..... and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. Isaiah 54:17

International Law and Israel

Palestinian wall art in Bethlehem. Pursuing the ficticious struggle for legal rights to the land

Palestinian wall art in Bethlehem. Pursuing the ficticious struggle for legal rights to the land. (Leila Khaled was the only survivor of a group of terrorists that attempted to Hijack an El Al aircraft)

Anti-Israel activists regularly accuse Israel of being in defiance of one or another articles of what they call "International Law." These people are not lawyers but believe they know what they are talking about; and their claims are reported and believed.

Jaques Gautier pictured with his document covering all the legal arguments about Israel under International Law.Jaques Gauthier is a lawyer and has specialised in studying all the actual International Law that applies to Israel and the territory it holds.

This he has carefully collected into a large volume that proves Israel is not in violation of International law, as he explained to the audience at the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles in September 2010.

CD available from ICEJ Resources.

On the same subject, Roy Thurley has given a presentation entitled, "ISRAEL: THE TWICE PROMISED LAND" talk with PowerPoint slides and this is available from CFI-UK and Hatikvah.

The issues are summarised in a video below.

The issue is largely a matter of ownership of the Land.

Jaques Gautier pictured with his document weighing 10 pounds and running to 1400 pages.

Many arguments depend on an accurate version of History and Geography.

This web page is based on the C.D. of the Jaques Gauthier address plus screen shots of documents referred to.

Also highly recommended is the article "According to International Law: Is Israel Illegal?" by Shira Sorko Ram. This article will be available long term in the archive of Maoz Israel website – look always for the Maoz Report, then go to archive. You are welcome to use the article for educational purposes.

(It appears that an error crept in to this article, concerning the 1939 White Paper in Britain - see below. )

 

Courts of nations don’t use the language of scripture. We know what scripture says but to withstand arguments about "International Law" we have to listen to Politics and Law.

Who has title to Jerusalem?

We must deal with the Old City.

Positions of claimants

Israel - West and East Jerusalem and Old City

Arabs - East Jerusalem and Old City

(or they may speak of East Jerusalem or Arab Jerusalem – (but they are including the Old City))

We are making the point that Jews are there not as settlers but of right under International law. We are not talking pragmatics or negotiations. The argument is over who has title.

East Jerusalem's Jewish neighbourhoods have become “illegal settlements” because USA wants East Jerusalem to be the capital of a new Palestinian state. They are working backwards from a desired outcome.

Important distinction

“The West Bank is occupied territory” is accurate. “The West Bank is occupied Palestinian territory” is not accurate.

It is important to accept this fact about “occupation”. In a state of war, occupation is a legal term but it has been made negative and nasty. West Bank was occupied by the British until the treaty of Lausanne was signed. (from taking over until legal determination of status.)

The West Bank is occupied Jewish territory.

The UN can make Resolutions etc, but it can not change legal status.

Look at a map of the boundaries in 1967 and you will see the “Green Line”. The Green Line is not sacred; it is an armistice line - where fighting stopped.

GENERAL ARMISTICE AGREEMENT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND JORDAN - APRIL 3, 1949
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 provision of the Agreement being dedicated exclusively by the military considerations.

The legal basis is Article 2 of the Agreement between Israel and Jordan – it specifies there is no provision to prejudice the claims of either party. It is only relevant to war and where they stopped fighting. Look at the map to see what would be Jewish if the Green Line was used to delineate a Jewish state; Jerusalem would be completely cut off and surrounded.

1988 Jordan abandoned claims

1949 Jordan annexed the West Bank as “belligerent occupants”

Looking at maps down through the centuries reveals hardly any change until the early 20 th century when some buildings appear outside the walls.

Anyone who claims there never was a Temple should look to the Romans – pictured on Titus’ Arch.

Key events in History

To Jewish People, before there was a Jewish State there was Zionism – asking for recognition of the Jewish people and, ultimately a Jewish State.

A JEWISH PALESTINE: THE JEWISH CASE FOR A BRITISH TRUSTEESHIP BY H SACHER - 1919
4) The Peace Conference may decree that some one power be the mandatory of the humanity for supervising the rise of a Jewish Palestine.
That single mandatory may be either Great Britain or some other power.
If we Jews ask that Great Britain be appointed the trustee for a Jewish Palestine, that is a demand which the Peace Conference would find irresistible and that is a title which could not be impeached.
Selection by the Jewish people alone can be given the indispensable moral sanction to a trustee for a Jewish Palestine.
As we understand the matter, the British Government has no desire to establish sovereignty over Palestine in any imperialistic spirit or for any imperialistic purposes.
But it is ready to assume at the request of the Jewish people, and with the authority of the Peace Conference, the high mission of trustee to watch over and aid in the establishment of a Jewish Palestine.

 

CONDITIONS INCLUDED IN THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATION CLAIMS
1 The contracting parties shall recognize the historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine and the right of the Jews to reconstitute their National Home in Palestine.
. The frontiers of Palestine shall be as those indicated in the exposure annexed hereto.
. The sovereignty of Palestine shall be vested in the League of Nations, and Government will be entrusted to Great Britain acting as mandatory of the League.
. The Mandate shall be subject to these considerations.
Palestine must be given to political, administrative and economic conditions that will ensure the establishment of the Jewish National Home and ultimately render possible the creation of an autonomous "Commonwealth". It is clearly understood that nothing must be done that might prejudice the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities at present established in Palestine, nor the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in other countries".

This is not a matter of scripture – it is a matter of justice – not to take away from Jewish people what they have been given. The objective is to show what was given.

Basel – strategy for a Jewish State. Weisman took over from Herzl

Balfour Declaration – was the pledge of the war government of Lloyd George – It was binding on Britain but not on any other nations. Don’t claim too much for the Balfour Declaration or our claims will fall when it is shown to be not binding.

Turning point (in law) came in the Paris Peace Conference at the Quai D’Orsay.

Parties claimed their territorial rights – Jews under Wiezman and Arabs under Faisal.

They were in agreement that the two movements complete one another – the Jewish movement is national; not imperialist. There is room for us both.

The Arabs want a large independent state; not a group of little ones. Realising they were asking so much they needed the support of the Zionists.

There was no Palestinian delegation – no Palestinian people – only Arabs. (never united – warring tribes and clans)

The Allied Powers were meeting to decide the states that would exist after the war. Five men – Wilson -USA, Lloyd George - Britain, Orlando - Italy, Clemenceau - France, and Japan. 1919

Jews needed a nation to support them until a state could be set up – until sufficient immigration had taken place.

As in a court, parties brought statements of claim. Until a claim is accepted by a group that has the power of disposition, you have nothing.

This body had that power and the Jews were asking to reconstitute their state based on historic title. Asking to be recognized as a people and then asking for Jerusalem and Israel to be recognized.

ARTICLE 22 OF THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the later war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by people 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.

In Article 22 of the League of Nations we see the principle of sacred trustee nations to take over for somebody else the territory left over from war.

The Sacred Trust of Civilisation is still in effect and binding; it still calls on nations to look after the Jewish people.

Treaty of Neuilly - 1919

At Neuliiy-sur-Seinne, 27 November 1919 US, Britain, France, Italy, Japan were the powers. that drew up the arrangements for settling borders in Europe following the War. In this section they dealt with Bulgaria.

TREATY OF NEUILLY
Treaty of peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Bulgaria and Protocol and Declaration signed at Neuliiy-sur-Seinne, 27 November 1919.
TREATY OF NEUILLY AND PROTOCOLS, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE BRITISH EMPIRE, FRANCE, ITALY AND JAPAN.
These Powers consulting with the Principle Treaty as the principle ......

BELGIUM, CHINA, CUBA, GREECE, THE HEDJAZ, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROUMANIA, THE SERBO-CROAT-SLOVENE STATE, SIAM AND CZECHO-SLOVAKIA.
These Powers constituting with the Principle Powers mentioned above, the Allied and Associated Powers.
SECTION III
THRACE
ARTICLE 48
Bulgaria renounces in favour of the Principle Allied and Associated Powers all rights and title under the ...... in Thrace which belonged to the Bulgarian Monarchy and which, being situated outside the new frontiers of Bulgaria as described in Article 27 ??? Part ii (frontiers of Bulgaria have not been at present assigned to any state.
Bulgaria undertakes to accept the settlement made by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in regard to these territories, particularly in so far as the concerns the nationality of the inhabitants.
The Principal Allied and Associated Powers undertake to ensure the economic outlets of Bulgaria to the Aegean Sea.

In Article 48 we see Bulgaria conveying all rights and the rights go to the Principal Allied Powers.

The Jews left Paris without any decision having been made. The conference was to reconvene to deliberate, having heard the Zionist and Arab cases.

1920 The process reconvened on April 25, 1920,at VILLA DeVACHAN, San Remo where decisions were made. There followed the Treaty of Serves (10 August 1920) that was the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Allies at the end of World War I.

MEETING MINUTES OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE PRINCIPAL ALLIED POWERS, SAN REMO AT THE VILLA DeVACHAN, APRIL 25, 1920
"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 said Powers.
The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on the 8th [2nd] November, 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 the Jews in any other country."

Arabs were given territory – Mesopotamia to become Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Four Mandates were established; British Mandate for Mesopotamia - creating Iraq, French Mandate for Lebanon, French Mandate for Syria and British Mandate for Palestine. The first three appear to have been forgotten!

Map showing the territory mandated by the League of Nations at San Remo. The map shows the British, French and Russian mandates from which several modern states were created, including Israel, from the old Ottoman Empire after WW1.

San Remo map showing the mandates from which modern states were created, including Israel.

Jews were to be provided for by honouring the commitments of the Balfour Declaration. (it was not previously a document with legal status but this decision made it legal)

San Remo has become undervalued, but Weizman rated it to be the most important thing since the Exiles.

Presumably the same conditions about the rights of other faiths within the land were applied to the other mandates [ French & British] for Arab nations – but these nations did not honour them and dispossessed the Jews and expelled them.

Israel did not expel Arabs (as is often claimed) – Arab leaders ordered their people out (1948) before attacking Israel to destroy the new state.

THE INTERNATIONAL LAW IMPLICATIONS OF THE SAN REMO DECISIONS PERTAINING TO PALESTINE
Chaim Weitzman, who was in San Remo believed that the decisions of the Supreme Council in San Remo had introduced rights under international law for the Jewish people:
The San Remo decision has come. That recognition of our rights in Palestine is embodied in the Treaty with Turkey. (Treaty of Sevres), and has become part of International Law, this is the most momentous political event in the whole history of our movement (Zionist movement), and, it is perhaps, no exaggeration to say in the whole history of our people since the Exiles.
As a result of the declaration of the Supreme Council in San Remo, the claim of the Zionist Organisation which, prior to the Conference, was a non-legal claim (essentially an historic claim), evolved into a legal claim which was consolidated later by the approval of the Mandate of Palestine by the Council of the League of Nations.

1921 Churchill agreed to partition Palestine and give 72% to Arab, Hashemites. (Transjordan)

Today the Jews are fighting to retain their 28%, but the leaders of Jordan agreed to the deal; The Arab part of the deal was to support the creation of the Jewish state in West Palestine.

Nothing since San Remo has taken away the rights and responsibilities decided there.

ARTICLE 2 OF THE MANDATE FOR PALESTINE
"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 or religion".

1924 - The dissolution of the League of Nations did not change anything since it was only there to supervise rights already given.

When the United Nations was set up, its Charter (signed by all the nations), in Article 80, specified, “Nothing in any manner is to change the rights already given to any peoples.”

1947 – the Resolution of the General Assembly – the Partition Plan - was not binding. It was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs. Had both sides accepted it in a treaty it would have become a legal position.

1950, 1955 and 1966 decisions by the International Court of Justice made it clear that the dissolution of the League of Nations did not take away from rights given under these Mandates.

The Jewish people have never renounced their rights to the Old City or any part of Jerusalem; never abandoned title or sovereignty.

Present day politicians are opposing the title of Israel by going against these requirements in terms like the Principle of Self Determination. But you can not retroactively apply legal principles.

Jews have the LEGAL right to remain in Mandated Territory.

Jews have the right to give up what is theirs but they cannot be pushed out.

Nations have reneged on obligations they embraced under the League of Nations in 1922.

 

The above could allow one to think that the Arabs had the land given away from under their feet by a club of nations. This is also a false view since privately owned land was purchased at inflated prices by the Zionists. But most of the land in Palestine was owned by the Ottoman Turkish government; in other words, it was State land. So it became State land belonging to Israel.

Recommended book - Kenneth Stein’s "The Land Question in Palestine" http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/Land_question_in_Palestine.htm.

See Did the Jews Steal the Land from the Arabs?

These arguments are summed up in this excellent video.

 

And this video in which legal expert Alan Baker discusses the so called "Occupation" of the land

 

Another legal argument

canadiansforbalfour/israels-borders:
 
News reports from the Middle East often refer to the “occupied West Bank”, as if that were the official name of that region, and to Israel’s “illegal settlements” on “Palestinian lands”.  International law is often cited as the basis of these criticisms.   With Resolution 2334, The UN Security Council – with the US going along – has endorsed that view, stating that any Israeli presence beyond the 1949 armistice line has “no legal validity.”  But that understanding of international law is wrong, write two leading authorities on international law in a recently published paper, “Palestine, Uti Possidetis Juris, and the Borders of Israel.”
 
Writing in the Arizona Law Review, Abraham Bell and Eugene Kontorovich explain that under the widely accepted legal concept of uti possidetis juris, when a newly formed state emerges from a territory that did not have independence or sovereignty, it inherits the borders of that territory. The doctrine has been applied over many years, when nations emerged from colonies, and when independent countries replaced parts of the Soviet Union and its satellites.
 
Israel’s borders today are therefore the same as they were when statehood was declared in 1948, those of the Mandate for Palestine, which included Jerusalem, Gaza, and what later came to be known as the West Bank. Events that have occurred in the region since 1948 – such as peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan – have only reinforced Israel’s claim, the authors argue.
 
The paper can be viewed on line at: http://arizonalawreview.org/pdf/58-3/58arizlrev633.pdf
 

Looking at it another way

Professor, Judge Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice in the Hague   writing in What Weight to Conquest [1994]:

No legal right shall spring from a wrong and Palestinian Arabs illegal aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, cannot and should not be rewarded.

International law makes it clear: All of Israel's wars with its Arab neighbours were in self-defence.

(a) a state [Israel] acting in lawful exercise of its right of self-defence may seize and occupy foreign territory as long as such seizure and occupation are necessary to its self-defence;

(b) as a condition of its withdrawal from such territory, that State may require the institution of security measures reasonably designed to ensure that that territory shall not again be used to mount a threat or use of force against it of such a nature as to justify exercise of self-defence;

(c) Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully [Jordan], the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense [Israel] has, against that prior holder, better title.

"As between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbours, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem.

To view this article on the original page, please click here.

 

Something else that is overlooked -

Israel’s eastern border, as given in the Treaty of Peace Between The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and The State of Israel, October 26, 1994, is “the middle of the main course of the flow of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers.” This information is at:
 
http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/peacetreaty.html  

Annex I (a)
Jordan-Israel International Boundary
Delimitation And Demarcation 
1.
It is agreed that, in accordance with Article 3 of the Treaty, the international boundary between the two States consists of the following sectors:
The Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers
The Dead Sea
The Wadi Araba/Emek Ha'arava
The Gulf of Aqaba

2.
The boundary is delimited as follows:
 
Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers
The boundary Line shall follow the middle of the main course of the flow of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers. 

It does seem strange when even Jordan recognizes that all of Western Palestine (except perhaps for Gaza, which Israel voluntarily left) belongs to the State of Israel, others don’t recognize this and have been pressuring Israel to give some of its precious little land to people who have been trying for years to kill Jews and Israelis.
 
I am indebted to Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld, M.A.

International Law on supporting terrorists

Concerning the Palestinian demand for Israel to free terrorists, and the US support for this demand.

Binding UN Security Council resolution 1373 requires all states to “Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens.”

So by sheltering terrorists the Palestinian Authority stands in breach of binding international law. And by supporting the PA ’s sheltering of those terrorists, by coercing Israel into releasing them, the US has placed itself in a deeply problematic position in relation to international law. It has also forced Israel into a deeply problematic position by bowing to the US demand to release them.

PMW regularly reports stories such as this

As the US pledged $148 million to the PA,  the PA pledged $15 million to released prisoners 

PA Dignified Life Grant, primarily to freed terrorists, will be "15 million American dollars" in 2013 but is conditioned on "availability of funds"

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=9675

 

Updated 11/01/17

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Britain's 1939 White Paper (not a matter of International Law as it was not agreed)

Issued on May 17, 1939, it rejected the Peel Commission's partition plan on the grounds that it was not feasible. The document stated that Palestine would be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab one, but an independent state to be established within ten years. Jewish immigration to Palestine was limited to 75,000 for the first five years, subject to the country's "economic absorptive capacity", and would later be contingent on Arab consent. Stringent restrictions were imposed on land acquisition by Jews.