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  • 'Jimmy Carter's cancer is God's punishment,' says leading Israeli newspaper
    • Israeli newspaper proves: Stupidity is God’s only punishment.

      Perhaps, but that still leaves the etiology of Zionist Organization of America Chairman Mort Klein's #$*&@ Tourette syndrome unexplained;-) Why would a just God have given him both?

  • Update: UK petition calling for Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes reaches 100,000 signatures
    • Hostage : With respect, you have become entangled in the web of what I call ‘shoulds and oughts’.

      Not at all, I've been reading the declassified government cabinet papers of the US/UK/Israeli administrations for way too many years to harbor any illusions on that account or about what's going on in this case. I'm simply saying we should "strike while the iron is still hot".

      There are almost certainly more than a few MPs who are willing to bring this subject up during Question Time. After all, the House of Commons voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a State and the threshold for these petitions is established high enough to prevent any from succeeding that don't have broad enough public support.

      The right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances can be traced all the way back to Article 61 of the Magna Carta (1215). People in the UK should ask their MPs to question the government on this issue early and often.

    • Our governments and institutions will not change until public opinion changes. Public opinion won’t change until ordinary individuals come to understand what is really happening in Palestine and the Middle East and the part our countries have played and continue to play in the ongoing destabilisation of the region.

      But that begs the central question. The number of UK nationals required to trigger a debate has already been surpassed. I'm certain that I don't need to explain to bintbiba, MHughes976, or Rodneywatts that they should be demanding an explanation from their MPs about this bizarre situation. Let's recap it:

      The UK ratified the Rome Statute, which devotes an entire article (Art. 27) to the subject of the “Irrelevance of Official Capacity”, It also stipulates that "No reservations may be made to this Statute" (Article 120).

      The UK adopted enabling legislation, which implemented the terms of the Rome Statute. The Parliament subsequently debated and adopted amendments, based upon complaints lodged by alleged Israeli war criminals, which have made it more difficult for private individuals and NGOs to obtain arrest warrants in the UK.

      The International Criminal Tribunals have repeatedly affirmed that there exists in international law a universally recognized principle that any attempt to excuse non-fulfillment of an international obligation on the basis of municipal law constitutes a breach of those international obligations. See for example André Klip, Göran Sluiter, Annotated leading cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 1997-1999, Intersentia NV, 2001, page 134 link to and The Development of International Law by the International Court, Hersch Lauterpacht (ed), Cambridge University Press, 1982, page page 262 link to

      Why is it true, that the Parliament CAN debate a violation of the UK’s international obligations and the relevant international laws on behalf of Diskin, Livni, Barak, Olmert, Mofaz, Netanyahu, et al, while it purportedly CANNOT debate the repeal of those self-same amendments to its own laws in order to restore respect for the provisions of the international criminal laws, which apply to heads of state? After all, 106,000+ of its own citizens have demand that their Parliament take-up the question

    • Not quite. link to

      The Mirror report says "We recognise that the conflict in Gaza last year took a terrible toll.

      "However the prime minister was clear on the UK's recognition of Israel's right to take proportionate action to defend itself, within the boundaries of international humanitarian law."

      He also had the UK government's representative endorse a UN HRC report, which concluded that Israel had exceeded those lawful boundaries and that criminal accountability must be ensured. Cameron himself described the Gaza Strip as a "prison camp". The UK is also a party to the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Among other things, it applies to armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist régimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. It prohibits the use of starvation as a mode of warfare and makes the unreasonable delay in repatriating the 1.2 million refugees living in the prison camps of Gaza a war crime.

      In any event, the petition doesn't explicitly mention Gaza. Neither the Palestinian criminal complaints on the subject nor the UN reports about the scope of Israeli crimes are limited to only those crimes that have been committed in Gaza.

      It doesn’t require a vast expenditure of time or effort to locate prima facie video evidence on Youtube of the current Prime Minister of Israel and members of his party list standing on territory illegally annexed to Israel (Har Homa) after the Six Day War bragging about the on-going crimes he and his government have been instrumental in committing there and elsewhere beyond the armistice lines since his first term in office. He went out of his way to explain that there will be no Palestinian State or political solution during his term as head of state. It is also trivially easy to find videos of him explaining how he "put an end to the Oslo Accords."

      Israel is a party to the armistice agreements that were concluded under the auspices of Article 40, Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. See UN SC resolutions 62 and 73. The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations says: “Every State likewise has the duty to refrain from the threat or use of force to violate international lines of demarcation, such as armistice lines, established by or pursuant to an international agreement to which it is a party or which it is otherwise bound to respect.”

      It is no secret that the 10th Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly was convened to take up that same Har Homa settlement as a situation of extreme on-going concern to the international community of states. The General Assembly called for a Reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and obtained an ICJ advisory opinion. Both of those international bodies concluded, among other things, that Israel had established settlements illegally in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. At the same time, both Palestine and Jordan filed written statements with the Court complaining that Israel had committed violations of the Rome Statute on territory subject to their jurisdiction.

      The Court's advisory opinion also noted (e.g. para. 145, 158, & 159) that, under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel and the other High Contracting Parties are under an obligation to search for and bring before their courts persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, grave breaches of international humanitarian law flowing from the planning, construction and use of the wall." In July of this year, the EU condemned the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to permit the Netanyahu regime to construct a section of the Separation Barrier through the Cremisan Valley, restricting the access of 58 families from their agricultural land and profoundly affecting their livelihoods.

      While the UK statutes were subsequently amended to make it more difficult for private individuals or NGOs to obtain arrest warrants against foreign officials, that doesn't explain the UK's refusal to take action on hundreds of criminal complaints made by other High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions or other State Parties to the Rome Statute, e.g.

      This letter is in follow-up to our previous 450 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 15 January 2013 (A/ES-10/577-S/2012/23), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council. (Signed) Riyad Mansour Ambassador Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations link to

      In 1966-67 Israel was condemned by the Security Council for invading the West Bank of Jordan. It also shot down four Syrian aircraft, including one flying over Damascus. Nonetheless, when Nasser responded by threatening to blockade the Straits of Tiran, until Israel had agreed to respect the status quo under the terms of the armistice agreements, the UK accepted the proposition that Israel was justified in initiating a war.

      Despite the fact that Gaza has been turned into a nearly uninhabitable concentration camp for a suffering multitude of criminally displaced persons under a full-blown military siege, Cameron still refuses to permit the victims or victim state access to the UK courts. So, he has fully justified those Palestinian and other militant groups who have claimed all along that there is no other alternative, except taking the law into their own hands.

      It's a shame the Parliament won't debate that situation.

    • @Hostage Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. More of your ephemeral international ‘fairy law’. More impotent rage.

      LoL! Careful, you're projecting rather wildly. You're the one who's busy trolling the comment threads at Mondoweiss. I was actually enjoying my three-day weekend.

      Just to keep the record straight:

      * Al-Bashir reportedly "fled" South Africa one step ahead of a Court order for his arrest and surrender to the ICC. The same thing happened a few years ago in Nigeria. His plane has been denied passage through the airspace of Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan. Several Arab League states, including Jordan, have warned him that he will be arrested if he steps foot in their jurisdiction, e.g. See:
      - Jordan dissents from Arab position on ICC warrant for Sudan’s Bashir link to and
      - Sudanese president will not fly to US for UN General assembly meetings link to

      * The UK government was one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council that voted to refer the situation in Darfur to the ICC. The resolution contained a number of purported exemptions, but there were none for high ranking government officials or heads of state. In fact, Wikileaks revealed that the US, UK, and French governments offered to suspend the investigation of President Al-Bashir via Rome Statute Article 16 deferrals, if he would agree to cooperate with the implementation of their multilateral plans for Southern Sudanese independence, & etc. It's pretty clear that he was not considered "inviolable" or "immune" from arrest or prosecution. link to

      * The fact that some government officials have played a role in assisting fugitives from justice, like Al-Bashir, Eichmann, Mengele, or Karadzic avoid arrest or prosecution for extended periods of time doesn't transform international criminal law into ‘fairy law’ or something "ephemeral", just ask the Zionists at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

      *In the Eichmann case, the Israeli Supreme Court invoked universal jurisdiction in accordance with international law and cited the customary obligation to either prosecute or extradite persons accused of committing grave breaches outlined in the 4th Geneva Convention and the "Martens Clause" regarding "the principles of the law of nations as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience." link to

      *The UK petition is a valid mode of informing government officials about "the dictates of public conscience" in this particular case. The sentiments of the public regarding war crimes and violations of the laws of humanity have been a cornerstone of international public law, ever since the "Marten's Clause" was first introduced in the preamble of the 1899 Hague Convention (II). The clause has been invoked and reaffirmed in every subsequent IHL convention.

      * The Government of the UK was one of the 41 countries that voted to adopt the recent UN HRC resolution (a) endorsing the findings regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity contained in the UN Fact Finding Mission report on the situation in Gaza; and (b) calling on member states to insure accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem link to

      *Laurent Gbagbo was the President of Côte d'Ivoire from 2000 until his arrest and transfer to the ICC in April 2011.
      *Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President Ruto were forced to temporarily step down from office to attend hearings in their ICC cases, before the Assembly of State Parties amended the rules of procedure to permit them to attend via closed circuit TV facilities, e.g. Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to step down from office to attend ICC: Kenyatta to temporarily relinquish presidency for international criminal court hearing over charges relating to 2007 violence link to

      Hostage. BTW, what ever came of your petition to the ICC? A nullity? A dead letter office drop?

      The ICC Prosecutor has opened a preliminary examination into charges filed by the government of Palestine.

    • The British Government has invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as head of the Israeli Government, to visit the UK in September. Under UK and international law, certain holders of high-ranking office in a State, including Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs are entitled to immunity, which includes inviolability and complete immunity from criminal jurisdiction.

      The fact that Netanyahu, or anyone else is a high ranking official or head of state is really irrelevant in accordance with the applicable international law.

      Diplomatic immmunity is a norm of customary international law, but it is certainly NOT a peremptory (jus cogens) norm, like the prohibition of piracy, slavery, genocide, apartheid, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

      The state parties to the UN Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity and/or the Rome Statute of the ICC are under NO obligation whatsoever to respect Mr. Netanyahu's alleged diplomatic immunity.

      For example, the government of the UK ratified "Article 27 Irrelevance of official capacity," of the Rome Statute which explicitly states that:

      1. This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.

      2. Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.

      The Rome Statute does not create conventional rights or obligations for 3rd party states, but they remain unconditionally bound by the terms of jus cogens norms. Article 98 requires the Court to respect treaty procedures between members and third party states regarding conflicting extradition requests, & etc. But Article 98 CANNOT preempt jus cogens norms, i.e. Article 53 of the UN Convention on The Law of Treaties (Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law "jus cogens") stipulates:

      A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.

      -- link to

      That rule applies to the Rome Statute itself, and any treaty concluded between member and non-member States.

  • Minnesota Congresswoman demands accountability for Nakba Day killings
    • @Hostage

      Leahy Law exception.

      b) Exception
      The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not apply if the Secretary determines ...that the government of such country is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice. .... I think those steps have already been take. Haven’t they?

      Not at all. Since no certification can be made by the Secretary of State, while the murderer of Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher is still at large and no one has been charged in connection with that crime. The trial of one border policeman would not satisfy the statutory requirement that he determine if both murders constitute Leahy Law violations and that all members of the unit involved be denied visas as stipulated by the statute.

      I would also suggest that you read the letter again, since the Congresswoman said these murders exemplify well-documented, and systemic physical and psychological abuse of Palestinian children held in Israeli custody. FYI the sham investigation, prosecution for manslaughter, and initial cover-up should trigger the jurisdiction of the ICC in accordance with Article 17 of the Rome Statute.

      Oh. BTW. Is Congresswoman McCollum writing any letters asking the State Department to investigate the government of Egypt for it’s ‘gross violations of human rights’?

      Military and Foreign assistance to Egypt was suspended in accordance with the statute and it was not restored until after a lengthy review. Even then, the United States no longer allows Egypt to purchase military equipment on credit and earmarks the aid for specific activities related to U.S. counterterrorism goals.

    • Jack, the State of Israel prosecuting the soldier who shot the boys is not a ‘gross violation of human rights’. the act of willfully killing a civilian who poses no threat is. and since the exception to leahy is – if “the government of such country is taking effective steps to bring responsible members to justice.” i would imagine this trial would not be sufficient.

      Palestine has accused the government of Israel of committing the crime of apartheid in both the ICJ and ICC. These kids were murdered in cold blood, while they were taking part in a Nakba Day protest. Let's remember that one of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid is:

      "Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.

      -- link to

      In large part, "The Nakba" refers to the fact that the establishment and maintenance of the State of Israel itself was, and still is conjoined to "on-going" war crimes and crimes against humanity for which State responsibility arises under the "Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law" and the "Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts". link to

      The State of Israel and the IDF are still in grave breach of an erga omnes obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to permit the exercise of Palestinian self-determination; the right of refugees to return; to stop construction and dismantle the illegal wall and the associated illegal administrative regime that it employs to deny the Palestinian population adequate supplies of food and water; health; education; work; and freedom of movement and residence; to permit those who have been displaced in violation of international law to return and to pay them compensation for damages.

      There is a continued legal duty of the responsible State to perform the obligations breached by its wrongful acts and to cease those acts, if they are continuing. See Article 28, et seq of Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts link to

    • Re: How’s it a ‘gross violation of human rights’ when the State of Israel is prosecuting the soldier who shot the boys?

      The government of Israel lied about the murders and only belatedly took action after the international press and an international team of forensic investigators proved it had been lying all along.

      So, I assume you're engaging in racial incitement here as usual. The relevant human rights mandate holders, treaty monitoring bodies, and even Israel's own state commissions, e.g. the Karp Commission, the Or Commission, the Cave of the Patriarch's Commission have repeatedly noted that the IDF and police investigations of murder, violent crimes, and the discharging of a weapon involving a Palestinian victim are often delayed by months and closed-out without any action or simply did not take place at all because the filing of official criminal complaints by Palestinians was discouraged, ignored, and even denied.

    • @Hostage. Thank you–as always–for weighing in. Can the State Department simply respond to McCollum that, while the two deaths are a criminal matter, they do not comprise a “gross violation of human rights”? No waiver needed?

      Well, they can respond to the press any way they'd like. But being murdered by a member of the state security forces and having the crime covered-up by the unit commander and others in his chain of command is a de jure "gross violation of human rights". The statute requires a waiver when that happens. The foreign relations, appropriations, and defense committee chairman in either house can put a congressional hold in place on any appropriated funds that haven't been released. So it isn't entirely up to the State Department to start the process.

      Let's be clear, the Congressional Committees, State Department, and Defense Department have the best legal experts in the world on staff. Everyone knows that the IDF and Border Police are using live ammo to disperse demonstrators when they are not in any mortal danger, e.g. "Military continues to use live ammunition to quell demonstrations even when not in mortal danger" link to

      Hell the Goldstone report explained that 19 persons had been killed in what were called anti-Aparthied Wall demonstrations, including six children. That happened within a matter of just a few months.

      The current story is that investigators traced the bullet found in the backpack of Nadim Nuwara to an "enlisted border policeman's gun". He was arrested on suspicion of murder and his unit commander was arrested on suspicion that he knew that the policeman had shot the boy and not reported it. That all happened after the official inquiry into the incident held by the IDF Central Command took place. It found that all of the troops fired rubber bullets and were from the border police. But that was after CNN had provided its footage of the shootings which should have proved otherwise.

      The video shot by CNN that was synced by the Forensic Architecture group to the surveillance footage shows two gunshots and one of those was taken by a soldier, from the IDF's Spokesperson's Unit, who handed his weapon-off to a border police officer on camera. He was also suspended from his duties for allegedly firing rubber bullets. link to

      So the IDF Central Command and IDF Spokesperson's Office should have been aware of his involvement from the very outset. How high do the cover-ups have to go and how many demonstrators do you have to murder before you pull the plug on funding and find out who's ultimately behind it all?

    • i will review the letter (linked several times in this article). i don’t recall it “asking that all shipments of arms be stopped to Israel until an investigation is completed”.

      22 USC § 2378d – "Limitation on assistance to security forces”, cuts off funding to units of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information in hand that the units have committed a gross violation of human rights:

      No assistance shall be furnished under this chapter or the Arms Export Control Act [22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.] to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.

      The investigation is over and resulted in indictments. The trial is irrelevant, from the standpoint of the statute, unless the President submits a waiver certifying foreign assistance is in the national interest.

  • Abbas’s resignation from PLO could mean consolidation of power, ouster of rival
    • Until now there are no official state structures to host visiting diplomats or special guests. This building is for that.

      It isn't a retirement home for Abbas. As usual those propaganda reports originated with the Israeli media. link to

      The Palestine Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction was setup under the Oslo Accords to plan public works projects performed by local Palestinian companies employing Palestinian labor and materials. Even when projects are paid for by the Finance Ministry, the international donors are still the main source of its funding. So, lighten up, its a Palestinian public works jobs program. link to

      The same Palestinian agency is also responsible for submitting the detailed plans and bills of material for the reconstruction of Gaza. So far, the international donor money hasn't materialized for any of these projects or for the UN reconstruction projects.

    • ABUNIMAH: Well, first to clarify one thing is that Mahmoud Abbas did not resign as leader of the Palestinian Authority. He and these ten others resigned as members of the executive committee of the PLO.

      Now, that distinction is important because he hasn’t really given anything of substance up.

      It's true enough that this is probably a political manuever, but Abunimah is not a reliable source of information on the subject of the PLO or PA. The PLO Executive Committee is the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, that applied for UN Membership, and which was recognized as a UN observer state, NOT the Palestinian Authority. It is an interim creature of the Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel and the 2003 Draft Basic Law as amended to fulfil the 2004 Middle East Quartet Road Map criteria. It has always been subordinate to the PLO.

      And the PLO executive committee, although it is on paper the highest decision-making body of the PLO, really doesn’t represent anyone. The PLO long ago became a defunct organization.

      This rises to the level of disinformation coming from a guy whose Dad still works for "The King of Jordan." Hint: The King governs a couple of million Palestinians and Jordanians, who never voted for him either and there are no elections planned for the head of state position in that country.

      From 1993 to 1994, Mr Abu Nimah was a member of the Jordanian delegation to the peace talks between Jordan and Israel, which took place in Washington, DC. link to It normalized relations with Israel without resolving the status of the citizens of Jordan still living in East Jerusalem or the Palestinian refugees in Jordan. Understandably enough, there were riots in Palestine on the day the treaty between Jordan and Israel was signed.

      But you'd never know that from reading the only article about the subject on EI written by Hasan Abu Nimah himself: Peace with Jordan: Another opportunity missed by Israel link to

      It's also a mystery how Abu Nimah has managed to retain his Jordanian citizenship, when everyone else from the West Bank supposedly had theirs revoked and became stateless in 1988. Interview: Jordan revoking citizenship from Palestinian refugees link to

  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart
    • Yep, Vanity Fair has some explaining to do. Our memories are just not that short.

      That goes without saying. I nearly had an aneurysm I laughed so hard, the first time that I read the Magazine describe NeoCons David Wurmzer, John Bolton, and "an aide close to Elliot Abrams" as "critics of President Bush's Palestine Policies" (that were their handiwork in the first place) in David Rose's "Gaza Bombshell" article. I've commented elsewhere: "If you’ve ever had a stovepipe that large shoved up your ass without noticing, you must be a stringer for the Rendon Group and be writing filler, while awaiting your next assignment for the Iraqi National Congress."

  • Self-defense patrols form in West Bank as PA fails to protect Palestinians following Duma firebombing
    • @Hostage I don`t think you thought through this ideal in its practical terms.

      Sure I have. The alternative goes like this: When do we start conducting air strikes against all of these Israeli civilians openly carrying assault rifles into and out of rows of Jewish housing in the West Bank? Israelis claim that the loss of innocent lives from doing that in Gaza is not disproportionate to the military advantage that is derived. If Israelis are entitled to acquire "defensible borders", then nothing prevents the bombing of all of these illegal outposts that harbor Jewish terrorists and are situated on "land that will be part of Palestine under any conceivable future settlement".

      Also given the massive REAL big problems in Syria

      @ivri "UN Reveals Israeli Links With Syrian Rebels

      Reports by UN observers in the Golan submitted to 15 members of Security Council detail regular contact between IDF officers and armed Syrian opposition figures at the border."
      read more: link to

      Inside Israel’s Secret War in Syria link to

      Barack Obama authorises air strikes against Isis militants in Syria link to

    • I think that the time has long since come and gone for the 10th Emergency Special session of the UN General Assembly to deploy a peace keeping force on the Palestinian side of the Green Line and send Israel the lions share of the assessments for its maintenance - in line its past practice in the Israeli instigated Suez Crisis, UNEF, and the ICJ "Certain Expenses" advisory opinion.

      Zionist hasbara has always lamented the so-called "fact" that Nasser's ejection of the General Assembly's UNEF peace keeping force started the Six Day War. It looks like its redeployment on the Palestinian side of the armistice border is the only thing that can finally end it once and for all.

  • In latest thrust at Obama, Netanyahu names UN ambassador who trashed him and said Palestinians can have 'Facebook state'
    • As if this wasn’t bad enough, we in the UK are apparently going to get Mark “most moral army in the world” Regev as our next Israeli ambassador.

      No doubt he was passed over for the UN job, because he messed himself and recognized the state of Palestine during the heated debate over the Gaza blockade/flotilla massacre. He cited an inapposite passage from the San Remo manual and said that:“any state has the right to blockade ANOTHER STATE in the midst of an armed conflict.” [emphasis added] link to

      He failed to mention that would mean Israel is violating a long list of corresponding legal obligations which accompany such "rights" respecting the treatment of prisoners of war, forced displacement and transfers of populations, etc. Not the kind of guy you want opening his mouth in the UN, where everyone would notice, unlike the fawning members of the US press corps.

  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • Wouldn’t you say that this scandal used the reasoning ....

      They all do. He's on the JVP advisory board and I would be fascinated to know what he thinks of all this and to learn if he was consulted. The title should be "Deliberate Fragmentation or why Palestinian BDS is not yet a big tent mass social movement.

      I think that I've always made it crystal clear that I consider ankle biting, back stabbing, and navel gazing to be sophomoric behaviors, whether they are being displayed among Palestinians, Jews, or so-called solidarity activists.

      Chomsky is not one of my personal heroes. I just don't like it when someone drops by to misstate his actual published positions on a given subject, like the Israel Lobby, in order to endlessly ventilate over their trumped-up disdain of the man. I have no heartburn with people, who like myself, are put-off by some of his actual tactics and published opinions. I don't know of any two adult human beings who agree on everything. I learned in grade school not to lecture my friends over their choice of other friends. This is not what I expect for my dollars when I pay my dues to JVP an ETO.

    • there’s an extremely important petition in support of Alison Weir ... This contains a wide array of major activists and Palestinian leaders — including Bassem Tamimi, Richard Falk, Hedy Epstein, Iyad Burnatt, Abbas Hamideh, and many more.

      I hope you noticed that there are a lot of members of JVP and ETO on that petition too. Just for the record, I donate to JVP and ETO and am a member of both organizations. I'm one of the persons who signed the petition. But hey, I also donate to "Mondweiss" too, even though the Washington Post and the Daily Kos claim "it's a hate site". For that matter, I've donated money and made purchases at the If Americans Only Knew store.

  • Israeli Banks flipping out over looming European boycott
    • Re: Israel first entered into direct negotiations with the PLO in 1993 and every government since then has affirmed the principles of a two-state solution, something that Hamas rejected out of hand from its formation until the present.

      LoL! You can't peddle that mythology here. We've been getting daily coverage of the fulminations from the likes of Netanyahu, Bennet, Danon, Lieberman, et al that there will be no Palestinian state between the river and the sea and have seen videos of your Prime Minister bragging about the fact that he killed the Oslo Accords. Your right wing party platforms are mirror images of the Arab ones you keep shreying about.

    • For that matter, I wonder if a similar fate is in store for Cuba?

      To some extent the US Supreme Court already closed the door on retroactive claims against the Castro government using the "Act of State"/foreign sovereign immunity doctrine e.g. Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino, 376 U.S. 398 (1964). That's one of the reasons why the Congress weighed-in and adopted the statute I cited tying foreign assistance to private claims going forward. Cuba wasn't getting any US Foreign Assistance by then anyway, but does have a valid complaint regarding one of the world's longest on-going illegal military occupations, i.e. the US Naval base at Gitmo.

    • From what you say about U.S. propensities, I wonder if Iran will be next on the list?

      We have a permanent court of arbitration (see below) because we are on one another's permanent sh*t lists.

      These are the relevant ICJ cases, including a few that dealt with the situations you mentioned:
      *Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. (United Kingdom v. Iran) link to
      * United States Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran (United States of America v. Iran) link to
      * Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) link to
      * Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) link to

      Here's a blurb from the website of: THE IRAN-UNITED STATES CLAIMS TRIBUNAL

      The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal was established on 19 January 1981 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to resolve certain claims by nationals of one State Party against the other State Party and certain claims between the State Parties. To date, the Tribunal has finalized over 3,900 cases. Currently on the Tribunal’s docket are several large and complex claims between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America. -- link to

    • BNP Paribas is the latest big bank hit with a massive multi-billion dollar penalty…

      That was in July of 2014. By September, an American jury had decided that the Arab Bank of Jordan was liable for its role in handling transactions conducted by members of Hamas during the 2nd Intifada that may have been used to carry-out 3 terrorist attacks. In mid-May of this year, discovery was completed and the trial entered the damages phase. link to

      So are the Palestinians and Jordanians NOT supposed to notice that the EU, the USA, and Israel allow their citizens, public charitable organizations, Jewish and Zionist Federations, and other corporations to openly raise billions of dollars or conclude financial transactions involving unlawfully acquired Arab property that all gets funneled through their banks into or out of the illegal settlements populated by individuals and organizations that have long-since been officially designated for their complicity in international acts of terrorism and who are habitually resident on plundered public or private Arab properties? The EU and the USA can't maintain that charade if those and other State Parties to the Geneva Conventions and/or the Rome Statute demand that those responsible either be prosecuted or extradited and their assets frozen.

    • P.S. The USA has never really accepted the principle of permanent sovereignty of peoples over their natural resources. The League of Nations/Hague Conference on the Codification of Principles of International Law in 1930 adjourned when the parties couldn't come to an agreement over the legal principle that foreigners should not enjoy rights that are superior to the rights enjoyed by the indigenous population.(think alien Zionists vs. Palestinains) The members of the Pan American Conference have always supported the Calvo Doctrine in their state constitutions and in the American system of public international law over the objections of the USA. Our Courts have an almost constant flow of cases involving "wrongful takings" by foreign governments that result from renegotiation of concessions, like the Noble Gas deal, or nationalization of industries.

      In theory, the President is obliged to suspend foreign aid to Israel if it doesn't honor its contracts with Noble Gas. 22 U.S. Code § 2370 - Prohibitions against furnishing assistance stipulates:
      (e) Nationalization, expropriation or seizure of property of United States citizens, or taxation or other exaction having same effect; failure to compensate or to provide relief from taxes, exactions, or conditions; report on full value of property by Foreign Claims Settlement Commission; act of state doctrine
      (1) The President shall suspend assistance to the government of any country to which assistance is provided under this chapter or any other Act when the government of such country or any government agency or subdivision within such country on or after January 1, 1962—
      (A) has nationalized or expropriated or seized ownership or control of property owned by any United States citizen or by any corporation, partnership, or association not less than 50 per centum beneficially owned by United States citizens, or
      (B) has taken steps to repudiate or nullify existing contracts or agreements with any United States citizen or any corporation, partnership, or association not less than 50 per centum beneficially owned by United States citizens, or
      (C) has imposed or enforced discriminatory taxes or other exactions, or restrictive maintenance or operational conditions, or has taken other actions, which have the effect of nationalizing, expropriating, or otherwise seizing ownership or control of property so owned,
      and such country, government agency, or government subdivision fails within a reasonable time (not more than six months after such action, or, in the event of a referral to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States within such period as provided herein, not more than twenty days after the report of the Commission is received) to take appropriate steps, which may include arbitration, to discharge its obligations under international law toward such citizen or entity, including speedy compensation for such property in convertible foreign exchange, equivalent to the full value thereof, as required by international law, or fails to take steps designed to provide relief from such taxes, exactions, or conditions, as the case may be; and such suspension shall continue until the President is satisfied that appropriate steps are being taken, and provisions of this subsection shall not be waived with respect to any country unless the President determines and certifies that such a waiver is important to the national interests of the United States. Such certification shall be reported immediately to Congress. -- link to

    • what deal israel made w/the energy company? gas exploration or something?

      Yes the US government is twisting arms on behalf of the Noble Energy company and its gas deal. Now that Israel has granted a concession to a US company and it has some natural resources that it wants to exploit, it had better get used to being treated like a Banana Republic from time to time.

      FWIW, all of the landmark US/UK cases involving retroactive recognition of statehood involved the pursuit of monetary claims by those two governments on behalf of their own domestic banking, oil, mining, arms, or agribusiness interests. If there is ever a dollar or a pound to be made out of pursuing claims against either Israel or Palestine over revision of the Noble Energy deal or the collapsed British Gas Group (BG) deal, then both those governments will turn on a dime and rush into Court "in a New York minute" and use any stupid argument imaginable. In cases involving the Banana Republics, the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Communist China, they have both employed "retroactive" recognition of another party's statehood, sometimes after decades of stubborn non-recognition, in order to demand restitution or compensation as a matter of "state responsibility" for some alleged wrongful "act of state" that occurred when the US or UK were insisting that no such state existed. It's a shopworn tactic that they never get tired or bored of using.

    • A lot seems off about this report of a so-called boycott.

      Because the "legal risks" are criminal and civil sanctions for participating in organized racketeering, not a "boycott". In case you haven't noticed, the governments of the EU have been saying that the Israeli settlements are illegal for a couple of generations now. They are all member states of the ICC and all of their banks and pension funds have been violating their own country's laws.

      But now that Palestine has joined the ICC and referred the situation in the settlements to the Prosecutor, the only way for governments to make sure the ICC doesn't take action is for member states to initiate preliminary investigations and take action on their own behalf and hope a whitewash will work for awhile.

      How much unsecured debt are we talking about, if there is no equity in all that plundered Palestinian state and Palestinian private property the Israeli and EU banks and pension funds are holding the paper on? These EU countries, like Sweden, who have formally recognized Palestine have no choice but to open their Courts to lawsuits and criminal complaints against all of these perpetrators and their assets if the government of Palestine comes knocking on their door.

      For example, the USA recognizes the EU, so it has to permit it to pursue claims in our courts. A U.S. appeals court has okayed a European Union lawsuit accusing R.J. Reynolds/Nabisco of running a global money-laundering scheme with organized crime groups. Nothing stops Palestine from doing the same thing in EU Courts over the things these banks and their EU partners and insurers are doing with unlawfully acquired property in Palestine.

      So, the Israeli Banks have started to figure out that there is no way they can stay afloat without insurers and investors, when their own government can't afford to bail them out.

  • Gaza reconstruction finally begins over a year after Israeli attack
    • So the plans as disclosed by the Sharon government for the so-called “disengagement” from Gaza and the famous “we’ll put them on a diet” statements must be evidence of intent to commit genocide.

      The defendants would probably dispute that, since it is not the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn. Any disagreement over a material fact that could alter the outcome of a case would have to be decided by the Judges of the particular trial chamber. The courts in some jurisdictions have ruled that mens rea can be inferred using structure based approaches by the defendant's conduct and what he or she should have known. Other jurisdictions won't convict or even undertake proceedings without an admission or confession by the defendant. See for instance: What does ‘intent to destroy’ in genocide mean? link to

      So, the Prosecutor might have to produce something like a "smoking gun" memo or witness who overheard a discussion that proved those responsible intended to destroy some of the members of the group beyond any reasonable doubt.

    • Isn’t the siege of Gaza something specifically contemplated in the convention on genocide?

      Of course. The preamble of the UN Apartheid Convention explains that some of the constituent acts of apartheid also constitute acts of Genocide, e.g. Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

      It's a distinction that really makes little difference these days. The crime of genocide was covered by a UN convention that permitted prosecutions for acts committed in peacetime, while crimes against humanity used to require a showing of some sort of connection or nexus to an international armed conflict prior to a landmark ruling from the UN ad hoc criminal tribunals in 1993. A conviction for either of those crimes or the crime of persecution would have essentially the same result today, a life sentence.

      The main difference is that in order to obtain a conviction for Genocide a Prosecutor must prove intent, while Article 3 of the Apartheid convention says that the commission of those acts alone constitutes the crime of apartheid, "regardless of the motive involved". Frankly, the Israelis have ignored publicly issued ICRC and UNRWA warnings and demonstrated reckless disregard for the consequences of their policies over and over again. Since there are additional constituent acts that only apply to the crime of apartheid, the prosecutor should simply charge defendants with both crimes, if that's where the facts and the evidence in a case leads.

      For example, the Secretary General's dossier in the 2003 wall case already contained a rapporteur's report which noted that construction of the "apartheid" wall/fence had created isolated ethnic enclaves and that there had been reliable Israeli press reports that the prime minister was pursuing a deliberate policy of Bantustanization. That is prima facie evidence of the crime of apartheid according to the panel of experts who authored the Human Rights Commission's "Study Concerning the Question of Apartheid from the Point of View of International Penal Law", E/CN.4/1075, 15 February 1972, pp. 51 – 52

      The Secretary General's personal report to the Court noted that entire communities had been isolated from their regular sources of food and water, while their unharvested crops were withering and wasting away in the nearby fields. Several interested state parties, including Lebanon, supplied written submissions which said:

      “The construction of the wall and the resulting situation correspond to a number of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid, as enumerated in Article 2 of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 1973: that is to say, the denial of the liberty and dignity of a group, the deliberate imposition on a group of living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction in whole or in part, measures calculated to deprive a group of the right to work, the right to education and the right to freedom of movement and residence, the creation of ghettos, the expropriation of property, etc. Such actions constitute measures of collective punishment.”

      link to

    • Gaza reconstruction finally begins over a year after Israeli attack

      It's better late than never, but it is undoubtedly too late for many of the most vulnerable members of the population, see "Gaza infant mortality rate rises for first time in 53 years, UN study reveals" link to

  • Netanyahu for president? He's been a citizen-- twice!
    • Am I missing something??.

      No, you are exactly right.

    • Anybody know when implementation of dual citizenship status first occurred? Or how it was justified?

      It was illegal in this country when Kletter v Dulles was decided. That was a case involving the Mandated State of Palestine link to

      The case that turned the tide was a case involving Israel, Afroyim v. Rusk. link to

      The Court decided that the 14th Amendment kept states from revoking anyone's citizenship and that it wasn't a power that was explicitly or implicitly delegated to the Congress either.

  • In victory for activists, drone manufacturers linked to Gaza war cross-examined in Scottish courts
    • After a gruelling fourteen day trial, a group of activists known as the Thales Ten,* received their verdict in Glasgow Sheriff Court last week. Five were convicted, and five acquitted, of the crime of breach of the peace.

      Breach of what peace? If peace is all that they want, they only need to take the first logical step and stop designing and manufacturing the machines that oppress and kill people in Gaza. If the law of Scotland sanctions that, then there's a moral obligation to break it.

  • Obama tells Americans it is 'abrogation of my constitutional duty' to defer to Israel on Iran Deal
    • i can’t wait for this farce to be over.

      Well it isn't over yet. You've probably already heard the news that the US government submitted an "unofficial appeal" to a New York court Monday to reconsider a ruling against the Palestinian Authority to pay $218.5 million in damages to victims of terror attacks. link to

      Bear in mind that States, as such, are immune from that sort of lawsuit under the terms of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act.

      The Justice Department cited concern that such a hefty amount could "compromise the PA's ability to operate as a governmental authority." Secretary Kerry was simply restating a rule of customary international law that is reflected in § 203 "Recognition or Acceptance of Governments" of The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States pp 84, which stipulates that: "A state cannot recognize or accept a regime as a "government" without thereby accepting the statehood of the entity which the regime claims to be governing."

      The hypocrisy of denying the State of Palestine's existence, rights, and immunities, while at one and the same time serving as the single largest foreign donor to the operation of its government since 1993, simply rises to the high heavens. You'd have to be schizophrenic to accept the Obama administration's explanations for our current foreign policy, because no sane intellect could make heads or tails out of our Orwellian Doublespeak.

    • P.S. I just noticed this, in case everyone else hasn't heard: Gaza infant mortality rate rises for first time in 53 years, UN study reveals

      The number of babies dying before four weeks old has risen from 12 per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 20.3 in 2013, agency for Palestinian refugees says -- link to

      Because of the increase they will conduct another survey this year. That evidence suggests that the conditions of life that have been imposed there are taking a heavy toll on the most vulnerable members of the targeted population. That's one of the possible elements of the offense of apartheid, which the Palestinians have referred to the ICC Prosecutor.

    • you must have been cut off in mid-edit hostage. i am going to close out your quote for you ;)

      No, the reason that those nights are so special, is because it's the only time I shutdown and reboot my home server. Even when I'm not awake, everyone else around here is logged-in remotely and using at all hours of the day.

    • You, sir, deserve a good hard beatification for that!

      No just an occasional beer, while my hard drive is being reformatted as part of the ritual of destroying any lingering concentrations of pure Zionist evil and upgrading to a shiny new release of my favorite Linux distro. You know, "why is this night so special?" Because we are going to reboot!

    • Q: A decade from now, what will be the main difference between American zionists, and American ex-zionists, non-zionists and anti-zionists?

      A: Whether or not the person is still the subject of a Federal investigation, or under indictment.

      פֿון דײַן מויל אין גאָטס אויערן fun dayn moyl in gots oyern.

    • @ Hostage Haavara Agreement – drawn a blank at your JTA link

      Sorry, I was trying to point readers to the news that eventually triggered the Worldwide Jewish Boycott of Germany that the Zionists deliberately chose to ignore: "Jews to Be Starved out if Hitlerists Come to Power: Boxheim Documents Were Authentic Official Statement" JTA, April 25, 1932 link to

      I hope that one works.

    • I wasn’t sure I’d live to see the day the myth of Universal Jewish Sainthood would be challenged authoritatively.

      Sainthood? The wholesale levelling of the centuries old Mughrabi quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Sheikh Eid Mosque and Tomb, was a war crime that permitted the construction of the plaza adjacent to the Western Wall where clueless tourists, including Obama have subsequently been herded through like so many sheep for indoctrination.

      I've complained in the past that one of the institutions that the State of Israel established on some of that pricey new real estate was the World Headquarters of Aish International. They've trained thousands of the Hasbara Fellowship members you encounter here over the years. link to

      The flaming @sshats that serve as Aish spirtual leaders have brass balls big enough to openly publish anti-Semitic propaganda that says the Jewish victims of the Holocaust were the reincarnated souls of "great sinners" who only got what they actually had coming to them: See Holocaust: Reincarnated Souls? link to

      If it weren't a violation of the Mondoweiss comment rules, they'd be using Phil and Adam's free bandwidth here to proclaim that it was really Divine justice that caused sinful, assimilated Reform and Anti-Zionist Jews to bring about the Holocaust experienced by those great sinners. The Zionist State not only keeps company with those troglodytes, it promotes them to the highest positions within the Rabbinate. Are we supposed to pretend not to notice all of that, and just swallow Hophmi's insults and shopworn propaganda hook, line, and sinker?

    • I wonder if you could, just for a moment, consider how your statement is totally beside the point, predictably defensive, and obtuse. Nobody is taking anything away from the Allies; it’s pure nonsense that no one knew anything about the Holocaust until late 1944, and the fact of the matter is that 6 out of every 11 Jews in Europe were murdered, and it is little solace that, for reasons having relatively little to do with the Holocaust, the Allies eventually defeated our murderers.

      Yes you are - and you come off sounding like a complete snot, every time you do so. I've responded to your libels here in the past, as a matter of form. Here's a link in case you've forgotten: link to

      Every time a member of the Zionist movement mentions the Holocaust, they should have a copy of the Haavara Agreement jammed in their nasty mouths. At least the Allies didn't sign a formal partnership agreement and go into business with the Nazis to fleece the Jewish victims out of a third of their fortunes, after the Boxheim Documents were published revealing Hitler's official plans to intern the Jews and other non-German groups in order to starve them to death. link to

      I've pointed out many times in the past, that the Haavara Agreement did nothing at all for the penniless Jews who could not afford the cost of obtaining a quota from the Jewish Agency or pay the 1000 Palestinian Pound bond for a Capitalist Immigration Certificate from the British authorities. It only helped wealthy Jews circumvent the Nazi's currency controls and transfer amounts larger than 1000 pounds out of the country. So the Yishuv entered into a cozy and profitable arrangement and pro-actively frustrated any other avenues of escape or competing efforts to raise money to help the poor Jews you are always so busy shedding crocodile tears over.

      That was all in perfect harmony with Herzl's original hair-brained plan to harness anti-semitism as the engine to drive Jewish outward emigration to his Jewish nation state by using the wealth and businesses of the dear departed as bait. Any wealthy Jew could purchase a capitalist immigration certificate, but he never had a clue about saving the rest from suffering the consequences of his scheme.

    • it is not Israel opposition that Obama is really worried about – that just makes a good headline – but rather the Congress.

      LoL! The reason that the Great Powers had to finally make a deal, is because Israel and the US overplayed their hands and destroyed international support for the sanctions regime.

      They did that by demanding that Israel be allowed to keep a nuclear free Middle East and its own illegal weapons program off of the IAEA agenda, while demanding that Iran's entire nuclear program be eliminated, including the portions allowed to every country under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

      The US and Israel did the most ignorant thing any country can do after leveling those extravagant demands, when both started threatening Iran with military strikes and actual terror attacks. The UN never prohibited Russia or China from selling Iran convention weapons to defend itself from that sort of thing. Every NPT signatory can withdraw from the non-proliferation regime "for cause" if its own strategic interests, survival, or territorial integrity are threatened in accordance with the terms of Article X of the NPT and Article 51 of the UN Charter. See "LEGALITY OF THE THREAT OR USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS", Advisory Opinion of 8 July 1996 link to

      The UN Security Council isn't even sanctioning the other states, like India and Pakistan, that acquired nuclear weapons, and we sure as hell wouldn't be having any discussion about attacking Iran if it had any. It's an open secret that Saudi Arabia financed the development of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, and the Kingdom has publicly announced plans to simply purchase nuclear weapons from Pakistan's inventory. So it's a small miracle that Iran did reserve its right to acquire a weapon to counter the existing Saudi and Israeli threat.

      Under the circumstances, Putin was signaling game-over to the UN and the Israeli-US backed sanctions regime months ago when he announced resumption of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile deal and Obama admitted Russia had never been under any UN obligation to stop delivery. Frankly the US Joint Chiefs have never been eager to try and penetrate the homegrown Iranian defense systems or deal with what happens in the Strait of Hormuz the day after an attempt is made to do so. They're not interested in scoring a pyrrhic victory or own goal for a guy who can't even swing enough votes to get his own coalition to sign-off on a gas deal. Likewise, I don't think that Israelis have stopped to figure out how much worse the missile barrage coming from both Iran and Lebanon could be in comparison to the disruption to their lives and economy that was caused by a single missile attack Ben Gurion airport.

      Meanwhile, there's billions of dollars to be made in commodities and manufactured goods off of the Iran deal. The Soviet Union and the French, German, and Koreans are falling all over themselves to fill the vacuum. If you think that the people in this country who lobby and sign checks to fund election campaigns for the members of Congress are going to just release the levers of power and sit on their hands and let Bibi or AIPAC take full control and dictate the outcome of that vote, then I think you're making a series of serious miscalculations.

    • i hope congress heard him loud and clear . though they might not personally visit other parts of The Middle East they sure do need to consider what is going on on the other side of the wall

      Correction: As creatures of the US Constitution, I just wish that our Executive and Legislative branches would stop signing bills into law that violate their Constitutional duties regarding the "establishment" of religion on the "Jewish" State's side of the #$@! Wall! See 22 U.S. Code § 8602 - Statement of policy, i.e. "It is the policy of the United States:
      (1) To reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. As President Barack Obama stated on December 16, 2011, ..." link to

      The United States government has voted to adopt General Assembly and Security Council resolutions that absolutely require the establishment of a Palestinian state within provisional borders on at least two occasions (See UN GA resolution 181(II) and UN SC resolution 1515. It was obliged to begin promoting international recognition of Palestinian statehood and UN membership in accordance with the terms of both of those resolutions. But the latter resolution, established a deadline of no later than December of 2003.

      The Middle East Quartet's Road Map dictated the terms of Palestine's internal governance and Constitution. It created an "empowered Prime Minister" position, precisely because Israel and the USA no longer wished to deal with the President, Mr. Arafat. He had won the position in internationally supervised elections for an office that should have only lasted as long as the 5 year interim period prescribed in the Oslo Declaration of Principles. The Road Map also required the new Palestinian government to suppress attacks on Israeli civilians and to cooperate on regional security. In exchange for the best cooperation ever, our government responded by punishing international institutions and the Palestinians for promoting Palestinian statehood and membership in international organizations. It has even gone so far as to deny that Palestine even has a government with a President or Prime Minister:

      “Let me be very clear: the United States does not recognize a government with respect to Palestine, because that would recognize a state and there is no state,” Kerry said. “This is not an issue of recognition of a government.”

      -- See: Kerry: US doesn’t recognize Palestinian gov’t because there is no Palestinian state link to

      So the pretense that this administration isn't doing the bidding of the government of Israel or its Lobby is simply ridiculous. It has continued the proud tradition of Balfour, Wilson, and Truman, i.e. [they] have made no statement of fact [to the Palestinians] which is not admittedly wrong, and no declaration of policy which, at least in the letter, they have not always intended to violate."

    • By the way, are you a “French leader” or a “French diplomat”? How are you privy to their thoughts, and what on earth are you saying here?

      Okay, I'll bite. No, he's just a Control-C Control-V copy and paste-up aficionado of an outdated Gatestone Institute piece of illogical agit prop material on the subject of "What France Really Thinks of U.S. Iran Policy" from last spring. link to

      The remainder of his text, with the exception of the introductory paragraph that claimed Obama is a Muslim, was plagerized from that article without attribution. I recognized it, because I try to read all of the major Zionist organization's electronic mailing list messages everyday (so that other's don't have to;-)

      As Annie mentioned, it's hard to take that nonsense as serious analysis, since both of the named French officials signed-off on the subsequent agreement and Fabius was dispatched to Tehran begging to restore the billions of lost euros in trade that French firms, including Total oil, and automobile manufacturers PSA Peugeot-Citroën and Renault have lost in the Iranian market as a result of hostile French foreign policy. The Germans and Koreans have already visited Tehran too.

      If my Jewish upbringing taught me nothing else, it's that you really can't take something like a Gatestone "money quote" "to the bank". News reports claim that French and German investors who knew that were among the very first to start pocketing profits from stock speculation over resumed trade with Iran;-) If the commenter is French, then he's probably missed out on the opportunity to make windfall profits there. But thanks to the US Congress, there's still time to make a little money here. I would advise anyone not to "bet the farm" by shorting their investments on the risky odds that Obama will not have a veto proof majority in favor of ratifying the deal.

  • Leading US Jewish group opposes Iran deal, citing 'baseless hatred' of Jerusalem temple destruction 2000 years ago
    • We recently marked Tisha B’Av, mourning the fall of Jerusalem due to baseless hatred.” ... Idiots.

      I'll say, since the Talmud and Jewish Encyclopedia go out of their way to explain that God permitted the destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple, because the racist zealots in the religious and ultra-nationalist sects (the House of Shammai and the Zealots) were guilty of hating moderate Jews and Gentiles without a cause. It is described as a worse national sin than the idolatry and lack of charity that led to the destruction of the 1st Temple. So it's amazing that these clearly xenophobic @ssh@ts would bring-up that lesson in connection with their intention to go to war over a peaceful settlement that allows Iran to have a nuclear program, like every other NPT state party.

  • The two-state pipedream: Israel will move 100s of 1000s of settlers
    • Theodore Meron the legal advisor to the Eshkol Government in 1967,advised that settlements violated the explicit principles of the Fourth Geneva Convention which Israel had signed and ratified. They ignored him and went ahead anyway.

      That's not quite correct. Meron's cover letter advised his superiors that settlements would violate the Geneva Conventions, but his attached memorandum suggested the best strategy to go ahead and do it anyway. See Theodor Meron’s ’67 memo provided legal rationale for settlements link to

    • BTW, all you settlers, it would be of tremendous benefit, both practical and symbolic, if you guys would stack all your arms outside the settlement gates, so the IDF could pick them up.

      Careful now, any civilian openly carrying an assault rifle outdoors is a valid military objective during an international armed conflict. The IDF routinely drops 2000 pound bombs on apartment blocks in Gaza, where it suspects armed Palestinian civilians to be hiding. It seems to be lawful to do that if you recite the formula that "the collateral damage wasn't disproportionate to the military advantage obtained".

    • It’s education time

      I doubt it in Hophmi's case. Any lawyer who argues that race, religion, and nationality had nothing to do with the US Civil War has undoubtedly forgotten his or her education on the subject already.

      The 13th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution were adopted, precisely because:

      * In Dread Scott v Sanford, the Supreme Court held that blacks could not be, and never had been, considered US citizens and were not entitled as such to the protections afforded by the US Federal Courts.
      * The Confederate States of America established a new constitution and nationality that effectively deprived all of their inhabitants of any rights, immunities, and citizenship they had previously enjoyed under the Constitution of the USA.

    • How “they” managed? Jews are responsible for the civil wars throughout the Middle East? Jews are the ones responsible for Shia/Sunni fighting?

      Yes, the Zionist movement and Israel were up to their eyes in starting a civil war in Palestine in the 30s, 40s, and in 2007. They were, and still are guilty of fomenting unrest in and against Arabs or Persians living in Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. They've exploited events in those countries for propaganda purposes; to help depopulate those country's Jewish communities; and to justify the acquisition or occupation of additional territory. Some of the so-called "Major Knesset Debates" chronicled by a former Secretary General of the Knesset involved embarrassing revelations regarding those activities and the fact that Israel was supplying arms to the Portuguese and South African apartheid regimes, as well as belligerent groups in Latin America.

      Israel has carried out conventional and terror attacks in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon during the former and current civil wars. It was up to its eyes in the Iran/Contra scandal. The UN observers in the Golan have reported that Israel is working with Syrian Jihadis, including groups aligned with ISIS.

      Hostage: “Maybe you’d better emigrate out of the USA lickity-split?... Hophmi: Yeah, but our war was not over ethnicity or religion or even competing nationalisms, so I’m not sure what your point is.

      [sarcasm on] Oh no, there was no religious or ethnic aspect to the abolitionist movement and the issue of slavery had nothing to do with the civil war, because the Missouri Compromise worked out so well here in my home state of (Bloody) Kansas with folks like John Brown. [saracasm off].

      Einstein ... Mahatma Gandhi ... Great men, wrong on this issue.

      No, you're wrong. The crimes in Europe that you keep reciting and relying upon as a tu quoque argument do not justify Zionists committing the very same crimes against humanity in Palestine. Most of us learned that two wrongs don't make a right without ever having to study the law. In case you haven't heard though, the ICTY, the ICTR, and the ICC do not accept it as a criminal defense. Yee, Sienho, The Tu Quoque Argument as a Defence to International Crimes, Prosecution or Punishment, 3 Chinese JIL (2004), 87 (June 1, 2004). Chinese Journal of International Law, Vol. 3, p. 87, 2004. Available at SSRN: link to

      FYI, Mahatma Gandhi publicly condemned the Zionist enterprise in Palestine. He said:

      It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct … Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.

      – See Homer A Jack (editor), The Gandhi Reader: a source book of his life and writings, By Mahatma Gandhi, Grove Press, 1994, page 318

      Yes, Switzerland, great and evolved polity, granted women the right to vote in the year of their Lord (it’s about 80% Christian, after all), 1959.

      FYI, the UN partition plan required Ben Gurion to give women the right to vote. If it hadn't he would have probably conceded the issue under the terms of the Status Quo Agreement with Agudat Yisrael. The so-called “Womens Equal Rights Law” of 1951 specifically excluded marriage and divorce laws from Israel's guarantees of “equality” and laid the ground rules for the subsequent subordination of equality to medieval religious values in the entire Israeli legal system. Every subsequent attempt to adopt a bill of rights has foundered on that point, i.e. deference to Judaism and religious institutions over the principle of human equality. See Dinstein, “Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 25 (1995)”, pages 210-212. -

      You still haven't explained how the Swiss have managed to avoid civil war.

    • HaCohen seems to want the same one-state solution that you guys want;

      I could care less about the number of states in Palestine. All fundamental human rights there were placed under UN guarantee long ago. Those rights included the right under customary international law for any displaced persons or their heirs to return and access their properties and exercise their unqualified, and inheritable rights.

    • And look how much happier the world became with the partition of Sudan!

      Many Germans, Greek bankers, and just about everyone that can be threatened by the nuclear-tipped Popeye sea launched cruise missiles on those Israeli Dolphin class submarines wish that Chancellor Angela Merkel was still living in East Germany too. But sometimes you just have to take the bad with the good.

    • The one state solution, which would repeat, yet again, the mistake of placing two peoples who don’t like each other in the same political entity, continues to be a bad idea (utopian is a misnomer; it’s better described as offensively stupid) that not only has little support among the people in the region, but a track record of abject failure there and everywhere else; it led to civil war in Lebanon, civil war in Iraq, dictatorship by minority and now civil war in Syria, civil war in the former Yugoslavia, civil war in Yemen, and civil wars throughout Africa. The one state solution is not utopian in nature, actually. It is the most colonial of colonial ideas.

      It's offensively stupid to claim that Jews had always had a "continuous presence" in Ottoman Asia without explaining how they managed to avoid triggering civil wars there until the era of the LoN Mandates? There sure as hell hasn't been a moment of peace and quite there, since the day the region was first partitioned to suit Zionist and foreign interests.

      BTW, many of those states in your list are still in existence. Maybe you'd better emigrate out of the USA lickity-split? After all, we had a civil war too and its a veritable wall-to-wall multinational nightmare. Albert Einstein gave some well-known advice against establishing a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power. He also said to:

      Remember that Switzerland represents a higher stage of political development than any national state, precisely because of the greater political problems which had to be solved before a stable community could be built up out of groups of different nationality.

      -- See "ADDRESSES ON RECONSTRUCTION IN PALESTINE (page 177) in his "Ideas and Opinions" link to

    • what I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns.

      Like the Finns who invented the Molotov Cocktail and fought the USSR to a stalemate before and during WWII? If so, then the Palestinians have long-since filled that square on the checklist.

  • Understanding the Partition plan
    • @ Hostage “In reality, Jews neither owned, inhabited, nor effectively controlled 60 percent of the territory of their new “state”…”

      Brings us another point. As I understand it ownership of land is ‘real estate’ not ‘territory’. E.g., Japanese and Chinese companies and individuals own land in Australia, they have no territorial rights what so ever.

      Correct, but my point is that you can't ignore the Bedouins and other inhabitants who were actually there and posit "the right" of non-existent Jews - as a disembodied abstract principle - to exercise "self-determination" and "jurisdiction" (the only tangible manifestation of sovereignty).

    • 2. As I understand it the UN cannot censure non-members or retrospectively censure Members for their actions prior to membership . It can only tell Members how they may or may not treat non-Members. Israel’s acquisition by force of territories prior to UN Membership was never the less illegal (see 1. )

      Bear in mind that during the 45th meeting of the Ad Hoc Political Committee hearings on Israel's membership application Abba Eban himself, raised the issue of the clause in resolution 181(II) which stipulated that:
      "When the independence of either the Arab or the Jewish State as envisaged in this plan has become effective and the declaration and undertaking, as envisaged in this plan, have been signed by either of them, sympathetic consideration should be given to its application for admission to membership in the United Nations in accordance with article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations. link to

      The undertaking envisioned in the plan was that the provisional governments of both "states" would adopt a constitution or fundamental law as a "step preliminary to independence":
      "Accepting the obligation of the State to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations; -- See B. STEPS PREPARATORY TO INDEPENDENCE, resolution 181(II) -- link to

      There was obviously no exception which limited that obligation to only sovereign or independent states, but not the neighboring ones in Palestine. The representatives of the rest of the world wanted to know if Israel had actually supplied the required declaration acknowledging those undertakings? In the subsequent meetings they pinned Abba Eban down on that subject, despite his attempts to evade the question and constantly change the subject. He was forced to affirm that the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was the treaty declaration in question and that it had been officially promulgated as the fundamental law of the land, pending the adoption of a written constitution - and that Israel would faithfully implement resolutions 181(II) and 194(III) to the satisfaction of the international community. Those declarations made by Abba Eban for the record and the UN documents containing them were explicitly noted in the text and footnotes of the resolution that admitted Israel as a member of the United Nations. link to

      FYI, there was an interesting discussion about the legal consequences of a UN Security Council resolution on a non-member state or entity in the ICJ Kosovo case written and oral submissions from the UK and the USA. The UK thought they were non-binding, unless directed at the specific state or entity by name in the text of the resolution itself, and the USA thought they were probably non-binding even in those cases. I thought it was fascinating, because the ICTY was established by a Security Council resolution as a subsidiary organ of the Security Council to prosecute natural persons for acts committed in non-member states or entities created within the former Yugoslavia. So, states may have better rights than persons in the view of the UK and USA.

    • Perhaps hostage has something to say on this?

      LoL! I always have something to say on that subject. In both international law and the US Code, the term "state" is just an ordinary dictionary word, not a legal term of art. See HICHINO UYENO v. ACHESON link to

      In James Crawford's "Creation of States in International Law he notes:

      "Although the United Kingdom and Indian Governments thought a definition of the term "State" a prerequisite for the proposed "Draft Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States," [1949] the International Law Commission (ILC) concluded:

      that no useful purpose would be served by an effort to define the term 'State... In the Commissions draft, the term... is used in the sense commonly accepted in international practice. Nor did the Commission think that it was called upon to set forth... the qualifications to be possessed by a community in order that it may become a State.

      This rather bland rejoinder concealed considerable disagreement as to the definition of both 'State' and 'Nation' and their relationship." See the 2nd Edition, 2006, page 31.

      As I've noted there were dozens of "political units" that had been called "states" in international practice for decades that were neither considered sovereign nor independent.

      To confuse matters even more, in many cases, the US Federal Courts have ruled that these disputed, non-sovereign, or non-independent states are nonetheless still considered "states" for the purposes of the "Act of State" doctrine and the US "Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act" . See the Ruling on the sovereignty of the British-controlled Gulf "Trucial States" in Occidental Petroleum Corp. v. Buttes Gas & Oil Co., 331 F. Supp. 92 (C.D. Cal. 1971) link to

      Of course the UN Charter says that membership is based upon "sovereign equality." without explaining that applied to the non-sovereign founding members too.

      Here's what the official US State Department Digest of International Law has to say about "independence":
      “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

      If you'd like to see a more complete discussion of the subject, then you should read the discussion between myself and Matt M. @ Opinio Juris under the Article "No, Going to the ICC Is Not “Lawfare” by Palestine". The commentors included the some PhDs and a Deputy Legal Counselor to the Israeli UN delegation (who is also a doctoral candidate), but none of them really had a grasp of the subject matter. link to

    • Yes, CigarGod, they will probably just ignore the facts and keep repeating the lies.

      In some cases I've managed to get them to fabricate brand new ones. But that would need to be the subject of another 200+ comment thread.

    • However, my purpose is to show in as few words as possible thru official Jewish Agency and/or Israeli Government statements and claims that they are inveterate liars who cannot be trusted.

      Correct and commendable.

      So if one meets the argument that Israel didn’t declare any borders one only needs to point to the official Israeli Government statement May 22nd 1948 and/or 31st Aug 1949. Quite clearly Israel was aware at the time of its own territorial extent.

      Yes, but both of those claims relied heavily upon the UN resolution. In reality, Jews neither owned, inhabited, nor effectively controlled 60 percent of the territory of their new "state" (between Beersheba and the Gulf of Aqaba) until March of 1949. That's when they violated the UN Armistice Agreement by deploying IDF forces from Beersheba on a "maneuver" to capture everything lying to the south, all the way to the Arab police station at the village of Umm Al-Rashrash (modern day Eilat). link to

      But that wasn't an "Egyptian" village. It had been part of the Palestine Mandate for 25 years and therefore couldn't be ceded to Israel under the Camp David Accords by Sadat as the Zionists like to suggest. Israel itself didn't meet the criteria that the jcpa is shreying about when Truman recognized it.

    • Hostage appears to give an answer to that question

      A clarification is in order regarding that short-hand comment (as to why everyone always talks about the 4 June 1967 lines instead of the 1948 lines). I've commented so many times about the "many chapters" and legal aspects of the saga regarding the UN Plan for the Future Government for Palestine. Long story short, its because of UN GA resolution 186 (S2) and UN SC resolution 242. I happen to think the UN can legally enforce either the armistice agreements of the partition plan if it ever decides to do so.

      On many occasions I've pointed out that Israeli officials have engaged in an almost schizophrenic historical narrative regarding the establishment of their state. The comment you cited and quoted reflects the official position taken by Israel in 1949. I don't happen to agree with it in many important respects (that I'd previously mentioned elsewhere) and they themselves have unilaterally declared resolution 181 (II) and the Armistice Agreements null and void since then. I've pointed out that the Security Council can't overrule resolution 181 (II), but it obviously can recommend a provisional settlement of its own or a final one that has the General Assembly's blessing. I've also pointed out that I think the international law doctrine of uti possidetis would have transformed any administrative boundaries into international ones on 14 May 1948, even if it had only been a civil war between two or three non-sovereign, non-independent states governed by the same international regimes up until that time. And I most definitely know that the international rules of non-recognition apply to any entity whose creation is conjoined to ethnic cleansing. I've commented that a just settlement for the refugees can only mean that those who wish to return can do so, and those who prefer compensation instead be paid a fair rate. The prohibitions against war crimes and crimes against humanity dealing with forced displacement are jus cogens and the conflicting terms of any treaty concluded between Israel and Palestine would be null and void in accordance with the customary rule reflected in Article 53 of the law of Treaties. The right of displaced persons to return is applicable to both international and non-international armed conflicts.

      I sat down a long time ago and started reading the verbatim minutes of the lengthy and numerous hearings on Israel's application for membership in the UN to see how many times the various representatives, including Israeli officials, stated for the record that Israel had been created by the UN resolution. I gave up about half-way through the exercise, when I realized that the only states which weren't on my list were the other parties to the conflict. I've cited Mr. Abba Eban's undertakings and declarations from the verbatim records of the hearings on Israel's membership application, which were noted in the text and footnotes of the resolution that admitted it as a member state. link to

      He never objected to any of those claims, although he was present, and he even made a few extraordinary ones himself, including one which said "Israel was the only State in the world which had sprung into existence at the summons of the international community." link to

      In fact, many other states had already been created by international peace conferences and international organizations.

      The Israelis changed their tune and sang a different song in public, after Israel had been admitted to the UN. D.P. O'Connell documented the fact, when he wrote about the subsequent claim they advanced during an international conference on frozen bank accounts and public debts held in Jerusalem in 1949. Israeli officials said that Israel had been created by its own act of secession, and not the UN resolution. They reasoned that since there had been no orderly replacement of one state by the others as envisioned in the UN plan, that its rules governing that transfer of sovereignty were inapplicable. See the enties about Israel and Palestine in "The Law of State Succession", Volume V of the Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, 1956, Hersh Lauterpacht editor, pages 10-11, and 178

    • Further to the matter of Israel’s territorial extent.

      As late as 31st Aug 1949 Israel was still attempting to claim territories beyond the extent of those in its plea for recognition Israel’s claim was rebuffed citing the Armistice Agreements

      Bear in mind that the General Assembly was called back into session by the Security Council to reconsider the Plan - and that it had adopted a resolution on 14 May suspending the work of its Palestine Commission. The same resolution created yet another subsidiary organ, the Office of the UN Mediator for Palestine. The new organ had a legal mandate which amounted to a blank check to revise the plan, i.e. "Promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine; " See A/RES/186 (S2) link to

      The General Assembly eventually replaced that subsidiary organ with yet another one, the Palestine Conciliation Commission with a much weaker mandate. I don't see how anything it said "rebuffed" Israel's new territorial claims, since the text of Article 40 of the UN Charter itself doesn't even allow the Security Council to do that under the terms of a Chapter 7 "provisional measure" - and that was the Article it had cited in its resolutions on the cease fire and armistice lines. 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.

      The Commission was responding in part to Israel's answers regarding the issue of the right of refugees to return to their homes in either state. link to As I've pointed out, even a change of sovereignty doesn't have any legal effect on (inheritable) "family rights and honor", or "private property" under customary international law. So it didn't matter who was assigned "provisional" jurisdiction under the terms of the armistice agreements. Once the hostilities had ceased, the refugees had the right to go home - and the Security Council made that clear after the Lausanne Conference failed to resolve anything. See S/RES/89(1950), link to and S/RES/95(1951) link to

      The Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC aka CCP) had convened the Lausanne Peace Conference after the Security Council had thanked and dismissed the UN Mediator for his work on the Armistice Agreements that had been concluded during the Rhodes Conference. Note: Israel refused to negotiate with the representatives of Arab Palestine, because it didn't recognize Palestine as a "sovereign state." But Ben Gurion had advised the US member of the PCC that the special status of Palestine could be recognized in the peace treaty through the device of a federal union with Transjordan. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page 927 link to In fact Israel had already done that, by signing an armistice agreement with "Jordan" after the Jericho Conference.

      I've commented before about the fact that, during the hearings on Israel's membership application, Abba Eban had complained that the Arab States could not be blamed for refusing to recognize the State of Israel, when the United Nations was still refusing to do so itself. Within 24 hours of its acceptance as a full UN Member State, all of the Arab States had signed the Lausanne protocol and the map attached to resolution 181(II) as the basis for negotiations.

      The Security Council appointed the GA PCC to carry-on in the Mediator's stead on their behalf. The Commission had circulated the map as part of the protocols at the request of the Israeli delegation, calling on the Arab States to accept the map. So whatever Israel had previously claimed was irrelevant to the discussions going forward during the Lausanne Conference.

      In "A Tale of Two Cities: The Rhodes and Lausanne Conferences, 1949," Neil Caplan, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Spring, 1992), pp. 5-34 notes that the first head of the PLO, Ahmad Shuqayri, was a member of the Syrian delegation to the Lausanne Conference. He said the adoption of the protocol proved the Arabs had not suffered from a "no" complex during the period of 1947-49 and that it was a myth that they "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity". Three days before the Arabs accepted the protocol Walter Eytan, head of the Israeli delegation, said "it would be a great thing for us if the Arabs, who had never been willing to touch November 29th with a barge pole, agreed to take this as a base de travail." He had predicted that the Arabs would never agree to sign. The Israelis demanded major territorial revisions. But when they found out that the Arab population of the territory they desired was several hundred thousand higher than expected, they added onerous terms and conditions that they knew would be rejected. By the end of the Conference, even Truman was publicly condemning Israel's bad faith and extreme positions on the subjects of the refugees and territorial compensation. He threatening to reassess and completely overhaul US policy toward Israel as a result and the Tripartite Declaration on the Armistice Borders (1950) was intended to put an end to Israel's aspirations for territorial aggrandizement. link to

    • It was left to Ben-Gurion to rewrite Sharett’s draft, which was long and flowery, and “also made mention of the United Nations partition plan.” Ben-Gurion “deleted any reference to the partition plan” and made the text “more vigorous, firm and bold.”

      Correction: As I noted in another post the decision was made to mention the resolution and use a circumlocution to avoid calling attention to the fact that its exact terms were being flagrantly violated. Here's the relevant extract of the final text of the Declaration: "On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

      This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.


      Abba Eban, then a member of the Jewish Agency delegation to the UN, was also worried, since the United States had accorded only de facto and not de jure recognition.

      Eban was mistaken. Under customary international law recognition of statehood and recognition of a government are two entirely different things. Stefan Talmon cited a portion of the Green Haywood Hackworth (editor), edition of the official US State Department "Digest of International Law" to illustrate that point:

      (v) Israel. The White House Press Release announcing the recognition of the State of Israel stated that ‘The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel. With regard to US recognition of Israel, Dr Jessup. Deputy US Representative in the Security Council, informed the Security Council on 17 December 1948 that ‘so far as the Provisional Government of Israel is concerned, the United States did extend de facto recognition to that Provisional Government of Israel.’ In this connection it is also of interest to note Dr Jessup’s telegram of 13 July 1948 to Secretary of State Marshall stating: ‘it is our understanding that US recognition of State of Israel is unqualified, that is, de jure, while our recognition of PGI [Provisional Government of Israel] was a de facto recognition of government [of] that state. Is this interpretation correct?’ The Department, on 15 July, stated its agreement with New York’s understanding and set forth its belief that ‘in case of recognition of new states as distinguished from new governments no question of de facto as against de jure recognition is involved’

      -- Stefan Talmon, "Recognition of Governments in International Law: With Particular Reference to Governments in Exile, Oxford University Press, 1998, page 62 link to

    • Far easier to point to the holes in the Israeli arguments than to go thru page upon page of legalese

      I happen to think its better to know what the facts are, than to simply react to holes in Zionist propaganda. That can sometimes be far easier than chasing them down every rabbit hole of their choosing.

    • @ DGF Not mentioning borders in the declaration only meant they weren’t mentioned. They are a pre-requisite for statehood

      “ARTICLE 1 The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory“

      Correction: The Montevideo Convention never said that those are a pre-requisite for statehood. Those characteristics were only listed as desiderata. In fact, some of the signatories, like Nicaragua, have carried on prolonged legal battles over their borders, which are still in dispute today.

      I've pointed out that the term state was deliberately left undefined in the UN Charter. I've cited the statement made for the official record by (future ICJ Judge) UN Ambassador Dr. Philip Jessup regarding Israel's application for membership in the United Nations, wherein he stressed that:

      . . . 'we already have, among the members of the United Nations, some political entities which do not possess full sovereign power to form their own international policy, which traditionally has been considered characteristic of a State. We know however, that neither at San Francisco nor subsequently has the United Nations considered that complete freedom to frame and manage one's own foreign policy was an essential requisite of United Nations membership.... ...The reason for which I mention the qualification of this aspect of the traditional definition of a State is to underline the point that the term "State", as used and applied in Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations, may not be wholly identical with the term "State" as it is used and defined in classic textbooks on international law."

      see page 12 of S/PV.383, 2 December 1948 link to

      In the subsequent Continental Shelf case, the ICJ rejected defined territory as a pre-requisite for statehood:

      "There is no rule that the land frontiers of a State must be fully delimited and defined, and often in various places and for long periods they are not, as is shown by the case of the entry of Albania into the League of Nations (Monastery of Saint Naoum, Advisor): Opinion, 1924, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 9, at p. 10)."

      See pdf file page 60 of 109 link to

      You can now add Palestine and Israel to that list.

    • It looks to me that the telegrams to other states replaced “within frontiers..” to “on the basis of…”. That’s probably what Ben-Gurion would have done, given that he never had any intention of declaring borders.

      Yes, that's correct. The full minutes of the declassified People's Council meetings on 13 & 14 May 1948 regarding various issues, including the Declaration, were published years ago in the Palestine Yearbook of International Law. Ben Gurion rejected the phrasing "within the framework of the UN resolution" and insisted that a circumlocution be employed instead (e.g. on the strength of the UN resolution). The minute someone cites a page from the Brill Yearbooks, it disappears from the pages available for preview in Google books. But it was the same meeting in which the threats from Secretaries Marshall and Lovett to shutdown the United Jewish Appeal (in the event that the Jewish Agency tried to conquer the Arab State) was discussed.

    • P.S. Here is the memo (starting at the foot of the page) wherein Secretary of State Lovett explained that the USA would not be recognizing the Arab Government of Gaza, precisely because (1) it claimed all of the territory of Palestine and would simply trigger Revisionist Zionist counter-claims; and (2) it was associated with a former war time enemy, the Mufti.
      See Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa (in two parts) page 1447-1448 link to

    • hostage and talknic:

      The significance of the formal request for recognition is that, in order to achieve recognition by the US, Israel was forced to LIMIT THE AREA of its claimed sovereignty: “…is proclaimed WITHIN THE FRONTIERS….”

      I'm familiar with that and have commented many times about the two memos written by the State Department's Legal Counsel Ernest Gross at the request of Under Secretary Lovett for the White House, which explained the wrongfulness of recognizing either new state if it claimed more territory than the UN had allocated to it. He also discussed the fact that (1) the Security Council could recommend its own solution, but that it could not overrule the General Assembly's decision, which would remain in effect, unless withdrawn; (2) the definition of communities in the mandate and that Transjordan was one of them; and (3) that in the absence of any competent authority on 15 May 1948, the law of nations recognized the right of the inhabitants of those communities to establish a state and operate a government.

      He also wrote a memo advising the US to oppose several requests for an advisory opinion on the subject of partition. I think the US Judge, Hackworth, would have strongly advised against it, but can only guess about the rest of the judges. In other related cases about partitions or allocations of non-self-governing territories, the ICJ has ruled that the General Assembly has the necessary legal competence. But each case has its own material facts that are different from one another.

      Each of these comments has some useful information on various aspects and links to the memos:
      Foreign Relations of the United States 1948, volume 5, part 2, page 960.
      link to
      link to
      link to

      Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page 543 link to
      link to

    • Same for the Israel didn’t proclaim any borders BS. The Israeli Govt plea for recognition has no come back

      The text of Resolution 181 (II) only outlined provisional frontiers and explicitly assigned the task of deciding upon the final location of the borders to the UN Palestine Commission, not to the determination of the states themselves or to "recognition" from member states:

      "On its arrival in Palestine the Commission shall proceed to carry out measures for the establishment of the frontiers of the Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem in accordance with the general lines of the recommendations of the General Assembly on the partition of Palestine. Nevertheless, the boundaries as described in Part II of this Plan are to be modified in such a way that village areas as a rule will not be divided by state boundaries unless pressing reasons make that necessary. "

      So, its argumentative to say that there was any legal basis for Israel to unilaterally claim the periphery of those provisional lines on the map attached to the resolution, since they were not finalized. Most readers do not realize that the UK concluded 40 treaty agreements on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs and Jews and had the right to submit the question of Palestine to the General Assembly for arbitration and that under the rules of customary international law, its decision would be considered "final" and not subject to any appeal, except to the ICJ. Even if the plan of partition had been declared null and void by the Court, the rules of customary law, including the principle of uti possidetis of 1810) regarding the formation of two or more states on territory formerly administered by a single metropolitan State would have transformed the administrative boundaries established under the 1939 White Paper and the 1940 Land Transfer Ordinance into international borders at the moment of independence. See the zones in the map here: link to and the ruling in The Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Republic of Mali) case link to

    • Putting the legal arguments into easily understood layman’s terms is nigh impossible.

      Perhaps it is for some issues, but others are pretty clear cut. For example, in the Customs Régime Between Germany And Austria (Protocol Of March 19th, 1931) A/B41 the PCIJ advised that a proposed customs union with Germany, like the one contained in resolution 181(II), violated Austria's obligation under Article 88 of the Treaty of Peace concluded at St Germain to maintain its independence. link to

      So, David's analysis is correct. The UN resolution was never intended to create two states that were independent of one another, or it would not have incorporated a plan for their economic union. They were obtaining their independence from the "mandate regime", but taking on new international obligations under a "customs regime" and the "special regime" for the City of Jerusalem.

    • But what “mechanism”, i.e. actual force, was there to be on the ground and ready for action to prevent ethnic cleansing?

      That begs the question. When the occasion required it, the USA discovered that the General Assembly could be called into Emergency Session to authorize collective measures under Article 14, including the use of armed force in Korea, without regard to the the size of the actual force available in the country.

      There had been an international mandatory regime in place in Palestine with an armed force of 80,000 or more imposing its own policies through what it described itself as "rule by machine gun" for 25 years when the UNSCOP Majority and Minority Plans were first approved and published on August 31, 1947. link to

      The UN Security Council simply needed to augment the British forces. The British government refused to unilaterally implement any UN plan that wasn't acceptable to both sides.

      You have to remember that the UK created the can of worms and then dumped it in the UN's lap. After the London Conference, the British government simply gave the Zionists and Palestinians an ultimatum. It informed them that if they failed to come to a peaceful agreement on their own, their dispute would be submitted to binding international arbitration by the UN. So all of the parties knew this was not going to be just another mere recommendation. See the FRUS, The Near East and Africa, 1947, page 1037 link to

      How could a “coalition of the willing” assembled after the fact have prevented the ethnic cleansing?

      You seem to be forgetting that there was no alternative to making an offer of some kind, since everyone concerned (without exception) unanimously agreed that the existing regime had become intolerable and had to be terminated.

      There was going to be war anyway, without regard to the outcome of any UN deliberations. There was already a calculated terror campaign going on to drive the British administration out of the country and establish Jewish rule in all of Palestine, including Transjordan, through the use of force and covert agreements. The General Assembly was just trying to come up with a peaceful compromise to head-off some of those foreseeable consequences by creating two non-sovereign states joined in an economic union.

      When the Zionists were denied a State of their own by the mandatory administration, they adopted the Biltmore resolutions which proposed a) the institution of a Jewish military force fighting under its own flag and under the high command of the United Nations; and b) that the Zionist organization would present its demands for a Jewish State in all of Palestine to the new international forum. See the Aide Memoire from the British Embassy to the Departmrent of State in the Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1942, The Near East and Africa, page 551 link to

      You should already be aware from Ilan Pappé's description of the contents of the letter Ben Gurion sent to his son in 1937 (published here at Mondoweiss) that he planned to colonize any empty territory allocated to the Arab state and Transjordan, with or without the consent of those governments. The "liberal" socialist Zionists were no less adamant about that, than their Revisionist brethren. Here's a pamphlet published by the Zionist Organization of America during the period of the Peel and Woodhead Commissions, which explained that the British had artificially confined Jewish settlement to the area west of the Jordan river. It said that "Trans-Jordan can and will be opened for Jewish settlement". See "Possibilities of Palestine" starting at the bottom of the page link to in "Zionism, its aims and achievements."

      Zionist historians agree that, in August of 1937, Ben Gurion made it clear to the members of the 20th Zionist Congress that he was NOT choosing between a Jewish State in Western Palestine and Jewish claims to all of Eretz Israel on both sides of the Jordan river:

      As a historian of Zionism, Gideon, you must know Ben-Gurion’s words in the 20th Zionist Congress in 1937 (this time in Zurich not in Basel): ‘If I had been faced with the question: a Jewish state in the west of the land of Israel (note the emphasis of the ‘west of the land of Israel’ meaning there is also a ‘east of the land of Israel’) in return to giving up on our historical right to the entire land of Israel I would have postponed the (establishment) of the state’. And he added (as far as I know, to applause from many of the delegates): ‘No Jew is entitled to give up the right of the Jewish nation to the land. It is not in the authority of any Jew or of any Jewish body; it is not even in the authority of the entire nation alive today to give up any part of the land’.

      – Israel Harel, Jewish Quarterly, Winter 2007, Number 208, link to

      Ben Gurion had already publicly advised the British Commission that the Zionists would never accept partition, since they viewed all of the territory of the Mandate as a land that had once been theirs and would be theirs once again:

      The Jewish people have always regarded, and will continue to regard Palestine as a whole, as a single country which is theirs in a national sense and will become theirs once again. No Jew will accept partition as a just and rightful solution.
      The proposal of the Royal Commission to set up a Jewish State in a restricted area is to put a drastic limit to the possibilities of a Jewish return, and to condemn the rest of the country to stagnation and desolation.
      Anything may be imposed on a defenceless Jewish people by the superior forces of the British Empire, just as the Jewish people had in the past to submit to the destruction of their country by the Roman legions, and in our own times to their persecution by Nazi Germany and other countries.
      But they can never regard the proposal as something which is right and just in itself.

      -- See "The Jews", David Ben Gurion, The Palestine Post, Thursday, July 15, 1937, Page:5 link to

      Contrary to the hasbara narrative, he initiated a low level conflict in the late 1930s. That and his political machinations never stopped, even during the WWII years. See "The Political History of Palestine under British Administration, "Memorandum by His Britannic Majesty's Government presented in 1947 to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine" A/AC.14/8, 2 October 1947 for a list of attacks carried out during the war. Also note that the British described their own plan for partition and economic union as one for two "non-sovereign states". The UN was just repackaging that idea and sweetening the offer.

      The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry admitted they were only making stop gap recommendations for what would come next, under the auspices of a formal UN Trusteeship. Their plan for a unitary state was almost identical to the one for partition and economic union. They called their autonomous states "provinces" to avoid issues with right of transit, but they intended for each province to eventually control immigration.

      In 1946, the British were unsuccessful in disentangling Transjordan from the mandate. When the Emirate applied for membership in the United Nations, the Jewish Agency launched a successful political and legal battle through various governments, including the USA to prevent its application from being accepted. I've commented in the past about the fact that the President of the Security Council said that he viewed Transjordan as part of a joint mandate that had not yet been legally terminated. He cited a memo written by the US Secretary of State Burns urging that nothing be done to alter its status until the UN could take up the Question of Palestine as a whole. For the role played by the Jewish Agency and the US Congress in that scheme –See Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. General; the United Nations Volume I, Page 411 link to and “Mandate is Indivisible Jewish Agency Objects to Severance of T.-J.”, Palestine Post Apr 9, 1946, page 3 link to

      The Zionists were fighting like dogs on a proverbial gut wagon over pieces of Transjordan's territory right up until the 29 November deadline. Chaim Weizmann personally lobbied President Truman and said it was imperative that the Transjordanian port of Aqaba be included in the Jewish state. A few days before the November 29, 1947 decision on partition, U.S. Secretary of State Marshall noted frequent references had been made by the other members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine regarding the desirability of the Jewish State having both the Negev and the Port of Aqaba. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa Volume V, page 1255
      Truman even telephoned the US UN delegation and told them he supported Weizmann’s position on Aqaba. The only reason the US Ambassador didn’t vote for inclusion and abstained, was because he wasn’t certain about the meaning of the President’s instructions (page 1271).
      Abdullah’s government highlighted that situation to the Security Council:

      I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the government of the United States of America, the author of the proposition of addressing the questions about which you informed me, has not yet recognized the government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, despite the fact that for two years it has been in a position to meet all the required conditions for such recognition; yet the government of the United States of America recognized the so-called Jewish government within a few hours, although the factors for this recognition were lacking.
      I also would like to point out that the Security Council refused more than once to recommend to the General Assembly the admission of the Transjordan government to the United Nations.
      Therefore, my government does not feel that there is room for reply to the questions addressed to it.

      link to

    • The Jewish state was expected to receive large numbers of immigrants from Europe ... If the Plan had been accepted by the Arabs, and implemented as envisaged, the Jewish state would soon have had a much larger Jewish majority, and there would not have been a need for ethnic cleansing.

      The Longterm UK/US Plan For Palestine that I cited above explained that both countries were strongly opposed to Arab majority rule. They didn't want the Jews to be proportionately represented, they wanted them to have "parity". That's why they included so many Arabs in the so-called Jewish state. But Ben Gurion shot himself in the foot on that account when he okayed resumption of terror operations, like the Semiramis Hotel bombing, in early January of 1948 - just before he was to secure the port he needed to facilitate that wave of added Jewish immigration.

      Remember that the UN plan created two new non-sovereign states effective 29 November 1947 and started the transition to their independence at once. The resolution instructed the British to evacuate their armed forces from a Port and turn it, and enough of the surrounding area "adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration" over to the authorities of the Jewish state no later than 1 February 1948. The UN Palestine Commission went ahead and selected Haifa for evacuation, but the British administration advised that they would not turn it over to the Jewish terror underground and give then complete freedom to import arms. So, Ben Gurion was faced with the prospect of the formation of a provisional government with an existing Arab majority and no stop gap source of Jewish immigrant voters. In April, the Security Council called the General Assembly back into session to reconsider the plan and Ben Gurion got desperate. He unilaterally declared the Jewish Agency Executive and Vaad Leumi the Provisional Council with zero Arabs and no permission from the members of the UN Palestine Commission, who were responsible for establishing the new governments. The Commission scrupulously avoided recognizing the "so-called" government's legitimacy. link to

      During the 20th Sitting of the first Knesset Ben Gurion explained that annexing the Triangle and Hebron would add 500,000 to 800,000 Arabs to the population of the State of Israel. He noted that the Arabs would outnumber the Jews and that they would have to be given the vote. The Herut MKs led by Begin replied that there were millions of Jews elsewhere in the world that would be willing to immigrate. Ben Gurion replied that the new Arab majority run Knesset would adopt laws in the meantime that would prevent them from ever coming.

      So, if there hadn't been any initial ethnic cleansing, that would have already happened. The first order of business for the Palestinian Arab majority in the greatly enlarged "Jewish state" created by the Ad Hoc Committee would have been to take control of the Constituent Assembly. See “The Armistice Agreements with the Arab States”, in Netanel Lorch (ed), Major Knesset Debates 1948-1981, Vol. 2, JCPA/University of America Press, 1993, pages 514-515 (pdf file page 94 of 186) link to

    • And thus Resolution 181’s most immoral aspect is that it included no mechanism to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

      Not at all. The General Assembly explicitly instructed the Security Council to treat any attempt to alter the plan by force as a threat to international peace and security and "the mechanism" was contained in Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

      The UN Security Council used a coalition of the willing (including yours truly) and a Chapter 7 resolution to reestablish the final territorial settlement between Iraq and Kuwait on the basis of Iraq's "acceptance" of "The Agreed Minutes Between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq Regarding the Restoration of Friendly Relations, Recognition and Related Matters, dated 4 October 1963". That instrument had been deposited with the UN Treaty Organization when Kuwait joined the UN. See E. Lauterpacht, et al “The Kuwait Crisis: Basic Documents” link to

      Bush Sr. refused Sadaam's offer to condition Iraq's withdrawal on Israel's simultaneous withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories. But he promised to address the issue after the Gulf War. I've never understood why it's so much less important to enforce the UN Armistice Agreements or the UN Plan For the Future Government of Palestine.

      I've repeatedly cited declassified documents which establish beyond any doubt that the members of the Western countries on the Security Council knew that the Jews were waging a war of aggression and territorial aggrandizement by no later than the Spring of 1948. They also knew that the Jews would come running to the Security Council if and when the neighboring Arab States ever came to the defense of their beleaguered brethren in force claiming that they were the victims. But the members of the Council failed to perform their basic duties under the terms of the Charter and deliberately chose to take no action at all to prevent that from happening. In fact, the Soviets (thru their Czech satellite) and the French government were secretly supplying arms to the Hagana and the Irgun all along. The latter even supplied the Irgun weapons cargo for the infamous Altalena Affair in the midst of the UN arms embargo. See the interview with Yitzhak Shamir published in the Times of Israel. link to

      We know from the minutes of the People’s Council that Ben Gurion left the question of borders open to developments, but said he would have no choice other than to abide by the UN resolution if it was enforced. The UN Security Council simply refused to take action on the General Assembly resolution. At the same time, Dean Rusk’s USUN delegation memos indicate that Truman had already ruled out any military intervention against the Jews in March of 1948, e.g. link to

      The French, British, Belgian, and US delegations knew perfectly well after US Consul Watson’s reports of massacres in March and April, that the Jewish militias were engaged in ethnic cleansing and that they were the aggressors. The Zionists had copies of everything he dispatched in real time, and I've always assumed that he was assassinated by a Lehi sniper, just like Count Bernadotte and Lord Moyne. See this Times of Israel interview with Shamir link to

      Under Secretary Rusk’s only worry was that there would be domestic pressure from within the US to attack the Arabs! The only US reaction was to wait another month and let the slaughter continue while hoping that Transjordan and Israel might conclude a unofficial modus vivendi and partition Palestine between themselves on a de facto basis:

      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." - Full Stop

      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 Rusk 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.

      Here is a follow-up cable:

      "The United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin) to the Secretary of State
      SECRET US URGENT NEW YORK, May 9, 1948-6: 43 p. m.:
      Parodi called meeting of British, Belgian, American, French representatives last night to discuss situation regarding truce and possible action which SC may be called to take following May 15. Hare and I attended. Parodi said time fast running out and essential to make up minds now regarding certain problems.
      He said that as of May 15 we would be faced by declarations two states of Palestine coupled with entrance of Abdullah. Regarding latter two ideas are current. The first is that if Abdullah moved beyond own frontier it might constitute an”act of aggression”. The second idea was that if he entered on invitation of Arab population of Palestine his act might not constitute aggression. Parodi said he was inclined to second theory and thought conclusion to that effect would avoid endless argument.

      – Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page 946

      We know from both the FRUS and the published Minutes of the People's Council meeting on the eve of Independence that Secretary Marshall and (then) Under Secretary Lovett were fed up. They told Jewish Agency Political Department Chief and "Foreign Minister" Moshe Shertok that “We shall not allow the Jews to conduct a war that we do not want with our dollars.” The US threatened to shutdown the United Jewish Appeal and publish the incriminating evidence the US government had obtained on the organization. Shertok acknowledged that they could back-up their threats. The record also revealed that Ben Gurion refused a suggestion from Shertok that they address urgent concerns from New York and announce that the first order of business on the new government's agenda should be "The return of the Arab population of the Jewish State to their homes".See The Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1987-1988, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (1997), page 270

    • In other words, at the outset, the, Arabs will have a majority in the proposed Jewish State.

      Yes, I've cited that British note on the Bedouin population many times here in the past. It not only explained that the Bedouins had been settled on the land in the Beersheba district for many generations, it noted that they had nearly as much land under cereal grain production alone as the Jewish community's total land holdings combined.

      It illustrates that the way in which the Bedouins were ignored as a relevant factor by the UNSCOP and Ad Hoc partition committees was no accident. Omitting them from the plan for the future organs of government, simply because they were a nomadic minority, seems almost unconscionable in light of the attention the Allies were giving to Nazi atrocities committed against the Roma and Jews for allegedly being "stateless" Non-Germans, who were present in the land, but were excluded from the Germanic polity. The RAF aerial survey establishes beyond any doubt that the so-called "unrecognized Bedouin communities" in the Negev today were already established there, long before the State of Israel ever came into existence, and were simply ignored or displaced due to the subsequent armed conflicts.

      It's very important to read Ben Gurion's and Moshe Shertok's testimonies to the UN Commission and Ad Hoc Committee. Ben Gurion literally asked the UN for permission to institute Jewish Agency rule over the Arabs of Palestine as the sole administrator of a UN Trusteeship that he was willing to impose upon the Arabs by armed force if necessary. That was his "maximal" demand. He expressed a willingness to accept a Jewish state in an adequate amount of the territory as a "compromise". Remember that he, and the other members of the Jewish Agency Executive had just been caught red handed coordinating Jewish underground terror operations. The Zionist Inner Circle had been forced to issue a insincere apology in order to get Shertok and other Agency officials released from jail. Everyone on the UNSCOP Committee realized that they had to offer an arbitrated settlement or face the almost certain possibility of open civil war.
      link to

      Ben Gurion biographer, Shabtai Teveth said that after 1936 he had decided that armed force was the only way to get what he wanted from the Arabs - and Ben Gurion himself was in charge of the so-called "defense" portfolio of the Jewish Agency from that time on. His attitude was reflected in comments made by Jewish Agency Political Department officials to the US State Department too: "I have noted in discussions with Zionist spokesmen visiting Cairo recently a marked hardening in their attitude (possibly owing in part to increased confidence resulting from alleged large-scale clandestine arming by Jews in Palestine) which in several cases has taken the form of frankly admitting that it is idle to continue to talk of “negotiations” with Arabs, in balance obvious that any solution satisfactory to Zionists would have to be “imposed” on Arabs by threat or use of force and this latter the only realistic line of action to adopt. — Kirk, the FRUS, 1942 link to

      Moshe Shertok, who was in charge of Arab relations as head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, falsely asserted that the Balfour Declaration was part of the "law of the UN Charter" as a result of the inclusion of Article 80. I've already explained why that was utterly false. In October of 1947, after the UNSCOP report had been adopted, he was still objecting to the exercise of Palestinian national sovereignty in any part of Palestine and said they would just have to go to one of the many other Arab states if they wanted that sort of thing. He also added that the Jewish Agency did not view the Economic Union of the Arab and Jewish states as being essential. link to

      That was the same underhanded tactic Rabbi Silver was trying to get away with, when he told the Security Council that the establishment of the Jewish State didn't depend on the implementation of the remainder of the plan. The Jews essentially demanded that the UN carve them out a State at the expense of someone, or anyone else. And they've been giving the international community the bill for international relief of the Palestinians ever since. The new "Foreign Minister" Shertok, who previously claimed there would be no problem accommodating several million Jewish immigrants in the Negev, suddenly started singing a different tune after independence. When UN and US officials advised that the Palestinian refugees had no shelter or sources of food and water and that many would die from exposure in the coming winter months, unless they were allowed to return to their homes and traditional sources of sustenance, they reported that Shertok got a "swelled head" and told them that Israel would never be willing to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, because "their space" was needed to accommodate Zionist Jews from Arab countries who had expressed an interest in coming to Palestine. link to

      You must understand that the Jews were only being given authority over such a vast territory that they neither purchased nor inhabited on the condition that they would
      (1) grant the Arab population equal rights;
      (2) only expropriate Arab land or property for public (not private) use, and only after payment of legal compensation;
      (3) join an economic union which would guarantee international oversight and management of all the infrastructure vital to the two new states; and
      (4) agree to the use of a common currency issued by the union and share tax and customs revenues needed to make the rump Arab state economically viable.

      Here's a link to the press release from the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee 1 that was working on the plan of partition. It explains that they had received the same factual information on the Bedouin population, but did not have time to address it, because they wanted to complete their report for the Committee of the whole on time. link to

      If you check the subsequent November press releases from Sub-committee 1 and the UN Yearbook for 1947, you'll discover that the Ad Hoc Committee had to discuss several alterations to dramatically enlarge the boundaries of the Jewish State and the time tables that had been proposed by the UNSCOP, precisely because the Jewish Agency had actually rejected both the UNSCOP majority and minority proposals. Zionist propaganda deliberately conceals that fact and conveys the false impression that the Jewish Agency "accepted the plan". In fact, "recommending acceptance" to Vaad Leumi, "subject to further negotiations over necessary territorial and constitutional modifications" was actually a counter offer that automatically rejected the proposed UN plan. It required an acceptance of further talks, on the part of the UN Ad Hoc Committee, under the terms of the Jewish Agency counter offer, or there simply wouldn't have been any agreement on any bases going forward by either the Jews or the Arabs. In fact, the statements by Rabbi Silver illustrate that there never was any agreement on boundaries, equal human rights under a constitution, economic interdependence, or the internationalization of Jerusalem.

      So, the issue of the theoretical Arab majority population in the proposed Jewish State was never really addressed and several thousand more Arabs and their lands were subsequently added to the boundaries of the proposed Jewish state by the UN in the areas around the Haifa strip, the airport at Lod, and Safed. All of the Sub-Committee press releases and minutes are available here: link to

      We know for a fact that Ben Gurion and Shetok had no intention of restraining the Hagana from engaging in acts of terror, like the bombing of the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem shortly after the adoption of the UN Plan. The verrbatim minutes of the People's Council and the 1st Knesset debates reveal that he had insisted on leaving the question of borders open to developments in the armed conflict and that he had personally authorized the Jerusalem uprising in cables to the Hagana commanders, which instructed them to give the Irgun and Lehi freedom to operate there however they saw fit.

    • Re: The Assembly can only make a recommendation to Member States

      No, member states could merely recommend the terms of a Trusteeship Agreement to the General Assembly. But only the General Assembly could approve one. Here's a resolution that approved 8 of them in one fell swoop link to

      Remember those were treaties and also the constitution of a state.

      ICJ President Taslim Olawale Elias wrote:

      Article 18(2) lists a number of “important questions” on which “decisions” of the General Assembly “shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting.” Among such questions are recommendations regarding the maintenance of international peace and security, the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council and of the Economic and Social Council and of the Trusteeship Council, the admission of new Members, the suspension of the rights and privileges of membership, the expulsion of Members, questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system, and budgetary questions. Decisions on all other questions “shall be made by a majority of the members present and voting.” Article 10 provides that the General Assembly “may discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of the present Charter” and may make “recommendations” to UN members or to the Security Council or to both. It is in the light of these that Hans Kelsen has observed that “there is hardly any international matter which the General Assembly is not competent to discuss and on which it is not competent to make recommendations.”
      The perennial question has been: What legal effects have the General Assembly resolutions? On the correct answer to this question must surely depend our assessment of the value of those resolutions in the development of modern international law. It seems clear that, as far as General Assembly recommendations in respect of the nine specifically enumerated matters in Article 18(2) are concerned, its “decisions” in the form of “recommendations” are binding upon all concerned once they have been adopted by a two-thirds majority. As regards all other matters within the competence of the Assembly, a simple majority is all that is required by Article 18(3) of the Charter. And, yet, despite these apparently clear provisions, problems have arisen in connection with their interpretation.

      — Africa and the Development of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1988, pages 69 & 70 link to

      The Security Council was still arguing about the status of the former enemy state of Italy and whether or not it even constituted a "peace loving state" eligible for membership in the UN until 1955. But by then, the General Assembly had long since concluded a legally binding Trusteeship Agreement with Italy and had authored a constitution for Somaliland - in the form of GA resolutions - that all of the member states, the Security Council, and the inhabitants were bound to respect under the explicit terms of the UN Charter that I cited in my comment above.

      The Trusteeship Agreements for the British and French Cameroons provided for fundamental human rights of the inhabitants. In the ICJ case concerning the Northern Cameroons v Great Britain, Cameroon argued that the British government had violated the terms of the UN trusteeship agreement in connection with the plebiscites regarding the unions with other states. The Court ruled that Cameroon had no legal standing, since it was bound by the final determination made by the General Assembly regarding the status of the two parts of the territory joining the Republic of Cameroon and Nigeria respectively in its resolution 1608 (XV). So, it appears the General Assembly can indeed partition or integrate territories into new political units against the wishes of some segments of the population, just so long as the resulting states honor fundamental human rights and the principles of the UN Charter.

      As Judge Elias noted, the UN Charter is a multilateral treaty that gives the General Assembly the power to adopt decisions and conduct international arbitration or adjudication of nearly 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 when any administrator was in material breach of a Charter, mandate, or trusteeship agreement. See for example the text of A/RES/2145 (XXI) regarding Namibialink to and the ICJ findings of fact regarding South Africa's objections to those General Assembly powers 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

      The terms "resolution" and "non-binding" do not appear in the text of the Covenant of the League of Nations or in the UN Charter. The latter merely discusses "decisions" taken by the General Assembly, the Security Council, and other organs. The Namibia Advisory Opinion cited a legal study by the Secretary General which explained that the member states had a treaty obligation under the terms of Article 24 and 25 of the Charter to accept "decisions" of the Security Council taken on their behalf and to carry them out. In the Reparations case the Court cited the grant or delegation of legal competence under Article 104 and the obligation under Article 2(5) to provide the UN Organization with every assistance in any action its takes in accordance with the Charter as the basis for the right of the Organization to pursue legal claims against member and non-member states in the Courts on the basis of General Assembly resolutions. link to

      Another legal study performed by the Secretary General on the meaning of the term "decisions" in Article 18 of the Charter (pertaining to the powers and functions of the General Assembly) concluded that it had the same meaning as the occurrences of the term decision in the chapters on the powers and functions of the Security Council:

      "22. As to the text of the Charter itself, it may be of some interest to note the manner in which the expression 'decisions is used in the various Articles regarding voting in the Assembly and in the Councils. With respect to the General Assembly, the term 'decisions as used in Article 18, refers to all types of action which the General Assembly takes by a vote while performing its functions under the Charter; whether it makes 'recommendations' under Articles 10, 11, 13, 14 and others, or takes 'decisions' to admit a State to membership in the United Nations under Article 4 or to expel a Member from the Organization under Article 6, or acts on reports from the Councils, or gives its 'approval' to the budget of the Organization under-Article 17 and so forth.

      "23 Similarly the term "decisions" of the Security Council" in Article 27 of the Charter refers to all types of action which the Security Council may take, whether it does so under Chapter V on the procedure and organisation of work of the Council, or under Chapter VI in relation to the pacific settlement of disputes, or whether it makes "recommendations" or "decisions" under Chapter VII. The same remarks apply to "decisions of the Economic and Social Council", referred to in Article 67, and to "decisions of the Trusteeship Council", referred to in Article 89 of the Charter.

      "24. These observations show that the term 'decisions' in the Charter Articles relating to voting is used in a broad sense to cover all types of action by United Nations organs. The text of the Charter, however, furnishes no specific answer to the question whether these 'decisions' are only the final decisions of these organs on matters submitted to them, or whether this term also applies to procedural decisions of these organs made prior to the adoption of final resolutions."

      Even in cases where nothing more than a recommendation was involved, the Court has applied the standard contract law principles of "offer" and "acceptance" and held that states become and remain bound by the terms of their own acceptance of a resolution. Resolution 181(II) actually contained a treaty instrument that required a unilateral treaty declaration acknowledging acceptance of the existing treaty obligations and the new minority and religious rights protection plan. Israel and Palestine have both provided unilateral declarations that were acknowledged by the General Assembly.

    • The Assembly can only make a recommendation to Member States, but it is clearly expecting its recommendation to be carried out, asking the Security Council and the inhabitants of Palestine to implement the Plan, and asking everyone in the world not to hinder it.

      The General Assembly didn't start the Korean conflict, but it certainly wasn't limited to merely recommending the ensuing UN police action conducted under the auspices of its "Uniting for Peace" resolution.

      We are talking about a plan that did make some recommendations, but the term "shall" appears in it more than 200 times. Resolution 181(II) was cataloged in 1950 by the Secretary General as part of a survey of legal instruments containing minority protection treaties 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

      The claim that the General Assembly can only make recommendations is a proposition that the ICJ has rejected each and every time it has come up in a case before the Court. Among other Articles the Court has cited Article 18 of the Charter as example, which says:

      "Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two- thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include: . . . questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system. Decisions on other questions, including the determination of additional categories of questions to be decided by a two-thirds majority, shall be made by a majority of the members present and voting."

      The rules of treaty interpretation in Part III of the UN Convention on The Law of Treaties do not permit member states to ratify the term "Decisions" and then turn around and claim the General Assembly can only "recommend" things to them. They remain bound by the terms of the Charter that they agreed to accept in the first place.

      Articles 81 and 85 of the UN Charter explicitly allowed the General Assembly to place non-self governing territories under direct UN administration or the administration of another state and to adopt, approve or amend the terms of the trusteeships it administers or those that it assigns to member or other states. See the separate comment for some examples

      Nothing prevented the General Assembly from partitioning Palestine and placing it under the authority of its own Palestine Commission, effective 29 November 1947, the day the transition to independence officially began. After all, the Council of the League of Nations had partitioned Palestine into two states via Article 25 of one of its resolutions. France ceded the Sanjak of Alexadretta back to Turkey and proceeded to partition and repartition the Syrian mandate into at least five "states", e.g. link to

      Article 81 of the Charter says:
      The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the administration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, may be one or more states or the Organization itself.
      Article 85
      1. The functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the General Assembly.
      2. The Trusteeship Council, operating under the authority of the General Assembly, shall assist the General Assembly in carrying out these functions.

    • The proposal of other members of the Committee for a union under artificial arrangements designed to achieve essential economic and social unity after first creating political and geographical disunity by partition, is impracticable, unworkable, and could not possibly provide for two reasonably viable States.

      I tend to agree. In the Plan of Partition with Economic Union the two States are effectively glued together by the Joint Economic Board, not to mention that they are also glued together by infrastructure, resources and geography (see the map above). It seems to me bizarre that they should at the same time be independent sovereign states with two citizenships, hence two loyalties, two immigration policies, two armies, and two foreign policies. There is no mechanism for resolving differences between the States, apart from the casting vote of foreigners in the Joint Economic Board, diplomacy, or war.

      No, the Economic Plan would have been concluded by the UN Commission. Like resolution 181(II) itself, it would have contained the standard compromissory clause granting the ICJ jurisdiction to settle any disputes, unless the parties concerned agreed to some alternate method of arbitration or established their own special regional courts by mutual agreement, just like the EC.

      You're overlooking the fact that Europe set-up an Economic Union in the aftermath of two world wars and there were a couple of dozen competing loyalties, immigration policies, armies, foreign ministers, and a not so Cold War going on at the time. Greece has not yet ceased to be a "state" with the right of self-determination and self-government, despite widespread reports that it cannot be deemed "reasonably viable" by its EC neighbors.

    • Israel was not created by the UN, as I hope my article makes clear. The UN is not a world government. Its Charter does not give it the power to dissolve sovereign states. The whole thing is cloud-cuckoo land.

      Correction: While the UN is not a World legislature, the UN Charter most certainly does empower it to adopt legally binding "decisions" on behalf of the members regarding the non-recognition of illegal governmental regimes, including any unilateral declaration of independence conjoined to serious violations of international law. It also has adopted Statutes and established various International Criminal Tribunals for situations, like the assassination of Rafic Hariri, which do not rise anywhere near the level of frustration and international concern over the multitude of illegal situations that Israel has wantonly created in Palestine.

      It doesn't matter at all when the incriminating information comes to light, § 201, § 202, and § 203 of The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States stipulates that all States are under a customary obligation NOT to recognize a State or Government, or establish and maintain diplomatic relations with one that has acquired any of the necessary attributes of statehood in violation of the UN Charter, i.e. ethnic cleansing, acquisition of territory by war, the establishment of ethnic minority rule.

      See for example UN Security Council S/Res/216 (1965) link to and S/Res/217 (1965) link to This extract from the written submission of the USA to the ICJ in the Kosovo case provides additional background on the Fourth Report to the International Law Commission by its Rapportuer, James Crawford on State Responsibility, A /CN.4/517,2 April 2001, para. 41.:

      Section III. "The Situation May Differ When Declarations Of Independence Are Conjoined With Actions That Themselves Violate International Law"
      Although declarations of independence do not by themselves violate international
      law, they are at times conjoined with other events or acts in combination with which they
      might be characterized as serious international law violations. This is an important
      distinction. For example, where a declaration of independence is adopted in conjunction
      with an effort to establish an apartheid regime—which would amount to a serious
      violation of a peremptory norm of international law—declarations of independence
      have been characterized as unlawful. Thus, the United Nations Security Council adopted
      a resolution that condemned the “usurpation of power” by the white supremacist leader of
      the Southern Rhodesian government, Ian Smith, and stated the Security Council’s view
      that his government’s declaration of independence had “no legal validity.”

      -- See page 56 link to

      At the time that Israel was admitted to the UN organization, it falsely declared its willingness to repatriate the Palestine refugees and implement resolutions 181(II) and 194(III) in good faith. It denied that it had driven the bulk of its Arab population into exile. That story is simply no longer tenable in light of its subsequent conduct and the published accounts by the responsible Israeli officials involved in the actual crimes of aggression. There are 174 State Parties to Article 85(4) and (5) of the 1st Additional Protocol (1977) to the Geneva Conventions. It declared "unreasonable delay" in repatriating prisoners and refugees; colonizing occupied territories; and the practices of apartheid grave breaches and war crimes. link to

      We now know that the establishment of the state of Israel was conjoined to very serious crimes against humanity, which deliberately displaced Arab people on a massive scale that wouldn’t have gone unnoticed in Eastern Europe during WWII:
      “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

      100-Year-Old Becomes Israeli Major-General
      100-year-old finally gets rank of “Major General” that he earned 60 years ago.
      link to
      Gen. Pundak: Kill 500 in Gaza and They’ll be Quiet
      Newly promoted 100-year old general who was Gaza Governor supplies his formula for peace.
      link to
      I happen to think those sort of statements and official actions are examples of practices of apartheid and officially sanctioned incitement. They constitute the public trivialization of serious on-going crimes against humanity made by one of the actual state officials responsible for exercising military authority over the destruction of hundreds of Arab villages and operating the illegal occupation regime in Gaza. Rather than prosecute him or extradite him for prosecution elsewhere, the government of Israel promoted him!

      In his own autobiography, "Soldier of Peace", Yitzhak Rabin openly admitted his complicity in serious crimes against humanity in connection with the ethnic cleansing of Lydda & Ramla. Menachim Begin openly admitted that he intentionally targeted the civilian population of Jaffa too. See Menachem Begin, ‘The Revolt – story of the Irgun’. Translated by Samuel Katz. Hadar Publishing, Tel Aviv. 1964. Page 355 – 371. So, we know perfectly well that those refugees did not voluntarily flee their land or abandon their properties. Despite Rabin’s apparent remorse, the fact remains that he was unwilling to repatriate, or pay to compensate and resettle Palestinian refugees. He encouraged the military to break the bones of demonstrators during uprisings; employed targeted killings, forced disappearances, and torture; employed closures and curfews as collective punishments; used political prisoners as bargaining chips; condoned the military’s “neighbor” policies & etc. Quigley's "Apartheid Outside of Africa" article noted the use of similar policies and practices by the Military Government in Israel to displace and dominate the remaining Arab population between 1948 and 1966. The Israeli High Court itself subsequently ruled that many of those tactics were criminal. In the cases that were decided during the Rabin administration, the Knesset refused to set up commissions to investigate the Premier. See for example Israel Declines to Study Rabin Tie to Beatings

      BTW, the creation of states in territories that were or are the subject of an international trust is one of the areas of competence that falls within the exclusive legal purview of the UN Organization in accordance with the explicit terms of the UN Charter itself. It happens to be a multilateral treaty, with bases in a plethora of principles and rules of customary international law. So the pertinent question isn't who created Israel, but rather if its creation or continued existence as presently constituted happens to be illegal or an on-going crime, given all of the relevant facts and the evidence.

      The Union of South Africa was a sovereign state that was dismantled with the help of UN and international sanctions. Nothing prevents the same thing from happening to Israel.

    • I as a palestinian refugee will never accept any deal that would not include the right of return, PERIOD.

      The RoR is inalienable and non-negotiable, however compensation for those refugees who voluntarily elect resettlement elsewhere is negotiable. See Chapter 38. of the Customary Rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Displacement and Displaced Persons link to and in particular Rule 132. Return of Displaced Persons link to and Rule 133. Property Rights of Displaced Persons link to

    • The history is interesting in that it serves to highlight the unfairness of the original partition.

      That sort of talk always bothers me. The General Assembly plan wasn't really unfair at all. It preserved fundamental, individual human rights and religious communal and individual property rights. It required democratic and proportional representation in the new, constitutional governments. Together with the termination of the mandate, it finally protected 4/5ths of the former mandated territory of Palestine/Transjordan from any future claims related to Jewish immigration or colonization and required that existing treaties on Arab and Bedouin regional fishing, navigation, and grazing rights continue in full force and effect within the Jewish state - in addition to the internal right of transit for all of the inhabitants to all points within the two new states and the Corpus Separatum.

      It mandated joint use and management under international supervision of ports, irrigation projects, highways, communications networks, fiscal and currency policies, and economic development. As David has pointed out, final determinations on anything touching those subjects were really "above the pay grade" of any individual autocrat in either state. Any disputes over interpretation of the resolution were placed under the compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court. So, I just don't believe that any Palestinian has ever elected to sit in a remote refugee camp waiting for a 1 state solution to materialize, because this particular alternative is so manifestly unfair.

      Once again, I think the argument over the number of states assumes that they have "sovereign" rights to "Lord it over" the inhabitants in ways that are simply not applicable under the UN plan.

    • A comment you made earlier was that Israel is being asked to give up its Sovereignty. I find that a little strange given that no-one that I see is asking for Israel to give up its Sovereignty. What Israel is being asked is to return to within its declared borders which were defined by the Partition Plan which it agreed to and accepted and declared before the UN.

      Neither the LoN nor the UN ever envisioned these entities being fully "sovereign," "independent" states in the old-fashioned, classical sense. In fact, the terms regarding minority and religious rights and right of transit to visit the Holy Places were a limitation on sovereignty (effective control of borders) that was imposed by a series of international treaties, which predated the existence of either of those organizations. Those rights were not subject to alteration. They were part of the status quo ("existing rights") of the non-Jewish communities of Ottoman Asia that were maintained intact by safeguarding clauses in the Balfour Declaration, The San Remo Resolution, and an entire Chapter on Religious and Minority Rights; and existing International Agreements in the UN "Plan for the Future Government of Palestine".

      Even 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 their rights to fishing, navigation, and grazing inside Palestine in the Hulda, Jordan river system, and the Sea of Galilee. Syrians even retained an easement and the right to build a pier on the Sea of Galilee and to use it for commerce, duty free. Those treaties were part of the stipulations that Israel accepted as part of the verbatim record, during the hearings on its own application for membership in the UN. They included these treaties and at least 38 more:
      *Exchange Of Notes Constituting An Agreement Between The British And French Governments Respecting The Boundary Line Between Syria And Palestine From The Mediterranean To El Hammé. Paris March 7, 1923, pdf page 7; and
      *Agreement between His Majesty’s Government and the French Government respecting the Boundary Line between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hámmé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), Cmd. 1910″ link to

      Likewise, I've cited the fact that the United States government viewed any country with an international obligation under a minority rights agreement, like the one contained in the UN Partition Plan, as a non-sovereign state or one with only limited sovereignty. I've commented in the past that non-Zionist Jews were responsible for incorporating those minority treaties into customary state practice and public international law in the mid-19th century. They were part and parcel of the requirements to establish a Jewish National Home "secured by public law". Minority Rights Treaties were a fixture of the League of Nations process for creation of new states. Since we are talking about the Zionist Carlsbad resolution, I'll quote what that very same Zionist Congress had to say about treaty protection of minority and religious groups:

      "The Peace Conference has created a parallel to the Balfour Declaration: the protection of racial minorities. This victory also has been gained by heavy fighting, which even up to the present remains a source of innumerable animosities and attacks against the Jews. Numerous local Zionist organisations and conferences had formulated the demand for Palestine and for national rights for the Jews in those countries where they live in great masses.

      The American Jewish Congress of 1918 accepted this resolution, and sent a delegation to Paris to make the necessary representations to the Peace Conference. The Zionists gave this move­ment their heartiest support. The Committee of Jewish Delegations was founded and devoted itself to this subject. In order to avoid any uncertainty and ambiguity, it is essential to define our standpoint in this matter with the greatest precision.
      The duty arose for us to share in the work of protecting the Jewish people in the Diaspora. New States have arisen and formerly small States have been enlarged. This creation or enlarging of States was certainly not, as in former times, dictated by the whim of an autocrat or by moves in the diplomatic game ; it was intended to serve a great idea, to create a permanent peace, both internally and externally. It is mean and chauvinistic to believe that the Peace Conference intended to limit the sovereignty of the new or enlarged States, and that it therefore laid upon them the duty of protecting their national minorities. That duty constitutes no interference in “ internal affairs” ; on the contrary, it is a principle
      of justice, concerning all mankind, that towers high above those “ internal affairs” and that is essential for that internal peace which is necessary for international peace. And thus with the creation of new States and changes of territory, through which millions of Jews found themselves under altered conditions, self-preservation of the race demanded that we should come forward as champions of their lawful interests. Such an attitude stood in complete accord with the internationally recognised Balfour Declaration, in which
      also reference is made to the safeguarding of the rights of the Jewish population in all countries. The Berlin Congress of 1878 had also taken up this question with regard to the Jews in Rumania."

      -- Report of the twelfth Zionist Congress, held at Carlsbad,
      link to

      Just to be clear, the text of the Treaty of Berlin (1878) protected all national minority groups in the newly created states, not just those of the Jews. It goes without saying that the Balfour Declaration and the Plan for the Future Government of Palestine didn't leave the fundamental human rights of Arabs or Jews in either of the new states within the sole discretion of the new governments.

      The UN has created dozens of subsidiary organs to establish the State of Israel or the State of Palestine and to look after the human rights and property claims of both the Jewish and Arab refugees of Palestine. The Expert Legal Panel assigned to look into the Right of Return by the the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People cited Israel’s acceptance of the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II) in a report to the Security Council as the source of Israel’s continuing legal obligations regarding the refugees:

      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

    • don’t want to assume too much here, but am I correct in thinking that the same would apply to properties appropriated by people other than the ‘holders of the deed’ in Iraq and Afghanistan as well?

      Of course.

      (I think you meant tree and not Taxi in your response)

      I'll take your word for it. It's getting impossible to scroll backup and find a reply button and I was working from memory.

    • You are writing as if there was any chance of any kind of resolution with Zionist assent, as long as the international constellation of forces remains the same. Forget that.

      I've commented many times before about the legal "sanctions" (see the "S" in BDS) available to Palestinians under the US Code, e.g. link to

      The prohibition against "the pillage of a town or place" (Article 28 of the Hague Rules) and the prohibition against "extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly" (GC 1 Art 50, GC 2 Art. 51, GC 3 Art 130, GC 4 Art. 147) are Class A felonies under 18 US Code § 2441. It's axiomatic that the tens of thousands of US nationals living in the illegal Israeli settlements are the beneficiaries and co-perpetrators of the same sort of unlawful transactions that the US government prosecuted in the I.G. Farben and Krupp cases after WWII. See Customary IHL - Section B. Pillage committed by civilians link to

      There's no need for Palestinians to wait until there's a final settlement to go after the assets of those individuals and US Corporations named by the UN, such as ReMax, that have participated in the unlawful transactions. 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

      Here is an article on the use of criminal and civil remedies available under the RICO statutes and the IRS tax codes as "Legal Avenues to Prosecute a US Citizen for War Crimes" based upon the author's testimony to the US Congress as a member of the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law. He's currently employed a Legal Advisor to the US DoD link to

      The US Supreme Court explained that victims don't need permission from the Justice Department or to put-up with long waiting periods:

      "In rejecting a significantly different focus under RICO, therefore, we are honoring an analogy that Congress itself accepted and relied upon, and one that promotes the objectives of civil RICO as readily as it furthers the objects of the Clayton Act. Both statutes share a common congressional objective of encouraging civil litigation to supplement Government efforts to deter and penalize the respectively prohibited practices. The object of civil RICO is thus not merely to compensate victims but to turn them into prosecutors, “private attorneys general,” dedicated to eliminating racketeering activity. Id., at 187 (citing Malley-Duff, 483 U.S., at 151) (civil RICO specifically has a “further purpose [of] encouraging potential private plaintiffs diligently to investigate”). The provision for treble damages is accordingly justified by the expected benefit of suppressing racketeering activity, an object pursued the sooner the better. It would, accordingly, be strange to provide an unusually long basic limitations period that could only have the effect of postponing whatever public benefit civil RICO might realize. -- SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES No. 98—896 (2000) MARK ROTELLA, PETITIONER v. ANGELA M.
      WOOD et al. link to

    • David: The South Africa situation was totally different, because South Africa already was one state, in which a minority community dominated a majority community.

      Tree: It wasn’t as different as you think.
      Sibiriak: You are not addressing some absolutely critical points:

      1)The international community of states, the UN, international courts and the Palestinian leadership has fully backed the partition of Palestine into two states. The international community, courts and the black African leadership did NOT back the partition of South African into multiple states.

      One of the first UN Conventions that called for the establishment of an international penal tribunal was the Apartheid Convention. It would be an odd result if the government of a "Bantustan" victim "state" did not have sufficient legal standing to file a criminal complaint on its own behalf.

      I think some of us here are operating under the very mistaken impression that "states" or international organizations have the "sovereign" right to create ethnically homogeneous populations through involuntary population transfers in violation of the customary prohibitions in the laws of armed conflict against plunder of public or private property and the obligation to respect inheritable family rights and honor. In the past, I've commented about the fact that States can't create and then maintain that sort of illegal status quo by conducting endless "peace negotiations" or even by obtaining a treaty of capitulation from the leaders of the conquered territory. For example:

      "Illegal Obligations. § 506. It is a unanimously recognised customary rule of International Law that obligations which are at variance with universally recognised principles of International Law cannot be the object of a treaty. -- International Law. A Treatise. Volume I (of 2) by L. Oppenheim (1912) link to and
      A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force
      in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the
      United Nations.
      Article 53.
      A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory
      norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a
      peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by
      the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no deroga-
      tion is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general in
      ternational law having the same character.
      Article 66,
      Any one of the parties to a dispute concerning the application or the interpreta-
      tion of article 53 or 64 may, by a written application, submit it to the Interna-
      tional Court of Justice for a decision unless the parties by common consent
      agree to submit the dispute to arbitration;

      - The UN (Vienna) Convention on the Law of Treaties link to

      The prohibition of war crimes and crimes against humanity - including the prohibition of apartheid (UN Charter Article 1) and the crime of aggression (any on-going military occupation or blockade in violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter) are jus cogens, peremptory norms. Palestine recently became a state party to the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties.

      The customary rules against forceable displacement of populations, pillage, and plunder were recognized and were already applied to civil wars conducted in the mid-19th century, e.g. See the codifications contained in the USA's Lieber Code and the Hague Rules of 1899 and 1907. The historical exceptions to those rules have invariably been viewed as wrongful acts of state and/or on-going crimes. I've commented in the past about the fact that the colonial powers have used so-called "Anti-Semitism," objections against the racist polices of the State of Israel, as an excuse to avoid attending the UN Durban Conferences, where compensation for their own past and on-going crimes against indigenous peoples were on the agendas. They have opposed the UN Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Victims of Crimes and Abuses of Power for much the same reasons. There is a UN Convention on the "Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity" that was adopted to specifically prohibit gentleman's agreements between those states that would permit things like the "Germanization" of Eastern Europe to go unpunished or unrectified (i.e. "eviction by armed attack, occupation, colonization, and inhuman policies of apartheid, and or genocide) .

      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

      You cannot understand resolution 181(II) without understanding what the minority protection plan said about that subject. During the same meeting the Representative of Lebanon said: 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."

      The UN, the African Union, Arab League, and all of the signatories of Article 1(4) of the 1st Additional Protocol (1977) to the Geneva Conventions have, either implicitly or explicitly, extended belligerent recognition to the PLO, the ANC and SWAPO as separate national liberation movements representing separate states. They were waging international armed conflicts, not civil wars:

      "The situations referred to in the preceding paragraph include armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
      link to

      Chapter 10 of the written submission of Palestine to the ICJ in the 2003 Wall case said that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian territory was precisely analogous to the situation the Court dealt with in the 1970 case of apartheid in the Occupied territory of Nambia. The test developed and applied by the Court at that time relied upon the obligation under Article 1 of the UN Charter for all member states to respect "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people."

      Palestine enumerated a long list of constituent acts of apartheid from Article 2 of the UN Apartheid Convention and supplied prima facie evidence that was never rebutted by Israel. It established the government of Israel had committed those acts on the territory of Palestine beyond any doubt. Those acts were mentioned in the Court's findings of fact as violations of Israel's obligations the UN Charter, the ICCPR, the ICESCR, the UN CRC, and the 4th Geneva Convention. Note that Israel is not a party to either the Rome Statute or the UN Apartheid Convention. The Court advised that Israel had a legal duty to immediately dismantle the Wall and pay compensation, without the need for any negotiations. Palestine has subsequently referred allegations of the crime of apartheid to the ICC Prosecutor.

      So you need to address the rules of conventional and customary international law reflected in those Articles of the UN Charter (Chapter I, II, IV, XI, XII, and XVI) which always governed the mandates from day one; the creation of new constitutions and trustee states; or the termination of international tutelage and the granting of independence. Some of those rules are mentioned or incorporated in resolutions 181(II) and 194(II), but that does NOT make them "recommendations" - and it does not suffice to claim that the General Assembly was acting beyond its powers. The request for an Advisory Opinion in the Wall Case explicitly stated that resolution 181(II) had divided Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. It also cited resolution 181(II) as one of the "relevant" General Assembly/Security Council resolutions that it wanted the Court to examine and advise states about in respect to its legal consequences. The Court cited it and the chapter on religious and minority rights as the source of the UN's on-going and permanent responsibility for the Question of Palestine. It noted that it had not yet been implemented, but it did NOT advise that the General Assembly had acted beyond its powers under the Charter.

      . I've also cited resolutions of the very 1st session of the General Assembly on South Africa and the Status of South West Africa; and the four ICJ cases on the Status of South West Africa/Namibia. The UN repeatedly went to the ICJ over the fact that there were two states, not one, and the fact that Namibia was illegally occupied because the General Assembly had said so. It had nothing to do with any Chapter VII resolution, since there never was one. It had everything to do with the powers, functions, and legal competence of the General Assembly to terminate a mandare in order to protect individual human rights; and "the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples" from abuse by these things you call "states".

    • David: The South Africa situation was totally different, because South Africa already was one state, in which a minority community dominated a majority community.

      Tree: It wasn’t as different as you think.
      Sibiriak: You are not addressing some absolutely critical points:

      1)The international community of states, the UN, international courts and the Palestinian leadership has fully backed the partition of Palestine into two states. The international community, courts and the black African leadership did NOT back the partition of South African into multiple states.

      No, Taxi is absolutely correct. See the discussion in my separate comment below about the PLO (Palestine), the ANC (South Africa), and SWAPO (Namibia).

      Let's remember that Israel is already under a Chapter 7 obligation to end its belligerent claims. withdraw its armed forces, and to terminate hostilities under the auspices of Security Council resolutions 62, 73, and 242 read in connection with 338. The persons who had been displaced as a result of the wars have a right, under both customary and conventional international laws, to return to their countries of origin and access their land and properties there if they wish to do so, without regard to any on-going negotiations for a final settlement between the feuding states. See for example the recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgment in the CASE OF SARGSYAN v. AZERBAIJAN and the CASE OF CHIRAGOV AND OTHERS v. ARMENIA
      * link to
      * link to

      The Court reaffirmed the inalienable right of refugees who have abandoned their homes and countries due to armed conflicts to access their land and property once again after hostilities have ceased and to be paid compensation for use without regard to on-going or insincere negotiations over "final peace" agreements - and the affirmative obligation of the state governments concerned under both the rules of customary International Humanitarian Law and the EC Human Rights Convention to facilitate them in doing so.

      Likewise the ECHR has previously ruled that settlers in Northern Cyprus have to return plundered property that they have acquired to the rightful owner and pay compensation without regard to the conclusion of a final settlement. Here is an article which explained that a British couple were being ordered by the regular Courts in Cyprus to demolish their home, return the land to the rightful owner, and pay rent until they settled the matter. They were arguing that the Cypriot Court had no jurisdiction in the northern area of Cyprus. So, the original Greek owner had gone to the UK Courts to have the judgment enforced and put a lien on their assets:
      link to
      Here is the Opinion and Judgment from the Grand Chamber of the European Court instructing the British Court of Appeals that it must respect the default judgment of the Court in Cyprus in favor of Meletis Apostolides in the matter of Meletis Apostolides v David Charles Orams and Linda Elizabeth Orams.
      link to The ECHR has also enter a 90 million Euro non-pecuniary judgment against Turkey for invading Northern Cyprus without respect to the pending UN negotiated final settlement.

      The UN, the EC, and the US government have each warned individuals and transnational corporations against doing business in regions undergoing armed conflicts or purchasing property in one that may have been acquired as a result of unlawful transactions. I've commented in the past that the US RICO statutes offer both criminal and civil remedies (treble damages) to Palestinians, whose property has been plundered by American settlers or corporations.

      A change in sovereignty does not effect personal or communal property rights under customary, conventional, or US law. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized a fundamental principle of the law of nations “[t]hat when a territory is acquired by treaty, cession, or even conquest, the rights of the inhabitants to property, are respected and sacred.” Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 657, 749 (1838). In United States v. Percheman 32 U.S. 51 (1832) with regard to the continuing rights of the inhabitants to citizenship, inheritances, residency, and private property ownership the Court said: "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."

      Those notions, that the laws of nations must protect humanity, rather than the rights of states, actually started when Edmund Burke complained about the plunder and deportation of the Jews of St. Eustatius: "Their abandoned state and their defenceless situation call most forcibly for the protection of civilized nations. If Dutchmen are injured and attacked the Dutch have a nation a government and armies to redress or avenge their cause. If Britons are injured Britons have armies and laws the laws of nations (or at least they once had the laws of nations) to fly to for protection and justice But the Jews have no such power and no such friend to depend on. Humanity then must become their protector and ally." - link to

      Zionist propaganda strangely insists that means that every one of the thousands of ethnic groups existing today needs to have it's own "nation state," e.g link to

      But the Nuremberg Principles, based upon the Hague conventions of 1899 and 1907, explicitly protected "towns," "villages," "places:,"any civilian population," "family rights and honor," and "private property" against the crimes of pillage, excessive expropriation, deportations, or displacements. Those crimes did not become in anyway obscure between 1945 and 1948.

      The UN Security Council reminded the parties in the 1950s that the original armistice agreements terminated the state of "hostilities" and that they should immediately begin repatriating refugees that had been vetted by the UN's Armistice or the General Assembly's Palestine Conciliation Commissions. See S/RES/89(1950), link to and S/RES/95(1951) link to

    • Has there ever been a formal examination of ways in which the obligations of Britain in the Mandate are in conflict with its Chapter XI obligations? No doubt we would say that the obligation to establish the Jewish National Home in Palestine conflicted with Britain’s obligation to hold the territory as a sacred trust for the people of the territory: but Britain would say that by the time of the UN Charter the Jewish National Home already existed, and that the sacred trust extended to both the Arab and Jewish residents (at least to those who were legal residents.)

      I'll address the sacred trust and the Royal and UN Commissions that performed examinations in a separate post. That's a very good question, but you still need to keep a few preliminary issues in mind. The draft mandates were ratified and implemented via inclusion in a resolution of the Council of the LoN. When the US Senate refused to ratify the Treaties of Versailles, Sèvres, and Lausanne, the USA had to negotiate its own separate mandate conventions with each of the mandatories that recited the terms of their mandate instruments in the preamble. Everyone agreed at the time that those US bilateral agreements reflected legally binding rules of conventional international law. At one and the same time, a veritable cottage industry was created by experts who published journal articles and law reports on the subject of state-centric legal positivism or the opposing viewpoint (e.g. Quincy Wright, Luther Harris Evans, Duncan Hall, Norman Bentwich, Hersh Lauterpacht, et al). They spent the next two or three decades arguing about the precise legal status of the LoN and its resolutions. The Covenant of the League was silent about those two particular subjects and it was never really answered, until the four Status of South West Africa/Namibia cases were addressed by the ICJ in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The PCIJ was created outside the framework of the LoN. Its Statute didn't even provide the Council or Assembly of the LoN the necessary legal standing to appear before the Court as a party to a mandate interpretation dispute. In the Article 3, Paragraph 2, of the Treaty of Lausanne (Frontier between Turkey and Iraq) advisory opinion, the PCIJ held that resolutions of the Council of the League of Nations were merely recommendations, unless all of the parties concerned had agreed to accept and carrying them out. States were only bound by the terms of their own acceptance, subject to any prior reservations they might have expressed. The situation was made even more unclear, when the Palestinian High Court of Justice adopted the customary British dualist doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy and the legal presumption against self-executing treaties. It ruled that the Mandate was only enforceable in the Courts of Palestine insofar as its provisions had been codified in the Privy Council Order of 1922 or some other specific piece of enabling legislation. By way of contrast, the ICJ held that the mandates were binding, mixed legal instruments, comprised in part of an international agreement, and a State Constitution. But in a controversial 1960 South West Africa (Liberia v. South Africa and Ethiopia v. South Africa) opinion, the Court ruled that third-party LoN member states only had the standing to bring disputes over violations of their own rights under the terms of the Mandates, and that they had no standing at all to intervene on behalf of the inhabitants, when the inhabitant's human rights had been violated.

      Article 104 and Article 2(5) of the UN Charter together with the associated Treaty Regarding the Rights and Immunities of the United Nations Organization endowed it with its own international legal personality from the very outset. That included the right to pursue claims in international courts on its own behalf; and the capacity to conclude international agreements with third parties, which the member states were legally bound to respect. See the AO in "Reparation for Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations" link to

      The USA and the USSR decided during the Yalta Conference to scrap the system of mandates altogether. They no longer met acceptable international standards regarding respect for "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples" that they, and many of the other Allied Powers, had privately agreed to enshrine in the new UN Charter. They also suspected (correctly) that the safeguards contained in the mandates would be nearly unenforceable after the final session of the Assembly of the LoN. Chapter 11 was deliberately included in the UN Charter in order to preempt any arguments or lingering doubts concerning possible conflicting obligations of a member state under the terms of a mandate. For its own part, the General Assembly adopted resolution 24(I) several months before the final Assembly of the LoN. That final Assembly acknowledged resolutions 9(I) and 24(I) in one of its own final resolutions. It noted that the UN had its own unique system of oversight for non-self-governing territories and that it would not be automatically absorbing or inheriting the old LoN system or the LoN's obligations. It also acknowledged that all of the mandatories had unilaterally pledged to fulfill the terms of the mandates that were still applicable, until trusteeship agreements were concluded or the territories and peoples in question attained their independence. If you check the verbatim minutes of the Security Council meeting that I provided in my other comments, you'll see that when Rabbi Silver tried to conflate the British government's obligations with those of the UN that Ambassador Austin quickly cut him off and explained that resolution 24(1) made it perfectly clear that the UN did not automatically inherit any responsibility or obligation in connection with the Palestine mandate.

      While the Jewish Agency wrote a letter to the San Fransisco Conference requesting a safeguarding clause in the Charter that would prevent any UN trusteeship agreement from altering the rights conferred on the Jewish people under the terms of the Balfour Declaration and the LoN mandate, Articles 1, 18, 80, and 85 of the UN Charter did just exactly the opposite thing. They empowered the General Assembly to preempt, alter, or terminate any rights under a mandate. On June 22, 1946 the Indian government requested that the discriminatory treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa be included on the agenda of the very first session of the General Assembly. See A/RES/44(I) Treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa link to and A/RES/65(I) Future status of South West Africa link to

      In the 1970 Namibia Advisory Opinion the ICJ explained that the LoN could terminate a mandate for a material breach and that the General Assembly had inherited that particular power and could do the very same thing, without consulting the Security Council. It also rejected South Africa's request that it hear additional arguments regarding the claim that "separate development" (aka the policy of "apartheid") did not violate the content or intent of Article 22 of the LoN Covenant regarding the well-being and development of the non-white communities. The Court said it wasn't necessary, since conditioning full participation in the political, social, or economic life of the country on the basis of ethnicity violated South Africa's obligations under Article 1 of the UN Charter regarding "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples" without regard to the content or intent of Article 22 of the LoN Covenant.

    • I do not see how the change from martial law to civil law makes any difference at all – the territory had already been annexed de facto – unless the legislation specifically said the armistice line was the boundary of the area affected.

      I see the source of confusion. The Hague Rules in question applied to "The Exercise of Military Authority Over the Territory of a Hostile State".

      Article 42. stipulates that "Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." link to

      The fact that Israel placed some of its own territory under martial law as well, didn't transform it into "occupied territory" for the purposes of IHL. That's NOT the case with any territory that had been allocated to the Arab state which had been placed under the authority of the very same military government.

      Article 43. doesn't prohibit the military commander from applying some new laws: "The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country." link to

      But Article 45 absolutely prohibits the civilian authorities of the occupying power from ever stepping-in and taking over the direct administration from their military commander and demanding that the inhabitants pay allegiance or respect its domestic laws and jurisdiction: "It is forbidden to compel the inhabitants of occupied territory to swear allegiance to the hostile Power." link to

      So the November 1966 decision to terminate the Military Government, without turning the territory back over to be governed by its own inhabitants, was a violation of the relevant rules of IHL and the relevant UN resolutions on the subject.

    • Maybe this is just semantics, but I cannot see this as a formal annexation because the latter would surely require a specification of the area to be annexed.

      In September of 1948 there was still no Knesset or new body of municipal law, other than the initial proclamation by the Provisional Council that repealed the 1939 White paper, while retaining all of the other laws that were in effect in the territories during the mandate.

      Applying those Mandate era laws to areas that the Minister of Defense had "defined by proclamation as being held by the IDF" was a distinction without any difference undrr the Hague Rules. That was no longer the case by 1966, when the full-blown two-tiered system of law and the administrative pass regime, with checkpoints similar to the ones employed in the West Bank today, was finally abandoned. Like the 1967 case of the full application of its municipal laws to East Jerusalem or the 1981 act that applied Israeli "law, jurisdiction, and civil administration" to the Golan, these are all examples of de jure, rather than de facto or minor changes to the status of the territory concerned.

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