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Total number of comments: 10382 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)



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  • The grotesque injustice of Obama's speech at the Washington synagogue
    • But he does mention Sderot.

      As many of you know, I’ve visited the houses hit by rocket fire in Sderot.

      Maybe he should build them a floating island somewhere off shore in the Med?
      See for example: Could Artificial Island Solve Gaza Problem?
      Minister proposes giving Gaza a port, airport – without compromising on Israel’s security.
      link to

      All that a visit to Sderot really proves is that those houses are still standing, unlike the ones in Gaza, and that it's the one place in that entire region where the IDF takes the time to make sure it doesn't kill civilian bystanders. Even Obama's security detail knows that he'll be relatively safe there (from IDF attacks).

    • We get it, the article pisses you off Hophmi. If your best agit-prop line is that people are not equal in the USA, then you're just an ignorant racist with too high of an opinion of yourself.

    • In a synagogue , he’s simply showing proper respect, as I assume he would in a church or mosque.

      Better brush up on your Christian literacy: "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head." 1 Corinthians 11:4

    • To rectify this perceived flaw in the national character, many religious Jews stay up all night to learn Torah. ... It’s quite sad that Annie encountered Jews who don’t have a clue, who lack “Jewish literacy”.

      Well its sad to see so many stuck-up Jews who really only like the parts of the Torah about their license to commit genocide bitching about all of us who have read all of that shit and chose to move on to more grown-up night-time activities. You need to stop working on our perceived flaws Jon and focus on the ones in Israel's national character.

  • The final straw: The real reason why Palestine wants Israel out of FIFA
    • Although not a fully recognized state by the United Nations, under FIFA, Palestine is officially and independent country.

      There is a difference between representation and recognition in the United Nations. See S/1466, 9 March 1950, Letter Dated 8 March 1950 From the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council Concerning “Legal Aspects of Problems of Representation in the United Nations”

      There really is no such thing as a state "recognized" by the United Nations. The independent Diplomatic Conferences of Plenipotentiary States that author and adopt the text of UN treaties have included provisions that require the Secretary General to accept signatures, accessions, and ratifications from any members of a list of specific international organizations of a truly universal nature that have a treaty relationship with the UN. A sufficient number of those plenipotentiary states have subsequently become parties to those conventions and they have "entered into force". So a simple majority vote from one of those other organizations (where no superpower veto is allowed) means that a country is automatically a non-member state for the purposes of Article 2(6) of the the UN Charter: "The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security." The Security Council can still vote against membership on other Charter grounds not related to statehood, like ability to pay dues, or the country's qualifications as a "peace-loving" State.

  • Maybe next time it's Arab Americans who will be interned by U.S. gov't -- Rand Paul launches filibuster
    • Regarding: American citizens accepted Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Just saying.

      Forgot to mention that Lincoln had explained that prisoners like Merryman, were being detained for levying war on the Union Army, or giving aid and comfort to persons who were doing so, during a rebellion that began while the Congress was still in recess. link to

      When those exigent situations occurred in the past, they had always been governed by the Laws and Customs of War; the Articles of War adopted by the Continental Congress and subsequent revisions; and General Field Orders, like the Lieber Code of 1863. link to link to

      The reference to "the Privilege of the writ" in Article 1 of the Constitution regards a limitation on the power of Congress respecting the suspension of a common law procedure that never applied to persons waging war on the government in the first place. When an invasion or rebellion occurred the armed forces customarily detained and treated those responsible as "prisoners of war" without charges for the duration of the conflict and avoided returning them to the battlefield or belligerent community. That was not considered a form of punishment.

      It was a doctrine of English common law that the writ of habeas corpus was NOT applicable to cases involving persons detained for acts of treason during invasions or rebellions. When the Parliament finally got around to codifying the writ as black letter law in 1679, it included a stipulation that the writ applied to all cases, except for treason and felonies. See the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 link to The Federalist Paper #84 cited Blackstone's Commentary on the subject of the writ. It also explained in great detail that the writ does NOT apply to cases of treason. See the discussion at the bottom of page 106 and top of page 107 link to

      Here is the relevant portion of the summary from the Ex Parte Merryman case:

      The petitioner, a citizen of Baltimore, was arrested by a military officer acting on the authority of his commanding officer. The petitioner was accused of treason against the United States. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, while on Circuit Court duty, issued a writ of habeas corpus directing the commanding officer to deliver the prisoner, and this was refused on the grounds that the officer was authorized by the President to suspend the writ.

      link to

      FYI, when a federal judge served General Jackson with a writ like that during the occupation of New Orleans, he had the Judge arrested and exiled. When he was finally allowed to return, the Judge fined him $1,000 dollars and the General paid it. The grateful citizens of the city raised the money to reimburse him, but Jackson made them donate it to the widows and orphans of the war. In the end, the US Congress insisted on reimbursing him, with interest. link to

    • American citizens accepted Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Just saying.

      The Constitution merely called it the "privilege of the writ", because the framers opted to ignore the decision in Somerset v Stewart (1772) 98 ER 499. The English High Court ruled that the writ applied to black slaves under English common law, and essentially ended the practice.

      On the other hand, Chief Justice Taney's tendentious Supreme Court opinion regarding the writ of habeas corpus in Dred Scott v Sanford essentially started the United States on the path to civil war. He declared that legislation prohibiting slavery from western territories was unconstitutional and that natural born blacks, whether free or slave, had no standing as citizens under the Constitution.

      That decision made any further political compromises nearly impossible. In Ex Parte Merryman he was at it once again in the aftermath of the Pratt Street Massacre in Baltimore. He was presiding over a kangaroo session of the Circuit Court that had been convened in a Masonic Lodge when an armed mob of 2000 persons proved to large for the Court House. The press reported that 150 of the men had lined the walls and were "armed to the teeth" and had sworn to free Merryman from his military guards as soon as they arrived. If that situation didn't satisfy the Constitutional conditions for a suspension of the writ in the interest of public safety, then the phrase has no meaning at all. Moreover, Merryman was charged with various offenses of treason that were not amenable to a writ of habeas corpus in the first place.

      Merryman was subsequently released and indicted by a grand jury on the basis of testimony supplied by at least 10 other persons. He was charged with treason twice in Circuit Court, but the Chief Justice never scheduled a trial date. When he finally died in 1864, his successor did the same, since Lincoln had already offered the first round of pardons and a conditional, but general amnesty. By the end of the war, "Lt. Merryman" had changed his story several times and admitted that he personally led the Maryland County Horse Guard when it burned the railroad bridges and cut the telegraph lines to prevent the US Army from relieving its units in Baltimore after the initial massacre of some soldiers during the riots on Pratt Street. Incredibly enough, he claimed that he was doing that to prevent further, inevitable bloodshed. But he still continued to file civil lawsuits against General Cadwalader for not responding to the writ and sending a military guard to escort him to the courthouse (and almost certain death).

      The full Supreme Court dealt with similar writ issues in the Ex parte Quirin case in 1942 and the Hamdi v Rumsfeld case in 2004. Neither of those settled all of the issues, but they conspicuously avoided the opportunity to affirm the Ex Parte Merryman opinion.

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • So your conspiracy theory has to involve more or less the entire national elected American government. Moreover it can’t be associated with the Bush administration since they weren’t in power yet. -

      LoL! Let me help you get some clue: It's no "conspiracy theory" when we know for a fact that our government ran an illicit war propaganda campaign in violation of its own international obligations under Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. A bogus "Iraqi National Congress (INC)" was created at the behest of the U.S. government for the purpose of fomenting the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. That work was done by a PR firm, Rendon Group, working under an exclusive contract with our government worth millions of dollars.

      After the first Gulf War, President Bush Sr. and his Defense Secretary Dick Cheney had publicly urged Iraqis to "take matters into their own hands." By the time the joint resolution that you are citing got adopted years later in the Clinton era, a hardcore Neocon Republican movement had taken control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 50 years and they were tired of waiting. They pushed for adoption of the "sense of the Congress" resolution on the question.

      Bush Jr's campaign was being organized and advised by a bunch of the same Neocons who developed and published a plan that said "The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." link to Many of the very same Neocons had authored or endorsed a similar plan for Netanyahu, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm". In any event we know for a fact from members of his own camp and cabinet that Bush Jr was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq months before 9-11 ever happened. See "Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq? O'Neill Tells '60 Minutes'Iraq Was 'Topic A' 8 Months Before 9-11" link to

      I'll leave it up to you to make the child-like argument that the majority of our members of Congress were not influenced decisively by the Neocons in the military industrial sector or the Israel Lobby.

  • Congress and state legislatures are on the warpath against BDS
    • What is the definition(s) of ‘pillage’ under Hague IV and GC IV?

      I realize that you are having difficulties trying to figure out an escape clause or loophole for a universally agreed upon prohibition. The term pillage as employed in Hague IV and CG IV had been in "common usage" for centuries. Here are some non-exhaustive lists of English synonyms used to describe acts for which individual international criminal responsibility can arise under the terms of the customary prohibition of pillage:

      pillage noun appropriation, booty, brigandage, deprivation, despoilment, despoliation, destruction, devestation, foray, havoc, maraud, piracy, plunder, plunderage, prey, raid, ransack, rapacity, rapina, rapine, ravage, razzia, sack, spoliation, vandalism

      pillage verb bring to ruin, burglarize, damage, depredate, desolate, despoil, destroy, devastate, lay in ashes, lay in ruins, lay waste, level, loot, make a shambles, make havoc, maraud, pirate, plunder, raid, reave, rob, ruin, ruinate, sabotage, sack, spoil, steal, strip, thieve, waste, wreck
      Associated concepts: larceny

      The drafting committees did not feel there was a need to incorporate a "definition of terms" section in either one of those Conventions. Even when some clarifications of the jargon and unique vernacular were introduced in Protocol I, "pillage" was not among the new items "defined in accordance with Article" such and such.

      The US Courts in the Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Trials simply defined it as "plunder of public or private property". See the US State Department Office of the Historian's page on the subject link to or Article 6 of the Nuremberg Charter that was employed as the basis for the IG Farben and other civilian pillage cases:

      WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity; link to

      FYI, if you are going to caution anyone, I would remind you that the ICC Prosecutor has already been evaluating the situation in Palestine for several years and that there have been no shortage of alleged cases of pillage and other war crimes connected with the establishment of Jewish settlements in violation of Article 8 of the Rome Statute. Arguing that it is NOT illegal when Israeli armed forces and or Israeli and American nationals and corporations commit those acts against Palestine and Palestinians is a rather blatant form of racial incitement that can be considered a crime in some parts, i.e.:

      publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) and crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, when the conduct is carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred against such a group or a member of such a group.

      Instigating, aiding or abetting in the commission of the above offences is also punishable.

      link to

    • You think the United States government can prosecute U.S. citizens (real estate brokers) under the Military Tribunal law of the Nuremberg Trials?

      I certainly do and so does the UN. The UN fact finding reports on the impact of the illegal settlements in the occupied territories named EU and US banks and corporations which were either facilitating the illegal undertaking or complicit in it. The US ReMax corporation was cited as a specific example.

      I don't want to leave anyone with the false impression that I'm merely discussing housing and land in the settlements. Americans are helping to systematically plunder all of Palestine's natural and cultural resources. There's a 28 billion dollar a year Jewish Charity Industry in the USA, run by private corporations and organizations, that send the majority of their net proceeds to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. A sizable chunk of that money goes to support a joint criminal enterprise with some other corrupt organizations, the JNF and the WZO.

      I noted in one of my other comments that the US has signed treaties with other countries and adopted emergency legislation to prohibit importation of stolen cultural artifacts and to restore them to the affected groups. Those treaties and the implementing statutes employ the term pillage to describe crimes against persons and property that have no connection to an armed conflict. That indicates that, like many other offenses, the states concerned consider pillage to be both a war crime and a crime against humanity that can even be perpetrated in peacetime.

      Here is an example of the adoption of a statute in the Philippines to protect natural resources from pillage in peacetime. link to

      For years the UN has condemned Israel's theft of Palestine's water and other natural resources and has stated emphatically that Israel owes Palestine compensation. That's just one an example of pillage of natural resources in the context of a belligerent occupation. The Palestinian people have "permanent sovereignty" over their national and cultural resources too.

      See Why Corporate Pillage Is a War Crime link to
      Corporate War Crimes: Prosecuting the Pillage of Natural Resources link to

    • P.S. That Ryan Goodman article is about the use of the War Crimes statute, both RICO Civil and Criminal, and the provisions of the IRS Code to go after US citizens who have allegedly committed war crimes in Sri Lanka. He is certainly not a crackpot.

      Ryan is the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law and Co-Chair of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law, and he is also Professor of Politics and Professor of Sociology at NYU. He was the inaugural Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. He received a JD from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. from Yale University, and a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the US Naval War College’s Board of Advisers for International Law Studies, and a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law.

    • These varying opinions expose the incongruity among the Circuit and reflect the broader division across jurisdictions concerning RICO’s extraterritorial application. I counsel caution, Hostage. Caution.

      Just in case there are any lingering doubts about the ability of the US to prosecute US nationals who commit war crimes in Palestine. Here's an article by Ryan Goodman, a member of the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law, on the subject of using RICO to Prosecute US Citizens for war crimes. It's based on a briefing that he just gave to Congress on the subject link to

      @ Jackdaw the Second Circuit Court of Appeals sits in New York City. Once again, no one there is questioning the extraterritorial reach of the US Justice Department to go after fraud and racketeering and arrest people in Zurich Switzerland under the RICO statutes:

      Seven Fifa officials arrested in Zurich on corruption charges: Charges being linked to broadcast deals, bids for World Cups, wire fraud and racketeering

      Nine high-ranking soccer officials, including two current vice-presidents of world governing body Fifa, and five sports marketing executives have been indicted on federal corruption charges, US law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

      The 47-count indictment unsealed in a federal court in New York charged the defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies as part of a scheme that spanned more than two decades, the US Department of Justice said in a statement. link to

    • keep the French from meddling in British control of things ”

      Always a good policy.

      Yes, I came to the conclusion years ago while reading the British Cabinet Papers that there was a conspiracy in the Highest Circles to destroy the French government from within by occasionally giving in to one of its demands;-)

    • Thanks Hostage! A lot to get through, but worth it.

      Funny, I had no trouble getting through it at all. Unlike Roha, I just have four or five shots before I ever begin to steady my nerves and Sing a Happy Song;-)

      [youtube link to

    • To be labelled as a war crime an offence must meet two requirements. It must have been (i) perpetrated against persons who do not take direct part in hostilities or who no longer take part in such hostilities; (ii) it must be occasioned by the armed conflict, which created the situation and provided an opportunity for the criminal offence.

      No, the prohibition of pillage contained in Article 28 of the Hague IV rules and Article 33 clause 3 of GC IV are absolute in character and do not admit any exceptions in cases of resistance or self-defense, i.e. "The pillage of a town or place, even when taken by assault, is prohibited." and "Pillage is prohibited."

      The ICRC's Commentary (1958) illustrates that pillage is a crime punishable in court, regardless of the motive involved, i.e. personal enrichment will suffice. There is no loophole as you have suggested:

      This prohibition is general in scope. It concerns not only pillage through individual acts without the consent of the military authorities, but also organized pillage, the effects of which are recounted in the histories of former wars, when the booty allocated to each soldier was considered as part of his pay. Paragraph 2 of Article 33 is extremely concise and clear; it leaves no loophole.

      link to

      Turning to the applicable US Code, you haven't cited any portion of the criteria and definitions contained in 18 U.S. Code § 2441 - War crimes or the Federal Rules of Procedure which establish the government's burden to prove any of the elements that you've suggested although that would be simple enough to establish from information that is readily available or in the public domain.

      I've already cited two articles about a 100 year old war criminal who publicly admitted that the IDF razed Arab villages in order to illegally displace 1 million Arabs. We all know the plundered property was transferred to a corrupt private chartered organization. See "With all due respect for the 'blue box': The distinction between voluntary purchases from Arab owners during the period of the Mandate and 'the redemption of lands' from the hands of the Israeli government was blurred, and the lands of the uprooted Arabs became the lands of the Jewish people." link to

      I've written an article myself about the infamous Meron memo which discussed methods to disguise the illegal implantation of settlers in the region of the Etzion Bloc as military camps or returning refugees. See "Theodor Meron’s ’67 memo provided legal rationale for settlements" link to
      We know Israel used that lame excuse with the US State Department and that Secretary Rusk replied:

      By setting up civilian or quasi-civilian outposts in the occupied areas the GOI adds serious complications to the eventual task of drawing up a peace settlement. Further, the transfer of civilians to occupied areas, whether or not in settlements which are under military control, is contrary to Article 49 of the Geneva Convention.

      link to

      There are so many Americans living there today that Efrat is known as the “Scarsdale of the West Bank". It's pretty bad when a PhD candidate can get confidential population data on number of US settlers directly from the US Consulate in Jerusalem:

      According to Hirschhorn, who had access to confidential records from the American consulate in Jerusalem, 45,000 settlers have American citizenship, or about 15 percent of the Israeli West Bank population.

      See "The American settler you don't know" link to

      In 1977, the US Senate held hearings on the Colonization of the West Bank, where legal experts testified that Israel viewed Arab citizens as a security threat, simply because they were Arab. They noted the responsible cabinet minister, Ariel Sharon, had announced a policy in the mainstream press, including the Jerusalem Post, to use inland strips of Jewish settlements to disrupt the territorial contiguity of large adjacent Palestinian and Israeli Arab populations. link to UN and press reports about the Sharon regime's policy labeled it Bantustanization. But the plan also involved the colonization of plundered land in the Occupied Palestinian territories under the control of Israel's armed forces. Among other things, the stolen property was converted for the personal use of many thousands of Jews who were American nationals.

      Here's a Hebrew report that says “The outposts are not ‘hilltop youth.’ It is a carefully planned seizure of strategic points, the outposts have been coordinated with the prime minister.” – Adi Minz, former Yesha Council Chairman (2004). He claims he was one of those who sat with Sharon and said: 'This point is strategically important. The prime minister came back a few days later and told him: "You're right, this is an important point to capture." link to

      We also know that another chartered private organization has been responsible for planning those illegal settlements and outposts in the West Bank and that it gets funding from both private charities here in the USA and the Israeli Knesset. See Prime Minister's Office Communications Department, Summary of the Opinion Concerning Unauthorized Outposts by Talya Sason Legal advisor:

      An initial inquiry already lead me to the conclusion that the main relevant authorities involved in the matter of unauthorized outposts are the Ministry of Defense and the IDF, including the Civil Administration; the Ministry of Construction & Housing; the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization; the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

      link to

      See also "WZO wrests control of Settlement Division away from state: Ynet has learned that the World Zionist Organization's executive committee decided to end the Prime Minister Office's oversight over the controversial division spearheading West Bank settlements, in move that could in fact increase transparency, harm settlement funding. link to

      So even if we accept your proposition, there is strong prima facie evidence that the settlements have always been ccasioned by the armed conflict, which created the situation and provided an opportunity for the criminal offense of pillage and that the Arabs were considered a security threat, simply because they were Arabs, not because the were involved in hostilities.

      Pillage was already considered a customary crime before the adoption of the provisions of the current US Code, so there are no statutory limitations for any of the acts that I just described.

    • Were the “communities” also defined as being under the religious leaders of each “community” as secular administrators (say, the Orthodox Patriarch, the Armenian Catholicos, the Grand Chacham, etc.) or as just ethnic units?

      Yes and no. That's a subject that would require another book in and of itself. The term Ottoman Empire is a misnomer for a multinational Muslim Empire that lasted as long as the Aztec Empire. The reigning dynasties had cemented their alliances through intermarriages and had ceased to be a strictly Turkish institution. By the 19th Century the other Great Powers were dismantling it piece by piece and it had already surrendered much of its sovereignty to foreign bondholders that had taken over its tax and customs collections in much the same way the US Military Governors and foreign banks took over tax collections in the Banana Republics. So the liberalizations of the Tanzimat era reforms were imposed from the outside and went hand in hand with the regime of Capitulations. The "national" rights of the Western consulates were recognized, and in many cases, their national religious proclivities and prerogatives.

      The insertion of safeguarding clauses in the treaties that protected the "existing rights" of the communities tended to preserve elements of the old Ottoman civil order, while formally protecting the new rights of some Christian minorities, including some Arab ones, that the Caliphate didn't consider to be separate "nations" per se. The secularization led to some schizophrenic results. The Proclamation for the Ottoman Empire, 1908 confusingly said:

      9. Every citizen will enjoy complete liberty and equality, regardless of nationality or religion, and be submitted to the same obligations. All Ottomans, being equal before the law as regards rights and duties relative to the State, are eligible for government posts, according to their individual capacity and their education. Non-Muslims will be equally liable to the military law.
      10. The free exercise of the religious privileges which have been accorded to different nationalities will remain intact.

      - link to

      The British and French were also of two minds about the safeguarding clauses. The declassified British cabinet papers reveal that they were perfectly aware of the fact that the position they were agreeing to grant the French government in Syria under the terms of the McMahon-Hussien Correspondence violated their commitments under the terms of the Regliment Organique Agreements with the other European powers. They were once again facilitating France in its outside meddling in the religious affairs of state on behalf of the Christian communities of Mt. Lebanon and the desire of those Christian minority groups for territorial aggrandizement and domination.

      By the end of the era major components of the Ottoman system were deliberately abolished and some of the Great Powers, like the Russian government, had undergone a revolutionary change that had severed their relations with the ethnic religious communities in Palestine anyway.

      Neither the British nor their Arab allies ended up assuming the role of a successor to the former Caliphate, although negotiations dragged on until 1923 with the exiled Hashemites. The British intentionally tricked the French into publicly issuing the Anglo-French Declaration in order to use that instrument as the basis for their private demand that the earlier, conflicting details of the Sykes-Picot Agreement be quietly reopened for negotiations on terms more to their liking.

      When the French demanded that General Allenby allow them to reestablish the religious "French Protectorate of Jerusalem," the British Cabinet decided to reverse their earlier decision to recognize Arab independence, that they had adopted at the outset of the general Arab revolt against the Ottomans in 1916. They declared Palestine "occupied enemy territory" so that Allenby could use his military authority under the new Hague rules to keep the French from meddling in British control of things there through the device of the new exclusive "OETA" zones and an “Aide-memoire in regard to the occupation of Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia pending the decision in regard to Mandates, 13 September 1919″. The memo is available in the FRUS and in J. C. Hurewitz collection.

      The British subsequently used the offer of the mandate for Syria and Lebanon at the San Remo Conference as bait to obtain French acquiescence to a formal acknowledgment in the text of the final resolution itself that their old Jerusalem Protectorate had finally come to an end and would not be reestablished in the future. link to

      For its own part, Italy refused to agree and maintained its position in all of Ottoman Asia through its own reservation inserted in the text of final resolution. It subsequently employed its veto in the Council of the League of Nations to prevent the adoption of either of the draft Mandates, until its own demand for explicit provisions regarding "special commissions" to "study, define and determine the rights and claims in connection with the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine" and Syria were included in the respective texts. The British and French finally crossed their fingers behind their backs and agreed, See for example Article 14 of the Palestine Mandate link to Like the joint Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey, that ended up as the US King-Crane Commission (1919), there was never any such special commission with those powers in actual practice.

      When it suited the British government, they pretended that they inherited aspects of the millet system from the Ottoman's. The State of Israel has employed the same pretense. The Ashkenazi Jews refused to remain subordinate to a Sepahardi Hakham Bashi, so the institution of dual Chief Rabbis was born. About a third of the secular Jews never applied for Palestinian citizenship and avoided their jurisdiction like the plague. Likewise, the British inaugurated the new office of the "Grand Mufti of Jerusalem" and ignored their own election rules in order to select the fourth runner-up, Haj Amin al-Husseini as the winner.

      The British government and the League of Nations had to adopt a hands off approach to the Muslim Holy sites in order to avoid an uprising among the Muslim communities of their many colonies and Allied powers, including India, during WWI. The British government and Allied Powers made several declarations and entered into agreements with the Muslim inhabitants of its India colony, the Sharif of Mecca; the Gulf region Arab Sheikhs, and the Muslim notables of Egypt and the Sudan regarding the absolute immunity of the Muslim Holy Sites and Waqfs of Ottoman Asia in order to undermine attempts by the Ottoman Caliphate to declare a Holy War against them.

      *The 3rd paragraph of the Sykes-Picot Agreement required the Allies to consult with the Sharif of Mecca on the form of government in the brown area of international administration in Palestine.
      *More importantly, British Cabinet papers reveal that the Muslim Holy Places in Hebron and Jerusalem had been completely excluded from the territory of the brown, Palestinian “International Enclave”, shown on the map attached to the Sykes-Picot Agreement in accordance with the Government of India’s Proclamation No. 4 to the Arab and Indian Sheikhs and the Sharif of Mecca.

      The remainder of Palestine was included in the area pledged for Arab Independence anyway. See for example paragraph 4 (c) on pp 4 (pdf page 5) and paragraph 6 (a), (d), & (e) on pp 8-9 (pdf page 9-10) CAB 24/72, “The Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula” (Former Reference: GT 6506) , 21 November 1918 and the collection of small and large detailed maps of Palestine in CAB 24/72 “Maps illustrating the Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula”, (Former Reference: GT 6506A) 21 November 1918.
      Former Reference: GT 6506A
      Title: Maps illustrating the Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula.
      Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
      Date 21 November 1918
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/72
      link to
      Former Reference: GT 6506
      Title: The Settlement of Turkey and the Arablan Peninsula.
      Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
      Date 21 November 1918
      Catalogue reference CAB 24/72
      link to

      But none of the western powers ever intended to turn over control of the Holy sites to either the Jews or the Muslims. They never considered either community to be trustworthy enough. The device of the Corpus Separatum was adopted to fulfil a stipulation to that effect in the original mandate:

      As I understand the mandate, the Palestine mandate is an A mandate. The essence of that is that it marks a transitory period, with the aim and object of leading the mandated territory to become an independent self-governing State. Indeed, the articles of the mandate make it clear that that is so. It is true that in the final article–Article 28–it is stated that, when that day comes and the mandate is terminated, perpetual provision must be made for the care of the Holy Places and particularly the Christian Holy Places, which neither the Moslem majority nor the Jewish minority, nor yet a Judeo-Moslem commonwealth is, in the opinion of the world, capable of protecting. It is the clear intention of those who framed the mandate that there ought to be permanent provision for this end.

      — Testimony of Secretary of State for the Colonies, William Ormsby-Gore to the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission, July 30th, 1937 link to

      The ICJ noted the continuing validity of the provisions regarding freedom of movement and transit to the Holy sites on both sides of the Green Line under the terms of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in the Wall case advisory opinion (Para 129). The 1988 disengagement from the West bank by the government of Jordan was without prejudice to the legal status of the territory captured by Israel in 1967 under the terms of Article 3(2) of the Treaty. link to

      Article 9 stipulated that:

      in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.
      -- link to

      The most recent treaty between Palestine and Jordan reaffirmed an on-going confederation between the two states and the qualified nature of the 1988 Jordanian disengagement from the West Bank.
      On it’s face, the agreement recognizes Jordanian territorial jurisdiction over 144 dunums of mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground and the Waqf properties tied-up to “Al Haram Al Sharif” – based upon continuity of custodianship that dates back to a declaration made by the people of Jerusalem and Palestine in 1924. It notes that the custodianship also encompasses the “Rum” (Greek) Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem that is governed by the Jordanian Law No. 27 of the year 1958.

      So, the ICC automatically has jurisdiction over crimes committed in those parts of Jerusalem through the Jordanian accession, since it was a founding state party to the Rome Statute and territorial reservations are not allowed.

      I could go on and on about relevant details of most of that material, but that is a brief overview of the community rights in Palestine from 1878 onward.

    • Gah! Take break, man

      I feel your pain;-) But I just had to write one more post to explain why the UN should take Israel back to the ICJ over the rights that it agreed to place under explicit UN guarantee in exchange for the privilege of exercising jurisdiction over half the country.

    • I have no idea of law or lawyers or patience with their dissections, so opinion from people like you is extremely important.

      Well, the reason that I think the minority agreement in resolution 181(II) is such a big deal, is that these agreements with an "ICJ compromissory jurisdictional clause" are considered to be declarations recognizing the jurisdiction of the Court as compulsory for any dispute arising over the interpretation of the terms.

      I don't think that the Judges were aware of the fact back in 2003 that the representative of Israel had affirmed Israel's acceptance of the agreement, for the record, on at least two occasions during the hearings on its membership application. Many of the demands that Israel makes for concession from the Palestinians today are per se violations of the agreement and would violate the fundamental human rights that are still under UN and Israeli guarantee. During the Wall case, the Court did at least note that resolution 181(II) remains the source of the UN Organization's permanent responsibility for the Question of Palestine, until all of its aspects are legitimately resolved in accordance with international law.

      I think that one of the ways to get off the "Piece Process" treadmill will be for the Palestinians to co-sponsor a General Assembly ICJ case over the legal consequences of Israel's violations of the rights contained in the UN protection plan.

      That's why the Government of Israel has gone out of its way to fabricate propaganda that claims it was admitted to the UN without providing the treaty declaration and pretends that the UN Human Rights Council has unfairly singled it out for its violations of human rights. In fact, it was the Zionist political movement that forced the international community to adopt the practice in order to hold governments accountable for discrimination against their own Jewish communities. The Allied Powers forced all of the enemy states to accept minority protection clauses in the WWII peace treaties. Likewise, minority rights were recognized and accepted as one of the criteria for recognition of statehood by the EU's Badinter Arbitration Committee which dealt with the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

      I won't go into any more detail than this to underscore the duplicity of Israeli officials on the subject. Jacob Robinson spent much of his adult life working on the enforcement of the minority treaties and writing about them, e.g. Robinson et al., “Were the Minorities Treaties a Failure?”, Institute of Jewish affairs of the American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress, New York (1943). He also authored a volume about the UN deliberations on the plan for the future government of Palestine by the same Institute, while also serving as a legal advisor to the Jewish Agency for Palestine during the UNSCOP and Ad Hoc Commission hearings titled "Palestine and the United Nations: Prelude to Solution". He advised the People's Council on international law during the drafting of Israel's Declaration of Independence and went on to serve as the legal advisor of the Israeli UN delegation.

      He wrote an astonishingly hypocritical paper, “International Protection of Minorities: A Global View,” which was reprinted in an anniversary edition of Yoram Dinstein, Fania Domb [editors], Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Nov 11, 2011, page 73-106. It concealed the fact that the UN had incorporated a formal minority protection plan in resolution 181 (II) and falsely stated that the international community had abandoned the custom after WWII. link to

      Robinson is only one of many such examples. Several members of the Inner Zionist General Council were trained as both lawyers and propagandists, e.g. Ben Gurion, Shertok, et al. They never really practiced law a day in their lives. They specialized in obfuscation and the fabrication of grandiose claims and frequently ignored what little expert legal opinion they obtained from their own in-house legal departments.

    • @Hostage

      Slow it down just a bit, Brother. I’m almost caught up with you.

      I'm not your brother and I don't think you're going to catch up with anyone in a US federal court by trying to cite the ICC elements of the offense, since the USA isn't even a member state of the ICC.

      In any event, even you can't be that stupid. You can watch videos of settlers attacking and driving Palestinians off of farmlands well beyond the Green line on YouTube or read dozens of articles about that sort of thing in the international media on almost a daily basis. The settlers are invariably accompanied or bailed-out by armed IDF minions who are not enforcing domestic criminal law. Full stop.

      Once again, even the Israeli civilian Courts have ruled that there has been an on-going international armed conflict there ever since the first intifada and that the Palestinians come under the jurisdiction of Israeli Military Courts and Commanders. FYI, all of those caravans of settlers passed through military checkpoints before they setup shop on land they've plundered or which was expropriated by the IDF on their behalf in violation of the Hague rule #28, the UN Armistice Agreements, and the Chapter 7 Security Council resolutions 62 and 73. The same thing goes for the permanent settlement blocks - and the same rational applies to their occupant's fraudulent acquisition titles or leases in the WWII cases of civilian pillage of occupied territories:

      In our view, the offenses against property defined in the Hague Regulations are broad in their phraseology and do not admit of any distinction between “plunder” in the restricted sense of acquisition of physical properties, which are the subject matter of the crime, the plunder or spoliation resulting from acquisition of intangible property such as is involved in the acquisition of stock ownership, or of acquisition of ownership or control through any other means, even though apparently legal in form.

      -- United States v. Carl Krauch, et al. (The I.G. Farben Trial) before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg Judgment 29 july 1948

      US settlers and representatives of US companies don't enjoy any more immunity from prosecution for complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity than the representatives of IG Farben, Krupp, and Dresdner Bank who were convicted of pillaging goods from Nazi-occupied territory.

    • They have the same rights whether they own, lease/rent real estate or are living under a bridge.

      Agreed. They had "national" rights under the Ottoman millet system and there were a number of status quo agreements that preserved and expanded upon those rights. But they never had a right under international or British law to setup a state and operate a government that dispossessed the other inhabitants and transferred their plundered lands and property to the JNF where they are "held in trust for the Jewish People". The USA's written Statement in the ICJ Kosovo case explained that Declarations of Independence are not generally governed by international law, unless the are conjoined to acts that are inherently illegal. Whether you call what Israel did forced population transfer and martial law, apartheid, or ethnic cleansing, it was, and still is. the same war crime or crime against humanity committed by the Nazi regime against the inhabitants of Eastern Europe, i.e. the process of acquiring a territory by evicting its population, either through military attacks or occupation, and replacing them with colonists of another ethnic group by implementing a policy of apartheid or genocide. That crime is not subject to any statutory limitations. We are still tracking down Nazis and prosecuting them, while Israel is openly rewarding their criminals:

      *100-Year-Old General: We Razed Arab Villages, So What?
      Brig. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Pundak: If we hadn't done it, there would be a million more Arabs and there would be no Israel. link to
      * Historic Moment: Yitzhak Pundak Rises to Rank of Major General at Age 100
      link to

      They were never in charge of implementing the Balfour declaration and had zero authority whatsoever to challenge the British government's authoritative interpretation of it in the 1939 White paper and the 1940 Land Transfer Ordinance.

    • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the European Union’s top foreign policy official last week that he wants to resume talks with the Palestinians, with his goal being to reach understandings on the borders of settlement blocs that Israel would annex under any peace agreement.

      He can't reach any such agreement, since Palestine is a finally a party to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. It can't conclude any agreement that violates a norm of international law, and forced population transfer is a war crime subject to a jus cogens prohibition. Those folks with house keys in the refugee camps have the right to be repatriated to those settlement blocks, full stop.

    • You think the United States government can prosecute U.S. citizens (real estate brokers) under the Military Tribunal law of the Nuremberg Trials?

      No, I think the US government prosecuted civilians for pillage, including laundering the stolen assets, while citing customary international law. There is no military tribunal required at all for the Federal Courts to exercise jurisdiction under any of the statutes that I've cited. The 1996 War Crimes statute and RICO are the enabling legislation that gives our regular courts jurisdiction under Title 18. Military Tribunals operate under Chapter 45 of US Title 10 the UCMJ & et seq.

      Frankly, if our government can put the operators of the Muslim Holy Land Charities in jail for allegedly providing support for terrorists in one part of Palestine, then nothing at all stops it from doing the same thing to a lousy Kahanist terrorist operating in another part of Palestine - and if the US is unwilling or unable to do it, every State in the EU can prosecute them and go after their assests under their own Rome Statute enabling legislation.

      It's not just the United States that has these laws. Canada has stated for the record that the settlements violate the 4th Geneva Convention. Several years ago the Village of Bi'iln filed a civil suit there against Canadian firms and the Courts refused to take action and told them to seek relief in the Courts of Israel. But they can't do that anymore when it comes to criminal charges. Canada has a treaty obligation to Palestine and the ICC. Under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, any proceeds from those crimes are subject to forfeiture if they are located in Canada. Here is the government's web page on the applicable law:

      In order to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Canada’s Parliament had to enact legislation to implement its obligations under the Rome Statute.
      Canada became the first country in the world to incorporate the obligations of the Rome Statute into its national laws when it adopted the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (CAHWCA) on June 24, 2000. Canada was then able to ratify the Rome Statute on July 9, 2000.
      To ensure that Canada can fully cooperate with ICC proceedings, the CAHWCA also amended existing Canadian laws like the Criminal Code, Extradition Act and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

      Proceeds of Crime Offences
      The Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act also makes it an offence to possess and/or launder proceeds obtained from crimes listed under the Act. This means that if proceeds from genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes are located in Canada, they can be restrained, seized or forfeited in much the same way as proceeds from other criminal offences in Canada.
      Crimes Against Humanity Fund
      The Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act established a Crimes Against Humanity Fund, which holds all proceeds obtained from the disposal of forfeited assets and the enforcement of fines and ICC reparation orders in Canada. The Attorney General of Canada may then use the Fund to make payments to the ICC, the ICC’s Trust Fund established under the Rome Statute, or directly to victims.

      link to

    • As I understand it, unless one is an inhabitant of a territory, the ownership of real estate does not confer any territorial, citizenship or national rights.

      But the territory wasn't devoid of indigenous "Jewish Communities". They were subjects of international law in their own right and could exercise local autonomy over territory and "national" religious rights under both Ottoman and European treaties and laws. "The Yishuv" (aka Vaaad Leumi) had been a legal entity under the Ottoman government that enjoyed local autonomy. It had its own government officials, tax collectors, places of worship, schools, and courts that governed Jewish personal legal status. There were various national "communities" Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Romaniot, etc. under its umbrella, mainly in the four holy cities. The Zionists simply co-opted it and took control under the auspices of their role as the "Jewish Agency" prescribed by the Mandate. Nothing prevented them from holding territory in trust for the Jewish people.

      Just read the British Mandate for Palestine and count the number of times the word communities is used. Those Jewish and non-Jewish communities were each legal entities under international law. In the Greco-Bulgarian Communities (Opinion No. 17) and The Minority Schools in Albania (Opinion A/B 64), the Permanent Court of International Justice cleared-up any dispute over the meaning of the term of art "community". It said that a community is:” … a group of persons living in a given country or locality, having a race, religion, language and traditions of their own and united by this identity of race, religion, language and traditions in a sentiment of solidarity, with a view to preserving their traditions, maintaining their form of worship, ensuring the instruction and upbringing of their children in accordance with the spirit and traditions of their race and rendering mutual assistance to each other.”

    • Part 5

      About what is possibly a side issue for your discussion but may be important for a lot of people.

      Adam Keller wrote an article which sums-up the situation. The Zionists asked for special treatment and promised to observe the usual legal obligations, then they turned right around an broke all of their promises:

      And thus, to go back to the question posed at the beginning of this article: Is Israel singled out, by international civil society if not (yet?) by international diplomacy? Yes, it is. Is it unfair and biased? To my view, it is not. It is but a quite fair demand upon Israel to pay at least part of a long-overdue debt, and keep their part of a contract which Israel’s Founding Fathers solemnly signed.
      Yes, there are many countries whose conduct fully deserves condemnation – but none was given such a unique privilege as the Zionist movement was given, none had made such a binding obligation in return for being given such a privilege, and which it failed to keep.
      In recent years the State of Israel has been vociferously criticized for planting settlers in the occupied territories – which it can be argued that China is also doing in Tibet; and for killing civilians in the bombings of Gaza, which it can shown that Americans and Europeans are also doing in Iraq and Afghanistan; and for lethally raiding the Gaza Aid Flotilla, for which some apologists also tried to find various precedents and parallels. Yet Israel is singled out because it, and it alone, is in obvious default of a fundamental obligation, an obligation which was the condition for Israel coming into being in the first place.
      The plan which is now on offer – and had been on offer for quite a long time – gives Israel the possibility of settling this debt on quite comfortable conditions. The West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are to be given up and become the State of Palestine, are after all little more than 22% of what was Mandatory Palestine, and by giving them up Israel would be intentionally recognized as having at last discharged its debt and kept its obligation. But continued persistence in refusing to pay the debt – continuing it until the international balance of power has fundamentally changed, some years or decades from now – might put Israel at the risk of what happens to those who fail to pay their debts: going into liquidation.

      link to

    • Part 4

      About what is possibly a side issue for your discussion but may be important for a lot of people.

      Li-ann Thio, a professor of international and human rights law at the National University of Singapore noted that many international law norms and customary practices developed in the inter-war years by the League of Nations are still in use today. She specifically cited the cases of the Bosnian and Palestine partition plans. The UN partition plan contained each of the procedures developed by the League for managing intrastate and inter-ethnic issues: International supervision; regional economic integration; minority protection; plebiscites; and a partition. She cited the Palestine Partition Plan as an example of conditioning recognition of statehood on human rights, democracy, and minority protection guarantees. See the discussion on pages 97-98 and footnote 353 in Li-ann Thio Managing Babel: The International Legal Protection of Minorities in the Twentieth Century, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2005

      Charles Malik (Lebanon) served as Rapporteur for Eleanor Roosevelt's Commission and presided over the General Assembly Third Committee when it drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. During 45th meeting of the hearings on Israel's application for membership in the UN he pointed out that Israel had been created by the United Nations and that it was violating the terms of the partition plan regarding the lives and safety of its Arab citizens and the criteria pertaining to expropriation of their properties. He pointed out the obvious. That the UN did not intend to grant Israel the right to rid itself of its Arab citizens and that its membership in the UN could only be premised on its compliance with resolution 181(II):

      The General Assembly had to determine first of all the criterion on which to base its decision to admit Israel. Ordinarily, applicant States were merely required to comply with the conditions laid down in Article 4 of the Charter. However, in so far as Israel had actually been created in November 1947 by a resolution of the General Assembly (181 (II)), the Assembly had first to consider the cardinal question of whether the new State in its present structure conformed to the previous decisions affecting it which had been adopted by the United Nations itself

      In that connexion, Mr. Malik quoted from section F, part I of the Assembly's resolution of 29 November 1947, which stated that sympathetic consideration should be given to the application for membership of either the Jewish or the Arab State, when the independence of either as envisaged in the plan had become effective and the declaration and undertaking as envisaged in the plan had been signed by either of them.

      The State of Israel, in its present form, directly contravened the previous recommendations of the United Nations in at least three important respects: in its attitude on the problem of Arab refugees, on the delimitation of its territorial boundaries, and on the question of Jerusalem.

      The United Nations had certainly not intended that the Jewish State should rid itself of its Arab citizens. On the contrary, section C of part I of the Assembly's 1947 resolution had explicitly provided guarantees of minority rights in each of the two States. For example, it had prohibited the expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State except for public purposes, and then only upon payment of full compensation. Yet the fact was that 90 per cent of the Arab population of Israel had been driven outside its boundaries by military operations, had been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Arab territories, had been reduced to misery and destitution, and had been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Their homes and property had been seized and were being used by thousands of European Jewish immigrants.

      During the 48th session of the Ad Hoc Political Committee that was considering Israel’s application for membership, the representative of Cuba asked if Israel had supplied the required declaration on minority rights? He noted that the rights were under United Nations guarantee. See pages 2-3 of the .pdf A/AC.24/SR.48
      Mr Abba Eban said he could answer in the affirmative and cited a cable from Foreign Minister Shertok to the Secretary General outlining the provisions of The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, which had been signed by the members of the People's Council on 14 May 1948. Eban said he needed a little time to produce the documents. But he assured the Ad Hoc Committee that a declaration had been made by the Foreign Minister to the Secretary General on 15 May 1948.

      At the 51st session Mr Eban acknowledged again that the resolution required Israel to make a declaration and that it had. He said that the rights stipulated in UN resolution 181(II) had been constitutionally embodied as the fundamental law of the state of Israel as required by the resolution when the signed Declaration of Independence had been promulgated as law in the official gazette. See his full remarks starting on page 6 of the verbatim UN record, link to

      Mr. Eban’s explanations and Israel’s acknowledgment of those undertakings were specifically noted in the text and footnotes of General Assembly Resolution 273 (III) “Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations”, 11 May 1949.

      In 1950 the representative of Israel falsely claimed that, although Israel had expressed its willingness to provide the required minority rights declaration, it had been admitted to membership in the United Nations without ever providing one. See the Yearbook of the International Law Commission: 1950 , vol. II, Law of Treaties, UN Document: A/CN.4/19, page 21, paragraphs 21–23, link to
      The first President of the Supreme Court Justice M. Smoira ruled that:
      The Declaration expresses the vision and credo of the people; but it is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes.
      The Israeli UN representatives and Israeli Foreign Ministers subsequently declared that General Assembly resolution 181 (II) was “null and
      void”. e.g. link to
      During the Eichmann trial Hannah Arendt wrote that Israeli officials agreed outside the courtroom upon the undesirability of a written constitution in which racially discriminatory laws would embarrassingly have to be spelled out. — Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Google ebook, page 7
      In recent years the members of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee have openly rejected the idea of “ensurance of equality” in the Constitution, saying it would contradict Judaism. See MKs debate protection of ‘equality’ in future constitution link to

      A legal opinion written by an experts panel of a subsidiary organ of the UN created by the General Assembly with the specific mandate to identify and facilitate the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people reported that Israel is under a legal obligation to repatriate all of the refugees from the wars in 1948 and 1967 because of its acceptance of resolution 181(II) which protects the rights of Arabs in Israel:

      19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III).

      link to

    • Part 3 Hostage,

      About what is possibly a side issue for your discussion but may be important for a lot of people. ...

      Resolution 181(II) contained a minority rights legal instrument that Israel accepted through a formal declaration. Here are some extracts from the text of the resolution which governs and ensures fundamental humans rights:

      The Constituent Assembly of each State shall draft a democratic constitution for its State and choose a provisional government to succeed the Provisional Council of Government appointed by the Commission. The Constitutions of the States shall embody Chapters 1 and 2 of the Declaration provided for in section C below and include, inter alia, provisions for:
      Guaranteeing to all persons equal and non-discriminatory rights in civil, political, economic and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association;
      Preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents and citizens of the other State in Palestine and the City of Jerusalem . . .
      A declaration shall be made to the United Nations by the Provisional Government of each proposed State before independence. It shall contain, inter alia, the following clauses:
      General Provision
      The stipulations contained in the Declaration are recognized as fundamental laws of the State and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them.
      Chapter 2: Religious and Minority Rights
      Freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, shall be ensured to all.
      No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, language or sex.
      All persons within the jurisdiction of the State shall be entitled to equal protection of the laws.
      No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State) shall be allowed except for public purposes. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court shall be paid previous to dispossession.
      Chapter 4: Miscellaneous Provisions
      The provisions of chapters 1 and 2 of the declaration shall be under the guarantee of the United Nations, and no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Any Member of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the General Assembly any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these stipulations, and the General Assembly may thereupon make such recommendations as it may deem proper in the circumstances.
      Any dispute relating to the application or interpretation of this declaration shall be referred, at the request of either party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the parties agree to another mode of settlement.

      -- UN resolution 181(II) link to
      During the People’s Council discussion about the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on the 14th of May, David Ben Gurion stated:

      “We have put in the basic phrases demanded by the UN, and I am sure that they, and more, will be included in the law of the land.

      – See Netanel Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 – People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, pp 53 (pdf page 40 of 184) link to

    • Part 2

      About what is possibly a side issue for your discussion but may be important for a lot of people.

      A dispute regarding the belligerent communities of Palestine was a significant contributing factor in the outbreak of the Crimean War. As a consequence, the 1856 Treaty of Paris declared that the Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire had been admitted to participate in the Public Law and System (Concert) of Europe. All of the Ottoman communities were placed under the protection of the public international law of Europe at that time. See for example International law: achievements and prospects, UNESCO Series, Mohammed Bedjaoui (ed), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1991, ISBN 9231027166, page 7

      The Treaty of Berlin (1878) formally introduced the practice of conditioning recognition and grants of sovereignty over territory on acceptance of minority treaties which dictated the terms of internal government regarding the political, civil, religious, and property rights of national minority and religious groups that “come with the territory”. See for example the discussion about the creation of Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania under the treaty of 1878 in "Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, And International Minority Protection", 1878-1938, Cambridge University Press, 2006, page 37 link to

      Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin (1878) applied to all of the Palestinian communities and stipulated that:

      Article LXII. The Sublime Porte having expressed the intention to maintain the principle of religious liberty, and give it the widest scope, the Contracting Parties take note of this spontaneous declaration. In no part of the Ottoman Empire shall difference of religion be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honors, or the exercise of the various professions and industries, in any locality whatsoever.

      link to

      Eli Likovski wrote an essay on the "Status of the Jewish Agency and WZO" which explains that when the Zionist Congress said “to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine, secured under public law” that meant these terms of European “public international law”. See page 32 of Daniel Judah Elazar, Alysa M. Dortort (editors) “Understanding the Jewish Agency: a handbook, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 1984

      It's impossible to claim that the Zionist didn't know about the practice of protecting the rights of Jewish minority communities by treaties, since their movement helped establish it in the first place.

      Unlike people here who claim that international organizations like the UN can't create new states, the Zionists knew better. That's why they sent delegations to Paris in 1920. The Versailles Peace Conference assigned the work to a single “Committee on Minorities and the Creation of New States”. See also Oscar I. Janowsky, “The Jews and Minority Rights, (1898-1919), Colombia University Press, 1933, page 342; and Part III Creation of States in International Organizations, Chapter 13 “Mandates and Trust Territories” in James Crawford, “Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006, page 565

      French Prime Minister Clemenceau noted in an aide-memoire attached to the treaty that created the state of Poland that the minority protection treaties were a longstanding part of European public law:

      This treaty does not constitute any fresh departure. It has for long been the established procedure of the public law of Europe that when a State is created, or when large accessions of territory are made to an established State, the joint and formal recognition of the Great Powers should be accompanied by the requirement that such States should, in the form of a binding International convention undertake to comply with certain principles of Government. In this regard I must recall for your consideration the fact that it is to the endeavors and sacrifices of the Powers in whose name I am addressing you that the Polish nation owes the recovery of its independence. It is by their decision that Polish sovereignty is being restored over the territories in question, and that the inhabitants of these territories are being incorporated into the Polish nation.... ...There rests, therefore, upon these Powers an obligation, which they cannot evade, to secure in the most permanent and solemn form guarantees for certain essential rights which will afford to the inhabitants the necessary protection, whatever changes may take place in the internal constitution of the Polish State.

      link to

      The Palestinians and Jews enjoyed full representation in the Ottoman Parliament, which among other things, had established suitable legal conditions for Jewish immigration. Here is a link to a debate on the subject that took place in 1911 between Palestinian and Jewish lawmakers. See Yuval Ben-Bassat and Eyal Ginio, Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk Rule (Library of Ottoman Studies), 2011, page 111 et seq link to

      For their own part, the other Principle Allied Powers had inserted a safeguarding clause into the resolution concerning the mandates that the Supreme Council adopted during the San Remo Conference. It was separate, and in addition to the safeguards contained in the Balfour Declaration. It stipulated that the mandate would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. link to So, the British authorities and the LoN were required to establish self-governing institutions for the indigenous Jews and Palestinians alike that could adopt legislation on the subjects like immigration and equal rights.

      Years later the UNSCOP Commission specifically cited the fact that there was an international undertaking to preserve the status quo resulting from the Crimean war (1855) and the Russo-Turkish war (1878). It also noted the term "Jewish national home" never had any agreed upon meaning or scope in international law. link to

      Of course the Mandated State of Palestine was one of the newly created states. The political rights of ethnic minority and religious groups were under the protection of the new League of Nations and the Permanent Court of International Justice. the “Summary of the work of the League of Nations, January 1920-March 1922″ noted that the Court would be competent to adjudicate any dispute on that or other subjects:

      There are also, in all the treaties of peace, clauses for the protection of minorities, and disputes regarding the carrying into effect of these clauses are to be referred to the Court. In the draft mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine, the Court’s decision is to be evoked in any dispute.

      – See page 4 link to
      Any dispute over the rights of non-Jewish communities contained in Article 13 or any other provision of the mandate was subject to the jurisdiction of the Court under the terms of Article 26 of the Mandate:

      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.


      In 1932 the Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution which required the mandated states, including Palestine, to accept a minority rights undertaking in a formal declaration or treaty as a condition for the termination of a mandate regime. See The General Principles Governing the Termination of a Mandate, Luther Harris Evans, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 735-758 Stable URL: link to

      The Permanent Court of International Justice was asked to rule on the legal nature of minority rights declarations in the Albanian Schools case. The Court considered these declarations to be a treaty in the proper sense. The opinions made no distinction between the two and frequently cited the Treaty on Albanian Minorities in order to interpret the Declaration supplied by the government of Albania. See Henry J. Steiner, Philip Alston, Ryan Goodman, International Human Rights in Context, Oxford University Press, 2008, page 100 link to - See more at: link to

      Paragraph 129 of the ICJ Wall Opinion explains how the “existing rights” of the Palestinians under Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin (1878) were the subject of safeguarding clauses in Article 13 of the Mandate and an entire Chapter in the UN Partition plan. The Court also mentioned the reference to the “immunity” of the Muslim Holy Places in Palestine under Article 13 of the Mandate. Immunity is always an attribute of sovereignty.

    • Part 1


      About what is possibly a side issue for your discussion but may be important for a lot of people. Isn’t that statement confusing real estate ownership and sovereignty? No matter the size of the lands, where do they get the right to lay down the law?

      Lol! This post is just for you then. I'll try to be thorough, I hope you're not sorry you asked;-)

      It's not unimportant to me at all. I've probably commented more about that issue here at Mondoweiss than anything else. What you may not have understood is that I was discussing an international legal instrument contained in resolution 181(II) that conditioned the cession of territory to the UN appointed authorities of the two states on their acceptance of a minority rights agreement that placed fundamental human rights and legal equality under UN guarantee and did not allow those rights to be altered without the consent of the UN General Assembly. Any dispute over the terms of the agreement was placed under the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. Israel accepted those terms and then declared them to be null and void years after the fact.

      This post will just be an overview of the practice. I'll have to put the details in another post. The minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II) was included in a catalog of minority treaties and instruments published by the Secretary General in 1950. The plan for Palestine was the only instrument that wasn't deemed to be affected by the dissolution of the League of Nations. -- E/CN.4/367, Date: 7 April 1950 (see Chapter III The United Nations Charter And The Treaties Concluded After The War, resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, "The Future Government of Palestine", pages 22-23)

      Resolution 181(II) is also cited in the "Table of Treaties" in Thomas D. Musgrave, Self-determination and National Minorities, Oxford Monographs in International Law, Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0198298986, Page xxxviii

      Prof W. Tom Mallison, of GWU Law School and the US Naval War College co-authored "An International Law Analysis Of The Major United Nations Resolutions Concerning The Palestine Question", with his wife Sallie, a Research Associate, of the International and Comparative Law Program, George Washington University. also testified about Israel's failure to fulfill its fundamental obligations under the UN minority protection plan in his testimony to the US Senate:

      The problem stems from the refusal of the state of Israel to comply with its obligations under the minority rights agreement to guarantee equal rights and protection under the law in the areas under its jurisdiction. Among these legal obligations, section 10(d) of part IB is particularly important and provides that each of the states to be set up in Palestine shall have a constitution which includes provisions:
      Guaranteeing to all persons equal and nondiscriminatory rights in civil, political, economic, and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion, language, speech and publication, education, assembly, and association. In most civilized legal systems it is recognized that legal rights may only be exercised conditioned upon compliance with legal duties. The refusal of the State of Israel to comply with the nondiscriminatory requirements of the Palestine partition resolution - its main claim to title - puts in serious jeopardy its claim to legal title to the limited territory allocated to it by the resolution.

      -- See Mallison’s testimony during the Senate hearings on “The Colonization Of The West Bank Territories By Israel”, page 50 link to

      The modern notion of sovereignty is that it permanently resides in the whole population of a territory and that people have a fundamental right leave their own country of origin and to return to it. I was discussing the fact that Jews couldn't have any undisputed claims to exercise sovereignty over more territory than they either owned or inhabited - a maximal claim that does not include any lands owned by the refugees of its wars. I wasn't implying that they had an exclusive claim to even that much.

      FYI, the cite to the FRUS ( in my earlier comment was a report that discusses the fact that the Pan American Conference was addressing an issue that stymied the work of the 1930 Hague conference on codification. It got deadlocked with the colonial powers over a proposed rule of IHL that said foreigners couldn't be granted better rights by the government than the indigenous population of a territory.

      I've commented in the past that the LoN British mandate is an example of that. Palestinian Arabs who left the country during the first world war were later denied reentry by the British authorities. The only explanation offered at the time was that they had lived abroad in Latin America for three years - and the LoN refused to hear their appeals. Meanwhile the immigration of foreign-born Jews was being given higher priority. Likewise the government of Israel openly admitted in August of 1948 that there was no room in Palestine for the refugees to return to their own homes, because their space was needed by Jews from Arab countries who had expressed a desire to move to Palestine. link to

      Experts on international law agree that the legally binding customary practice regarding the creation of new states by international organizations, like the Concert of Europe, the League of Nations, and the UN, conditioned any cessions of territory, diplomatic recognition, and even recognition of statehood upon the acceptance of an international undertaking by the new government to protect the rights of the indigenous populations of the affected territories.

      The principle of equality of peoples and self-determination, without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion outlined in Article 1 of the UN Charter never permitted the Organization to grant one ethnic group the right to exclude another indigenous group from the territory or from participation in its government in order to establish an ethnically homogeneous State. The representative of China explained that during the 48th session on Israel’s UN membership application:

      The attitude of the Israeli Government on the repatriation of Arab refugees was far more disturbing. The theory of national homogeneity could not be supported by the United Nations. One of the basic objectives of the United Nations was to create harmony among peoples of different races and cultures so that they could live together in peace.

      – page 9 link to

    • To put it in a nutshell

      Whether Palestine was or was not a state is actually irrelevant to the fact that no territories outside the frontiers proclaimed effective as of 00:01 May 15th 1948 by the Israeli Government in its plea for recognition have ever been legally acquired by the State of Israel.

      Well the fact that Israel has declared the UN resolution null and void and never respected its obligations under the Plan for the Future Government of Palestine calls into question how it legally acquired title to anything beyond the 7 percent or so of the territory that was legally owned and inhabited by Jews or the Jewish national trust.

      In the first place, we need to address the fact that both the Concert of Europe and the Inter-American States had adopted multilateral rules in the 19th Century that were used by their Diplomatic Conferences or Courts of Arbitration to settle boundary disputes, e.g. the Doctrine of Uti Possidetis of 1810. In the 1920s the Hague and Pan American Conferences took up the subject of codifying the rules of international law and a long list of subjects was adopted. By the 1930s, even the isolationists in the United States who refused to ratify the Covenant of the League of Nations admitted that international law governed some of the items on the list:

      The subjects for which the United States indicated a preference (from the list submitted) in its memorandum of December 15, 1932, to the Committee at Rio de Janeiro, referred to above, namely, (1) "Extradition", (2) "National domain", (3) "Freedom of transit", with possibly (4) "Rights and duties of States in territories in dispute because of a boundary controversy", would appear more readily to lend themselves to codification.

      -- link to

      For its own part, the United States had even played a role in arbitrating territorial disputes between other parties under the auspices of the Doctrine of Uti Possidetis and the related Monroe Doctrine and Roosevelt Corollary. Ironically enough, the US government went on to say that it did not accept the principles contained in the draft of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States on the very next page of the same memo. In the end it signed-off on the latter with a bunch of "Banana Republics," that had no better claim to statehood than Palestine, but failed to codify the well-accepted rules regarding their many boundary disputes.

      The 1939 White Paper and 1940 Land Transfer Ordinance effectively partitioned the country into three zones with the intent of establishing the maximum extent or boundaries of the "national home" to those of the "Free Zone". See the zones in the map here: link to

      Either those boundaries or the ones in the UN Partition Plan have to be the maximum extent of the territory Israel can claim under the Doctrine of Uti Possidetis. Just to refresh your memory, in the Boundary Dispute Case (Burkina-Faso v Mali), the ICJ ruled that:

      In this connection it should be noted that the principle of uti possidetis seems to have been first invoked and applied in Spanish America, inasmuch as this was the continent which first witnessed the phenomenon of decolonization involving the formation of a number of sovereign States on territory formerly belonging to a single metropolitan State. Nevertheless the principle is not a special rule which pertains solely to one specific system of international law. It is a general principle, which is logically connected with the phenomenon of the obtaining of independence, wherever it occurs. Its obvious purpose is to prevent the independence and stability of new States being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the challenging of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administering power.
      The essence of the principle lies in its primary aim of securing respect for the territorial boundaries at the moment when independence is achieved. Such territorial boundaries might be no more than delimitations between different administrative divisions or colonies all subject to the same sovereign. In that case, the application of the principle of uti possidetis resulted in administrative boundaries being transformed into international frontiers in the full sense of the term. This is true both of the States which took shape in the regions of South America which were dependent on the Spanish Crown, and of the States Parties to the present case, which took shape within the vast territories of French West Africa. Uti possidetis, as a principle which upgraded former administrative delimitations, established during the colonial period, to international frontiers, is therefore a principle of a general kind which is logically connected with this form of decolonization wherever it occurs."

      So, it's hard to see how the customary rule applies in "all cases", if it doesn't apply to Palestine. It has been part of customary international law, since 1810, and was an integral part of the Monroe Doctrine cited in Article 21 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. It was capable of being codified in the 1930s - and certainly no later than the adoption and application of the Stimson Doctrine to other territory and armed conflicts in Asia. So I doubt the ICJ could rule-out its application to Palestine, if it were ever asked to decide.

    • What has never been answered to my mind is: Aside from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, what of the other non-Israeli territories that remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its UNGA res 181 frontiers? ... By what agreement or legal instrument did they become Israeli?

      That's a good question, but you accept some important premises in that framework that are a bit unresolved regarding the legal status of the colonial administrative boundaries adopted by the mandatory government and the status of the territory under the UN Armistice Agreements. Many scholars have pointed out that Right Wings Zionists can't dispute the provisional status of the territory on the other side of the armistice lines without calling into question the status of the territory on their side as well, e.g. John McHugo, Resolution 242: A Legal Reappraisal of the Right-Wing Israeli Interpretation of the Withdrawal Phrase With Reference to the Conflict Between Israel and the Palestinians International and Comparative Law Quarterly, October 2002, vol 51, pp. 858–9. link to

      I'll comment about some of those issues separately, since you didn't really ask about them. In any event, the representative of Palestine formally submitted almost the same question that you've posed to the Security Council and General Assembly in 1996: link to

      The General Assembly in-turn formally submitted it to the ICJ as an implicit part of its request for an Advisory Opinion in 2003, i.e.

      "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, ... What are the legal consequences ... considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

      -- link to

      Unfortunately the Judges concentrated on the provisional armistice arrangements in their legal analysis of the status of the territory, and even then only so far as it was necessary to determine the illegality of the Wall, the associated administrative regime, and the Israeli settlements. The majority opinion never got around to a determination about the ultimate legal consequences of resolution 181(II). Sometimes actions speak louder than words though. The first legal consequence that I noticed was that the Order of 19 December 2003 "Fixing of time-limit: Written Statements" contained two unsolicited invitations from the Court for Palestine to submit a written statement and to participate in the hearings based upon its special status and the fact that it co-sponsored the resolution. FYI, only states are allowed to take part in hearings or oral arguments in accordance with the customary rules and the Statute of the Court. link to The majority and minority opinions included many statements about Palestine that cannot apply to non-state actors.

      But we are getting slightly ahead of ourselves. You need to backup and test the truthfulness of the proposition that "Israel," per se (the Jewish Agency and Vaad Leumi doing business as a so-called "Provisional Council of Government") legally constituted the same body described in the UN resolution, despite the fact that neither the General Assembly or its UN Palestine Commission ever selected or established them, as such, and they never operated under UN direction. Appointing the Provisional Council was not one of the steps the UN resolution had called upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take on their part to put the plan into effect.

      The selection and establishment of the unelected provisional council was only an intermediate step that fell to the Palestine Commission alone to carryout. The Council was supposed to arrange for democratic elections of a Constituent Assembly organized in compliance with the UN Charter principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples so that the new State would be possessed of a Government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction of any kind. Only that elected constituent body or its democratic successor would have been competent under the terms of the GA resolution to declare itself the Provisional State Government.

      Moreover, in April when the Jewish Agency claimed that a Provisional Council had already been selected in Tel Aviv, the Palestine Commission scrupulously avoided any implication that it recognized the unilateral action. It also questioned the propriety of taking any action at all in light of the fact that the Security Council had called the General Assembly back into special session to reconsider the whole plan after the Palestine Commission itself had reported than neither of the State Councils would be able to effectively govern their countries, even if they could be appointed by the deadline. Here is a relevant extract that illustrates my point:

      With regard to the suggestion that the Commission ask for information from Mr. Shertok, it was proposed that he be asked to communicate with the Commission in writing, since he would need time to receive the necessary information from Tel Aviv. Against this proposal, it was maintained that the Commission, by taking action on a matter concerning which it had no official knowledge, but had only learned about it through the press, it would be setting a bad precedent. In fact, it would be recognizing, by implication, the existence of the so-called government of the Jewish State in-Tel-Aviv. Although it was pointed out that the Commission would simply ask Mr. Shertok whether or not the Jewish Agency was proceeding within the framework of the resolution, when it established the so-called government in Tel Aviv, it was decided that Mr. Shertok should be called for further consultations with the Commission on the question of the selection of the Provisional Council of Government for the Jewish State, so that the Commission should not in fact take action on a matter on which it had not been officially informed. During these consultations, Mr. Shertok could be asked to explain the meaning of the action taken by the Jewish Agency in establishing this government in Palestine and whether the Jewish Agency still wished the Commission to proceed with the selection of the members of the Provisional Council of Government for the Jewish State.

      -- link to

      The only thing the Hague Rules required was that the laws in an occupied territory be respected and changed as little as possible. Both Transjordan/Jordan and Israel adopted transition acts or military orders that retained the laws that had been in effect during the mandate. The mandate itself had prevented the British from simply annexing the territory by applying its own municipal laws. The new states simply granted their own officials the executive powers that were formerly exercised by the British King, Privy Council, or High Commissioner and initially retained the old laws. Under Armistice regimes, it was customary to replace the military commander employed during the belligerent occupation phase with a "High Commissioner" and a more civilian oriented style of government.

    • “Cautionary Crow” is way over his head, and may indeed have “suffered a severe blow to the head”.

      Something has to account for the puzzling fact that a Zionist talkback artist has lapsed into the use of the very same arguments and legal-sounding defenses that were employed by apologists for the Nazi regime to excuse crimes committed against Jews who had been rendered "stateless" by acts of aggression and the official Germanization of "occupied territories" in Eastern Europe unlucky enough to belong to "unrecognized" countries or countries with conveniently "disputed" borders.

    • @ Hostage

      ICRC Definition of Pillage: ....So how can civilian settlers ‘pillage’?

      Have you recently suffered a severe blow to the head? I cited several cases of pillage committed by civilians that were tried by US Courts and gave you a link to the summaries on this ICRC webpage where they appear under the heading "Customary IHL" (International Humanitarian Law):
      United States of America
      Practice Relating to Rule 52. Pillage
      Section B. Pillage committed by civilians
      V. National Case-law
      link to

      Try to hone your reading comprehension skills and locate the answer to your questions there and stop spamming the thread. You asked for case law and you've been given the case law dummy. You just don't like to hear what it says.

    • I counsel caution, Hostage. Caution.

      Caution my ass. No one is questioning the applicability of the War Crimes Statute. If the Supreme Court can compel an officer of the United States to perform a duty in Marbury v Madison, then why not initiate an action to compel the US Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury to prosecute and freeze the assets of American nationals who commit war crimes, including pillage, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories? See 28 U.S. Code § 1361 - Action to compel an officer of the United States to perform his duty link to If nothing else it would establish whether or not our government is officially "unwilling or unable" to act after Congress belatedly adopted the enabling legislation to formally implement the criminal sanctions required under the terms of both the Hague (1907) and Geneva Conventions (1949).

      In any event, there is only one subsection of RICO, §1961, which defines acts of racketeering for both of its subsections on criminal and civil remedies. There's no evidence that Congress ever intended to distinguish between extraterritorial acts for which only criminal remedies would be available, and no one is talking about overturning any criminal convictions for money laundering crimes involving acts committed overseas.

      I've already pointed out that the individual standalone criminal statutes cited in §1961 undoubtedly have extraterritorial criminal scope and applicability. The minority are arguing that the related civil remedies under RICO might not apply to acts of racketeering because of a Judge-made rule regarding the presumption of non-extraterritoriality. For some mysterious reason that same rule applies with equal force and effect to every criminal statute too, except on this occasion. In the end, Congress chose to list all of the laws under § 1961 and said they were constituent acts of racketeering, without any disclaimers of civil liability.

      It was the Courts of the United States which established the principle that civil reparations are required under "the law of nations" for war crimes and that they are an integral part of our domestic system of law which is enforceable in the State courts, e.g.

      It is no surprise that New York's Court of Appeals decided last week that a "spoils of war" legal theory could not be upheld. That state's highest court ruled that pillaging during World War II does not invest a possessor of stolen cultural heritage with title.

      -- See Rick St. Hilaire, "New York's Highest Court Rejects The Right to Pillage", Monday, November 18, 2013 and In the Matter of Riven Flamenbaum

      That's an example of Court-ordered property restitution as a result of a crime committed outside the United States decades ago. But they were citing WWII War Department guidelines on customary law that applied to pillage and restitution of real, movable, and intangible property.

    • @Hostage

      Before you pack your gunny sack and rush off to the Hague, you might stop and consider this. Five judges wrote separate opinions to accompany the disposition, illustrating the Second Circuit’s internal disagreement over RICO’s extraterritorial scope.

      1) the Hague can prosecute American citizens who have committed crimes on the territory of Palestine without regard to RICO or any other statute in the US Code.

      2) There isn't any doubt that the Congress intended the War Crimes Act to have extraterritorial applicability to members of the armed forces and US national civilians, because that's exactly what each of the public laws under US Code Title 18 explicitly stated: Pub. L. 104–192, § 2(a),Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 2104, § 2401; renumbered § 2441,Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 605(p)(1),Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3510; amended Pub. L. 105–118, title V, § 583,Nov. 26, 1997, 111 Stat. 2436; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title IV, § 4002(e)(7),Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1810; Pub. L. 109–366, § 6(b)(1),Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2633.), i.e.:

      (a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b) ... (b) Circumstances.— The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act). ... (c) Definition.— As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct— ... (2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;

      FYI, Article 28 is the Prohibition of Pillage

      (3 Likewise there can't be any presumption of non-extraterritoriality in the statutes listed in § 1961 - Definitions of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 96 - RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS, like the ones I cited above. link to

      The majority of the Judges of the 2nd Circuit agree that Congress intended § 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments to apply to acts committed overseas:

      (a)(2) Whoever transports, transmits, or transfers, or attempts to transport, transmit, or transfer a monetary instrument or funds from a place in the United States to or through a place outside the United States or to a place in the United States from or through a place outside the United States
      (A) with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or
      (B) knowing that the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation, transmission, or transfer represent the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity and knowing that such transportation, transmission, or transfer is designed in whole or in part—
      (i) to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or
      (ii) to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law,
      shall be sentenced to a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation, transmission, or transfer, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both. For the purpose of the offense described in subparagraph (B), the defendant’s knowledge may be established by proof that a law enforcement officer represented the matter specified in subparagraph (B) as true, and the defendant’s subsequent statements or actions indicate that the defendant believed such representations to be true.
      link to

      The Judges who could NOT figure that out, should be checked to see if they have college level reading skills or own any RJR Nabisco stock.

    • My assertion was an entity can not be “independent” under belligerent occupation. In the case of the West Bank/Jordan there was an agreement (self determination)

      The reason that a hockey match breaks out every time this discussion comes up is because we are employing symbolic, legal shorthand terms, like "non-self-governing", "self-determination," "independent, "sovereign," and "state" that do not have a shared meaning for Zionists talkback artists sitting in their parent's basement in Petah Tikva pounding out canned replies on the basis of 200 year old dogma their political movement incorrectly assigns to those terms today.

      If you mean that the Palestinians could not obtain their freedom from occupation by simply declaring an independent sovereign state, then you are correct. But that doesn't mean, as some Zionists contend, that they were precluded from having an independent, sovereign state in accordance with the legal criteria of international law, merely because they were under a Jewish occupation. The Permanent Mandates Commission and the Council of the League of Nations had both addressed that very point when they published a resolution on the criteria for terminating any mandate regime in 1932. The legal independence of the mandated states had already been provisionally recognized. In the case of Iraq and Transjordan the establishment and recognition of independent governments didn't result in any change in their mandated status, since establishment of self-governing institutions had always been a basic requirement. The Council reasoned that "the ability to stand alone" or to "exercise effective control" did not mean that a government had to be able to fend off acts of foreign aggression. They pointed out that even the great powers had to form alliances in such cases and that the newly emancipated state should be encouraged to swiftly apply for membership in the League of Nations. where it would enjoy the benefits of collective protection under the terms of Article 10 of the Covenant.

      Part of the criteria for terminating a mandate regime was the requirement for the independent government to provide a legally binding declaration to the League guaranteeing the rights and equality of minorities. See the report on the resolution in Luther Harris Evans, "The General Principles Governing the Termination of a Mandate, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 735-758, American Society of International Law link to

      There were a dozen newly created, successor states established during Allied belligerent and armistice occupation regimes in Europe and Asia after both of the World Wars. The establishment of the Mandated State of Palestine inside the boundaries of the OETA during the Armistice of Mudros is one of many such examples. Everyone is familiar with Article 22 of the Treaty of Versailles (aka the LoN Covenant). But Article 434 of the Treaty of Versailles also stipulated that Germany was required to recognize the dispositions made concerning the territories of the former Ottoman Empire, “and to recognize the new States within their frontiers as there laid down.” The other Central powers and some of the treaty articles that required them to recognize the new states were:
      *Bulgaria Article 60 of the Treaty of Neuilly;
      *Hungary Article 74 (2) of The Treaty of Trianon
      *Austria Article 90 of The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

      More importantly both the Treaty of Sèvres and the Treaty of Lausanne required the new states separated from the Ottoman Empire to begin paying-off their shares of the Ottoman Public Debt to foreign bondholders no later than March of 1920 (not 1923). They also required any dispute regarding the assessments to be settled through a special Court of Arbitration appointed by the Council of the League of Nations. It’s determinations were final. The expenses of the Court were to be divided among the State parties to any dispute. In 1925 a dispute involving Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Transjordan, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon was decided. The arbitrator’s final ruling on the state parties responsible for the costs said:

      “The difficulty arises here how one is to regard the Asiatic countries under the British and French mandates. Iraq is a Kingdom in regard to which Great Britain has undertaken responsibilities equivalent to those of a Mandatory Power. Under the British mandate, Palestine and Transjordan have each an entirely separate organisation. We are, therefore, in the presence of three States sufficiently separate to be considered as distinct Parties. France has received a single mandate from the Council of the League of Nations, but in the countries subject to that mandate, one can distinguish two distinct States: Syria and the Lebanon, each State possessing its own constitution and a nationality clearly different from the other.” — See Volume I of the Reports of International Arbitral Awards (United Nations, 1948), “Affaire de la Dette publique ottomane. Bulgarie, Irak, Palestine, Transjordanie, Grèce, Italie et Turquie. Genève, 18 avril 1925″, pages 529-614

      That same year, the Permanent Court of International Justice ruled in the case concerning the Mavrommatis Jerusalem Concessions that Palestine, not Great Britain, was the new successor state to which the protocols of the Treaty of Lausanne had subrogated the concessions. link to
      So two international courts with final jurisdiction laid to rest the notion that Palestine was not a state. They both ruled that it came into existence in 1920 - and that it already had international rights and obligations, as such.

    • Dov Hikind is introducing something along those lines in NY.

      Lawfare: good for the goose, and good for the gander.

      LOL! Bring it: "The Former Terror Suspect Leading the Attack on the Brooklyn College BDS Panel: State Assemblyman Dov Hikind was deeply involved in the Jewish Defense League, which the FBI listed as a “violent extremist Jewish organization.” Other officials should be questioning him, not the college." -- link to

      The New York State Human Rights Law reflects the Supreme Court decisions in NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449, 460 -61 (1958): "It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the 'liberty' assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech. . . Effective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association, as this Court has more than once recognized by remarking upon the close nexus between the freedoms of speech and assembly. . . Of course, it is immaterial whether the beliefs sought to be advanced by association pertain to political, economic, religious or cultural matters, and state action which may have the effect of curtailing the freedom to associate is subject to the closest scrutiny."

      And National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Claiborne Hardware Co. 458 U.S. 886: "While States have broad power to regulate economic activities, there is no comparable right to prohibit peaceful political activity such as that found in the boycott in this case."

      New York State Human Rights Law, § 296. Unlawful discriminatory practices. ...
      13. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice (i) for any person to boycott or blacklist, or to refuse to buy from, sell to or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, or disability of such person, or of such person's partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers or customers, or (ii) for any person willfully to do any act or refrain from doing any act which enables any such person to take such action. This subdivision shall not apply to:

      (a) Boycotts connected with labor disputes; or

      (b) Boycotts to protest unlawful discriminatory practices.

    • This is confusing. If there’s already a fed law outlawing boycotts than why do they need a state one? Have any people been prosecuted under the fed law?

      In general Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act applies to anything that the Congress can regulate under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. It makes boycotts illegal per se:

      Sec. 1. Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is hereby declared to be illegal.

      link to

      The Supreme Court has ruled that there are some exceptions, like human rights boycotts staged by members of private associations, which are beyond the reach of lawmakers in accordance with the 1st and 14th Amendments. Corporations are subject to the Commerce clause, but they are also considered legal persons and associations entitled to engage in the political process for the purposes of the 1st and 14th Amendments.

      The US government has the authority to make US businesses report efforts by foreign governments to make them participate in the boycott of Israel under the foreign commerce clause. They have prosecuted companies who failed to do so. They can also impose tax penalties or benefits. Some of the measures have lapsed due to sunset provisions in the laws. Former US Rep. Ron Fingerhut tried, but failed to get Israel anti-boycott bills adopted by the Congress.

    • “where governments would impose sanctions and enforce the applicable international laws to bring the illegal situations to an end.– “hostage
      A forecast without a time frame is worthless. ... If you can give a time frame, that will be of great help to the Palestinians.

      LoL! It's not my plan. I was describing the apparent thinking of the leadership of the "Palestinian Civil Society" BDS Movement. You'll have to ask them for a time frame, but I take it that they are willing to wait until hell freezes over.

    • Hostage, you also should know that many “BDS victories” are really just economic decisions unmotivated by politics. BDS is so desperate to publicize something though that it is often dishonest. I can post the articles if you want.

      Maybe you should go to work for Netanyahu too and calm his nerves then, so he can quit holding emergency cabinet meetings on the subject and go back to solving Israel's real problems.;-)

    • Yes, but Europe isn’t really an issue for Israel. I think a European pivot away from Israel is inevitable.

      Maybe you better read my response to the question about Civil RICO prosecutions again. That's the same EU that is suing RJR Nabisco in US Courts. Its own Antitrust regulators back home have assessed some of the largest fines (read $$$Billions) in history against US Corporations, like Microsoft and Intel. Palestinians and others can get judgments there that are enforceable here in the US.

      If the EU itself decides to press the USA over its inability or unwillingness to take action against the tens of thousands of US settlers and the corrupt public charities here in US that funnel billions of dollars per year to Israel, I'd guess that would have Earth shaking repercussions.

      That brings me full circle to my original comment about the stupidity of US lawmakers trying to include a provision about illegal Israeli settlements in a trade agreement with the EU that conflicts with a jus cogens norm of international law. link to

    • @ Jackdaw You seem to be laboring under the misimpression that pillage can only be committed by soldiers or states or that it can't be prosecuted as part of a money laundering operation by a corporation.

      You also seem to be oblivious to the fact that Israel has left itself with no foreign sovereign immunity defense whatsoever. The government has officially excused its failure to respect Palestinian human rights in accordance with its own treaty obligations for years by claiming that they live in areas that are not subject to its sovereign territory and jurisdiction, e.g. - CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, 4 December 2001 link to Israel's Courts have also declared that the legality of the settlements is an issue that is not justiciable. See HCJ 4481/91 Bargil v. GoI link to

      In fact, it was the United States that established Courts which pioneered prosecutions in the area of law involving civilian or corporate pillage. The Courts were established in Germany outside the auspices of the International Military Tribunal. President Truman encouraged the United Nations and other states to codify the principles of customary international criminal law contained in the Nuremberg Charter and these US Military Courts adopted them in total. They tried cases of pillage related to command responsibility, and several cases of civilians or corporations. See United States of America, Practice Relating to Rule 52. Pillage, Section B. Pillage committed by civilians link to

      For example the I.G. Farben pillage case:

      In our view, the offenses against property defined in the Hague Regulations are broad in their phraseology and do not admit of any distinction between “plunder” in the restricted sense of acquisition of physical properties, which are the subject matter of the crime, the plunder or spoliation resulting from acquisition of intangible property such as is involved in the acquisition of stock ownership, or of acquisition of ownership or control through any other means, even though apparently legal in form.

      - United States v. Carl Krauch, et al. (The I.G. Farben Trial) before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg Judgment 29 July 1948

      *The Flick pillage case before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1947, the accused, the principal proprietor of a large group of German industrial enterprises (and four officials of the same group).

      *In the Pohl case before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1947, the accused, top ranking officials of the SS, were charged with taking part in the commission of plunder of public and private property. They were found guilty, inter alia, of the looting of property of Jewish civilians in eastern occupied territories.

      In the Von Leeb case (The German High Command Trial) before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1948, the accused, former high-ranking officers in the German army and navy, were charged, inter alia, with war crimes and crimes against humanity against civilians in that they participated in atrocities such as plunder of public and private property. The evidence showed that the looting and spoliation which had been carried out in the various occupied countries were not the acts of individuals, but were carried out by the German government and the Wehrmacht for the needs of both.

      *In its judgment in the John Schultz case in 1952, the US Court of Military Appeals listed robbery, larceny and burglary as crimes “universally recognized as properly punishable under the law of war”.

    • Doesn’t ‘pillage’ require that there be an ‘armed conflict between two States’?

      Not at all. The ICRC cites extensive US and other state practice in Customary IHL "Rule 52. Pillage is prohibited. Summary: State practice establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts." link to

      Also, has the United States Federal Government ever prosecuted an American, under RICO, or any other statute, on the charge of ‘pillage’?

      Of course, pillage. plunder, and looting are crimes against persons and property, They have been prohibited in this country under the law of nations, federal laws, state laws, and military field orders since at least the 19th Century. Your question misses the point. Even official acts of expropriation by the new government upon a change in sovereignty in the aftermath of a war has resulted in US Supreme Court civil cases, like Perchman, that I cited earlier in one of these threads. Property has been restored to the rightful owner on several occasions by the Courts on the basis of the law of nations alone. Likewise, the application of the law of nations regarding a wrongful taking of property at sea resulted in the ruling by the Supreme Court in The Paquete Habana case that our federal and state courts are bound by the law nations. There were literally hundreds of military court cases during the Reconstruction Era here in the United States alone for restitution or recovery of property that had been pillaged or wrongfully expropriated during the war. Look them up yourself.

      If there’s no ‘armed conflict’ between the State of Israel and the nascent State of Palestine, then how can a settler, whatever his citizenship, be guilty of pillage?

      That's not even a good hypothetical defense. The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that there has been a continuous state of armed conflict between the IDF and the Palestinian militias ever since the first intifada. See the subsection of the ruling in the targeted killings case under the heading “The General Normative Framework, A. International Armed Conflict” link to

      In "Gaza Coast Regional Council v Knesset of Israel, HCJ 1661/05 (2005), an expanded Supreme Court bench of eleven held that Gaza, Judea, and Samaria were occupied territories and that Israeli settlers therein were not "protected persons" for the purposes of Article 4 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention - and moreover that they held no valid titles to their homes or lands because the Israeli military commander couldn't legally grant them one. Likewise, the US State Department Travel Advisories for the West Bank and Gaza have warned US citizens for years that U.S. citizens who buy or lease property in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza may find their ownership challenged by people earlier displaced from those lands. Nothing prevents them from doing that under the War Crimes Act and RICO. They have also warned that the establishment of a Palestinian state may also have additional legal consequences for property owners in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. link to The State Department already advises businesses and banks that purchase of land by foreigners also requires the approval of the PA Council of Ministers based on the 1998 PA Investment Promotion Law, as amended in 2011.

      FYI, the US Courts that tried German war crimes declared that they were offenses against persons and property committed in the territories occupied by Germany and that even stateless Jews were entitled to file claims for restitution. See for example the article about the U.S. Court of Restitution and the U.S. Court of Restitution Appeals link to

      Increasingly, the federal and state governments have adopted the concept that pillage is a crime against humanity in peace time and that no nexus or connection to armed conflict or a state is required to protect the rights and cultures of indigenous people from pillage under customary law and international treaties. See references to pillage in 19 U.S. Code § 2603 - Emergency implementation of import restrictions link to ; in state laws used against the US Army Corps of Engineers link to ; and in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, (NAGPRA) used by the FBI against black market organizations link to

    • @Hostage

      Have RICO violations under 18 U.S.Code 1956, ever been charged against civil wrongdoers who’ve committed the tort in a foreign country, or would this be ‘a case of first impression’?

      Of course not. The EU is currently bringing Civil Rico action in the United states against RJR Nabisco for its foreign money laundering practices. RJR has been unsuccessful so far in all of its attempts to get the suit thrown out on various jurisdictional grounds. It just lost again in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals See "Headline: Second Circuit Holds That Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Statute Can Apply Extraterritorially, Reinstating European Community's Claims Against RJR Nabisco" at the ABA website link to

      There can be no doubt at all that, under 18 U.S. Code § 1961 - Definitions, RICO itself lists several predicate statutes as examples of racketeering activities and that many of them in-turn contain their own explicit statements regarding the extraterritorial scope of their applicability:

      18 U.S. Code § 1952 - Interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises; link to

      18 U.S. Code § 1960 - Prohibition of unlicensed money transmitting businesses; link to

      18 U.S. Code § 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments; link to
      18 U.S. Code § 1957 - Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity; link to

    • You seem quite sober, Hostage, and haven’t totally fallen for the cult-mentality where BDS is going to bring Israel to its knees in a couple of years. Surely you know that these activists have no economic or electoral power and are punching above their weight by making a lot of noise.

      I hardly think so. This move to adopt legislation in other countries is a last ditch effort to prop-up Israel's failing legitimacy announced on 02/10/2014 as part of strategy developed by Israel's Cabinet after a series of major setbacks:

      Netanyahu convened a meeting of senior ministers Sunday to discuss ways to fight back against BDS efforts against Israel, with one idea being to encourage legislation in various countries that would penalize entities boycotting Israeli firms and institutions.

      Reflecting the discreet manner in which Netanyahu wants to deal with the issue, a media blackout was clamped on the meeting, with the offices of those ministers who participated – Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett – not even officially willing to confirm that the meeting took place.

      A number of courses of action were reportedly raised at the meeting, including encouraging anti-boycott legislation in friendly capitals around the world, such as Washington, Ottawa and Canberra. One idea is to support a model similar to the one used in the US to get recalcitrant countries to join the Iranian sanctions regimes – making sure that any company that dealt with Iran knew it was jeopardizing its US contracts.

      Another recent initiative discussed was the bipartisan bill two Illinois representatives, Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Dan Lipinski, introduced into Congress that would bar federal funding to American institutions of higher education that boycott Israel. This legislation came in the wake of last year’s high-profile decision by the American Studies Association to boycott Israel.

      See "Netanyahu convenes strategy meeting to fight boycotts" link to

      I don't think the BDS movement ever claimed it would bring Israel to its knees. It claimed that a small grass roots human rights protest movement could focus international attention on Israel's policies and practices and either change them or delegitimize them in the court of world opinion - and that when it happened, a tipping point would be reached where governments would impose sanctions and enforce the applicable international laws to bring the illegal situations to an end. I personally think all of that has already started to happen.

      According to one AP report, "Jordan Valley settlements hurt by boycott campaign":

      The export-driven income of growers in the valley's 21 settlements dropped by more than 14 percent, or $29 million, last year, largely because Western European Supermarket chains, particularly those in Britain and Scandinavia, are increasingly shunning the area's peppers, dates, grapes and fresh herbs, settlers say.

      "The damage is enormous," said David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, which represents about 7,000 settlers. "In effect, today, we are almost not selling to the (Western) European market anymore.

      link to

      The Netanyahu government wet its pants when the EU implemented some mild sanctions prohibiting grants and loans to entities doing business in the settlements. When the large state pension funds and banks subsequently announced their withdrawal from investments in companies engaged in constructing or marketing illegal settlement units, it made headlines in Israel and around the world. For example:
      * Norway’s sovereign wealth fund joins exodus from Israel
      link to
      * Massive Norwegian state fund to divest from Israeli company
      Ethics board finds Shikun and Binui ‘in breach of international humanitarian law in East-Jerusalem’
      link to
      * Denmark’s largest bank blacklists Israel’s Hapoalim over settlement construction: Danske Bank states Bank Hapoalim is acting against the rules of international humanitarian law; bank already pulled investments from two Israeli firms. link to
      * Dutch pension group divests from Israel: Jerusalem blasts ‘double standard,’ noting PGGM investments in Chinese banks active in Tibet
      link to
      * Two foreign investors withdraw port bids over Israel boycott worries: Israeli transportation sector reportedly finding it increasingly difficult to attract international companies link to
      * Dutch firm severs ties with Mekorot over West Bank policy
      link to
      * $170m Argentina loss for Israeli water firm Mekorot as BDS spreads southward – link to

      Israel's captains of industry fear boycott: Leaders from Israel's tech and banking industries will fly to Davos economic forum to support Kerry's peace effort, urge Israel and Palestinians to reach deal to save Israel's economy from looming boycott link to

    • even if the Arab states had wanted to declare independence on the termination of the Mandate, Jewish/Israeli forces prevented it by already being in control of territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” slated for an Arab state on May 15th 1948.

      No, the UN resolution created the new "states" when it was adopted on 27 November 1947, not mere "territories". They were already in existence and the resolution spelled out the mandatory intermediate steps that the provisional governments of the two "states", as such, had to take prior to independence. The prohibition of aggression contained in those mandatory steps was explicit in that it applied to "any state," not just independent ones.

      The same legal doctrines, like ex turpi causa non oritur actio, that apply to natural persons apply to wrongful acts committed by states (as persons of law) against one another.

    • An independent state is another matter surely. Being occupied by the US cannot be independence.

      But you keep insisting that a "state" couldn't be established because it lacked independence and that proposition is simply false. It was well known that all of the customary laws of war applied to any “belligerent community” or "nation" involved in an armed conflict. Here in the USA our government was even at war with certain Indian nations and tribes and our courts still hold that our treaties with their governments are in full force and effect - and in many cases in a state of breech requiring compensation or other agreed upon settlement.

      People keep talking as if "statehood" doesn't exist until the moment of "independence". The change to the undefined term “State” in the portion of the UN Charter regarding “sovereign equality” altered the entire nature of the organization and prevented it from actually becoming the “United Nations”. During the drafting of the UN Charter, Dr. Isaiah B. Bowman of the US delegation explained:

      “As to the matter of sovereign equality and the integrity of states, the memorandum prepared by Mr. Gerig indicates how the relationships of certain states to others vary, and it is difficult to define their exact degree of sovereignty and independence. The number of these political units goes up to about 70. The first 45 or so can be considered fully independent, but the sovereignty of the remainder is qualified in some degree. We have to leave out of the Charter any attempt to define a state or to guarantee boundaries, but we should come as close as possible to maintaining the integrity and independence of political units by regulating their behavior and preventing aggression.”

      — See Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers, 1945. General : the United Nations (1945), The United Nations conference on international organization, San Francisco, California, April 25-June 26, 1945, page 424 link to

      There's a fuller historical discussion of that subject below. To anyone familiar with the actual documentary history and the rules of international organization, it’s simply ludicrous to suggest that the absence of some aspect of “sovereign equality” could somehow serve as a jurisdictional bar to the application of international law on the basis on the deliberately undefined term "state" in that single treaty. The US State Department Digest of International Law explains that:

      “A state in the international sense is generally described as a recognized member of the family of nations, an international person. Authorities differ in respect to the qualifications for such statehood, but there is general agreement on certain basic requirements. Independence is not essential. The requisite personality, in the international sense, is seen when the entity claiming to be a State has in fact its own distinctive association with the members of the international society, as by treaties, which, howsoever concluded in its behalf, mark the existence of definite relationships between itself and other contracting parties”

      — Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963) page 223

      About two thirds of the well recognized countries in the world (aka "political units") were not independent states according to The Inquiry series study “Types of Restricted Sovereignty and of Colonial Autonomy” prepared for the US Government delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference by the US Government Printing Office in 1919. FYI, states like Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania that had been required to accept an international minority rights treaty undertaking were considered to have only a limited degree of sovereignty or autonomy. So by customary definition, the states in the UN proposal for Palestine would have only enjoyed conditional independence and sovereignty.

      Nonetheless, entities like the India Colony were full members of the LoN and Charter members of the UN before they ever attained "independence". The same can be said for the US Protectorates of Cuba & etc. that were listed as Pan-American States and High Contracting Parties to the Montevideo Convention of 1933. The League of Nations had an observer delegation that was present at the signing of that treaty. The US reservation stated that it was willing to re-negotiate the 1903 treaty which denied Cubans full autonomy and the right to form their own foreign alliances. The treaty had acknowledged the right of the United States to intervene militarily at any time without it being considered a foreign intervention. The US also imposed a perpetual servitude on the people of Cuba in the form of a lease for a military base at Guantanamo Bay. The US had similar treaties with Panama (including a military base and a canal), Haiti, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and etc. It continued to use threats and military interventions, even after those countries became members of the League of Nations, since the LoN Covenant contained an article acknowledging our Monroe Doctrine. That's why the LoN never undertook any collective defense action under Article 10 when the US launched one of its infrequent military incursions. Despite all of that, everyone still understood that the US could not simply drive the inhabitants into exile and confiscate their homes and property on the pretext that they weren't a "sovereign state". Even the fact that the USA "leases" the base in Cuba is an acknowledgement that it has no inherent right to the use of that Cuban territory.

      The Secretary of the UN reported to the first session of the International Law Commission that the use of that term "sovereign equality" in the draft UN Charter was a great point of controversy at the San Francisco Conference, since it had no agreed upon meaning.

      The first time the phrase “sovereign equality” was used in the foreign relations of the United States was when the Secretary of State advised the US Delegation to the Kingdom of Hawaii that it was okay to arrange with the commanding officer for the continued presence on shore of a US marine force, so long as he did NOT establish “a protectorate over the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, which the United States have recognized as sovereign and with which they treat on terms of sovereign equality.” The very next day he cabled again and said “A treaty of annexation has been signed and will be sent to the Senate without delay.” — link to

      In 1943, the first draft of the declaration of the Moscow Conference said: “That they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all nations, and open to membership by all nations, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.” — link to

      That formula would never do for the Big Five, since those particular Allies wanted to keep their war time enemies out of the organization and they also wanted to prevent smaller powers from entertaining any pretensions that some nations might not play a larger role than others. So the British proposed: “That they recognise the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization based on the principle of sovereign equality of all nations for the maintenance of international peace and security in which all peace-loving nations, great and small, may play their parts.” — link to

      Stalin would have been understandably apoplectic over all of this talk about the sovereign equality of all the "nations" in his Soviet fold, their right of self-determination, and their right to play a part. While he agreed in principle with the British proposal, proper top-down control under Marxist-Leninist theory about the rights of the Communist "State" would have demanded that it be reworded through a simpler amendment: “namely, to insert the word “States” for “nations” and drop all the talk about small nations playing a part. That’s exactly what the USSR recommended. – link to

      In the end they determined that the idea of sovereign equality among peace loving states wasn’t even flexible enough to accommodate the principle of official state neutrality, since peace loving members might have to accept a decision of the Organization that would require them to go-off to war on a moment’s notice. Article 25 also seemed at odds with the concept of equality, since all of the members had to agree to accept any decision of the Security Council, including a veto that only five members would ever possess. The term lost almost all residual meaning when the USSR, a single constitutional union or entity, demanded and received 3 votes (Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia) in the General Assembly – and the veto in the Security Council – compared to the single measly vote permitted to all of the smaller States.

      Honest scholars of political science have never harbored any illusions about the inequality of these historical arrangements which focused all the attention on so-called sovereign states and away from “nations” and “communities” that had been the subjects of international law up until that time.

    • That was A) only a part of the territories that remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its frontiers in its plea for recognition. B) Not Palestinian independence.

      In regard to A): The union between Arab Palestinian and Transjordan did not affect any territorial rights or claims. An Armistice was imposed on the new entities "Jordan" and "Israel" by the UN Security Council under the terms of Article 40 of the Charter. It says:

      In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures.

      -- link to

      One of the Jericho resolutions of 1948 had explicitly stated that the Congress was acting to preserve the option of a "future life of independence" and the 1950 declaration announcing the ratification of the "Union of the Two Banks" explicitly stipulated that it was "without prejudice to the final settlement of the question of Palestine". At the time, the US Secretary of State and the UK Foreign Secretary both recognized it as a free expression of the will of "the two peoples" of Transjordan and Arab Palestine. The competence of the King to negotiate a final territorial settlement only lasted as long as the union itself did. On 28 March, 1949, President Truman wrote to King Abdullah:

      “I desire to recall to Your Majesty that the policy of the United States Government as regards a final territorial settlement in Palestine and as stated in the General Assembly on Nov 30, 1948 by Dr. Philip Jessup, the American representative, is that Israel is entitled to the territory allotted to her by the General Assembly Resolution of November 29, 1947, but that if Israel desires additions, i.e., territory allotted to, the Arabs by the November 29 Resolution, it should offer territorial compensation.

      See the FRUS Volume VI 1949, pages 878-879. link to

      For the same reason, the United States always held that Gaza should go to Jordan in any final settlement. For their part, the Egyptians advised from the outset that they could not negotiate with Israel over the status of Gaza, since it was claimed by Abdullah for Jordan. link to At the same time, everyone directly concerned accepted Jordan's de facto competence to negotiate with Israel over a corridor from Beersheba or Hebron to Gaza. All of that was happening after the "dual kingdom" had been announced. Plans for a "joint kingdom", established through annexation, were pending, but no action was taken until a year later.

      In regard to B) You're misstating the applicable international law with regard to the right of self-determination and the laws of state succession. Egypt and Syria did not lose their "independence" when they formed and later dissolved the United Arab Republic. Likewise Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador did not lose their independence when they formed and later dissolved "The United States of Central America". link to

      Abdullah was already the King of Transjordan when he was declared the King of Arab Palestine by the Jericho Congress. That immediately made him the sovereign before any annexation ever occurred. That idea causes the Husayni clan to piss themselves, but the idea that the UN would ever accept their wartime enemy, the Mufti, as the head of the new state was never anything but a pipe dream. The former enemy states couldn't even get into the UN, much less demand that one of the former enemy leaders be recognized as the constitutional head of a provisional government established under the auspices of a UN Commission.

      A couple of weeks later in January of 1949 both houses of the Transjordanian Parliament approved the Jericho resolution on the establishment of a joint kingdom and dissolved themselves pending new national elections. The name of the Kingdom was officially changed to reflect the new political and legal situation.

      The name of the new joint entity was "Jordan". So it is unhistorical nonsense to claim that "Jordan" ever occupied "Palestine" or that it somehow prevented the establishment of an Arab state there. The Palestinians were full partners in the new constitutional union with another people who had been subjects of the Palestine mandate for 25 years. The two peoples enjoyed equal representation in the lawmaking bodies, the right to vote, and the right to dissolve the union in the future. The relationship between the United States and one of its territories, like Puerto Rico or Samoa, is nothing like that. Forming and/or dissolving a union with another existing state happens to be listed among the "valid modes" of exercising the right of self-determination according to The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. Jordan was admitted as a full UN member state and its ambassador's credentials were always accepted as being the valid legal representative for both the East and West Banks until 1988

    • In short, the neighboring Arab states (save for Lebanon) simultaneously, on May 15, attacked Israel, its settlements, and its territory.

      What a crock of shit. Let's stop pretending that innocent Jews were attacked for no reason. Under the terms of the lopsided international boundary agreements that the Zionists had the British and French conclude on their behalf during the era of the mandate, the Syrians, Lebanese, and Transjordanians retained rights to fishing, navigation, and grazing inside Palestine in the Hulda and Jordan river systems. Israel announced that it would not be honoring those treaties. So, in reality, the borders were drawn on the Arab side of those bodies of water in order to eventually turn the marshes, rivers, and inland Sea of Galilee into a Jewish possession where armed patrol boats would suddenly fire on Arab fishing boats and drive them away from their ancestral way of life.

      The documentary historical record of all the parties to the conflict reveals that the neighboring Arab states had stayed out of the fray for months, while their beleaguered brethren had been the object of Jewish aggression and a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign. When they finally took action, no members of the Security Council felt they were unjustified (see more below).

      The Jews were required to establish a government with proportional representation of a Palestinian Arab population that rivaled their own. The best estimates of the British mandatory in early November of 1947 was that the Palestinian Arab population of the new state would either match or surpass that of the Jews. The Jews only owned 6 percent of the land and had already driven hundreds of thousands of unarmed Arab refugees off of theirs and into the territories of those neighboring states before they took action. The Jewish militias were busy obliterating all traces of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages. The Foreign Relations of the United States documents the fact that our own US officials witnessed bands of armed Jews systematically looting and pillaging their Arab neighbor's properties.

      When the Jews met to declare a provisional government, the verbatim record shows that Ben Gurion noted they were actually gathered to establish "Jewish rule" and there wasn't a single Palestinian Arab in the room. – See Netanel Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 – People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, pp 44 (pdf page 36 of 184) link to

      A few months later the Foreign Minister, who lied through his teeth to the UN about the Jewish willingness to live in peace with the Arab population, admitted that: Economically the Provisional Government of Israel had "no room" for the Palestinian Arab refugees that it had ethnically cleansed "since their space was needed for Jewish immigrants" and that the unelected government "reserved the right in any event" to "replace them with Jews from Arab countries who had expressed the desire to come to Palestine". link to

      Here's what the US government said about the situation in Palestine just before the end of the mandate:

      Memorandum by the Director of the Office of United Nations Affairs (Rusk) to the Under Secretary of State (Lovett)
      SECRET [WASHINGTON,] May 4, 1948:
      Military operations after May 15 will probably be undertaken by the Haganah with the assistance of the Jewish terrorist organizations Irgun and Stern. Copies of Consul General Wasson's excellent reports, as set forth in his telegram 530 of May 3, are attached, and provide the estimate of the British General Officer Commanding as to the probable course of military events after British withdrawal on May 15.

      If these predictions come true. we shall find ourselves in the UN confronted by a very anomalous situation. The Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN and approved, at least in principle, by two-thirds of the UN membership. The question which will confront the Security Council in scarcely ten days' time will be whether Jewish armed attack on Arab communities in Palestine is legitimate or whether it constitutes such a threat to international peace and security as to call for coercive measures by the Security Council. The situation may be made more difficult and less clear-cut if, as is probable, Arab armies from outside Palestine cross the frontier to aid their disorganized and demoralized brethren who will be the objects of Jewish attack. In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside Palestine which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.

      There will be a decided effort, given this eventuality, that the United States will be called upon by elements inside this country to support Security Council action against the Arab states. To take such action would seem to me to be morally indefensible while, from the aspect of our relations with the Middle East and of our broad security aspects in that region, it would be almost fatal to pit forces of the United States and possibly Russia against the governments of the Arab world.

      Given this almost intolerable situation, the wisest course of action might be for the United States and Great Britain, with the assistance of France, to undertake immediate diplomatic action seeking to work out a modus vivendi between Abdullah of Transjordan and the Jewish Agency. This modus vivendi would call for, in effect, a de facto partition of Palestine along the lines traced by Sir Arthur Creech Jones in his remark to Ambassador Parodi on May 2, as indicated on Page 3 of USUN's telegram [549], May 2, which has been drawn to your attention.

      By July, the League of Arab States were alarmed by Israel's large scale arms acquisitions and resulting strengthened position during the cease fire and they resumed hostilities. The UN Security Council finally declared the situation a threat to international peace and security, but the US prevented any adverse sanctions against Israel.

      The internal memo was published in the Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa , Volume V, Part 2, page 848. Analysis of the memo is contained in "The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951", William Roger Louis, Oxford University Press, 1984, ISBN: 0198229607, page 545; Zionism and the Palestinians, Simha Flapan, Croom Helm, 1979, ISBN: 0856644994, Page 336; and Fallen pillars: U.S. policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945, Donald Neff, 2nd Edition, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995, ISBN: 0887282598, page 65.

    • Secondly, while the Jordanian Army did not invade Israeli territory, it did much more than take up “defensive positions” in the Old City of Jerusalem. It conquered, and razed, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and took up positions in Latrun, Lydda, and Ramle, blocking the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road and laying siege to the holy city.

      No, Plan Dalet called for unprovoked attacks on Arab communities inside the Hebrew state and expulsion of all the inhabitants beyond its borders in any case where they attempted to defend themselves. link to

      The need to conqueror neighboring Jaffa isn’t portrayed as “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation”. It was an example of carefully planned aggression.
      link to
      I already mentioned that Ben Gurion had launched the offensive against Jerusalem and ordered the commander of the Haganah to give Irgun and Lehi a free hand to conduct operations there, months before the UNSCOP hearings even began. After the State of Israel declared its independence, the Arab Legion was responding to pleas for assistance from Palestinians in relieving the siege against their neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The British High Commissioner had reported to the Security Council that the Jewish militias were over reacting by carrying out armed reprisals against unarmed Arab demonstrators who were engaged in riots.

      Here is Avi Shlaim’s summary of the historical events:

      In Jerusalem the initiative was seized by the Jewish side. As soon as the British evacuated the city, a vigorous offensive was launched to capture the Arab and mixed quarters of the city and form a solid area going all the way to the Old City walls. Glubb Pasha, the British commander of the Arab Legion, adopted a defensive strategy which was intended to avert a head-on collision with the Jewish forces. According to his account, the Arab Legion crossed the Jordan on 15 May to help the Arabs defend the area of Judea and Samaria allocated to them. They were strictly forbidden to enter Jerusalem or to enter any area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan. But on 16 May the Jewish forces tried to break into the Old City, prompting urgent calls for help from the Arab defenders. On 17 May, King ‘Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha to send a force to defend the Old City. Fierce fighting ensued. The legionnaires inflicted very heavy damage and civilian casualties by shelling the New City, the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. On 28 May, the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City finally surrendered to the Arab Legion.
      After the Jewish offensive in Jerusalem had been halted, the focal point of the battle moved to Latrun, a hill spur with fortifications, that dominated the main route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Like Gush Etzion, Latrun lay in the area allotted by the UN to the Arab state. But Latrun’s strategic importance was such that Ben-Gurion was determined to capture it. Against the advice of his generals, he ordered three frontal attacks on Latrun, on 25 and 30 May and on 9 June. The Arab Legion beat off all these attacks and inflicted very heavy losses on the hastily improvized and ill-equipped Jewish forces.
      Any lingering hope that Transjordan would act differently to the rest of the Arab countries went up in smoke as a result of the costly clashes in and around Jerusalem. Yigael Yadin, the IDF chief of operations, roundly rejected the claim that there had ever been any collusion between the Jewish Agency and the ruler of Transjordan, let alone collusion during the 1948 War:
      Contrary to the view of many historians, I do not believe that there was an agreement or even an understanding between Ben-Gurion and ‘Abdullah. He may have had wishful thoughts … but until 15 May 1948, he did not build on it and did not assume that an agreement with ‘Abdullah would neutralize the Arab Legion. On the contrary, his estimate was that the clash with the Legion was inevitable. Even if Ben-Gurion had an understanding or hopes, they evaporated the moment ‘Abdullah marched on Jerusalem. First there was the assault on Kfar Etzion then the capture of positions in Latrun in order to dominate the road to Jerusalem, and then there was the entry into Jerusalem. From these moves it was clear that ‘Abdullah intended to capture Jerusalem.
      Yadin’s testimony cannot be dismissed lightly for it reflected the unanimous view of the IDF General Staff that the link with Transjordan had no influence on Israel’s military conduct during the War of Independence.

      link to

    • The war did not start when the Arab States declared war in May.

      The war started the first week after the passage of the U.N. partition plan, when local Arabs began near simultaneous attacks on Jewish cities, murdering 62 Jews.

      No, the first week in November of 1947, the British government passed a note to the UN General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee that was grappling with the recent rejection of both the UNSCOP majority and minority reports by the representatives of Jewish Agency who had demanded constitutional and territorial revisions. Note: You guys always say the Arabs lost all of their rights when they did things like that, without bothering to mention all of the British and UN partition plans the Jews rejected.

      Anyway, the RAF survey of the Beersheba district revealed 125,000 more Bedouins were settled on the 2 million dunams of land there than the UNSOP committee had been led to believe by the so-called "Survey of Palestine". The revised figures indicated that there would be an Arab majority in the Jewish state from the outset. The Chairman of the committee working on the partition plan held a press conference an noted the news, but explained the committee was eager to finish its work and would not make any last minute changes. That's when a war of ethnic cleansing to achieve a Jewish majority became an absolute necessity.

      BTW, Arab casualties always outnumbered Jewish ones by a margin of at least 2 to 1.

    • However, even if the Arab states had wanted to declare independence on the termination of the Mandate, Jewish/Israeli forces prevented it by already being in control of territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” slated for an Arab state on May 15th 1948.

      No, the Cubans declared a state despite the fact that the United States continued to occupy the country after the war with Spain under the terms of the Platt Amendment and the 1903 Treaty. The same sort of thing applied to the US occupations of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador, and most of the other Pan American state parties to the Montevideo Convention. When the mandate was terminated the Palestinian Jericho Congress and the Parliament of Transjordan formed a constitutional union/joint kingdom. Half the lawmakers and cabinet members of the new state of "Jordan" were Palestinians. So they were definitely NOT a non-self-governing territory.

    • @Hostage

      The ALA was mostly composed of foreign, not local, fighers, but the Husayni family had a ‘private army’, that did garner popular support

      Oh bullshit. In a country with a population of more than 1.2 million Arabs he attracted less than 10,000 fighters, while the smaller Jewish population of 600,000 managed to field an army of 80,000.

      No one working for the US Joint staff or CIA, including the author you cited, ever thought that those 50,000 local, defensive fighters had anything more than theoretical lethality. They suffered from an utter lack of leadership, firepower, dispersion, and mobility.

    • Yes. A war that claimed 6,600 Jewish lives. BTW. What did the UN do to stop the Arab States from invading?
      Sanctions? Boycotts? A UN military action or peacekeeping mission?

      Nada! They left the Zionists out to dry.

      I hate to rain on your pity parade, but the UN Plan for the Future Government of Palestine (resolution 181(II) tasked both States to organize the militias needed to look after internal security and defend the borders of their respective States as one of the mandatory intermediate steps prior to independence. It also required them to respect the customary prohibition against the use of threats or force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any other State, including one another. 60 percent of those Jewish casualties happened in fighting conducted outside the UN borders.

      The UN had agreed to help fund and facilitate the establishment of the respective armed forces, including the provision of weapons. That part of the plan went out the window when the Zionists started openly conducting offensive operations and massacres outside their own borders in the Arab state and in the Corpus Separatum.

      For example, on 18 February 1948, Moshe Sharett wrote “We will have only enough troops to defend ourselves, not to take over the country.” Ben Gurion replied:

      If we will receive in time the arms we have already purchased, and maybe even receive some of that promised to us by the UN, we will be able not only to defend, but also to inflict death blows on the Syrians in their own country – and take over Palestine as a whole. I am in no doubt of this. We can face all the Arab forces. This is not a mystical belief but a cold and rational calculation based on practical examination.

      ” Ben Gurion Archives, Correspondence Section 23.02-1.03.48 Document 59, 26 February 1948. –See page 46 of Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld, reprint 2007

      You are also quite mistaken about the fact that the UN Security Council did nothing about it. The British Mandatory administration was ordered to implement an immediate arms embargo after the combined Zionist forces conducted a massacre inside the UN Corpus Separatum at Dier Yassin See S/Res/46 adopted on 17 April 1948 link to

      Ben Gurion himself had instructed Moshe Sneh not to interfere with the Irgun or Lehi when the Jerusalem revolt originally started. The Haganah was up to their eyeballs in acts of terror, like the bombing of the Semiramis Hotel in which the Spanish Ambassador had been murdered.

      During a debate on the subject in 1949, Ben Gurion was berating Begin and claiming credit for averting the danger to the State of Israel presented by the Altalena Affair and for putting an end to the armed insurrection in Jerusalem. The former Haganah Commander, Moshe Sneh, interrupted Ben Gurion and reminded him he was complicit in the insurrection in Jerusalem: “You sent me the cable not to harm the IZL!”. MK G. Meyer responded by threatening him (ala Anat Kam/Uri Blau) : “Moshe Sneh, don’t threaten us with publication!” — See the Minutes of the 8th Sitting of the First Knesset, 8 March 1949, in Netanel Lorach, “Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981″ Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, page 445 link to

      Here’s another fact that isn’t widely known:

      Today, it is worth turning our attention to a previously overlooked aspect of the incident: the source of the weapons that were onboard the ship. The Altalena carried thousands of rifles, several hundred machine guns and millions of rounds of ammunition, as well as explosives, mortars, shells and body armor. The arms shipment, worth millions of dollars, was donated to the Irgun by the French government.

      link to
      France was violating the Security Council arms embargo on behalf of a Jewish terrorist organization.

      Even the tiny Irgun had branch offices with weapons and fund raising departments in 23 foreign countries. They even had US First Lady Elenore Roosevelt doing public fund raisers. The Arabs had nothing at all like that.

      The US Secretary of State complained:

      The British Government is under heavy pressure from its Ministry of Defense and members of Parliament to make some pro-Arab gesture which would help to restore faith of Arab countries in UK. This has been jeopardized by scrupulous observation of the provisions of the arms embargo by UK throughout period when, according to all the evidence, USSR through Czechoslovakia has been arming Israel. This latter, combined with other Soviet activities, should at least establish presumption in regard to her intentions and hopes to foster confusion if not more than confusion in ME. Recent fighting showed clearly military might Israel has acquired behind back SC [Security Council].

      link to

    • Do you think, objectively — no pro or anti BDS bias — that legislation like this can have any meaningful impact on the BDS movement?

      Surely. If nothing else, it might instill a degree of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of corporate decision makers on the subject of BDS. No legislation of any kind will ever sway true believers on either side of this political issue. There's very little chance that this law will play any decisive role the state's pension fund management. It's an unfunded liability train wreck that's reputed to be "the worst in the country" and other unrelated legislative reforms are facing legal challenges from pensioners in the Courts over constitutional issues.

    • Very interesting. How do you know all this?

      I've made it my business to know about this subject. I've spent a small fortune on books and have taken advantage of every opportunity to read the official documentary records and discuss various aspects of the literature with experts in the fields of political science, public international law, criminal law, history, geography, culture, religion, and journalism - either through forums provided by peer-reviewed journals or in the comment sections of their university, trade, or personal blogs.

      As a result, I've ended up exchanging emails with quite of few experts and scholars on a regular basis - including some Fellows of the London School of Economics and Political Science SOAS, the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the American Society of International Law, the Moritz College of Law, and Al Haq . Most of those contacts came through the PhD studies in human rights, the European Journal of International Law, the International Criminal Court Forum, the Syria Comment, or the Opinio Juris blogs. I've even provided some legwork and research assistance on a few of their projects that have been published.

      Do you write a blog or column?

      I've written or contributed to a few here at Mondo and have been invited to write some more. But I'm leaning toward setting up a blog of my own. I think that Phil and Adam would (understandably) prefer not to publish a lot of anonymous works representing standard Anti-Zionist Jewish points of view. There are plenty of other authors who are willing to identify themselves, but I'm not in a position where that's an option. I tend to write things based upon third-party verifiable archive materials that are readily available or in the public domain. Those could be published using the "Mondoweiss Editors" moniker for all that I care.

      most of what gets published in mainstream places is recycled drivel and talking points

      I agree. But I'm used to that. I've commented in the past about the fact that some of the mainstays of official Zionist propaganda were actually manufactured back when one of my relatives was working for the Jewish Agency as part of its efforts to conceal the major setbacks suffered by the movement, and the fact that he provided me with blow-by-blow commentaries about those little-known subterfuges and exploits when I was a kid growing-up. That experience has come in handy when presenting opposing views in response to articles or comments of spokespersons or lawyers from NGO Monitor, CAMERA, and even a few clueless PhDs who engage in a bit of tendentious Zionist stenography.

    • Now that’s interesting. American war criminals in Palestine

      Of course. I've mentioned them before. One of the first things that attracted my attention @ Mondoweiss was an article here about a J-Street petition on that very subject. J-Street asked the Treasury Department to do its job under the existing laws and stop persons on its list of known terrorists from operating tax exempt charities in this country that are used to funnel money to the illegal settlements. See “J Street Calls for Treasury Investigation Into Settlement Charities” link to I was so impressed that I signed-up and became a member of the organization. They quickly disappointed me by reinventing themselves along the lines of a Pro-Zionist, "AIPAC-lite"-like bunch of tools.

      I belong to JVP, which I'm happy to report has actually adopted a stronger policy in support of all the goals of the BDS movement during the same time frame. I also belong to which has collected 1,792,715 signatures on a petition to the CEOs of ABP, HP, Veolia, Barclays, Caterpillar, and G4S asking them to comply with the EU government guidelines against funding the illegal Israeli settlements. link to

      More importantly, Avaaz has another petition that's going nowhere fast (only 25,685 have signed) that asks the IRS to stop giving tax breaks to illegal Israeli settlements. link to

      *Strong Hint: If Phil, Adam, or Alex ever get around to reading something besides the piss-poor news coverage provided by the NY Times, there is a note from yours truly about that Avaaz petition dated 03/03/2015 sitting in their inbox at [email protected] ;-)

    • Hostage — are you an attorney by any chance?

      No, I've explained in the past that I've spent a lifetime "reading law," either because I happened to grow-up in a household that included an argumentative retired "country lawyer" who had once been employed in the Political Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine or because my government duties in the military required me to assist in the chore of reading and interpreting statutes and writing the necessary field directives used by subordinate units to implement both the content and intent of many Congressional mandates. In addition, I served in combat and special tactics units, where the laws and customs of warfare were considered required career knowledge and were the subject of continuing professional military education.

    • You post a lot of judicial opinions and treaties and such, but legislation against the Arab League Boycott stood up.

      True enough, but I've always explicitly pointed that situation out to Mondo readers who complain about the lack of official PA or Palestinian State endorsement of the grass roots civil society BDS Movement, i.e. Palestine is a full member of the League of Arab Sates and solidarity activists should just accept the fact that its official endorsement would be the kiss of death for the US companies that we are trying to influence. You don't see AIPAC demanding that the government of Israel formally recognize it as one of its official foreign agents operating in this country for much the same reasons. Here's a link to one of my earlier comments about the subject of the State of Palestine and the possible consequences for the BDS movement of the US legislation against the Arab League Boycott: link to

      In the case of the Arab League Boycott, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” The Logan Act and The Foreign Agents Registration Act either prohibit US citizens from entering into correspondence with foreign governments in their private capacities or requires them to officially register as agents, whenever they are working under the direction of a foreign government. FYI, the fact is that US businesses operating in boycotting Arab League states are legally permitted to obey local laws that forbid the importation of items sourced from Israel. See 15 CFR 760.3 - Exceptions to prohibitions. link to So those US laws really don't "stand up" so much.

      In any event, the Constitution doesn't empower the Congress or the several States to require citizens, associations, or corporations to engage in foreign commerce with Israel or preempt their 1st and 14th Amendment right to choose NOT to do so on their own behalf, until that country voluntarily accedes to our list of demands regarding respect for human rights and compliance with jus cogens norms of customary international law. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3, sets out the "Compact Clause" that keeps State lawmakers from meddling in foreign affairs or concluding their own agreements with a foreign state on the subject.

    • You start with non-Israeli Jews and end talking about settlers. So a lot of settlers aren’t even Israeli? AMAZING!

      There is no requirement for Zionists to acquire Israeli citizenship before taking a Busman's Holiday (extended excursion) in their pseudo-"homeland". They can always act out their fantasies and lord it over the local Gentiles on a free trial basis. They are part of the exceptional people present in the occupied territories who enjoy freedom of movement. The ICJ took notice of them in its findings of fact in the Wall case:

      133. That construction, the establishment of a closed area between the Green Line and the wall itself and the creation of enclaves have moreover imposed substantial restrictions on the freedom of movement of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (with the exception of Israeli citizens and those assimilated thereto).

      link to

    • Salt, fat, and sugar are, of course, the main constituents of my centenarian parent’s traditional English vitamin-free diet.

      Do you still get along with them? I mean that, given those details, they could just be members of the undead who are still walking among us seeking revenge, not unlike some of our Jewish parents;-)

    • And you will be able to eat cheeseburgers and BLTs.

      But that would kill you, and Jews only obey commandments in order to live, not to avoid excommunication.

      I personally follow the China Study commandment to "Consume plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible (“ whole” foods). Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Avoid heavily processed foods and animal products. Stay away from added salt, oil, and sugar. Aim to get 80 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 percent from fat, and 10 percent from protein." You will still die anyway, but it will take forever and come as a great relief;-)

    • And it doesn’t prevent anyone from boycotting Israel. It just says that Illinois is free to cash in their investment if someone does boycott.

      I think I've already addressed the fact that the law violates a customary common law fiduciary responsibility for pension fund managers to avoid investments in companies involved in unlawful activities, like the war crime of pillage. See for example "Israeli Map Says West Bank Posts Sit on Arab Land":

      An Israeli advocacy group, using maps and figures leaked from inside the government, says that 39 percent of the land held by Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is privately owned by Palestinians.

      -- link to

      The new law would penalize blameless companies and impose an unconstitutional financial burden on them for responding to legal warnings issued by the governments of more than 17 EU member States and the UN which say that private companies doing business, transferring funds, investing money, signing contracts, buying land or receiving tourist services from companies in the settlements are taking legal and financial risks and possibly violating international law. See for example: 17 EU members take action against corporate complicity with Israeli crimes - link to and "Spain, Italy warn citizens against doing business with settlements: Nations join France, U.K. and Germany in advising against legal and financial risks." link to and the Statement [of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises] on the implications of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the context of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory -- link to

      Those countries have ICC enabling legislation on forfeitures and victims compensation that require them to trace and recover unlawful proceeds from crimes which are subject to the Court's jurisdiction. See the NYT editorial regarding pillage in other countries in that same connection "Punish Companies That Pillage" -- link to and the news of first ever ICC court-ordered reparations from the Victims Compensation Trust Fund in a case involving the crime of pillage: link to

      The new law also violates an Article 25 UN Charter treaty obligation regarding a series of Chapter 7 Security Council resolutions on the subject of agreed upon international lines of demarcation; and another series of Security Council resolutions on the responsibility of all UN member States not to recognize or render aid and assistance to Israel in connection with the illegal situations it has deliberately created in the Occupied Palestinian territory in violation of the UN Charter and the 4th Geneva Convention. The World Court specifically called attention to those legally binding State treaty obligations in its 2004 Advisory Opinion.

      And you can’t really complain about this tactic. If it was done in the name of stopping fossil fuels you’d be all for it. Sorry.

      Nope, we can surely complain about it, since there have been no shortage of US federal court cases regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by companies in the fossil fuel business. Treaties are part of "the Supreme Law of the Land". The US Constitution claims that the ones I mentioned above are enforceable in the State Courts, including the ones located in the State of Illinois. Pillage is prohibited in accordance with Article 28 of the Hague IV (1907) rules and it is a federal Class A felony in accordance with the 1998 War Crimes Act (the current US enabling legislation for The Hague IV and Geneva Conventions of 1949). See 18 U.S. Code § 2441 - War crimes link to

      Companies, organizations, and individuals that are engaged in foreign commerce and the laundering of proceeds from unlawful activity, e.g. the creation or underwriting of fraudulent deeds, fraudulent solicitations for the sale or lease of stolen properties, & etc. can be prosecuted under 18 U.S. Code § 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments link to

      In this case, there is a common plan or conspiracy, i.e. a joint criminal enterprise. So, the organizations and their proceeds are subject to civil and criminal sanctions under The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. 18 U.S. Code Chapter 96. It provides for a right of private action for individual victims in the federal courts against entities that violate 18 U.S. Code § 1956. There are even statutory provisions for punitive treble damages in cases involving fraud. link to I've already noted elsewhere that pensioners could also sue state officials under the terms of 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights: link to

    • ICC co-founder Cherif Bassiouni under fire for violating Israel boycott

      He's only under fire from Ali Abunimah & Co. FYI, Bassiouni is the only expert on international law that I've ever heard of who has reported on Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity in an ex-officio UN capacity who can still manage to enter the State of Israel. If I were him, I'd check and see if that qualifies as a Guinness record.

      I notice that Electronic Intifada is still hosting Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? despite the fact that it was written in consultation with the Director of the Minerva Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and several other prominent Israeli scholars. EI and PACBI conveniently forgot about the academic boycott in that particular case. link to

      In any event, Bassiouni was Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court and spearheaded efforts in the late 70s and early 80s to write a draft statute and UN reports on the subject, e.g. See his and Derby's "Final Report on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court for the Implementation of the Apartheid Convention and Other Relevant International Instruments" (1981). link to

      During the fist intifada, Prof. Bassiouni, and L. Cainkar , eds., compiled "The Palestinian Intifada – December 9, 1987 - December 8, 1988: A Record of Israeli Repression, Database Project on Palestinian Human Rights", published in Chicago (1989). It contained tabulated data including names locations, dates, and type of fatal wounds inflicted on the victims. During the ICC Office of the Prosecutor's debate on Palestinian Statehood back in 2009, he co-signed a letter which explained that the issue was irrelevant and that the Prosecutor was properly seized pursuant to Article 15, and should quit stalling and act proprio motu (on his own initiative) in accordance with the terms of the Rome statute. link to

      I can't imagine that any Zionists in Israel are going to find any comfort in a damned thing that Bassiouni will have to say to them in his lectures or that they will ever portray his visit as a propaganda win.

    • This surprise decision found that the two Serbian secret police leaders had trained, paid and supervised Serb paramilitary combat units that for years carried out widely-publicized war crimes across Bosnia and Croatia. Yet the judges said a conviction required evidence that the leaders “specifically directed” their aid be used to commit war crimes, something critics say virtually no commander is foolish enough to do.

      The whole argument was nonsense in any event. I've pointed out elsewhere that in US jurisprudence mere knowledge that a group engages in criminal activity is all that is necessary under our own Patriot Act to secure a conviction, not specific direction. Israeli law is the same. The ICTY Judges were all relying on a decision in Tadic about an element of a common plan in a joint criminal enterprise that has no application to a simple aiding and abetting charge and it was never based upon any prior examples of customary international law. See for example: link to

    • Boycott is a form of political action not speech

      Frankly that's a distinction that makes no difference, since the Congress can't adopt any laws that infringe on either a citizen's right to take political action or engage in forms of free speech that are not prohibited by our Constitution. FYI, the Supreme Court held that the NAACP boycott against the white merchants of Alabama was protected by the provisions of both the 1st and 14th Amendments in the Claiborne Hardware case and that the state could not impose any form of liability on members of a group or association, unless it could establish that its goals were unlawful.

      Frankly, the BDS movement is advocating the adoption of the very same principle of the law of nations that was recognized by the US Supreme Court in United States v Perchman (1832) with regard to the continuing rights of the inhabitants to citizenship, inheritances, residency, and private property ownership:

      The modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged if private property should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled on a change in the sovereignty of the country. The people change their allegiance, their relation to their ancient sovereign is dissolved, but their relations to each other and their rights of property remain undisturbed.

      Hint: among other things, many of these "corporations" the lawmakers are trying to penalize under the new law can be considered registered publicly-owned "associations" with an inherent right to take political actions and participate in our political processes without fear of official reprisals.

    • It was March 1968. Yaakov Herzog, director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, received a memo marked “Top Secret” from the Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser, Theodor Meron. As the government’s authority on international law, Meron was responding to questions put to him about the legality of demolishing the homes of terror suspects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of deporting residents on security grounds.

      As usual, we are missing half the story. The 1937 UK Defense Act, which empowered the High Commissioner of Palestine to promulgate the 1945 Defense Emergency Regulations, was explicitly repealed by "The Palestine (Revocations) Order-in-Council, of 1948", published in the UK Government Gazette in London and dated effective 14 May 1948

      Later that same year the Israeli government was challenged on the validity of using the twice-revoked Emergency Regulations. The regulations were challenged because they were a) no longer part of the laws in force under the mandate that were retained under the 1948 Transition Act and b) were part of the laws that had been declared repugnant to the Jewish people. Their legal consequences, concerning expropriation of Jewish property, the deportation of Jews, & etc. had all been declared null and void.

      The Knesset and the Ben Gurion government responded to those challenges by adopting an amendment which stipulated that the laws promulgated in the official UK National Gazette, which had revoked the Emergency Regulations, were to be considered "unpublished laws that had no effect and never had any effect". link to

      King Abdullah issued a proclamation the day prior to the end of the Mandate declaring that the Emergency Regulations of Transjordan (1937), not the Palestine Emergency Regulations, would apply to any territory that came under the jurisdiction or control of the Arab Legion in the future. Article 9 of the Jordanian Constitution (drafted by the Palestinian people themselves) explicitly prohibited acts authorized by the Palestine Emergency Regulations, like deportation or exile from the realm. The same article of the Constitution said that any law or regulation to the contrary was declared null and void. The laws and customs of land warfare reflected in the rules annexed to the Hague IV Convention of 1907 require Israel to respect those Jordanian laws that were in effect in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The 4th Geneva Convention contains explicit prohibitions of deportations and collective punishments, like home demolitions. But the governments of Israel have always rejected its de jure applicability.

      Theodor Meron made a reputation for himself arguing in law journal articles that Israel has a treaty obligation to implement the humanitarian laws of occupation contained in the Hague and Geneva Conventions. At one and the same time Palestinian legal advisors, like Aziz Shehedah, were required to file unsuccessful rebuttals to Dr. Meron's affidavits filed on behalf of the State in cases dating back to the 1980s, wherein Meron advised the High Court of Justice that the conventions had not been implemented in necessary enabling legislation and that neither the UK act of revocation nor the Jordanian Constitution satisfied the necessary legal criteria contained in the Law and Administration Ordinance or the Military Interpretation Orders to prohibit them from being used to authorize deportations or home demolitions.

      So it appears that Dr. Meron aided and abetted (and specifically directed his efforts) to assisting the government of Israel in carrying out the illegal deportation of Palestinians from the occupied territories in violation of Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention. In any event, I wouldn't rush to clothe him in any undeserved glory. If he felt that it was illegal to do those things, he certainly kept it a "top secret" from the High Court of Justice for many, many years - and would probably do the same thing again today. See "Text of Affidavit Submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court by Advocate Aziz Shehadeh" (1980), page 69 (pdf page 71) of "Perpetual Emergency" link to

    • so…bds bigots, Israel-haters and many anti-semites among them are fuming that boycotts are being implemented against boycotters

      And rightly so, since our US Constitution and our Courts limit the right of our state lawmakers to foster an excessive government entanglement with any foreign country or use the power of the purse to engage in viewpoint discrimination against individuals or members of private associations seeking compliance with international law and equal rights, such as the BDS Movement or the NAACP. This is hardly the first time that lawmakers have engaged in an exercise of discrimination in state-operated public forums or the operation of a state entity in an attempt to prohibit individuals or private association members from conducting a civil rights boycott under the color of state or federal law. FYI, the Courts have always ruled that any boycott, with the exception of a human rights or civil rights boycott, is illegal per se in accordance with our federal antitrust laws. There is no Israeli human right or civil right to pillage and plunder Palestine and deny the indigenous ethnic Arab population equal rights.

      Our Constitution assigns responsibility for observance and enforcement of "The Law Of Nations" and the conduct of our foreign relations to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our Federal government. The US Supreme Court has long-since held that: "International law is part of our law, and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice of appropriate jurisdiction, as often as questions of right depending upon it are duly presented for their determination. -- See "The Paquete Habana, 175 U.S. 677, 700 (1900) link to

      In this case it ought to be pretty obvious that there is no "compelling state interest" in supporting Israel's flagrant violation of the law of nations and the prohibition of pillage through investment of state pension funds. That's especially true in light of the fact that lawmakers are penalizing companies that: (a) may have responded to constructive notices issued by the UN or EU officials about corporate criminal liability arising from their continued activities or operations in Palestine; (b) companies that have responded to marketplace demands from investors and consumers; and (c) companies that have adopted their own code of conduct in line with the applicable international law. It's doubtful that the lawmakers actually have the authority to waive the conflicting statutory, common law, fiduciary responsibilities of the fund managers to state pensioners in order to accomplish their goal. The funds that they are placing at risk of civil or criminal forfeiture or loss certainly aren't their own.

      In fact, citizens can sue state officials in federal court whenever they deny us a statutory or customary right, like abrogating the state's normal fiduciary obligation to avoid risky investments in unlawful undertakings. See 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights: "Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress". -- link to

      In this case the lawmakers are trying to engage in viewpoint discrimination that violates the equal protection clause as well: "It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the 'liberty' assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech. . . Effective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association, as this Court has more than once recognized by remarking upon the close nexus between the freedoms of speech and assembly. . . Of course, it is immaterial whether the beliefs sought to be advanced by association pertain to political, economic, religious or cultural matters, and state action which may have the effect of curtailing the freedom to associate is subject to the closest scrutiny." - NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449, 460 -61 (1958)

      They are also trying to use the the power of the State to penalize or regulate a lawful human rights boycott: "In 1966, a boycott of white merchants in Claiborne County, Miss., was launched at a meeting of a local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attended by several hundred black persons. The purpose of the boycott was to secure compliance by both civic and business leaders with a lengthy list of demands for equality and racial justice. The boycott was largely supported by speeches encouraging nonparticipants to join the common cause and by nonviolent picketing, but some acts and threats of violence did occur. In 1969, respondent white merchants filed suit in Mississippi Chancery Court for injunctive relief and damages against petitioners (the NAACP, the Mississippi Action for Progress, and a number of individuals who had participated in the boycott, including Charles Evers, the field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi and a principal organizer of the boycott). Holding petitioners jointly and severally liable for all of respondents' lost earnings during a 7-year period from 1966 to the end of 1972 on three separate conspiracy theories, including the tort of malicious interference with respondents' businesses, the Chancery Court imposed damages liability and issued a permanent injunction.

      Held: 1. The nonviolent elements of petitioners' activities are entitled to the protection of the First Amendment.
      (a) Through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution, petitioners sought to bring about political, social, and economic change.
      (b) While States have broad power to regulate economic activities, there is no comparable right to prohibit peaceful political activity such as that found in the boycott in this case. -- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (No. 81-202) 458 U.S. 886

      In cases, like Widmar v. Vincent 454 U.S. 263 (1981) and Rosenberger v. University of Virginia 515 U.S. 819 (1995) the Supreme Court has ruled that the States may not discriminate or impose any financial burden on speech on the basis of its viewpoint or content.

    • Establishing the duties of the occupier, as done by 181, is of course valid.

      The resolution didn't do any such thing. It prescribed the terms of internal governance for two new democratic states with legal safeguards, including a UN minority protection plan, that insured equal rights for one and all under the law and no discrimination of any kind was supposed to be permitted. Modern day one-staters spend a lot of time writing bullshit that has nothing to do with the UN partition plan and wishing out loud that the international community would impose something exactly like it.

      It never called for the appointment of either an all-Arab or an all-Jewish government in either state or for the establishment of Jewish minority rule. The use of those labels for propaganda purposes by both sides has always clouded the true nature of the UN plan. Most people simply blame what happened instead on the UN resolution itself and never bother to read "The Plan for the Future Government of Palestine".

      It established a regional government through the integral Plan for Economic Union and Right of Transit between the two new states. From the outset, it attempted to place heavily populated Arab areas off-limits to any future Jewish immigration. The UN explicitly acknowledged that the continued use of a common currency, and joint use and governance of a common network of roads, rail, communications, ports, and joint development of irrigation projects and other natural resources was essential to the viability of both states. It guaranteed the right of everyone to travel freely throughout the region. So everyone could continue to use their holy sites or visit extended family members located in the other new state. The Board of Governors for the Union would have been comprised of representatives from both states and international delegates appointed by the UN to represent the UN-administered Corpus Separatum. The plan also called for revenue sharing between the states and the Corpus Separatum, to balance out tax receipts and revenues derived from tourism and trade within the union. Like the 1939 White Paper, it called for an end to any further foreign Jewish immigration in roughly half of the territory of the former mandate lying west of the river and required the consent of a proportionally representative lawmaking body in the remainder of the territory for any foreign immigration there. By early November of 1947, the British government had advised that, from the outset, it estimated that there would be an Arab majority in the so-called Jewish State. Under the terms of the UN plan, the Arabs would have constituted the majority of the new state's lawmakers. So the Jewish Agency went on the warpath instead.

    • Between 80 – 85 percent of non-Israeli Jews are Americans. Ergo, any group of Jews – criminals, geniuses, or settlers – would have a lot of Americans. Nothing surprising that a lot of settlers are American born.

      Oh bullshit! It's bad enough that we have to listen to Zionist agit-prop talking points about the need for a Jewish national home in Palestine after the Holocaust. But we surely don't need to debunk the idea that there has ever been the slightest excuse for any American Jew to become an illegal settler in Palestine.

    • As for “rights”, forget for a moment all the UN gobbledygook in 181 that is trying to camouflage the fact that this partition proposal was totally null, being a rejected proposal by a GA, a body without executive powers whose decisions have been ignored by the hundreds by the Zionists.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. The relevant UN legal experts have reported to the Security Council that Israel is under a continuing legal obligation to allow all of the refugees from the conflicts in 1948, 1967, & etc. to return to Israel because of its unconditional acceptance of the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II) during the hearings on Israel's UN membership application.

      FYI, the UN Charter is a multilateral treaty that gives the General Assembly the power to adopt decisions and conduct international arbitration or adjudication of any question falling within its functional area of competence. It could legally terminate a mandate; conclude a trusteeship agreement to serve as the new fundamental law or constitution of the successor state(s) to a mandatory regime; and it had the power to place a trusteeship under direct UN administration. See for example the text of A/RES/2145 (XXI) link to and the ICJ findings of fact in the 1970 Namibia case. link to

      On 20 June, 1962 the UN General Assembly adopted a decision to accept a UN commission's proposal regarding the partition of Ruanda-Urundi into two independent states, Rwanda and Burundi, and to establish an Economic Union between the two. See UN resolution 1746 (XVI) and compare that situation to the UNSCOP proposal and resolution 181(II):
      link to
      link to

    • Hostage: one in ten illegal settlers are American citizens. [Rusty:] I would have thought the percentage was much higher.

      It's still outrageous, considering that there are nearly two hundred other countries, and that there were no pogroms in the USA that drove them all to join in a flagrantly illegal enterprise.

    • And the Illinois State House passed SB 1761! Woo Hoo!

      How bright are the lawmakers who adopted this nonsense:

      Provides that actions taken in compliance with the amendatory Act are exempt from any conflicting statutory or common law obligations, including fiduciary duties.

      link to

      In other words, the pension fund's managers are legally obliged to roll the dice and ignore the very real risk that all of a corporation's profits or proceeds from activities in the occupied territories may be subject to forfeiture. These lawmakers are obviously not concerned about protecting the interests of their own constituents.

    • That resolution did not take into account the war. You can’t reject the resolution, start a war to prevent its implementation, and then afterward complain that the rights it promised you were violated.

      No, minority treaties had become a customary part of the creation of new states in international law, precisely because there always was a need to prevent the new governing regimes from persecuting indigenous ethnic groups or driving them into exile and waging fratricidal wars at the moment of independence over boundary disputes.

      In any event, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 273 (III) AFTER THE WAR. It acknowledged the formal post-war declarations and undertakings supplied by the representative of Israel stating that the government would implement resolution 181(II) and 194(III). Abba Eban was specifically required to explain for the record whether or not the government of Israel had provided the necessary Declaration on the constitutional protection of the rights of non-Jews as required by Part I- The Future Government of Palestine, Sections B and C of resolution 181(II)? Eban cited a cable from Foreign Minister Shertok to the Secretary General which described the contents of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (which in-turn had been signed by the members of the Provisional Council of the State of Israel). Eban declared that it had been published in Israel’s national gazette and promulgated as fundamental law in accordance with the terms of the UN resolution.

      Contrary to your claims, he also declared that the requirement to adopt that fundamental law protecting all of the rights in question was still capable of fulfillment by Israel acting alone, and did not rely upon the acceptance of the Arab state or states. See pages 2-3 of the .pdf containing the transcript of the 48th session A/AC.24/SR.48 and the verbatim UN record of the 51st session starting on pdf page 6, A/AC.24/SR.51

      FYI, no one has ever established that the hundreds of thousands of unarmed Palestinian refugees had ever declared war on a single soul. In fact, many of the contemporary documents in Israel's state archives indicate that they didn't:

      *Ezra Danin worked in various capacities in the Jewish Agency and the Arab department, "Sherut Yediot", the "Information Service" of the Haganah. In January of 1948, Danin wrote: "I believe the majority of the Palestinian masses accept the partition as a fiat accompli and do not believe it possible to overcome or reject it." See Document 90, page 128 "Political and Diplomatic Documents Central Zionist Archives/Israel State Archives, December 1947- May 1948, published Jerusalem, 1979.

      *The Mufti did not enjoy much popular support and all his efforts to organize a popular resistance to the Partition Resolution were unsuccessful. According to Ian Bickerton, Carla Klausner, "A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict", 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2004, few Palestinians joined the Arab Liberation Army and many Palestinians favored partition and indicated a willingness to live alongside a Jewish state (page 88).
      *Ben-Gurion rebuffed the various efforts of more pragmatic Palestinian Arabs to reach a modus vivendi since it was his "belief ... that Zionist expansionism would be better served by leaving the leadership of the Palestinians in the hands of the extremist Mufti than in the hands of a 'moderate' opposition. 'Rely on the Mufti' became his motto." Blocked by Zionist policy from officially expressing their opposition to war, the Palestinian Arabs arranged "non-aggression" pacts with their Jewish neighbors. The relatively few who did take up arms did so primarily to defend themselves against feared attacks by the Jews. See the review of Simha Flapan's The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities

      *David Ben-Gurion advised Moshe Sharett about the public sentiment of the Palestinians: "They, the decisive majority of them, do not want to fight us." See Ben Gurion to Sharett, March 14, 1948, Document 274, on page 460 of "Political and Diplomatic Documents Central Zionist Archives/Israel State Archives, December 1947- May 1948, published Jerusalem, 1979.

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