth in Article 25 of the Mandate, the Jews of Mandatory Palestine were granted exclusive national rights thereto in the form of a “national home” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraphs 2 & 3; and Articles 2 & 4), while the Gentiles of Mandatory Palestine were accorded only “civil and religious rights” therein (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 2; and Article 2). It necessarily follows that, as confirmed by the statements of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, whenever Mandatory Palestine attained independence its Jewish population would continue to be the repository of exclusive national rights therein in the form of national Jewish sovereignty over the Land.
Article 25 of the Mandate, which authorized the legal separation of virtually all the eastern portion of Mandatory Palestine from the western portion of Mandatory Palestine, was created and subsequently implemented precisely because, absent its creation and implementation, the entirety of Mandatory Palestine would have become independent as a Jewish State. Accordingly, Article 25 of the Mandate (especially in light of Article 5 of the Mandate which barred the transfer of any portion of Mandatory Palestine to a foreign Power) constituted the Mandate’s only legal mechanism for creating from Mandatory Palestine an independent Arab State. If it were otherwise, then Article 25 would have been rendered unnecessary.
As Article 25 of the Mandate applied, by its plain terms, only to specified Mandatory territory lying east of the Jordan River, its raison d'être did not apply to the remainder of Mandatory Palestine. Article 25 was crafted precisely to separate the right of Jewish settlement (intended to be safeguarded in diluted form via Article 15 of the Mandate) from the right of Jewish self-determination (intended to be withheld via Article 25 of the Mandate) in that eastern territory. That being the case, it cannot logically be argued that this same distinction between Jewish settlement and Jewish self-determination applied, as well, to the remainder of Mandatory Palestine (i.e., territory lying west of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights).
It is also pointed out that, if the international community did not actually intend for Mandatory Palestine to eventually become an independent Jewish State, then Article 129 of the Treaty of Sevres is rendered illogical. That provision bestowed Palestinian citizenship upon all (non-Turkish) Jewish inhabitants thereof while stripping them of their previous citizenships. Consequently, if Mandatory Palestine was never intended to become an independent Jewish State, then the Treaty of Sevres, in the guise of creating a Jewish National Home in Mandatory Palestine (per Articles 22 and 95 thereof), incomprehensibly sought to degrade the legal status of (non-Turkish) Jews resident there from being citizens of various independent States to being citizens of a forever-administered non-sovereign Jewish National Home. Obviously, Article 129 of the Treaty was intended to enhance -- rather than to degrade -- the rights being bestowed upon the Jewish people by Articles 22 and 95 thereof, meaning that the Treaty meant to bestow upon (non-Turkish) Jews residing in Mandatory Palestine a citizenship that would eventually be equal to that of which they were being stripped, namely, citizenship in a territory that would eventually become an independent Jewish State. As discussed above, these provisions of the Treaty of Sevres provide authoritative insight into the intentions of the drafters of the Mandate for Palestine.
Consequently, in light of the foregoing, the entirety of the Land from the River to the Sea and the Golan Heights was intended by the Mandate to become an independent Jewish State.
All of this begs the following question: Why did the governing instrument of the Mandate for Palestine (a) explicitly base its authority upon Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, (b) explicitly incorporate the principles set forth in the Balfour Declaration, (c) provide for large-scale Jewish immigration and land purchases, (d) provide for the creation of a local Jewish government to assist (and be tutored by) the Mandatory Administration, (e) authorize the Mandatory Administration to delegate certain national governmental functions to the local Jewish government, and (f) make several references to the fact that the Mandate was only temporary -- but refrain from explicitly declaring that the Mandate’s goal was the creation of an independent Jewish State? The short answer is that growing opposition by both Great Britain and the Arab world convinced the League of Nations to approve a governing instrument for the Mandate that rendered eventual Jewish sovereignty implicit rather than explicit. In the several years between the creation of the Mandate (in 1920) and the issuance of the final version of its governing instrument (in 1922), Arab opposition to the creation of a Jewish State in Mandatory Palestine exponentially grew, resulting in widespread Arab pogroms against Jews throughout the Land (further discussed below). In the meantime, Great Britain found itself under severe Arab diplomatic pressure to reverse the pro-Zionist policy embodied in its Balfour Declaration of 1917 (which portended the eventual creation of an independent Jewish State); and for this reason both chambers of the British parliament thereupon attempted to revoke the Balfour Declaration. All of the foregoing led Great Britain to issue its Command Paper of 1922 (which preceded the issuance of the final version of the governing instrument of the Mandate for Palestine by only one month). In that document, Great Britain disingenuously declared that the Jewish National Home to be created and nurtured by the Mandate for Palestine was never intended to become an independent Jewish State. The League of Nations sought to defuse this international crisis by omitting any overt reference to the matter of future sovereignty in the final version of the governing instrument of the Mandate for Palestine, but by leaving intact therein the elemental building blocks for eventual Jewish sovereignty.
However, even if -- despite all of the foregoing -- one is still unwilling to accept the historical evidence that the Mandate’s Jewish National Home, encompassing (after the implementation of Article 25 of the Mandate) the territory of cis-Jordania (i.e., Mandatory Palestine west of the Jordan River), was intended by the League of Nations to attain its independence as a Jewish State, it is pointed out that there exists no evidence whatsoever to support the contrary hypothesis. For, nowhere in the Mandate is there any reference (either explicit or implicit) to the creation of an Arab National Home, let alone an Arab State, in any portion of cis-Jordania.
After barring Jewish land acquisition and settlement east of the Jordan River, Great Britain again violated its fiduciary obligations to the Jewish people under the Mandate. For, in 1923, Great Britain, as Mandatory of the Mandate for Palestine, ceded to France, as Mandatory of the Mandate for Syria, the small remnant of the lands of the trans-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine still under its full control, namely, the Golan Heights. Despite the fact that the transfer of the Golan Heights was part of a larger transaction in which France, as Mandatory of the Mandate for Syria, ceded to Great Britain, as Mandatory of the Mandate for Mesopotamia, Kurdish-populated lands in Mandatory Syria in the vicinity of oil-rich Mosul (located in modern-day northern Iraq) in exchange for a share of Mandatory Mesopotamia’s oil revenues, this transfer was nonetheless patently illegal under international law per Article 5 of the Mandate for Palestine which states: “The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.” Despite the illegality of this transfer, when the modern state of Syria was subsequently created in 1946 as a result of the termination of the Mandate for Syria, modern Syria's de facto territory included the Golan Heights.
Around the time of the official announcement of the Mandate, the Arabs of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine had begun a campaign of terror attacks (via arson, bombings, knifings and shootings) and riots against the Jewish population thereof.
For example, in March 1920, the Arabs attacked and destroyed the nascent Jewish village of Tel Hai (located in the Upper Galilee region).
In April 1920, over a four-day period coinciding with Passover (during which all British military forces were withdrawn from their positions, and many British and Arab policeman joined the rampaging mob), the Arabs massacred and injured hundreds of Jews residing in the Old City of Jerusalem during widespread rioting incited by speeches given in honor of the Islamic “Nabi Musa” (meaning ironically: “Prophet Moses”) pilgrimage holiday, during which the organized Arab mob ritualistically shouted in rhyme: “Falastin baladna; wa al-Yahud kalabna” (meaning: “Palestine is our country; and the Jews are our dogs”). The Arabs subsequently overran and destroyed the Ottoman-era Jewish village of Bnei Yehuda (located in the Golan Heights).
In May 1921 the Arabs massacred and injured hundreds of Jews residing in Arab-dominated Jaffa (now part of Tel Aviv), resulting in the flight of all surviving Jaffa Jews to adjacent Tel Aviv. The Arabs thereafter attacked and attempted to destroy the Ottoman-era Jewish town of Petah Tikva (located east of Tel Aviv), followed by an assault on the Jewish town of Rehovot (located northeast of Ashdod).
The 1920 Jerusalem pogrom and the 1921 Jaffa pogrom led, respectively, to the impaneling by Great Britain of the Palin Commission of Inquiry of 1920 and the Haycraft Commission of Inquiry of 1921. Although the Jewish leadership of Mandatory Palestine hoped that these investigative commissions would issue unequivocal condemnations of the rampant anti-Jewish violence then sweeping across the Land, thereby resulting in greater police protection for the largely unarmed Jewish community, both Commissions issued reports which, instead, focused on Arab grievances, essentially concluding that Jewish immigration and land purchases were the root cause of anti-Jewish violence due to the fact that such Jewish activities were understandably viewed by the Arab population (both Muslim and Christian) of Mandatory Palestine as intolerable provocations.
It is telling that, approximately 100 years later, the international community continues to view each and every Arab atrocity against the Jewish population of the Land of Israel through the prism of Arab grievances that predictably portray the genocidal Arab aggressors as hapless victims of Jewish provocation. That the label affixed by the Arabs to this “provocation” has mutated -- from “Jewish Immigration and Land Purchases” (1920 - 1948), to “The Illegitimate Existence of the Zionist Entity” (1948 - 1967), to “The Occupation and Illegal Jewish Settlements” (1967 - Present Time) -- in order to suit the prevailing Zeitgeist among the nations matters little. For, the real root cause of Arab aggression against the Jewish population of the biblical Land of Israel has remained unchanged, namely, the refusal of the Arab World to accept the de jure existence (i.e., legitimate presence) of a sovereign Jewish National Home in any portion of the Land.
Exemplifying this Truth in its founding document (entitled “The Charter of Allah: The Platform of the Islamic Resistance Movement” of August 18, 1988), the Islamic Resistance Movement (which is more commonly known by its Arabic-language acronym: “Hamas”) has bluntly and candidly explained its eternal opposition to the existence of a Jewish nation-state in the biblical Land of Israel, as follows:
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam obliterates it, as it has obliterated its predecessors.” (excerpt from the Preamble thereof)
“Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement [i.e., the Islamic Resistance Movement] is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the Enemy [i.e., the State of Israel] is vanquished and Allah's Victory is realized. (excerpt from the Introduction thereof)
“The Prophet [i.e., Muhammad, the founder of Islam], prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come until the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them, when the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! O Servant of Allah! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!’” (excerpt from Article 7 thereof)
“For a long time, the Enemies [i.e., the Jews] have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the Achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realization of their Dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there. You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate [which was abolished by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, in 1924], making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their State [i.e., the State of Israel]. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without their fingerprints on it.” (excerpt from Article 22 thereof)
“Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.” (excerpt from Article 28 thereof)
Moreover, even the “moderate” Palestinian Authority (which is an instrumentality of the umbrella terrorist group known as the “Palestine Liberation Organization”) -- by manipulating the nomenclature of human rights through its internationally-supported demand for demographic “restorative justice” -- has also, albeit more cleverly, expressed its eternal opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish State by explaining as follows:
“Statehood [for “Palestine”] will never affect the right of return for Palestinian refugees [to Israel proper, i.e., the “Palestinian” territory which became the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines]. … The [“Palestinian”] State is [to be defined by] the 1967 borders [i.e., the “West Bank” and Gaza], but the refugees are not only from the 1967 borders [i.e., the “West Bank” and Gaza]. The refugees are from all over Palestine [i.e., including Israel proper]. When we have a State accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.” (excerpt from an interview of Abdullah Abdullah, Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Lebanon, in the Lebanese newspaper “The Daily Star” on September 15, 2011).
Shortly thereafter, Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, leader of the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority, removed the camouflage by bluntly declaring as follows:
“I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I will never recognize the Jewishness of the [Israeli] State or [recognize] a Jewish State.” (excerpt from an interview of Mahmoud Abbas on the Egyptian TV network “Dream2TV” on October 23, 2011).
Subsequently, Jibril Rajoub, senior P.L.O. official, Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Olympic Committee, reiterated -- in the clearest terms -- the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of the Jewish State’s right to exist by stating as follows:
“We, the Palestinians, are the enemies of Israel. There is no going back to negotiations. Listen. We, as yet, do not have a nuke [i.e., nuclear bomb]; but I swear that if we had a nuke, we would have used it [against Israel] this very morning.” (excerpt from an interview of Jibril Rajoub on the Lebanese TV network “al-Mayadeen” on May 2, 2013)
Approximately six months later, Mahmoud Abbas reiterated the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people by again bluntly declaring as follows:
“We don't accept the Jewish State or the Jewishness of the [Israeli] State. This is something that we won't accept.” (excerpt from a speech given by Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting of the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization on November 4, 2013)
The foregoing rejection of Israel’s legal status was reinforced by the Arab League (formally known as the “League of Arab States”) in its final communique at the conclusion of its summit in Kuwait on March 26, 2014, which declared, in part, as follows:
“We express our absolute and decisive rejection to recognizing Israel as a Jewish State.”
Mahmoud Abbas echoed that Arab League rejection at a subsequent emergency session of the League in Egypt on November 29, 2014 by once again declaring as follows:
“We will never recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel.”
Perhaps nothing demonstrates the real root cause of the eternal Arab Jihad against the Jewish State better than the annual Arab denunciation of Great Britain’s Balfour Declaration, which served as the inspiration for (and was incorporated into the Preamble of) the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine, which, in turn, served as the international legal basis for the reconstitution of the Jewish nation-state in the biblical Land of Israel. On October 31, 2013, the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information posted the following statement on its English-language website, concerning the illegitimacy of the Balfour Declaration:
On the 96th anniversary of Balfour Declaration
Date: 31 Oct 2013
Balfour Declaration is an illegal promise made by someone who does not own to someone who does not deserve.
Since the UK Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour pronounced the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 1917, promising a homeland for the Jews in Palestine, a shameful chapter in human rights violations started to unfold when a nation, the British, promised another nation, the Jews, the land of a third nation, the Palestinians. By promising Jews, who made up 6% of the inhabitants of Palestine, their own state, the declaration violated the rights of the other 94% of the indigenous population.
The declaration arrogantly referred to the majority population of Palestine as “the non-Jewish community in Palestine” and contradicted the 1916 McMahon-Hussain agreement and the principles of national self determination enshrined in the international law and IHL [International Humanitarian Law].
A 67-word promise ignited an almost century-long conflict and violations to human and civil rights of the Palestinians. The declaration continues to serve as the bases for a racial discrimination system forcibly inflicted on Palestine and the Palestinians putting former South Africa Apartheid regime to shame.
To add injury to the insult, many of the superpowers continue supporting the Israeli occupation to the cradle of Christianity and sacred shrines of Islam, an occupation disgraced with flagrant violations to human rights and democracy. An occupation that is not hesitant to build a racial separation wall deep in the 1967-occupied land at the time when the world celebrates anniversaries of the fall of the Berlin wall.
On the 96th anniversary, more than 11 million Palestinians await justice and redress of a historical ongoing injustice. The Palestinians have already been granted the status of a UN-observer state; this entails full membership of all other UN and international organizations and platforms and further entails exerting unyielding pressure on the Israeli occupation authority to stop violations of Palestinian human rights and confiscation of Palestinian land and to ensure the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, the victims of the ill-famed declaration, including their right to return to their homes and property [in what is now the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines]. All the aforementioned essentially requires having Israel respect international law and releasing all the Palestinian prisoners it unlawfully detains in its prisons. Its but basic that Israel is required to demonstrate seriousness and dedication to peace negotiations that the Palestinian leadership continue calling for.
The subtext of labeling the Tree (i.e., the Balfour Declaration) as being irredeemably illegitimate is that its Fruit (i.e., the Jewish State) is likewise irredeemably illegitimate.
Even Egypt and Jordan, with which the State of Israel now has formal peace treaties, acknowledge only the Jewish State’s de facto existence (i.e., actual control over territory) -- which is the reason why the relationship between the Jewish State and those two Arab countries is best described as a “cold peace” (i.e., minimal non-belligerency rather than normalized relations).
The Arab pogroms of the first decade of the Mandate, punctuated by periods of calm, culminated in the coordinated atrocities of August 1929 during which the Arabs of Hebron massacred 67 and the Arabs of Safed massacred 22 of their Jewish neighbors -- leading the British Mandatory authorities, not to arrest more than a token of the perpetrators of either massacre, but rather to facilitate the expulsion of the remainder of Hebron's ancient Jewish community -- and during which the Arabs of Tulkarm, Jenin, Nablus, Gaza and other Arab-dominated localities also murdered, maimed and expelled the Jewish communities within their midst. These latter massacres and expulsions led to the impaneling by Great Britain of the Shaw Commission of Inquiry of 1929. The Commission’s report, while blaming the Arabs for the violence, nonetheless determined that the root cause therefor was continued Jewish immigration and concomitant land purchases, as a result of which it recommended severely curtailing both activities.
Subsequently, in 1933, as Jewish immigration dramatically increased in the wake of Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany, Arab violence again exploded, not only against the Jewish population of the western (i.e., cis-Jordania) portion of Mandatory Palestine, but -- for the first time -- also against British Mandatory authorities.
These periodic assaults again spiked in April 1936 when the leadership of the Arabs of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine launched a series of terror attacks (via mob violence, firebombings, shootings and knifings) against Jewish population centers (including Jewish neighborhoods of mixed cities) and British Mandatory authorities.
Alarmed by the continuing Arab violence, the British government impaneled a Palestine Royal Commission in August 1936 to determine the causes of the Arab unrest and the means by which it might be ameliorated. In July 1937, the Commission issued its report, commonly known as the Peel Commission Report, to the British Parliament, which report stated, in Chapter IV thereof (entitled “The Disturbances of 1936”), as follows:
underlying causes of the disturbances of 1936 were --
(1) The desire of the Arabs for national independence;
(2) their hatred and fear of the establishment of the Jewish National Home.
Consequently, the Peel Commission Report concluded that, despite the explicit terms of the Mandate for Palestine, it was infeasible for Great Britain to permit the entirety of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine to become a Jewish State ruling over a revanchist and irredentist Arab population. Due to the continued high level of Arab (both Muslim and Christian) hostility towards the resident Jewish population, the concept of a bi-national state consisting of confederated Jewish and Arab cantons was also rejected. Instead, the Commission recommended that the Mandate be terminated and that the western portion of Mandatory Palestine be partitioned into (1) a miniscule sovereign Jewish State (constituting approximately 20% of cis-Jordania), (2) a substantially larger sovereign Arab State (constituting approximately 70% of cis-Jordania) into which would be merged the semi-autonomous Emirate of Transjordan, and (3) (in order to protect international access to Christendom’s sites of pilgrimage) three small non-sovereign enclaves comprised, respectively, of: (a) Jerusalem and certain of its environs (including Bethlehem), (b) Nazareth, and (c) Lake Kinneret (which the Report alternatively labels as the “Sea of Galilee” and as “Lake Tiberias”) to be governed by a new British-administered League of Nations mandate (constituting approximately 10% of cis-Jordania). The Peel Commission partition plan was adopted by the British Parliament. However, although the principle of partition (albeit not the boundaries proposed in the Report) was accepted by the Jewish leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, its uniform rejection by the Arab leadership thereof as well as by the leadership of the larger Arab World caused Great Britain first to defer the Report’s implementation (pending further study), and then to reject it.
The Arab jihad continued to rage over the next 3 years due, in large part, to the support that it received from Nazi Germany. The Nazis, in addition to providing clandestine funding and armaments to the leadership of the jihad, also infiltrated its agents into the western portion of Mandatory Palestine in order to provide tactical support to the jihad (which the Arabs denominated as the “Great Arab Revolt”)..
The leader of the “Palestinian” Arab jihad was Mohammed Amin al-Husseini (also known as Haj Amin al-Husseni). He had previously been instrumental in instigating both the April 1920 and the August 1929 “Palestinian” Arab pogroms against “Palestinian” Jews. As the British-appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (also head of the Supreme Muslim Council) and as the Arab-appointed Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee, al-Husseini was the paramount spiritual and political leader of the Arabs of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine. However, in 1937, after Mandatory authorities sought his arrest on account of his role in planning and implementing the “Great Arab Revolt”, he fled Mandatory Palestine and eventually reached Nazi Germany, in the interim helping to establish several Muslim Nazi battalions in Bosnia and Kosovo (which participated in the brutal deportation of local Jews to various death camps), assisting in the creation of the short-lived Nazi Arab government in Iraq on April 1, 1941 (which, at that time, had a substantial Jewish population), employing Nazi propaganda to instigate a two-day pogrom by Iraqi Muslims against Iraqi Jews commencing on June 1, 1941 (known as the “Farhoud”, resulting in the massacre of hundreds of Jews, the maiming of thousands of Jews, and the destruction of thousands of Jewish homes and businesses in replication of Nazi Germany’s prior two-day pogrom against Jews residing in Germany and Austria, known as “Kristallnacht”, which began on November 9, 1938) and becoming one of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s personal advisors on the annihilation of the Jewish people during World War II. During his stay in Nazi Germany, al-Husseini broadcast Nazi propaganda in Arabic (via Radio Zeissen) to the countries of the Middle East, repeatedly declaring, inter alia, that World Jewry was the common enemy of Islam and Germany. In recognition of his ongoing services to Nazi Germany, al-Husseini received the rank of SS-Gruppenführer; and Hitler honorifically referred to him as “the Arab Führer” (“die arabischen Führer”). After the War, he was given asylum in Egypt (where he was a co-founder of the League of Arab States, commonly known as the “Arab League”), and then in Lebanon.
To this Day, al-Husseini remains an inspirational and aspirational hero to “Palestinian” Arabs (including those “Palestinian” Arabs who, due to their Israeli citizenship, are sometimes referred to as “Israeli” Arabs). For example, on January 4, 2013, during a televised speech given to members of the dominant Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization celebrating the 48th anniversary of the latter’s founding, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praised al-Husseini and exhorted his audience to emulate his ideology and conduct. And, in late February 2014, the “Israeli” Arab student group “Watan” (meaning: “[Arab] Nation”) sponsored a two-day photographic exhibit at Hebrew University in Jerusalem called “Pictures From Across Palestine”, which included several captioned pictures lauding al-Husseini.
Hitler cultivated Muslim and Arab favor. He permitted German Muslims to become and remain Nazi Party members throughout the War. He also declared that Arabs were “honorary Aryans”.
Moreover, after the War, in recognition of this bond, thousands of Nazi war criminals sought and obtained safe haven in Arab countries, took Arab names, converted to Islam and obtained respected positions in Arab governments. For example, after the War, Egypt sheltered, among other Nazi war criminals, Hussein Farid (formerly: Aribet Heim, a Nazi medical doctor who tortured and experimented on Jewish prisoners at the Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Mauthausen death camps; he became an Egyptian police doctor), Mahmoud Saleh (formerly: Nazi propagandist Alfred Zingler; he joined the Egyptian Information Ministry), Omar Amin (formerly: Nazi propagandist Johann von Leers; he joined the Egyptian Information Ministry), Ali Ben Keshir (formerly: Mauthausen death camp guard Wilhelm Boerner; he joined the Egyptian Interior Ministry) and El Hussein (formerly: Franz Bartel, assistant Gestapo chief in Katowice, Poland; he joined the Egyptian Information Ministry).
Declassified information from British and German archives confirm the close relationship that developed between Nazi Germany and the “Palestinian” Arabs during the jihad of 1936 - 1939, as coordinated by Nazi Germany’s (pre-World War II) embassy and consulates in western Mandatory Palestine.
Republished below, in full, is an article from ynetnew.com, the English-language website of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot, published on May 7, 2006, that summarizes and excerpts this information, as well as reveals the extent to which British policy on Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine was negatively influenced by Arab hostility thereto:
Nazis ‘shipped arms to Palestinians’
British National Archives unveil presence of Nazi S.S. agents in Mandatory Palestine, working closely with Palestinian leaders
By: Yaakov Lappin, ynetnew.com, 05.07.06
Historical documents in Britain’s National Archives in London show that Nazi Germany attempted to ship arms to Palestinian forces in the 1930s.
A British Foreign Office report from 1939 reports of “news of a consignment of arms from Germany, sent via Turkey and addressed to Ibn Saud (king of Saudi Arabia), but really intended for the Palestine insurgents.” Britain’s chief military officer in Mandatory Palestine also noted reports “regarding import of German arms at intervals for some years now.”
British documents from the same period, and German records photographed by an American spy and sent to the British government, said that a number of Nazi agents were sent to Mandatory Palestine, in order to forge alliances with Palestinian leaders, and urge them to reject a partition of the land between the Jewish and Arab populations.
One Nazi agent, Adam Vollhardt, arrived in Palestine in July 1938, and was reported to have gained strong influence with Arab leaders, meeting with Palestinian leaders throughout 1938. Vollhardt held several meetings with leading Arab politicians and told them “that the Palestine question would be settled to the satisfaction of the Arabs within a few weeks,” adding that “it would be fatal to their (Palestinians’) cause if at this juncture they showed any signs of weakness or exhaustion.”
“Germany was interested in the settlement of the (Palestine) question on the basis of the Arabs obtaining their full demands,” Vollhardt was reported to say to Palestinian leaders, according to a report by the British War Office. Vollhardt also assured Arab leaders that “the Germans could continue to support the Palestinian Arab cause by means of propaganda.”
German documents photographed and sent to Whitehall by an American spy revealed that in 1937, German officials had calculated that “Palestine under Arab rule would… become one of the few countries where we could count on a strong sympathy for the new Germany.”
‘Arabs admire our Fuhrer’
“The Palestinian Arabs show on all levels a great sympathy for the new Germany and its Fuhrer, a sympathy whose value is particularly high as it is based on a purely ideological foundation,” a Nazi official in Palestine wrote in a letter to Berlin in 1937. He added: “Most important for the sympathies which Arabs now feel towards Germany is their admiration for our Fuhrer; especially during the unrests, I often had an opportunity to see how far these sympathies extend. When faced with a dangerous behaviour of an Arab mass, when one said that one was German, this was already generally a free pass.”
A second Nazi agent, Dr. Franz Reichart, was reported to be actively working with Palestinian Arabs by the British Criminal Investigation Division “to help coordinate Arab and German propaganda.” Reichart was also head of the German Telegraphic Agency in Jerusalem.
German records show that the Nazis viewed the establishment of a Jewish state with great concern. A 1937 report from German General Consulate in Palestine said: “The formation of a Jewish state… is not in Germany’s interest because a (Jewish) Palestinian state would create additional national power bases for international Jewry such as for example the Vatican State for political Catholicism or Moscow for the Communists. Therefore, there is a German interest in strengthening the Arabs as a counterweight against such possible power growth of the Jews.”
Jewish refugees abandoned
The records also show that the news of increased Nazi-Arab cooperation panicked the British government, and caused it to cancel a plan in 1938 to bring to Palestine 20,000 German Jewish refugees, half of them children, facing danger from the Nazis.
Documents show that after deciding that the move would upset Arab opinion, Britain decided to abandon the Jewish refugees to their fate.
“His Majesty’s Government asked His Majesty’s Representatives in Cairo, Baghdad and Jeddah whether so far as they could judge, feelings in Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia against the admission of, say 5,000 Jewish children for adoption… would be so strong as to lead to a refusal to send representatives to the London discussions. All three replies were strongly against the proposal, which was not proceeded with,” a Foreign Office report said.
“If war were to break out, no trouble that the Jews could occasion us, in Palestine or elsewhere, could weigh for a moment against the importance of winning Muslim opinion to our side,” Britain’s Minister for Coordination of Defence, Lord Chatfield, told the British cabinet in 1939, shortly before Britain reversed its decision to partition its mandate, promising instead all of the land to the Palestinian Arabs.
Although Great Britain’s decision, in 1938, to curry favor with the belligerent Arab population of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, as well as with the larger Arab and (non-Arab) Muslim worlds, by impeding mass Jewish flight from Nazi Germany to the western portion of Mandatory Palestine constituted yet another serious breach of its Mandatory obligations to the Jewish people, such informal ad hoc decision-making did not yet represent a formal and absolute bar to further Jewish immigration.
However, in 1939, in order to assuage the growing “Palestinian” Arab rage against Great Britain for having facilitated Jewish immigration to western Mandatory Palestine, and as its official response to the sustained Arab violence of the preceding three years, and in an effort -- largely unsuccessful -- to wean the Arab populations of Mandatory Palestine and the larger Middle East away from their open support of Nazi Germany (as the latter was beginning its conquest of Europe), Great Britain, with the tacit support of the United States, further violated the provisions of the Mandate for Palestine by issuing an infamous manifesto, commonly known as the Palestine White Paper of 1939 (also known as the MacDonald White Paper). The White Paper, while ostensibly asserting fealty to the stated goals of the Mandate, in fact subverted the Mandate's raison d'être by essentially declaring that, no later than 1949, an Arab-dominated state -- the Jewish component of which was to be limited to one third of the population thereof in order to assuage expressed Arab fears regarding eventual Jewish preeminence therein -- would be established in the remaining territory of Mandatory Palestine (i.e., the entirety of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine, namely, the districts of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza, as well as the territory that would later become modern Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines). Specifically, the White Paper declared that, for the period from April 1, 1939 to March 31, 1944 (a period virtually coetaneous with the Holocaust), total Jewish immigration thereto would be limited to a maximum of 75,000 (i.e., a maximum of 10,000 immigrants per year for 5 years with the possible aggregate addition of another 25,000 immigrants meeting special criteria, subject to the proviso that Great Britain would reduce even this paltry annual “legal” Jewish immigration by its estimate of the number of “illegal” Jewish immigrants); and that, commencing April 1, 1944, absent the prior consent of the Arab leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, any further Jewish immigration thereto would be absolutely prohibited. Moreover, the White Paper also declared that, henceforth, even “legal” Jewish residents would be severely restricted in their ability to purchase land in the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine. In contrast to the White Paper's restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchases, British policy otherwise permitted unrestricted Arab immigration to the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine -- mostly from the surrounding Arab lands which now comprise the modern states of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt -- and placed no restrictions on their ability to acquire land there. For example, the Bedouin Arab tribes presently residing in northern Israel originally came to Mandatory Palestine from Mandatory Syria, while the Bedouin Arab tribes presently residing in southern Israel originally came to Mandatory Palestine from Egypt’s Sinai desert. In order to announce the British government’s new policy in the most unambiguous way possible, the White Paper bluntly stated: “. . . and His Majesty's Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Palestine White Paper of 1939, Section I, entitled “The Constitution”, at third paragraph thereof).
In addition to the British policy of responding to Arab terrorism by barring further Jewish land purchases and by instituting a graduated ban on Jewish immigration, the Mandatory authorities, in a further effort to appease the hostile Arab population, and at the behest of the local Muslim religious authorities, also humiliated the Jewish population by hobbling the latter’s prayer services at the Western Wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount by means of such measures as prohibiting the use of chairs and benches for worshippers’ comfort, prohibiting the use of even a portable mechitza (the prayer partition placed between the genders, as required by Jewish tradition), prohibiting “loud” public prayer, and prohibiting the blowing of the shofar (the ram’s horn) during Rosh HaShana (as required by the Torah) and at the end of Yom Kippur services (as required by Jewish tradition).
And, while the Holocaust decimated the Jewish populations of Christian-dominated Europe and extended its destructive reach to the Jewish populations of Muslim-dominated North Africa (specifically, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), Great Britain -- in abject contravention of the dictates of Morality and every fiduciary obligation to the Jewish people imposed upon it by the Mandate for Palestine -- ruthlessly implemented its illegal White Paper, this despite the fact that the Council of the League of Nations (whose prior consent was necessary for any proposed modifications to the Mandate, per Article 27 thereof) had refused to approve it. In furtherance thereof, Great Britain barred tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from the gates of Mandatory Palestine; and it forced them, at the point of a gun, to return to those very lands where only annihilation awaited them. An infamous example of Great Britain's Arab-compliant crusade against Holocaust-era Jewish immigration is represented by the Struma Affair which unfolded during Nazi Germany's 1942 Wannsee Conference (convened by Hitler -- in response to the collective refusal, with the exception of the Dominican Republic, subsequently joined by the Philippines, of the World's other nations, including the United States, at the 1938 Evian Conference to accept even modest Jewish immigration emanating from the territories then controlled by Nazi Germany -- in order to determine and implement the final tactical mechanisms for the planned annihilation of the Jewish people). In the Winter of 1942, the Struma, a 96 square meter and 100 year old barge, packed with almost 800 Jewish refugees, including over 100 infants and other children, fled Romania for Mandatory Palestine, stopping en route at Istanbul, Turkey. Great Britain, responding to “Palestinian” Arab pressure, not only publicly declared that the Struma would be barred from entering the waters of Mandatory Palestine, but it also prevailed upon Turkey to prohibit the Struma's passengers from disembarking at Istanbul, the result being that the barge was towed out to sea without fuel, heating equipment, food or potable water. The next day, the Struma was destroyed by a torpedo; only one person survived.
It is indeed ironic that from August 1933 (shortly after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany) until September 1939 (when Germany invaded Poland, thereby triggering World War II), while Great Britain increasingly obstructed Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine, Nazi officials worked closely with Zionist representatives, per their Transfer Agreement (also known as the Haavara Agreement), in order to assist the Nazis’ unwanted Jewish populations in obtaining entry permits to Mandatory Palestine. Although it may seem counterintuitive, this brief collaboration took place because Nazis and Zionists -- although the former were motivated by Hatred, while the latter were motivated by Love -- nonetheless shared complimentary goals, namely: the Nazis sought to completely rid themselves of their Jewish populations, but lacked destination countries willing to accept them; and the Zionists, fearing for the safety of these Jewish populations if they remained under Nazi rule, sought to relocate them to Mandatory Palestine. Due to the Transfer Agreement, approximately 80,000 Jews were able to emigrate from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to Mandatory Palestine, thereby saving themselves from the approaching Holocaust. It should be noted that, during this same period, Nazi officials also worked closely with anti-Zionist Jewish organizations in order to locate other destination countries willing to accept Jews.
However, it is even more ironic that Great Britain, which was required by international law to facilitate Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel, instead earned the distinction of being the only ruler of the Land to have ever prohibited Jews from gaining entry to any portion thereof.
Great Britain’s illegal policy regarding the the entry of Jews to Mandatory Palestine during the Holocaust was bluntly articulated in a letter dated March 4, 1943 from British Minister to the United States Ronald Campbell to World Zionist Organization President Chaim Weizmann concerning a proposal to permit approximately 70,000 of Romania’s endangered Jews to flee to Mandatory Palestine, as follows: "His Majesty's Government has no evidence to show whether the Romanian proposal was meant to be taken seriously. But if it was, it was already a piece of blackmail which, if successful, would open up the endless prospect on the part of Germany and her satellites in southeastern Europe of unloading, at a given price, all their unwanted multitudes on overseas countries."
So it was that, due to the malevolence of Great Britain, the internationally-sanctioned Jewish national homeland was illegally closed to Jewish immigration during the Jewish people's time of greatest need for sanctuary. And even after Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945 and the enormity of its crimes against the Jewish people was publicly revealed, Great Britain continued to illegally interdict and intern in primitive detention camps (most of them situated in then British-occupied Cyprus) tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors attempting to enter the western portion of Mandatory Palestine. Yet, tens of thousands of other Holocaust survivors, with the assistance of the “illegal” Jewish militia known as Hagana (Defense), precursor to the Israel Defense Forces, managed to circumvent the barricades of British Mandatory authorities.
By the end of 1943, it had become clear that Nazi Germany would eventually be vanquished, but not before millions more Jews would be annihilated as part of its death throes. It had also become clear that Great Britain, by violating its fiduciary obligations under the Mandate For Palestine and by acting instead as if Mandatory Palestine belonged to Great Britain, had long-transformed itself from Trustee of Mandatory Palestine into Occupier thereof. Consequently, on February 1, 1944, as the White Paper’s Jewish immigration debarment date (March 31, 1944) approached, the “illegal” Jewish militia known as Irgun Tzva’i Leumi (National Military Organization) formally declared War against the British Occupation of Mandatory Palestine. Predictably, the militia’s asymmetrical war against the Mandatory government had severe consequences for Mandatory Palestine’s civilian Jewish population, as the Mandatory government often retaliated by, inter alia, imposing lengthy curfews on Jewish-populated urban areas; and individual British policemen and British soldiers frequently retaliated by assaulting and sometimes murdering Jewish civilians. Nonetheless, by attacking the instruments of British civil authority over the next 3 years, such as immigration control, tax collection, intelligence and police facilities, and -- after the termination of World War II -- British military forces and assets, via bombs and frontal assaults, and by hanging British soldiers in retaliation for the execution of captured Jewish fighters, the Irgun militia eventually convinced Great Britain that its Occupation of Mandatory Palestine had become untenable.
On April 18, 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, the League of Nations dissolved itself and thereupon transferred all of its assets to the United Nations, its newly-created successor. In February 1947, Great Britain -- having found itself mired in the midst of a violent Jewish revolt brought about by the repeated betrayal of its Mandatory responsibilities towards the Jewish people -- publicly announced its intention to completely evacuate its military and administrative personnel therefrom in phases over the next 18 months (by August 1948) and to submit a formal request to the United Nations that the latter organization assume responsibility for deciding the future of Mandatory Palestine (which request was subsequently submitted to the U.N. in April 1947). By declaring that it would unilaterally withdraw from Mandatory Palestine on or before a predetermined deadline, Great Britain had thereby announced its prospective resignation -- effective on the date of its departure -- as the Trustee of the Trust known as the Mandate for Palestine.
Although Great Britain’s prospective resignation as Trustee would automatically terminate any remnant of its international authority to further administer the Mandate as of the date of the completion of its departure (which Great Britain eventually determined would be May 15, 1948), its resignation would not -- and could not -- legally terminate the Trust which comprised the Mandate (which is the very reason why, almost 10 months after Great Britain’s February 1947 announcement, the United Nations itself sought to formally terminate the Mandate). However, as of its effective date, Great Britain’s resignation as Mandatory Trustee would nonetheless render Mandatory Palestine without any internationally-approved administrative authority.
This crisis resulted in the passage of United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 181 (II) of November 29, 1947 (entitled “Future government of Palestine”), commonly known as the “Palestine Partition Plan”, which called for the termination of the Mandate for Palestine upon Great Britain’s departure and for the division of its remaining territory -- namely, the western portion thereof, consisting of 22% of original Mandatory Palestine -- into three separate entities: (1) an independent Jewish state (comprised of 3 small barely-adjoined cantons, constituting slightly less than 11% of original Mandatory Palestine), (2) an independent Arab state (comprised of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, as well as significant portions of what would later comprise Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, constituting slightly less than 11% of original Mandatory Palestine), and (3) a U.N.-administered Special International Regime comprised of Jerusalem and certain of its environs (including Bethlehem), all of which would, however, be joined together in a supranational economic union.
Although, under the Charter of the United Nations of June 26, 1945 (per Chapter IV thereof, entitled “The General Assembly”, encompassing Articles 10 through 22 thereof), General Assembly resolutions merely constitute the informed recommendations of the international community (and are, consequently, not legally binding upon the parties to any dispute), and although this Resolution actually violated international law, namely, Article 5 of the Mandate for Palestine (which Mandate provision forbade ceding any portion of the territory of the Jewish National Home to a foreign Power, and which Mandate provision was made binding upon the nascent United Nations per Article 80 of the U.N. Charter), the Jewish leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine nevertheless accepted this non-binding and transgressive Resolution, subject, of course, to the Resolution's acceptance, as well, by the Arab leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine.
In legal terminology, the Jewish leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine offered to enter into an interdependent bilateral contract with the Arab leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, pursuant to the provisions of the Palestine Partition Plan, for the peaceful division of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state and an internationalized greater Jerusalem.
However, despite the fact that the Resolution’s implementation would have carved out from original Mandatory Palestine a second Arab state after Transjordan, the Arab leadership -- both Muslim and Christian -- of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, as well as the leadership of Transjordan and all of the Arab and (non-Arab) Muslim countries which were then members of the U.N. (namely, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen), as well as the Arab League, rejected the Resolution by both declaration and conduct.
In fact, approximately 6 weeks prior to the passage of the Resolution, Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam (more commonly known as Azzam Pasha), Secretary-General of the Arab League, had infamously issued the following genocidal threat to the Jewish residents of Mandatory Palestine in order to bluntly apprise them of the practical consequences of continuing to seek the reestablishment of a Jewish nation-state in the biblical Land of Israel:
“Personally, I hope that the Jews do not force us into this War, because it would be a War of Extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken about like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.” (excerpt from an interview of Azzam Pasha in the Egyptian newspaper “Akbar al-Youm”, in an article entitled "A War of Extermination”, on October 11, 1947)
Not surprisingly, Great Britain, which -- despite the annihilation wreaked upon the Jewish people by the Holocaust -- had long-devolved from being a proponent to being an opponent of Jewish settlement and self-determination in the biblical Land of Israel, initially opposed and thereafter refused to vote in favor of the Resolution; rather, it abstained.
Immediately after the Palestine Partition Plan’s passage on November 29, 1947, as a result of their rejection of any Jewish sovereignty in any portion of Mandatory Palestine, local Arab militias drawn from Arab population centers throughout the biblical Land of Israel, as well as -- commencing in January 1948 -- hundreds of foreign Arabs and (non-Arab) Muslims who began to infiltrate the Land as part of the “Arab Liberation Army” created by the Arab League and commanded by Fawzi el-Kaukji, commenced a sustained jihad against the Jewish communities there with little interference -- and, sometimes, even with overt assistance -- from Great Britain, representing an exponential increase in the anti-Jewish violence that had periodically swept through the Land since the advent of the Mandate in 1920. In fact, from November 30, 1947 through March 31, 1948, almost 1,000 Jews were murdered by Arab militias who attacked isolated Jewish villages and Jewish neighborhoods of mixed cities, as well as Jewish cars and buses travelling on the highways, regardless of whether they were situated outside or inside of the Partition Plan lines. One example of British partisanship, as reported in the December 28, 1947 edition of the “Palestine Post” newspaper (now known as the “Jerusalem Post”), involved an attack by local Arabs against a Jewish convoy travelling through the Negev Desert. After observing the battle for three hours, during which several Jews were killed, British police finally intervened, arresting 40 of the Jewish defenders, and permitting all of the Arab attackers to return to their respective villages.
Furthermore, in February 1948, in an effort to isolate and starve the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the Arabs instituted a blockade of the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem highway. As Jerusalem was completed encircled by Arab-controlled territory, this blockade severed the only transportation corridor between the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, comprising more than 100,000 Jews (who then constituted more than 60% of Jerusalem’s population), and the Jewish-populated areas of the Mediterranean Sea coastal plain. Moreover, in what can only be described as a siege within a siege, the 2,000 Jews residing in the Jewish neighborhoods of the eastern portion of Jerusalem (including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem) were encircled and blockaded by the Arabs of the eastern portion of Jerusalem, so that the Jewish neighborhoods of the eastern portion of Jerusalem were severed from the Jewish neighborhoods of the western portion of Jerusalem. The result of these concentric starvation sieges was that, although Jewish convoys from the Coastal Plain were eventually successful in circumventing and then defeating the Arab siege against the Jewish neighborhoods of western Jerusalem (i.e., the outer siege), they were ultimately unsuccessful in breaking the Arab siege against the Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem (i.e., the inner siege).
In the context of the Arab-Nazi connection, it is telling that many of the terrorists who were recruited to Mandatory Palestine by the Arab Liberation Army were demobilized Muslim Nazi soldiers from Bosnia and Kosovo. Moreover, el-Kaukji, the leader of the Arab Liberation Army, had been a participant in both the Nazi-financed Arab jihad in Mandatory Palestine of 1936 - 1939 and the Nazi Arab coup in Iraq of 1941, after which he had taken refuge in Nazi Germany for the duration of World War II.
In its report of February 16, 1948 to the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations Palestine Commission expressed its frustration over the forceful Arab rejection of the Palestine Partition Plan. The report, entitled “First Special Report to the Security Council: The Problem of Security in Palestine”, no. A/AC.21/9, declared (in its section entitled “Main Considerations” at subparagraph I 3 C thereof) that:
“Powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein.”
In March 1948, in reaction to the raging Arab jihad, and mindful of rising Arab anger over the American vote in favor of Partition, the United States withdrew its support for the Palestine Partition Plan. As an alternative to partition, the United States proposed that the creation of a Jewish State be indefinitely postponed and that all of western Mandatory Palestine be placed under a United Nations trusteeship (per Chapter XII of the United Nations Charter) which would be buttressed by the presence of international peacekeeping forces, including units of the Egyptian army. The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine adopted this proposal and recommended it to the United Nations Security Council. The proposal represented a complete repudiation of the Mandate for Palestine. and thereby constituted the potential death knell for any realization of the internationally-authorized Jewish National Home. The Arabs, however, were confident that they could prevent the creation of a Jewish State by force -- either presently via the current jihad being waged by “Palestinian” Arab militias and the Arab Liberation Army or, failing that, in several months’ time when the impending withdrawal of British Mandatory forces would pave the way for a pan-Arab invasion in aid of the current jihad. In light of their belief that they were easily able to conquer and occupy all of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine by themselves, there was no reason for them to accept United Nations control over any portion of the Land. Consequently, the Arabs rejected even this “compromise” proposal. Of course, the Jewish leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine rejected it as well; and it so informed the United States.
Finally, in early April 1948 -- in response to the ongoing Arab atrocities and in response to British indifference thereto and, at times, even British hostility to the plight of the victimized Jewish population -- the Hagana militia began to change its strategy from defensive to offensive operations, with the result that it began to counterattack and to capture hostile Arab cities and villages as well as hostile Arab neighborhoods of mixed cities. Eventually, hundreds of Arab villages were razed to the ground, and some mixed cities (such as Tiberias and Safed) became all-Jewish cities, while other mixed cities (such as Haifa) and some all-Arab cities (such as Jaffa, Lod, Ramla and Acre) became Jewish-majority cities. For example, in early April 1948, the Arab residents of Tiberias -- a town situated on the western shore of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), well within the Palestine Partition Plan’s recommended boundaries for the proposed Jewish State -- launched a frontal assault against the Jewish neighborhoods thereof. Within days, the British Mandatory authorities demanded that the entire Jewish population of Tiberias remove itself therefrom, or be prepared to suffer British shelling in support of the Arab onslaught. Ignoring the British ultimatum, the Jewish defenders, with substantial assistance from the Hagana militia, successfully counterattacked, thereby causing -- instead -- the exodus, under British military protection, of the entire Arab population from the City. Moreover, in late April 1948, in response to the incessant and indiscriminate Arab sniper fire from Jaffa into adjacent Tel Aviv being perpetrated since the issuance of the U.N.’s Palestine Partition Plan (thereby rending normal life in southern Tel Aviv impossible), the Irgun militia attacked Jaffa with the objective of conquering it. During the 3-day battle, the British army -- which had made no prior effort to arrest or, at least, disarm Jaffa’s snipers -- supported the Arab city by directing British tank and mortar fire against the Jewish forces in an unsuccessful attempt to thwart the latter.
The Hadassah Hospital convoy massacre represents another example of British failure to protect the Jewish population from the Arab onslaught. In mid-April 1948, after having been assured by British Mandatory authorities that the British army had cleared the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem highway of hostile forces, a 106-person convoy of Jewish doctors, nurses, students and patients traveling to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem was ambushed by local Arab militias without any intervention by British forces. Only 28 Jews survived the massacre.
Just before the onset of the Sabbath on Friday evening May 14, 1948, as British occupation forces were completing their withdrawal from the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, and as Arabs continued to attack Jewish-populated areas both outside and inside the Partition Plan lines, the Jewish leadership thereof announced the creation of the State of Israel, effective at midnight May 15, 1948 bounded by the U.N.-recommended Palestine Partition Plan lines -- within which boundaries Jews then constituted approximately 55% of the population -- declaring, in part:
“The State of Israel is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th of November, 1947; and it will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of the Land of Israel” (Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, Paragraph 14).
On May 15, 1948, due to a raging internal debate over the geopolitical wisdom of establishing diplomatic relations with a State that was not expected to survive more than a few days, the United States hedged its bets by proclaiming only its de facto recognition of the State of Israel (meaning, that the U.S. recognized only Israel’s tentative control over territory and population). This act was nonetheless significant, as the U.S. was the first country to accord Israel any form of diplomatic recognition. However, the U.S. did not accord its de jure recognition to Israel until January 31, 1949, when it was indisputable that Israel had survived the pan-Arab attempt to annihilate it. In contrast, the Soviet Union (a 15-nation empire formally known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly referred to as the U.S.S.R., whose dominant component was Russia, now formally known as the Russian Federation) accorded Israel its de jure recognition on May 17, 1949 – the first country to do so.
As anticipated, on May 15, 1948, the local Arab militias and foreign infiltrators who had been conducting a jihad against the Jewish communities in the western portion of Mandatory Palestine since the issuance of the Palestine Partition Plan were joined by the invading armies of seven Arab countries (namely, Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen), which aggregation of forces attempted to annihilate the Jewish State within its nonviable 1947 Partition Plan lines in hopes of illegally effecting the retroactive nullification of the internationally-sanctioned Mandatory enterprise.
That same day, Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, is reputed to have repeated his earlier genocidal threat:
“This will be a War of Extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken about like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”
In light of the foregoing history, it is indisputable that the “Palestinian” Arabs and their external allies, in addition to being accomplices to the Holocaust, sought to complete in the Land of Israel the very annihilation that Nazi Germany had commenced in Europe and North Africa.
Many of the Transjordanian and Egyptian forces which attacked the renascent Jewish State were trained and led by British officers. Due to this British assistance, the Egyptian air force was able to bomb Tel Aviv and other Jewish cities. In addition, while Great Britain had immediately imposed an arms embargo against Israel, it freely provided Iraq, Transjordan and Egypt with the military equipment and supplies that these countries required in order to prosecute their portion of the War of Annihilation against Israel.
However, the United States, hypocritically declaring itself to be “neutral”, imposed an arms embargo against all countries participating in the War, including, of course, the country being targeted for annihilation -- Israel.
Meanwhile, in June 1948, shortly after the commencement of Israel’s War of Independence, the Soviet Union (whose forces, since the end of World War II, had been occupying the eastern zone of defeated Nazi Germany, except for the western portion of the eastern City of Berlin, then known as West Berlin, which was connected to the American-British-French-occupied western zone of Germany by a single highway traversing the eastern zone of Germany) commenced a blockade of the highway to encircled West Berlin, which had been the western half of the unrepentant capital of Nazi Germany a scant three years earlier. In a bitter revelation of priorities unsullied by Morality or even Irony, the “neutral” United States -- which had earlier refused to take any action whatsoever to aid Israel in breaking the Arab blockade of the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem highway which had, only five months earlier, effected a starvation siege against the encircled Jewish-populated neighborhoods of Jerusalem -- nonetheless promptly spearheaded a massive airlift, lasting almost a year (from the end of June 1948 to mid-May 1949) and costing the lives of 31 American pilots, to protect the relative freedom and prosperity of the former Nazi citizens of West Berlin (who, unlike the Jews of Jerusalem, were not in danger of being annihilated if they were to be conquered by their enemies).
As a result of their respective participations in the invasion, Iraq captured Samaria (which it turned over to Transjordan), and Transjordan captured Judea and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (including the Old City thereof which hosts the Temple Mount, site of the Jewish people’s two biblical Temples), while Egypt captured Gaza. Yet, in the process of repelling this pan-Arab onslaught, Israel (with a population of only 650,000 Jews, approximately half of them Holocaust survivors), whose military forces were augmented by some 3,500 foreign volunteers (comprised of both Jews and Christians from 43 countries), was able to expand itself beyond its Partition Plan lines, thereby increasing its sovereignty over original Mandatory Palestine from less than 11% thereof to 17% thereof. Israel also captured portions of southern Lebanon and northeastern Sinai; but it later withdrew from these areas as a result of the ensuing cease-fire negotiations with its Arab adversaries.
In legal terminology, the Arab leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine (with the substantial assistance of their many allies, including Great Britain) repudiated the existence of any implied contract with the Jewish leadership of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine for the peaceful division of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine, thereby absolving the Jewish leadership from any further legal obligation to comply with the repudiated Palestine Partition Plan.
Consequently, since the repudiated Palestine Partition Plan was never implemented, the Mandate was not terminated de jure thereby. However, the earlier creation by Great Britain, as Mandatory, of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in 1946 (pursuant to the authority of Article 25 of the Mandate) and the subsequent establishment, by the resident Jewish population thereof, of the State of Israel in 1948 (pursuant to the raison d'être of the Mandate) did legally remove those newly-independent areas from the Mandate's ambit, thereafter leaving only the districts of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza, then illegally-occupied by Transjordan and Egypt (as well as the Golan Heights, then illegally-occupied by Syria) still subject de jure to the provisions of the Mandate.
During Israel’s War of Independence, approximately 600,000 Arab belligerents, constituting approximately 80% of the Arabs residing upon the lands which would become Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, departed Israel (via a combination of voluntary flight and forcible expulsion), while the remaining 150,000 Arabs thereof (who, while generally hostile to the creation of the Jewish State, did not actively participate in the War to destroy it) were not only permitted to remain within the State of Israel but were granted full citizenship rights therein, including national voting rights, in addition to which they were granted a blanket exemption from compulsory military service therein. Nevertheless, a large portion of Israel’s Arab citizenry, representing the irredentist rump of a defeated supranational enemy, has chosen to annually observe May 15, not as “Yom HaAtzma’ut” (Hebrew-language meaning: “The Day of Independence”, although, due to differences between the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars, Israel’s annual celebration of its Independence coincides with May 15 only occasionally), but rather as “Youm een-Nakba” (Arabic-language meaning: “The Day of Catastrophe”, which the Arabs of Israel, as well as the Arabs of the “Palestinian” diaspora, actually observe twice each year: officially on May 15 based upon the Gregorian calendar and unofficially on the date that Israel celebrates its Independence based upon the Hebrew calendar). By annually mourning the pan-Arab failure to annihilate Israel in 1948, the Arabs declare themselves kindred to those revanchist and irredentist Germans who annually mourn Nazi Germany’s defeat in 1945. Moreover, although “Palestinian” Arab spokesmen (whether from Israel in the guise of “Israeli” Arabs or from the Palestinian Authority), in addressing a Western audience, habitually assert that their annual commemoration of the “Nakba” is not intended either to mourn their and their external allies’ historic failure to destroy the State of Israel on the day of its rebirth or to sustain their and their external allies’ dream of destroying it in the future, but only to mourn the displacement of “Palestinians” from what became the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, the very choice of its official commemoration date refutes this assertion. As the earliest “Palestinian” displacement occurred in February 1948, and the latest “Palestinian” displacement occurred in November 1948, this raises the obvious question as to why the official “Nakba” commemoration date represents the middle, rather than the beginning or the end, of this displacement period. With respect to the displacement of the “Palestinians”, nothing noteworthy happened on May 15, 1948. However, with respect to the exercise of the self-determination of the Jewish people, two noteworthy events happened on that very date, the first being Israel’s official reemergence as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and the second being the pan-Arab invasion of Israel, with the stated objective of annihilating it. For the “Palestinians” (whether residing in Israel or elsewhere), the choice of May 15 to officially commemorate their self-inflicted “Nakba” (and, whenever Israel celebrates its Independence on a different date, the choice of that additional date to unofficially commemorate their “Nakba”) has nothing to do with the displacement of the “Palestinians” and everything to do with their and their external allies’ failed first attempt to destroy the renascent State of Israel. Moreover, if it were true that the Arabs mourn, not the creation of modern Israel, but rather only the catastrophic effect thereof upon their society, then why mourn twice each year, especially since the relevant Gregorian and Hebrew dates never differ by more than 28 days? The self-evident reason is that, by holding well-publicized “Nakba Day” observances, not only on May 15, but also on the date that Israel celebrates its Independence Day, the Arabs seek to delegitimize Israel’s existence ab initio. Moreover, it seems that the existence of a “Nakba Day” is actually superfluous -- or, at least, overkill -- in light of the United Nations-sponsored “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” (observed annually on November 29, in lamentation over the issuance of the U.N.'s Palestine Partition Plan on that very date in 1947, and in sympathetic commemoration of the rejection by the recognized leadership of the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine of the Plan's recommendation for the creation of a Jewish State alongside an Arab State therein), which already serves as a reliable and well-funded international vehicle for bemoaning the “Catastrophe” that befell the “Palestinian” Arabs when the Jewish nation-state was reestablished in the biblical Land of Israel. Absent the Arab attempt to annihilate the Jewish communities of the Land of Israel (both before and after Israel’s modern reincarnation), there would have been no War of Independence, no large-scale departure of Arabs from Israel and no destruction of their villages; in sum, there would have been no “Nakba” (self-inflicted or otherwise).
Conversely, in the Jewish State’s successful effort to survive this first pan-Arab onslaught, the resident Druze (descendants of Egyptian Arabs who deviated from the Shiite branch of Islam approximately 1,000 years ago), the resident Circassians (a non-Arab ethnic group originating from Circassia, located in the northwestern region of the Caucasus Mountains of modern Russia, who follow the Sunni branch of Islam), and a small number of resident Arabs (mostly Bedouins, who follow the Sunni branch of Islam) openly allied themselves with the resident Jews thereof, with the result that the Druze citizens and the Circassian citizens of the State of Israel were made subject to the same compulsory military service as were the Jewish citizens thereof, while the Bedouins were accepted into military service on a volunteer basis.
Both prior to and in the aftermath of their unsuccessful effort to destroy Israel, the Arab states eventually expelled more than 820,000 of their Jewish residents, in many Arab countries constituting virtually the entirety of their Jewish populations (e.g., 240,000 from Morocco; 140,000 from Algeria; 105,000 from Tunisia; 38,000 from Libya; 70,000 from Egypt; 5,000 from Lebanon; 25,000 from Syria; 135,000 from Iraq; 55,000 from former North Yemen; and 8,000 from former South Yemen). Approximately 600,000 of them fled to, and were accepted as citizens of, Israel.
Yet, despite Israel’s territorial gains during its War of Independence, the Jewish State was, nonetheless, a tenuous creation, being a mere 18 kilometers (approximately 11 miles) wide from the western edge of the coastal city of Tel Aviv (i.e., at the Mediterranean Sea), and a miniscule 15 kilometers (approximately 9 miles) wide at its narrowest point from the western edge of the coastal city of Netanya (i.e., at the Mediterranean Sea), with Transjordan controlling the mountainous spine of Samaria and thereby dominating Israel’s sole international airport as well as the Jewish cities of the coastal plain (chief among them, Tel Aviv), with the Transjordanian army encircling the Jewish-controlled western portion of Jerusalem (and its environs) on three sides, and fully encircling Jewish-controlled Mount Scopus located in the eastern portion of Jerusalem, with that same Arab army controlling a territorial salient at Latrun overlooking, and consequently easily capable of blockading, the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem highway (this still being, at that time, the sole road linking the western portion of Jerusalem with the remainder of Israel), with the Syrian army stationed on the peaks of the mountains comprising the Golan Heights which dominate the entire Upper Galilee region of Israel, including Israel’s largest body of fresh water, Lake Kinneret (which constitutes 40% of the Jewish State’s water supply), and with Arab warplanes being able to reach Tel Aviv within one minute after leaving Arab-controlled air space, thereby setting the stage for the next pan-Arab onslaught that would be launched against Israel nearly two decades later, namely, the 1967 Six Day War.
Meanwhile, in the process of their illegal conquest of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, the invading Arab armies, together with their local Arab allies, destroyed all of the extant Jewish communities in the newly Arab-occupied areas -- both those which were created under the authority of the Mandate (such as the Gush Etzion grouping of villages in Judea, the Kfar Darom and Nitzanim villages in Gaza, and the Atarot and Neve Yaakov villages in the Jerusalem area) and those which had existed from time immemorial (such as the ancient Jewish neighborhoods situated in the eastern portion of Jerusalem which now thereby joined the ancient Jewish neighborhoods of Hebron as well as those of other Arab-dominated cities which had been destroyed almost two decades earlier); and these aggressors massacred or expelled all of the Jewish inhabitants thereof. Moreover, not being content with having extirpated the entire Jewish population from the newly Arab-occupied Old City of Jerusalem, the victorious Arabs also desecrated and razed all 58 synagogues in the Old City and vandalized 75% of the Jewish gravestones on the nearby Mount of Olives cemetery.
Nevertheless, Transjordan's illegal military occupation, from 1948 to 1967, of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (as a result of which the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, now occupying lands on both banks of the Jordan River, soon renamed itself the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and simultaneously re-designated the districts of Judea and Samaria, as well as the eastern portion of Jerusalem, as the “West Bank”) and Egypt's illegal military occupation, from 1948 to 1967 of Gaza, as well as both countries' concomitant destruction of all Jewish communities there, did not remove these now Judenrein (cleansed of Jews) areas from the legal ambit of the Mandate. Accordingly, the internationally-authorized Mandatory rights inhering in the Jewish people to effect “... close settlement by Jews on the Land ...” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 6) and to reconstitute therein “... the Jewish National Home ...” (Mandate for Palestine, Articles 2 & 4) continued to apply de jure to Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, and Gaza (and, as well, to the Golan Heights) until Israel’s reacquisition of those stolen lands in 1967.
This seldom-acknowledged truth of international law is reinforced by the fact that the 1949 Armistice Agreements -- which were negotiated under supervision of the United Nations and which ostensibly terminated Israel's War of Independence -- essentially declared that the armistice demarcation lines that encompassed Israel at the end of that war were not to be deemed its lawful international boundaries but only military separation-of-forces lines (or, more simply stated, mere cease-fire lines) determined without prejudice to the combatant parties’ “... rights, claims and positions ... in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question ...” (Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement, Article XI; Israel-Lebanon Armistice Agreement, Article II, Paragraph 2; Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, Article II, Paragraph 2; and Israel-Syria Armistice Agreement, Article II, Paragraph 2); and, amazingly, this same juridical formulation was applied to Israel's armistice demarcation line with Lebanon even though that line was identical to the former international boundary between the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine and Lebanon. Yet, how did Israel manage to convince its Arab adversaries that the Armistice Agreements should memorialize, and thereby legally preserve, the Jewish State's pre-war territorial right to the illegally-occupied remainder of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, as well as to the illegally-transferred Golan Heights? Ironically, Israel is not entitled to any credit for this juridical result. For, although Israel was prepared to accept all of the armistice demarcation lines as its internationally-recognized boundaries -- thereby waiving its legal right to the remainder of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine as well as to the Golan Heights -- aggressors Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria were not so prepared! It was precisely due to the fact that all of these Arab countries refused to so accept these lines -- even that between Lebanon and Israel, which was identical to the international boundary between Lebanon and former Mandatory Palestine -- that the Armistice Agreements declared, in effect, that such lines were not to be treated either as the Jewish State's recognized international boundaries or as those of the surrounding Arab countries. In fact, not only did each of these Arab countries insist that its respective Armistice Agreement with Israel not bestow upon the latter any recognized international boundary, but -- even more significantly -- each such country also made certain that its Armistice Agreement did not refer to any of the territory then controlled by the Jewish people as “Israel” but only as “Palestine”. Consequently, these Arab countries' dogmatic refusal to recognize the legal existence of the renascent State of Israel dictated their corollary refusal to recognize any legal boundaries for that unrecognized State, thereby foreordaining the ironic juridical result that the 1949 Armistice Agreements neither granted to these invading Arab nations internationally-recognized sovereignty over these newly-occupied territories -- illegal possession of which they had temporarily acquired by conquest -- nor otherwise purported to cancel the Jewish people's collective rights of settlement and self-determination therein pursuant to the Mandate for Palestine. Inter alia, this means that, unless Israel chooses to relinquish its previously-acquired rights under international law via the Mandate for Palestine, its lawful eastern border is, and will remain, the lawful eastern border of former Mandatory Palestine, namely, the Jordan River.
Tellingly, although the Arabs insisted that the Armistice Agreements refer to Jewish-held territory as “Palestine”, none of the Armistice Agreements makes any reference to the existence of a “Palestinian” people (or even to “Palestinian” Arabs), let alone to any claim by the latter to collective ownership of any portion of Gaza, Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem.
The four Armistice Agreements, operatively state, in salient part, as follows:
Israel - Egypt General Armistice Agreement, dated February 24, 1949
. . .
With specific reference to the implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council of 4 and 16 November 1948, the following principles and purposes are affirmed:
1. The principle that no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce ordered by the Security Council is recognized.
2. It is also recognized that the basic purposes and spirit of the Armistice would not be served by the restoration of previously held military positions, changes from those now held other than as specifically provided for in this Agreement, or by the advance of the military forces of either side beyond positions held at the time this Armistice Agreement is signed.
3. It is further recognized that rights, claims or interests of a non-military character in the area of Palestine covered by this Agreement may be asserted by either Party, and that these, by mutual agreement being excluded from the Armistice negotiations, shall be, at the discretion of the Parties, the subject of later settlement. It is emphasized that it is not the purpose of this Agreement to establish, to recognize, to strengthen, or to weaken or nullify, in any way, any territorial, custodial or other rights, claims or interests which may be asserted by either Party in the area of Palestine or any part or locality thereof covered by this Agreement, whether such asserted rights, claims or interests derive from Security Council resolutions, including the resolution of 4 November 1948 and the Memorandum of 13 November 1948 for its implementation, or from any other source. The provisions of this Agreement are dictated exclusively by military considerations and are valid only for the period of the Armistice.
1. The line described in Article VI of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Line and is delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolutions of the Security Council of 4 and 16 November 1948.
2. The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question.
3. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Line is to delineate the line beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move except as provided in Article III of this Agreement.
. . .
No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question.
. . .
Israel - Lebanon General Armistice Agreement, dated March 23, 1949
. . .
With a specific view to the implementation of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948, the following principles and purposes are affirmed:
1. The principle that no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce ordered by the Security Council is recognized.
2. It is also recognized that no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations.
. . .
1. The line described in Article V of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Line and is delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948.
2. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Line is to delineate the line beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.
. . .
1. The Armistice Demarcation Line shall follow the international boundary between the Lebanon and Palestine.
. . .
Israel - Jordan General Armistice Agreement, dated April 3, 1949
. . .
With a specific view to the implementation of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948, the following principles and purposes are affirmed:
1. The principle that no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce ordered by the Security Council is recognized;
2. It is also recognized that no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations.
. . .
1. The lines described in articles V and VI of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Lines and are delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948.
2. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Lines is to delineate the lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.
. . .
. . .
9. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.
. . .
Israel - Syria General Armistice Agreement, dated July 20, 1949
. . .
With a specific view to the implementation of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948, the following principles and purposes are affirmed:
1. The principle that no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce ordered by the Security Council is recognized.
2. It is also recognized that no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military, and not by political, considerations.
. . .
1. The line described in Article V of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Line and is delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948.
2. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Line is to delineate the line beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.
. . .
1. It is emphasized that the following arrangements for the Armistice Demarcation Line between the Israeli and Syrian armed forces and for the Demilitarised Zone are not to be interpreted as having any relation whatsoever to ultimate territorial arrangements affecting the two Parties to this Agreement.
2. In pursuance of the spirit of the Security Council resolution of 16 November 1948, the Armistice Demarcation Line and the Demilitarised Zone have been defined with a view toward separating the armed forces of the two Parties in such manner as to minimize the possibility of friction and incident, while providing for the gradual restoration of normal civilian life in the area of the Demilitarised Zone, without prejudice to the ultimate settlement.
. . .
It is clear that, although the Armistice Agreements explicitly acknowledged the Arabs’ de facto possession of lands over which the Jewish people had acquired exclusive national rights by virtue of the Mandate for Palestine, the Armistice Agreements did not cede to the Arabs any de jure sovereignty thereover.
Incredibly, even decades later -- despite the constant terrorist infiltrations emanating from Israel’s armistice partners -- the Jewish State continued to express its readiness to accept its nonviable armistice demarcation lines as internationally-recognized boundaries. In particular, on May 17, 1965 (being more than 2 years prior to the Jewish people’s reacquisition of Gaza, Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as a consequence of the Six Day War), Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, in a speech to Israel’s parliament, offered to convert all four Armistice Agreements into peace treaties, with the result that all of Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation lines would be converted into legally-recognized international borders, declaring, in part, as follows:
“If we try to sum up our peace plan as it has been articulated in our statements, hopes and actions, we should say, first of all, that the foundation of it is full respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the States in the region. From the juridical point of view, the effort for peace in the region is anchored to two international obligations, one general and the other specific. The general obligation is the duty accepted by all member States of the United Nations to live with each other in peace and good neighborliness, to unite their forces for the maintenance of peace and security in the world, and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the independence or territorial integrity of any State. I am quoting from the United Nations Charter, which both we and the Arab States signed. There is, however, a second obligation in the armistice agreements of 1949. These lay down that they constitute a transition stage towards permanent peace. We propose, therefore, that direct negotiations be conducted between Israel and the States that signed the agreements with us, to replace them by pacts of peace. The peace settlement will be made on the basis of Israel as it is.”
However, no Arab aggressor deigned to accept Israel’s proposal at that time, thereby legally preserving -- even against Israel’s will -- all of the Jewish State’s Mandatory-era territorial claims.
In fact, absent Israel's formal consent (per Articles 77 and 79 of the U.N. Charter), not even the United Nations itself can lawfully terminate, reduce or otherwise restrict the collective Jewish rights of settlement and self-determination authorized by the Mandate for Palestine. For, although Chapter XII of the United Nations Charter (entitled “International Trusteeship System” and encompassing Articles 75 through 85 thereof), permits three categories of non-sovereign territories, including “... territories now held under mandate ...” (Article 77, Paragraph 1a), to be placed under a U.N. trusteeship agreement, under the supervision of a designated “... administering authority ...” (Article 81), it also states that: “It will be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories in the foregoing categories will be brought under the trusteeship system and upon what terms” (Article 77, Paragraph 2), and it further states that: “The terms of trusteeship for each territory to be placed under the trusteeship system, including any alteration or amendment, shall be agreed upon by the states directly concerned, including the mandatory power in the case of territories held under mandate by a Member of the United Nations, and shall be approved as provided for in Articles 83 and 85” (Article 79). The inviolability of collective Jewish rights under the Mandate for Palestine is further reinforced and crystallized by Paragraph 1 of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, which Charter provision severely restricts the United Nations’ legal authority to abrogate or alter any provision of the Mandate for Palestine. Article 80, Paragraph 1 of the U.N. Charter states, in full, as follows:
“Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”
For this reason, United Nations Security Council Resolution no. 242 -- issued in the aftermath of Israel's Six Day War of 1967, as a result of which Israel had conquered the districts of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan Heights -- did not create any infringement upon the authority of the Mandate for Palestine. Nor did this Security Council Resolution attempt to accomplish such an unlawful goal, the proof being that the Resolution was issued under the authority of Chapter VI of the U.N. Charter (entitled “Pacific Settlement Of Disputes” and encompassing Articles 33 through 38 thereof), thereby rendering it directory (i.e., a non-binding recommendation to the parties, which consequently does not constitute or otherwise create international law), rather under the authority of Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter (entitled “Action With Respect To Threats To The Peace, Breaches Of The Peace And Acts Of Aggression” and encompassing Articles 39 through 51 thereof), which would have rendered it mandatory (i.e., a legal obligation imposed upon the parties and, consequently, subject to U.N. enforcement powers, including the imposition of sanctions and the employment of military intervention). Accordingly, the Resolution did not require Israel to relinquish possession over areas in which Jewry had acquired, through the Mandate, internationally-recognized legal rights of settlement and self-determination. Rather, the Resolution merely called, as a necessary component of “the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East”, for negotiations leading to the Israel's withdrawal from deliberately unspecified portions of “... territories occupied in the recent conflict ...” in order, inter alia, to establish for Israel “... secure and recognized boundaries ...” and to conclude “... a just settlement of the refugee problem ...”.
The authoritative and laboriously-negotiated English-language text of the Resolution reflected an implicit international acknowledgment that, although the State of Israel had enlarged itself as a result of the 1967 Six Day War, inter alia, expanding its sovereignty over original Mandatory Palestine from 17% to 23% thereof, the Jewish State had nevertheless been the victim of genocidal Arab aggression in that War due, in part, to the wholly untenable military separation-of-forces lines of 1949 which had rendered Israel an inviting target for invasion and destruction.
It will be recalled that, for almost two decades prior to June 1967, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Jordan -- in rank violation of their 1949 Armistice Agreements with Israel -- had continuously permitted the various components of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its “Fedayeen” (meaning: “those who sacrifice themselves”) precursors to mount terror attacks against Israel from southern Lebanon, from the Golan Heights, from northern Sinai and Gaza, and from Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, respectively.
In further violation of its Armistice Agreement with Israel, Jordan (on December 10, 1950) occupied and blockaded a portion of Israel’s highway no. 90, thereby separating Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat, from the remainder of the State.
In a further violation of its Armistice Agreement with Israel, Syria gradually encroached upon and occupied the Demilitarized Zone established between the two countries, so that by the end of 1951 its armed forces had illegally occupied the eastern bank of the Jordan River flowing south from Lake Hula to Lake Kinneret, the northeastern shore of Lake Kinneret (constituting approximately 20% of its shoreline) and the village of Hammah (now known as Hamat Gader) and its environs located near the Yarmouk River southeast of Lake Kinneret, all west of Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation line with Syria. In addition, the Syrian army regularly employed mortars and snipers against the Jewish communities of northern Israel from well-fortified positions on the Golan Heights (which towers approximately 900 meters -- almost 3000 feet -- above portions of northern Israel).
Furthermore, almost immediately after the signing of its Armistice Agreement with Israel, Egypt had begun to illegally confiscate cargo from, bar or sink ships traveling to and from Israel’s Mediterranean Sea ports via the Suez Canal (which is an international waterway connecting, via the Gulf of Suez, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea that was constructed on the border between the Sinai peninsula and Egypt proper, through which the passage of all ships was guaranteed pursuant to the Convention of Constantinople of 1888). In response to Israel’s complaint concerning the foregoing, the United Nations -- in a rare display of fairness towards Israel -- held discussions thereon and thereafter issued U.N. Security Council Resolution no. 95 of September 1, 1951, which Resolution declared Egypt’s maritime belligerence to be, inter alia, “inconsistent with” the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement of 1949, and consequently called upon Egypt to cease its interference with ships bound to or from Israeli ports via the Suez Canal; but Egypt predictably ignored the Resolution. Meanwhile, in May 1955, in an effort to prevent open warfare between Israel and Egypt, the United States and Great Britain presented a proposal called the Alpha Plan, which was premised upon the diplomatic posture that Israel (then existing exclusively within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines) was illegally occupying Arab territory beyond its 1947 United Nations Partition Plan lines, as a result of which the Jewish State would be required to make territorial concessions to Egypt and Jordan in exchange for a peace treaty. The Alpha Plan required, inter alia, that Israel cede to Egypt and Jordan a land corridor across Israel’s Negev Desert, thereby creating territorial contiguity between the Sinai peninsula and Jordan (and thereby separating Israel’s Red Sea port of Eilat and other Jewish communities in the southern Negev Desert from the remainder of Israel). This plan was eventually rejected by Israel (as well as by Egypt, which demanded that Israel transfer to it the entire Negev Desert, then comprising 65% of Israel’s territory). Then, in September 1955, Egypt accelerated its belligerence against Israel by also illegally closing the Strait of Tiran (which is an international waterway that serves as the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba -- also known as Gulf of Eilat -- prong of the northern Red Sea) to all maritime traffic going to and from Israel, thereby blockading Israel’s Red Sea port of Eilat. The combination of these Egyptian blockades and frequent episodes of Egyptian-sponsored terrorism finally led Israel to invade and capture Sinai and Gaza in what became known as the Sinai Campaign, which began on October 29, 1956. A temporary confluence of interests with Great Britain and France (due to Egypt’s earlier military seizure and nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956) caused those two countries to assist the Israeli invasion by thereafter flooding Sinai with their own troops with the intention of recapturing the Suez Canal. However, bowing to pressure from the United States, Great Britain and France soon withdrew their troops from Sinai. As its price for withdrawal, Israel demanded that Egypt reopen both the Suez Canal and the Strait of Tiran to maritime traffic going to and from Israel. Israel was forced by threats of diplomatic and economic retaliation by the United States, as well as by the threat of invasion from the Soviet Union, to settle for the reopening of the Strait of Tiran. In order to ensure Egyptian compliance with the terms of withdrawal and prevent the future outbreak of hostilities, the U.N. created a multinational peacekeeping force, known as the United Nations Emergency Force, and stationed its personnel in the Sinai peninsula and Gaza. Israel thereafter withdrew its forces from Sinai and Gaza on March 16, 1957.
Nonetheless, Arab aggression against Israel continued apace during the next decade. By the Spring of 1967 it had become clear to Israel that its 1949 armistice partners were determined to annihilate it in one final pan-Arab assault. On April 7, 1967, Syria virtually destroyed Kibbutz Gadot, located in the Upper Galilee, via a concentrated barrage of approximately 800 artillery shells fired from the Golan Heights -- an indisputable act of War. In May 1967, after having sent its infantry and tanks northward and massing them near its armistice demarcation line with Israel, Egypt successfully demanded that the United Nations Emergency Force withdraw its peacekeeping forces from Sinai and Gaza. Moreover, Egypt simultaneously reinstituted its naval blockade against Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat (resulting, inter alia, in the interruption of Israel's main supply of petroleum) -- another indisputable act of War. Meanwhile, Syria -- which had earlier entered into a military pact with Egypt -- began to thicken its forces in the Golan Heights; and finally, on May 30, 1967, Jordan also entered into a military pact with Egypt that, inter alia, placed Jordan’s armed forces (bolstered by soldiers from Iraq and Saudi Arabia) under Egyptian command. All told, Syria, Egypt and Jordan encircled Israel with approximately 300,000 troops, 2,000 tanks and 700 warplanes. On May 18, 1967 the Cairo-based government-controlled Kul al-Arab (Voice of the Arabs) Radio proclaimed: “As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the U.N. about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.” On May 20, 1967 Syrian Defense Minister Hafez al-Assad declared: “Our forces are now entirely ready, not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united ... I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.” And on May 28, 1967 Egyptian President Gamal Abd el-Nasser stated: “We intend to open a general assault against Israel. This will be total war. Our basic aim is the destruction of Israel.”
Despite the foregoing, both the United States and the Soviet Union warned Israel not to militarily respond to the acts of war already initiated by Syria and Egypt.
On June 5, 1967, in order to preempt that imminent coordinated invasion, Israel launched military strikes against Egypt and Syria which ultimately resulted in the Jewish State’s capture, respectively, of Sinai and Gaza and of the Golan Heights, but it simultaneously promised not to act against Jordan if the latter would refrain from joining the War. When, on the very same day, Jordan nevertheless launched its portion of the planned invasion against Israel (commencing with the sustained bombardment of the western portion of Jerusalem with over 6,000 mortar and artillery shells in the first 3 days of the War as well as an aerial attack against Netanya and a long-gun artillery barrage against Tel Aviv from positions in west-central Samaria just east of Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation lines), the Jewish State repelled the Jordanian forces and launched a counter-attack which resulted in the Jewish State’s reacquisition of Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem. Although this attempt to destroy Israel was led by Egypt, Syria and Jordan, additional troops and weaponry were contributed by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Algeria.
It must be emphasized that the ongoing violations by Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Syria of their 1949 Armistice Agreements with Israel -- culminating in the latter three’s coordinated attempt to annihilate the Jewish State in 1967 -- necessarily absolved Israel from any further legal obligation to comply those Agreements, including any further legal obligation to recognize or otherwise abide by the armistice demarcation lines created by those breached Agreements. Essentially, the 1949 armistice demarcation lines, being nothing more than arbitrary cease-fire lines with the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, were erased by those three Arab countries when they initially breached, and thereafter continued to breach, their Armistice Agreements with Israel from 1949 to 1967. Consequently, the Cease-Fire having been breached by the Arabs, the Jewish people’s reacquisition in a war of self-defense of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights, to which lands the Jewish State had retained its Mandatory-era sovereignty claims, was lawfully accomplished. Although Lebanon’s continuing violations of its Armistice Agreement with Israel also absolved the Jewish State from any further legal obligation to comply with that Agreement, Lebanon’s lack of active participation in the 1967 Six Day War influenced Israel not to respond -- at that time -- to such Lebanese violations by capturing territory within that country in order to provide itself with more defensible borders. However, as a subsequent response to Lebanon’s continuing violations of its Armistice Agreement, Israel did eventually capture and hold territory within the southern portion of that country during various times from 1978 to 2000.
In light of the foregoing, although the internationally-recognized Doctrine of Preemptive Defense (also known as the Doctrine of Anticipatory Defense) permits a nation to defend itself from imminent aggression by striking its enemy first, it is clear that the widespread labeling of the Six Day War as a preemptive war initiated by Israel is misleading. A truly preemptive war is one in which the preemptor’s adversary has credibly threatened, but has not yet commenced, an imminent war against the preemptor. In contrast, the several battles comprising what is known as the Six Day War of 1967 were Israel’s belated response to the ongoing pan-Arab war that had been prosecuted against the Jewish State over the prior two decades, especially the huge escalation thereof that had occurred in the preceding two months. Accordingly, Israel’s strike against its Arab enemies in June 1967 is more properly denominated as the employment of Reactive Defense. However, the Six Day War is habitually labeled as being preemptive rather than reactive for two basic reasons. Firstly, Israel was able to successfully use its air force and mechanized infantry against the Arabs before they were able to successfully use those particular military components against Israel, thereby preempting an imminent pan-Arab infantry invasion of the Jewish State; and secondly, Israel’s use of reactive force took place so many years after the commencement and continuation of post-armistice Arab aggression that such Israeli counterforce naturally (albeit falsely) presented itself to the World as being preemptive rather than reactive. Nonetheless, regardless of its labeling, Israel’s preemption of an imminent Arab invasion certainly did not convert the status of the Six Day War from a lawful defensive military action into an unlawful offensive military action.
However, it should be noted that, although the U.N. Security Council implicitly conceded the undeniable fact that Israel had been the victim and the surrounding Arab countries the aggressors in the Six Day War, that deliberative body was nonetheless unwilling to explicitly elucidate this Truth in the Resolution. In fact, the text thereof is so “evenhanded” as between victim and aggressor that it neither identifies the participants in the war nor otherwise utters the name “Israel”, except in its call for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” -- a provision from which an uninformed person might readily (albeit falsely) infer that Israel had been the aggressor in that War. This exhibition of diplomatic cowardice by the U.N. Security Council was motivated both by its aversion to angering the Arab and larger Muslim world by labeling some of their members as aggressors and by its understanding that these Jew-hating countries would never accept a U.N. resolution which not only failed to patently condemn the Jewish State but which made excessive reference, by name, to that State, the existence of which (in 1967) these countries refused to accept de jure or to acknowledge de facto.
U.N. Security Council Resolution no. 242 states, in full, as follows:
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (22 November 1967).
The Security Council,
Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,
Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,
Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter:
1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;
2. Affirms further the necessity:
(a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
(b) For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
(c) For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to them Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;
4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.
It is noteworthy that the Resolution neither demands Israel’s return to its 1949 armistice demarcation lines nor even refers to those military separation-of-forces lines (or to any equivalent formulation, such as: “the lines of June 4, 1967”). That Israel is not required by the Resolution to withdraw to the military separation-of-forces lines of 1949 is further proven by the refusal of the U.N. Security Council to insert either the words “all” or “the” into the authoritative English-language text of the draft Resolution as a grammatical qualifier before the word “territories” therein -- despite a five-month pre-passage diplomatic onslaught by the Arab nations and their allies to so modify the language thereof.
As stated on January 19, 1970 by George Brown, Foreign Secretary of Great Britain in 1967:
“I have been asked over and over again to clarify, modify or improve the wording, but I do not intend to do that. The phrasing of the Resolution was very carefully worked out, and it was a difficult and complicated exercise to get it accepted by the U.N. Security Council. I formulated the Security Council Resolution. Before we submitted it to the Council, we showed it to Arab leaders. The proposal said 'Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied', and not from 'the' territories, which means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories.” (reported in Israel-based Jerusalem Post newspaper, January 23, 1970).
This position was reiterated numerous times by Hugh Foot, better known as Lord Caradon, Great Britain’s U.N. Ambassador (formally known as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations) in 1967, who participated in the drafting of the Resolution. Typical of his explanation of the Resolution are the following:
It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967 because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places the soldiers of each side happened to be the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them, and I think we were right not to.” (excerpt from interview with Lebanon-based Daily Star newspaper, June 12, 1974).
We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation. (excerpt from interview with Journal of Palestine Studies, entitled “An Interview with Lord Caradon,” Spring - Summer 1976, pages 144-45)
This was also the position of the United States. As stated by Joseph Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States in 1967:
“That Resolution did not say 'withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines'. The Resolution said that the parties must negotiate to achieve agreement on the so-called final secure and recognized borders. In other words, the question of the final borders is a matter of negotiations between the parties.” (excerpt from interview with U.S.-based NBC Television Network, “Meet The Press” program, July 12, 1970).
Moreover, the Resolution's explicit call for negotiations between “the States concerned” (i.e., Israel, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon) to establish for Israel “secure and recognized boundaries” constituted an acknowledgment by the international community that the 1949 armistice demarcation lines were neither “secure” (i.e., although Israel had prevailed in the 1967 Six Day War, the 1949 separation-of-forces lines were not militarily defensible) nor “recognized” (i.e., the 1949 separation-of-forces lines did not constitute internationally-recognized boundaries).
As earlier declared on September 10, 1968 by United States President Lyndon Johnson:
“We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure -- and there must be recognized -- borders. Some such lines must be agreed to by the neighbors involved.”
In the context of Israel’s entitlement to retain “secure” borders, it is crucial to comprehend that even after Israel’s reacquisition of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem in 1967, the Jewish State had only increased its narrow width, as measured by the distance between the western edge of Tel Aviv (i.e., at the Mediterranean Sea) and the nearest Arab-controlled territory to the East, from 18 kilometers (approximately 11 miles) to 64 kilometers (approximately 40 miles), thereby marginally lengthening the time for Arab warplanes to reach Tel Aviv from one minute to three minutes. Accordingly, logic dictates that Israel must retain all 64 kilometers (40 miles) of its present width (i.e., from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River) in order for it to maintain minimally secure borders.
Yet, disingenuously -- despite the fact that the members of the U.N. Security Council debated the provisions of, and voted to pass, only the English-language version of the Resolution (the draft of which was submitted by Great Britain to the Security Council as U.N. document no. S/8247), and despite the fact that British and American diplomats have publicly stated that the omission of the definite article “the” before the noun “territories” in the text thereof was intentional -- some polemicists claim fealty only to the French-language translation of the English-language Resolution which employs the phrase “des territoires” (which literally re-translates into the English language as “from the territories” but which idiomatically re-translates into the English language as either “from the territories” or “from territories”). However, due to the fact that this apparent ambiguity in meaning occurs only because the grammatical rules of the French language do not permit the employment of the preposition “from” together with its intended object without the interpolation of the definite article “the” (i.e., the English-language phrase “from territories” cannot grammatically be rendered into the French language except as “des territoires”), France declared -- soon after the Resolution was issued -- that the French-language version thereof was intended to be an exact translation of the English-language text thereof, and that, consequently, its version did not cause the Resolution to have any different meaning in the French language than it had in the English language.
Of course, since the Resolution is merely directory and, consequently, non-binding, any linguistic argument over the withdrawal component thereof is only of academic interest. Yet, even if the Resolution were mandatory rather than directory, since the Resolution does not, in fact, demand withdrawal from all of the territories, Israel's relinquishment, in the aftermath of the subsequent 1973 Yom Kippur War, to Egypt of the district of Sinai (plus all of the additional lands captured by Israel in that War beyond Sinai towards Cairo) and to Syria of the district of Kuneitra on the Golan Heights (plus all of the additional lands captured by Israel in that War beyond the Golan Heights towards Damascus) -- constituting in excess of 90% of the territory acquired by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War (plus 100% of the territory acquired by Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War) -- has, arguably, already satisfied the Resolution's nonspecific withdrawal component. At any rate, by having launched a coordinated invasion against Israel in 1973 without provocation, Egypt and Syria (with assistance from Jordan which sent several troop divisions to the Golan Heights' front to fight Israel under Syrian command) thereby attempted by military means to deprive Israel of the benefits of the Resolution's recommendation of negotiations leading to “secure and recognized boundaries” for the Jewish State, as a consequence of which it may be argued that the aggressors thereby forfeited their recommended benefits under the Resolution. Moreover, it may be further argued that -- even if Syria did not forfeit the Resolution's recommended benefits by its unprovoked attack upon Israel in 1973 -- since Syria's initial acquisition of the Golan Heights was illegal under international law, Israel's reacquisition of this territory was, and its present retention thereof is, lawful under international law.
In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, the U.N. Security Council issued its Resolution no. 338, which -- hearkening back to the cowardice displayed in its Resolution no. 242 concerning the Six Day War -- cravenly declined either to (a) identify Israel as the victim in the Yom Kippur War (or even utter the name “Israel”), or (b) condemn Egypt and Syria as the aggressors (or even identify them as participants) in that War. The Resolution states, in full, as follows:
United Nations Security Council Resolution 338 (October 22, 1973).
The Security Council
1. Calls upon all parties to the present fighting to cease all firing and terminate all military activity immediately, no later than 12 hours after the moment of the adoption of this decision, in the positions they now occupy;
2. Calls upon the parties concerned to start immediately after the cease-fire the implementation of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) in all of its parts;
3. Decides that, immediately and concurrently with the cease-fire, negotiations start between the parties concerned under appropriate auspices aimed at establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
It is noteworthy that nowhere does U.N. Security Council Resolution no. 242 assert any “Palestinian” collective ownership of -- or call for the establishment of a “Palestinian” state in -- any portion of the biblical Land of Israel. On the contrary, the Resolution's explicitly-stated goal of safeguarding the “territorial integrity” and the “territorial inviolability” of “every State in the area” conclusively demonstrates that the Resolution was intended to address, not the present “Palestinian” Arab claim of sovereignty over certain portions of the lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, but rather that which its drafters viewed (however naively) as, fundamentally, a non-existential boundary line dispute among the combatant countries, namely, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria (and -- although not a direct participant in the Six Day War -- Lebanon). However, since Israel did subsequently resolve the boundary line aspects of its existential disputes with Egypt (in 1979) and with Jordan (in 1994) by concluding with those two nations formal peace treaties which did not require its withdrawal from Gaza (formerly occupied by Egypt) or from Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (formerly occupied by Jordan formerly known as Transjordan), the Resolution's extant withdrawal component, if any, presently applies, if at all, only to the boundary line aspects of Israel's existential disputes with Syria (due to Israel's continued possession of the bulk of the Golan Heights) and possibly Lebanon (due to the fact that, although Israel does not presently occupy any portion of Lebanon, as officially certified in 2000 by the U.N., the 1949 Israel-Lebanon Armistice Agreement does not require Lebanon -- or Israel -- to recognize the former international boundary between Lebanon and the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine as Israel's international boundary); but none of these unresolved boundary line aspects involve Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem or Gaza. Additional proof that the “Palestinian” Arabs are not an intended beneficiary of the Resolution's withdrawal component can be found in the Resolution's explicit call for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem”, this being the Resolution's sole reference to the rights and entitlements of the “Palestinian” Arabs.
Lastly, it is also noteworthy that U.N. Security Council Resolution no. 242, in what is generally regarded as an implicit criticism of Israel’s conduct during the Six Day War, asserts “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”. However, a proper understanding of the principles of international law (including those created by the Mandate for Palestine) leads to the contrary conclusion that it was Transjordan’s illegal acquisition of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem by offensive war in 1948 as well as Egypt’s illegal acquisition of Gaza by offensive war in 1948 that was wrongful, rather than Israel’s lawful reacquisition thereof by defensive war in 1967.
Although the international community has also issued myriads of other U.N. Security Council resolutions and U.N. General Assembly resolutions (and has even procured an advisory opinion from the U.N. International Court of Justice) which appear to erode, or even negate, the international legal status of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, none of these resolutions (or such non-binding judicial advisory ruling) have been able alter preexisting international law by which “... recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 3) on account of which “... close settlement by Jews on the Land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes” (Mandate for Palestine, Article 6) was thereby authorized. This is due, in part, to the fact that all of the Security Council resolutions against Israel have been issued under authority of Chapter VI rather than Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, and they are, consequently, directory (i.e., recommendatory) rather than mandatory (i.e., obligatory), and that General Assembly resolutions against member States are always directory.
However, even if the Security Council were to issue a resolution against Israel under the authority of Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which sought to deprive the Jewish people of their collective rights of settlement and self-determination under the Mandate for Palestine, that resolution would be in flagrant violation of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter (which, absent Israel's formal consent, prohibits the U.N. from using its potential trusteeship authority over the non-sovereign territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza “... to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties”), and would, consequently, be deemed null and void -- ab initio -- under international law.
Notwithstanding the foregoing discussion concerning the continued primacy of the Mandatory legal rights of settlement and self-determination bestowed upon the Jewish people with respect to Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights (as derived from the relevant preambulary and operative provisions of the governing instrument of the Mandate), it is clear that the Mandate’s administrative regime (i.e., the trusteeship office theoretically capable of revival by the future appointment of a successor Mandatory to govern the remaining non-sovereign territory of former Mandatory Palestine) terminated de facto when Israel declared its independence in 1948. This is so, not only because Great Britain had resigned as Mandatory trustee, but also because the Mandate’s raison d'être was fulfilled in practice the moment a Jewish State came into being, notwithstanding the fact that only a portion of the territory allocated by the Mandate for that purpose was actually under Jewish control by the end of Israel’s War of Independence. Moreover, once Israel reacquired, in 1967, the remainder of those lands which were authorized -- and always intended -- by the Mandate to be part of a Jewish State, the Mandate’s administrative regime finally terminated de jure, as once all stolen Jewish land was reunited with the Jewish State, there remained thereafter no further legal grounds or legal purpose for the revival of the Mandate’s administrative regime (whose only purpose had been to facilitate the creation of a Jewish State upon all of the territory -- after the exercise of the severance authority of Article 25 of the Mandate -- which comprised Mandatory Palestine).
Consequently, the State of Israel is the lawful repository of the exclusive national rights in and to the entirety of the western portion of former Mandatory Palestine and the remnant of the eastern portion of former Mandatory Palestine that comprises the Golan Heights, which lands were explicitly granted to the Jewish people by virtue of the Mandate for Palestine. In other words, pursuant to international law (as established by the raison d'être and the provisions of the Mandate), and based upon the fact that the Jewish State has not (yet) ceded such national rights to any other party, the State of Israel is the lawful sovereign in all of the Land of Israel from the River to the Sea plus the Golan Heights.
Yet, don't the countless U.N. resolutions directed against the State of Israel’s sovereignty over the Land of Israel, although non-binding, nevertheless, constitute the collective Will of the international community? -- Well, Yes.
In fact, it is often asserted that the State of Israel was created by the United Nations via U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 181 of November 1947 (Palestine Partition Plan) as a byproduct of Europe's alleged guilty conscience over its complicity in the Holocaust. Consequently, it is frequently argued that the Jewish State has a unique moral obligation to respect and implement all applicable U.N. resolutions, whether or not legally binding.
Accordingly, doesn't Israel's habitual disregard of such U.N. resolutions constitute it as an outlaw, or at least, an immoral nation? -- Well, No.
FIRSTLY, Israel’s juridical birth certificate is the pre-Holocaust League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1922 (provisionally operative from 1920) -- not the post-Holocaust United Nations Palestine Partition Plan of 1947. Moreover, the Mandate was itself explicitly based upon the preexisting “historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 3).
As Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine (and future Israeli Prime Minister) David Ben-Gurion reminded the Peel Commission during his testimony thereto on January 7, 1937, concerning the Jewish people’s aboriginal status in the Land of Israel:
I say on behalf of the Jews that the Bible is our Mandate, the Bible which was written by us, in our own language, in Hebrew, in this very country. That is our Mandate. It was only recognition of this right which was expressed in the Balfour Declaration.
Since the Jewish people’s right to reestablish their nation-state in the biblical Land of Israel became a pillar of international law decades before the advent of the Holocaust, and since this aspect of international law was merely a formal acknowledgment of the 4,000 year old aboriginal Jewish right to the Land, it is a gross misrepresentation of History to claim that the State of Israel instead emerged from the womb of the United Nations, impregnated by alleged European remorse over the Holocaust.
Moreover, while the Holocaust did not create the State of Israel, the absence of the State of Israel did create the Holocaust. For, had the Jewish State already existed when Nazi Germany arose from the ashes of World War I, virtually all of those who perished in the Holocaust would, instead, have been forcibly expelled by Nazi Germany to a welcoming Israel; and, consequently, there would have been no Holocaust.
Furthermore, if genuine European remorse over the Holocaust had really existed in 1947, then the United Nations General Assembly would never have issued its niggardly Palestine Partition Plan -- a recommendation of the international community which (following the decades-earlier severing from Mandatory Palestine of the territories which later became Jordan and the subsequent illegal transfer from Mandatory Palestine of the Golan Heights) left the Jewish people with less than 11% of that which the League of Nations had originally allocated to them under the Mandate for Palestine, deprived them of any sovereignty over Jerusalem, and saddled them with a demographic and sectarian time bomb in the form of a population that was 45% Arab, virtually all of whom were hostile to the creation of a Jewish State. Rather -- especially in light of the uncompromising language of Article 5 of the Mandate for Palestine -- a penitent U.N., acting through its Security Council, would have issued at that time an authoritative resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter: (1) affirming the continuing primacy of the Mandate for Palestine as the legal foundation for the establishment of a Jewish State, (2) recognizing full Jewish sovereignty over the entire western portion of Mandatory Palestine, including Jerusalem, which constituted the remaining 22% of original Mandatory Palestine and (3) acknowledging that the Jewish people had the right to repatriate to their countries of origin the many hundreds of thousands of hostile Arabs who, from 1920 onward, had been permitted to inundate the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine by Great Britain in rank violation of its fiduciary obligations to the Jewish people under the Mandate for Palestine.
Clearly, Israel exists neither due to Europe's alleged guilty conscience nor due to the issuance of the meager Palestine Partition Plan, but due only to the fact that the renascent Jewish State militarily defeated the seven Arab states which, together with the transnational Arab Liberation Army and local “Palestinian” militias drawn from Arab population centers throughout the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, had sought to annihilate the Jewish State, thereby igniting Israel's War of Independence.
In fact, the appellation “Israel’s War of Independence” is somewhat of a misnomer; for, by the time of the War’s commencement on May 15, 1948, British occupation forces had already departed from the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, and the Jewish people had already declared the establishment of a Jewish State. Consequently, Israel was already an independent (albeit a threatened) nation-state at the outset of the War of Independence. It would be more accurate, both historically and psychologically, to denominate this post-independence War as “Israel’s War of Survival” and to denominate only the earlier pre-independence period beginning with the violent Jewish revolt against the British Mandatory authorities and ending with Great Britain’s forced withdrawal from the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine (i.e., from February 1, 1944 through May 14, 1948) as “Israel’s War of Independence”.
Those who assert that Israel was created, rather than diminished, by the Palestine Partition Plan knowingly reverse Cause and Effect, as U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 181 was the result -- rather than the determinant -- of Great Britain’s decision to quit the remainder of Mandatory Palestine. This is because, in February 1947, Great Britain had already announced its intention to completely withdraw from the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine. Since this announcement was made some 9 months prior to -- and, in fact, served as the direct impetus for -- the United Nations’ issuance of its Palestine Partition Plan, it is clear that the subsequent British withdrawal from the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine in May 1948, the consequent Arab war of annihilation against the Jewish population centers thereof (in rank violation of the Palestine Partition Plan), and the ensuing emergence of the State of Israel intact therefrom all would have occurred regardless of the existence of the Palestine Partition Plan.
Conversely, had the Jewish population centers of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine been destroyed by the Arabs, and had Israel thereby lost its War of Independence, then neither United Nations’ resolutions nor supranational remorse would have sufficed to reverse such a catastrophic denouement.
Clearly, there is an enormous difference between endorsement and creation. While the United Nations certainly endorsed the establishment of modern Israel (at least within the tiny Partition Plan lines), that feckless endorsement (which was so violently rejected by the entire Arab, and larger Muslim, world) had no operative effect on the creation of the Jewish State precisely because it was stillborn.
Nonetheless, that endorsement did bestow upon Israel a unique international legal status, namely, that of being the only nation in the World whose establishment was officially endorsed by both the League of Nations and the United Nations.
However, delving deeper into the realm of Cause and Effect, it may be cogently argued that the State of Israel presently exists in the biblical Land of Israel as a demographically-dominant Jewish nation-state within defensible borders due only to a combination of the belligerence and the impatience of the Arabs. This denouement was portended by the prescient declaration of the biblical Joseph to his brothers: “ ‘Although you meant [to inflict] Evil upon me, God meant it for Good, in order to accomplish -- it is as [clear as] this Day -- that a vast people be kept alive.’ ” (Genesis 50:20).
In the absence of this belligerence and impatience, approximately 45% of the citizenry to be encompassed within Israel as defined by the 1947 Partition Plan lines would have been Arab, thereby constituting a demographic time bomb within the renascent Jewish State.
Now, let us hypothetically assume that neither the Arabs residing within the proposed Jewish State, nor the Arabs residing within the proposed Arab State, nor the Arabs residing within the surrounding Arab states had ever initiated a war of annihilation against the Jewish population centers of the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine, but that they had instead simply acquiesced to the creation of Israel within the Partition Plan lines recommended by U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 181.
In these circumstances, a democratic Israel hosting such a substantial law-abiding Arab electorate (which, never having warred against Israel, would have remained in place from the outset) would not have enacted the exclusionist, but morally imperative, Law of Return (which, in implementation of Articles 6 & 7 of the Mandate for Palestine, grants automatic residency and appurtenant citizenship rights to any Jew in the World). For, it is this law, coupled with the exodus of some 600,000 Arab belligerents during Israel’s War of Independence, which has allowed the Jewish population of Israel to maintain, to the present time, its overwhelming demographic dominance over the extant Arab population thereof (at a historical ratio of 4:1), despite the fact that the Arab birthrate has traditionally been (until recently) substantially higher than the Jewish birthrate.
Also in these circumstances, an Israel which was never invaded by the Arabs of the proposed Arab State and those of the surrounding Arab states would not have fought any War of Independence, and consequently would not have expanded from its 1947 Partition Plan lines to its 1949 armistice demarcation lines -- let alone to its present post-1967 defensible borders.
Consequently, it is likely that such a demographically-challenged Israel (i.e., a country hosting a large peaceful Arab population that enjoyed a superior birthrate) would have quietly ceased to exist as a Jewish nation-state several generations ago.
That the impatiently belligerent Arabs are themselves principally responsible for the State of Israel’s present entrenchment in the biblical Land of Israel as a Jewish nation-state within defensible borders is not only ironic but -- more importantly -- also constitutes a grand historic replay of the circumstances under which the Jewish people’s forebears, under the leadership of Joshua, originally returned to and thereafter conquered the Land. As is related in the Hebrew Bible: “Joshua waged war with all of these [Canaanite] kings for a long time. There was not a city that made peace with the Children of Israel except for the Hivvite inhabitants of Gibeon; they [the Hebrews] took everything in battle. For it was from HaShem, to harden their [the Canaanite nations'] hearts towards battle against Israel, in order to destroy them [the Canaanite nations] -- that they not find favor [with the Hebrews] -- so that they would be extirpated [by the Hebrews], as HaShem had commanded Moses.” (Joshua 11:18-20).
SECONDLY, it must be remembered that the collective Will of the international community, as expressed through the pronouncements and actions of the U.N., is not necessarily synonymous with principles of righteousness and enlightenment. The U.N. is, after all, a political body which gives equal weight to the views of pacific democracies and violent dictatorships. This principle of False Moral Equivalency is enshrined in Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of Chapter I (entitled “Purposes And Principles”) of the U.N. Charter, which declares: “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” However, even the U.N. itself acknowledges that a malevolent subculture permeates many member States that are embroiled in internecine conflicts. The U.N. Secretariat expresses this acknowledgment through its publication of an annual investigative report compiled by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict that, inter alia, lists those member countries which host official and/or private organizations that “… recruit and use children, kill and maim, commit sexual violence or attack schools and hospitals; the so-called List of Shame.” (excerpt of Press Release dated June 11, 2012 from the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict). Unsurprisingly, the United Nations’ List of Shame for 2011 comprised more than a dozen member States hosting more than 50 criminal organizations that systematically perpetrate crimes against children in war zones. Obviously, if the U.N. Secretariat were to widen its moral focus to encompass, as well, those member States (whether or not involved in internecine conflicts) that systematically suppress the human rights of their resident (whether child or adult) populations, then its List of Shame would expand exponentially.
The unfortunate but unavoidable equality between democracies and dictatorships throughout the United Nations system is reflected in the composition of all of the U.N.’s constituent agencies (such as its misnamed Security Council, its misnamed Human Rights Council (formerly known as its Human Rights Commission), its misnamed Disarmament Commission and its misnamed International Court of Justice) and affiliated organizations (such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization). Moreover, due to the fact that those nations which are governed by totalitarian regimes (of greater or lesser degree), as well as democracies which attach more importance to their mercantile interests (including their continued access to petroleum and natural gas reserves) than to upholding principles of either Morality or International Law, continue to constitute the vast majority of the membership of the U.N. (and, consequently, the vast majority of the memberships of the constituent agencies and affiliated organizations of the U.N. system), their views predominate and, consequently, tend to represent the amoral (and often immoral) collective Will of the international community.
In blunt terms, the United Nations represents rule by mob. Moreover, even without malevolent intent, both Morality and International Law are predictably sidelined as every member State seeks to use the numerous components of the U.N. system to further its own national interests and foreign policy objectives.
By way of stark example, in 1972, the United Nations saw fit to elect as its Secretary-General, Austria's Kurt Waldeim, a former Nazi officer during the Holocaust. Another example of the United Nations’ egregious behavior is its continuing refusal to re-admit as a member State the sovereign nation of Taiwan (formally known as the Republic of China) due solely to the absurd claim advanced by its more powerful adversary China (formally known as the People’s Republic of China) -- one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – that Taiwan is merely one of its rebellious provinces.
In light of the fact that Muslim nations constitute 30% of the U.N.'s membership and, more crucially, are a core component of -- and hold sway over -- both the misnamed “Non-Aligned Movement” (which constitutes more than 60% of the U.N.'s membership) as well as the “Group Of Seventy-Seven At The United Nations” (which constitutes 68% of the U.N.’s membership), and in light of the fact that the member States of the European Union (hosting an aggregate Muslim minority population estimated at more than 44 million) usually vote as a bloc in support of Muslim-initiated resolutions against the Jewish State, it is not surprising that Israel has been the object of a disproportionate number of U.N.-approved calumnies.
The diplomatic assault against Israel qua the Jewish State consists of three recurring components: Demonization (i.e., Israel is routinely alleged to be Evil), Delegitimization (i.e., Israel is routinely alleged to have been illegally created through a combination of colonialism, land theft, genocide and expulsion) and Double Standard (i.e., Israel is routinely subjected to obsessive and singular scrutiny of its misdeeds, whether real or imagined, whether large or small, while the much greater misdeeds of other U.N. member States are routinely ignored, downplayed or obscured). The long-term objective of this diplomatic assault is to create the moral and legal justifications for the forcible dismantlement of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
It is not hyperbolic to assert that, since Israel’s admittance thereto in May 1949, the United Nations itself has become the primary engine for producing and disseminating amongst the peoples of the World the avalanche of slanders which have given rise to the notion that, for the sake of Peace, Justice and Stability in the World, Israel qua the Jewish State should not exist.
In fact, almost one third of all resolutions ever issued by the U.N. from the date of Israel's admittance thereto to the present time focus upon and are condemnatory of the Jewish State and/or Zionism -- the latter constituting the supranational political movement of the Jewish people which was not only endorsed and encouraged by the League of Nations in its Mandate for Palestine, but which continues to embody the philosophical and legal underpinnings of the modern State of Israel until this very Day. Furthermore, a review of all condemnatory resolutions ever issued by the U.N. reveals the fact that Israel has been the target of more condemnatory U.N. resolutions than all other member States combined.
By way of example, on November 10, 1975, the U.N. issued its infamous General Assembly Resolution no. 3379 (XXX) (entitled “Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination”), which demonized Zionism by declaring it to be “a form of racism and racial discrimination” and, thereby, objectively Evil. As Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people and constitutes the philosophical basis for the creation of modern Israel, the transparent purpose of this U.N. Resolution was to repudiate the moral foundations upon which the Jewish State was resurrected. It hardly seems coincidental that this Resolution was issued, at the behest of the international community, on the 37th anniversary of Kristallnacht -- this being the first mass assault organized by Nazi Germany against the Jewish people, during which tens of thousands of Jews were beaten or murdered, as their businesses and homes were confiscated or destroyed, and their synagogues and Torah scrolls were burned to the ground, thereby heralding the incipiency of the Holocaust.
In a candid admission that it is incapable of creating an original idea, the U.N. explicitly noted in its Resolution the prior demand by the World Conference of the International Women’s Year for “the elimination of … Zionism …”, the prior labeling by the Organization of African Unity of Israel as “… the racist regime in occupied Palestine …” and the prior condemnation by the Non-Aligned Movement of “… Zionism as a threat to world peace and security …” as a predicate for its own determination that Zionism -- an international movement which had received the official endorsement and encouragement of the League of Nations -- constituted “a form of racism and racial discrimination”.
This Resolution states, in full, as follows:
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 3379 (XXX) Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
RECALLING its resolution 1904 (XVIII) of 20 November 1963, proclaiming the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and in particular its affirmation that “any doctrine of racial differentiation or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous” and its expression of alarm at “the manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas in the world, some of which are imposed by certain Governments by means of legislative, administrative or other measures”,
RECALLING ALSO that, in its resolution 3151 G (XXVIII) of 14 December 1973, the General Assembly condemned, inter alia, the unholy alliance between South African racism and Zionism,
TAKING NOTE of the Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace 1975, proclaimed by the World Conference of the International Women's Year, held at Mexico City from 19 June to 2 July 1975, which promulgated the principle that “international co-operation and peace require the achievement of national liberation and independence, the elimination of colonialism and neo-colonialism, foreign occupation, Zionism, apartheid and racial discrimination in all its forms, as well as the recognition of the dignity of peoples and their right to self-determination”,
TAKING NOTE ALSO of resolution 77 (XII) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its twelfth ordinary session, held at Kampala from 28 July to 1 August 1975, which considered “that the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, forming a whole and having the same racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being”,
TAKING NOTE ALSO of the Political Declaration and Strategy to Strengthen International Peace and Security and to Intensify Solidarity and Mutual Assistance among Non-Aligned Countries, adopted at the Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries held at Lima from 25 to 30 August 1975, which most severely condemned Zionism as a threat to world peace and security, and called upon all countries to oppose this racist and imperialist ideology,
DETERMINES that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.
2400th plenary meeting
10 November 1975
The prior year -- seemingly in preparation for, and in tandem with, its subsequent demonization of Israel -- the U.N. had earlier legitimized and honored the terrorist organization known as the “Palestine Liberation Organization”, which was officially dedicated to Israel’s destruction. The U.N. did this by inviting P.L.O. leader Yasser Arafat to address the opening session of the U.N. at its main headquarters in New York City and by granting Permanent Observer status to the P.L.O. (per U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3237 (XXIX) of November 22, 1974, entitled “Observer status for the Palestine Liberation Organization”) -- the very fount of modern global terrorism -- which, by that time, had already accumulated more Jewish blood on its hands than had any other Reprobate since Nazi Germany. Furthermore, this terror group was also permitted by the international community to establish a world-wide “diplomatic” infrastructure through the establishment of (official and unofficial) “embassies” in virtually every nation, including the United States.
Moreover, the U.N. itself has thereupon established a well-funded official infrastructure for this terror group's benefit via the creation of the following 12 constituent entities, positions and events:
Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (which consists of three U.N. member States appointed by the President of the U.N. General Assembly, reporting directly to the U.N. Secretary General concerning, inter alia, Israel’s “violation of human rights in Arab territories occupied by Israel” and Israel’s “disregard of fundamental freedoms and human rights in occupied territories”, per preambulary subparagraphs (a) and (b) of U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 2443 (XXIII) of December 19, 1968, entitled “Respect for and implementation of human rights in occupied territories”);
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (which, inter alia, issues periodic recommendations to the U.N. General Assembly on achieving the “inalienable rights” of the “Palestinian” people, and which constitutes the only Committee in the U.N. system dedicated exclusively to the agenda of a single group);
Division for Palestinian Rights (which is a special consultative unit established within the Department of Political Affairs of the U.N. Secretariat, and which constitutes the only Secretariat unit in the U.N. system dedicated exclusively to the agenda of a single group);
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (which is observed annually on November 29, in lamentation over the issuance of the U.N.'s Palestine Partition Plan on that very date in 1947, and in sympathetic commemoration of the rejection by the recognized leadership of the “Palestinian” Arabs of the Plan's recommendation for the creation of a Jewish State alongside an Arab State therein);
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (which was created for the sole purpose of administering international assistance to the “Palestinian” Arab “refugee” population exclusively, while international assistance to all other refugee populations in the World -- without exception -- continues to be apportioned and administered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, meaning that UNRWA's 28,000 employees assist approximately 5 million “Palestinian” refugees and their foreign-born descendants in 6 places -- 3 countries, namely, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, and 3 territories, namely, Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- while the UNHCR must suffice with only 6,300 employees who must assist approximately 55 million non-“Palestinian” refugees in approximately 110 countries);
The Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit (which, as a unit of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, has been assigned a “specific mandate to monitor and investigate the social and economic impact of policies of the Israeli occupation authorities in the Palestinian territory” per the website of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development);
United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory (which, as a unit of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, periodically publicizes Israel’s “violations” of the “rights” of the “Palestinian” Arabs);
United Nations Human Rights Council’s “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel since 1967” (who produces an annual report detailing Israel’s “atrocities” against the “Palestinian” Arabs, thereby rendering the “Palestinians” the only group in favor of which, and Israel the only country against which, the UNHRC has appointed a permanent investigator);
United Nations Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians (which solicits worldwide funding for the Palestinian Authority, which is an instrumentality of the Palestine Liberation Organization);
Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (which, as a field office established under the auspices of the Department of Political Affairs of the U.N. Secretariat, serves as the Personal Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and, through its “Coordinator for Humanitarian and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, leads the U.N. country team for “Palestine”, consisting of 21 U.N. agencies providing assistance to the “Palestinian” Arabs);
United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (which is a U.N. archive containing U.N. and non-U.N. pronouncements on the “Question of Palestine” that, in practice, seeks to delegitimize the Jewish people’s sovereign right to Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza in favor of the creation of an Arab State of “Palestine” therein); and
United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (which was created to catalogue the “damage claims” accumulated by the “Palestinians” against Israel on account of the latter’s construction of a security fence to prevent “Palestinian” suicide bombers and other terrorists from perpetuating atrocities against Jewish population centers located within pre-1967 Israel).
The U.N. has permitted its “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” to grant U.N. accreditation to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that formally avow a human rights agenda, but, in reality, expend virtually all of their resources to demonize the State of Israel under the imprimatur of the United Nations. Such U.N. accreditation has allowed these NGOs to savage the Jewish State via the official websites of myriad U.N. agencies and affiliated organizations, as well as through the U.N.’s many conferences and publications. For example, in March 2010 (just before the Passover holiday that year), the United Nations Human Rights Council permitted the Libya-created and U.N.-accredited NGO known as “The International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination” to post an allegation on the UNHRC website that Israel habitually kidnaps and murders “Palestinians” for the purpose of harvesting and selling their internal organs -- a blood libel reminiscent of the claim that Jews used to ritually murder Gentile children in order to use their blood as an essential ingredient in the creation of Passover matzah. And, in March 2012, after promoting the event on its website, the United Nations Human Rights Council permitted the Sudan-created and U.N.-accredited NGO known as “The Ma’arij Foundation for Peace and Development” to invite a “human rights” spokesman for the terrorist organization Hamas to give a speech at the European headquarters of the United Nations in which he accused Israel of perpetrating genocide against the “Palestinians”. The U.N. has even permitted its “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” to create an official “NGO Network on the Question of Palestine” in order to more efficiently coordinate the activities of these anti-Israel NGOs. In furtherance of this goal, the U.N. has authorized its “Division for Palestinian Rights” to publish a U.N. newsletter known as “NGO Action News” which publicizes the activities of these anti-Israel NGOs. Moreover, on November 29 of each year, in an annual ritual which serves as a continuing Act of Contrition for its endorsement of Jewish statehood, the United Nations General Assembly issues approximately 20 resolutions condemning the State of Israel; in this way, the U.N. publicly repudiates its Palestine Partition Plan each and every year. For example, during 2014, the UN General Assembly passed 20 resolutions that attacked Israel, but only 4 resolutions that dealt with the remainder of the World (namely, one each relating to North Korea, Iran, Syria and Ukraine). Moreover, in a scheme to depict Israel in the worse possible light, the U.N. has permitted its “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (commonly known as “UNRWA”) to employ a unique definition of “refugee” -- which has never been applied to any other displaced population in the World -- to encompass not only those “Palestinian” Arabs who actually departed Israel during its War of Independence, but, as well, all of such refugees’ foreign-born descendants. By allowing non-refugee progeny of “Palestinian” Arab refugees to inherit refugee status, the United Nations has caused the present-day “Palestinian” Arab “refugee” population to be officially numbered at a staggering 5,000,000 (which number must necessarily increase over time, as it is based upon multigenerational expansion) rather than at its true figure of approximately 20,000 (which number must necessarily decrease over time as this population continues to age and die, as it is based upon the standard definition of “refugee” utilized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for determining the size of displaced populations, which -- in the case of the “Palestinians” -- would encompass only those presently-living “Palestinian” Arabs who departed Israel during its War of Independence). Moreover, while UNHCR is mandated to prepare its refugee populations for resettlement in accepting countries, UNRWA is mandated to prepare its “refugee” population exclusively for repatriation to an unaccepting country, namely, Israel -- a mandate ensuring that UNRWA will continue to be used by the U.N. system as one of its many weapons against the Jewish State. In effect, the United Nations has created a powerful institutional infrastructure whose only purpose is to demonize -- and to thereby delegitimize -- the Jewish State. Consequently, Israel is the only member State of the United Nations which is confronted by an ongoing institutional campaign against its existence that is being waged and financed (in part, from its own membership dues) by that very organization.
In fact, the United Nations, by virtue of nonbinding General Assembly Resolution no. 194 (III) of December 11, 1948 (entitled “Palestine - progress report of the United Nations Mediator”), at Section 11 thereof, continues to demand until this very Day that Israel allow the influx of the entirety of the irredentist and revanchist “Palestinian” Arab “refugee” population, as expansively defined by UNRWA, into its small territory bounded by the 1949 armistice demarcation lines, despite the fact that Israel’s compliance therewith would soon lead to its demise via a combination of Demography and War. Section 11 of that Resolution states, in full, as follows:
11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;
Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;
The global call for Israel to permit the entry of these belligerents and their multigenerational descendants stands in stark contrast to the lack of any call, by the U.N. or any lesser international organization, for the Czech Republic and Poland to permit the re-entry of millions of ethnic Germans (let alone their multigenerational descendants) who, from 1945 to 1947, were expelled from their respective ancestral homelands in the Sudetenland (approximately 3,000,000 expelled) and Silesia (approximately 3,500,000 expelled); and these people were not even expelled during the chaos of World War II, but only after that conflict had already terminated. Furthermore, by continuing to insist that the worldwide “Palestinian” diaspora pour into Israel rather than into a nascent State of “Palestine”, the “Palestinians” have continued to belie and subvert their self-declared raison d'être for the creation of such a sovereign entity, namely, that the imperative needs of a homeless “Palestinian” people require that a separate and distinct nation-state be set aside for them. By this subterfuge, the “Palestinians” thereby seek the eventual existence of, not one “Palestinian” State, but rather three (or, more likely, four) “Palestinian” States, namely, the preexisting “Palestinian”-majority Jordan, a new State to be called “Palestine” (which, due to the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization, acting as the Palestinian Authority, rules portions of Judea and Samaria, while its rival Hamas rules Gaza, will actually constitute two “Palestines”) and a “Palestinian”-inundated Israel. Moreover, it is noteworthy that the very demand for such a “right of return” strips naked the blood libel that Israel is perpetrating acts of genocide against the “Palestinian” people. For, if Israel were actually in the process of annihilating the “Palestinian” people, then the “Palestinian” leadership would have surely ceased demanding in every international forum that its “refugees” be permitted to immigrate to the Jewish State.
It is both ironic and hypocritical that, although the Arab World (especially those Arab countries immediately surrounding the Jewish State) now demands that Israel comply with this nonbinding General Assembly Resolution, at the time of the Resolution’s enactment, every Arab country which was then a member of the United Nations (namely, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen) voted against it -- presumably due to their collective rejection of the Resolution’s explicit demand, as set forth in Sections 7 & 8 thereof, that the holy sites of eastern Jerusalem and Bethlehem, then occupied by a fellow Arab country, Transjordan, be placed under permanent U.N. control.
Moreover, due to the United Nations’ obsessive attention to all manner of “Palestinian” demands and grievances against Israel, that organization has virtually ignored the catastrophic conditions obtaining elsewhere in the World (e.g., inter-ethnic genocide, pestilence, flooding, drought and famine in sub-Saharan Africa and much of Asia, adversely affecting hundreds of millions of people).
In 1988, the Palestine Liberation Organization declared Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza to be the independent “State of Palestine”. Taking its cue from that terrorist group, and in order to make its disdain for the Jewish people’s rights under the Mandate for Palestine even clearer, the U.N. obediently upgraded the official designation of the “Palestinian” diplomatic delegation from the “Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations” to the “Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations”, despite the fact that no such sovereign country then (or has ever) existed.
In 1991, the United States coerced Israel into attending the multi-session Madrid Peace Conference, during which the “Palestinians” were incorporated into the Jordanian delegation. That process eventually resulted in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and the subsequent execution of a series of interim agreements (from 1993 through 1999), the first two of these being commonly known as the “Oslo Accords”, which, inter alia, established (and bestowed Israel’s legitimacy upon) the autonomous Palestinian Authority as an instrumentality of the P.L.O., and effectuated the possessory transfer by Israel to the Palestinian Authority of 42% of Judea and Samaria (containing 98% of the Arab population thereof) and of 80% of Gaza (containing virtually 100% of the Arab population thereof). Unfortunately, by providing the P.L.O. with a territorial base adjacent to Jewish population centers and by permitting the creation of a de facto “Palestinian” army (which was officially, but falsely, labeled a civilian police force) within the transferred territories, Israel itself facilitated an unprecedented wave of murder and mayhem by various Arab terrorist groups (including all of the major components of the P.L.O.), against its Jewish population centers through the early years of the succeeding decade. Moreover, by permitting the creation of (and conferring its recognition upon) a hostile Antisemitic Palestinian Authority and by transferring Jewish territory thereto, Israel also enabled the creation of a virtually unbreakable patronage relationship between the United States and the Palestinian Authority, legitimized international funding of the Palestinian Authority (amounting to many billions of dollars since 1994), and facilitated an ever more successful diplomatic onslaught against itself by the Palestinian Authority masquerading as the “Occupied State of Palestine”. Although, prior to the Oslo Accords, almost 100 nations had already accorded diplomatic recognition to the territory-bereft P.L.O. as the “Occupied State of Palestine”, the subsequent creation of the territory-controlling Palestinian Authority (acting as an instrumentality of the P.L.O.) enabled many more nations to justify doing so.
Two notable achievements in the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic war against Israel were the illegal admission of the P.L.O. qua “Palestine” to a U.N.-affiliated organization -- the “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization” (commonly known as UNESCO) -- as a “member State” thereof in October 2011 and the subsequent upgrading by the U.N. of the diplomatic status of the P.L.O. qua “Palestine” from a “Permanent Observer Mission” to a “Non-Member Observer State” in November 2012 per its overwhelming approval of U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 67/19, entitled “Status of Palestine in the United Nations” (with 138 member States voting “in favour”, 9 member States voting “against”, 41 member States voting “abstain”, and 5 member States being “absent”), thereby granting to that umbrella terrorist group the same diplomatic status as was previously granted to the Vatican (formally known as the “Holy See”). Although still denied membership in the U.N. (due to the P.L.O.’s inability to obtain the votes of the required supermajority in the U.N. Security Council), this upgraded status nonetheless has allowed the P.L.O. qua “State of Palestine” to subsequently be legally admitted to all U.N.-affiliated organizations as a voting member thereof. While, in 2011, UNESCO was forced to violate its own charter in order to permit membership to an entity not yet recognized as a State by the U.N., the P.L.O.’s subsequent upgrade in diplomatic status from a Mission to a State has removed that legal obstacle. In particular, on January 7, 2015, this status upgrade enabled the “State of Palestine” to accede to the Treaty that created the U.N.-affiliated “International Criminal Court” (which Treaty is formally known as the “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”, identified as U.N. Doc. A/CONF.183/9*, and is commonly known as the “Rome Statute”), which Court has arrogated to itself the authority to indict, try and imprison, not only any person residing within any member State of the Treaty, but -- if a complaint is submitted by any member State of the Treaty or by the U.N. Security Council under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter or by the Prosecutor of the Court (per Rome Statute, Part 5, Article 13) -- also any person residing within any non-member State (such as Israel), for that person’s alleged perpetration of “the crime of genocide” or “crimes against humanity” or “war crimes” or “the crime of aggression” (per Rome Statute, Part 2, Article 5, Paragraph 1) that allegedly took place within the territory of any member State.
Inter alia, this means that the United Nations has enabled a terrorist group (and any one or more of their member State allies) to invoke the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to indict, try and imprison, not only the Jewish State’s political and military leaders for allegedly committing a plethora of “crimes” on the soil of the “State of Palestine”, but also each and every Jewish resident of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem for the passive activity of merely living in their homes. For, the Rome Statute’s definition of “war crimes” includes, inter alia:
“The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory” (Rome Statute, Part 2, Article 8(2)(b)(viii)).
Already in January 2013, based upon the December 2012 complaint of the “State of Palestine” to the U.N. Secretary-General and to the U.N. Security Council which asserted that the very existence of Jewish communities and neighborhoods in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem constituted prosecutable “war crimes” under the Rome Statute, the “Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, document number A/HRC/22/63, commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council, predictably concluded that to be the case (per paragraphs 17 & 104 of the Report).
Moreover, in November 2013, the U.N. celebrated its prior year’s diplomatic creation of the “State of Palestine” by issuing General Assembly Resolution no. 68/12, entitled “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People”, which proclaimed 2014 to be the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” and requested the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” to organize international activities in furtherance of that proclamation. The first international event in celebration of the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” took place at U.N.’s main headquarters in New York City on January 20, 2014, just days before the U.N.’s observance of the “International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust” on January 27, 2014. In honor of the intersection of, and in order to synthesize, these two ostensibly unrelated international events, the “Palestinian” event showcased a film entitled “Where Should The Birds Fly?”, which depicted Israeli soldiers as Nazis bent on committing genocide against the “Palestinians”.
Also in 1991, as its quid-pro-quo for Israel’s participation in the Madrid Conference, the United States exerted sufficient economic and diplomatic pressure against both the United Nations and individual member States to convince the U.N. General Assembly to repeal its odious Resolution no. 3379. In fact, 111 member States out of a then total U.N. membership of 166 states voted for the repeal, representing almost 67% of the General Assembly. Conversely, despite the intense U.S. pressure, one third of the General Assembly rejected the repeal.
Yet, as evidenced by the foregoing as well as by the following, the very sentiment which permeated this repealed U.N. resolution and which caused the U.N. to bestow international diplomatic status upon a terror group dedicated to the Jewish State's annihilation still prevails among most of the membership of the U.N., as is amply evidenced by the post-repeal work product of the U.N., its constituent agencies and affiliated organizations, and its official publications and conferences, such as the misnamed “World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” (held in Durban, South Africa in 2001 under the official auspices of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, predecessor to the U.N. Human Rights Council), during which Zionism and the State of Israel were singled out as the main foci of Evil in the World. Another example of the enduring hostility within the U.N. system towards the very existence of the Jewish State is to be found in the United Nations Development Programme’s “Arab Human Development Report 2004 -- Towards Freedom in the Arab World”, which (at page 12 thereof) partially blames the very creation of Israel for the lack of democracy and the suppression of human rights in the Arab World.
Furthermore, although, from the date of Israel's admittance thereto in May 1949 until the Fall of 2005, the U.N. and its myriad components and affiliates have issued reams of resolutions and reports condemning Israel by name for every measure of self-preservation and/or lawful entitlement (whether acting, in however restrained a manner, to defend itself against terrorism, invasion and annihilation or permitting Jews to settle in Judea, Samaria and Gaza); and, yet, during this very same period, neither the U.N. nor any of its component agencies has ever condemned by name any nation or terror group for aggressing against Israel or Diaspora Jews. However, in the Fall of 2005, under intense pressure from the United States, the United Nations Security Council did, for the very first time, and in two separate instances, somewhat condemn -- or at least acknowledge the existence of -- aggression against Israel.
In the first instance, on October 26, 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at a government-sponsored conference held in Tehran entitled “A World Without Zionism” enunciated Iran’s intention to annihilate the Jewish State, declaring in salient part: “The establishment of the State of Israel was an offensive move. The Islamic nation will not let its historic enemy live in its midst. … Very soon, this stain of disgrace will vanish from the center of the Islamic world; and this is attainable. … Our dear Imam [the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran] said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the Map, and this was a very wise statement.” -- this at time when Iran was already in the midst of developing nuclear weapons in violation of the international “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (commonly known as the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”), to which treaty it is a signatory. (That this was not an isolated expression of State-endorsed genocide against the Jewish State is proven by that fact that, as recently as November 8, 2014, Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published, via the Twitter Internet Service, the following declaration: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.”)
In response to the stated goal of one U.N. member State to eradicate another U.N. member State, more than 6 weeks passed after the former’s annihilationist declaration of 2005 before the U.N. Security Council finally issued a tepid statement on the matter that dealt more with Iran’s penchant for denying the prior Nazi-era Holocaust than with its intention to perpetrate a future Islamic-era Holocaust. It is noteworthy that the U.N.’s statement neither condemned Iran (in whose name, and on whose behalf, its President had officially spoken) nor even its President, but only unspecified “remarks about Israel”; and even these unspecified remarks were gingerly described as being merely “attributed to” the President of Iran rather than as having actually been uttered by him. This lackluster response by the U.N. is even more troubling when one considers that the U.N. had thereby shirked its obligation to enforce its own “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (enacted per U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 260 (III) of December 9, 1948, and commonly known as the “Genocide Convention”), to which convention Iran is also a signatory. Article III of the Genocide Convention states, in salient part, as follows: “The following acts shall be punishable: … (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; …” Article IV of the Genocide Convention states as follows: “Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.” Although Israel could itself have demanded of the United Nations that Iran’s President (or Iran’s “Supreme Leader”) be indicted, arrested and tried under the Genocide Convention, such has been the Jewish State’s lack of confidence in the U.N. that -- in order to avoid the humiliation of being ignored -- it did not hazard the effort.
Below is the media statement issued by the U.N. Security Council’s Department of Public Information, News and Media Division (U.N. document no. SC/8576 of December 9, 2005) in response to Iran’s 2005 threat to annihilate Israel:
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON REMARKS BY IRAN ’S PRESIDENT
The following press statement on the remarks by the President of Iran was delivered today by Security Council President Emyr Jones Parry (United Kingdom):
The members of the Security Council condemn the remarks about Israel and the denial of the Holocaust attributed to Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The members of the Security Council fully support the Secretary-General's statement of 8 December, in which he recalled that the General Assembly had recently adopted a resolution rejecting denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, and urged all Member States to educate their populations about the Holocaust.
The members of the Security Council reaffirm the rights and obligations of the State of Israel as a full and long-standing Member of the United Nations, and reaffirm that, under the United Nations Charter, all Members have undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.
For information media • not an official record
(Unsurprisingly, the U.N. Security Council did not deem Iran’s annihilationist declaration of 2014 to be sufficiently noteworthy to issue any media statement with respect thereto.)
In the second instance, on November 21, 2005 (which event was subsequently replicated -- this time successfully -- on July 12, 2006 in an assault which initiated the Second Lebanon War), the Hezbollah terror group unsuccessfully attempted to infiltrate the Jewish State in order to kill and kidnap Israeli soldiers under the cover of a mortar and rocket bombardment that it had simultaneously launched from southern Lebanon against northern Israel’s civilian population centers.
In response, and after days of contentious debate (during which time period United States Department of State spokesman Sean McCormack condemned Hezbollah by name but, at the same time, urged Israel to limit its military response in order to avoid any “escalation” of tensions in the region), the U.N. Security Council ultimately agreed to acknowledge and identify Hezbollah as the “aggressor”, but without using that pejorative label and without using any language of condemnation. Likewise, the Security Council failed to condemn the roles of any of the 3 nations without whose support that terror group could not exist, let alone launch deadly attacks against Israel, namely, the states of Lebanon (in whose parliament Hezbollah members sit and in whose government Hezbollah members hold office, and from whose territory that terror group operates without hindrance), Iran (which directs the activities of Hezbollah by sending huge amounts of money and weaponry to Syria for re-delivery to that terror group in Lebanon), and Syria (which also exercises control over the activities of Hezbollah by re-delivering Iranian money and weaponry to it, by providing its own weaponry to it, and by maintaining auxiliary weapons depots for it in Syrian territory).
Below is the media statement issued by the U.N. Security Council’s Department of Public Information, News and Media Division (U.N. document no. SC/8563 of November 23, 2005) in response to Hezbollah’s 2005 attack against Israel:
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON INCIDENTS ALONG BLUE LINE SEPARATING ISRAEL, LEBANON
Following is the Security Council press statement on the 21 November Blue Line incidents, delivered today by Council President Andrey I. Denisov (Russian Federation):
The members of the Security Council received a briefing on 21 November 2005 from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on the serious incidents along the Blue Line on that day.
The members of the Council expressed deep concern about the hostilities, which were initiated by Hizbollah from the Lebanese side, and which quickly spread along the entire Blue Line. They regretted the resulting casualties on both sides.
They appealed to all parties to respect the Blue Line in its entirety, to exercise utmost restraint and to refrain from any action that could further escalate the situation.
They reiterated their call on the Government of Lebanon to extend its authority and to exert its monopoly over the use of force all over its territory in accordance with Security Council resolutions.
For information media • not an official record
It is disturbing but unsurprising that, in the second of its two media statements, the Security Council declared that it “regretted the resulting casualties on both sides”, thereby choosing to morally equate dead terrorists with slain Israeli soldiers.
Significantly, these two media statements by the Security Council were not subsequently converted into resolutions of either the Security Council or the General Assembly, thereby patently signaling to Iran and to Hezbollah, as well as to the World, that these statements were meant to be ephemeral as well as perfunctory.
Shortly thereafter, on November 29, 2005, the leadership of the United Nations removed all ambiguity regarding its attitude towards the Jewish State. As part of its official annual observance of the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”, the U.N. held a conference at its headquarters in New York City, jointly hosted by its three foremost officials, namely, the Secretary-General (Kofi Annan), the President of the Security Council (Russia, acting through its Permanent Representative to the United Nations Andrey Denisov) and the President of the General Assembly (Jan Eliasson), which unabashedly displayed a gigantic U.N.-produced map of the Middle East which had erased the entire State of Israel and had replaced it with a putative “State of Palestine”.
Moreover, in the aftermath of the horrific suicide bombing in Netanya by the Islamic Jihad terror group on December 5, 2005, the U.N. Security Council refused, despite Israel’s urgent request, to issue a mere statement condemning Islamic Jihad (as perpetrator) and/or the Palestinian Authority (as enabler).
In fact, the United Nations has never condemned the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization or any “Palestinian” terror group for any act of violence against Israelis or Diaspora Jews. Consequently, it appears that those few examples of the United Nations defending (however halfheartedly) Israel’s entitlement to exist, free from external threat, are merely the rare exceptions that prove the general rule, which is that the United Nations is simply unwilling to accord to Israel the same rights and protections that it routinely guaranties under its Charter to all other member States.
A particularly egregious example of this hypocrisy occurred in the Fall of 2003, when the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly (which forum deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues) overwhelmingly approved Egypt’s draft resolution, entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children”, demanding that “Palestinian” children be protected from Israeli aggression, but thwarted a vote on Israel’s mirror-image draft resolution entitled “Situation of and assistance to Israeli children”, demanding that Israeli children be protected from “Palestinian” aggression. This subterfuge was accomplished when Egypt, being assured of majority support in the Third Committee, introduced amendments to Israel’s draft resolution which were so extensive that Israel’s draft resolution received a new title, namely, “The situation of and assistance to children in the Middle East Region”, and suffered a complete substitution of its pertinent preambulary and operative provisions, with the result that it was transformed into a draft resolution which now lacked any reference to Israeli children and condemned the Jewish State as the “Occupying power”.
A more detailed account of this episode will serve to demonstrate the extent to which Israel has been an object of disdain and humiliation at the United Nations:
On October 28, 2003, Israel’s “peace partner” Egypt (joined by 37 other countries plus the Permanent Observer of “Palestine”) introduced draft resolution no. A/C.3/58/L.24 during the 58th session of the Third Committee (under agenda item 113), entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children”. The Egyptian draft resolution stated, in full, as follows:
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children
The General Assembly,
Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
Recalling also the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s, adopted by the World Summit for Children, held in New York on 29 and 30 September 1990,
Recalling further the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session,
Concerned that the Palestinian children under Israeli occupation remain deprived of many basic rights under the Convention,
Concerned also about the continued grave deterioration of the situation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of the continuing Israeli assaults and sieges on Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, resulting in the dire humanitarian crisis,
Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all children in the whole Middle East region,
Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence, resulting in extensive loss of human life and injuries, including among Palestinian children,
Deeply concerned about the severe consequences, including psychological consequences, of the Israeli military actions for the present and future well-being of Palestinian children,
1. Stresses the urgent need for Palestinian children to live a normal life free from foreign occupation, destruction and fear in their own State;
2. Demands, in the meanwhile, that Israel, the occupying Power, respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in order to ensure the well-being and protection of Palestinian children and their families;
3. Calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian children and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions.
Fifteen days later, on November 12, 2003, Israel (bereft of any co-sponsors) introduced draft resolution no. A/C.3/58/L.30/Rev.1 during the 58th session of the Third Committee (under agenda item 117(b)), entitled “Situation of and assistance to Israeli children”. The Israeli draft resolution stated, in full, as follows:
Situation of and assistance to Israeli children
The General Assembly,
Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Recalling also the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s, adopted by the World Summit for Children, held in New York on 29 and 30 September 1990,
Recalling further the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session,
Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all children in the whole Middle East region,
Concerned that Israeli children suffering from the effects of terrorism are deprived of many basic rights under the Convention,
Concerned also about the continuous grave threat to Israeli children from terrorism, and about the severe consequences of continuing terrorist attacks by terrorist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade directed against Israeli civilians, including children,
Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence and incitement to violence and terrorism, resulting in extensive loss of human life and injuries, including among Israeli children,
Deeply concerned about the severe consequences, including psychological consequences, of terrorist attacks on the present and future well-being of Israeli children,
1. Stresses the urgent need for Israeli children to live a normal life free from terrorism, destruction and fear;
2. Demands that the Palestinian Authority respect its obligations to undertake effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and the dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure and to guarantee that those responsible for terrorist acts are brought to justice.
Six days later, on November 18, 2003, in order to garner more support for its draft resolution, Israel introduced revised draft resolution no. A/C.3/58/L.30/Rev.2 during the 58th session of the Third Committee (under agenda item 117(b)) which deleted the sixth preambulary paragraph of its draft resolution (which identified and censured three major terrorist groups by name) and replaced the “offending” provision with the following sanitized preambulary paragraph (which removed the references to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade):
Concerned also about the continuous grave threat to Israeli children from terrorism, and about the severe consequences of continuing terrorist attacks directed against Israeli civilians, including children,
Nonetheless, one day later, on November 19, 2003, Egypt (joined by Indonesia) introduced amendment no. A/C.3/58/L.59 during the 58th session of the Third Committee (under agenda item 117(b)) which altered Israel’s original draft resolution to state, in full, as follows:
The situation of and assistance to children in the Middle East Region
The General Assembly,
Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Recalling also the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s, adopted by the World Summit for Children, held in New York on 29 and 30 September 1990,
Recalling further the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session,
Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all children in the whole Middle East region,
Concerned that Middle East children suffering from the effects of occupation, violence and terrorism are deprived of many basic rights under the Convention,
Emphasizing that foreign occupation, violations of international law, including international humanitarian law, and violations of instruments relevant to the well-being of the child, as well as deprivation, hostility and confrontation, are the main sources of the suffering and hardship of children in the whole Middle East region,
Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence, military assaults, excessive use of force and incitement of violence and terrorism, resulting in extensive loss of human life and injuries, including among children,
Affirming the obligations of Israel, the occupying Power, under the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,
1. Stresses the urgent need for Middle East children to live a normal life free from occupation, deprivation, terrorism, destruction and fear;
2. Expresses its support for all efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and to ensure peace and prosperity for the peoples of the region, including children.
Not taking any chances, two days later, on November 21, 2003, Egypt (this time joined by 10 other countries) introduced amendment no. A/C.3/58/L.81 during the 58th session of the Third Committee (under agenda item 117(b)) which altered Israel’s revised draft resolution to conform it, as well, to Egypt’s transformative amendment of November 19, 2003.
As a consequence of the foregoing, on November 26, 2003 -- just 14 days after the introduction of its draft resolution on the protection of Israeli children from “Palestinian” terrorism -- Israel was compelled by the brutality of logic to withdraw it (as recounted in the Report of the Third Committee to the General Assembly dated December 15, 2003, no. A/58/508/Add.2).
Contrariwise, the approved “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children” draft resolution was included in the recommendatory Report of the Third Committee to the General Assembly dated December 4, 2003, no. A/58/504; and that draft resolution thereafter became finalized as U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 58/155 of December 22, 2003 (entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children”).
Moreover, the U.N.'s primal enmity towards the State of Israel is not limited to the mere issuance of condemnatory resolutions. For example, the U.N., through its “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”, funds and supervises the very “refugee camps” (which are actually built-up neighborhoods of various Arab-populated cities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza) in which “Palestinian” Arab youth are systematically inculcated with a burning hatred for Jews and from which legions of suicide bombers and other varieties of terrorists thereupon inexorably emerge. The UNRWA school curriculum stresses that the State of Israel is “Occupied Palestine” and that all “refugees” will eventually “return” there. An UNRWA school book for emerging teenagers contains the following irredentist and revanchist poem:
Returning, returning, we are returning
Borders shall not exist, nor citadels and fortresses
Cry out, O those who have left:
We are returning
Returning to the homes, to the valleys, to the mountains
Under the flag of glory,
Jihad and struggle With blood, sacrifice, fraternity and loyalty
We are returning
Returning, O hills; returning, O heights
Returning to childhood; returning to youth
To Jihad in the hills, harvest in the Land
We are returning
(excerpt from UNRWA’s 7th grade school book “Our Beautiful Language”, Part 1, p. 28 (2013 edition))
However, UNRWA’s hostility towards Israel is not limited to its school curriculum. Gazan UNRWA schools, in cooperation with the Hamas terrorist organization, host paramilitary training sessions for its students in preparation for war against Israel; and Hamas rockets have been stored in UNRWA facilities. Furthermore, in an October 3, 2004 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, publicly conceded that UNRWA employees include members of Hamas; and, thereafter, several employees of that U.N. agency competed in the Palestinian Authority’s parliamentary elections of January 2006 as official candidates of Hamas. Moreover, in the Gazan UNRWA staff union elections of September 2012, Hamas members won 25 of the 27 union positions.
Yet, despite that fact that a U.N. agency is spearheading a campaign of demonization and delegitimization against a member State of the U.N. and despite the fact that a terrorist organization has been permitted to dominate that U.N. agency, it is only that member State’s periodic counterterrorism actions against that U.N. agency’s “refugee camps” and facilities which vex, and elicit outrage from, the United Nations.
In essence, Israel is the only member State of the U.N. which has never been accorded the diplomatic benefit of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter which states, in salient part, as follows:
“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. ...”
The World’s routine condemnation of Israel’s periodic exercise of its inherent right of self-defense is a natural and predictable byproduct of the routine employment of demonization, delegitimization and double standard against the Jewish State at many U.N.-sponsored events, because a State that has no right to exist certainly has no right to defend itself against aggression (which has been repackaged as heroic “resistance” to the illegitimate existence of that State). One example of this phenomenon occurred on November 29, 2005 at a U.N. conference held at its main headquarters in New York City (also discussed above), during which a U.N.-produced map of the Middle East as of May 15, 1948 (being the effective date of the establishment of the State of Israel) was displayed, which map effected the retroactive erasure of the State of Israel and its replacement with a putative “State of Palestine”. Although U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and two other high ranking U.N. officials were present during the unveiling of this map, neither he nor any other U.N. official protested its obvious message. Another example occurred on February 27, 2013 at the 5th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations held in Vienna, Austria, when, during his public remarks to the attending delegates, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that Zionism is a “crime against humanity”, thereby implying that the continued existence of the State of Israel -- whose creation was the raison d'être of the Zionist Movement -- is also a “crime against humanity”. Although this slander was uttered in the presence of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who shared the stage with Erdogan, the Secretary-General neither rebuked Erdogan nor exited the stage in protest of his remarks. Predictably, Israel, which (unlike the “State of Palestine”) has been denied admittance to the Alliance of Civilizations “Group of Friends” and consequently did not have a delegate in attendance, lacked any opportunity to contemporaneously protest this slander. A further example occurred on May 3, 2013 at a televised event sponsored by the U.N. in Lebanon during which Ann Dismorr, the Director of the Lebanon office of UNRWA, displayed -- together with the flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization (which doubles as the flag of the “State of Palestine”) -- a map of the State of Israel, all of which was labeled as “Arab Palestine”. Moreover, from November 24, 2014 to December 5, 2014, in conjunction with its annual observance of the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”, the U.N. permitted its regional headquarters in Geneva to host an exhibit which asserted that Israel is a colonialist entity whose creation was made possible only via its employment of genocide and expulsion against the “Palestinians”. Inter alia, the exhibit demanded, as a measure of restorative justice, that Israel allow itself to be inundated with millions of “Palestinian” immigrants. It is a sobering fact that virtually all components of the United Nations system have been, and continue to be, complicit in the routine diplomatic assault against one -- and only one -- of its member States, namely, the one State in the entire World that just happens to be populated and ruled by Jews.
Furthermore, the hypocritical United Nations, which is so adept at condemning Israel’s lawful possession of its ancestral lands, is equally adept at condoning (or ignoring) the many contested Occupations of recent memory, such as those:
by Great Britain: of the northern portion of Ireland (known as “Northern Ireland”), and of the southern tip of Spain (known as “Gibraltar”), and of the Falkland Islands (which are closest to Argentina and known as the Malvinas Islands to that nation) and of two areas of Cyprus (both used as British military bases, one known as Akrotiri located near Limassol in the southern portion of the island and the other known as Dhekelia located between Larnaca and Famagusta in the southeastern portion of the island;
by Denmark: of Greenland (known as Kalaallit Nunaat to the Greenlandic Inuit people)
by the United States: of the southeastern tip of Cuba (known as “Guantanamo Bay”);
by Spain: of the cities of Cueta (known as Sebta to the Arab world) and Melilla (known as Maliliyya to the Arab world) on the northeastern coast of Morocco as well as several islands within the territorial waters of Morocco plus a small nearby peninsula of Morocco, and of a small region of Portugal on the Guadiana River (called Olivenza by Spain and Olivenca by Portugal);
by France: of territory on the northern coast of South America (known as “French Guiana”), and of the island of Mayotte (known as Mahore to the Arab world) within the territorial waters of Comoros;
by Spain and France: of Euskal Herria (the Basque homeland);
by Armenia: of the southwestern portion of Azerbaijan (namely, the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and additional surrounding territory)
by India: of the larger part of Kashmir;
by China: of Tibet and of the Uygur homeland of Xinjiang Uygur (known as East Turkestan to the Uygur people);
by China and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) of the Wa (also known as the Lawa, Va, Hkawa, Kawa, or Kala) homeland;
by Russia: of four Japanese islands at the southern tip of the Kuril archipelago (known as the Northern Territories to Japan), and of Chechnya, and of the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine and, through ethnic Russian proxies, of the eastern portion of Ukraine (known as the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Luhansk People’s Republic”), the Abkhazia and South Ossetia provinces of Georgia and the Transnistria (also known as Trans-Dniester or Transdniestria) province of Moldava, and formerly of Afghanistan, and formerly of the 14 nations which (together with Russia) comprised the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (commonly known as the Soviet Union)
by Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey: of Kurdistan;
by Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan: of Baluchistan (also known as Balochistan);
by Algeria: of (the remnant Berber homeland of) Kabylia;
by Turkey: of the northeastern portion of Cyprus (denominated as “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” by Turkey) and of the Iskenderun region (denominated as the Province of Hatay by Turkey) which was originally part of the territory included in the League of Nations Mandate for Syria and is claimed by modern Syria (known as the Alexandretta region to the Arab world);
by Syria: formerly of Lebanon;
by Iran: of the oil-rich region of Khuzestan (known as the region of al-Ahwaz to the Arab world) which has been populated almost exclusively by Arabs for the past 600 years, and of the islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Moussa located within the territorial waters of United Arab Emirates, and of the southern portion of Azerbaijan;
by Morocco: of Western Sahara;
by Ethiopia: formerly of Somalia;
by the United Nations itself: of the Kosovo province of Serbia; and
by nations (such as Great Britain, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Yemen): of islands that lie well beyond their own territorial waters.
The above-enumerated Occupations represent only a fraction of the more than 200 territorial disputes that exist in the World, virtually none of which elicit any attention from the International Committee of the Red Cross or the United Nations system. In fact, while the international community has always employed the pejorative label “Occupation” to describe Israel’s lawful reacquisition of its ancestral lands, it has never employed that label to describe any of the above-enumerated Occupations. Moreover, none of the above-enumerated Occupations has ever been declared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (which deems itself to be the official interpreter of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949) or any component of the U.N. system to be subject to -- let alone in violation of -- Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (which, inter alia, prohibits an Occupying Power from transferring portions of the occupied population from, or transferring portions of its own population to, the occupied territory). Only Israel’s lawful reacquisition of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza has ever been declared by the I.C.R.C. and the U.N. system to be subject to (and simultaneously in violation of) Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Although Syria (during its former Occupation of Lebanon), Morocco (during its current Occupation of Western Sahara), China (during its current Occupations of Tibet and East Turkestan) and Turkey (during its current Occupation of northeast Cyprus) transferred hundreds of thousands of their citizens into their respective occupied territories in order to effect demographic dominance therein, neither the I.C.R.C. nor any component of the U.N. system has ever declared any of those nations to be subject to -- let alone in violation of -- Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
This inversion of Morality was lamented by Solomon, third monarch of biblical Israel, who presciently observed: “There is a Futility that takes place on the Earth -- there are righteous ones who are treated as [if they had performed] the actions of the evil ones; and there are evil ones who are treated as [if they had performed] the actions of the righteous ones -- I declared that, also, this is a Futility.” (Ecclesiastes 8:14). His father, David, second monarch of biblical Israel, had earlier warned the World: “The evil ones will surge forward on every side when Baseness is exalted among the Sons of Man.” (Psalms 12:9). And the Prophet Isaiah had, in a later generation, declared: “Woe unto those who speak of Evil as [if it were] Good, and of Good as [if it were] Evil; who make Darkness into [the semblance of] Light, and Light into [the semblance of] Darkness; who make Bitter into [the perception of] Sweet, and Sweet into [the perception of] Bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
The depths of depravity to which the U.N. has descended since its founding has been further demonstrated by its leadership assignments in the first years of the 21st Century. For example, the U.N. has offered to Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya, a major abuser of human rights, chairmanship of its Human Rights Commission (subsequently reinvented in 2006 as the equally malevolent Human Rights Council), and to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a major developer of banned biological and chemical weapons (the latter of which were used in March 1988 to annihilate over 5,000 Iraqi Kurds residing in Halabja), chairmanship of its Disarmament Commission, and to Bashar al-Assad’s Syria, a sponsor and harborer of terrorist groups (as well as Nazi war criminals such as Alois Brunner who was responsible for the genocide of approximately 128,500 Jews from Austria, Greece, France and Slovakia during the Holocaust) and a mass-murderer of its own citizens, presidency of its Security Council, and to Iran, a major violator of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, vice chairmanship of its Disarmament Commission.
Furthermore, despite acts of genocide, war crimes, and other serious human rights abuses being perpetuated all over the World, Israel is virtually the only country in the World which has ever been censured by the U.N. Human Rights Council; and Israel is also the only country in the World whose activities have been designated for special scrutiny as a permanent agenda item of the UNHRC -- namely, Agenda Item 7 (always entitled “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”) of each and every session of the UNHRC -- in addition to being subjected to routine scrutiny per the UNHRC’s quadrennial “Universal Periodic Review” of the status of human rights in each U.N. member State (which quadrennial Review, in practice, is utilized by totalitarian member States to sanitize their routine repression of civil rights, political dissent, and free expression). It is noteworthy that, while the behavior of U.N. member State Israel is examined at each and every session of the UNHRC (under Agenda Item 7), the other 192 member States of the U.N. are only occasionally examined at sessions of the UNHRC (under Agenda Item 4 -- always entitled “Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention”). Moreover, while the UNHRC has appointed dozens of human rights rapporteurs, some of which are assigned to examine and report upon the human rights situations in specific countries on a temporary basis, Israel is the only country for which the UNHRC has appointed a human rights rapporteur on a permanent basis. However, unlike the rapporteurs temporarily assigned to other countries, who are tasked with reviewing the overall human rights situation in those countries, the rapporteur permanently assigned to Israel is tasked with reviewing only one side of the human rights situation there, namely, those human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Israel against the “Palestinian” Arabs, while those human rights abuses perpetrated by the “Palestinian” Arabs against Israeli Jews (i.e., genocidal incitement and acts of terrorism) or even against their fellow Arabs remains outside the purview of that rapporteur’s assignment. None of this is actually surprising when one considers that the membership of the UNHRC has traditionally included such human rights “luminaries” as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Zimbabwe, Angola, Congo, Djibouti, Mauritania, Malaysia, Qatar and Cuba -- the vast majority of whom are openly antagonistic to Israel. In fact, member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference), a virulently anti-Israel transnational organization, have traditionally comprised from 30% to 38% of the membership of the UNHRC and have always voted as bloc within that U.N. agency to create and implement policies that are intended to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State. Moreover, the foregoing conduct of the UNHRC constitutes but one example of the routine double standard employed against Israel at the United Nations.
The 66th World Health Assembly of the U.N.-affiliated World Health Organization (commonly known as WHO), held in May 2013, represents another example of the obsessive international focus on Israel at the expense of actual threats to world-wide public health. The authorizing resolution (document no. WHA66.5) for that session’s Agenda Item number 20 (entitled “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan”) excoriated Israel for causing and perpetuating an alleged “health crisis” (aforesaid document at Section 2, Paragraph 1) in Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights, despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority administers the healthcare system for virtually all Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria, while Hamas administers the healthcare system for all Arabs residing in Gaza, and despite the fact that the non-Jewish residents of the Golan Heights (i.e., the Druze Arabs) receive healthcare that is identical to that received by the Jewish residents thereof. Pursuant to the authorizing resolution, the World Health Assembly accepted four separate reports, including one from Syria, condemning Israel. Ironically, but not surprisingly, the Assembly did not permit any agenda item to consider the enormous health implications of Syria’s ongoing civil war that, as of May 2013, had already resulted in approximately 90,000 civilian deaths, more than 4 million refugees (including approximately 600,000 children), mass starvation and a collapse of that country’s healthcare system.
In an encore performance, the 68th World Health Assembly of WHO, held in May 2015, issued a resolution (document no. A68/B/CONF./2) for that session’s Agenda Item number 20 (again entitled “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan”), which falsely accused Israel of a long list of atrocities (e.g., “barriers to health access”, “damage to and destruction of medical infrastructure and facilities” and “impeded access to water and sanitation”) impacting the health of the “Palestinian” residents of Gaza and the “West Bank” and the Druze residents of the Golan Heights. Israel was the only country singled out for criticism by the World Health Assembly at its 2015 session.
The 59th session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (which is a unit of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, and which then included among its members such human rights “luminaries” as Bangladesh, China, Congo, Cuba, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Zimbabwe), held from March 9, 2015 to March 20, 2015, represents a further example of the international drive to demonize Israel at the expense of its core mission, which it describes on its website as “… the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women”. That session blamed one -- and only one -- country in the World for causing the depredations suffered by women during 2014, namely Israel (while simultaneously managing to praise the fictional “State of Palestine” for its alleged gender equality efforts). Despite abuses against women throughout the Islamic World and elsewhere on the planet in 2014, the only U.N.-authorized gender discrimination study undertaken for that period of time focused exclusively upon discrimination suffered by “Palestinian” women (per document no. E/CN.6/2015/5, entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women. Report of the Secretary-General.”), for which the State of Israel was found to be directly or indirectly responsible (see document no. E/CN.6/2015/5, Section II, Paragraphs 4 - 16, and Section IV, Paragraphs 60 - 63), but with respect to which the “State of Palestine” was found to have made “noteworthy” and “laudable” remediation efforts (see document no. E/CN.6/2015/5, Section II, Paragraph 20, and Section IV, Paragraph 64).
The machinations of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization also illustrate the extent to which ostensibly neutral organizations within the U.N. system have been hijacked and perverted by enemies of Israel. UNESCO’s mission statement (as published on its website) states, in part: “UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities. …” Notwithstanding that lofty self-description, in the context of Israel, UNESCO has abandoned that core mission in order to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State. On April 15, 2016, the Executive Board of UNESCO, pursuant to agenda item no. 19 (entitled “Occupied Palestine’) of its 199th session, approved (with the affirmative vote of such ostensibly Israel-friendly member States as Russia, China, India, Mexico, France and Argentina) yet another lopsided anti-Israel resolution (published as UNESCO’s Progamme And External Relations Commission’s English-language document no. 199 EX/PX/DR.19.1 Rev., dated April 11, 2016). In a transparent attempt to expunge the more-than-3,000-year-old historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, UNESCO repeatedly erased the longstanding English-language name “Temple Mount” (whose very name evokes the aforesaid connection) from its English-language lexicon in favor of the (mostly) Arabic-language designation “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif” (see Resolution, paragraphs 7 - 16 & 18), so that future generations will forget the Temple Mount (with its Jewish associations) and know only al-Aqsa Mosque compound or, alternatively, al-Haram al Sharif (with their respective Muslim associations). Furthermore, by combining the separate names “al-Aksa Mosque” and “al-Haram al-Sharif” (the latter of which is the Arabic-language name for the Temple Mount) into the newly-created compound name “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif”, UNESCO and the larger U.N. system thereby conflate that small mosque structure and the entire 37-acre (almost 150,000-square-meter) Temple Mount plaza, with the objective of treating the entire Temple Mount as if it were a mosque, entrance to which is forbidden to non-Muslims, especially Jews. Stated more succinctly, the international community’s long-term purpose in coining and utilizing the designation “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif” instead of “Temple Mount” in their English-language documents is to establish a justified pretext for demanding that Jews be banned from visiting their holiest site in the World. In light of the foregoing, it is not surprising -- but nonetheless outrageous -- that, in the same Resolution, UNESCO condemned Israel for permitting Jews to visit, and for instructing its army to maintain security on, the Temple Mount, to wit: “Firmly deplores the continuous storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif by the Israeli right-wing extremists and uniformed forces, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to take necessary measures to prevent provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif” (Resolution, paragraph 9); outrageously and disturbingly condemned Israel for allegedly“… planting Jewish fake graves …” in Muslim cemeteries (Resolution, paragraph 14); weirdly and ridiculously condemned Israel for “… the instalment of an umbrella …” at the entrance to one of the Temple Mount gates (Resolution, paragraph 20); outrageously and hypocritically condemned Israel for responding to Gazan rocket and mortar fire, but not Hamas for initiating those hostilities against Israel or for embedding its fighters within its civilian population or for storing rockets and other weaponry inside Gazan schools (including U.N. schools), mosques and hospitals, thereby utilizing its population as human shields, to wit: “Deplores the military confrontations in and around the Gaza Strip and the civilian casualties caused, including the killing and injury of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, as well as the continuous negative impact in the fields of competence of UNESCO, the attacks on schools and other educational and cultural facilities, including breaches of inviolability of UNRWA schools” (Resolution, paragraph 31); and illogically and hypocritically condemned Israel, but not Egypt, for refusing to maintain open borders with hostile Gaza, to wit: “Strongly deplores the continuous Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, which harmfully affects the free and sustained movement of personnel and humanitarian relief items as well as the intolerable number of casualties among Palestinian children, the attacks on schools and other educational and cultural facilities and the denial of access to education, and requests Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately ease this blockade” (Resolution, paragraph 32). It is noteworthy that, although Israel had removed all Jews (both civilians and soldiers) from Gaza more than 10 years earlier, the last-cited paragraph of the Resolution, in an attempt (that has been habitually emulated and reiterated by all components of the U.N. system) to render Israel legally responsible for the well-being of Hamas-ruled Gaza, fancifully referred to Israel as “the occupying Power” with respect thereto. The Resolution was sponsored by a coalition of Muslim countries, including -- not surprisingly -- Israel’s ostensible “peace partners” Egypt and Jordan. Out of the 58 member States comprising the Executive Board of UNESCO, only 6 member States voted against the Resolution.
Taking its cue from UNESCO, the U.N. General Assembly subsequently approved, by a huge majority, the condemnatory English-language Resolution no. A/RES/71/25 on November 30, 2016 (published as document no. A/71/L.22 dated November 18, 2016), entitled “Jerusalem”, which exclusively employed “Haram al-Sharif” instead of “Temple Mount” (see Resolution, preambulary paragraph 9 and operative paragraph 4). This shameful vote, which officially erased “Temple Mount” from the United Nations’ English-language lexicon, comprised 149 member States voting “in favour”, 7 member States voting “against”, 8 member States voting “abstain”, and 29 member States being “absent”. Israel’s two “peace partners”, Egypt and Jordan, not only voted for this Resolution, but they were also among its many co-sponsors. And the vote took place at a time when the U.N. was doing nothing to stop the many wars then raging and the many war crimes then being perpetrated throughout World, including the conflict in Syria, which (by that time) had resulted in more than 400,000 deaths and more than ten million refugees.
However, the coup de grâce was delivered shortly thereafter by the U.N. Security Council, which issued its Resolution no. 2334 of December 23, 2016 (entitled “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”), falsely declaring that Jewish habitation anywhere in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (which includes the Jewish Quarter of the Old City as well as the Temple Mount and the Western Wall) is illegal, to wit: “Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law...” (Resolution, operative paragraph 1), and consequently demanding, in effect, that Israel prevent Jews from relocating to existing Jewish communities therein, prevent Jews from erecting any structures within those existing Jewish communities, and even prevent Jews from enlarging any existing structures within those existing Jewish communities, to wit: “Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem ...” (Resolution, operative paragraph 2). By denominating the “West Bank” as “the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem”, the Resolution directly repudiated U.N. Security Resolution no. 242 of 1967, which did not seek to establish or dictate Israel’s international borders (but instead recognized that Israel is entitled to “secure and recognized boundaries” per operative paragraph 1(ii) thereof), and which did not recognize any lands in Israel’s possession as being “Palestinian territory” (let alone otherwise challenge preexisting Jewish claims to any portion of the “West Bank”). Unsurprisingly, this Resolution was drafted by Israel’s “peace partner” Egypt, and was approved by the 15-member Security Council via a lopsided vote of 14 “in favour” and 1 “abstain”. The abstention (rather than a veto) by the United States is what actually allowed the Resolution to become another brick in the Wall of Antisemitism (masquerading as anti-colonialism) that has been under construction at the United Nations since Israel’s admission thereto. Tellingly, immediately after the Resolution was approved, the members of each Security Council delegation applauded in unison, thereby overtly manifesting the United Nations’ longstanding disdain for the continued existence the Jewish State and the latter’s entitlements under international law as well as under the U.N. system itself.
That last conclusion is not an exaggeration, as from the date of its admittance to the United Nations in May 1949 -- long before its reacquisition of the remainder of its ancient homeland in 1967 -- Israel has been the only member State of the U.N. to ever be excluded from its U.N. regional group, which, in Israel’s case, is the Asia-Pacific Group (formerly known as the Asian Group). This is noteworthy, because the U.N.’s geographical grouping system (comprising five regional groups, to wit: the African Group; the Asia-Pacific Group; the Eastern European Group; the Latin American and Caribbean Group; and the Western European and Others Group) exists in order to allocate among the U.N.’s member States, by regional formula, all U.N. specialized constituent agency memberships (which specialized constituent agencies are the official mechanism by which U.N. policies on every subject are created and implemented), with the result that Israel is the only member State of the U.N. which has been barred during its long membership in that preeminent international organization from serving as a member of the U.N. Security Council (or any of its subsidiary organs, such as its Counter-Terrorism Committee) as well as all other specialized constituent agencies of the U.N. (e.g., U.N. Human Rights Council and U.N. International Court of Justice). In effect, except for its participation in activities of the General Assembly and its subsidiary committees (for which regional group membership is not -- yet -- a prerequisite), Israel is treated as an Observer State of the U.N. rather than as a Member State thereof. Unsurprisingly, neither the U.N. Secretariat, nor the U.N. Security Council, nor the U.N. General Assembly have ever sought to remedy this blatant attack upon the United Nations’ integrity and raison d'être. Distressingly, none of the other U.N. regional groups offered to admit Israel into its group for the next half century. Clearly, such international hostility and ostracism long predate Israel’s re-acquisition of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967.
Ironically, the U.N.’s geographical grouping system was neither created nor authorized nor even envisaged by the U.N. Charter. While this allocation system exists only by virtue of custom, it has been used to eviscerate Israel’s fundamental rights under the U.N. Charter, as enshrined in Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of Chapter I thereof (entitled “Purposes And Principles”), which declares: “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” Consequently, by its longstanding acceptance of the refusal of the Asia-Pacific Group (and its predecessor, the Asian Group) to recognize Israel as a member State thereof, the U.N. continues to severely undermine its purported integrity as well as its raison d'être.
This situation was somewhat ameliorated in 2000 when Israel was accepted as a temporary member State (and in 2004 when Israel was accepted as a permanent member State) of the Western European And Others Group (commonly known as WEOG) under draconian admittance conditions which -- by combining geographical restrictions with agency membership restrictions -- have, in practice, severely limited Israel’s ability to apply for U.N. agency memberships and to participate in substantive U.N. policy discussions and decision-making. Specifically, since 2000, Israel (as a member of WEOG) has been allowed to participate only in those U.N. activities that take place at the U.N.’s main headquarters in New York City, while it has remained barred (by WEOG fiat and due to its non-membership in any of the other four U.N. regional groups) from participating in any U.N. activities that take place at any of the U.N.’s regional headquarters (i.e., those located in Geneva, Vienna, Rome and Nairobi) where virtually all substantive U.N. policy discussions and decision-making activities actually occur. For example, Israel not only continues to be barred from seeking membership in, inter alia, the U.N. Human Rights Council, which is based at the U.N.’s Geneva office, but Israel is also barred from participating in any WEOG membership consultations concerning, inter alia, that Geneva-based U.N. agency. Moreover, Israel has been barred (by WEOG fiat) from applying for membership even in certain U.N. agencies which are based at the U.N.’s New York headquarters for a number of years. For example, although the U.N. Security Council is based at the U.N.’s New York headquarters, Israel has been barred from competing for one of the two WEOG-reserved non-permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council until its 2019-2020 session (representing a seven-decade ban since the Jewish State’s admission to the U.N. and a two-decade ban since the Jewish State’s admission to WEOG). However, this eagerly-awaited achievement is more theoretical than practical. For, although Israel announced its intention to compete for one of those two future memberships long ago (in 2005), it faces: (a) competition from rival WEOG candidates Belgium and Germany (both of whom have previously attained membership in the Security Council), and (b) in light of the widespread and intense hostility to the Jewish State throughout the U.N. system, a near-impossible requirement that its candidacy be approved by at least 128 U.N. member States, thereby making it a virtually certainty that Israel will continue to be barred from membership on the Security Council. Taken together, these geographical restrictions and agency membership restrictions have rendered Israel’s belated membership and participation in the U.N.’s constituent agency system largely symbolic, with the result that the Jewish State continues to be barred from membership and/or actual participation in the vast majority (including the most important) of the U.N.’s constituent agencies.
The United Nations’ institutional bias against Israel is perhaps most conspicuously exemplified by the United Nations International Court of Justice in its non-binding Advisory Opinion, identified as General List no. 131, entitled “LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A WALL IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY” dated July 9, 2004.
Despite its lofty self-description, the International Court of Justice -- like all U.N. agencies -- is a de facto political entity composed of U.N. member State-nominated candidates who are formulaically drawn from the five regional groups which comprise the United Nations for purposes of agency membership allocation. Consequently, the judges of the Court are generally subservient to the legal and political interests of their respective States.
The saga of the U.N. Court’s anti-Israel Advisory Opinion actually began on April 24, 1997. On that date the U.N. General Assembly convened its “Tenth Emergency Special Session”, entitled “Occupied East Jerusalem and Palestinian Territory” in order to reiterate its longstanding condemnation of Israel for the “Occupation”. The 2nd “Tenth Emergency Special Session”, held on the same date, resulted in the issuance of condemnatory United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. A/RES/ES-10/2, dated May 5, 1997, entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. The “Tenth Emergency Special Session” was subsequently reconvened 11 more times over the next 6 years in order to serially condemn Israel for the “Occupation” (with each resulting Resolution also being entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”) until December 8, 2003, when the General Assembly held its 14th “Tenth Emergency Special Session” against Israel, resulting in condemnatory United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. A/RES/ES-10/14, dated the same date, also entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, which directed the International Court of Justice to issue an Advisory Opinion concerning Israel’s construction of a passive security barrier in portions of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem. The innovative thought underlying this directive was that the issuance of a condemnatory Advisory Opinion by the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, although non-binding, would nonetheless embody more gravitas in the propaganda war against Israel than equally non-binding, but -- by now -- routine, condemnatory Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
The General Assembly was able to invoke its “Emergency Special Session” procedure against Israel pursuant to prior United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. A/RES/377 (V), dated November 3, 1950, entitled “Uniting for Peace”, by which the General Assembly first conjured a right for itself (which does not exist in the United Nations Charter) to empower U.N. member States to take collective action, including the use of military force, to maintain “international peace and security” with respect to any international dispute as to which the Security Council had become, in the opinion of the General Assembly, deadlocked. It is noteworthy that 50% of the “Emergency Special Sessions” convened from 1956 to the present time have been utilized to condemn only one State, namely, Israel; and that percentage rises to 78% when the multipart nature of the “Tenth Emergency Special Session” is taken into account. It also noteworthy that between April 24, 1997 (when the “Tenth Emergency Special Session” was initially convened) and the present time, Israel is the only State against which the U.N. has utilized its “Emergency Special Session” procedure.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. A/RES/ES-10/14 of December 8, 2003, states, in full, as follows:
ES-10/14. Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
The General Assembly,
Reaffirming its resolution ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003,
Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Aware of the established principle of international law on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,
Aware also that developing friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Recalling relevant General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which partitioned mandated Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish,
Recalling also the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly,
Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003,
Reaffirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907,
Welcoming the convening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, at Geneva on 15 July 1999,
Expressing its support for the declaration adopted by the reconvened Conference of High Contracting Parties at Geneva on 5 December 2001,
Recalling in particular relevant United Nations resolutions affirming that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development as well as those demanding the complete cessation of settlement activities,
Recalling relevant United Nations resolutions affirming that actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to change the status and demographic composition of Occupied East Jerusalem have no legal validity and are null and void,
Noting the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the context of the Middle East peace process,
Gravely concerned at the commencement and continuation of construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 (Green Line) and which has involved the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian land and resources, the disruption of the lives of thousands of protected civilians and the de facto annexation of large areas of territory, and underlining the unanimous opposition by the international community to the construction of that wall,
Gravely concerned also at the even more devastating impact of the projected parts of the wall on the Palestinian civilian population and on the prospects for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and establishing peace in the region,
Welcoming the report of 8 September 2003 of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, in particular the section regarding the wall,
Affirming the necessity of ending the conflict on the basis of the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security based on the Armistice Line of 1949, in accordance with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,
Having received with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General, submitted in accordance with resolution ES-10/13,
Bearing in mind that the passage of time further compounds the difficulties on the ground, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues to refuse to comply with international law vis-à-vis its construction of the above-mentioned wall, with all its detrimental implications and consequences,
Decides, in accordance with Article 96 of the Charter of the United Nations, to request the International Court of Justice, pursuant to Article 65 of the Statute of the Court, to urgently render an advisory opinion on the following question:
What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?
Based upon the numerous falsehoods embedded in the foregoing authorizing Resolution, it is unsurprising that the members of the International Court of Justice, with the notable exception of the jurist representing the United States, adopted all of those same falsehoods as the foundation for its Advisory Opinion. Indisputably, via its authorizing Resolution, the General Assembly dictated to its proprietary judicial agency exactly how it expected the Court to rule on the matter. Accordingly, the nearly-unanimous Court opined, inter alia:
(a) that there is no longer any dispute over the existence of an ethnic “Palestinian” people (see Paragraph 118 of the Advisory Opinion);
(b) that the Mandate for Palestine, being denominated as a Class A mandate by the League of Nations, was, pursuant to the fourth paragraph of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, intended to fulfill the inherent right of self-determination of the “Palestinian” people -- the Court identifying them, in euphemism, as the “inhabitants of the territory” (see Paragraph 70) and as the “peoples concerned” (see Paragraph 88) -- via the creation of a State for them in the western portion of Mandatory Palestine (there being no discussion by the Court as to whether the Mandate for Palestine had granted to the Jewish people any national rights with respect to Mandatory Palestine);
(c) that, although Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation line with Jordan was no more than a military separation-of-forces line between the parties (see Paragraph 72), Israel’s capture of lands from Jordan on the other side of that line in 1967 -- namely, the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” -- nonetheless rendered Israel merely the “Occupying Power” thereof (see Paragraph 78) rather than the Sovereign thereof (implicitly due -- as elsewhere declared by the Court -- to the preexisting national rights therein, flowing from the inherent right of self-determination, recognized in favor of the “Palestinian” people by virtue of the Mandate for Palestine);
(d) that (despite the clear contrary language of Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention) the Fourth Geneva Convention was applicable to Israel’s capture from Jordan of the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” regardless of whether or not, at the time of capture, these lands actually belonged to Jordan, as Sovereign thereof (see Paragraphs 90 - 101); and further that (despite the clear contrary language of Article 49 of the Convention) the Jewish communities subsequently established in these captured areas, even if not the product of any governmental deportation or transfer of Jews thereto, were nonetheless illegal under the Convention (see Paragraph 120);
(e) that Israel’s erection of the “Wall” in portions of the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” was not a security measure necessary for the protection of Israel’s civilian population against terror attacks perpetrated by the “Palestinians” (see Paragraphs 134 - 137, 140 & 142);
(f) that (despite the clear contrary language of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter which recognizes that all member States possess an “inherent right” of “self-defense” against “armed attack”) Israel was not entitled, pursuant to the overriding authority of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, to defend itself against “Palestinian” Arab terrorists by building the “Wall” in portions of the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” (or, implicitly, by utilizing any other measures of self-defense therein), because that Article authorizes a member State to defend itself only against aggression perpetrated by another State -- and not against aggression committed by a non-State perpetrator such as the “Palestinian” Arabs (see Paragraphs 138 - 139 & 142); and
(g) that, consequently, Israel was required to remove the “Wall” forthwith and to thereafter pay reparations and make restitution to the “Palestinians” harmed by the “Wall” (see Paragraphs 151 - 153).
It is ironic that, in the International Court of Justice’s zeal to judicially strip Israel of its “inherent right” under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter to defend itself against an “armed attack” perpetuated by the “Palestinians” -- even by employment in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem of the most passive of obstacles thereto -- the Court has, of necessity, also deprived all other member States of a crucial U.N.-recognized mechanism for defending themselves against atrocities perpetrated by terrorist organizations operating from safe havens located beyond those States’ recognized jurisdictions. Putting aside the fact that the Court’s opinion is only advisory, it is unlikely that any member State of the U.N., including Israel, will deign to honor the Court’s absurd restriction on such State’s inalienable right of self-defense.
Equally as significant, by its purposeful misapplication of the Fourth Geneva Convention to Israel’s lawful reacquisition of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem from a country (i.e., Jordan), whose initial acquisition thereof was illegal, the Court has created an absurd legal construct never intended by -- and contrary to the explicit language of -- the Convention. By way of example, let us suppose that China attacked the United States without provocation and captured Hawaii. Let us further suppose that China expelled all U.S. citizens from Hawaii, destroying their communities in the process, and repopulated that archipelago with Chinese citizens. Let us further suppose that the war was terminated by an armistice agreement which acknowledged China’s de facto possession of Hawaii, but which did not cede to China any de jure sovereignty thereof. Let us further suppose that, several decades later, China breached the armistice by again attacking the United States, and that the United States thereupon recaptured Hawaii from China, and subsequently permitted (but did not require) U.S. citizens to relocate to that archipelago and to thereby reestablish destroyed communities as well as to create new communities there. According to the Court’s reasoning, (1) the existence of the second war between China and the United States would be sufficient to cause the Fourth Geneva Convention, pursuant to Article 2 thereof, to be applicable to the United States’ lawful reacquisition of Hawaii despite the fact that Hawaii never belonged to China, and (2) the repopulation of Hawaii by U.S. citizens, even though not the product of governmental deportation or transfer, would be violative of Article 49 thereof and, consequently, illegal. No aggrieved State in similar circumstances would ever agree to abide by this absurd interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Court’s pointed refusal to acknowledge:
(a) that the League of Nations did not recognize the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine as an ethnic group separate and distinct from other clans of Arabs residing elsewhere in the World, referring to them in the Mandate for Palestine only by various generic labels such as “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 2);
(b) that the explicit language of the Mandate for Palestine granted exclusive national rights (i.e., effecting mass settlement and achieving self-determination) in Mandatory Palestine to the Jewish residents thereof (see Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraphs 2 & 3; and Articles 2 & 4), while affording only “civil and religious rights” to the Arab and other gentile residents thereof (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 2; and Article 2);
(c) that Israel’s post-Armistice retention (from 1949 to 1967) of its pre-war Mandatory sovereignty claims (from 1920 to 1948) to Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem permitted the Jewish State to lawfully exercise those claims by reacquiring these areas in a defensive war after Jordan breached the Armistice (in 1967);
(d) that (as further discussed below) the explicit language of Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention renders the Convention inapplicable to Israel’s reacquisition of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem; and moreover that (as further discussed below), even if the Convention is nonetheless applicable to Israel’s possession of these areas, the Jewish communities therein were not established in violation of Article 49 thereof;
(e) that the Mandate for Palestine, as grafted onto the U.N. Charter via Article 80 thereof, preempts all Security Council resolutions (both those which have been issued pursuant to Chapter VI of the U.N. Charter and those which might, in the future, be issued pursuant to Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter) and all General Assembly resolutions, including the General Assembly’s Palestine Partition Plan, that have sought to repudiate or diminish the Jewish people’s collective rights of settlement and self-determination in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem; and
(f) that Israel’s security barrier, having been erected on lands over which the Jewish people were granted exclusive national rights by the League of Nations, and being otherwise consistent with the explicit language of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, is consequently lawful
merely serves to demonstrate the unfettered hostility of the Court, acting as proxy for the General Assembly, towards the Jewish State and the latter’s lawful reacquisition and continued possession of Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem.
In this context, it is noteworthy to point out that, not only has Israel been barred from placing a judge on the Court, but two States which did have judges on the Court at the time of the Advisory Opinion, namely, Jordan and Egypt, are the very same States whose illegal possession of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza during the 1948 War of Independence was rectified by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. Consequently, the judicial posture of the assigned jurists of these two States (namely, Awn Shawket al-Khasawneh representing Jordan and Nabil el-Araby representing Egypt) towards Israel’s post-1967 possession of these lands was a priori hostile and, consequently, biased. In such circumstances, these two jurists should have recused themselves from deliberating upon the matter. Failing that, the United Nations itself, in an effort to demonstrate its impartiality on matters brought before its own Court, ought to have removed these two jurists from the judicial deliberations. That these biased judges were, instead, permitted by the U.N. to participate in formulating the Advisory Opinion speaks volumes about the inability of the U.N., as a whole, to deal with Israel in an unbiased manner. Moreover, the political nature of the Court is furthered evidenced by the fact that, upon retiring from the Court, many of its judges are appointed to senior political offices in their respective States. For example, the aforesaid Awn Shawket al-Khasawneh subsequently became the Prime Minister of Jordan, and the aforesaid Nabil el-Araby subsequently became the Foreign Minister of Egypt and thereafter became the Secretary-General of the Egypt-based Arab League.
As was concluded, in part, by a 2005 task force report on the United Nations commissioned by the United States Congress:
“Contrary to the equality of rights for all nations enshrined in the U.N. Charter, Israel continues to be denied rights enjoyed by all other member States; and a level of systematic hostility against it is routinely expressed, organized, and funded within the U.N. system.”
(Page 5 of the United States Institute of Peace Report of the Task Force on the United Nations entitled “American Interests And U.N. Reform”, prepared at the direction of the United States Congress per Public Law 108-447 of 2005)
This dark conclusion was yet again vindicated in late September 2008 when the President of the U.N. General Assembly (Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann) publicly embraced Iran’s President (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) immediately after the latter had given a speech to the U.N. General Assembly at its opening session for the 2008 - 2009 year demonizing Israel and rhapsodizing over its future destruction, and in late November 2008 when -- during a conference held as part of the U.N.’s annual “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” festivities -- that same U.N. official declared that the nations of the World must subject Israel to “a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions”.
Yet, as despicable as is the United Nations’ treatment of Israel, doesn’t the creation of the annually-observed “International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust” (General Assembly resolution no. 60/7 of November 1, 2005), commonly known as “International Holocaust Memorial Day” or “International Holocaust Remembrance Day”, at least prove that the United Nations detests the Jewish State rather than the Jewish people? -- Well, no. International hostility towards Israel is driven almost exclusively by the latter’s unique status as the nation-state and, consequently, as the political embodiment of the Jewish people. An Israel comprised mainly of -- and governed by -- Arabs rather than Jews would never have become the preeminent target for isolation, calumny, derision and condemnation by the United Nations, its constituent agencies and affiliated organizations, and its official conferences and publications. Furthermore, the Resolution -- with its repeated emphasis on employing Holocaust education “in order to help prevent future acts of genocide” (General Assembly resolution no. 60/7, operative paragraphs 2 & 6) -- is more likely to be used as basis for denouncing the Jewish State’s efforts to protect itself against future genocidal aggression than as a basis for justifying those preventive efforts. This is because, by coupling educational commemoration of the Holocaust with routine condemnation of Israel, the international community has been able to mainstream a perverse role reversal -- that was already being promoted by Antisemitic fringe groups for the past several decades -- whereby the Jewish State is likened to Nazi Germany, while the “Palestinian” Arabs are likened to the Holocaust-era Jewish people by respected organs of Society. The diplomatic and legal objectives of this role reversal is to inhibit Israel from employing sufficient force to decisively defeat its Arab adversaries, lest it be subject to international isolation and war crimes tribunals.
The marriage between the internationally-sanctioned commemoration of the Holocaust and mainstream demonization of the Jewish people and its alter-ego Jewish State is best illustrated by two events which took place in Great Britain just before and during that country’s official observance of Holocaust Memorial Day in 2013.
On the day before the commemoration (January 26, 2013), after he had signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the British parliament’s House of Commons honoring the victims of the Holocaust, Member of Parliament David Ward posted on his parliamentary website the following statement likening the Jewish people to Nazis:
"Having visited [Nazi death camp] Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza."
On the day of the commemoration (January 27, 2013), the Sunday Times newspaper published an editorial cartoon which brazenly promoted the most vile of medieval Christian blood libels -- expertly employed by Nazi Germany in the recent Past and by the Arab World and Islamo-fascist Iran in the Present -- against the Jewish people qua Israel. As described by the Jerusalem Post newspaper (excerpt republished):
UK paper posts anti-Israel cartoon on Holocaust day
By JPOST.COM STAFF
27/01/2013 [January 27, 2013]
On Holocaust Memorial Day, 'Sunday Times' publishes cartoon depicting PM paving wall with Palestinian blood.
The Sunday Times marked Holocaust Memorial Day in a less-than-traditional manner, running a virulently anti-Israel cartoon depicting a big-nosed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of writhing Palestinians.
The cartoon included a caption beneath the image entitled "Israeli elections -- will cementing peace continue?" Drawn by Gerald Scarfe, the cartoon appeared in the national paper on Sunday.
. . .
All rights reserved © 1995 - 2013 The Jerusalem Post
A corollary effect of this role reversal (whereby Israel is always branded the aggressor and, in consequence thereof, is constantly being condemned for defending itself) is that the Jewish State, in its assigned role as the “aggressor”, is also assigned primary blame for the eruption of Antisemitism. The international community is able to make this absurd claim via a reversal of the Cause-and-Effect relationship between Antisemitism and Zionism, whereby the latter is asserted to be the determinant -- rather than the result -- of the former, despite the indisputable historical fact that Antisemitism (in all of its various manifestations) predates the political Zionist Movement by several millennia. While this role reversal and its corollary effect obviously advance the propaganda goals of the Arab and larger Muslim worlds, they also soothe the “guilty conscience” of Europe. After all, if the Zionism-infected Jews are such brutish oppressors, then the Europeans can certainly justify feeling absolved of the Evil that they themselves have perpetrated against the Jewish people over the past several millennia, culminating in the Holocaust. Furthermore, by supporting a “Palestinian” struggle for “freedom” which has resulted, and continues to result, in mass murder and mayhem against the Jewish people, the Europeans have discovered a “morally” acceptable means of condoning the very thing of which they desire to feel absolved.
However, even if the preceding analysis seems overly harsh, it cannot be denied -- after juxtaposing (a) the U.N.’s belated remorse over the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis and their transnational collaborators against the Jewish people during the early part of the prior century against (b) the U.N.’s persistent hostility to the Jewish State’s exercise of its inherent right of self-defense against its current genocidal enemies -- that there is much greater support at the United Nations for mourning long-dead Jews than for protecting presently-living Jews.
Furthermore, ostracism of Israel is not limited to the Jewish State’s relationship with the components of the United Nations system.
Notably, from May 1948 until June 2006 -- commencing long before Israel’s reacquisition of the remainder of its ancient homeland in 1967 -- Israel was the only nation in the World whose national medical relief agency was barred from membership in the “International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies” by decree of its gatekeeper, the “International Committee of the Red Cross”. The declared pretext for this exclusion was that the Red Star of David (which is the symbol of Judaism and is also known as the “Jewish Star”), being the official emblem of Israel’s national medical relief agency “Magen David Adom b’Yisrael” (meaning: “Red Star of David in Israel” or, alternatively, “Red Shield of David in Israel”), was not a permissible insignia for member societies. In order to deflect charges of Antisemitism, the I.C.R.C. disingenuously explained that its regulations had always required all member Societies to adopt and display either the emblem of a Red Cross (which is the symbol of Christianity) or the emblem of a Red Crescent (which is the symbol of Islam), either of which Israel’s M.D.A. was free to adopt as its exclusive national (as well as its exclusive international) insignia in order for it to be admitted to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as a member Society thereof. Nevertheless, it is a fact that the I.C.R.C. had permitted Iran’s national medical relief agency, as a member Society of the International Federation, to employ as its exclusive insignia the Red Lion And Sun (from 1929 until 1980, at which time Iran, its secular monarchy having been overthrown by an Islamic oligarchy in 1979, reverted to using the emblem of a Red Crescent) and, before that, had permitted Nazi Germany’s national medical relief agency, as a member Society of the International Federation, to employ as its exclusive insignia an eagle clutching a Cross with its talons. Moreover, during a November 1999 meeting of the International Federation in Geneva, Switzerland, Cornelio Sommaruga, President of the I.C.R.C., demonstrated his organization’s true attitude towards the Jewish State by candidly declaring to Bernadine Healy, President of the American Red Cross: “If we are going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the Swastika?”
However, in December 2005, after coercing Israel’s recognition of the “Palestine Red Crescent Society” as the national medical relief agency of “Palestine”, the I.C.R.C. adopted a third permissible insignia -- the Red Crystal -- which (without any addition, alteration or embellishment thereto) could be used on international humanitarian missions by any member Society in place of the Red Cross insignia or the Red Crescent insignia. Subsequently, in June 2006, after having agreed to employ the Red Crystal (unless it alternatively chose to accept either the Red Cross or the Red Crescent) as its sole and unadulterated insignia on international humanitarian missions (unless the host country permitted a small Red Star of David to be inserted within the Red Crystal emblem) and after having also agreed to support the simultaneous admission of the Palestine Red Crescent Society into the International Federation (despite the fact that the Palestine Red Crescent Society does not -- as has always been required by the regulations of the I.C.R.C. -- represent a sovereign nation, thereby rendering it the only member Society of the International Federation which does not represent a sovereign nation), Israel’s M.D.A. was permitted by the I.C.R.C. to become a member Society of the International Federation. However, should anyone thereby conclude that a historic injustice has finally been redressed, it is pointed out that the I.C.R.C., which prides itself on its official neutrality and consequently claims to eschew all partisan positions and activities in favor of providing non-partisan humanitarian relief in all situations of conflict, has continued its wholesale abandonment of those vaunted principles in the case of Israel. The I.C.R.C. continues to assert that Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (as well as the Golan Heights and formerly Gaza) are “occupied territories”. This position was manifested in the I.C.R.C.-brokered “Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement on Operational Arrangements between the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Magen David Adom in Israel” dated November 28, 2005, in which the M.D.A. was required to: (1) acknowledge that only the P.R.C.S. is authorized to operate in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, and (2) remove its Red Star of David insignia from, and transfer ownership to local authorities of, all of its ambulances and medical stations situated in the Jewish communities and neighborhoods that are located in these post-1967 districts of Israel.
Yet, despite Israel’s humiliating concessions to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (which comprises the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and each member Society thereof), the M.D.A.’s employment (with the permission of the host country) of a small Red Jewish Star within the Red Crystal emblem on international humanitarian missions paradoxically places M.D.A. personnel in grave danger from hostile forces that may be operating within the host country. This so because the Third Additional Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions (formally known as “Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III), 8 December 2005”), which authorized the use of the Red Crystal emblem as a third permissible medical relief agency emblem, deliberately withholds international protective status from M.D.A. personnel who choose to embellish the Red Crystal emblem with a Red Star of David on international humanitarian missions. Moreover, after its ratification of the Third Additional Protocol on November 22, 2007, Israel was eventually pressured into formally acknowledging this outrageous fact. As set forth on the I.C.R.C. website:
Declaration by the State of Israel made on 5 November 2008:
On 5 November 2008, the State of Israel deposited with the Swiss Federal Council the following declaration referring to the text contained in the instrument of ratification of the Protocol III deposited by the State of Israel on 22 November 2007 (notification GEN 3/07 of 26 November 2007) (original English version):
«The Embassy of the State of Israel presents its compliments to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and has the honour to refer to the declaration made by Israel upon ratification of the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. In response to questions raised in relation to this declaration, the State of Israel wishes to confirm that this declaration is not intended to enable Israel to derogate from any of the provisions of the Protocol. It also recognizes that under the terms of the Protocol, the Red Crystal, when used as a protective emblem, may not incorporate any additional emblems or combine them as part of the protective emblem.»
In sum, this means that, on international humanitarian missions, M.D.A. personnel will be stripped of the international protective status accorded to them by the Geneva Conventions if (after obtaining permission from the host country) they dare to embellish their Red Crystal emblem with a Red Jewish Star.
Furthermore, the I.C.R.C. continues to condemn Israel for the latter’s necessary use of even passive security measures (such as its security barrier and fixed checkpoints) to protect its civilian population centers from “Palestinian” suicide bombers and other terrorists.
Consequently, although Israel’s national medical relief agency is now a member Society of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, its price of admission thereto included its capitulation on the international and full domestic use of its official emblem, the abandonment of its operations in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, and its agreement that the medical relief agency of the non-sovereign Palestinian Authority be accorded international recognition equal to that of the national medical relief agency of sovereign Israel. Accordingly, in an exercise of extreme partisanship, the I.C.R.C.’s official recognition of Israel’s national medical relief agency was conditioned, not only upon the M.D.A.’s international abandonment of its own sovereign emblem, but also upon Israel’s implicit acceptance of a nonexistent “Palestine”.
Then there is the “Organisation internationale de la Francophonie” (“International Organization of the French-speaking World”), more commonly as known as “La Francophonie”, which is an intergovernmental organization comprised of 77 countries and regions (as members, associate members and observers), which are former French colonies and/or in which a portion of the population speaks French as a primary or secondary language and/or in which there is a cultural affinity with France. Although a significant portion of Israel’s population derives from France or former French colonies in North Africa and is, consequently, francophone, the Jewish State has been barred from any participation in La Francophonie.
Moreover, even where Israel has never been barred from membership in a particular international organization, the international community’s hostility towards the Jewish State has nonetheless manifested itself in the ugliest of ways. For example, after the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by “Palestinian” Arab terrorists (acting under instructions from the Palestine Liberation Organization) during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany (commonly known as the “Munich Massacre”), the International Olympic Committee refused to cancel or postpone the remainder of the Games, thereby demonstrating both its disdain for the Jewish State and its indifference to the sensitivities of the Jewish victims’ families. In subsequent years, despite having permitted memorial ceremonies to be held during the Olympic Games for other deceased Olympic athletes, and despite having permitted a memorial ceremony to be held during the Olympic Games for victims of terrorism unrelated to the Games (namely, the moment of silence observed during the opening ceremony of the 2002 Olympic Games for the victims of the September 11, 2001 mega terrorist attack against the United States), the I.O.C. has steadfastly refused to permit any memorial ceremony to be held during the Games for the victims of the Munich Massacre. In particular, the I.O.C. refused a modest request -- prompted by the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre -- (initiated by students at Catholic University of America and subsequently adopted by Israel and several other countries) that a moment of silence be observed during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games for the murdered Israeli athletes and coaches. The official explanation for the I.O.C.’s longstanding refusal -- including its rejection of a mere moment of silence during the 2012 Olympic Games -- has always been that, by memorializing these Jewish victims of Arab terrorism during the Olympic Games, the I.O.C. would be politicizing the Games. Of course, by its longstanding refusal to memorialize these particular victims, the I.O.C. has already politicized the Games by implicitly legitimizing the perpetration of the Munich Massacre -- especially in light of the fact that, during the opening ceremony of these same 2012 Olympic Games, the I.O.C. did permit a video memorial for the victims of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attack against the London transit system. The significance of the I.O.C.’s position was formally acknowledged by the P.L.O.-controlled Palestinian Authority which sent a letter of appreciation to the I.O.C. in July 2012, lauding its rejection of the request that a moment of silence be observed during the 2012 Olympic Games for the victims of the Munich Massacre.
Then there is the European Union. In July 2013, the E.U. issued a ban on funding or coordinating with any Jewish organization which is located in or which provides services to Judea, Samaria or the eastern portion of Jerusalem (except if that Jewish organization aids the Arab residents of those areas and/or promotes an anti-settlement agenda). The official reason for the funding ban is the E.U’s refusal to be complicit in Israel’s “occupation” of “Palestinian” lands. However, contrariwise, the E.U. funds organizations which are located in and/or provide services to the occupied territories of Western Sahara (occupied by Morocco) and northeastern Cyprus (occupied by Turkey) in coordination with the governments of Morocco and Turkey. The hypocritical E.U. relentlessly seeks to stigmatize and thereby delegitimize the Jewish people’s lawful possession of their ancestral homeland, even while it works hard to sanitize and thereby legitimize the unlawful occupations that exist elsewhere in the World.
When it suits its diplomatic interests, even the United States -- Israel’s closest ally -- directly promotes international ostracism of the Jewish State. In September 2011, in an effort to more effectively combat terrorist groups, the U.S. created the “Global Counterterrorism Forum”, with an initial membership comprised of the European Union and 29 countries. Among the latter were 10 Muslim countries (namely, Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates), many of which (via tolerating, hosting, funding or providing ideological justification) have themselves facilitated acts of terrorism, most of which do not recognize Israel’s existence, and none of which regard attacks by “Palestinians” against Israel’s civilian population as terrorism. Although, due to existential necessity, Israel has become the World’s foremost expert in the field of counterterrorism, the U.S. barred the Jewish State from membership in the Forum and from attending its inaugural meeting in June 2012. Underscoring Israel’s exclusion from the Forum as well as from the Forum’s raison d'être, the speech given at the inaugural meeting by U.S. delegate Maria Otero (in her capacity as the U.S. State Department’s Undersecretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights), entitled “Victims of Terrorism”, conspicuously omitted the Jewish State from its recitation of countries that were under attack by terrorist groups.
And then, of course, there is the matter of Jerusalem. Until 2017, Israel was the only State in the World whose capital city -- Jerusalem -- was not recognized by the international community (including the United States) as actually being its capital city. Rather, the entire international community preferred to treat Tel Aviv as being Israel’s capital city. This non-recognition of a nation’s capital was unprecedented in the annals of international diplomacy. However, lest one think that this was the case merely because the international community does not recognize the legality of Israel’s post-1967 possession of the eastern portion of Jerusalem, it should be recalled that, since its establishment in 1948, modern Israel’s territory has always included the western portion of Jerusalem. Nonetheless, virtually the entire international community refused from 1948 until 2017 to recognize even the western portion of Jerusalem as being Israel’s capital. In furtherance of this international policy, the official website of the 2012 Olympic Games, created by the International Olympic Committee, initially listed Jerusalem as being the capital of a nonexistent “Palestine” and listed no capital for Israel. However, after a protest from Israel about this absurdity, the website was subsequently “corrected” to list no capital city for either “Palestine” or Israel, thereby perpetuating the initial absurdity. However, the international community’s monolithic policy on Jerusalem was breached in 2017. For, in April 2017, Russia recognized “West Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel; and, in December 2017, the United States recognized “Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel (without, for purposes of U.S. foreign policy, bisecting the City or otherwise specifying the City’s boundaries within Israel) and stated its intention to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. These U.S. declarations elicited condemnation from the European Union, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, numerous individual countries and Arab members of Israel’s parliament; and it triggered rioting among the Arab populations of Israel proper and the “West Bank”.
These U.S. declarations also triggered an attempted U.N. Security Council resolution (i.e. P.L.O.-initiated, Egyptian-sponsored Draft no. S/2017/1060 of December 18, 2017, which was vetoed by the United States after it had garnered 14 votes – out of total of 15 votes -- in its favor) and a subsequent identical U.N. General Assembly resolution (i.e., P.L.O.-initiated, Turkish-cosponsored Resolution no. A/RES/ES-10/19 of December 21, 2017, which was adopted by the affirmative vote of an overwhelming majority of U.N. member States), which declared, by implication, that the pro-Israel U.S. declarations on Jerusalem “… have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded …” and “calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem …” (Draft no. S/2017/1060 and Resolution no. A/RES/ES-10/19, operative paragraphs 1). The ostensible rationale for these anti-U.S., anti-Israel missives was that the U.S. declarations on Jerusalem had prejudged the outcome of the peace process and had consequently damaged the prospects for peace, because sovereignty over Jerusalem was meant to be a final status issue to be resolved exclusively in future negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization qua the “State of Palestine”. However, that faux rationale merely exposed the ongoing Antisemitism and hypocrisy that is rife throughout the U.N. system, which -- for almost five decades -- has itself prejudged the outcome of the farcical “peace process” and consequently damaged the prospects for peace by incessantly describing Jerusalem as being part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” (e.g., see the tenth preambulary paragraph of U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. A/RES/ES-10/14 of December 8, 2003, to wit: “Welcoming the convening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, at Geneva on 15 July 1999”). Predictably, both Turkey and Iran immediately thereafter also prejudged the outcome of the “peace process” and consequently damaged the prospects for peace by declaring that they recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the “State of Palestine” -- without triggering any adverse reaction from the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. General Assembly, the European Union or any other component of the international community.
Ironically, some commentators claim that non-recognition of even the western portion of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is mandated by international law per Section A (entitled “Special Regime”) of Part III (entitled “Jerusalem”) of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) of 1947 (commonly known as the “Palestine Partition Plan”), which called for Jerusalem and (per Part III, Section B of the Resolution) its environs (including Bethlehem) to be established as a “corpus separatum” to be administered by the United Nations (through its Trusteeship Council). The purpose of placing greater Jerusalem under the governance of the United Nations was to create a regime of international protection for the holy sites thereof (especially those of significance to Christianity, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Via Dolorosa, Calvary aka Golgotha, the Garden Tomb and the Church of the Nativity). However, it is pointed out that (a) the western portion of Jerusalem contains no holy sites; (b) the Resolution itself became inoperable once the “Palestinian” Arabs and the larger Arab World rejected it in word and deed; (c) no component of the U.N. system ever demanded that Part III of the Resolution be implemented during Jordan’s 19-year occupation of the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Bethlehem; and (d) after Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, all components of the U.N. system began to declare that the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Bethlehem belonged to the “Palestinian” Arabs (and, more recently, to the “State of Palestine”) rather than to the “corpus separatum” set forth in Part III of the Resolution. Moreover, and most importantly, it is also pointed out that U.N. General Assembly resolutions, including the famous Palestine Partition Plan, are merely directory rather than mandatory (i.e., they are not legally binding, and consequently they do not constitute or otherwise create international law). In summary, virtually the entire World perversely recognizes a nonexistent Arab sovereignty over the eastern portion of Jerusalem, while it simultaneously rejects the extant Jewish sovereignty over the western portion of the City.
Lastly, the international community has acquired the insidious habit of equating binding U.N. Security Council resolutions (issued pursuant to Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter) directed against evil and aggressive dictatorships (such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Stalinist North Korea and Islamo-fascist Iran) with non-binding U.N. resolutions directed against the terror-targeted Jewish State.
Remarkably, the international community’s strident isolation of Israel was foretold by the gentile prophet Balaam who -- gazing upon the Hebrew tribes as they advanced towards the biblical Land of Israel -- declared: “'For, from its origins I see it rock-like, and from hills do I see it; behold! -- it is a people that [physically] shall dwell in solitude and [spiritually] shall not be reckoned among the nations.'” (Numbers 23:9).
Clearly, Israel has no obligation to honor the malevolent Will of the international community as expressed through the U.N., especially when such hostile sentiment conflicts with the U.N.'s own Charter and with international law as expressed through the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.
Yet, in an attempt to denigrate the continuing international legal authority of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, the Jewish State's adversaries often claim that the Mandate for Palestine was -- and consequently the modern State of Israel is -- the product of post-World War I geopolitical manipulations by a small cartel of colonialist European powers, and that both are, accordingly, illegitimate. Of course, such a claim is not an assault merely upon the Jewish people's collective rights of settlement and self-determination in Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights, but rather upon the Jewish people's collective rights of settlement and self-determination in any portion, however miniscule, of former Mandatory Palestine. Putting aside the fact that the creation of the modern State of Israel was promoted not only by the post-World War I League of Nations, but also by the post-World War II United Nations (thereby rendering Israel the only nation in the World whose prospective emergence received the imprimatur of both international organizations), it must be remembered that all of the modern Arab nations are products of the very same historical process -- namely, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire wrought by World War I -- which resulted in the creation of the Jewish State. In particular, the State of Israel and the modern Arab nations of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan all emerged from the very same system of international mandates created by the League of Nations in the immediate aftermath of World War I (e.g., Iraq was created from the Mandate for Mesopotamia in 1932; Lebanon and Syria were created from the Mandate for Syria, respectively, in 1943 and 1946; and Jordan, then known as Transjordan, was created from the Mandate for Palestine in 1946). Moreover, in the post-World War I non-sovereign Middle East, containing a vast geographic area populated by both Jews and Arabs, it can hardly be deemed legitimate for these colonialist European powers to have allocated more than 99% (actually 99.68%, representing 38,120,550 square kilometers = 14,718,344 square miles) of that vast geographic area, excluding the lands of modern Jordan, exclusively to the Arab people (despite the presence of Jewish population centers among them) for the eventual creation of 20 sovereign Arab states therein, and, yet, illegitimate for these very same colonialist European powers to have allocated, per the Mandate for Palestine, less than 1% (actually 00.32%, representing 120,450 square kilometers = 46,506 square miles) of that vast geographic area, including the lands of modern Jordan, exclusively to the Jewish people (despite the presence of Arab population centers among them) for the eventual creation of one sovereign Jewish state in their ancestral Land. Of course, when -- per the severance authority of Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine -- the lands of modern Jordan are added to those areas which were lawfully placed under Arab sovereignty (thereby boosting to 21 the eventual number of sovereign Arab states to be created therefrom) and are subtracted from those areas which, originally, were to be lawfully placed under Jewish sovereignty, then the percentage of non-sovereign lands lawfully allocated exclusively to the Arab people increases to 99.93% (representing 38,212,850 square kilometers = 14,753,981 square miles) of that vast geographic area, and the percentage of non-sovereign lands lawfully allocated exclusively to the Jewish people (consisting of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights) decreases to 00.07% (representing 28,150 square kilometers = 10,869 square miles) of that vast geographic area. In order to put the foregoing post-World War I territory allocations into perspective, it is noteworthy that the aggregate land area allocated exclusively to the Arab people in the aftermath of World War I was greater than the combined areas of the United States and Europe, while the eventual land area allocated exclusively to the Jewish people was a little larger than the U.S. State of New Jersey.
And, finally, it must be remembered that League of Nations’ allocation of the non-sovereign territory of Mandatory Palestine to the Jewish people was no gift. Rather, it constituted a return of stolen property.
Moreover, although the League of Nations, as well as its Mandate for Palestine, was created in 1920 by only 41 nations, this initial group was hardly limited to the colonialist European powers. In fact, only 39% of the charter members of the League of Nations were even European nations, let alone colonialist powers. These charter members were: ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, CUBA, CZECHOSLOVAKIA (present-day CZECH REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA), DENMARK, EL SALVADOR, FRANCE, GREECE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HONDURAS, INDIA, ITALY, JAPAN, LIBERIA, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NORWAY, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERSIA (present-day IRAN), PERU, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, SIAM (present-day THAILAND), SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SOUTH AFRICA, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, VENEZUELA, and YUGOSLAVIA (present-day SERBIA, MONTENEGRO, SLOVENIA, CROATIA, MACEDONIA and BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA). And, by the time that the governing instrument of the Mandate for Palestine was issued in 1922, the following 10 additional nations had become members of the League of Nations: ALBANIA, AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, COSTA RICA, FINLAND, LUXEMBOURG, ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, and HUNGARY. Accordingly, if the criterion of legitimacy is to be the size of membership, then the League of Nations (which comprised 51 member States at the time of its issuance of the governing instrument of the Mandate for Palestine) is every bit an authoritative source of international law as is the United Nations (which comprised 51 member States at the time of its creation). In this context it is noteworthy that Israel’s adversaries have never questioned the validity of resolutions which are harmful to the Jewish State based upon the inadequate size of the issuing organization. For example, United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 194 continues to serve as the foundation for the global demand that the entirety of the hostile “Palestinian” Arab “refugee” population and its multigenerational foreign-born descendants be allowed to inundate Israel within its tiny nonviable 1949 armistice demarcation lines, despite the fact that, at the time of its issuance, the U.N. (which presently comprises 193 member States) comprised only 58 member States, and only 35 of those member States voted in favor of the Resolution.
Furthermore, there are many instruments of international law, decades older than the Mandate for Palestine, the continuing validities of which are not questioned Today, despite being almost entirely a product of the colonialist powers. Examples of these are the various international treaties created by the Hague Convention of 1899 and the Hague Convention of 1907 which established the Laws of War, the most renowned of which is the treaty formally known as “Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907”.
Despite all of the foregoing, the argument is often made that demographic dominance trumps both legal and historical rights, meaning that -- despite the international juridical authority of the Mandate for Palestine (which explicitly based itself upon the Jewish people's de jure historical connection to the biblical Land of Israel) -- the “Palestinian” Arabs have nonetheless acquired some form of de facto collective ownership over Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza simply because (except in the eastern portion of Jerusalem where they constitute only a slight majority) they presently constitute the overwhelming majority of the population thereof. Since this demographic status was achieved largely due to the successive massacres and expulsions by the “Palestinian” Arabs of their Jewish neighbors resident in these areas during the entire Mandatory period (from 1920 to1948), and due to the illegal restrictions instituted by Great Britain against Jewish immigration thereto and against Jewish land purchases therein (from 1939 to 1948), and due to the destruction by Jordan and Egypt -- in the wake of their illegal military occupations of these areas -- of all preexisting Jewish communities therein, thereby rendering these areas Judenrein (from 1948 to 1967), the “Palestinian” Arabs' present demographic dominance thereof hardly constitutes a moral imprimatur for their claim of de facto collective sovereignty thereto.
However, even had the “Palestinian” Arabs achieved their demographic dominance in these areas exclusively by peaceful and legitimate means, they would not thereby have acquired any collective sovereignty thereto. For example, the fact that ethnic Japanese, together with other Asian peoples, have long constituted the dominant population of the non-continental American state of Hawaii does not thereby provide such local Japanese and other Asians with any claim of collective sovereignty to that archipelago (despite the fact that the Hawaiian Islands are many thousands of kilometers distant from the continental United States); and, consequently, that area will continue to be a lawful part of the United States irrespective of that state's present or future demographic character. Similarly, by virtue of the Mandate for Palestine, exclusive collective sovereignty over the areas of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza (as well as the Golan Heights) will continue to lawfully inhere in the Jewish people irrespective of these areas' present or future demographic character and despite the fact that, due to demographic and diplomatic considerations, Israel has -- to date -- declined to annex the entirety of these areas (i.e., Israel has formally annexed the eastern portion of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, but not Judea, Samaria or Gaza). Presently, as a result of the Jewish people’s reclamation of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem, and Gaza during the 1967 Six Day War, more than 500,000 Jews have voluntarily relocated themselves to, or have been born in, these historically Jewish areas (save for Gaza and the northern portion of Samaria, from which all Jews were expelled by Israel in August 2005).
Moreover, if Arab demographic dominance requires the creation of a 22nd Arab State comprising the “West Bank” and (despite being physically separated from therefrom by more than 112 kilometers -- approximately 70 miles -- of land within Israel proper) Gaza, then why would wouldn’t Arab demographic dominance in certain portions of Galilee and the Negev Desert require the addition of these non-contiguous areas within Israel proper to that already non-contiguous Arab State? Stated another way, the same demographic argument that justifies the creation of a “Palestinian” State comprising Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza also justifies the inclusion of large chunks of Israel proper within that new State. Consequently, accepting that legally-irrelevant demographic dominance argument as a basis for the creation of a “Palestinian” State would be grossly myopic.
Hypocritically but unsurprisingly, the Palestinian Authority has rejected the converse hypothesis, namely, that Jewish demographic dominance in certain portions of the “West Bank” (including the existence of Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern portion of Jerusalem) justifies the addition of those areas to Israel proper. In this context, the Palestinian Authority has repeatedly declared that demographic dominance does not create -- and is not to be confused with -- territorial sovereignty. This statement is both legally and logically correct; and -- although not so intended by the Palestinian Authority -- it succinctly repudiates the demographic dominance argument advanced by proponents of the creation of a “Palestinian” State upon territory within the historic Land of Israel.
Finally, based upon an interpretive declaration by the International Committee of the Red Cross in July 1967, the entire U.N. system (i.e., the U.N. Secretariat, the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N.’s specialized constituent agencies and the U.N.’s affiliated organizations) thereafter eagerly declared that all Jewish communities and neighborhoods in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (and formerly in Gaza) were illegal under international law because their very existence violated Article 49 of Section III of Part III of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (formally known as the “Convention (IV) Relative To The Protection Of Civilian Persons In Time Of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949”), to which international agreement (but not its First Additional Protocol or Second Additional Protocol) Israel is a signatory State. It is noteworthy that, to date, Israel is the only State whose capture of territory has ever been declared by the I.C.R.C. and the U.N. system to be subject to -- let alone in violation of -- Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Firstly, in order to determine that Israel’s reacquisition of its ancestral lands made its possession and administration thereof subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the I.C.R.C. was forced to proclaim (despite the contrary language of Article 2 of the Convention) that it did not matter whether those reclaimed lands ever belonged to the countries (i.e., Jordan and Egypt) from whom they were taken. Secondly, in order to determine that Israel’s administration of those reacquired lands was in violation of the Convention, the I.C.R.C. was forced to proclaim (despite the contrary language of Article 49 of the Convention) that it did not matter whether the government of Israel had permitted, rather than forced, Jews to relocate to those reacquired lands.
Torturing the language and meaning of the Convention in order to delegitimize Israel’s lawful reacquisition of its ancestral lands will have unintended international consequences if the I.C.R.C. and the components of the U.N. system actually attempt to apply the foregoing analysis to a reacquiring State other than Israel. For example, in February 2014, Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula after ethnic Russians (some resident in Crimea and others infiltrated thereto by Russia) rebelled against Ukraine. Per the I.C.R.C.’s absurd analysis of the Convention, if Ukraine ever recaptures Crimea, then (1) Ukraine’s possession and administration of Crimea will be subject to the Convention (per Article 2 thereof), and (2) Ukraine will be barred by the Convention (per Article 49 thereof) from expelling the instigators of the rebellion and/or from permitting -- let alone encouraging -- mainland Ukrainians to relocate to Crimea. In sum, according to the I.C.R.C.’s analysis of the Convention, Ukraine’s reacquisition of Crimea would render Ukraine merely its “Occupying Power” rather than its Sovereign.
However, a review of Article 2 of the Convention makes it clear that, although the conduct of hostilities (and their aftermath) between signatory (and/or compliant) States is subject to the Convention, after a State reacquires land that was illegally seized by another State, the reacquiring State’s possession and administration of its reacquired land is not subject to the provisions of the Convention.
Article 2 of Part I of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that the Convention binds and benefits the “High Contracting Parties” thereto (i.e., the signatory States) as well as those non-signatory States which voluntarily undertake to be compliant therewith in “all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict” between such States or in “all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance” -- in other words, in situations either of ongoing hostilities between such States (whether or not accompanied by the occupation by one such State of the territory of another such State) or of the occupation by one such State of the territory of another such State (whether or not accompanied by ongoing hostilities between such States). In either situation, per the applicability standards set forth in Article 2 of the Convention, those provisions of the Convention which apply to captured lands -- namely, Section III of Part III of the Convention, encompassing Articles 47 - 78 thereof, entitled “Occupied Territories” -- apply only to those captured lands which belonged to the signatory (or compliant) State from which they were conquered.
Moreover, since the Fourth Geneva Convention does not purport to determine which land belongs to which signatory or compliant State, the Convention is legally and logically irrelevant to issues of sovereignty. Consequently, the Convention can never be used as a basis for determining the international legal status of captured territory (i.e., whether captured land lawfully belonged to the State from whom it was seized, or to the State by whom it was seized, or to a nonparticipating third State). To repeat: If -- and only if -- captured territory belonged to the State from whom it was seized, then -- and only then -- are Articles 47 - 78 of the Convention applicable to the capturing State’s possession and administration of those lands.
Article 2 of the Convention states, in full, as follows:
Application of the Convention
In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territories of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
Article 49 of the Convention states, in full, as follows:
Deportations, transfers, evacuations
or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from
occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any
other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.
The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.
The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.
The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
Although Article 49 of the Convention prohibits a signatory (or compliant) State from effecting “individual or mass forcible transfers ... regardless of their motive” and also prohibits such a State from “deport[ing] or transfer[ring] parts of its own civilian population” from its territory into the captured territory belonging to another signatory (or compliant) State, it bears reiterating that Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza were not the captured territories of another State (whether signatory, compliant or otherwise), as these areas never belonged either to those sovereign signatory States -- Jordan and Egypt -- from which they were reacquired or to the non-sovereign “Palestinian” Arabs who have presently asserted their fictitious claim of collective ownership thereto. Rather, under the international legal authority of the Mandate for Palestine, these captured areas have continued to belong collectively only to the Jewish people. And, although Israel’s and its adversaries’ conduct of the Six Day War was subject to Convention, the fact that the lands captured by the Jewish State in that War lawfully belonged to the Jewish people prevents any provision of the Convention (including Article 49 thereof) from regulating the Jewish State’s administration of these lands.
Yet, even if the Convention were to be applicable to Israel’s possession and administration of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and (formerly) Gaza, Israel has nonetheless not violated Article 49 thereof precisely because Israel has not transferred (forcibly or otherwise) any portion of its population from its pre-1967 territory into the territories that it captured in the 1967 Six Day War; rather, portions of the Jewish people have themselves voluntarily relocated thereto. Furthermore, this voluntary relocation effort was initially commenced without prior authorization from the Israeli government and in direct violation of the government’s initial policy of barring Jewish settlement in these areas. Moreover, not all of the Jewish communities established in these areas were new, as many were former Jewish communities that had been destroyed by the Arabs during the 1948 War of Independence (or earlier) and were subsequently rebuilt by the returning Jewish population. Moreover, a substantial portion of the Jews presently residing in these areas did not even relocate thereto; rather, they were born there. It is noteworthy that there is no provision in Article 49 of the Convention that imposes upon an occupant State any obligation to prevent its citizens from relocating to, or being born within, territory captured by it. Nor is there any provision in Article 49 of the Convention that bars an occupant State from building homes (or entire towns), or requires an occupant State to prevent its citizens from building homes (or entire towns), within territory captured by it.
Moreover, unlike Jordan and Egypt, since the “Palestinian” Arabs are not a sovereign State, they cannot presently be a lawful signatory to (or a lawful non-signatory State undertaking to be compliant with) the Convention; and, consequently, even if the Convention’s Article 49 were to be otherwise applicable to Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza, the non-sovereign “Palestinian” Arabs have no legal standing to invoke the Convention (as, per Article 149 of Section I of Part IV of the Convention, only a signatory or compliant State which was a party to the particular conflict may invoke the Convention; so, even if the Palestine Liberation Organization qua “Palestine” is presently deemed to be a State by much of the international community, not even the P.L.O. claimed that status before, during or immediately after the Six Day War of 1967, meaning that not even the P.L.O. claims that it was a State party to that War).
Article 149 of the Convention states, in full, as follows:
At the request of a Party to the conflict, an enquiry shall be instituted, in a manner to be decided between the interested Parties, concerning any alleged violation of the Convention.
If agreement has not been reached concerning the procedure for the enquiry, the Parties should agree on the choice of an umpire who will decide upon the procedure to be followed.
Once the violation has been established, the Parties to the conflict shall put an end to it and shall repress it with the least possible delay.
This, however, has not prevented the leadership of the “Palestinian” Arabs from presently claiming sovereign status. Shortly after the United Nations changed the name of the “Palestinian” Permanent Observer delegation from “Palestine Liberation Organization” to “Palestine” in 1988, the Palestine Liberation Organization, acting as “the Government of the State of Palestine”, attempted to join all four Geneva Conventions of 1949 by sending a letter of accession thereto to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland (an agency of the Federal Council of Switzerland, being the official depositary of the Geneva Conventions for purposes of receiving and recording the ratifications, accessions and denunciations thereto). Below is the report of that attempt, posted in the form of a footnote to the section of the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross which lists the States that either originally ratified or subsequently acceded to any of the Conventions:
On 21 June 1989, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs received a letter from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva informing the Swiss Federal Council "that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, entrusted with the functions of the Government of the State of Palestine by decision of the Palestine National Council, decided, on 4 May 1989, to adhere to the Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the two Protocols additional thereto".
On 13 September 1989, the Swiss Federal Council informed the States that it was not in a position to decide whether the letter constituted an instrument of accession, "due to the uncertainty within the international community as to the existence or non-existence of a State of Palestine".
It is noteworthy that the upgrade in diplomatic status of the P.L.O. qua “Palestine” from a “Permanent Observer Mission” to a “Non-Member Observer State”, which was engineered by the U.N General Assembly in 2012, did not actually render the P.L.O. a sovereign State pursuant to international law. Per the Montevideo Convention (formally known as the “Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States” of December 26, 1933), although “[t]he political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states” (Article 3 of the Convention), the political existence of a State cannot be recognized under international law unless and until the putative State has satisfied all of the following requirements:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” (Article 1 of the Convention)
Since the P.L.O., acting through the Palestinian Authority, does not possess any governmental control over large portions of the population and territory (i.e., Hamas-ruled Gaza, Israeli-ruled eastern portion of Jerusalem and Area C of Judea and Samaria), and possesses only partial governmental control over the remainder of the population and territory (i.e., Areas A & B of Judea and Samaria), which it (with the concurrence of the U.N. and virtually all of the nations of the World) officially defines as the “State of Palestine” for diplomatic purposes (despite its actual claim that all of Israel is “Palestine”), the first three requirements of statehood under international law have not been satisfied. Since Hamas controls entry to Gaza, and since Israel has annexed the eastern portion of Jerusalem and controls entry to all areas of Judea and Samaria, the P.L.O. lacks any independent capacity to enter into effective relations with other States affecting any portion of the “State of Palestine”, meaning that the fourth requirement of statehood under international law has also not been satisfied. Consequently, the U.N.’s illegal recognition of the P.L.O. qua “Palestine” as a sovereign State is yet another example of the U.N.’s continuous subversion of international law in order to delegitimize the State of Israel’s right to sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel. Moreover, it is a logical contradiction for the “Palestinians” and the components of the United Nations system to claim that “Palestine” constitutes a sovereign State that is under Occupation by Israel, as (per the Statehood requirements of Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention) the international legal statuses of Statehood and Occupation are mutually exclusive.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, due to the U.N.’s upgrading of the diplomatic status of the P.L.O. in 2012, Switzerland permitted the P.L.O. to join all of the Geneva Conventions in April 2014, thereby enabling the P.L.O. qua “State of Palestine” to directly demand that the other signatory States sanction Israel for “violating” Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is noteworthy that Switzerland voted in favor of the P.L.O.’s status upgrade in 2012.
It is also noteworthy that the statehood-seeking “Palestinians” are not even a distinct ethnic group. This is because, as explicitly declared in Articles 1 and 3 of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s National Covenant of 1964 (excerpts of which are republished below), the Arab clans that comprise the “Palestinian” people are not ethnically different from the multitude of Arab clans ranging through 21 sovereign Arab nations from Mauritania in the West to Oman in the East. Recognizing this fact, none of the foundational international instruments which deal with the Conflict ever referred to the Arab inhabitants of Mandatory Palestine as the “Palestinian” people. For, prior to Israel's resurrection as a Jewish nation-state in 1948, only the Jewish inhabitants of Mandatory Palestine (although sometimes referred to as “Palestinian Jews” by the British and other third parties) actually identified themselves as “Palestinians”, while the Arab inhabitants thereof (although sometimes referred to as “Palestinian Arabs” by the British and other third parties) instead insisted on identifying themselves as “southern Syrians”.
The local Arab identification as “southern Syrian” was succinctly summarized by Auni Bey Abd al-Hadi, Secretary-General of the Arab Higher Committee of Mandatory Palestine, in his testimony to the Peel Commission of 1936, created by Great Britain in response to the “Great Arab Revolt” in Mandatory Palestine (1936 - 1939):
“There is no such country [as Palestine]! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was, for centuries, part of Syria.”
In deference to this longstanding non-assertion of “Palestinian” ethnic identity, the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1922 referred to the local Arab population as “existing non-Jewish communities”, and the United Nations Palestine Partition Plan of 1947 referred throughout only to the creation of an Arab (rather than an ethnic “Palestinian”) State and to the prospective citizenry thereof as Arabs (rather than as ethnic “Palestinians”), while United Nations Security Council Resolution no. 242 of 1967 referred to them only as “the refugee problem”. In fact, in the Palestine Partition Plan’s only reference to a “Palestinian” people, the Plan refers to “the two Palestinian peoples” then inhabiting Mandatory Palestine (see U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181(II), Part III, Section C, Paragraph 1(b)), meaning ethnic Jews and ethnic Arabs. Stated another way, the very language of these international instruments confirms that the vaunted concept of a “Palestinian” ethnic identity is, in fact, a propaganda device of more recent invention popularized (together with the nouveau appellation “West Bank” -- a de-Judaizing substitution for the historical names Judea and Samaria plus the eastern portion of Jerusalem) in the aftermath of the Six Day War of 1967, which -- in tribute to that ancient machination of the Roman Empire which remade Judea (Land of the Jews) into Palestine (Land of the Philistines) -- was designed by the Arab nations and the larger Muslim world to delegitimize the almost 4,000-year-old national Jewish claim to those areas of biblical Israel to which the Mandatory rights of Jewish settlement and self-determination are still applicable.
Further proving the point that the “Palestinians” constitute a fabricated ethnicity is the fact that, by the time that Israel had declared its independence as a Jewish nation-state in 1948, a substantial portion of the “Palestinian” Arab population resident in the cis-Jordania portion of Mandatory Palestine originated, not even from that territory, but rather from the surrounding Arab lands. The mass immigration of impoverished Arabs to the historic Land of Israel during the Mandatory period was triggered mainly by the new economic opportunities created by the mass Jewish immigration to the Land authorized by the League of Nations in 1920 via the latter’s creation of the Mandate for Palestine.
Furthermore, assuming accession by the “Palestinians” to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the fact remains that no part of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza (nor, for that matter, any part of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines) ever collectively belonged to them. This is because never in the annals of History, did the ancestors of the people who now call themselves “Palestinians” ever rule -- or even reside in -- a nation-state (or kingdom) of “Palestine”, as such a sovereign entity never existed.
Moreover, during the 19 years (from 1948 to 1967) that Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, and Gaza, were illegally occupied, respectively, by Jordan and Egypt, neither the “Palestinian” Arab inhabitants of those areas nor the larger Arab and Muslim worlds ever asserted the existence therein of either an ethnically distinct “Palestinian” people or a historical nation-state (or kingdom or other sovereign entity) known as “Palestine”. And, tellingly, during those same 19 years, neither the “Palestinian” Arabs nor any nation of the World nor the International Committee of the Red Cross nor any component of the United Nations system ever asserted that the Fourth Geneva Convention was applicable to Jordanian and Egyptian governance of occupied “Palestine”. Moreover, from the termination of Jordan’s Occupation of Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem due to the 1967 Six Day War until July 1988, Jordanian maps continued to depict those lost territories as part of Jordan (rather than as Israeli-occupied “Palestine”), while it depicted only Israel (within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines) as “Occupied Palestine”. It is consequently not surprising that during the Jordanian and Egyptian Occupations, there was never any demand from any quarter for the establishment in Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, and/or in Gaza, of a “Palestinian” state. In fact, the Arabs of Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, after having emphatically insisted that they were “southern Syrians” prior to the 1948 War of Independence, supinely accepted that they were “Jordanians” from 1948 to 1967 -- only to assert their identity as “Palestinians” after the Jewish people’s reacquisition of these territories in the 1967 Six Day War. Furthermore, per Article 24 of the original National Covenant of the Palestine Liberation Organization enacted May 28, 1964, the leadership of the “Palestinian” people even went so far as to publicly disavow any claim of sovereignty to these very areas during those 19 years of illegal occupation by Jordan and Egypt. The P.L.O.’s original Covenant operatively declared, in salient part, as follows:
. . .
Article 1. Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong Arab national ties to the rest of the Arab countries which together form the large Arab homeland.
Article 2. Palestine with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate is a regional indivisible unit.
Article 3. The Palestine Arab people has the legitimate right to its homeland and is an inseparable part of the Arab nation. It shares the suffering and aspiration of the Arab nation and its struggle for freedom, sovereignty, progress and unity.
Article 4. The people of Palestine determine their destiny when they complete the liberation of their homeland in accordance with their own wishes and free will and choice.
. . .
Article 11. The Palestinian people firmly believes in Arab unity, and in order to play its role in realizing this goal, it must, at this stage of its struggle, preserve its Palestinian personality and all its constituents. It must strengthen the consciousness of its existence and stand against any attempt or plan that may weaken or disintegrate its personality.
Article 12. Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two complementary goals; each prepares for the attainment of the other. Arab unity leads to the liberation of Palestine, and the liberation of Palestine leads to Arab unity. Working for both must go side by side.
Article 13. The destiny of the Arab nation and even the essence of Arab existence are firmly tied to the destiny of the Arab question. From this firm bond stem the effort and struggle of the Arab nation to liberate Palestine. The people of Palestine assume a vanguard role in achieving this sacred national goal.
Article 14. The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national duty. Its responsibilities fall upon the entire Arab nation, Governments and peoples, the Palestinian people being in the forefront. For this purpose, the Arab nation must mobilize its military, spiritual and material potentialities; specifically, it must give to the Palestinian Arab people all possible support and backing and place at its disposal all opportunities and means to enable it to perform its role in liberating its homeland.
. . .
Article 17. The partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are illegal and false regardless of the lapse of time, because they were contrary to the wish of the Palestine people and its natural right to its homeland, and in violation of the basic principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.
Article 18. The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate system and all that has been based upon them are considered a fraud. The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of History or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism, because it is a divine religion, is not a nationality with independent existence. Furthermore, the Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are the citizens of the countries to which they belong.
Article 19. Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive and expansionist in its goal, racist and segregationist in its configurations and fascist in its means and aims. Israel, in its capacity as the spearhead of this destructive movement and the pillar of colonialism, is a permanent source of tension and turmoil in the Middle East in particular and to the international community in general. Because of this the people of Palestine is worthy of the support and sustenance of the community of nations.
Article 20. The causes of peace and security and the needs of right and justice demand from all nations, in order to safeguard true relationships among peoples and to maintain the loyalty of citizens to their homelands, that they consider Zionism an illegal movement and outlaw its presence and activities.
Article 21. The Palestine people believes in the principle of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and the right of peoples to practice these principles. It also supports all international efforts to bring about peace on the basis of justice and free international cooperation.
Article 22. The people of Palestine believe in peaceful co-existence on the basis of legal existence, for there can be no co-existence with aggression, nor can there be peace with occupation and colonialism.
Article 23. In realizing the goals and principles of this Covenant the Palestine Liberation Organization carries out its complete role to liberate Palestine in accordance with the fundamental law of this Organization.
Article 24. This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the Gaza Strip [occupied by Egypt] or in the Hammah area [occupied by Syria]. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.
Article 25. This Organization is charged with the movement of the Palestine people in its struggle to liberate its homeland in all liberational, organizational, political and financial matters, and in all other needs of the Palestine Question in the Arab and international spheres.
Article 26. The Liberation Organization cooperates with all Arab Governments, each according to its ability, and does not interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab State.
. . .
Since the P.L.O.’s original Covenant explicitly recognized the “West Bank” (i.e., Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount) and Gaza as belonging to other Arab states (per Article 24), even declaring that the P.L.O. “does not interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab State” (Article 26), the only "Arab homeland" of "Palestine" (Article 1) which that organization sought to "liberate" in 1964 was the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines. However, in response to the Jewish people's reclamation in the 1967 Six Day War of those illegally-occupied areas, the Palestine Liberation Organization thereupon revised its National Covenant on July 17, 1968 to, inter alia, remove the operative language of Article 24 therefrom, thereby reversing its prior declaration that those areas did not constitute or otherwise belong to "Palestine" and thereby -- for the first time -- asserting a "Palestinian" claim of sovereignty thereto. Being indisputably based upon the changing status of Jewish territorial reclamation, the “Palestinian” renunciation of sovereignty and subsequent cancellation of that renunciation demonstrate that the “nationalism” espoused by the “Palestinians” has nothing to do with their professed desire to create a “Palestinian” State for themselves in the “West Bank” and Gaza, and everything to do with their actual desire to dismantle the existing Jewish State.
The foregoing merely reinforces the absurdity of the worldwide assertion that Israel is occupying “Palestinian” territory. For, it bears reiterating that, in 1967, Israel took Gaza from Egypt, and took Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem from Jordan -- not from the “Palestinians”. Consequently, if those captured areas were to actually belong to the “Palestinians”, it would mean that Egypt and Jordan were occupying “Palestinian” territory from 1948 to 1967. Yet, prior to the Six Day War of 1967, not a single United Nations resolution ever claimed that either Gaza or the “West Bank” constituted occupied territory -- let alone occupied “Palestinian” territory. Neither did a single U.N. constituent agency or affiliated organization ever made that claim. Neither did a single country ever made that claim. Neither did a single international or national media outlet ever made that claim. And, neither did a single “human rights” organization ever made that claim. Finally, as set forth above, not even the “Palestinians” themselves ever made that claim. However, as soon as Israel reacquired those portions of its historic homeland, all of the foregoing parties, with one notable exception, began to hypocritically and falsely assert that very claim, but only prospectively -- and only against Israel. That notable exception was the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which, from June 1967 until July 1988, continued to insist that the “West Bank” belonged, not to the “Palestinians”, but to it. However, in July 1988, Jordan announced that it was abandoning its illegitimate claim to the “West Bank” in favor of the Palestine Liberation Organization (then based in Tunis, Tunisia), which soon thereafter declared itself to be the “State of Palestine” in exile.
This situation evokes the equally-absurd territorial claim once made against biblical Israel by the Ammonites, whose former region of Gilead, located east of the Jordan River, had (hundreds of years earlier) been captured by the Amorites, after which Israel took that territory, thereby prompting the Ammonites to falsely claim that Israel had taken, and was occupying, Ammonite territory, despite the fact that Israel had taken that territory from the Amorites -- not from the Ammonites. As the Hebrew Bible relates: "Jepthah [the leader of the Hebrews residing in Gilead] sent emissaries to the king of the Children of Ammon, saying, 'What is there between you and me that you have come to me to make war in my Land?' The king of the Children of Ammon said to Jephthah's emissaries, 'Because Israel took away my lands when it ascended from Egypt, from the Arnon [River] to the Jabbok [River] to the Jordan [River]; so now return them in peace.' And Jephthah once again sent emissaries to the king of the Children of Ammon, and said to him, 'So said Jephthah: Israel did not take away the land of ... the Children of Ammon ... [but rather] ... Israel took possession of the entire land of the Amorite ... And now HaShem, the God of Israel, has driven out the Amorite from before His People Israel -- yet you would [presume to] possess it? Surely, whatever your god Chemosh lets you possess, that you shall possess; and whichever [people] God drives away from before us, that [Land] we shall possess ... I have not sinned against you; but you do me wrong to make war against me! Let HaShem, the Judge, decide today between the Children of Israel and the Children of Ammon!" (Judges 11:12-27). When the Ammonites persisted in making war against Israel, not only did Israel successfully defend its sovereignty over Gilead, but it also wreaked havoc upon the cities of Ammon (see Judges 11:28-33)
Moreover, it also bears reiterating that the ancient Philistines, after whom the “Palestinians” have named themselves, were not even Arabs. Moreover, in light of “Palestinian” claims to aboriginal status, it is ironic and noteworthy that the English-language cognate words “Palestine” and “Philistine”, as well as the Arabic-language word “Falastin”, are all derived (via Latin and, before that, Greek) from the biblical Hebrew-language word “Pelishtim” (“Philistines”), whose literal meaning is: “Invaders”. It is indeed telling that the “Palestinians” have created for themselves a faux ethnic identity whose very name originates, not from their own Arabic language, but rather from the Hebrew language.
Lastly, even the quintessential symbol of the "Palestinian" people, namely, former P.L.O. chairman and former Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat, serves to prove its nonexistence. Arafat was an Egyptian national born in Cairo in 1929 -- some four decades before any assertion by anyone of the existence of an ethnically distinct "Palestinian" people -- who continued to live in Egypt through the creation of modern Israel (i.e., he was neither a "Palestinian" nor a refugee). Moreover, the first P.L.O. chairman, Ahmed Shukeiry, was a Lebanese-born Saudi Arabian national.
In truth, the post-1967 descriptor “Palestinian” -- like the descriptors “Texan” and “Californian” -- is geographical rather than ethnic. This assertion is ironically supported by the very language of the P.L.O. National Covenant of 1964, which rarely refers to its constituency as “the Palestinians” or as “the Palestinian people” (precisely because the descriptor “Palestinian” was the detested label by which the resident Jewish population had identified itself during the Mandatory period), but instead almost always refers to its constituency as “the Palestine Arab people” (e.g., Article 3) or “the people of Palestine” (e.g., Articles 4, 13, 19 & 22) or “the Palestine people” (e.g., Articles 17, 21 & 25), thereby describing the latter’s connection to “Palestine” almost exclusively in geographical rather than ethnic terminology. The only consistent ethnic label used by the P.L.O. National Covenant of 1964 to describe its constituency is the descriptor “Arab” (e.g., Articles 1, 3, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 25). Moreover, it is telling that when the P.L.O. National Covenant of 1964 first employs the phrase “the Palestinian people” to describe the “personality” of its constituency, it emphasizes that its use of such descriptor constitutes only a temporary tactical ploy (see Article 11). Due to the fact that the "Palestinians" are no more a distinct ethnic people than are “Texans” or “Californians”, they do not have a legal right, historical right or moral right -- in derogation of paramount Jewish rights to the Land of Israel -- to establish a sovereign State within any portion of the Land in order to express a distinct ethnic identity that does not -- and has never -- existed.
The bogus claim of “Palestinian” ethnicity is merely an elaborate (and -- thus far -- diplomatically successful) ruse to disguise the true pan-Arab and pan-Islamic goal, which is to dismember and then eradicate the Jewish nation-state of Israel.
Occasionally, even “Palestinian” leaders themselves publicly admit as much. As candidly stated by Zahir Muhsein, then head of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Military Department and a member of its Executive Committee:
“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, Today, there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak, Today, about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan -- which is a sovereign state with defined borders -- cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While, as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beersheba and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.” (Excerpt from interview given by Zahir Muhsein to Netherlands-based newspaper “Dagblad de Verdieping Trouw”, March 31, 1977).
And, as subsequently declared by Azmi Bishara, an Arab citizen of Israel and a professor of philosophy and cultural studies who later became the leader of Balad, an Arab political party that was elected to Israel’s parliament (known as the Knesset) based upon its anti-Israel platform:
“Well, I do not think there is a ‘Palestinian’ nation at all. I think there is an Arab nation. I always thought so, and I did not change my mind. I do not think there is a ‘Palestinian’ nation. I think it is a colonialist invention -- a ‘Palestinian’ nation. When were there any ‘Palestinians’? Where did it come from? I think there is an Arab nation. I never turned out to be a ‘Palestinian’ nationalist, despite my decisive struggle against the [Israeli] Occupation. I think that until the end of the 19th century, Palestine was the south of Greater Syria.” (Excerpt from televised interview given by Azmi Bishara to Yaron London of Israel-based Channel 2 TV, circa 1999)
Subsequently, the inauthenticity of “Palestinian” ethnicity was publicly reiterated -- due to economic necessity -- by Fathi Hammad, then Hamas’ Minister of the Interior and of National Security, as part of his demand that Egypt provide more diesel fuel to Hamas-ruled Gaza:
“Allah be praised, we all have Arab roots; and every Palestinian, in Gaza and throughout Palestine, can prove his Arab roots -- whether from Saudi Arabia, from Yemen, or anywhere. We have blood ties. So where is your affection and mercy? . . . Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called [by the last name] al-Masri [meaning: “the Egyptian”]. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis. Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians. We are Arabs. We are Muslims. We are a part of you.” (Excerpt from Fathi Hammad’s speech aired on Egypt-based al-Hekmah TV, March 23, 2012)
In this context, it is noteworthy that, more than 3,000 years ago, God declared to Moses: "They [Children of Israel] provoked Me with a non-god, angered Me with their vanities; so shall I provoke them with a non-people, with a vile nation shall I anger them." (Deuteronomy 32:21)
In sum, the unending deluge of public declarations by the gentile nations (and by the international organizations through which they interact) that portions of the Land of Israel are actually the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”, as well as the general hostility and ostracism experienced by Israel in all manner of international forums, has nothing to do with international law and everything to do with international politics, which, in Israel’s case, is propelled by a toxic mixture of Jew-hatred and economic self-interest. In Israel’s case, international law has been so dismembered by international politics that its precepts have been habitually distorted in order to protect and reward the defeated Aggressors and to deter and punish the undefeated Victim. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that, in an attempt to adorn the ongoing War against Zionism with a veneer of diplomatic legitimacy, the international community willfully falsifies and thereby willfully subverts international law.
Accordingly, despite the layers of falsehoods, half-truths and distortions that have encrusted this subject matter over many past decades, international law remains Today as it was in 1920:
All of cis-Jordania (as well as the Golan Heights portion of trans-Jordania) collectively belongs exclusively to the Jewish people.
Consequently, in reality, it is the Arab population thereof -- being the descendants of the massive 7th Century colonialist Islamic invasion force emanating from ancient Arabia -- which is occupying Jewish Land.
However, if the World were nonetheless to complain that Israel's possession of Judea, Samaria, and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (and formerly of Gaza), even if lawful, nevertheless deprives the “Palestinian” Arab population thereof of a separate independent homeland, then the World should be reminded that the modern State of Jordan -- constituting 77% of former Mandatory Palestine and, in consequence thereof, overwhelmingly comprised of a “Palestinian” Arab population -- is already that separate independent homeland.
Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas admitted as much when, during his meeting with Jordanian Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein on June 2, 2015, he declared, in part:
"This is a friendly meeting between Jordan and Palestine, which will continue to be as they have been: one people in two countries.” (as reported in the Britain-based, Saudi-owned “Asharq al-Awsat” newspaper, June 2, 2015)
Lastly, it is ironic that the nations of the “enlightened” West (i.e., the World’s liberal democracies) which demand “freedom” for the “Palestinian” Arabs as a prerequisite for the latter’s unconditional termination of its War against Israel have neglected (or refused) to analyze whether carving out a 22nd Arab State from the Land of Israel would actually achieve that objective. It would not. Firstly, both the Palestinian Authority (ruling in the “West Bank”) and Hamas (ruling in Gaza) are dictatorial regimes which openly repudiate every aspect of the liberal democratic ethos, such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion (including the freedom to convert from Islam to another religion), freedom of association (including freedom of sexual preference and freedom of business enterprise), freedom of the press, gender equality and regime financial transparency. So, although no longer being ruled by Israel, “Palestinians” residing in a future “State of Palestine”, would not actually be free. On the contrary, they would continue to live under two of the most repressive and corrupt regimes on planet Earth. Secondly, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are Muslim-supremacist organizations which promote Jew-hatred and the destruction of the Jewish State to their respective populations as paramount religious and cultural values via (a) propaganda mechanisms (such as school curricula, mosque sermons, speeches by regime elites, media programming and public events), and (b) financial incentives (such as generous monthly payments to “Palestinian” terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to the families of “Palestinian” terrorists killed during the commission or in the aftermath of terrorist attacks). Consequently, a future “State of Palestine” would continue to be both unfree and belligerent.
© Mark Rosenblit