Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 9419 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)



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  • Judith Butler responds to attack: 'I affirm a Judaism that is not associated with state violence'
    • The attitude of many posters here shows the typical “Israel is evil and the Palestinians are blameless.” Also, I always hear “criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic,” yet one of the first responses was to bring up a “pilpul package,” whatever that is.

      If you click on the "Hostage" link, you'll find that my comment archive contains many entries which explain that Dugard and Goldstone had documented the fact that both sides have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity that should be investigated, and that the responsible individuals should be prosecuted and punished appropriately. I've never had a single response from anyone here who challenged or questioned that proposition.

      If Zionists were asking continual questions until a contradiction was exposed, we'd point out that they were using inductive logic or the Socratic Method instead. There's nothing anti-Semitic about calling extreme hairsplitting or extrapolation of contentious and doubtful concepts from texts "pilpul".

      In many cases Zionists attempt to deflect attention away from the subject by observing that there are worse or similar human rights abuses elsewhere. That's just a propaganda or hasbara technique. If you check my comment archive you'll find I have commented about the US genocide in the Philippines; formal complaints filed with the UN CERD panel of experts by Native American tribes; CERD complaints from NGOs working on behalf of the "Untouchables" of India; the Secretary General's Commission on the massacre of the Tamil people; and a long list of other complaints filed with the various treaty monitoring bodies. I have contributed money to AI, HRW, and blogs like Mondoweiss and Tikun Olam who call attention to all sorts of human rights violations.

      When we point out that the Nuremberg Charter and the Rome Statute list a number of acts and say that they are war crimes or crimes against humanity when they are committed against any civilian population, many Zionist respond by saying, yes but Palestine is not a sovereign state. That is an example of pilpul.

      Palestine is a state with treaty agreements on terrorism, extradition, and diplomatic immunity with the League of Arab States and OIC states that have joined the ICC. The Court would be legally bound to respect those agreements and treat Palestine as a third state for the purposes of Article 98 of the Rome Statute if it refuses to accept Palestine's article 12(3) declaration. The agreements on extradition would actually facilitate the surrender of the individuals in Gaza that the Goldstone report accused of acts of terror and war crimes. Zionists, including Dore Gold, respond by suggesting that the meaning the undefined term "State" is somehow different when it appears in Article 12(3) - "a State which is not a Party to this Statute" - than the one that appears in Article 98 - "a third State" or "a sending State". That is another example of extreme hairsplitting and an extrapolation of a "State" concept that is not warranted by the text, i.e. pilpul.

      That whole line of legalistic argumentation flows from Yehuda Blum's 'Missing Reversioner', and M. Shamgar, 'The observance of international law in the administered territories' which argue about topics, including the reversionary rights of "sovereign states", which cannot be found in the text of either the Hague or Geneva Conventions. That is an example of unwarranted extrapolation or pilpul.

    • Prof. Butler might very well oppose asking artists not to perform in Israel

      I have no complaint against those who ask artists not to perform in Israel, I support that myself. My complaint is with those who continue to browbeat artists after they've decided to appear there - even in cases where the artists have publicly condemned the occupation and systematic discrimination in Israel.

    • the official position of BDS/PACBI is that the academic boycott must be institutional and not individual (for specific definitions and guidelines see the PACBI site).

      So the scholars can grant themselves a license not to tar everyone with the same brush, but the artists can just go fuck themselves? Sorry but I don't buy it.

      This aspect of boycott is very much inspired by the artistic boycott of South Africa (e.g. Sun City). As with the institutional boycott, individuals may be affected, but they are not targeted “on the basis of their national citizenship”.

      Plenty of decent people disagreed with the cultural boycott then and now. If artists want to boycott Israel because they think the society is abnormal that's their business and its fine by me. But attempts to browbeat artists using the national culture as an excuse are a different matter altogether. You're talking about a public venue and an anonymous general admission audience. That is a case of discrimination on the basis of nationality, because the exact cultural views of the audience are at best unknown or irrelevant.

      I don't think Professor Butler's philosophy would permit or encourage that sort of thing.

    • Which version of BDS is it, Shmuel, “that discriminates against individuals on the basis of their national citizenship”?

      I would suppose the BDS spokespersons who complain so much about those musicians or musical groups who choose to perform in public in Israel.

  • GOP platform plank on sharia called 'smokescreen for anti-Islam sentiment'
  • Verdict in Corrie trial another test of Israeli impunity
    • A ridiculous comparison since Israel is not killing even a significant fraction of the Arabs in Israel or in Gaza and the West Bank.

      No its not. Israel has repeatedly reserved to right to kill Arabs without limitation on the basis of its own security psychosis. If you think that the destruction it inflicted on Lebanon was a sane response to the abduction of three soldiers, then you're nuts too.

    • Adam, Having thought more about this, I believe that the real conflict is between the two perceptions

      Well the civil trial was an example of putting the cart before the horse. Some of us here were discussing civil liability for an example of the crime of aggression carried out against an occupied civilian population. That's why Rachel Corrie was in Gaza in the first place. The International Military Tribunals established that "aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

      An individual Israeli can't be held responsible for crimes against the peace and security of mankind in the absence of aggression committed by the State, such as Israel's policy of carrying-out punitive home demolitions and population displacement in the territory it occupies. Similarly, an individual agent of the State should not be held civilly liable for carrying out state policy in the absence of a wrongful act of State.

      The problem here is that Israel deliberately employed a public policy of punitive home demolitions, expropriations, destruction of private property, and population displacement for a number of years in flagrant violation of international law. Israel did that in the face of unanimous condemnation from the international community of states, the UN, and international peace activists. Those are not merely political or philosophical issues, those are war crimes and crimes against humanity for which no statute of limitations applies.

    • You do know that this is a wrongful death civil suit? Your LENGTHY diatribe against home demolitions is entirely off topic.

      The petitioners only need to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil suit. They presented witnesses who testified that Rachael was killed while demonstrating against a home demolition. The lengthy diatribe establishes that a reasonable person would have concluded that homes in that vicinity were in danger from the IDF's operations based upon Israel's past and on-going illegal behavior.

      She was not wantonly killed, she was not a protected person and she was not protecting homes that day.

      You need to brush up on your international humanitarian law. All civilians in any territory that has been placed under the control of an IDF commander are protected persons in accordance with customary law. The testimony of the IDF commander and the UN fact finding missions regarding the IDF rules of engagement make it absolutely clear that civilians were targeted and killed wantonly.

      I think it would be a much better idea for the Corrie family to try and get a default judgment from a PA Court in Gaza that can then be enforced in other countries that recognize Palestine.

      Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has frozen Libyan, Iranian, and PLO assets in the US and other countries. What's fair for the goose is fair for the gander.

    • Yeah, except the ICC has no jurisdiction. And it was an accident, not murder.

      Fred Article 4 of the Rome Statute says:

      The Court may exercise its functions and powers, as provided in this Statute, on the territory of any State Party and, by special agreement, on the territory of any other State.

      The Palestinian Authority filed an ad hoc declaration with the Registrar of the ICC on behalf of the government of Palestine in accordance with Article 12(3) of the Statute. It allows States not Party to the Rome Statute to accept the jurisdiction of the Court.

      The Registrar of the ICC acknowledged receipt of the written declaration and noted that it had triggered the application of the rules for State Parties in Section 9 of the Statute to the situation in Palestine pending a judicial determination on the applicability of Article 12 paragraph 3 to the Palestinian correspondence.

      The Court has never ruled on the question of jurisdiction yet. The former Prosecutor's last periodic status update to the UN simply said that he felt that he lacked the statutory authority to determine if Palestine is a State or not. He noted that either the Secretary General, acting as depositary, or the ICC Assembly of State Parties could make a binding legal determination.

      The Prosecutor seemed to be unaware of the fact that the Secretary-General is legally obliged to accept deposits for the Rome Statute under the "All States" formula from any state member of a UN specialized agency, like UNESCO, in accordance with the much more strict "Vienna" formula. The latter was established by the UN Conventions on the Law of Treaties and Diplomatic Relations which govern international agreements, like the Rome Statute, that serve as the constitution of an international intergovernmental organization. The upgrade of Palestine's observer status would be dispositive, but legally unnecessary.

    • Saw it, but it does not change the fact that the State of Israel could indeed be innocent. That possibility does not appear to be acknowledged around here.

      The preponderance of the evidence rules out that proposition. Israeli officials have publicly acknowledged their policies of using home demolitions as a form of punishment and their intention to reserve its use in the future, e.g. See "Israel to revive razing of homes as form of punishment"

      A policy of willfully or wantonly killing civilians is a grave breach the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 and a war crime (Article 147). That's also true of Israel's policy of systematically using home demolitions and extensive destruction of private property as punitive measures unrelated to any actual state of necessity. Even if the armed forces of the State of Israel had killed Rachel Corrie by accident in the course of and in furtherance of such a crime, Israel would still be responsible for committing an internationally wrongful act of state.

      The UN and the international community of states, working through the UN and the International Red Cross treaty bodies had already condemned Israel's policies regarding punitive home demolitions and extensive expropriation and destruction of property for the creation of buffer zones as violations of Israel's international obligations and war crimes. The General Assembly had also called on states to take legal steps to force Israel to comply with its obligations under the Geneva Conventions. See
      *A/48/376, 30 September 1993, para 4 reference to legal assistance in connection with punitive demolitions

      *General Assembly Emergency Special Session resolution A/RES/ES-10/2
      25 April 1997 and the report of the Secretary-General A/ES-10/6 & S/1997/494, 26 June 1997 finding that the home demolitions and destruction of property were considered violations of international law

      *The Commission on Human Rights fact finding report E/CN.4/RES/S-5/1, 19 October 2000 on the uprising which reported "widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupying Power, in particular mass killings and collective punishments, such as demolition of houses and closure of the Palestinian territories, measures which constitute war crimes, flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.

      *The condemnation of the methodical destruction of homes and confiscation of land being systematically wrought by Israeli military forces by the UN Special Rapporteur on housing and land rights 7 August 2002

      *The Human Rights Committee report CCPR/CO/78/ISR, 21 August 2003 which reported the punative nature of home demolitions; the violation of right to due process; and violation of prohibtions against torture and collective punishment.

      *The ICJ Advisory Opinion stating that 1) Israel could not rely on a right of self-defense or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of its actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (paragraph 142); 2) Israel was under an obligation to compensate persons whose homes, agricultural holdings had been harmed or destroyed; and 3) under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is under an obligation to search for and bring before its courts persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, grave breaches of international humanitarian law. (paragraph 145).

      *The Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, E/CN.4/2005/29, 7 December 2004 stating that the use of demolitions and property destruction to create buffer zones was not justified by a state of military necessity.

    • P.S. Although this is a civil case, the testimony of an official IDF spokesman or commander that it was permissible to indiscriminately kill unarmed civilians in a buffer zone near the Philadelphi Route would be admissible evidence of murder in the ICC. Murder is one of the specific crimes against humanity listed in Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

    • Rachel Corrie was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer as she protested the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah, Gaza

      There's a legitimate question as to whether or not an Israeli court has the final say over events happening in Gaza in 2003. The US and the signatories of the Montevideo Convention have affirmed in Article 3 of the treaty that, even before recognition, the state has the right to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts.

      The majority of the Montevideo signatories have recognized the State of Palestine. In principle, nothing would prevent the Corrie family from obtaining a civil judgment in a Palestinian Court that can be enforced in those or other countries which recognize the State of Palestine.

      Last year, Michael Sfard noted that it is the Palestinians who will ultimately decide what the legal framework is that is binding in their territory. See "The legal tsunami is on its way"

      Prof. Errol Mendes served as a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court and wrote an advisory opinion for the Office of the Prosecutor on the subject of jurisdiction in the occupied territories. He noted that the international community had endorsed the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence. He also noted:

      "There is an element of irrationality for anyone to suggest that the Palestinian State can not even declare independence after the Oslo Accords expired on September 13, 2000".

      -- See page 30

      The international community subsequently endorsed the 1988 Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence again when it admitted Palestine as a member state of UNESCO. There's no doubt that the Palestinians and a majority of UN member states view Palestine as an entity that's entitled to the status of a non-member permanent observer state.

      The bottom line is that Israel does not have undisputed personal, territorial, or subject matter jurisdiction over events that occurred in Gaza in 2003.

      In addition, because the IDF considered Gaza an open-ended war zone starting in September 2000, Zoaretz believed Rafah in effect became a free fire zone where any Palestinian, or international, could be killed with impunity.

      The DoD stopped using "free fire zone" in its fire control lexicon due to the common misconceptions that surrounded its intended meaning. In many situations there was a risk of casualties from crossfire originating from adjacent friendly forces. So prior coordination was required before units could safely open fire on any military objective. Free fire zones did not imply any authorization to violate the laws and customs of war which prohibited attacks on unarmed civilians or persons who were hors de combat. They simply allowed valid military objectives to be targeted in isolated areas without further coordination between the unit and a higher echelon or South Vietnamese fire control center.

  • 'Forward' editor Eisner challenges US Jews to acknowledge 'extraordinary wealth, status and political power'
    • when a religious and/or social community begins to take on the other functions in America, it becomes a conspiracy. Because you are not doing it to get your share (which you’ve already gotten, and a heaping share, at that) but more than your share.

      In the older European model, mentioned in the World Court cases above, they were grappling with treaty obligations for newly created states. The legal definition of a community extended to public support and entitlements for ethnic or religious minority schools.

      In the US model the "wall of separation doctrine" was applied in the 19th century to end public support for religious schools. Support for ethnic minority schools was viewed with equal disdain and suspicion after Brown V Board of Education, e.g. In New Jersey, a Community Divided

      Even in exceptional cases like the one in New Jersey, there is usually an existing secular "Jewish community" that views itself as separate from, and opposed to a hostile take-over or monopolization of public functions by one of the Orthodox sects or more cloistered Jewish communities. Even in Israel, the various ethnic and communal differences have never been eliminated. In the strictest sense, from the era of the division between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, there has never been a monolithic or single Jewish "community" or "culture", despite the various attempts to establish such a thing.

    • P.S. Security Council Resolution 242 requires the Arabs to recognize the territorial integrity of Israel, despite the fact that the State of Israel systematically discriminates against its own non-Jewish ethnic communities and refuses to respect the right of self-determination of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

      Resolution 242 has been codified in international law via references in the Camp David Accords, Oslo Accords, the Mitchell Report, the Quartet Road Map, Annapolis framework, & etc. That has resulted in the conflation of "negotiations" with the terms of reference contained in resolution 242. That resolution and the other framework agreements should be repealed, since they do not explicitly recognize the immediate right of self-determination and participation in the political entity that ultimately governs the territory on a non-discriminatory basis.

    • Gosh, what a boon it is for Mondoweiss’s hitcount it is that nobody wants to define exactly and factually what a “community” is.

      I've provided cites and links to the controlling legal authorities on the subject in the past and noted that they're reflected in the EU acquis communautaire. (Greco-Bulgarian Communities (Opinion No. 17) and Minority Schools in Albania (Opinion A/B 64) the Permanent Court of International Justice).

      It is:

      ” … a group of persons living in a given country or locality, having a race, religion, language and traditions of their own and united by this identity of race, religion, language and traditions in a sentiment of solidarity, with a view to preserving their traditions, maintaining their form of worship, ensuring the instruction and upbringing of their children in accordance with the spirit and traditions of their race and rendering mutual assistance to each other.”

      If you use that definition, then there were several mutually exclusive Jewish communities in Palestine that were 1) provisionally recognized as independent nations; and 2) incorporated in a multinational state called Israel.

      I mean, c’mon, the Zionists keep on talking about a “Jewish community” in the furtherance of their interests. Does that obligate us (the anti-Zionist, or Zionist-critical) to use the same false groupings?

      No, I've addressed that point here in the past. In an April 20, 1964 letter to Rabbi Elmer Berger of the American Council for Judaism from Assistant Secretary Phillips Talbot, the U.S. State Department confirmed that for constitutional reasons the US government “does not recognize a legal-political relationship based upon religious identification of American citizens. It does not in any way discriminate among American citizens upon the basis of religion or ethnicity. Accordingly, it should be clear that the Department of State does not regard the “Jewish people” concept as a concept of international law.” -- See Whiteman's Digest of International Law, Volume 8, U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1967, page 35

      Even the most enlightened persons disagree over the legal definitions of the basic terms of reference like "Jew", "Jewish", & etc. For example, the European definition could be employed to support the right to maintain separate schools in Israel for members of mutually exclusive Jewish ethnic communities or Jewish cultures, e.g. Ashkenazi parent: Sephardi girls have a bad influence on our girls
      Ashkenazi students in West Bank school protest against end of Sephardi-Ashkenazi segregation; Ministry threatens to prosecute parents.

      The key historical difference lay in the policies of the Russian and British governments that prevented the communities from participating in the territorial government on a non-discriminatory basis. The United Nations adopted a declaration which stressed that point:

      Continue to reaffirm the right of self-determination of all peoples, taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, and recognize the right of peoples to take legitimate action in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to realize their inalienable right of self-determination. This shall not be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action that would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and thus possessed of a Government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction of any kind;


      Members of Jewish communities are more than adequately represented in the US federal, state, county, and municipal systems of government.

  • It's apartheid, says Jeffrey Goldberg
    • it would appear to me somewhere in a de-facto “Jim Crow-lite” situation.

      It's a mistaken view to think that the Jim Crow South didn't satisfy the de jure definition contained in Article II of the international convention on the suppression of the crime of apartheid.

      That's the main reason the US refused to become a state party or recognize aggravated forms of government-sanctioned racial segregation as a crime against humanity. Talk about compensation for blacks and native Americans is what really keeps the US and other colonial powers away from the UN Durbin Conferences. It's not really about their undying respect for Zionism or the State of Israel.

    • Arabs and Jews are judged by the same set of laws in the same courtrooms; across the Green Line, Jews live under Israeli civil law as well, but their Arab neighbors--people who live, in some cases, just yards away--fall under a different, and substantially undemocratic, set of laws, administered by the Israeli Army.

      Oh please! If you're still peddling this line of crap, then you're part of the problem. The UN Treaty Monitoring Body charged by the signatories with monitoring the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination has been pointing out that Israeli society as a whole raises continuing concerns under Article 3, on apartheid and illegal racial segregation. Israel's laws, policies and practices are designed to prevent non-Jews from participating in the political, economic, and social life of the country on a non-discriminatory basis.

      The claim that the legal system in the Occupied Territories is the source of concern belies the fact that it is based on the municipal laws that apply on the Israeli side of the Green Line. Listen to the UN Fact Finding Mission report on that particular point:

      Despite prohibitions under international humanitarian law (IHL), Israel has applied its domestic laws throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967. . . . .[T]he application of Israeli domestic laws has resulted in institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to the benefit of Jewish settlers, both Israeli citizens and others. Exclusive benefits reserved for Jews derive from the two-tiered civil status under Israel’s domestic legal regime based on a “Jewish nationality,” which entitles “persons of Jewish race or descendency” to superior rights and privileges, particularly in land use, housing, development, immigration and access to natural resources, as affirmed in key legislation. Administrative procedures qualify indigenous inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as “alien persons” and, thus, prohibited from building on, or renting, large portions of land designated by the Government of Israel as “State land” (para 206). . . . . From the facts available to it, the Mission believes that in the movement and access policy there has been a violation of the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race or national origin (para 1548).


  • Jerusalem lynchmob story has changed Israeli discourse, but US media firewall holds
    • A terrifying story like this ought to be awakening our media to the real danger of explosive violence in Israel/Palestine and the end of the two state solution.

      The media is perfectly aware of what's going-on, but they are reluctant to admit they've had their heads buried in the sand. It's apartheid and the incident ought to illustrate how the one state solution and the demand for equal rights will inevitably be received.

      The Obama Administration can't move to block the recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state in the UN without risking the outright adoption by the PLO of a platform based on the single state solution and equal rights. So it's still reciting the mantra about the need for more delays and negotiations.

  • Israeli minister lashes out at South Africa as 'apartheid state' merely for seeking labeling of goods from occupied territories
    • My favorites have him standing next to a map with both Palestine and Transjordan mandates with a HUGE Star of David plastered over them

      The inclusion of Lord Balfour in the video is spurious too. He advised against the inclusion of the bulk of the territory of Transjordan in Palestine.

      Balfour wrote his infamous memo from the Paris Peace Conference in which he said "Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land." . . & etc."

      In the same memo he indicated that the boundaries of Palestine did not extend east of the Jordan river yet and suggested that: "Palestine should extend into the lands lying east of the Jordan. It should not, however, be allowed to include the Hedjaz Railway, which is too distinctly bound up with exclusively Arab interests." -- See Nº. 242 Memorandum by Mr. Balfour (Paris) respecting Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia' [132187/2117/44A], August 11, 1919 at the link above.

      The Zionist delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference also proposed an eastern border for Palestine to the west of the Hedjaz Railway: "In the East a line close to and West of the Hedjaz Railway terminating in the Gulf of Akaba." -- See Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, "Secretary's Notes of a Conversation Held in M. Pichon's Room
      at the Quai d'Orsay, Paris, on Thursday, 27th February, 1919, at 3 p. m.", page 162

      A line west of the railway terminating in the Gulf of Aqaba would exclude most of Transjordan:

    • Under the partition plan, would Israel lose the Negev (and thus Dimona)?

      I've pointed out many times that the Jewish Agency actually rejected both the UNSCOP majority and minority plans, because neither gave it the Negev nor the new portions of the city of Jerusalem, outside the city walls, that it had demanded.

      So the General Assembly immediately convened an Ad Hoc Committee of the whole to amend the partition plan in order to make it more to the Jewish Agency's liking.

      The Negev was actually added to the proposed Jewish state at that stage and the two year transition period was shortened to just six months. More importantly, the requirement that the states adopt democratic constitutions prior to independence was dropped.

    • But the bigger issue is that the assumption is that the zionists responsible for the picture are discussing the matter in good faith.

      Naturally. Commentators frequently discuss the death of the two state solution as if the one state solution is a radically new approach. In fact, it was the initial 25 year long failed political approach to Zionist racism and aggression in Palestine that resulted in the initial adoption of a two state political approach.

      On the other hand, calling for the recognition of Palestine as a simple matter of legal equity and enforcement of existing consensus and international law isn't necessarily a call for more of the same or a pedantic exercise. A group a international human rights practitioners and legal scholars published their views on that subject in Chantal Meloni and Gianni Tognoni, "Is There a Court for Gaza? A Test Bench for International Justice". Professor William A. Schabas, a member of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, wrote by way of an explanation in the forward that:

      Only very recently there has been any serious prospect of the Israeli occupation and its consequences being addressed through the mechanisms of international justice and international courts. To some extent this is because the institutions themselves did not previously exist or were not available. But it is also the result of an increasingly robust use of international law as a means to deal with international disputes.

      Some have dismissed this as ‘lawfare’. . . . . The ‘lawfare’ libel is nothing more than frustrated resistance to the availability of new mechanisms and institutions whereby international law can be applied to present conflicts, including those involving Israel and Palestine. For decades, international law was a largely theoretical proposition, something invoked by academics and activists, and in debates within political bodies of the United Nations. Now, there is a realistic prospect that the great conflicts of our time can actually be brought to court.


    • see that ‘approved’ stamp over the whole mandate with the words ‘league of nations’ on it?

      Yep, but the League only approved a British administered Mandate for Palestine, not a Jewish one. FYI, the British Parliament voted down the Peel partition plan. The League of Nations and Great Britain obviously never approved of anything other than the single state solution that they labelled a "Judeo-Arab self-governing commonwealth".

      In 1932 the Chairman of the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission said that, although he had assisted in the supervision of the mandatory administration of Palestine for eleven years, he had always found it extremely difficult to ascertain whether, as was required by Article 2 of the mandate, the development of self-governing institutions was assured for all the inhabitants, seeing that, under the terms of the same article, the mandatory Power had long since set up the Jewish National Home". --

      At that time, the Jews were only occupying about 4 percent of the territory. 72 years later the World Court had the same complaint about the lack of self-government and freedoms for the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine.

      In 1937 the Jewish Agency had begun using propaganda in an attempt to establish its sole claim to Palestine. It alleged that Palestine had been excluded from the area in which Great Britain and France had promised Arab independence and governments freely chosen by the indigenous populations. The Permanent Mandates Commission didn't accept the argument. The members of the Commission privately advised the Jewish Agency that the Mandate could not be implemented according to their wishes. See David Ben-Gurion, "Letters to Paula and the Children", translated by Aubry Hodes, University of Pittsburg Press Edition, 1971, pages 134-135

      The League put Great Britain in charge of implementing the Balfour Declaration. The representative of the British Government provided the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission with his government's official interpretation of the intent of the Declaration and they accepted it without any objection or reservations:

      The view of His Majesty’s Government as to the intentions of the Balfour Declaration was as follows:
      “His Majesty’s Government and their predecessors, since the obligations of the mandate were accepted, had taken the view, which the tenor of the mandate itself implies, that their obligations to Arabs and Jews respectively were not incompatible, on the assumption that in the process of time the two races would so adjust their national aspirations as to render possible the establishment of a single commonwealth under a unitary Government.”


      It goes without saying that Aylon's map isn't UN approved either.

  • Timeline: Attempts to censor students and faculty who stand up for human rights on UC campuses
    • No, they were accused of and convicted of the crimes of disrupting a lawful meeting and conspiracy to disrupt a lawful meeting. Laws put in place to protect the Constitutional rights of the people from the “heckler’s veto”.

      That would be a winning argument if the 1st Amendment excluded hecklers. FYI, the Sedition and Alien Acts were put in place to protect politicians from hecklers. It only took the Supreme Court 164 years to notice that those acts violated an explicit constitutional prohibition about adopting laws that abridge the freedom of speech. So based upon past experience, I find your arguments completely unpersuasive.

    • But conduct that obstructs or seriously impedes the utterance of another, even though verbal in form, cannot be classified as expression.

      Once again that would be a winning argument if there were any basis for that proposition in the text of the Constitution itself, but there's not.

      In fact the federalists routinely used conspiracy, sedition, and alien laws (similar to the post 9/11 Patriot Act) to silence resident and immigrant alien groups like the Palestinians. See Thomas F. Carroll, "Freedom of Speech and of the Press in the Federalist Period: The Sedition Act." Michigan Law Review 18 (1920): 615, -- cited in Craig R. Smith, Silencing the Opposition: Government Strategies of Suppression, SUNY Press, 1996.

      Jefferson wrote that the Courts and Congress had erred

      "I discharge every person under punishment or prosecution under the Sedition Law, because I considered, and now consider, that law to be a nullity as absolute and palpable as if Congress had ordered us to fall down and worship a golden image."

      The Supreme Court waited until 1964, but it finally noted Madison and Jefferson's condemnation of the Sedition and Alien Acts with approval, because they were an unconstitutional exercise of "a power not delegated by the Constitution, but, on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto".

      The Court noted "a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." See New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)

    • And Michael Oren, or anyone else invited to speak by the University of California has a Constitutional right to conduct a meeting open to the public at University of California and a legal right to not have that meeting disrupted.

      I think that there is an appeal still pending, so that remains to seen. FYI, if you're going to cite exceptions to the 1st Amendment, then Bluman, et al. V. FEC affirmed that non-resident aliens have no first amendment right to make campaign donations or participate in our polity, even if UC decides to invite them. The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case affirmed that political campaign contributions are a form of protected speech.

      Oren renounced his US citizenship and is living in this country on a non-resident "A" visa as an employee of a foreign government. There are a number of constitutional and statutory limitations on non-resident aliens that prevent them from serving on juries, or enjoying various offices of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

      If you want to invite employees of foreign governments to disseminate political propaganda on behalf of accused war criminals without being heckled, you should probably use a private venue, not a public meeting on state property.

      There is a difference between freedom and anarchy.

      So far as I recall, Stand With Us members disrupted a JVP Chapter meeting at a Seniors Center and even pepper sprayed the participants without anyone being convicted of committing a crime. Go argue that the Irvine 11 did something worse under the relevant California statutes.

    • @Hostage Time, place, and manner restrictions are both approved by the U.S. Supreme Court (you know, the people who decide what the Constitution means)

      They appointed themselves to that job after the fact. The Congress and the states have nonetheless amended the Constitution and adopted legislation to deny the Courts jurisdiction whenever they think it has overstepped its proper bounds, e.g. the 11th Amendment (Chisholm v. Georgia); 14th Amendment (Dred Scott); & etc.

      BTW, the Irvine 11 weren't accused of violating the Constitution.

    • You are committing a crime (disturbing the peace) by blasting any message at 3 AM over loudspeakers in a residential neighborhood. Similarly, you are committing a crime by disrupting a lawful meeting of someone else, regardless of what you are yelling.

      The government isn't holding public meetings at 3 AM in residential neighborhoods. If they were, it would certainly be constitutional to show-up and voice opposition and grievances. Magistrates in Great Britain, Spain, and many other civilized countries found there was sufficient evidence to issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials like Tzipi Livni, Doron Almog, et al Michael Oren and the University of California don't have a constitutional right to conduct public meetings in order to present unopposed political propaganda on behalf of the government of Israel and its illegal policies.

      The government may decide that the Nazi party has a constitutionally protected right to peaceably assemble and march through the public streets of Skokie, Illinois. But it definitely doesn't have the delegated power to muzzle the speech of the hecklers who decide to make an appearance and complain about the Nazi agenda.

    • @Hostage And this conviction does not abridge freedom of speech. It upholds the right of people to speak freely, but has time, place, and manner restrictions on when, where, and how, they can speak.

      LOL! That would be a winning argument if the Constitution said: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press - except for laws respecting time, place, and manner restrictions on when, where, and how, they can speak.

    • @Hostage As for the budget cuts, complain to the voters of California, they are the ones who refuse to raise taxes under any circumstances.

      Anyone with a well-rounded education should know that all of the primary UN organs and the international community of states have repeatedly advised and documented the fact that Israel is a flagrant violator of international criminal laws and the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. So, why not complain about the propriety of public administrators putting our government's facilities, campus police, grand juries, and judicial system at the disposal of a credentialed agent of Israel to disseminate political propaganda on behalf of his employer?

      Thousands of jobless families made homeless by foreclosures are obviously unwilling to raise taxes or borrow more money to finance these sort of abuses, indulgences, and perks in their state's universities and government.

    • First I’m hearing about withholding exculpatory e-mails. Cite?

      The DA published the emails that tended to incriminate the defendants, but not the ones that were exculpatory.

    • Organizing a protest is not a crime, and if they had merely held a protest outside the event, they would not have been prosecuted.

      Yeah, we've all heard that stuff before. It's was perfectly okay for Rosa Parks to protest segregation on city buses, but it was a crime when she got on board one and refused to obey section 10 the Montgomery city bus segregation ordinance. You can read about the record of her arrest and conviction and the subsequent boycott here:

      Of course it was legal for Negroes to individually boycott the segregated bus lines. But the authorities quickly decided that it was a crime for them to conspire together to boycott the bus lines. You can read about Dr. Martin Luther King's arrest and conviction for that here:
      *State of Alabama V. M. L. King, Jr. (1956)
      *Wayne Phillips, ‘‘Negro Minister Convicted of Directing Bus Boycott,’’ New York Times, 23 March 1956.

      Of course Ghandi was a vocal critic of racial segregation and apartheid in South Africa, Palestine, and India. He was arrested, jailed, and convicted for his protests and boycotts on that issue. You can read about that here:
      *Gandhi begins fast in protest of caste separation

      Many of us believe that asking Michael Oren "to STFU already" actually qualifies as a valuable community service and no amount of lawyering is going change that.

    • That suggests that they could have kept prosecuting him on other evidence had he not made a deal.

      Fred I understand that Prosecutors can be dickish about the 1st Amendment and that they occasionally get lucky with Judges and juries. I've authored quite a few comments here on that subject. That doesn't mean that they are correct when they succeed. Here are the usual objections: First off, 3/4 of the states ratified an amendment to the Constitution which admits no exceptions. It plainly stipulated that Congress shall make "no law" abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. Secondly, the Courts have engaged in a great deal of sophistry over the years to get around that constitutional prohibition in order to permit statutory infringements on political speech.

      This article highlights yet another of the many reasons Mark Yudof and the University of California Regents are gaining a well-earned reputation for offering students budget cuts, tuition hikes, layoffs, program eliminations, and ham-handed policies which trigger student unrest, campus building occupations, teach-ins, protest dance parties, and public dumpster burnings. University of California is one of the most expensive public university systems in the country, i.e. there are competing institutions out there vying for the consumer's hard-earned dollars.

      Oren is a credentialed agent of a foreign entity who was given a publicly-funded forum by the State of California to disseminate political propaganda on behalf of his employers. It's hardly the first time that California officials have gone out of their way to protect the right of others to disseminate foreign propaganda, e.g. See Meese v. Keene, 481 U.S. 465 (1987)

      The bottom line is that Oren delivered his canned talking points and decided to cancel the scheduled Q&A session in order to leave 15 minutes early to attend a Lakers game at Staples Center and meet Kobe Bryant. He's never said anything since the day he was appointed that hasn't been faithfully echoed on the Hasbara Fellowship RSS feed.

    • They used an investigator who didn’t recognize some communications as privileged communications among a large number of papers relevant to the case. Screw ups happen.

      It actually appeared to be a case of misconduct, since the Judge removed three district attorneys and the lead investigator from the case for acquiring and maintaining possession of privileged attorney-client communications and attempting to use them to bring charges against one of the students. That's frankly more troubling to me than someone telling Michael Oren to STFU.

    • The leaders of the MSU (other than the one who actually participated in the disruption), weren’t charged with it, but the e-mails made it clear that they were part of the planning process.

      Fred the court slapped a gag order on the parties to the case and disqualified three top district attorneys and their lead investigator for misconduct, which included publicizing the contents of private emails that were obtained and used improperly, while withholding emails that were exculpatory. We know that Rackauckas convened a grand jury and obtained a felony warrant to collect evidence in a misdemeanor case. Yet for all that, he did not charge the MSU or its other members with any involvement in these offenses.

      As for the claims elsewhere (e.g. here) that Oren was prevented from exercising his right of free speech or censored, the evidence at trial showed that he finished his prepared remarks and left 15 minutes early to attend a Lakers game at Staples Center and meet Kobe Bryant. So it was Oren who cancelled the scheduled Q & A session.

    • Colin and others, Is it too much to wish for a bit of intellectual rigor?

      As the old saying goes, if I decided to get smart with you, how would you know?

      Why don't you apply a little bit of that intellectual rigor to the actual Phase I Middle East Quartet Road Map terms of reference under the heading "Settlements" and stop trying to change the subject?

      *GOI [Government of Israel] immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.

      *Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).

      -- See the full text of the Road Map here:

    • Here’s a quick summary of your positions as I understand them.

      Winneca, I've been patiently reciting the terms of reference from the Middle East Quartet Road Map that require Israel to freeze all settlement construction, including natural growth, and remove the outposts established since 2001. Neither of those things appears in your summary. Frankly, I think you need to concentrate on summarizing the Hasbara Fellowship's talking points adequately before branching out and offering your unsolicited help to others.

      If you aren't able to discuss the Road Map terms intelligently, just say so and stop trying to change the subject. I notice that you're still pretending that the international community hasn't taken positions against Israel's recent construction boom and efforts at "legalization" of the outposts. Here's a few links to illustrate what I mean:
      *Russia joins U.S., EU in criticizing Israel’s legalization of West Bank outposts
      *EU condemns Israeli settlement construction, evictions
      *Russia calls new Israeli settlement construction 'major concern'
      *Russia urges Israel to halt settlement construction
      *EU, UN call on Israel to stop Har Homa construction
      *US State Department comes out against settlement report: We oppose any effort to legalize settlement outpost
      *State Dept. slams new West Bank housing approval

    • My point was that it hardly constitues proof of an Israeli policy of disspossessing the Palestinians of the West Bank

      The government of Israel announced plans to illegally transfer thousands of West Bank Bedouins from communities living in Area C, i.e. Jerusalem
      periphery, Jordan Valley, and south Hebron Hills.

      Israeli daily, Haaretz, published a report revealing that Israel had already revoked the residency rights of around a quarter of a million Palestinians since it occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, in 1967, until the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994.

      What was your point again?

    • They were being asked about it because the people who deliberately and premeditatedly disrupted the school event included members of the MSU.

      LOL! You're talking about an overly broad application of a misdemeanor statute against disrupting a public meeting. Fortunately, Mr Oren is a registered foreign agent who was only disseminating Israeli government propaganda.


      June 30, 2011 The judge will decide on the alleged misconduct by the District Attorney’s office. The defense has motioned for the DA’s Office to be removed from this case.

      July 1, 2011 Due to the prosecution team’s misconduct in obtaining, reviewing and using these documents, the lead investigator and three of the attorneys (including a lead attorney) were removed from the case.

      July 21, 2011 Charges against one of the Irvine 11, Hakim Kebir, are dropped due to the misconduct of the D.A.’s office and misuse of privileged information to bring charges against him.

      That sort of conduct does seem to be a little bit out of the ordinary.

    • Obviously UC doesn’t agree with you and UC isn’t alone. Criticism of Israel is forbidden.

      It doesn't have anything to do with the State Department. It was a failed effort spearheaded by a former director of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. See Kenneth L. Marcus, "Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964"

      I've commented before that if Palestinian or Muslim citizens or employees of the San Francisco and New York transit authority can't file complaints with EEOC about religious or national origin harassment, then Jewish faculty and students can fold-up their lawsuits against the state over the so-called anti-Semitic climate on campuses.

      If you think Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits anti-Zionist discrimination as a form of racial discrimination, then it has to be subject to the general exception for discrimination based exclusively on the tenets of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, & etc. religious belief. In short, you can't protect Zionists from Jewish Voice for Peace, et al using the US Civil Rights Act - and that's before you even begin to examine the political content of the speech. Even the Jewish bureaucrat who attempted to square the circle admitted that much.

      A Federal Judge subsequently tossed out a lawsuit against UC Berkeley based on the theory saying that the alleged harassment constituted protected political speech. -- See Judge Dismisses Claim That UC-Berkeley Fostered Anti-Semitism

    • Conspiring to disrupt someone else’s event is a crime. For which 10 of the 11 who actually did it were convicted and sentenced

      LOL! Fred no one was charged with any counts involving criminal conspiracy, including the MSU. Maybe you should give your imagination a rest.

    • Hostage – here are the facts: there are no new settlements being built. The last wave was about ten years ago, and it was very limited in effect.

      Winnica Israel is constructing thousands of new housing units in the OPT, including East Jerusalem. The Road Map called for an end to all construction of so-called new neighborhoods in the existing illegal settlements, including what you boffins try to pass-off as "natural growth".

      No country on Earth accepted the plans for Har Homa or Givat Hamatos as legal and above board. Get some clue and stop trying to reframe the issue in order to peddle lame-assed hasbara talking points.

      The Road Map also required Israel to remove outposts that were set up since March 2001, not attempt to legalize them, like Givat Salit, or relocate them somewhere else in the occupied territory, like Ulpana.

    • The University of California recently commissioned a report on the campus climate that accuses students and faculty who are critical of Israel of contributing to a negative environment for Jewish students.

      The University of California Regents aren't empowered to act as gate keepers for speech that's critical of the policies of the State of Israel. The same principle applies to them, that applies to the public transit authorities in New York and California with respect to Pam Geller's advertising campaign.

      Our civil rights laws don't protect religious or ethnic sensibilities about another state's policies. That's especially true if those policies 1) have been described as "unsustainable", "illegitimate", or "illegal" by our own government officials and the World Court; and 2) the State of Israel's policies are based in whole or in part on an establishment of a public religion that discriminates against persons on the basis of their non-Jewish religion or ethnicity.

    • There are no new settlements being built,

      Nonsense. The Middle East Quartet's Road Map obligated Israel to remove outposts that were a clear attempt to unilaterally alter the status of the territory. Instead, the government and the Knesset have acted to "legalize" outposts. The Road Map also called for an end to construction in existing settlements for so-called "natural growth".

  • Israel's secret Iran meeting between security officials and Rabbi who wants to 'annihilate' Arabs
    • This tool, Yusuf (and it really is telling that the israeli theological community hasn’t done what needs to be done to strip him of his rank as a rabbi), is nothing but a KKK-style bigot, adhering to the eqivalence of Christian-White-Power ideology.

      Surprisingly enough Menachim Begin obtained a ruling from Ovadia Yosef in 1973 that the Ethiopian Beta Israel community were descendants of the Tribe of Dan and should be brought to Israel to help counter the demographic threat.

      The Chief Rabbis of Israel are bought and paid for politicians and bureaucrats. Here is how the selection process is described:

      The defining characteristic of the chief rabbi selection process in Israel is that involves secular as well as religious communities.
      . . .
      But the net has been cast so wide that instead of having a selection committee there is a panel that is larger than the Knesset - and with almost as much politicking. There are 120 members of the Knesset; the board tasked with choosing the country's two chief rabbis, one Ashkenazi and one Sephardi, has 150.
      . . .
      The secular members on the panels are mostly politicians, national and local - or their nominees - who themselves have deals that they want to cut with each other.

      The process encourages the selection of candidates who are politically acceptable and inoffensive to all concerned, but not the country's true rabbinic leaders.


      If Netanyahu is soliciting his support for a strike on Iran, you can bet there'll be a quid pro quo offer on the table and that Netanyahu will have to endorse whatever Shas proposes as an alternative to the Tal Law.

  • Mob 'lynching' of Palestinian minors marks rise of Jewish extremism
  • Must Read -- Medea Benjamin's Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control
    • [JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson told reporters on Sunday that the US government must allow an independent investigation of the legality of its drone strike policy. The US has received heavy criticism recently for its use of drone strikes to attack targets in the War on Terror [JURIST news archive]. Emmerson criticized the US for its policy of defending the legality of drone strikes in general while declining to officially confirm that it is responsible for recent attacks. He said the US must expose its program to international scrutiny [Independent report] in order evaluate the legality of the strikes, which some have argued violate the sovereignty of foreign states and are potential war crimes. Emmerson said it was impossible to evaluate the legality of the attacks until the US acknowledged their existence and allowed an investigation into their use. . . . . .

  • State Dept defines settler violence as terrorism
    • Well, labeling the settlers attacks as terrorism only does any good if some action is taken against them.

      Of course not, the State Department merely says that our government does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. It never draws attention to the fact that it's a government run joint criminal enterprise. Although Israel is implanting Kahanist terrorists and other illegal settlers in the Palestinian Territories, the State Department isn't likely to place Israel on its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

      FYI, in October 2003 Secretary of State Colin Powell re-designated Kahane Chai as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (“FTO”), re-designated Kach as an alias of Kahane Chai and for the first time designated as an alias of Kahane Chai. Those designations were reaffirmed in 2004. In 2005 the three entities petitioned for revocation of the 2003 designations, claiming that they were made without substantial support in the administrative record and that the State Department denied them due process when it refused to provide the administrative record prior to the 2003 designations.

      In response, the Department noted the Secretary based his conclusion upon four documents. The first was a transcript of a July 1, 2002 radio broadcast by the Jerusalem Voice of Israel Network reporting that death threats had been made against Israeli police officers investigating the “Jewish terrorist squad case,” an apparent reference to the attempted bombing by right-wing extremists of an Arab school for girls. See the Digest of United States Practice in International Law starting at pdf page 191 link to

  • In September, the agendas collide
    • Why is Israel in the UN OlegR?

      Simple, the General Assembly suspended action under resolution 181(II) during the 2nd special session deliberations on the Question of Palestine and appointed a Special Mediator to pursue other peace solutions. The South West case subsequently established that the action of a mandatory power could not unilaterally terminate the mandated status of a territory without the specific consent of the General Assembly. It became a matter of controversy whether or not the provisions of resolution 181 (II), pertaining to the termination of the mandate, had been suspended. See UN GA resolution 186 (S-2)

      But Article 78 of the UN Charter stipulated that:

      The trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality.

      There is ample precedent for independent governments to remain under mandate or trusteeship for an extended period of time for the purposes of trade agreements, & etc. For example, Article 18 of the Palestine Mandate contained a trade agreement that had been approved by the Council of the League of Nations. It remained in force for twenty years after the independent government was established in Transjordan.

      That's one of the reasons that establishment of independent governments in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Transjordan did not automatically result in immediate recognition of statehood or termination of their mandates.

      After all, the independence of the mandates had been provisionally recognized from the vary beginning under the terms of Article 22 of the League's Covenant. There had always been a requirement to establish self-governing institutions in both Palestine and Transjordan. It was always a complete mystery why that had only taken place in one of the territories beginning in 1923. So the establishment of a provisional government of Israel did not automatically constitute "the ability to stand alone" or prevent the adoption of the US proposal to establish a UN trusteeship in Palestine to restore law and order there. Only Israel's membership in the UN could prevent that from happening.

      In the earlier cases of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, the mandates were only considered to have lapsed when the countries either joined the League of Nations or its successor, the UN. Here is some background on that situation. Although the League of Nations (LoN) was open to membership by self-governing colonies like India, it was never open to dependent states that were still under formal international tutelage. The LoN commission appointed to study the border dispute between Turkey and Great Britain over Mosel recommended that the mandate for Iraq have a minimum term of 25 years to protect the rights of the Chaldean minority. It was also recommended that prior to the expiration of the 25 year term, Iraq could make a declaration acknowledging a minority rights undertaking and apply for membership in the League of Nations. The Council of the League agreed, that if Iraq were to be admitted, the mandate would lapse. Members of the League were also obliged to accept the policy of the Open Door on trade. See George Scott, The Rise and Fall of the League of Nations, (London: Hutchinson, 1973), ISBN: 0091170400, page 134.

      The USA had not joined the League of Nations, but it had negotiated treaties, like the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention covering each of the Mandates. So even after the dissolution of the League of Nations, the USA had a legally secured interest in the administration and termination of any mandate. It's unique legal standing was reflected in its participation in the Anglo-American Inquiry and Truman's demands for the 100,000 Jewish immigration quotas. That status was also reflected in the Statement of General Catroux of November 29, 1941, recognizing the sovereignty and independence of Syria and Lebanon within the framework of the Mandate. The proclamation said:

      "the independence and sovereignty of Syria and Lebanon will not affect the juridical situation as it results from the Mandate Act. Indeed, this situation could be changed only with the agreement of the Council of the League of Nations, with the consent of the Government of the United States, a signatory of the Franco-American Convention of April 4, 1924, and only after the conclusion between the French Government and the Syrian and Lebanese Governments of treaties duly ratified in accordance with the laws of the French Republic.

      *See Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1941. The British Commonwealth; the Near East and Africa Volume I (1941), pages 809-810;
      *Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963) 680-681

      The UNESCO/Brill volume "International Law: Achievements and Prospects" contained an essay by Judge Broms which explained that the Government of France still regarded Lebanon and Syria as mandates until they became charter members of the UN organization. See paragraph 14

      During a Pentagon Conference in 1946, the U.S. government advised the UK that it had adopted the policy position that formal termination of the mandate with respect to Transjordan would follow the earlier precedent established by the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon. That meant termination would generally be recognized upon the admission of Transjordan into the United Nations as a fully independent country. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. The Near East and Africa Volume VII (1946), page 798

      So that's the reason the Zionists were in such a rush to apply for membership, despite the fact that only 19 of the 57 members of the UN were willing to extend the country formal recognition.

    • Since international law and the issue of human rights as they were implemented by the UN since it’s establishment were such a sad farce ,
      i do tend to pay less attention when people start bringing it up in arguments especially when it is done with a tone piety in their voice.

      The international community of states have gradually instituted some changes in the areas of enforcement to end the impunity of parties that don't pay attention to the law.

      The statute of the International Court of Justice was part of the UN Charter. It required the Court to obtain the consent of the parties to decide most cases. When the General Assembly decided to establish a permanent criminal tribunal, the United States opposed the idea. Amendments to the Charter require approval by all of the permanent members of the Security Council and two thirds of the members of the General Assembly.

      So the General Assembly held a UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries and they established an independent permanent criminal tribunal over the objections of the US and Israel. No ICC member States exercise a veto. The new Court has its own own legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, that can amend the Rome Statute without bothering to consult the UN. Unlike the General Assembly, it can outlaw State practices that it considers a serious crime. It's statutes are backed up by a legal organ that can exercise criminal jurisdiction worldwide with the cooperation of its 121 member countries.

      In Regina v Jones (2006) the UK Law Lords accepted the proposition that the core elements of the crime of aggression have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial (and, on conviction, punishment) of those accused of this most serious crime. They said that: "It is unhistorical to suppose that the elements of the crime were clear in 1945 but have since become in any way obscure."

      After the attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla in the Summer of 2010, the Assembly of State Parties adopted a definition of the crime of aggression over the objections of the USA and Israel. Both countries attended the Review Conference as observer states. The new definition will enter into force in 2017 and it includes blockades and occupation of any state in violation of the UN Charter. Note that the General Assembly, acting under the auspices of "Uniting for Peace" and other resolutions has long since determined that Israel's continued occupation of Arab territories captured in 1967 and its establishment of settlements therein are illegal and constitute aggression. See
      *General Assembly Resolution ES-9/1 link to
      *General Assembly resolution 39/146 link to

      So the international community of states have sent a clear message that the practices of occupying or blockading the territory of an ICC member state after 2017 will be viewed as a criminal offense that can be prosecuted by either the Court or its member states according to principles that have been well-known since they were established by the Nuremberg tribunal.

    • He said
      A “Sure, if you look at it objectively, there is no legitimate Palestinian leadership”

      B ” Now does that mean that any Palestinian holding office is illegitimate and that anything they do is illegitimate? No.”

      That’s called avoiding an answer.

      Statehood is a legal status conferred on the government of a territory by other existing states. Many countries recognized the legitimacy of the unilateral declaration of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Va'ad Leumi when the members appointed themselves as the provisional government of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948. They granted themselves all executive, legislative, and judicial powers, without holding any elections or consulting the wishes of the 500,000 Arab inhabitants.

      When the US Senate Judiciary Committee asked Yehuda Blum "How Israel's first elections could possibly be considered legitimate, when Israel had driven the bulk of its Arab voters into exile and refused to permit them to return?" He replied that many UN member states only hold sham elections, if they even bother to hold elections at all and that electoral legitimacy is not essential to statehood under international law.

      The PLO/PA have been recognized as the government of the State of Palestine by the majority of other existing states. That form of recognition is a source of legitimacy that was denied to the governments of Rhodesia and the Union of South Africa.

    • I really think Hanin Zoabi should lead the Palestinian people,

      She already does, 1 in 5 Israelis are Palestinian and even more Palestinians are refugees from Israel.

      that would let her fulfill her potential,it’s wasted in the Knesset…

      Well I'd agree that the Israeli Knesset is probably the greatest waste of time ever - right after the US State of the Union Address and the use of Microsoft Power Point.

    • The U.S. and Israel are really concerned about Iran reaching *nuclear threshold* status–not producing nuclear weapons, but gaining the ability to produce them relatively quickly if they were to decide to.

      That's interesting, but its not legitimately a situation that the non-proliferation regime was ever designed to address.

      China would have a much better argument for a preemptive strike against Japan if that were the case, because it has enough material to produce thousands of bombs and has announced the intention of retaining a capability to rapidly produce them, e.g.

    • The PA lacks legitimacy from the Palestinian people, and has gone to great efforts to consolidate its power and deny the collective will of the Palestinian people remaining in Palestine.

      I agree with Mouin Rabbani's remarks:

      Q: How do you respond to those who argue that the current Palestinian leadership lacks legitimacy, either because their electoral terms have expired or because of the blurring of the lines between the PA and the PLO?

      A: Sure, if you look at it objectively, there is no legitimate Palestinian leadership, and that’s as true as it is for the government in Gaza as it is for the government in Ramallah. . . . Now does that mean that any Palestinian holding office is illegitimate and that anything they do is illegitimate? No. That would be going to the other extreme.

      link to

      It's imperative to end the Oslo era deadlock. Israel has always claimed the right to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity against Palestinian communities located anywhere in the world, i.e. Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan, etc. and Oslo was Israel's attempt to perpetuate that situation. Everyone admits that those crimes would be prohibited under international law if they had only been committed against the citizens of another State. There may be some people studying philosophy in Tel Aviv University who still oppose statehood under those circumstances, but it really isn't their ass or their constituency that's getting murdered with frightening regularity out in the OPT.

      The 1988 PLO Declaration of the State of Palestine established that the Executive and Central Committee of the PLO would continue to have the power to establish a provisional government or conduct a vote of confidence and remove a provisional government until such time as the occupation itself ends and the whole Palestinian people can vote and exercise jurisdiction over their own territory. That's not at all unusual for a state born out of revolution or civil war. Israel is arresting and deporting legislators from Jerusalem who have political affiliations with Hamas. There's no way for anyone to conduct fair and impartial general elections under those conditions.

      Some of the mandates of the provisional PA factions in Gaza and Ramallah have expired. That doesn't mean that that they have no other sources of legitimacy. The PLO elected new members to the Executive, including Hanan Ashrawi in August of 2009. You can read all about that and the plan that was adopted then to end the occupation and establish the state through efforts, like this UN bid, here:

      Hamas also held internal elections recently and the agreement with Abbas includes their integration in the PLO.

      President Abbas, Prime Minister Fayyad, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, jailed leader Marwan Barghouti, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Hanan Ashrawi, and Israeli MK Hanan Zoabi have all endorsed the UN bid for recognition of Palestine's statehood. Many of those people were elected to public office during the most recent elections, and great weight should still be attached to their political positions even if their provisional mandates have expired.

    • Israel has little to fear from the ICC as it has not even been established that the ICC will accept a Palestinian request. They have already been tuned down once for not being a state and the enhanced status is unlikely to change that fact.

      Correction: The only question is whether or not the Court should wait until Palestine becomes a state party to the Rome Statute or if it will be obligated to take action on the Article 12(3) Declaration immediately after the General Assembly votes. The former ICC Prosecutor merely turned in a status report to the United Nations which said that he didn't have the statutory authority to determine if Palestine is a state or not. He noted that the decision belongs to the UN Secretary General acting as depositary or the Assembly of State Parties to the ICC.

      The former Prosecutor and the President of the Assembly of States Parties have both indicated that, if Palestine obtains observer state status or other recognition of its status as state from the UN organization, the ICC would react accordingly and that crimes committed on its territory since July 2002 would be investigated. There is no doubt that the settlements are a violation of Article 8 of the Rome Statute and that the World Court already declared them illegal in 2004.

      70 of the 121 members of the ICC have already recognized the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine and the Prosecutor's remarks do not alter that fact. The Court is required to respect those legal determinations regarding the statehood of third parties in accordance with Article 98 of the Statute itself.

      It's the State Parties to the Statue who extended the right to other countries to accept jurisdiction of the Court under article 12(3) . The customary rules regarding the rights of third states that have been accepted in writing are spelled out in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. They apply to declarations made under the Rome Statute and any other treaty that serves as the constituent document of an international organization. Those customary rules do not allow the revision or revocation of rights granted to third states without the consent of all the parties to the treaty. So the status of Palestine's existing Article12(3) Declaration remains unchanged pending a determination by the proper parties or the Court itself.

      For his part, the Secretary General had already been accepting instruments of accession from Palestine for multilateral agreements since 2001 and he has no other choice in the matter since the UNESCO vote. Both the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and Maintenance of Diplomatic Relations explicitly require the Secretary to accept instruments of accession from state members of the UN specialized agencies. The UNESCO membership application was also based upon the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence. That should have settled the question of its legal status as of 2002 when the Rome Statute entered into force.

      But all of that's really irrelevant. Any state can exercise or transfer jurisdiction to others over the most serious international crimes that occurred before it came into existence. Israel did that in the Eichmann case.

      But if it were true (unlikely) then the ICC jurisdiction would be a two way street – the ongoing, multiyear and indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians also constitute war crimes.

      Not exactly. Palestine has already accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC for all crimes committed on its territory since July 2002 in writing. That applies to crimes committed by both sides.

      If Israel wishes to pursue investigations by the ICC, it would also have to accept the Court's jurisdiction for all crimes committed on its own territory by both sides in writing.

      But it will not happen. A GA resolution does not make them a state, and neither the UN nor the ICC can provide them with borders and territory to become one.

      Correction. The Rome Statute specifically addresses the situation where owing to wars or occupation, a state is unable to prosecute serious crimes or its national judicial system is rendered non-existent. Entities only have to be a state for the purposes of Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. It requires that a state with either personal or territorial jurisdiction make the declaration. There is no requirement for subject matter jurisdiction or exclusive jurisdiction, since it's the Court's jurisdiction that's being triggered.

      Even under the lapsed Oslo Accords the Palestinian Authority was composed of territorial, personal and functional jurisdictions. As noted above every state has the right to exercise universal jurisdiction without regard to temporal or statutory limitations.

      If this ICC gambit was all so easy as you make it out to be, the Palestinians would be done it long ago.

      2009 was a long time ago. If this gambit was so harmless, the Israelis and their stooges wouldn't be fighting it tooth and nail and shreying about Israel's inherent vulnerability.

    • You do not seem to understand what is going on here. The US does not have a veto in the General Assembly.

      They didn't have a veto in UNESCO either. But the US managed to keep Palestine from becoming a member for more than two decades by blackmailing the specialized agencies. It invoked a Reagan administration era statute that cuts-off funding to any UN organ or agency that grants the PLO the rights reserved to a member State. There UN "reform" legislation pending to extend that threat to any upgrade in its non-member observer status.

      At one and the same time, the USA helped push-through a Security Council resolution which requires members of the Quartet to promote recognition of the Palestinian state and UN membership starting in 2003. See UN Security Council resolution 1515 and S/2003/529

      That's just one of the latest examples of hypocrisy. In 1945, Zionist Representative Sol Bloom of New York's 19th and 20th district was a delegate to the convention in San Francisco that established the United Nations. During the negotiations with Norway over the admission of Denmark, Russia and the United Kingdom had expressed their willingness to accept the proposal, but the Chinese asked for an invitation for Korea to join if the question of Denmark were brought up. The UK representative commented that the situation with respect to Korea was somewhat different because there was no recognized Korean Government. Alger Hiss remarked that the problem of Iceland might be brought up, too, and possibly Poland as well. The Secretary of State declared that he hated the prospect of starting another "three-ring circus".

      Representative Bloom declared that if the question of inviting some of these other nations were raised, he himself would suggest admitting Palestine. See Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers, 1945, General : the United Nations, page 975.

      Nowadays the Zionists claim that Palestine never existed or that it was never State. But the fact is, that it was nearly a Charter Member of the UN together with the other A mandates: Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.

    • So it the Palestinians think they can make do without direct negotiations and US financial support, more power to them. But they will be no closer to the sovereign state they supposedly desire.

      Once Palestine can demand that Netanyahu & company be prosecuted over the settlements, deportations, & etc. that have been carried-out since 2002, the Israeli leadership will no longer be able to visit any country in the EU and a grand total of 121 countries around the world without risk of being arrested and spending the rest of their lives in jail. That may sober them up a bit about the situation they've created for themselves.

      Palestinians will also have a recognized right to pursue claims against Israel's foreign assets for a change. They'll also be the only ones who decide which laws are going to apply in their territory on a de jure basis.

      Implementing the two state solution has always been the first necessary step toward unification or confederation between co-equal parties. Contrary to popular belief, Noam Chomsky has been supporting the two state solution for that very reason for decades. He had a great interview about that in Mouin Rabbani, "Reflections on a Lifetime of Engagement with Zionism, the Palestine Question, and American Empire: An Interview with Noam Chomsky", Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol 41, no. 3 (Spring 2012), p. 92

      It's pretty long, but definitely worth the read.

    • But of course, it will not be an action without consequences. And if they think their fellow Arabs will bail them out financially, they are dreaming.

      Oh yeah? Once Israel annexes everything but the Bantustans, Palestine will still have the necessary legal standing of a victim state in an international criminal tribunal. That's something the Bantus and Namibians could have only dreamed about. Any MK who votes in favor of an illegal measure can count on being named in a criminal indictment.

      The Israeli's have already annexed the territory in question anyway by extending the application of their municipal laws to the citizens living there on an extra-territorial basis. While they insist that there can be no pre-conditions, they've ruled out the possibility that they will withdraw from the major settlement blocks under any conceivable negotiated settlement. If you don't indict the responsible individuals and put out warrants for their arrest, they'll never understand the prohibition against unilateral annexation of territory or the proscription against acquisition anyway.

    • Abbas can be counted on by his US paymasters as continuing to suffer from the slows. He can be counted upon to put on a show and nothing but.

      I think you should give the guy a little more credit than that. Abbas didn't listen to his paymasters last year when he obtained member state status in UNESCO. Its hard to see why he would consider the US a reliable paymaster what with the idiots in Congress, like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, endorsing the annexation of Jerusalem and the West Bank and freezing his funding over the UN bid or the overtures to Hamas in any event.

      He didn't listen to anyone when he filed the criminal complaint in the Hague against Israel back in 2009, despite a full-tilt propaganda and blackmail campaign that's been conducted ever since. Article 12(3) Declarations can't be withdrawn once they're filed with the ICC. If the UN recognizes Palestine as a State on the basis of its 1988 UDI, that means the ICC can prosecute Israel for everything it has done since the Rome Statute entered into effect in July 2002. Wikileaks revealed that Israel naturally considered the ICC complaint an act of war.

  • 'Al Jazeera' reports Syrian regime committed Houla massacre in effort to ignite sectarian conflict
    • Hostage has done a pretty thorough job in showing that there is no definitive evidence either way in determining “who” committed the massacres at Houla.

      At this stage those particular conflicting reports are almost irrelevant. The information that is available indicates that both sides have adopted policies and practices that amount to war crimes, and crimes against humanity, including the use of torture and extrajudicial executions.

      The deaths that have resulted from accidental or reckless attacks attributable to both sides are just as incriminating as deliberate ones, once a routine pattern and practice of criminal negligence emerges. The body count in this conflict puts the leadership on both sides way past that point. Attempting to conduct a long distance criminal investigation in the middle of a war won't meet international standards anyway and you can already send leaders like Assad and his chief adversaries to jail for life, many times over, on the basis of what we already know about the circumstances and the excess or disproportionate casualties. That conclusion doesn't require any guesswork.

    • But we aren’t talking about Israel on this thread American , do try to keep up.

      LOL! How would you know? Israel is fairly notorious for the use of Mista’arvim units. They were used in the Bekaa valley in the 2006 Lebanon war and in Gaza in 2008/9.

      Daniel Byman, of Georgetown and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy writes

      The IDF used mistaravim (“to become an Arab”) units, units where Israelis dressed and acted as locals to gather intelligence. When Israel would take over an area, troops would go from house to house to collect the names, phone numbers, and other information of every resident. The combination of UAVs and mistaravim units proved deadly, and made it hard for Palestinian fighters to move in response to Israeli attempts to flank them.

      These Jewish undercover units, called “The Arabists of the Palmach” or Mista’arvim [literally, "Arab-pretenders"], are known to have been in operation in Palestine and neighboring Arab countries since 1942. The purpose of the units, which were part of the Palmach, was to gather intelligence information and carry out assassinations of Arabs, by infiltrating Arab towns and villages disguised as local Arabs. Primarily Jews who originated from Arab countries were recruited to the Mista ‘rivim. — See Targeting To Kill: Israel’s Undercover Units, Elia Zureik and Anita Vitullo, The Palestine Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC)
      *link to
      *link to
      and Zvika Dror, The ’Arabists’ of the Palmach (Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1986)

      Nothing would stop defectors from the regular Syrian army now serving in the rebel Free Syrian Army units from using their experience to pose as Assad's forces too.

      Seriously, judging from the information and guess work available in the public domain, the consensus of opinion now backs the thesis that Assad's forces are the prime suspects, but that the rebels should be investigated too.

    • Hi Hostage, if I’m not mistaken the German media source FAZ quotes Mother Agnes Mariam to back up its claims.

      My point is that it's the job of the fact finding expedition to actually gather testimony and depose the witnesses. All these reports which say that Mother Agnes has been discredited because another witness told a newspaper that she is an agent of the government and a liar are all fine an good. I still get nervous when there's no sworn deposition from either Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio or Mother Agnes Mariam. It's okay to assume facts that are not in evidence at this stage, because this isn't a trial. But the UN report doesn't really present very compelling evidence one way or the other about the identity of the perpetrators of this particular massacre.

      Confirming details, like "the unidentified perpetrators wore red arm bands", doesn't eliminate the possibility of disguised defectors from the Free Syrian Army, & etc. It doesn't constitute proof the perpetrators were following orders from the government when they carried out massacres. At this point the UN is establishing the need for an Ad Hoc Tribunal or the ICC Prosecutor to conduct a proper investigation. This report would form the basis of a referral.

    • P.S. That should have read:

      The report of the Commission of Inquiry does 1) contain ample evidence that crimes were committed by both sides; 2) prima facie evidence against government officials that could result in their conviction unless rebutted at trial; and 3) some very useful circumstantial and/or exculpatory evidence. But it didn’t fulfil its mission in those areas (just yet) with regard to the deliberate Al-Houla massacre.

      The final report will not be completed and turned-in until mid September. So some of these apparent shortcomings may be overcome by then.

    • Thanks for making the link between this nun, and the German media report, which informed reactionary pieces peddling regime propaganda that the rebels were behind it.

      The report that you cited confirms that Mother Agnes Mariam works in Syria and that she made accusations during a visit to Dublin and Belfast Ireland. It contains subjective evidence, obtained by interviewing Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio, who had spent time with opposition forces in several rebel held parts of Syria. He challenges Mother Agnes Mariam character and account. There is nothing there which says she obtained her information from a German press report, rather than eye witness Syrian accounts.

      The notion that the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) confirmed the original reports is an overstatement. It found credible and ample evidence that all of the parties to the conflict had committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, including torture and extrajudicial executions. It said that it felt that the violations and abuses committed by anti-Government armed groups did not reach the gravity, frequency and scale of those committed by Government forces and the Shabbiha, but that the lack of access to the country significantly hampered the commission’s ability to fulfil its mandate.

      The report didn't discuss the possibility of a black flag operation that might have deceived eye witnesses, although that is what Mother Agnes alleged. In fact the report doesn't mention Mother Agnes at all. It mentions unsuccessful attempts to interview two anonymous witnesses mentioned in the government of Syria's investigation and some Syrian and Russian press reports. It is based on assumptions that all of the Shabbiha fighters are carrying out government orders and policies, "Although the nature, composition and hierarchy of the Shabbiha remains unclear". It wasn't allowed to conduct any on-scene investigations in the country at all. It's findings of fact related to Houla were confined to accidental or careless acts, not to the deliberate killings involved in the massacre:

      Special inquiry into Al-Houla:
      41. The commission delivered its preliminary findings (A/HRC/20/CRP.1) to the Human Rights Council on 27 June 2012, based on evidence gathered up until 22 June. In its report, the commission concluded that the Government was responsible for the deaths of civilians as a result of shelling the Al-Houla area and, particularly, Taldou village. It also found that the Government’s investigation fell short of international human rights standards. With regard to the deliberate killing of civilians, the commission was unable to determine the identity of the perpetrators. Nevertheless, it considered that forces loyal to the Government were likely to have been responsible for many of the deaths.

      -- See A-HRC-21-50.doc

      When there's a dispute over the material facts, like there is this case, the trier of fact needs to have evidence from an on scene criminal investigation that actually ties the government to particular groups of Shabbiha fighters or a least ties some identifiable group directly to the crimes. The report of the Commission of Inquiry does 1) contain ample evidence that crimes were committed by both sides; 2) prima facie evidence that some crimes were committed by both sides; and 3) some very useful circumstantial and/or exculpatory evidence. But it didn't fulfil its mission in those areas (yet) with regard to the deliberate Al-Houla massacre.

    • As it happened, all of them were relying on a single article appearing in a German publication, written by an author who never visited Houla or met a survivor. This was no innocent mistake

      The old maxim still applies, "The first casualty of war is Truth."

      I cited a report carried by Josh Landis' Syria blog that relied upon eyewitness accounts collected from refugees from the Houla region by members of the Monastery of St. James in Qara, Syria. Details about that and other recent rebel attacks that were reportedly repackaged and blamed on the government were supplied by a Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix of the St. James Monastery, not a German newspaper report.

      Contradictory subjective evidence really only establishes the need for a formal forensic criminal investigation. Not more long distance guess work.

  • Paul Ryan's foreign policy: Spinning straw into gold
    • Even more clever would be to understand what the person meant, which is that those (refusing to recognize Israel and calling Bin Ladin a martyr) are characteristics of Hamas, not characteristics of the charter.

      It might interest you and Ryan to know that the latest issue of the Israel Law Review features a new section called Opposing Viewpoints and that the first debate involves an exchange over the legality under international law of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

      Although none of the participants belong to Hamas, some take the view that the United States acted illegally. So there are divergent approaches to the issue on how to qualify the situation in Pakistan, how to assess the legality of US policy, membership of non-state armed groups, and the proper relationship between human rights law and IHL even among people who aren't members of Hamas.

      The articles are available for free from the Israel Law Review/Cambridge Journals Online.

    • He will make clear to the Palestinians that the unilateral attempt to decide issues that are designated for final negotiations by the Oslo Accords is unacceptable.’

      No doubt the Romney campaign cites the Oslo Accords, because the members of the Middle East Quartet are obligated to promote international recognition of the Palestinian State including possible UN membership in Phase II of the Road Map. Those are not issues designated for the Phase III final negotiations.

      Oslo is also irrelevant. The PLO declared the establishment of the State of Palestine in November 1988. The Interim Agreement of 1995, which is the major post-Oslo agreement, specifies that neither party shall be deemed “to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions” (Art. 31-6). Statehood was never mentioned or enumerated as an issue designated for final status negotiations in the Oslo Accords.

      Oddly enough, the armistice lines were adopted as a provisional measure pending a final negotiated settlement in accordance with Article 40, Chapter VII of the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions 62 and 73. Phase II of the Road Map only requires "the Creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders". All in the world the PA has asked is that the 4 June 1967 borders be accepted as, wait for it, the basis for the final negotiations.

      If you can't come up with better excuses to provide cover for a policy of apartheid than Obama and Romney, then you really shouldn't be conducting foreign policy without some training wheels and a Chaperone.

  • 'NYT' publishes op-ed saying there are 'too many Palestinians and Arabs' in Israel
    • And your childish polemical rejection of it with a nasty claim about Jews doesn’t make it any less of a fact.

      There's nothing "nasty" or childish in pointing out that there is still no evidence of a "Jewish nationality" here in the USA. If you're determined to make false statements about Palestinian national identity, then it's appropriate to point out that about half the Jews in the world have deliberately chosen to live here in the USA, and have no interest in being governed by Orthodox religious officials or Zionists in Israel.

      It’s never been debunked. It isn’t an argument against current Palestinian nationalism, it’s just a fact.

      Yes it has been thoroughly debunked. But let's go through the motions of doing it one more time. It was completely contrived propaganda when the Jewish Agency first employed your innuendo about the lack of Palestinian nationalism, and the related arguments, claiming: 1) that there was no Palestinian nation. 2) that the Land of Palestine had never been an Ottoman administrative district; 3) that "the Arabs" had vast reserves of suitable land elsewhere in which Palestinians should pursue their own national sovereignty; 4) that this sovereignty and population transfer scheme was part of the Law of Nations. See for example Moshe Shertok's deceptive testimony to the UN Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine:$FILE/gapal20.pdf

      Neville J. Mandel noted that throughout the 19th century the Ottoman Government employed the term “Arz-i Filistin” (the “Land of Palestine” ) in official correspondence, meaning for all intents and purposes the area to the west of the River Jordan which became “Palestine” under the British in 1922. He noted also noted that the Arabs used the term “ Filastin” and that the Jews used the term Palestine in their Basel platform and when they established their first business, the Anglo-Palestine Bank. See ''The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I''. University of California Press, . ISBN 0-520-02466-4

      During the Egyptian invasion in 1831 the country had been placed under a single administrator and all of the major population centers and clans in the districts from Hebron to Nablus took part in the national uprising.

      In Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal,The Palestinian People: A History, Harvard University Press, 2003 the authors wrote that Palestinian nationality was already clearly evident during the Egyptian-Ottoman war (1831-1833). Israeli Historian Butros Abu Manneh noted that in 1830, on the eve of Muhammad Ali's invasion the Sanjaks of Jerusalem and Nablus were transferred to the control of Abdullah Pasha the Governor of Acre and that the move had united the whole of Palestine in one administrative unit. See The Israel/Palestine Question: A Reader (Rewriting Histories), Ilan Pappé (Editor) Routledge (April 2, 1999), page 38.

      The Foreign Relations of the United States indicates that the Convention of the 15th July, 1840, continued to treated Palestine as a single administrative unit. The Convention referred to the territory as "Southern Syria or Palestine" and the Pashlic of Acre which included command of the fortress of St. John and the territory of Southern Syria. The Ottoman Empire and its European Allies granted Muhammed Ali, during his natural life, the government of Acre on the condition that he withdraw from the other Ottoman territories he had occupied, beside Egypt and Palestine, within 10 days. An enclosure contained a description of the boundaries and an explanation that, since he had not accepted the offer within the time allotted, he had forfeited "that government". See Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the forty-fifth Congress, 1879-'80, pages 1019-1021

      With the Ottoman restoration of 1841 the districts of Hebron, Gaza, and Jaffa were permanently added to Jerusalem and the district of Nablus remained part of "Jerusalem" until 1858. Damascus supported efforts to destroy the port and trade monopoly that Acre and Nablus enjoyed by placing them under the jurisdiction of their chief rivals in Beirut. After the loss of the Balkan districts and the British invasion and occupation of Egypt, the Central Ottoman government became alarmed over its position in the Holy Land. Officials were torn between the need to organize the districts into a united front and fears of a Palestinian uprising against the Sublime Porte. In 1872, the Prime Minister added the two northern districts to Jerusalem and announced that it would be elevated to the status of a Province. So the whole of the Land of Palestine was under a single administration once again. Two months later, he was sacked and Acre and Nablus were restored to the jurisdiction of Beirut. See The Israel/Palestine Question, page 39

      The notion that the Ottomans were in control of the territory and that the inhabitants never expressed a desire for a unified state can be dispelled by an official memorandum in 1884 and subsequent petitions filed with the central government calling for a single administrative unit. A member of the Sultan's entourage in the Yildiz Palace, Ahmed Hamdi, complained that between Aqaba in the south and the northern towns of Nablus and Salt there was a stretch of 800 hours travel distance of an anarchic nature where no single government employee was ever seen or heard from and which was entirely left to the Bedouin shaykhs ('urban mesayihine terk olan)”. He went on to say that in order to effectively strengthen the state’s authority in the region, it should be discussed whether it was not wise to unite all territories around the District of Jerusalem into a new province. However, he strongly advised that this entity should not be called ‘Palestine’ (Filistin), as this might arouse the curiosity of the Europeans, especially the British. He noted self-critically that the Ottomans did not even possess a map of the southern deserts of Palestine. See the discussion on pages 53 & 54 of Johann Büssow, Hamidian Palestine: Politics and Society in the District of Jerusalem 1872-1908 link to

      Büssow and Jens Hanssen, describe the situation in the remainder of the period before WWI as one of "administrative limbo" in which the districts of Jaffa, Nablus, and Acre repeatedly petitioned the government to unite them with the district of Jerusalem and make it the Provincial capital, e.g.
      See also Fin de Siecle Beirut: The Making of an Ottoman Provincial Capital, Oxford University Press, 2005

      In 1907 an official Ottoman Atlas added the secondary label Filistin to the District of Jerusalem. So there can't be any argument that Beersheba, Hebron, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Jaffa were all part of a single administrative unit named Palestine. See the discussion on page 57 and the map on page 58 of Johann Büssow, "Hamidian Palestine:
      Politics and Society in the District of Jerusalem 1872-1908", BRILL, Aug 11, 2011: link to

      Even if the residents of that region only expressed an occasional interest in the northern districts, they still considered the region between the Jordan and the Mediterranean and Aqaba and Nablus their national homeland of Palestine. The authors writing in the newspaper Filastin often equated ‘Palestine with the District o f Jerusalem. In a leading article in 1912, Yusuf al-‘Isa wrote that his ‘homeland (watan) extended ‘from the borders of Egypt to the Balqa [i.e. the District o f Nablus and the adjacent part of Transjordan] and from the mountains o f Moab [on the Eastern shore of the Dead Sea) to the Mediterranean’. One year later, the well-known Jerusalemite intellectual Raghib al-Khalidi wrote in an article entitled ‘Reform in Palestine’ (Al-Islah fi Filastin) that his ‘homeland’ was the District of Jerusalem.

      Jabotinsky was the head of the Zionist Executive's Propaganda Department when he wrote that the Palestinians were "not a rabble but a nation, perhaps somewhat tattered, but still living." More to the point he said: "If it were possible (and I doubt this) to discuss Palestine with the Arabs of Baghdad and Mecca as if it were some kind of small, immaterial borderland, then Palestine would still remain for the Palestinians not a borderland, but their birthplace, the center and basis of their own national existence. Therefore it would be necessary to carry on colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs, which is the same condition that exists now.
      -- See The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs), first published in 1923.

      It's a matter of public record that Israelis suffer from a spectrum of psychotic, antisocial, or narcissistic personality disorders related to this issue. Their Ambassador informed the US government that the mere mention of the word "Palestine" triggers violent outbursts and rage in individual Israelis. They insist that Palestine was a historical fiction, despite abundant evidence to the contrary from historians and the competent legal authorities concerned (who ruled time and again that Palestine was a de jure legal entity and a mandated state). See for example Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. Xviii, Near East, United States. Dept. of State, G.P.O., 1995, ISBN 0160451590, page 341.

      A variety of authoritative academic sources say that Zionists are deliberately dishonest about the origins of the Palestinian people, their nationality, and their nationalism. See for example:

      *Rosemary E. Shinko, "Discourses of Denial: Silencing the Palestinians, Delegitimizing Their Claims," Journal of International Affairs 58.1 (2004);
      *Baruch Kimmerling, Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians, Verso, 2003;
      *Marcelo Svirsky, "The Desire for terra nullius and the Zionist-Palestinian Conflict," in Paul Patton and Simone Bignall (Eds.) Deleuze and the Postcolonial, Edinburgh University Press 2009.
      *Lawrence Davidson, "Historical Ignorance and Popular Perception: the Case of U.S. Perceptions of Palestine, 1917," Middle East Policy3.2 (1994): pages 125-148;
      *Joyce Dalsheim, Settler nationalism, collective memories of violence and the 'uncanny other', Social Identities, Volume 10, Issue 2 2004 , pages 151 - 170;

      One of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid is the denial of the right to a nationality and self-determination. A variety of legal authorities say that Israel denies Palestinians in the OPT their right to a nationality by denying Palestinian refugees from inside the Green Line their right of return, residence, and citizenship in the State (Israel) governing the land of their birth. Israel’s policies in the OPT also effectively deny Palestinians their right to a nationality by obstructing the exercise of the Palestinian right to self-determination through the formation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip. See

      *The South African HSRC - University of London SOAS study "Occupation, Colonialism, and Apartheid" link to
      *The International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion in "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory"

    • The Zionists did take part in the fighting against the Axis powers. Moshe Dayan lost his left eye in action fighting Vichy French forces in Syria.

    • Oh, Pappe has a chair. BFD.

      Correction, he was appointed as the Chair of the History Department.

      Pappe himself has said that he is trying to tell his subjective version of the past.

      It's hard to see how you, of all people, could complain about that. Many lawyers, like yourself, earn an honest living doing the very same thing for the people that they represent. Military historians have to deal with conflicting reports and claims. Sixty year-old subjective evidence usually can't be independently verified by a trusted third party.

      Every dissertation or book advances an original point of view as a result of research. I'm certain that a learned scholar with an earned Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University can make up his own mind after reviewing the facts and evidence and defend his own conclusions. Let's let Pappe speak for himself on that point:

      The debate between us is on one level between historians who believe they are purely objective reconstructers of the past, like Morris, and those who claim that they are subjective human beings striving to tell their own version of the past, like myself. When we write histories, we built arches over a long period of time and we construct out of the material in front of us a narrative. We believe and hope that this narrative is a loyal reconstruction of what happened — although as was discovered by historiographers Morris had never bothered to read — we can not ride a train back in time to check it.

      Narratives of this kind, when written by historians involved deeply in the subject matter they write about, such as in the case of Israeli historians who write about the Palestine conflict, is motivated also — and this is not a fault but a blessing — by a deep involvement and a wish to make a point. This point is called ideology or politics. Zionist historians wanted to prove that Zionism was valid, moral and right and Palestinian historians wished to show that they were victimized and wronged. Morris wanted also to make a point recently — that ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Jews was justified in the past and would be acceptable in the future. Lately he shared with us some other views that explain his listing of what he calls the ‘factual’ mistakes in my book — that of viewing all the Arabs and all the Muslims as barbarians and primitive people. This also applies to their documents, sources and histories. Anyone who argues with him about these ideas is ‘factually’ wrong.

      I had a different point to make: I condemned the uprooting of the Palestinians and the violence inflicted on them, as well as the de—Arabization of Jews who came from Arab countries to Israel, the imposition of military rule on Palestinians in Israel before 1967 and the de—facto Apartheid policies put in place after 1967. I also cry out against the callous Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. I do it not only as human being, but also as Jew, who feels appalled that such crimes can be committed by Jews after the holocaust. I studied history to find out why it happened and gave answers through analyzing Zionist ideology, the historical colonialist context in which Zionism emerged and so on.

      In the same article, Pappe calls Benny Morris’s biography on Glubb Pasha “lame” and “insignificant”.

      MacMillan plugged "The Road to Jerusalem" as "the first in-depth account of Glubb's thinking and actions during 1948, as he led his small army into Palestine and war against Israel. His aims and actions, which lie at the very heart of the controversy between "Old" and "New" historians of the Arab-Israeli conflict, are carefully detailed using, for the first time, contemporary British, Arab Legion, and Israel Defence Forces intelligence sources."

      But Glubb published his own in-depth autobiographical account of his thinking, aims, and actions, in "A Soldier with the Arabs", Hodder & Stoughton, 1957. So Morris really wasn't exploring new territory in this particular volume. He mainly relied upon material from the IDF archives, and laboriously (re)confirmed the details of Glubb's account. It's useful, but at times it's not too inspirational. Eugene Rogan had already published a chapter in Rogan and Shlaim's volume on "Rewriting the History of 1948" using the Arab Legion archive material and King Abdullah's autobiography. Needless to say, Road to Jerusalem wasn't one of Morris' bestsellers.

    • I don’t give a rats ass how many times I have to repeat that Jewish history in the Holy Land isn’t a myth. You keep believing in the Khazar theory, Hostage.

      If your myths are true, then I'm only repeating them. There are more than just the one theory about the origins of the Khazars. You can read about one of them in the very detailed article on Armenia at the Jewish Virtual Library.

      That theory is based upon multiple sources, including some Jewish ones, concerning the Armenian origin of the Khazars. FYI, the eternal Torah claims that a mere 10 generations before Abraham got his copy of Noah's Y-Chromosome, it was resting on the mountains of Ararat somewhere in Armenia, in the company of some identical copies carried by his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. Note that they all would have had so-called "Levantine" DNA according to the criteria established by the Einstein Medical Center studies, despite the fact that the accounts indicate it originated elsewhere in the Middle East. The JVL article repeatedly associates biblical Haran with this region too. It also states:

      Armenia has been connected with the biblical Ashkenaz. The Armenians are termed "the Ashkenazi nation" in their literature. According to this tradition, the genealogy in Genesis 10:3 extended to the populations west of the Volga. In Jewish usage Ashkenaz is sometimes equated with Armenia; in addition, it sometimes covers neighboring *Adiabene (Targ. Jer. 51:27), and also Khazaria (David b. Abraham Alfasi, Ali ibn Suleiman; cf. S. Pinsker, Likkutei Kadmoniyyot (1860), 208; S.L. Skoss (ed.), Hebrew-Arabic Dictionary of the Bible of David ben Abraham al-Fasi (1936), 159), the Crimea and the area to the east (Isaac Abrabanel, Commentary to Gen. 10:3), the Saquliba (Saadiah Gaon, Commentary, ibid.), i.e., the territory of the Slavs and neighboring forest tribes, considered by the Arabs dependent of Khazaria, as well as Eastern and Central Europe, and northern Asia (cf. Abraham Farissol, Iggeret Orḥot Olam (Venice, 1587), ch. 3). In other expositions found in rabbinical works, Armenia is linked with *Uz. [the homeland of biblical Job]


      Ashkenaz was a 3rd generation descendant of Noah. The local history of the Jews in Armenia, like that of the other Jews of Central Asia, dates back as far as the deportations from the Northern Kingdom of Israel by Assyrians; deportations from Judea and Syria by the Armenian Emperor Tigranes the Great; and deportations of Jews from Persia. In short, there's no reason to believe that Khazars were thoroughbred Turkomen if they originated from Armenians, when there were so many reports of large numbers of Israelites and Jews living in Central Asia hundreds of years before the current era and the conversion of the Khazar Kingdom. There were frequent contacts with Byzantine and other Jewish communities.

      Still can’t understand what that has to do with it?

      It doesn't have anything to do with it, except for desperate Zionists who channel Joan Peters in order to prove that Palestinians were either unworthy or recent arrivals and that a bunch of European Jews should be considered homeboys.

    • You’re probably right, though it took them until the 1960s to figure out what nationalistic grouping they were.

      I see you're still learning disabled. That shopworn hasbara is a myth that won't hold water. It's been debunked many times here at MW and elsewhere.

      BTW the "Jews" are still a group who have not "figured out" what national group they belong to or even how to answer the question Who is a Jew?

    • Pappe isn’t a respected scholar; he’s a polemicist.

      Except of course for the fact that he is the Chair in the Department of History at the University of Exeter; and the editor of many of the standard Academic and Professional textbooks used in Middle Eastern History and Political Science courses worldwide. Many of his books have been reprinted in multiple editions sold through mainstream publishers, e.g.:
      *I.B. Tarus/MacMillan USA
      *Cambridge University Press UK

    • “No the Jews lived in the Middle East for millenia in relative peace with Arabs. ” That’s false. They were at best second-class citizens.

      When World War I broke out there were 5 Jewish Deputies serving in the Ottoman Parliament. The British didn't establish any elected representative legislative body at all during its twenty five year-long period of tutelage.

    • In the Middle East, they mostly want to expel and/or exterminate the Jews from the Middle East. . . . . the Palestinian goal is not peaceful coexistence, but expulsion or extermination of the Jews and replacement of Israel with Judenrein Palestine.

      One of these two communities is living on the inheritance of 5 million refugees living in exile nearby, and it ain't the Palestinians. Nuff said.

    • Ashkenazi Jews did not come to Palestine to make money or use the Holy Land as a refilling station. They came to flee persecution. And they had historical and religious roots in the region.

      The hell they didn't. Most of the Zionists were of the atheist, bomb throwing anarchist, or socialist varieties. Read Herzl's and Ben Gurion's diaries or Jabotinsky's articles before you try to deliver lectures to anyone about their religious roots. Those sources reveal that they were motivated by dreams of empire, conquest, or free plots of state land just like other settler colonial societies . The South African "Myth of Origin" is based upon the fact that Jan van Riebeeck founded the first Dutch settlement and that two hundred French Huguenots, fleeing religious persecution in their homeland, followed soon after.

      There is no comparison between these two situations, and you cannot keep ignoring the difference in context.

      Oh I can't huh? This NYT report is cited in Uri Davis, Apartheid Israel: Possibilities for the Struggle Within, Zed Books, 2004:

      As the late C. L. Sulzberger pointed out:
      Afrikaner South Africa and Jewish Israel both began in 1948 when the Nationalist party gained control o f this country [South Africa] and Palestine was partitioned. South Africa was one of the first states to recognize Israel. Its Prime Minister D. F. Malan was the first foreign chief of government to visit it.

      The Afrikaner sees Israel as another small nation, surrounded by enemies, where the Bible and a revived language are vital factors. As Jannie Kruger, former editor of Die Transvaler wrote: ‘The Afrikaners... are par excellence the nation of the Book.' The fundamentalist Boers trekked northward with gun in one hand and Bible in the other ... Like Israel, South Africa feels the role of language and religion are important to national survival. Prime Minister Vorster even goes so far as to say Israel is now faced with an apartheid problem - how to handle its Arab inhabitants. Neither nation wants to place its future entirely in the hands of a surrounding majority and would prefer to fight.

      Both South Africa and Israel are in a sense intruded states. They were built by pioneers organizing abroad and settling in partially inhabited areas. The only people here when the first Dutch arrived were Bushmen and Hottentots but the Zulus would be living in Johannesburg were it not for the Boers' northward trek. (C. L. Sulzberger, ‘Strange Nonalliance'. New York Times, 28 April 1971, quoted in Stevens and Elmessiri 1977: 143)


      There's plenty more where that came from.

    • “Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin contained a similar set of safeguards regarding equal rights:” . . . Your point? The Treaty of Berlin is a particularly inapposite example to use here and shows again why everything you post must be scrutinized for exactly the kind of pilpul you accuse me of.

      One of my points here has always been that Israel is violating a minority rights agreement with the UN which preserved rights that were placed under international guarantee by the Treaty of Berlin. those rights concern freedom of movement and access to the Holy sites on both sides of the Green Line. See the paragraph 129 (pdf file page 109) of the ICJ Advisory Opinion.

      The San Remo Resolution, which Zionists turn to almost reflexively in order to justify their colonial enterprise, contained an undertaking that was an amendment to the Mandate. It was a safeguarding clause for the pre-existing rights of the non-Jewish communities.

      The Allied Powers were justifiably concerned about the weasel wording of the Balfour Declaration. While it mentioned the "political rights" of Jews it only mentioned the "civil and religious rights" of the non-Jewish communities of Palestine. The Treaty of Berlin had guaranteed that religion could not be used as grounds for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honors, or the exercise of the various professions and industries.

      The ICJ noted that Article 13 of the Mandate and an entire Chapter of the UN Partition Plan had been devoted to safeguarding clauses and protections of "existing rights" that guaranteed the liberty of access, visit and transit to the Holy sites to all residents and citizens.

      Abba Eban acknowledged that the minority rights plan contained in the General Assembly resolution was an obligation that was capable of acceptance by Israel alone. So your comment about the state of human rights in the region and pilpul are just more of the usual deflection and misdirection. See the verbatim minutes

    • To be a colonial entity, you have to be a colony _of_ some mother country.

      No, see Gershon Shafir's Chapter "Settler Citizenship in the Jewish Colonization of Palestine", Caroline Elkins (Editor) Susan Pedersen (Editor) "Settler Colonialism in the Twentieth Century: Projects, Practices, Legacies," Routledge, 2005

      Of course Zionists in many of the European mother countries did establish old-fashioned chartered colonial companies and colonial societies. Herzl obtained land company charters and charted the Zionist Organization's trust companies in Great Britain. He actively pursued other charters with the Prussian and Ottoman heads of state. He told Max Nordau that other states would follow Great Britain's example and that new reserves of power could be created in Mozambique with the Portuguese, in the Congo with the Belgians, and in Tripolitania with the Italians.

      FYI, some of the governments of the western states actually established consulates in Palestine in order to facilitate its colonization and restoration to the Jews. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the vast majority of Jews were not Ottoman subjects, they remained "Protégés" of their home country consulates, or switched allegiances to become protégés of Great Britain, Prussia, or the USA. Great Britain and Prussia actively recruited Zionist and Protestant protégés. See
      *Alexander Scholch, "Britain in Palestine, 1838-1882: The Roots of the Balfour Policy", Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Autumn, 1992), pp. 39-56 Stable URL:

      *Ruth Kark, American Consuls in the Holy Land, 1832-1914, Hebrew University Magnes Press, 1994

      *M. Vereté, "Why Was a British Consulate Established in Jerusalem?", The English Historical Review, Vol. 85, No. 335 (Apr., 1970), pp. 316-345 Stable URL:

    • There were many ideas at the time

      Hophmi there was only one Zionist program for Palestine. Dr. Eder was the Chairman of the Palestine Commission when he testified to the Haycroft Commission that there would be only one national home in Palestine and no equality between the Jews and the Arabs. The Zionist Commission to Palestine was also the designated as the Jewish Agency for Palestine and became an official public body that represented the Jewish Yishuv. It supplied the offensive literature and testimony to the King-Crane Commission.

    • But not the Palestinian state and they weren’t equal citizens but subjects.

      Even the Jewish Virtual Library has biographical articles that explain that the Palestinian representative of the District of Jerusalem was the Speaker of the Ottoman Parliament. See

      There were also many Jewish Deputies, like Emmanuel Karasso from Salonica, who participated in the Parliamentary debates on Zionism.

      You might want to study-up on your history. Prof Donald Quataert explains that the term Ottoman was a misnomer. The Empire had long-since ceased to be a strictly Turkoman state through intermarriage of the members of the ruling dynasties. See "The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922, Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 2005. It was also a Multinational Empire due to territorial accretions and grants of local autonomy to the various ethnic and religious communities that it had incorporated. See for example Avigdor Levy (editor), "Jews, Turks, Ottomans: A Shared History, Fifteenth Through the Twentieth Century", Syracuse University Press, 2002

    • South Africa is different. It was 80% Black

      And Ottoman Palestine was more than 90 percent Arab. As the name implies, the "Ashkenazi Jews" were non-indigenous immigrants like the the Afrikaners.

      Once again, demographic expert U.O. Schmelz highlighted the fact that there was no indigenous Jewish demographic threat:

      This writer did some research long ago on the demography of the Jews in Jerusalem city in the mid-19th century. That research centered on the utilization of the primary material of two of the censuses of Jerusalem’s Jews undertaken on the initiative of Moses Montefiore, namely those in 1839 and 1866. The original census records have been preserved, and photocopies thereof were statistically processed and analyzed. The salient finding was the enormous mortality among the Jews of Jerusalem at that time, which caused a marked deficit in their natural rate of increase notwithstanding high nuptiality and, apparently, great fertility. Under these circumstances, the maintenance and gradual increase of the numbers of Jews in Jerusalem were entirely due to migratory reinforcements, i.e. to ‘aliya. [immigration]

      See U.O. Schmelz Demographic Research of the Jerusalem
      and Hebron Regions Towards the End of the Ottoman Period, in David Kushner, Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political, Social, and Economic Transformation, BRILL, 1986, page 363.

    • Yes, again, it’s not inherently racist to try and create an autonomous community.

      Herzl et al didn't limit their stated political objectives to an autonomous community. They were publishing manifestos about the establishment of a Jewish state in all of Palestine.

      Your lame-assed attempts to reframe the debate are the same-old same-old pilpul. The 1st and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution would prohibit the creation of either an ethnic or religious Jewish state in the USA.

      Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin contained a similar set of safeguards regarding equal rights:

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

    • The Jews are worried about being expelled or exterminated by the Arabs, not about having them as part of a rainbows and unicorns fantasy secular government.

      No, here in Kansas "the Arabs" don't pose a credible threat to "the Jews". If Israel hadn't done such a good job of establishing the legal procedures and tactics for expelling and exterminating others, their citizens could all sleep much better at night too.

    • Let’s stop this complaining about half. The original Mandate included Jordan.

      Here you go Hophmi: In August 1919 Balfour himself noted in a memo that the boundaries of Palestine did not yet extend into the lands lying east of the Jordan river and recommended that they might, but not however to include the Hedjaz Railway, which was an exclusively Arab interest [sic]. Note: The railway was built using charitable donations from Muslims to facilitate travelers making the Hajj pilgrimage, so it was managed as Waqf.

      The provisional boundaries were subsequently established by an “Aide-memoire in regard to the occupation of Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia pending the decision in regard to Mandates, 13 September 1919″ that was handed by Mr. Lloyd George to M. Clemenceau and placed before the Versailles Conference. It divided the territory between the British, French, and Arab administered OETAs on the basis of the “principles of the Sykes-Picot agreement” and “the Sykes-Picot line”. Palestine was strictly limited to only that area occupied by the British forces after their withdrawal from Syria. Palestine did not include Transjordan, which was part of the Arab OETA. The memoire mentioned “the Arab State” that the British and French had committed to support in Zones A and B under the terms of Sykes-Picot. The memo is available in the FRUS and in J. C. Hurewitz collection. All of the plans involving OETA North, South, and East had to be changed after August of 1920, when the French overthrew Feisal’s Syrian Kingdom. The relevant extracts are:

      1. Steps will be taken immediately to prepare for the evacuation by the British Army of Syria and Cilicia including the Taurus tunnel. 2. Notice is given both to the French Government and to the Emir Feisal of our intentions to commence the evacuation of Syria and Cilicia on November 1, 1919′… …6. The territories occupied by British troops will then be Palestine, defined in accordance with its ancient boundaries of Dan to Beersheba.

      The Resolution of the San Remo Conference, April 1920 simply conferred the mandates and stipulated that the boundaries would be determined by the Allied Powers at a later date.

      After the French overthrow of the new Arab State in August 1920, the British and French concluded the Franco-British Convention on Certain Points Connected with the Mandates for Syria and the Lebanon, Palestine and Mesopotamia, December 23, 1920. It established the boundaries between the territories under the British mandates of Mesopotamia and Palestine. The British decided not to include Transjordan in their Mesopotamian mandate.

      The British government had insisted on fulfilling the pledge made by McMahon to the Hashemites regarding territories east of the line from Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Allepo. The Jordan river had been the administrative boundary between the Sanjak of Jerusalem and the Syrian Vilayet containing Damascus. The boundary between Transjordan and Palestine were established according to biblical formulas. Those were set by the Jordan river crossing recorded in Yehoshua – Joshua 4:1-7; and the limits of “Dan to Beersheba” mentioned in Shoftim – Judges 20:1. Gideon Bigger relates that Lloyd George interrupted the Deauville negotiations with the French regarding the northern boundary to consult George Adam Smith’s works about the geography of the Holy Land. See Gideon Biger, The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840-1947, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0714656542, page 120

      On 21 March 1921, the Foreign and Colonial office legal advisers decided to introduce Article 25 into the Palestine Mandate. It was approved by Curzon on 31 March 1921, and the revised final draft of the mandate, including the territory of Transjordan, was forwarded to the League of Nations on 22 July 1922. See Aaron S. Klieman, “Foundations of British Policy In The Arab World: The Cairo Conference of 1921″, Johns Hopkins, 1970, ISBN 0-8018-1125-2, pages 228–234

    • The Palestinian objections to Jewish immigration cannot be compared
      with this
      /What are you talking about, Phil? Do immigrants to the U.S. explicitly state that their goal is to establish an ethnic nation state in all or part of the the U.S.? Do they establish “colonial societies”? Do they lobby foreign governments for charters to establish a “homeland” on American shores?/

      Sure it can Oleg, because Palestine was an integral part of a sovereign and independent Ottoman State. It had been for centuries, much to the chagrin of the Christian Powers, including the Russian Empire. They established Latin, Orthodox, and Anglo-Prussian Episcopal Protectorates there using a series of wars and peace agreements. The latter made proteges of the many Jews and Protestant denominations that were not on such good terms with the Latin and Orthodox protecting powers.

    • Remind me Shmuel was there an established Palestinian state with long history of political independence before 1948 that we somehow all missed that let’s you make this comparison?

      Oleg that's pretty easy. It was an integral part of the sovereign and independent Ottoman state. It had been for centuries. Whether or not the administrative subunits of a country are independent states in their own right is, and was, irrelevant under the public international law of the 19th century.

      England, Russia, France, Austria, and Prussia used the Napoleonic Wars and the Egyptian–Ottoman War as opportunities to begin intervening in the region militarily and politically to establish colonies of Christians, like the Swabian Templars, and Jewish colonies in Palestine. They made no secret about their desire to carry-on a so-called "peaceful Crusade" to reclaim the Holy Land as part of the popular and widespread programs of millenarian movements that were based on chiliastic Christian beliefs. The fact that you are still using the bogus arguments that the subjugation and eviction of the Palestinians from their own homeland was justified because their country was supposedly terra nullus simply proves that you're pathetically ignorant, not the rest of us.

    • Should Americans shrug off uncomfortable truths because they don’t sound nice and sit right with some of American PC language.

      The Palestinians didn't complain about an indigenous "demographic threat" from the Jews, so its a very lame argument.

      Demographic expert U.O. Schmelz highlighted the fact that there was no indigenous threat:

      This writer did some research long ago on the demography of the Jews in Jerusalem city in the mid-19th century. That research centered on the utilization of the primary material of two of the censuses of Jerusalem’s Jews undertaken on the initiative of Moses Montefiore, namely those in 1839 and 1866. The original census records have been preserved, and photocopies thereof were statistically processed and analyzed. The salient finding was the enormous mortality among the Jews of Jerusalem at that time, which caused a marked deficit in their natural rate of increase notwithstanding high nuptiality and, apparently, great fertility. Under these circumstances, the maintenance and gradual increase of the numbers of Jews in Jerusalem were entirely due to migratory reinforcements, i.e. to ‘aliya. [immigration]

      See U.O. Schmelz Demographic Research of the Jerusalem
      and Hebron Regions Towards the End of the Ottoman Period, in David Kushner, Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political, Social, and Economic Transformation, BRILL, 1986, page 363.

    • Yes, Phil, demographic arguments do look bad in the 21st century.

      Hophmi, the Zionists were publicly demanding all of the natural resources. They had been granted the long term concessions on the Jordan river and the Dead Sea. The head of the Zionist Commission announced that the Jews would rule over the non-Jews just as soon as they outnumbered the Arab communities. Only an idiot like you would attempt to flip that plan of total subjugation into a disparaging remark about the Palestinian Arabs.

      It was "clearly understood" by one and all that Zionists were doing everything in their power which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine - and it's risible to suggest otherwise.

      Let's read Wilson's 20th century "democratic argument" again. It still sounds pretty good, even in the 21st century:

      In his address, of July 4, 1918, President Wilson laid down the following principle as one of the four great “ends for which the associated peoples of the world were fighting”: “The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material Interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery.”


    • Part of the Arab case against Israel was too many Jews in the Holy Land. We’re OK with them as a small minority, but not in any real numbers where they might want sovereignty and rule over us.

      You're focusing on the wrong part of the equation. The Zionists were making bold public statements about taking over the country and evicting the Palestinians, just as soon as they could get enough immigrants together to handle the job. That's what the Palestinians were worried about.

      In 1914, a circular entitled "General Summons to Palestinians - Beware Zionist Danger" was distributed and published in the press. It warned that "Zionists want to settle in our country and expel us from it" and it was signed anonymously by "a Palestinian". See Neville Mandel, The Arabs and Zionism before World War I, University of California Press, 1980, page 220

      The 1919 charter of Ben Gurion's political party, Ahdut Ha'avodah, called for the establishment of a Jewish Socialist Republic in all of Palestine and demanded “the transfer of Palestine’s land, water, and natural resources to the people of Israel as their eternal possession.” See Ben Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Shabtai Teveth, page 99

      None of you pinheads ever explain exactly why the Zionists should have ever been granted "rule over" the other citizens of the country. The head of the Zionist Commission to Palestine gave public testimony to the Royal Commission after the 1920 Palestine riots that said the Jews intended to rule over the non-Jewish citizens:

      The Commission of Inquiry criticised the over-extension of the authority of the Zionist Commission, and also criticised Dr Eder, head of the Zionist Commission for his remarks when giving evidence. Dr Eder had said that there can be only one National Home in Palestine, and that a Jewish one, and 'no equality in the partnership between Jews and Arabs, but a Jewish preponderance as soon as the numbers of the race are sufficiently increased'."
      In his comments Gerald Clauson head of the Middle East Department of the Colonial Office minuted:
      Dr Eder in his evidence, which must by now be common knowledge in Palestine apart from this report, disclosed views which are so entirely incompatible with the policy of H.M.G. and with the professed policy of Dr Weizmann that, if we are to make our policy a success it is urgently necessary that both we and the Zionist Organisation should publicly disavow them. The only disavowal which would be regarded as sincere by the people of Palestine would be the removal of Dr Eder from his present position, a step which I think we are fully entitled to invite the Zionist Organisation, in its official position as the Jewish Agency, to take.
      -- G.L.M.C. 2/9/1921, PRO. CO. 733/1 cited in Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, George Brazziler, 1972, page 135

      The King-Crane Commission had also taken testimony and had been "supplied with literature on the Zionist programme by the Zionist Commission to Palestine:

      The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission's conferences with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete disposition of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase. In his address, of July 4, 1918, President Wilson laid down the following principle as one of the four great "ends for which the associated peoples of the world were fighting": "The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material Interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery." If that principle is to rule, and so the wishes of Palestine's population are to be decisive as to what is to be done with Palestine, then it is to be remembered that the non-Jewish population of Palestine-nearly nine-tenths of the whole emphatically against the entire Zionist programme.


      So it wasn't that there were too many Zionists, the problem was that there were too many insufferable, overbearing, Zionist pricks.

  • Egyptian President Mursi orders Tantawi to stand down
    • Juan Cole’s thoughts on this below. Cole always said the Egyptian Revolution wasn’t dead or failed. That there were more changes to come. But even he is surprised Musrsi moved so quickly.

      US foreign assistance to Egypt still has to pass the statutory anti-military coup hurdles. Senator Patrick Leahy wrote a waiver that Clinton exercised in the run-up to the elections and transition. When the military and Mubarak's judges subverted the legislative elections and re-wrote the terms of the transition plan to strip the President of power, Leahy signaled that he would put a hold on next years foreign assistance funding. Clinton hopped on a plane to Egypt, where she told the Generals to hand over power and continue supporting democratic reforms.

      The various factions in our government care about Egypt's foreign policy toward Israel, but none of those actors ever had any strong attachments to the individuals Mubrak happened to appoint to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

  • Savage Geller bus ad hits San Francisco Muni
    • It’s curious how the Zionists who pushed for the removal of the Seattle ads (which contained no racial slurs), claiming that it was hate speech, not free speech, are now supporting these racist Geller ads on the grounds that they’re free speech. Cake, having, eating.

      Clear Channel was privately owned. It took down the billboards based on company policy. These ads are placed with a government agency.

    • As such, the judge held, the ad “is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.”

      Israel has designated a specific list of other countries as "enemy states" and "jihad" is a religious principle of Islamic religion. If citizens or employees of the transit authority can't file complaints with EEOC about religious or national origin harassment, then Jewish faculty and students can fold-up their lawsuits against the state over the so-called anti-Semitic climate on campuses.

      For that matter, what's up with the attempts by the US State Department "Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism"? Isn't that a futile attempt to chill constitutionally protected free speech? If Semites can label their brethren "savages", then surely turnabout is fair play if others describe us all as a bunch of primitive cocksuckers? e.g.
      *Mohels protest restriction on 'suction' during circumcision,7340,L-4265887,00.html
      *Norway's ombudsman for children's rights has proposed that Jews and Muslims replace male circumcision with a symbolic, nonsurgical ritual

  • Traveling through the occupied West Bank on an Israelis-only road
    • All these resolutions can be summarized by Israel response:

      The designation “Palestine” used within the United Nations system has no territorial connotation.

      Sure it does. I just gave you the link to the Credentials Committee resolution above which said that Israel's credentials do not apply to the Palestinian territories.

      If Israel didn't have territory of its own somewhere else on the other side of the Green Line, its ambassadors wouldn't be allowed to participate in the business of the United Nations at all. You can ask Taiwan, Rhodesia, and the government of the former Union of South Africa how that process works when this particular Committee declines to accept a country's credentials at the opening of a Session.

      Not only does the Palestinian proposal violate Palestinian undertakings and General Assembly resolutions; it also violates the fundamental principle of universality in the United Nations.

      Correction: It only violates Israel's interpretation. Member states have no standing to bring disputes against an interpretation to the ICJ, unless the resolution contains a compromissory clause, like the one on minority rights in resolution 181(II).

      The Interim Agreement of 1995, which is the major post-Oslo agreement, specified that neither party shall be deemed “to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions” (Art. 31-6). Israel claims that Palestinian statehood violates its undertakings, but no international court has ever been asked to confirm that claim. The Oslo Accords didn't even mention statehood, UN membership, or observer status among the issues reserved for a final status agreement. Treaties obvious cannot create binding legal obligations on the basis of arguments made from silence in the absence of any explicit provisions. States are only bound by the explicit terms and customs that are applicable to the agreements they've accepted.

      Palestine was a declared state that had membership applications pending with UNESCO and the WHO long before it signed the Oslo Accords. The ICJ has ruled that every UN member state has an erga omnes obligation to remove any impediment to the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Palestinians, including the option of a state. The Quartet Road Map has contained an obligation for its members to promote Palestinian statehood and possible UN membership ever since 2003, without the need for a final status agreement.

      No such draft resolution has been proposed in relation to any other State in the United Nations, even though more than 80 of the States Members of the United Nations have territorial disputes.

      No the General Assembly did the same thing for SWAPO and even created a subsidiary UN organ to act as the government of the State of Namibia in exile; sign multilateral agreements on its behalf; & etc. The suspect the Israeli Ambassador was familiar with the fact that the first General Assembly "Uniting for Peace" resolution dealt with a dispute over an international demarcation line in Korea and that the second one dealt with a dispute over an international line of demarcation in the Sinai.

      In short, if the UN can enforce an old third party bilateral agreement on boundaries between Iraq and Kuwait using coercive force, it can certainly enforce its own Chapter VII resolutions on permanent armistice lines of demarcation.

      The Summary of Practice of the Secretary‐General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev. 1, contains an entire section on the historical usage of General Assembly resolutions to determine statehood in disputed cases. The Cook Islands is a graphic example mentioned there under the "all states formula". It recently became a state party to the Rome Statute, despite the fact that it'is not a UN member state or non-member observer. It was allowed to join because General Assembly resolutions acknowledge it as a "state".

      The attempt to transform every possible aspect of the General Assembly’s work into a platform for scoring political points is a practice that should be strongly discouraged.

      The General Assembly is the primary political organ of the United Nations. Unlike the judicial organs, its members aren't required to adopt a presumption of innocence when dealing with Israel.

    • Don’t you think that if the case would be so “clear” for the legality and rights of both Israel and PA- everyone would see it ? Lots of words- not so many change.

      @dimadok permanent international lines of demarcation are legally enforceable borders. See Tripartite Declaration Regarding the Armistice Borders : Statement by the Governments of the United States, The United Kingdom, and France, May 25, 1950

      The ICJ only used a few words to declare Israel's settlements and the portions of the Wall constructed on the territory of Palestine illegal under international law - and it wasn't too difficult.

      The Court noted that, by resolution 62 (1948) of 16 November 1948, the Security Council decided that "an armistice shall be established in all sectors of Palestine" and called upon the parties that were occupying Palestine at that time to conclude agreements to that end. So the borders were established in Palestine.

      In conformity with that decision, general armistice agreements were concluded in 1949 between the State of Israel and the neighboring states through mediation by the United Nations. Israel remains bound to respect the armistice lines under the terms of customary international law, the UN Charter, the applicable resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly, by the terms of its own acceptance of the armistice agreements, and a safeguarding clause in the final settlement between Israel and Jordan. There is no requirement for the Palestinians to agree to any revision of the "permanent armistice lines of demarcation".

      The Charter of the United Nations codified many principles of customary international law which are reflected in General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) "Declaration On Principles Of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations And Co-Operation Among States In Accordance With The Charter Of The United Nations". It stipulates that: Every State 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.

      For example, in the case of Iraq and Kuwait, the Security Council enforced an existing memorandum of agreement between the two parties. It authorized coercive measures to enforce the terms of the boundary agreement contained in The Agreed Minutes Between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq Regarding the Restoration of Friendly Relations, Recognition and Related Matters, 4 October 1963. The Security Council held that the parties were still bound by the terms of their acceptance of that agreement.

      Regarding Palestine's borders. The General Assembly:
      *Acknowledged the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine in line with “the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people” to self-determination. See resolution 43/177;
      *It said that Palestinian statehood is not subject to the peace process or to any veto. See operative paragraphs 1 & 2 of resolution 55/87
      *It adopted UN reports and resolutions on credentials that mention “their State, Palestine”. Those resolutions describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as “their territory” and say that “the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory”. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly 58/292, 17 May 2004.
      *The verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of resolution 58/292 indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. See A/58/PV.87

    • @Annie. Slowly and patiently again: What are the borders of Palestinian State

      @ dime-a-dozen 122 countries have formally recognized Palestine. The UN Credentials Committee and the General Assembly have adopted the 4 June 1967 borders for the purposes of defining the jurisdiction for Israel's credentials.
      *The UN has adopted reports and resolutions on credentials that mention “their State, Palestine”. Those resolutions describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as “their territory” and say that “the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory”. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly 58/292, 17 May 2004.
      *The verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of resolution 58/292 indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. See A/58/PV.87
      *See also the PLO Negotiations Office "Recognizing the Palestinian State on the 1967 border"

      when it was established
      The application of Palestine for membership in UNESCO and the UN last year were both based upon the first act of state or succession that took place on November 15th, 1988 - a unilateral declaration of independence.

      122 countries and UNESCO have formally recognized the State of Palestine on that basis. Membership in the UN and its agencies is on the basis of "sovereign equality" under international law. The Act of State Doctrine says that a nation is sovereign within its own borders, and its acts may not be questioned in the courts of another nation. So under the principles of customary international law dating back to the 19th Century, recognition is always retroactive in effect and validates all the actions and conduct of the government so recognized from the commencement of its existence. See for example:
      *Ti-chiang Chen, "The international law of recognition, with special reference to practice in Great Britain and the United States", Praeger, 1951, "Introduction" page 4 and "the doctrine of the
      retroactive effect of recognition" on page 34 "Recognition of States": link to
      *The decision in Tinoco Arbitration (Great Britain v Costa Rica), 18 October 1923, (1924) 2 ILR 34-39 (1934) 18 AJIL. 147–74; (1922) 116 BFSP 438–43;. 1 UNRIIA 369
      *The decision and authorities cited in Oetjen V. Central Leather Co. , 246 U.S. 297 (1918) 246 U.S. 297

      where its body of government is located

      The 1988 UDI identified the PLO as the provisional government of the State of Palestine. The UN accordingly re-designated it as Palestine. It has headquarters in Ramallah where it has received ambassadors from countries throughout the world. UN General Assembly resolution 52/250 (1998) established Palestine's current level of participation in the UN. It recalled the 1988 Declaration of Statehood; the fact that the Palestinian Authority was established in 1996 on part of the occupied Palestinian territory as a result of democratic elections; and the fact that Palestine is a full member State of several international organizations and a UN regional group.

      what is it currency, anthem-you know those “simple” things that define it’s sovereignty.

      You need to go back school. Anthems and currency do not define statehood or jurisdiction. Some countries do have their own currency and laws regulating its use as legal tender, but there are UN member states that do not follw that pattern. For example, Montenegro simply opts to use the Euro, but does not belong to the Eurozone economic and monetary union. San Marino, Monaco, and the Vatican City also use the euro, while Liechtenstein uses the Swiss franc. The Palestinian Authority, IMF, and Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) members employ several currencies.

      *FWIW The Palestinian national anthem is Fida'i

    • @Hostage. Let’s break it down; Montevideo article 1: Does Palestinian authority answers all the criteria-it doesn’t, since it does not have a defined territory where it can apply it’s rule of law. Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law-why exactly it applies to Israel, did I missed the part when it became a part of US?

      Let's break it down for you. People reflexively turn to arguments based on the Montevideo Convention and forget that it is actually a treaty instrument between 19 signatories - that is still in full legal force.

      There is no compromissory clause that would allow any party to challenge a determination made by one of the signatories to recognize the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders. 12 of the 19 have already done that: Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Honduras, and Dominican Republic. So the Article 1 criteria is no obstacle to Palestine's statehood.

      Regarding borders. The General Assembly:
      *Acknowledged the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine in line with “the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people” to self-determination. See resolution 43/177;
      *It said that Palestinian statehood is not subject to the peace process or to any veto. See operative paragraphs 1 & 2 of resolution 55/87
      *It adopted UN reports and resolutions on credentials that mention “their State, Palestine”. Those resolutions describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as “their territory” and say that “the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory”. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly 58/292, 17 May 2004.
      *The verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of resolution 58/292 indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. See A/58/PV.87
      Permanent international armistice lines of demarcation imposed under the terms of a Chapter VII UN Security Council resolution are legal boundaries that the parties are required to observe and respect in accordance with the Charter and the UN General Assembly, Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, 24 October 1970, available at: link to [accessed 1 July 2012] .

      The armistice lines were adopted as a provisional measure under Article 40, Chapter VII of the UN Charter in accordance with Security Council resolutions 62 and 73. The ICJ cited those resolutions in its legal analysis of the status of the territory in the Wall case.

      During the Security Council’s 433rd meeting, the Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban, stated that the armistices were “a provisional settlement which can only be replaced by a peace agreement” and:

      The armistice lines do not merely separate armed forces. They mark the clearly defined areas of full civil jurisdiction. The Government, the courts, the legislatures, the security authorities of each respective State operate smoothly and unchallenged up to the appropriate armistice line. These lines thus have the normal characteristics of provisional frontiers until such time as a new process of negotiation and agreement determines the final territorial settlement. They are also stabilized by the mutual undertakings of the parties and by the fullest international sanction for as long as the Armistice Agreements are valid.

      The Armistice Agreements are not peace treaties. They do not prejudice the final territorial settlements. On the other hand, the provisional settlement established by the Armistice Agreements is unchallengeable until a new process of negotiation and agreement has been successfully consummated.

      link to

      The Albanians joined the League of Nations without defined land frontiers, and when Israel joined the UN without any it became "the new normal".
      Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands could not reach "a negotiated settlement" to their territorial disputes. The International Court of Justice noted in their contentious "North Sea Continental Shelf case (1968) that:

      "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

      Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law-why exactly it applies to Israel, did I missed the part when it became a part of US?

      In fulfillment of the prohibition against the acquisition of territory by war, The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 201 Reporters Note 3 says "The United States will treat States the territory of which is under foreign military occupation as continuing to exist."

      In 1995 the State Department published a Memorandum of Conversation between William Crawford Jr. and Mr. Shaul Bar-Haim from the Israeli Embassy (February 7, 1963) regarding Jerusalem. Bar-Haim said “The use of the term “Palestine” is historical fiction; it encourages the Palestine entity concept; its “revived usage enrages” individual Israelis”. Crawford said “It is difficult to see how it “enrages” Israeli opinion. The practice is consistent with the fact that, ”in a de jure sense”, Jerusalem was part of Palestine and has not since become part of any other sovereignty, i.e. jurisdiction.

      FYI, Israel isn't a signatory of the Montevideo Convention either, but you still tried to cite that. The Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States and Montevideo reflect customary international laws and state practice on the rights and duties of States. See for example the use of the Montevideo criteria in "The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic - Case No. IT-02-54-T (Rule 98 bis test - Deportation, forcible transfer and cross border transfer – Definition of a State)"

      The World Court and a League of Nations Arbital Court appointed to decide whether mandate Palestine was a State- it applied to MANDATE Palestine ( in Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions Case) and not to the modern definition of Palestinian Authority. Anything else I forgot?
      See you in the library.

      Surely, I've already shown that the US didn't recognize the annexation of Jerusalem.

      At a conference in 1949, Israel rejected the terms for the transfer of jurisdiction contained in UN resolution 181(II). There was not, it alleged, an organized substitution of one State for another to which rules of international law should apply. It claimed as a result that it did not automatically inherit Palestine's citizens or refugees, treaty obligations, or public debts. It also claimed that it was created by its own act of secession and was in no sense a successor of the former government of Palestine. See D.P. O'Connell author "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; and CApp 41/49 Simshon Palestine Portland Cement Factory LTD. v. Attorney-General (1950)
      link to

      The Palestinians and the Arab League of States took the position that the state of Palestine did not cease exist. Transjordan and Arab Palestine observed the normal laws of succession when they formed and dissolved their provisional union. Many countries and the Security Council recognized the union with the exception of Jerusalem. See the sources here:

      The PA is a creation of the PLO. The PLO Executive and Central Committees still retain the power, under the terms of the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine to form and establish provisional governments; to conduct votes of confidence regarding provisional governments; to conduct foreign relations on behalf of the provisional government; and to act as sole representative of the Palestinian people until such time as the occupation comes to an end.

      122 countries have recognized the PLO/PA entity as the State of Palestine. Prof Ruth Lapidot has explained that recognition of statehood is a political act, and every state has the right to decide for itself whether to recognize another entity as a State. link to See also PLO Negotiations Office Recognizing the Palestinian State on the 1967 border

    • I’ll try again, slowly- :
      ” In international law, sovereignty means that a government possesses full control over affairs within a territorial or geographical area or limit. It also often a matter of diplomatic dispute”
      link to

      You're citing a Wikipedia article that has been tagged with the Original Research banner. So it's no surprise to find that the statement you quoted does not appear in the cited Encyclopædia Britannica article:

      sovereignty, in political theory, the ultimate overseer, or authority, in the decision-making process of the state and in the maintenance of order. The concept of sovereignty—one of the most controversial ideas in political science and international law—is closely related to the difficult concepts of state and government and of independence and democracy. Derived from the Latin term superanus through the French term souveraineté, >sovereignty was originally meant to be the equivalent of supreme power. However, in practice it often has departed from this traditional meaning.

      If you want to discuss the definition of a state in international law, then please cite one of the recognized authorities or cite some customary or conventional law on the subject, like the International Law Commission, International Law Report, Digest of International Law, Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, or the legally binding criteria found in Article 1 of the Montevideo convention sans the usual embellishments. Original research posted to Wikipedia is not a relevant.

      There is no full authority or sovereignty criteria in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention. In "The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic - Case No. IT-02-54-T (Rule 98 bis test - Deportation, forcible transfer and cross border transfer – Definition of a State)", the Amici Curiae motion argued that all "grave breaches" counts in the Croatia Indictment before January 15, 1992, had to be dismissed because the Prosecution failed to establish that Croatia was a state before that time, making the conflict one of a non-international nature. So, there was a genuine disagreement regarding the existence of statehood that could have effected the result of the case under governing law. "The Trial Chamber noted that the best known definition of a state is provided by the Montevideo Convention, Art.1 which reads: "The State as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a) a permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with other States." The most decisive of these is the last. Based upon negotiations with other international actors the Trial Chamber concluded there was sufficient evidence that Croatia was a State.

      Israel and the UN have been negotiating with Palestine ever since the 1988 UDI. The State of Palestine has embassies and has signed treaties with dozens of other states. More importantly only states can negotiate borders. So the negotiations that you mention establish that Palestine is a state.

      Does PA has the full authority and do Palestinians have the state? I don’t believe so, since it is still a matter for the negotiations.

      The correct question is does Palestine have the full authority? The answer is yes. Member states of UN specialized agencies, like UNESCO are a "category of states" that have been formally recognized under the rules of customary international law codified in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. In accordance with articles 6, 81, and 83 of that convention:
      Article 6
      Capacity of States to conclude treaties
      Every State possesses capacity to conclude treaties.
      Article 81
      The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States Members of the United Nations or of any of the specialized agencies . . .
      Article 83
      The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State belonging to any of the categories mentioned in article 81.
      link to
      Article 48 and 50 of The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations also contain identical invitations for State members of UN specialized agencies to deposit signatures or accessions to that treaty. link to

      So Palestine has full authority to sign treaties and carry on diplomatic relations with other states.

    • you’ve got a lot of nerve asking me about my reading comprehension.

      You'd waste a lot less time if you'd simply abandon irrelevant philosophical discussions about the doctrines of omnipotent sovereignty from the Middle Ages or the 19th century. Israel never exercised sovereignty over Europe, but it none the less exercised jurisdiction over crimes committed there before it came into existence during the Eichmann trial.

      There is no longer any such thing as "sole" criminal jurisdiction under the jus cogens norms of customary international law. Any treaty that violates such norms is null and void. The doctrine of "sovereign equality" reflected in the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States and the UN Charter holds that 1) the only tangible manifestation of sovereignty is jurisdiction; and 2) every state has equal legal capacity to exercise universal jurisdiction over "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions; and Crimes Against Humanity, including eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed. No statutory limitations are applicable.

      The numerical majority of UN member states have already recognized Palestine's first act of state, i.e. the 1988 Unilateral Declaration of Independence cited as the basis for its UN and UNESCO applications for membership. So remember, Palestine doesn't have to be recognized as a "sovereign" State, it simply has to be recognized as "a State" with territorial jurisdiction for the purposes of Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. Even the Protocols on Legal Matters in the Jericho-Gaza Agreement recognized that the Palestinian Authority had criminal jurisdiction and territorial jurisdiction.

    • So based on someone else PhD thesis the definition of sovereign country and it’s territory is changed? Do you how much crap people write in their thesises?

      Yes I do. That's why I cited the proper authorities on the subject in the first place, i.e. the US State Department Digest of International Law; Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention, the Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law, and the final decisions of the World Court and a League of Nations Arbital Court appointed to decide whether mandate Palestine was a State. Your tag team partner Bing Bong was wanting to know if we're going to let "historians" like James Crawford have their say"? FYI, he actually agreed with the sources that I cited in the first place - and nobody would care if he didn't, since the question is res judicata.

    • Sovereignty is the supreme authority within the territory- therefore Israel is de facto the sovereign there.

      As part of the UN process of decolonization, the permanent sovereignty of indigenous peoples was established as a norm of international law. Every year the UN goes through the motion of adopting a resolution which recognizes the de jure sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their occupied territory and its natural resources. Last year those opposed were Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and the United States of America.

      Even those countries agree that Israel's jurisdiction is limited to that of an Occupying Power in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. See Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

      Dr. James R. Crawford's PhD thesis dealt with the Creation of States in International Law. Here's a blurb from the Preface to the 2nd Edition:

      The first edition of this book was based on a thesis, supervised by Ian Brownlie, which was submitted in 1976 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Oxford. At around 180,000 words the thesis was almost too long to be examined; it was also too long to be published in full. An abbreviated version, updated as far as possible to 31 December 1977, was published by Oxford University Press in 1979. It was awarded the American Society of International Law’s Certificate of Merit in 1981.

      The Second Edition of his magnum opus was revised and significantly expanded. So let me save you a lot of time and effort. Territories are self-determination units. Sovereignty resides in the lawful inhabitants. You can't obtain sovereignty through military conquest or colonization. Palestine, and any other territory, can acquire the status of a state despite any limitation on the so-called sovereignty of the people living there. Here is the first item in Crawford's last chapter, "Conclusions":

      "In the first place, the concept of “sovereignty” as a criterion for plenary competence has been rejected. Although that view gained a certain degree of acceptance among nineteenth-century writers and was accepted in the twentieth century in Soviet and in some western doctrine, the notion of “sovereignty” has been seen to be both unhelpful and misleading as a criterion. It is unhelpful since both the legal and the effective capacities, rights, immunities and so on of States may vary widely, within the limits established by the criteria for separate independence. It is misleading since it implies a necessary and overriding omnipotence which States do not possess in law or in fact. Rejection of “sovereignty” as a criterion involves rejection of the old notion of the “semi-sovereign” State. Those dependent, devolving or sui generis entities that qualify as States under the general criteria do so despite specific limitations as to capacity and the like;

    • Philip, I suggest you retract this article and issue an apology for misleading your readers. A large section of the Road 443 is open to West Bank Palestinians.

      Limor Yehuda, the lawyer who argued the case for the civil rights group, said that the verdict had been rendered moot by the IDF's actions to implement the Court's decision. See Limor Yehuda, Route 443: The Legal Illusion, Jewish Quarterly; Summer 2010, Issue 215, page 38

      The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has a page on "The lllusion of Rule of Law on Route 443:

      While the Court’s 2009 decision to open the road was originally perceived as a victory for the rule of law and human rights, the IDF’s implementation plan amounts to a blatant mockery of these values. The plan also demonstrates how problematic and insufficient the Court’s ruling is. The new arrangement, which calls for only two entry ramps and four exit points, creates the false impression of new regulations, genuine freedom of movement, and adherence to the rule of law, though in fact no real change will occur; the Palestinians’ situation will actually only worsen.

      ACRI holds both the IDF and the High Court responsible for what will become a human rights travesty. While the IDF is taking care to adhere to the letter of the law in the Court’s decision, it is acting in utter disregard of the spirit of the ruling which deemed the closing of Route 443 illegal and unacceptable. Rather than redressing the gross injustice committed over the past decade, the IDF continues to exploit every possible loophole to maintain the status quo.

      The High Court of Justice, unfortunately, supplied the IDF with a number of such loopholes. The ruling contains an untenable gap between lofty principles and concrete instructions for the military. While the justices underscored the need to protect the Palestinians’ human rights, they chose not to state which roadblocks must be removed, or what steps the army must take in order to fulfill its legal obligations to the local population. Moreover, the Court did not call for the opening of the Beituniya crossing, which connects the Palestinian villages to the metropolitan center of Ramallah. This renders the opening of the road almost meaningless and negates the central principle of the Court’s ruling; without the opening of the Beituniya crossing, Route 443 effectively cannot be used by the very population for which it was built.

      Through the 443 ruling and implementation plan, the Israeli authorities are creating an illusion of justice while continuing to violate the Palestinians’ rights and mock the principle of rule of law.


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