European legal experts call on EU to stop trading with settlements

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The following letter has been sent to all Members of European Parliament, to the office of High Representative Federica Mogherini, and to the office of Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

LETTER TO POLICY MAKERS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS MEMBER STATES

Calling for

COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LEGAL OBLIGATIONS

Related to

WITHHOLDING TRADE FROM AND TOWARD ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

We request the legislators in the European Union and its Member States to recognize and comply with their fundamental legal obligations resulting from the duty of non-recognition and non-assistance related to Israeli settlements and their economic activity.

As legal experts, we ask the European Union to withhold incoming as well as outgoing trade with settlements in compliance with the duty of non-recognition. Individual EU Member states do not only have the right, but the legal obligation to respect the duty of non-recognition if the central authority for trade (the European Commission) does not comply.

Any policy related to the labelling of products and services, however engrained in EU law, remains a wholly inadequate measure that fails to recognize the international legal obligations of third states. The only legally correct measure is to rectify the error in international trade relations by withholding from trading with settlements. Trading with settlements constitutes implicit recognition and is a violation of international law. It is also contradictory to the EU and EU Member States public policy positions on settlements, and to their domestic legal obligation to ensure consistency between such positions and government conduct.

We note that the European Union was very quick to impose an import ban from Crimea in the wake of the Russian annexation of the territory. It explicitly confirmed this ban as an integral part of its non-recognition policy. We ask no more than consistency in the application of the European Union’s non-recognition policy.

We call for the European Union and its individual Member States to take up this obligation not only in order to aid the Middle East peace process, but also to respect fundamental legal norms that are the only means to safeguard international peace and security and the rule of international law.

Signatories [1]

Mr. Tom Moerenhout, Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Initiator, coordinator)

Pauline Malek LL.M., Leiden University (Coordinator)

Dr. Jeff Handmaker, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (based in The Hague)

Prof. Dr. Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

Prof. Dr. John Dugard, Chair in Public International Law, Leiden University

Prof. Dr. Georges Abi-Saab, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Former Judge on the ICTY

Dr. John Reynolds, Department of Law, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Prof. Dr. Eric David, Professor of International Law Emeritus, President of the Centre de droit international de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld, Human Rights Lawyer, Prakken d’Oliveira; Professor ‘War Reparations’, Universiteit van Amsterdam;  Member, The Netherlands Committee at Human Rights Watch

Prof. Paul de Waart, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Prof. Dr. Michael Bothe, Professor Emeritus of public law, J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

Prof. Alain Pellet, Emeritus Professor, Université Paris-Ouest, Nanterre-La Défense; former Chairperson, UN International Law Commission;  Member, Institut de Droit international

Prof. Dr. M. Cherif Bassiouni,  Professor of International Law and President Emeritus, the International Human Rights Law Institute

Prof. Dr.George Bisharat, Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of Law

Prof. Dr. John Quigley, Emeritus Professor of Law, Ohio State University

Prof. Dr. Ian Scobbie,  Professor of Public International Law, University of Manchester

Prof. Dr. Jeanne M. Woods, Ted & Louana Frois Distinguished Professor of International Law, Loyola New Orleans College of Law

Prof. Bill Bowring, Barrister at Field Court Chambers, Grays Inn; Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London; President, European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brus, Professor of Public International Law, University of Groningen

Prof. Dr. Mansoob Murshed, Professor of the economics of conflict and peace, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (based in The Hague)

Prof. Dr. Karin Arts, Professor of International Law and Development, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (based in The Hague)

Prof. Dr. Lauri Hannikainen, Emeritus Professor of International Law, University of Turku; Member European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) 2000-2014

Dr. Michael Kearney,  Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex

Daniel Machover,  Head of the Civil Litigation Department, Hickman & Rose; co-founder Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

Michael Mansfield,  Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Tareq Shrourou, Director, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

Dr. Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Law School, Lancaster University

Véronique van der Plancke,  Collaboratrice scientifique au sein de l’Institut pour la recherche interdisciplinaire en sciences juridiques, JURI, UCL

William Bourdon, Lawyer and founding partner, Bourdon & Forestier Avocats

Susan Akram,  Clinical Professor and supervising attorney, International Human Rights Program, Boston University School of Law

Prof. Vinodh Jaichand,  Professor and Dean of Law School, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Dr. Chantal Meloni, International Criminal Law, University of Milan

Valentina Azarov, Lecturer in Human Rights and International Law, Birzeit University, Palestine​

Fabio Marcelli, Lawyer at International Association of Democratic Lawyers

Domenico Gallo, Judge in the Supreme Court of Italy

Fausto Gianelli, Lawyer, Association of Democratic Jurists

Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC, Solicitor specializing in human rights law; Founder of the human rights law firm Bindmans LLP

Luigi Daniele, Doctoral Researcher and Lecturer, Nottingham Law School

Prof. Dr. Vera Gowlland-Debbas, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (22 September 1943 – 29 September 2015)

ANNEX: LEGAL PROVISIONS

On the Israeli violations of international law relevant to settlement trade

The Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territory and Israeli settlements violate multiple norms of international law, among which:

  1. Obstruction of the fundamental right to Palestinian self-determination [2]
  2. De facto annexation [3]
  3. Illegal transfer of civilian population into occupied territories [4]
  4. Illegal exploitation of property to benefit the occupying state’s economy [5]

The status of these obligations is of the highest nature in international law. The right to self-determination has been recognized as jus cogens (also known as a peremptory norm of international law). [6] As for core humanitarian legal obligations, the International Court of Justice confirmed that that they were to “be observed by all States” because “they constitute intransgressible principles of international customary law”, and are “fundamental to the respect of humanity” and “elementary considerations of humanity”. [7]

Legal scholars and individual judges of the ICJ have explicitly indicated that these fundamental norms of humanitarian law such as the prohibition on transferring civilians to occupied territories constitute either jus cogens in statu nascendi or jus cogens. [8] In both cases, third parties have specific obligations in case such a norm is violated.

We conclude that Israel continues to violate international law.

On the economic activity of Israeli settlements in Occupied Territories

Fundamental norms of international humanitarian law that evolved from the 1907 Hague Convention (IV) and the 1949 Geneva Convention (IV) have unambiguously confirmed that the fundamental prohibition of the transfer of civilian population ipso facto implies an equally strong prohibition on the economic activity of transferred civilians for the benefit of the occupying state.

Legally, there are only two conditions under which restricted use of public and private properties, and economic activity by the occupying state are allowed: (1) If they are justified for military needs or (2) If they benefit the occupied population. Under no other circumstances is economic activity by civilian settlements that benefit the occupant allowed under international law.

This prohibition is not only recognized in international law, but also in Israeli domestic law. In the Beth El Case, [9] the Israeli Supreme Court argued that Settlements were acceptable if they were temporary and served the military and security needs of the Israeli State. In the Elon Moreh and Cooperative Society Case, [10] the Supreme Court ruled that the security needs of the army in occupation (the main legitimization for the existence of settlements) could never include national, economic or social interests.

We conclude that economic activities within civilian settlements almost exclusively benefit the occupant, and that in consequence thereof Israel continues to violate fundamental norms of international law.

On the multilateral reaction to trade with settlements

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 465, signed on 01 March 1980, “calls upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection [sic] with settlements in the occupied territories”. A bone fide interpretation of the term ‘assistance’ based on the objective of this resolution and the function of trade set forward in the WTO Agreements, reveals that trading with settlements indeed is an act of ‘assistance’ to the viability of the settlement project.

United Nations resolutions referring to Chapter VII or Article 15 of the UN Charter are by definition binding. The absence of such an explicit reference does not preclude the binding nature of a resolution such as UNSC Res. 465. In this case, the rules of interpretation of UNSC resolutions based on the 1971 ICJ Namibia Advisory Opinion and Articles 31-33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties determine whether a resolution is binding or not. A bona fide analysis of these rules of interpretation in the case of UNSC. Res. 465 conclude the high probability of its binding nature under international law. [11]

We conclude that despite UNSC Res. 465, States have continued to trade with settlements, thereby violating their obligation under international law.

On the obligation of non-recognition related to trade with settlements

Because the United Nations Security Council is a political body in which five permanent members can exercise heavy political influence because of veto-power, it is fully in the interests of maintaining international peace and security to respect the obligation of non-recognition. This obligation is laid down in the ILC Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. The duty of non-recognition holds that states shall neither recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach of a peremptory norm of international law, nor render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by the breach.

The ICJ and other authoritative sources of international law have recognized that the duty of non-recognition applies as a result of the breach of the Palestinian right to self-determination. This duty of non-recognition and non-assistance also applies toward illegal settlements in occupied territories. Allowing trade with settlements is an act counter to the obligation of non-recognition and non-assistance, if such trade primarily benefits the occupant.

Withholding from trading with settlements is not a reprisal or a sanction, but rather a peaceful and legally-justified act of retortion. The fact that there is such trade is an error in international trade relations, namely trading with internationally recognized illegal settlements. This trade should have never occurred in the first place and to correct this error is no more than an issue of realizing the duty of non-recognition.

This duty of non-recognition has two fundamental characteristics:

  1. It is a customary obligation on all States
  2. It is a self-executing obligation

This means that (1) EU Member States incur this obligation, even if the European Commission holds the exclusive competence for trade policy, and (2) no explicit UN Security Council action is needed to trigger the obligation.

We conclude that the EU and its Member States are in non-compliance with their legal obligation of non-recognition and non-assistance by continuously allowing the existence of trade with illegal settlements in occupied territories.

Notes

The legal analysis in this letter has been extensively explained in: T. Moerenhout, The Obligation to withhold from trading in order not to recognize and assist settlements and their economic activity in occupied territories, in “Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies”, Vol. 3 (2012) 1-42.

1. Institutions are added for identification purposes only. All signatories have signed the letter in personal capacity.

2. Advisory Opinion, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, ICJ, 9 July 2004.

3. J. Dugard and J. Reynolds, Apartheid, International Law, and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in “The European Journal of International Law”, Vol. 24, n°3 (2013) 900,908.

4. 1949 Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Art. 59(5).

5. 1907 Hague Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and Its Annex: Regulation Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land (The Hague Regulation) Art. 55. ; Y. Arai-Takahashi, The Law of Occupation (2009) at 169. ; S. Koury, The European Community and Member States’ duty of non-recognition under the EC-Morocco association agreements: state responsibility and customary international law, in Karin Arts and Pedro Pinto Leite (eds.), International Law and the Question of Western Sahara (2007) at 165.

6. International Law Commission, Yearbook of the International Law Commission 1966-Volume II (1966), at 248.

7. Advisory Opinion, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, ICJ, 8 July 1996, at para. 79, 83. ; Merits, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland v. People’s Republic of Albania (Corfu Channels Case), ICJ, 9 April 1949, at 22.

8. Declaration of President Bedjaoui, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, ICJ, 8 July 1996, at para. 21. ; Dissenting Opinion of Judge Weeramantry, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, ICJ, 8 July 1996, at para 10. ; Dissenting Opinion of Judge Koroma, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, ICJ, 8 July 1996, at 574. ; A. Cassese, International Law (2005) at 203. ; V. Chetail, The Contribution of the International Court of Justice to International Humanitarian Law, in Bernard et al (eds.), IRRC 235 (2003) at 251.

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44 Responses

  1. talknic
    December 23, 2015, 2:16 pm

    Drip drip drip. Let’s see how long it takes the Ziobiots to interpret it as Anti-semitic and a threat to Israel’s existence

    • MHughes976
      December 24, 2015, 12:22 pm

      It’s not ant-Semitic, in that there is no prejudice against Jewish people or suggestion that they should have anything less than their full rights, but it is a long term existential threat to the present plan for total possession of the Holy Land.

      • eljay
        December 24, 2015, 1:49 pm

        || MHughes976: It’s not ant[i]-Semitic … ||

        If Zio-supremacists consider something (legislation, an act of injustice, the wind blowing the wrong way) to be anti-Semitic, it is anti-Semitic. Facts and reality have no bearing on the matter.

      • MHughes976
        December 24, 2015, 3:57 pm

        Well, we/those who think like us just have to keep on, through 2016 and beyond, saying what the reality is, We are outclassed in every respect, such as political support, support from the media, support from religious organisations etc., eccept that reality is on our side, which is the reason why we need not despair.

      • Kay24
        December 24, 2015, 11:19 pm

        Agreed, but when has that stopped the zios from feigning outrage, and once again accusing someone of anti-semitism? They only wish the entire world will be deaf when it comes to their crimes. At least in the US, we know Congress is totally deaf, and in many ways dumb.

      • MHughes976
        December 25, 2015, 5:07 pm

        Nothing has stopped them so far, Kay, so the road ahead is long and hard, I think.

  2. eljay
    December 23, 2015, 2:34 pm

    The Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territory and Israeli settlements violate multiple norms of international law, among which:
    1. Obstruction of the fundamental right to Palestinian self-determination [2]
    2. De facto annexation [3]
    3. Illegal transfer of civilian population into occupied territories [4]
    4. Illegal exploitation of property to benefit the occupying state’s economy [5] …

    Laws, shmaws. The only “laws” that matter to hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists are the ones that entitle Jews:
    – to Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
    – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    The rest is just anti-Semitic commentary.

  3. amigo
    December 23, 2015, 4:51 pm

    Is it my imagination , or are the number of voices speaking out on the increase.

    There used to be a tv ad that went something like , “You tell two friends and they tell two friends and they tell two friends etc. Israel,s nightmare is they no longer control the narrative and there is nothing they can do to stop this train.Israel,s behaviour will be the topic of conversation in an ever increasing amount.

  4. pabelmont
    December 23, 2015, 8:05 pm

    Congratulations to the signatories and to the original (2012) author of the legal theory expounded. Congratulations to MW for publishing it here. Sorry the petition with so many lovely signatories is (here) undated.

    I fully and confidently expect the EU folks to say that Russia was an enemy and its grab of Crimea was illegal whereas, of course, as everyone knows, Israel was attacked in 1967 and had the right to seize whatever it could in retaliation (or whatever) so the cases are entirely — entirely ! — different.

    Or they could just ignore this entire analysis.

    But who knows? As talknic says, “drip drip drip”. All to the good. And if the thing gets no reportage in Europe, I’d sure be willing to plunk down a few bux to see it published. Maybe the Guardian would publish it!

    Today I found it here: http://www.eccpalestine.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IHLS_Moerenhout-Final-1.pdf (printing the Moerenhout paper — 43 pages PDF)

    and here: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/18781527-00302004 (apparently selling the journal article)

    Not yet in the Guardian, so far as I can see.

  5. Rodneywatts
    December 24, 2015, 11:09 am

    Another good and encouraging read. In response to @ pabelmont wrt date I would imagine that it landed on the EU Commission’s (and EU member governments’) desks around May 2015. The date was certainly when the Eminent European Persons Group wrote concerning relationships between the EU and Israel and the need to recognise the failure of the US to bring about justice in I/P. http://static.guim.co.uk/ni/1431517700142/EEPG-letter.pdf

    Whilst not watertight the EU has already issued labelling guidelines for settlements in November 2015 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34786607 This report was updated about a week or so ago. There has already been reaction in Israel e.g.
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/201770#.VnwL1lnIuSA and the EU ambassador to Israel warned of further action.
    In fact the UK coalition government issued warnings to businessmen of legal consequences of trade with Israel/ settlements in 2014, but the new conservative government amended the guidelines to be positive towards Israel in May 2015.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exporting-to-israel/exporting-to-israel

    This, of course does not remove possible consequences of breaking international Law and in October 2015 a warning document was issued by the UK government (accessed by a link in my link above). Certainly the appeal letter published here with some very noted British Lawyers signatures is a great help.

    One thing though, Dear Editors, not all signatories European. Indeed, in contrast to the stance of the idiots elected to US Congress I see some notable US citizens and lawyers.
    2016 should see some more interesting developments and …. Christmas blessings to all!

  6. Ossinev
    December 24, 2015, 12:56 pm

    @amigo
    “Israel,s nightmare is they no longer control the narrative and there is nothing they can do to stop this train.Israel,s behaviour will be the topic of conversation in an ever increasing amount”

    100% agree. The Israeli “narrative” has also been heavily dependent on the victims` narrative of the Holocaust which has served so well in deflecting world attention away from their own brand of Fascism. With the passing of time and incessant overuse this has become a busted flush. And existential genocidal threats from Iran , Palestinian incitement or BDS simply don`t wash as alternatives.

  7. Palikari
    December 24, 2015, 1:31 pm

    These “experts” have no idea about international law. Well, maybe they do, but they are manipulating it; and perverting their position and subordinating it to their anti-Israel bigotry.

    Their lack of honesty is dusturbing. I wouldn’t like to be one of their students.

    • John O
      December 24, 2015, 2:38 pm

      So, Palikari. Refute their argument with reference to the appropriate laws.

      You’re also missing a great opportunity to do what students with a great future (as you describe yourself) do all over the world – argue and debate with your teachers.

    • diasp0ra
      December 24, 2015, 2:38 pm

      @Palikari

      Please explain what they manipulated and twisted to suit their agenda.

      There is international consensus that the settlements are illegal, or are you suggesting some sort of international conspiracy?

      • DaBakr
        December 26, 2015, 8:29 pm

        @ds.
        “Consensus” is not the same as law. This has been the problem with Zionist-haters from way back. To conflate international opinion with actual law. In addition-it’s a sword that cuts both ways. I’m sure many are aware here that there is a very sound legal argument that can be made for Judea and Samaria not being occupied in any legal sense whatsoever. I’m sure this will stir up a hornets nest. Everyone will just have to wait and see.

      • talknic
        December 27, 2015, 6:24 am

        @ DaBakr “Consensus” is not the same as law”

        Consensus is the manner in which the legal customs of countries becomes Customary International Law

        ” I’m sure many are aware here that there is a very sound legal argument that can be made for Judea and Samaria not being occupied in any legal sense whatsoever. “

        Bullsh*t!

        UNSC res 476 is quite clear. It reaffirms and emphasizes International Law https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0a2a053971ccb56885256cef0073c6d4/dde590c6ff232007852560df0065fddb?OpenDocument

      • diasp0ra
        December 27, 2015, 8:02 am

        @DB

        I thought it was clearly implied that I meant legal consensus, as we were talking about international law.

        I remain by my post, you can’t just say something is “debunked” or “These experts have no idea” and just disappear. Present proof and facts of this.

        Also, no, no sound legal argument could be made for the West Bank being unoccupied. There is international LEGAL consensus that it is occupied.

        I have honestly lost count of the amount of accusations I’m trying to keep track of here on MW. We have BtS being “debunked” and then we have Palikari who refuses to elaborate how this piece is false..among many others. It’s so easy to drop that little defamation but nobody seems willing to provide any kind of proof.

        Have Zionists relied so heavily on silencing people with accusations of Anti-Semitism with no further explanation needed that they have become complacent?

    • Mooser
      December 24, 2015, 4:10 pm

      “These “experts” have no idea about international law. Well, maybe they do…”

      Oh stop complaining “Palikari’. When you set up your own law school you will be able to make your own laws.

      • gamal
        January 1, 2016, 12:50 pm

        “The Truth Behind Zionism” Jeremy Salt al ahram:

        ” Since 1967 the people of Hebron have lived under the most racist, brutal and illegal form of occupation in the world. Arguably, it is the worst place for a Palestinian to live in eastern Palestine, also known as the West Bank, as opposed to the East Bank of the Jordan River. The Israeli settlers there are heavily armed and live under the protection of soldiers, police and a racist two-tier, pseudo-legal system that authorises apartheid.

        They put their own lives and the lives of their children at risk by coming to live on someone else’s land against the latter’s wishes and without their consent. Their lives on this land are only made possible by the brutality and illegal actions of the settler state.

        The settlers stabbed in East Jerusalem included a rabbi connected with Ateret Kohanim, the most aggressive and extreme of all the Israeli settler organisations. A photograph in the Israeli media showed him in military uniform because he is also part of a military rabbinate that justifies the killing of Palestinians and other Arabs wherever and whenever the Zionist settler state decides to attack them.

        He and the other man who was stabbed chose to live in a city under occupation and therefore are responsible for the consequences of their own actions. There is no intrinsic difference between Palestinians killing Zionist settlers in their occupied homeland and Native Americans killing white settlers in their homeland two centuries ago.

        Violence is always to be deplored. Everything said about it is correct. Violence only begets more violence. However, its most destructive practitioners in modern times have been Western governments, even as they continue to tell us that violence is not the way.

        History tells us otherwise: while violence should not be the way, it often is. In the context of occupation there is not one occasion anywhere in the world when it has not been resisted violently by the indigenous population. Ending violence begins with ending the violence of the perpetrator, and not the retaliation of the victim.”

        http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/13457/21/The-truth-behind-Zionism.aspx

    • amigo
      December 24, 2015, 4:37 pm

      “These “experts” have no idea about international law. Well, maybe they do, but they are manipulating it; and perverting their position and subordinating it to their anti-Israel bigotry.” palikari

      Oh , you poor dear.It,s a worldwide conspiracy.Everyone is out to get poor dear moral , peace loving Yisrael.

      Damn the rest of the world , “dusturbing” the only zionist entity in the Universe.

      Wake up yossi, the gig is up.

    • Marnie
      December 26, 2015, 3:13 am

      What kind of student are you anyway? You just dropped another zioturd and now will run away, most likely to cook another one up. And no basis for your post. No proof to your claim. Just another stinking pile courtesy of good boy.

  8. MaxNarr
    December 26, 2015, 9:50 pm

    Under international law, no European nation can stop trading with any area of Israel including so called settlements. Or else they will get taken to the court of the World Trade Organisation and they will lose. Watch and see.

    • talknic
      December 27, 2015, 6:26 am

      Bullshi*te Max. International Law is applicable to ALL nations until it is repealed.

    • diasp0ra
      December 27, 2015, 7:57 am

      @Max

      That’s not how it works. The world doesn’t even acknowledge the settlements as part of Israel.

      • MaxNarr
        December 27, 2015, 11:45 am

        Yes they do if they have signed UN Charter article 80 as all UN member states have

      • Mooser
        December 27, 2015, 12:49 pm

        “Yes they do if they have signed UN Charter article 80 as all UN member states have”

        That’s right, “Maxie”! That’s cause we Jews have that codified estoppel and there’s no Gentile Enigma Machine to figure it out!

      • talknic
        December 27, 2015, 7:02 pm

        @ MaxNarr December 27, 2015, 11:45 am

        “Yes they do if they have signed UN Charter article 80 as all UN member states have”

        UN Members don’t sign individual articles pal. They are bound by the UN Charter in its entirety, without exception that includes Israel.

        UN Article 80 (Chapt XII) is is preceded by Chapt XI http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-xi/index.html The Occupying Power assumes responsibilities for the administration of territories it occupies

        Article 80 meanwhile is under CHAPTER XII: INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM

        Israel has never been under any trusteeship

        Article 80

        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.
        Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or postponement of the negotiation and conclusion of agreements for placing mandated and other territories under the trusteeship system as provided for in Article 77.

        Palestine was under the trusteeship of the British until the LoN Mandate for Palestine, which was the existing international instrument, terminated midnight May 14th 1948

  9. MHughes976
    December 27, 2015, 12:00 pm

    I’m not as concerned with the legal side as many colleagues are and I have never seen a reasonable statement of the alleged universal right of self-determination. However, when I look at Palestine I see sovereignty exercised with a large proportion of those subject to it disfranchised, which is morally wrong except perhaps on a temporary basis with the intention of restoring or creating all normal rights as soon as possible.
    The place should be treated as containing one state or more than one. If we had one state with enfranchisement for all subjects of the one sovereign a very different sovereign would emerge – and the current sovereign has no intention of bringing this about, is determined not to do so.
    This determination is immoral, hideously and blatantly so, unless we should be thinking of more than one state, which of course implies that the current sovereign does not deserve to control the entire area, which nevertheless he insists on doing, claiming rights by various historical narratives which have in truth no moral force. So it’s an immoral system wherever we draw the state lines.
    Well, there is a possible counter-argument, which is to say that there is and ought to be only one state but that a vast number of the inhabitants, in practice those who regard the sovereign as a usurper,, never had any right to be there: the same historical narratives can be called upon. I think that this argument is so near indefensible, and is so horrible, that it is rarely heard. But it is believed, even though most Israelis don’t like to think about it, perhaps.
    The implication is transfer of population, massive and final, of course on the most humane terms available. At least at the backs of many powerful minds (in both senses of those words) the plans must be under development. There is confident hope, based on all past experience, that all objections can be brushed aside – astonishingly, when they are just the opposite – as a form of racial prejudice called anti-Semitism.

    • Mooser
      December 27, 2015, 1:46 pm

      “The implication is transfer of population, massive and final, of course on the most humane terms available.”

      Yes, you seem very concerned with this possibility.

      • MHughes976
        December 28, 2015, 11:53 am

        Yes, very concerned, though I don’t think anything along those lines is imminent, since there is so little discomfort with the status quo. I think that exclusionism is part of the logic of Zionism, which is why I’ve been asking those who think better of Z than I do to say how they understand it and how they avoid seeing it as exclusionist. None of the Zs who comment here have replied to me that they welcome a continuing Palestinian presence and intend to secure it for the future.

      • Mooser
        December 28, 2015, 12:14 pm

        Thanks, “MHughes976”.

    • RoHa
      January 1, 2016, 8:38 am

      “I have never seen a reasonable statement of the alleged universal right of self-determination.”

      Could you please spell out some of the problems you see with the concept? It would be handy to have another set of objections to refer to.

      • MHughes976
        January 2, 2016, 4:43 am

        With what brevity I can muster – the idea of a social contract, Ie a system on which people may reasonably rely for present and future security and which involves, according to custom, taking decisions (determining matters) in common, excludes any right for subgroups, based on any kind of real or supposed affinity, to claim that they should determine things for themselves, ie that the laws to be obeyed by them should be made only by them and that matters, such as control of their area’s resources, seriously affecting the interests of others in the commonwealth, should be determined without reference to those others.
        Social contracts creak or break down through discontent or through more dramatic things, like tyranny and invasion, and people often seek new arrangements on the basis of pleasing subgroups, particularly groups that form the majority in certain areas. This invites serious paradox, Belgium being a good example. Do the non-Francophone areas have the right to self-determine? But then does Francophone Brussels, set in a non-F area, have the right to reject that determination? Does a street within B have the right to reject the city and join the non-F area and so on? You would have the same problems of identifying the self-determining group if you went for non-territorial criteria -.all Catholics, ultramontane Catholics etc..

      • gamal
        January 2, 2016, 1:01 pm

        you don’t think you might be confusing your watans with your dawlas?

      • RoHa
        January 2, 2016, 9:06 pm

        gamal, could you spell that out a bit? As far as I know, “watan” is something like what I call an “n-nation”, and “dawla” is more like a p-nation.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/putting-israels-humanitarian#comment-770132

        But you will have a firmer grasp on the concepts behind the terms than I do.

      • RoHa
        January 3, 2016, 1:15 am

        Thanks.

        Can I just make sure I’ve understood you correctly?

        Your first argument is that a social contract cannot work if a sub-group in that society chooses laws for itself, rather than following the laws set down in the contract.

        Your second is that the putative right seems to be applicable to groups of ever diminishing size, which would make a coherent polity impossible.

        Have I got them right?

        (I was actually expecting something based on the dubiety of group rights, with some sharp criticism of Kymlicka, but those are good, too.)

      • MHughes976
        January 3, 2016, 3:16 pm

        I’d accept both those paraphrases, though I’d like to emphasise paradox rather than impracticality, though both are involved, in my second point.
        As for group rights I just can’t see how there can be individual rights if there is a second system, one of group rights, cutting across it.
        I’ve forgotten most of my Kymlicka – I suppose he was forged in the white heat of Canadian politics at the time when Quebec secession was on the cards. Canada is often presented as a fortunate nation with a remarkable culture of civility but strange and dangerous things would have happened if Quebec had broken away, so I’m not surprised at the line he took.

  10. Ossinev
    December 27, 2015, 1:07 pm

    @MaxNarr

    “Under international law, no European nation can stop trading with any area of Israel including so called settlements. Or else they will get taken to the court of the World Trade Organisation and they will lose. Watch and see”

    Fantastic news. I assume that it will be the Land of Creation which “takes” them to the “court” of the WTO. It will be great to see Israel displaying its soiled underwear for the WTO and all the world to see.

  11. falcon170
    December 31, 2015, 10:00 pm

    Which international law states that Jews can’t buy land in the West Bank?

    • talknic
      December 31, 2015, 10:45 pm

      @ falcon170

      “Which international law states that Jews can’t buy land in the West Bank?”

      None. It’s not a matter for International Law. It’s up to state laws as to who can or who cannot buy real estate in the territory of that state.

      Meanwhile it is illegal under International Law for Israeli citizens to illegally settle in non-Israeli territories held under occupation by Israel

      UNSC Resolution 476 is one of at least EIGHT reminders of UNSC Res 252
      252 (1968) of 21 May 1968, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969, 271 (1969) of 15 September 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 June 30 1980 and 478 August 20 1980. None of which have anything to do with race or religion or Jews or non-Jews. They’re based on the UN Charter, International Law and the GC’s, all of which Israel obliged itself to uphold. Alas it hasn’t.

    • oldgeezer
      January 1, 2016, 1:08 am

      No one has ever claimed it was. There is no law against it. That is not the accusation and clear violation of the law levelled against Israelis. There is no reason to erect a strawman argument unless you don’t have a legitimate argument to begin with.

      If you have a point or question try some honesty first. You are clearly lacking in that department.

      • talknic
        January 1, 2016, 12:18 pm

        @ oldgeezer ” There is no reason to erect a strawman argument unless you don’t have a legitimate argument to begin with”

        They’d have nothing much to say

        s c r i p t
        top=”we made the desert bloom”;”cherry tomatos”;”Mark Twain”;”Mandated to Israel”;”Never was a state of Palestine”;”What was it’s currency?”;”Arab states attacked Israel”;

        If banned; go new abuser name;go to top;repeat ad infinitum

        else

        When empty;go to top;repeat ad infinitum;

        End

        / s c r i p t

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