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Total number of comments: 10697 (since 2010-02-28 20:54:05)



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  • False choice: Netanyahu says Abbas must choose peace w/ Hamas or Israel
    • The Jerusalem Post article 'J'lem to cut ties with PA if Hamas added to unity gov't', said that "Israel’s objection to Hamas inside the PA government would evaporate, the official added, if the organization accepted the Quartet’s three conditions for acceptance: forswearing violence, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous Israel-Palestinian agreements. "

      But Netanyahu has never observed the conditions of acceptance laid down by the Quartet for the Israeli side:

      "GOI [government of Israel] takes no actions undermining trust, including deportations, attacks on civilians; confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction; destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure; and other measures specified in the Tenet work plan.

      Netanyahu demanded that Sharon build a perimeter fence around Gaza prior to the unilateral withdrawal. That was an integral part of his policy of 'Separating Judea and Samaria from Gaza", while designating it an "enemy entity" and blockading the inhabitants. All of those measures violate the terms of the previous agreements Israel signed with the Palestinians.

      It has been widely reported that repeating those particular Quartet demands to Hamas was the first step in the Bush administration plans to scuttle the previous talks about establishing a"unity government". The US delivered an ultimatum demanding the dissolution of the Hamas government that triggered a civil war in Palestine.

      Article IV of the Oslo Accords stipulates that "The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved during the interim period."

      The Department of State advised the other executive branch agencies on January 13, 1997 that it "considers the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be one area for political, economic, legal and other purposes."

      UN Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009) stressed that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 that will be a part of the Palestinian state.

  • Cairo 2
    • Avi,
      Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

    • Hu Bris,

      I'm pretty confident that the CIA is probably "in country" by now, and that it is not "a foreign occupation force of any form".

    • Hu Bris the provisions regarding the "No-Fly-Zone" were contained in operative paragraphs 6 & 7 of UN Security Council resolution 1973. The resolution mentioned two earlier ones - which follows the normal pattern. "Situations" usually do morph after the Security Council's gets involved with them.

      Paragraph 4 of the resolution:

      Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council.

      The minute the armed forces of the member states undertake planning for combat operations their obligations under international humanitarian law, including distinction, proportionality, care for the wounded, & etc., are normally considered to be engaged.

      Military occupation only occurs when control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. Authorizing a foreign-controlled "No-Fly-Zone" over the territory of Libya would ipso jure be considered an occupation, unless the UN just signaled us that it has tacitly recognized the rebels as the legitimate government.

      I believe the US, UK, France, the GCC states, and the Arab League have already taken steps that are incompatible with non-recognition of the rebels or with neutrality. If that is the case, the NATO members are probably not considered a "hostile army". The tactical use of forces on the ground to protect the civilian population and civilian areas under threat of attack was already authorized (e.g. all necessary measures), the resolution specifically ruled out any authorization for them to control territory, i.e. impose martial law. So long as the ground forces defer to and take direction from the local rebel authorities and are merely assisting the local civilians, the two-pronged test that triggers the Hague and Geneva rules of occupation do not go into effect.

      FYI, the fact that "control and authority over a territory" have not been authorized in advance, has never stopped the Security Council from issuing a mandate to that effect after-the-fact. That is exactly what happened in Iraq.

    • Kathleen I was only trying to stress the underlying role of the UN Charter in the foreign relations law of the United States. It should come into consideration any time that the Congress is engaged in deliberations regarding the use of the armed forces beyond our borders. Members of Congress were deliberately included in the US delegation that participated in drafting the UN Charter during the San Francisco Conference. So, President Wilson's blunders with Article 10 of the League of Nations Covenant regarding mutual defense were avoided. The US Congress had a hand in defining, limiting, and ratifying the war powers that were conferred on the UN Security Council.

      The Congress can annul that treaty and remove the President from office at any time for failing to faithfully execute its laws. In historical perspective, attempts to get the Article III Courts involved in curtailing the executive powers vested by law and the Constitution in the President or the Security Council have been viewed as a violation of the separation of powers doctrine. The Courts do not have a role in settling political disputes between the other branches of the government.

      Portions of the War Powers Resolution have been considered unconstitutional since the day it was adopted. Attempts to amend the implementing public law to remove the offending portions have been unsuccessful (so far). In many instance neither the President, the Congress, nor the Courts have been willing to trigger its mechanism. In 1999 the President employed military forces in Yugoslavia without obtaining congressional authorization. Representative Tom Campbell unsuccessfully attempted to get the Courts to intervene and order the President to comply with the terms of the resolution. The Constitution gives the Congress the power of the purse; to organize and discipline the military; to annul statutes and treaties; and to convene military courts or courts of impeachment. That is why AIPAC concentrates it efforts on controlling the Chief Executive and the Congress instead of the Courts.

      The Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that treaties and statutes have the same force and effect under the Supremacy clause of the Constitution. FYI, the methods of amending the Constitution do not include either a statute or treaty, so neither can authorize something that the Constitution forbids. The Congress can adopt a statute to annul the UN Charter, but so far, it has not done that.

      The Constitutional powers of the Congress "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water" have been either been rendered moot by customary international law or deliberately surrendered via the adoption of international treaties that govern or outlaw such practices.

      Many of us fail to recall that it is the Congress, not the DoD, that has the constitutional responsibility for laying down the laws used in raising, arming, organizing, and disciplining the armed forces. Congress has an active role in areas well beyond the budget. For example it codifies the rules contained in The Uniform Code of Military Justice. So, the armed forces are not simply a "Praetorian Guard". In many cases the Courts have ruled that members of the armed forces who obey unlawful orders - even from the President - do so at their own peril. See for example, Little v. Barreme, 6 U.S. 2 Cranch 170 170 (1804). You probably recall that the same principle was applied to the orders given by Central Intelligence Agency Director William Casey, National Security Advisers Robert C. McFarlane and Admiral John M. Poindexter to Lt. Col. Oliver North.

    • The President is not legally allowed to engage in military action without the express approval of Congress.

      In several cases, the Supreme Court has labeled that situation a "political question". Essentially that means it is the task of the Congress to impeach the Commander-in-Chief, and they can't pass the buck to the Article III Courts.

      In any event the Supreme Court has declined to hear cases in which members of the Armed Forces have refused to participate in UN peacekeeping missions on Constitutional grounds, e.g. U.S., ex rel. New v. Rumsfeld, 06-691.

      The Senate ratified the Kellogg-Briand pact and the UN Charter. Those treaties only permit the Congress to "declare war" in very limited circumstances. In fact, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the Congress and the President had acted illegally when they authorized the invasion of Iraq. The UN Charter authorizes the Security Council to decide those matters on behalf of the US government. According to the "supremacy clause" of the US Constitution, those treaties are part of "laws of the land". They are both listed in the latest electronic edition of the US State Department Treaties in Force (TIF)

      Article 24 & 25 of the Charter stipulate that "Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf. ...The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter."

      Articles 42 & 43 say the Security Council "may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations. ...All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities"

      Article 104 says "The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of its Members such legal capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its purposes."

      Article 2(5) says "All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action."

      The US tends to ignore that last bit with respect to Israel, e.g. the Basic law Jerusalem, the Golan Heights Law, etc.

  • Noura Erakat: Constructing the prototypical terrorist in America...Guess who?
    • If the "deligitimazation of the Palestinian people" hasn't already become the raison d'être of the "Jewish people", it's at least become the national pastime. In some so-called "religious" communities it is among the more important mitzvot.

    • The bottom line is that only "states" enjoy real legal status and effective protections under international and national law. The criteria are political, not legal. Any entity can be considered a state under international law.

      The author is correct. People like Furkan Dogan do not enjoy the rights of first class citizenship. Palestinians are not going to get to trial very often; US judges are not going to question Israeli court decisions; the State Department is going to ask that current and former Israeli officials be granted immunity for "acts of state" committed in-line with their official duties; and many jurors will simply have their minds made-up before the trial ever begins.

      The only reason that western governments are withholding recognition from the Palestinians right now is so that Israel can commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with relative impunity. Asian, Eastern European, and Latin American states have started to apply pressure for full UN membership come September. They may finally start indicting Israeli officials in their own national courts if certain countries attempt to derail or delay the process once again.

      I think that Israelis with dual citizenship can once again be criminally prosecuted here in the US under the provisions of the 1996 War Crimes Act, but the Attorney General has to request the indictment. There is no private right of action.

      The Supreme Court may have cleared the way, in Samantar v. Yousuf et al., for non-citizens to file civil lawsuits against current and former foreign government officials for violations of customary international law. That is done under the provisions of the Alien Tort Claims Act. Major Jewish groups (i.e. the American Jewish Congress (AJCongress), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the Orthodox Union (OU), and Agudath Israel) had jointly filed a "friend of the Court" brief in support of the Somali war criminal. So, they were certainly worried about the statute's implications for Israeli officials.

      The United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in Kiobel et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell, upheld a September 2010 judgment that the Alien Tort Claims Act cannot be applied to private corporations. However that ruling may not be directly applicable to "parastatal" corporations like the WZO, JNF, JAFI, & etc.

    • While the ATA’s definition of international terrorism does not limit terrorist actions to non-state actors, Section 2337 of the statute prohibits suits against any state actors.

      Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court criminalize acts directed against: "any national, ethnical, racial or religious group"; "any civilian population"; and "persons or property". Article 25 limits the court's jurisdiction to "natural persons", e.g. non-state actors. Article 12 only permits "states" to accept the jurisdiction of the court. So, victims have no standing if they are merely "national, ethnical, racial or religious groups"; "a civilian population"; or "persons".

      Until the 111 countries that recognize the State of Palestine demand that the Security Council treat it like other occupied states, Israel can legally get away with murder. That is why recognition of Palestinian statehood terrorizes the Zionists.

  • 'Washington Post' uses Liz Taylor's fidelity to Israel to bash boycott movement
    • Burstein went well off the beaten path to criticize unnamed celebrities who support the movement to cut ties with Israel. Given his long wind-up, it was something of a letdown when he didn't (or couldn't) quote any criticism Taylor had ever leveled at those celebrities or the Palestinian civil society calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

  • What is your question for Benjamin Netanyahu?
    • If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier.

      But Livni knows she can't do that and still have a valid final agreement. That's why she doesn't like international law.

      Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969:
      Article 52
      A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.
      Article 53
      Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”)
      A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.

      Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949:

      Article 7
      No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of protected persons, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon them.
      Article 8
      Protected persons may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.
      Article 49(6) admits no exceptions
      The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

      Declaration On Principles Of International Law Friendly Relations And Co-Operation Among States In Accordance With The Charter Of The United Nations (1970):

      No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.

    • You have repeatedly invited Abbas of the PA to unconditional negotiations.

      Yes we know:
      *The Palestinians must unconditionally accept a "partial settlement freeze" that does not include East Jerusalem.
      *Palestinians must unconditionally accept that Israeli "negotiators" cannot touch Palestinian proposals, since that would immediately topple the Israeli government.
      *Palestinians must unconditionally accept the annexation of the settlement blocks to Israel under any future peace agreement.
      *Palestinians must unconditionally recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people under any future peace agreement.
      *Palestinians must unconditionally accept Jerusalem as the undivided eternal capital of Israel under any future peace agreement.
      *Palestinians must unconditionally accept a permanent Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley under any future peace agreement.
      *Palestinians must unconditionally accept a ban on foreign military alliances and permanent demilitarization under any future peace agreement.

      Does he expect to achieve his goals rather through war and terrorism?

      Fayyad and Abbas intend to achieve their goals by pissing off fewer allies than Obama, Bibi, Tzipi, and Yvette. That shouldn't be too difficult.

  • Marqusee: democracy development and great power intervention are at odds
    • The wave just stops when it comes to the I/P issue

      That is nothing new. The western powers have always deployed the racialist concept of a "standard of civilization" to virtually control the existence of the "Palestinian state". All along they've claimed to be tutoring or helping to develop its "institutions of government". From the very beginning, the Secretary of State for the Colonies secretly reported that Great Britain had recognized the independence and statehood of others that were viewed as less civilized or less capable and that the Palestinians were "influenced" by that:

      "The situation in Palestine is greatly influenced also by any event which affects the Moslem world as a whole. The victories of Mustapha Kemal over the Greeks, and the prospect of a revision of the Treaty of Sevres between the Allied Powers and Turkey, had a marked effect in stimulating the Arab opposition in Palestine. The achievement of independence by Egypt, the Khalifat movement in India, the establishment of an Arab Kingdom in Iraq and of an Emirate in Trans-Jordan, all have had their influence here.

      Furthermore, the Arabs of Palestine are in constant communication with King Hussein of the Hejaz. The relations between them are the resultant of different forces. On the one hand King Hussein is regarded by many as a very incompetent governor; he is looked upon also as a Beduin King of a Beduin State, which is much below Palestine in its level of civilisation. On the other hand, he is recognised as the principal leader of the Arab national movement, and his family are generally considered the natural heads of any combination of Arab States which the future may bring forth. See CAB 24/165, Former Reference: CP 136 (24), "Palestine", Secretary James H. Thomas, 25 February 1924

      So, while France, Great Britain, the US, and the other western governments have already formally or tacitly recognized the rebels in Libya as the legitimate government, they cling to the nonsensical proposition that the Palestinians are "not quite there yet" - "but it's a definite possibility" someday.

      So, this has been going-on for nearly a hundred years, and thirty years from now people will be reading the declassified reports about the US government's attempts to prolong the occupation and veto Palestinian independence yet again.

  • The muzzling of Israel critics in European universities
    • The "Statement by Judge Eli Nathan, Head of the Delegation of Israel United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court" illustrates that he knew Article 8, Paragraph 2(b), sub-para. viii was a war crime and that it was applicable to the illegal situation that Israel had created through its settlement enterprise.

      At the time, about a 190 states were parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 - and 169 were parties to the 1st Additional Protocol of 1977. Nonetheless, the Judge still had the chutzpah to pretend that it was news to him that the other states at the conference considered colonizing another country at gunpoint and deporting or transferring its population to be serious war crimes.

      Since then, the Conventions of 1949 have been universally ratified; the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions declared the settlements illegal; the ICJ found Israel was violating article 49(6) of the Fourth Convention; the Rome Statute of the ICC has entered into force; and the EU Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia made it a prosecutable criminal offense in most cases to publicly condone or trivialize violations of Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the ICC.

      P.S. the Framework criminalized Islamophobia, not just Antisemitism.

    • Huh?

      They might be pleasantly surprised if they asked me for some legal advice. Even the laws dreamed-up by the Israel Lobby are capable of novel applications. I've always thought that it was self-evident that the EU Framework Decision makes it a crime to publicly condone or trivialize illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian territory; or the illegal deportation or transfer of Palestinians out of the territory in order to imprison them on the Israeli side of the Green Line. Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute codifies Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Articles 85( 4)(a) and 85(5) of the 1st Additional Protocol. It says that these acts are a war crime:

      The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;

      In 2004, a competent international court exercising its general jurisdiction determined that

      "since 1977, Israel has conducted a policy and developed practices involving the establishment of Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary to the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6 [of the Fourth Geneva Convention], just cited. ...The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law. ...Article 49 reads as follows "Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive. ...Lastly, the construction of the wall and its associated régime, by contributing to the demographic changes referred to in paragraphs 122 and 133 above, contravene Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Security Council resolutions cited in paragraph 120 above."

      Extracted from paragraphs 120-134 of the ICJ Advisory Opinion in the Wall Case.

      It was also contended that "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" in paragraph 145(3) of the ruling.

      The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says that there are over 7,000 prisoners in Israeli jails. The Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) recently rejected a petition to order the State to refrain from holding Palestinian prisoners and detainees in facilities located in Israeli territory within the Green Line. The HCJ held that since national legislation overrides the provisions of international conventions to which Israel is party, including conventions that reflect customary international law, the petition should be rejected.

      Israel cannot adopt a statute that makes a war crime legal. The international courts have stated time and again that it is a universal principle of international law that a State cannot invoke its municipal law as the reason for the non-fulfillment of its international obligations (or a get out of jail free card). Any attempt to excuse non-fulfillment of an international obligation on the basis of municipal law constitutes a breach of those obligations. See for example André Klip, Göran Sluiter, Annotated leading cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 1997-1999, Intersentia nv, 2001, ISBN 9050951414, page 134, paragraph 39

      The EU Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia actually says:

      "Each Member State shall take the measures necessary to ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable: ...(c) publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin when the conduct is carried out in a manner likely to incite to violence or hatred against such a group or a member of such a group;

      Publicly condoning, trivializing, or denying war crimes when they are committed against Palestinians is likely to incite them and their supporters. Publicly condoning, trivializing, or denying that those acts are illegal has resulted in violence against Palestinians in the form of forced transfer, deportation, and crimes committed by the settlers. The latter can be confirmed from open sources such as the Government of Israel's inquiry into Settler Violence against Palestinians (aka "The Karp Report"(1982)); the reports of officials on mission for the United Nations including the UN Fact Finding Report on Gaza (aka The Goldstone Report); and newspaper accounts of "price tag" raids on Palestinian villages.

      If there is a "genuine dispute" about the material facts that could effect the outcome under governing law, a complaint against the Zionist societies probably would not be summarily dismissed.

      Sometimes a spoonful of your own medicine is the best cure....

  • Israel's racist response to Itamar murders would be unthinkable in the U.S.
    • It’s a census term. It’s how we are to be tabulated.

      Just to be clear "White" is one of the census terms, not "Caucasian". The government has dozens of NHI-funded genetic studies which prove there is no scientific basis for the discrete racial categories the government employs. Those notions hearken back to the days when self-appointed bigots thought they needed to protect the "purity" of different races through anti-miscegenation laws. It is insulting that the government still requires its citizens to self-report this nonsense. They no longer require you to believe this crap, e.g. The question was changed from “What is this person’s race? Mark one or more races to indicate what this person considers himself/herself to be” in 2000 to “What is this person’s race? Mark one or more boxes” for 2010.

      The US Census bureau lists the American Jewish Committee, and United Jewish Communities/Jewish Federations of North America as current "Census Partners", but doesn't collect any information about "Jewish" ethnicity.

    • when you refer to a sovereign country as a “project” you look like a bit of an ass.

      GuiltyFeat the participants who attended the Basle Congress called the implementation of their program - the "Zionist Project". Here is an extract from Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, Volume 8, American Jewish Historical Society, 1900:


      By Max J. Kohlbr, A.M., LL.B., New York.

      The great interest the Zionist Congress, held at Basle recently, has aroused in the idea of the establishment of a Jewish State, renders timely a consideration of some earlier Zionist projects. The scope and aims of our society have suggested a limitation of this subject to this continent, but both schemes formed on this continent for the establishment of a Jewish State, and schemes formed elsewhere, designed to be executed in America, will be discussed. Of course, this paper does not even claim to exhaust all the projects that were formed. The attempt has been made throughout this article to avoid any controversial matter bearing on the Basle Congress project. I use the term "Zionist Project" here in a sense as broad and comprehensive as was given to it by the Basle Congress, so as to include all projects for assuring to the Jews "a publicly, legally assured home," with some degree of autonomy. Probably the inclusion of projects for the establishment of a Jewish State elsewhere than in Palestine, makes our use of the term "Zionist Project" broader than it is in the official declaration of purposes of the Basle Congress, but as the latter repudiated almost wholly a religious purpose, the idea of a Jewish State, wherever to be located, is the important element."

    • Israel’s racist response to Itamar murders would be unthinkable in the U.S.

      I'm afraid I would have to disagree. In the days following 9/11 there were mass round-ups, detentions, and deportations across the US. Only people from certain Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries were targeted. Many of them were here legally and had valid petitions pending with the now-defunct INS. I remember the atmosphere was reminiscent of the irrational response to the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to the internment of the Japanese-Americans.

      The Bush administration used the attacks as a justification to invade and subjugate two countries half a world away.

  • Israeli Foreign Ministry sent 'spy' to report on Gideon Levy speech in Dublin
    • Israel is warping into East Germany

      Zionists working in the Abteilung fur Jiidische Fragen (Division of Jewish Affairs) in the German Foreign Office and Committee for the Liberation of Russian Jews gathered intelligence and conducted propaganda campaigns from the very early days of the movement. The Socialist and Communist wings had their own political intelligence and propaganda people too. They have always sown the seeds of hate and discontent against anyone who opposes them. So, the tactic is not something new that Lieberman has introduced.

    • When it all falls apart, the WZO might be able to get those same four countries to hold a reunion in San Remo to recognize "the historical connection of the Jews to Moldova" - it being clearly understood, of course, that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Moldova;-)

  • AP publishes calumny of Palestinian attitudes re Holocaust
    • Like most crappy hasbarists you only dig a deeper hole for yourself when you are confronted with the facts.

      Wikipedia provides citations to reliable published sources which explain that it was NOT pretty clear at that time, and that plenty of people in the Jewish community condemned the bombing because the victims had not volunteered to participate in the underground's conflict with the British authorities:

      The role of the Haganah was not publicly revealed and a story was put out that the deportees, out of despair, had sunk the ship themselves (the version recounted, for example, by Arthur Koestler [Koestler, Arthur. Promise and Fulfilment - Palestine 1917-1949, p. 60]). For years the British believed that the Irgun was probably responsible. Ha-Po'el ha-Tza'ir, a newspaper of the ruling Mapai party, unaware that all of the persons responsible were Mapai leaders, lamented that "On one bitter and impetuous day, a malicious hand sank the ship." The article led Ben-Gurion's son Amos to physically assault the newspaper's editor.

      Meanwhile, a bitter debate over the correctness of the operation was raging in secret within the Zionist leadership. The decision had been made by an activist faction, without consulting more moderate members according to normal procedure, and this caused serious internal divisions that persisted for many years. An effort was made to enshrine the incident as an icon of Zionist determination, but this was largely unsuccessful.[Meir Chazan, The Patria Affair: Moderates vs. Activists in Mapai in the 1940s. Journal of Israeli History, Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp 61-95.] Some leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine, the Yishuv, argued that the loss of life had not been in vain, as the Patria's survivors had been allowed to stay in the country. Others declared that the Haganah had had no right to risk the lives of the immigrants, as they had not decided of their own free will to become participants in the underground Jewish conflict with the British authorities.[Dalia Ofer, "A Dual Perspective: Yaakov Shabtai and the Historian's Account of the Deportation to Mauritius", in Ronit Lentin, Re-presenting the Shoah for the Twenty-first Century, p. 95. Berghahn Books, 2004. ISBN 1571818022]

      The Haganah conducted its own investigation but still publicly blamed the British:

      The Haganah also put up an investigative body to find out why such a relatively small amount of explosives could create such a huge hole in a large ship. That the entire ship would sink within fifteen minutes was incomprehensible. It came to the conclusion that the superstructure was in extremely poor condition and that it was unable to withstand the pressure.

      As for the justification that caused the damage to be inflicted in the first place the Haganah blamed the government of the Mandate. They announced that victims of the Pataria were the sole responsibility of the Mandate and the British Empire. link to

      So, yes the Patria Affair belongs right up there with the Lavon Affair as one more dishonest and sleazy chapter in Zionist history.

    • I mention the Patria, because decades afterward Moshe Shertok's diary revealed that "whoever placed the explosives" (as you deceptively put it) was the Jewish Agency's militia - the Haganah.

      Despite the fact that the Jewish Agency had ordered the bombing in the first place, it initially suggested that the passengers themselves had taken part in bombing the ship, and that they were acting out of despair and desperation. The Agency also joined the public outcry for a government Commission to inquire into and report on responsibility for the sinking of the Patria; the adequacy of security arrangements before the blast; and the efficiency of the rescue operations. Afterward the Agency facilitated lawsuits for personal injuries and items that were "deliberately damaged" while in the custody of the Palestine government and its officers. Scroll down to "Patria Refugee's Test Cases"

      Within the Jewish community it was widely suspected that the Jewish Agency Executive was responsible. They responded by planting hasbara in the Palestine press that the real problem was the design of the Patria or the materials used in its construction.

      So, there certainly was deception involved. It is the height of dissimulation for you to have suggested otherwise.

    • The attacks against them and the laws passed against them began before the founding of the state of Israel

      Shlaim and others have spilled much ink writing about the emergency ordinances and other repressive measures employed against the Arabs before the founding of the state by officials like Gen. Montgomery, Orde Wingate, and the Special Night Squads. For example:

      In November 1938 Major General Bernard Montgomery arrived in Palestine. His task was to crush the revolt. “Monty” was a short-tempered professional soldier with no inclination to study the details of the conflict in Palestine. He gave his men simple orders on how to handle the rebels: kill them. This is what his men did"

      See the The Balfour Declaration And its Consequences, Avi Shlaim

      The Mossad LeAliyah Bet were operating before the founding of the state. The ordinances that allowed for collective persecution of the Arabs were a formal part of Herbert Samuel's plan by no later than 1924:

      "Sir H. Samuel's proposals would enable District Governors to enforce the principle of collective responsibility upon tribal sections and villages in tribal areas, and, where necessary, to impose collective punishment (whether by fine or otherwise) for the misdemeanours of individuals. It is important that the High Commissioner should be authorised as soon as possible to proceed in the manner proposed."

      See CAB 24/165 (formerly CP 121 (24)), Palestine, James H Thomas, 19 February 1924

      The French adopted similar measures. In Palestine, "The Collective Punishments Ordinance, 1926, was applied to towns and villages whose inhabitants had taken part in concerted attacks on Jews." It is described in CAB 24/270 (formerly CP 163 (37)), "Palestine: Report of the Royal Commission, 1936", William Ormsby-Gore, 22 June 1937

      France and Great Britain bombed Middle East mandate populations during periods of unrest or rebellion. Villages sympathizing with insurgents were fined, bombarded, and their male inhabitants sometimes executed. The RAF leveled entire villages in Palestine during the Arab Revolt. In response, the members of the Permanent Mandates Commission did little more than complain about it publicly:

      Yet, once these commissioners had vented their spleen–and, incidentally, made clear that the League too thought bombing civilians hard to reconcile with trusteeship–they got to work on damage control and re-legitimation. -- Susan Pedersen, 'The Meaning of the Mandates System: an Argument', Geschichte und Gesellschaft, Oct-Dec. 2006, page 20

      The atrocities committed by the Jewish militias against the Palestinians before the founding of the state were widely publicized.

      I provided you with a long list of authors, besides Avi Shlaim, who have written about the Mossad's involvement in the Jewish exodus from Arab countries.

    • Reuven,

      You are engaging in verbal sleight of hand and linguistic evasion. In HCJ 630/70 Tamarin v. State of Israel [1970] IsrSC 26(1) 197, the plaintiff demanded that the government register his nationality as "Israeli", rather than "Jewish". The Court held that if it agreed to Tamarin’s demand, it would lead to a schism in the Jewish people. The Supreme Court President, Justice Shimon Agranat, said that “the wish of a handful of Jews to break away from the nation and create a new concept of an Israeli nation was not a legitimate aspiration. There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people. ...The Jewish people is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewries."

      So, "Arab Israelis" are ipso jure the "Jewish Arabs" under another name. There is no such thing as an "Arab" nationality outside of Israel. The government uses that label to strip the Palestinian citizens of their national identity. All of the indigenous Palestinians should have their nationality registered as such - in accordance with article 30 of the Treaty of Lausanne - until the final legal status of all of the territory is determined through a negotiated or adjudicated settlement. Much of this has already been explained before. See for example "A racism outside of language: Israel's apartheid", by Saree Makdisi, in the Pambazuka News, 2010-03-11, Issue 473

    • Jews around the world insist on advancing the extermination as a unique Jewish event, or more accurately an event that is uniquely Jewish.

      I agree that the event was one of mind boggling proportions and that the Jews were specifically targeted for destruction. But the genocide perpetrated by European settlers against the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America was just as cold, calculated, unrelenting, and broad in its scope of application as the Holocaust that was visited upon the Jews.

      In many cases the survivors of that tragedy are just as opposed to cultural assimilation as the Zionists, but they do not claim that their right to exist entitles them to commit unjust acts towards others in order to protect and preserve that existence. The younger generation of Jews in the diaspora feel that way too. The Zionist response is sometimes to simply say that people who think like that are no longer part of the Jewish community.

    • P.S. Avi, I haven't read any in-depth analysis of Israeli textbooks since Elie Podeh wrote an article and book on the subject several years ago. I haven't seen anything on the content of Palestinian textbooks since about that same time. Is your work published, or do you know of any detailed up-to-date source of information on the topic?

    • Many Israelis and a few former CIA operatives say that Mossad operatives were responsible for the campaign of bombings, violence, and mass hysteria that preceded the mass exodus of the Jews from Arab countries. Here is a brief list: Uri Avnery, Wilbur Eveland, David Hirst, Abbas Shiblak, Ella Shohat, Marion Wolfsohn , Rafael Shapiro, and Naeim Giladi.

      After the disclosures regarding the Patria and Lavon Affairs, most intelligent people treat anything the government of Israel says about these matters with a healthy degree of skepticism. Despite the fact that many of the refugees never went to Israel in the first place, the government has tried to leverage their assets to offset the compensation it owes to the Palestinians. That sort of deal would make Bernie Madoff green with envy.

    • The US has taxpayer-funded secondary school history and university Native American Studies programs that teach about the policies of genocide and dispossession of the indigenous people by its settlers; about the injustices of slavery; and about the civil rights movement.

      You seem to be unaware of the fact that the State of Israel doesn't fund Arab sector education on an equal basis, despite the fact that Israeli Arabs pay taxes. See page 5 of the Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Let's not forget that, for a number of decades, the State of Israel siphoned-off billions of shekels from Palestinian workers wages and that the Palestinian Authority has stepped-in to fund schools in East Jerusalem.

    • The holocaust was not a unique event. Governments have murdered hundreds of millions of people under their control. The only things that change are the methodology and the date on the calendar. Browse around the excellent "Democide: Murder By Government" website at the University of Hawai'i.

    • Surveys show sixty four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 say that Arab Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent ("most") believe that they should not have full equal rights.

      So, what are Israeli children being taught in their schools today? According to Haaretz:

      It is not "just" state-funded Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu inciting against the Arabs and it is not "just" the leader of the racist world in Israel, Rabbi Dov Lior, who enjoys a respectable amount of funding and a variety of official posts. It is not even "just" the fact that most first-graders in Israel who are defined as Jews receive religious and ultra-Orthodox education in which it is self-evident that a non-Jew is not a human being. & etc.......

      Now the AP is trying to incite their readers against the Palestinians using the shopworn holocaust denial trope.

  • Israel lobbyist blames Palestinians for Israel's killing of 4 civilians
    • DBG,

      Be careful what you ask for and don't bring a ham sandwich to a feast. I was raised by folks who worked for the Political Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. I know crappy hasbara when I see it. Israel and its friends blocked the Goldstone report from being referred to the International Criminal Court for a good reason. You don't waste that much political capital for nothing. Reuven's attempt to blame Goldstone and the Arabs for the current situation doesn't alter the criminal responsibility of the leaders on both sides who are responsible for the cycle of violence. It's just a cheap attempt to shift the burden of guilt somewhere else (everywhere else). Mentioning Goldstone, at all, is a patent example of impotent rage and mental masturbation that characterizes the "too fervent" branch of Zionist propagandists. It may make you and Reuven feel good while you are "doing it" to yourselves, but it's embarrassing for the rest of us to have to watch the spectacle.

      The reports say that the family playing soccer in Gaza were killed by an anti-personnel shell fired from a tank. That would mean the gunner and commander were watching them on TV the whole time - exactly like the crew in the infamous Wikileaks helicopter attack. Here is some info on the Merkeva tank sighting system:

      The tank is equipped with a modern fire control and sighting system which includes computerized ballistic calculations and compensations, a dual axes stabilized gunner sight and a dual axis stabilized commander panoramic sight, both equipped with an advanced Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) and TV channels for day and night operation. The system is equipped with an improved tracking system which enables tracking of moving targets, such as tanks, helicopters, vehicles or soldiers. It also enables locking the sight and gun on targets when the tank is on the move, utilizing the ultra-fast gun stabilization and electrical turret drive system.

      We ordinarily indict the criminals on both sides to let them know that, even if they don't answer for their crimes, they'll be hunted for the rest of their lives. In that particular case, the surviving members of the Palestinian family don't need another Ghandi, they have plenty of those to spare. They need their own Simon Wiesenthal.

      What scares the current Zionist leadership about "delegitimation", is that there are fair minded people in the Jewish community, like Goldstone, who are willing to give the Palestinians a hand in that department.

    • It is definitely an undeniable hallmark of Jewish culture. In light of the Divine injunction in Devarim 23:13-15 (Deuteronomy 23:12-14), I'm always fascinated by the reports about the haredim who routinely desecrate the Kotel by hurling soiled diapers at the "Women of the Wall" whenever they read from the Torah or sing praises there.

      It seems fairly obvious that they are a bunch of misogynists who don't really care about the religious significance of the locale.

    • No, and he did a disservice to the editors and authors who worked so hard producing those hasbara fellowship talking points. Next time he should just cut and paste, instead of trying to recite them off the top of his head.

  • US activists respond to IDF spying on internationals
    • I explained the process at Tikun Olam a few months ago. Israel uses "Alice-in-Wonderland" accounting principles and pretends that it is actually buying the weapons systems, although the US stopped pretending that it would ever get re-paid decades ago. So, they charge our private contractors FMS offsets which require them to source part of their goods and services from Israel. That way their "large purchases" from the US won't harm the locals so much, because part of the money gets "returned" to the Israeli economy. The late Under-Secretary of State George Ball condemned the practice in his book "The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement With Israel, 1947 to the Present, W. W. Norton & Company, in 1992. So Americans have been getting fleeced for a long time. Israeli firms can also bid directly on DoD purchase contracts.

  • 'JPost' says Israel is US's only constant ally in shifting Middle East
    • The US had to utilize an abandoned Russian-built Air Base in Wadi Qena, Egypt for the C-141s that were employed during the Iranian hostage rescue attempt.

      The "only constant ally" has never supported the US in a single armed conflict. I believe the only time the US even bothered to ask was during the war in Vietnam. President Johnson was looking for more allied participation. The DoD suggested that Israel should contribute some token medical or peace corps-type teams, but the Israeli's were not interested.

      So, there is only an intertwining with the private defense industry and few of their counterparts in the defense procurement agencies who act as Israel's buyers. In so far as the major military operating commands are concerned, Israel is pretty much "a waste of life". Lt. Col Ollie North did employ Shimon Peres in the illegal Iran-Contra arms deal.

  • To my beloved Palestine, I am sorry. I love you.
    • The device of the "State" is used to deny victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity legal standing (locus standi) to file criminal complaints with international courts or to prevent victims from benefiting from the protections contained in the UN Charter. Those prohibit any threat or use of force against the independence or territorial integrity of - let's read it- "any state".

      So, states are indispensable, but perfect unity is not, e.g. the capital of West Virginia was never reconstituted in Richmond. Two semi-autonomous municipal authorities governing in a loose "Confederation of Palestine" would be perfectly acceptable if they would agree to stop killing and persecuting one another.

  • Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ralph Bunche's achievements didn't make Jim Crow kosher
    • A High Court of Justice decision, however, ruled that one may interpret from the text that it upheld the principle of equality.

      Not in reality. Article 10 of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom stipulates: "This Basic Law shall not affect the validity of any law (din) in force prior to the commencement of the Basic Law.

      For example, the Women’s Equal Rights Law of 1951 specifically excluded marriage and divorce laws from its guarantees of "equality for women". It can't be challenged on the basis of the principle of equality. Note: Ben Gurion owed that piece of legislation to the religious parties under the terms of the June 19, 1947 “Status Quo Agreement” between the Jewish Agency and the World Agudat leadership.

      The same "safeguarding clause" locked-in constitutional protections against judicial tampering with any of the existing discriminatory laws on citizenship, abandoned property, immigration, land, & etc.

      Article 8 of the Basic Law permits the Knesset to adopt new discriminatory legislation such as the 2009 Israel Lands Authority Law and the 2010 amendment of the Land Acquisition Law: There shall be no violation of rights under this Basic Law except by a law befitting the values of the State of Israel, enacted for a proper purpose, and to an extent no greater than is required.

      So, "one may interpret from the text that [the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom] upheld the principle of equality", but your lawyer had better remember that Palestinians, members of other religious groups, and women do not fall within the scope of the basic law regarding humans - thanks to the draft constitution "befitting the "democratic and Jewish" values of the State of Israel.

    • Several years ago the Jewish Agency for Israel ran an article about the Ka'adan case in which one of the members of the community admitted that neither Arabs nor Haredim were suitable candidates:

      "They won't fit in. We're different, Arabs and Jews. We have different holidays and different customs. In communities like ours, people should have the same values and customs.

      I don't think that haredim should live here, either. Arabs and Jews should live next to each other, in mutual respect, with equality, but separately."

      I think "next to each other, in mutual respect, with equality, but separately" is a very obtuse or round-about way of saying hatred and loathing. Only a few years ago the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Sallai Meridor, was furious and slammed the German government for enticing Jews to immigrate to Germany.

      Nowadays even Lieberman's settlement bars Russian-Israeli families from buying homes. So, tribal hatred is dished out on an almost non-discriminatory basis.

    • You are correct. I was having a "senior moment". The forced labor cases were reported in Volume II of the Yearbook of the International Law Commission for 1963. They usually involved non-Jewish civil servants who were held-over until they could be replaced. They were then let go without pay or pensions - usually based upon some minor technicality such as where they originally entered the service. Article 28 of the Mandate and the UN Partition plan both required the successor governments to assume responsibility for the public debts and treaty obligations of the mandatory government. Like everything else, the Jewish leadership's "acceptance" of the partition plan didn't include that part:

      Following the decisions in Shimshon Palestine Portland Cement Factory Ltd. v. Attorney-General (see para. 416 below) and Sifri v. Attorney-General (see para. 310 below), the Court proceeded from the proposition that Israel is not the successor of the Government of Palestine.

      Upon the establishment of the State of Israel, one of the Justices stated, a new personality was created. This retains no signs of identification with the previous political body, which completely disappeared as May 14 1948, drew to its close. When the Mandate came to an end the appellant's right also came to an end. If there is doubt how far a successor State is bound by the contracts and concessions of its predecessor, how much the more is this so as regard a State which is not a successor.

      Even if Israel was the " successor " of Mandated Palestine, another of the Justices said, even then it would not be burdened by obligations acquired in relation to any part of Palestine or its inhabitants who remained outside the boundaries of the State; but now that Israel is not the successor, how much the more is it not encumbered, except to the extent of its own volition, by rights acquired outside the present area of the State. To be precise, that is what was decided in Shimshon v. Attorney-General.

      So according to the parastatal WZO, if you were an Arab, your rights under the mandate were terminated when it ended. However, if you were Jewish, your legal rights and equitable interests in all of Palestine were subsequently preserved by article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

    • Annie,

      A while back we discussed Connex line 322 in Tel Aviv and in connection with Macy Gray's visit to that city. I mentioned that women ride in the back; made a reference to the laws of Kol Isha (e.g. Berachos 24a & Kiddushin 70a) which are cited in order to forbid a woman from singing in public; and noted a news report about a woman who was assaulted on one of the segregated buses in Jerusalem. Women have also been brutally assaulted for wearing sleeveless blouses, cutoffs, or walking shorts on hot summer days, e.g. Girl stoned for 'immodest dress'

      A few years back the same thing nearly happened to Natalie Portman. She was shooting a scene for a film near the Western Wall. The stars and crew were chased away for kissing in public. Ynet reported the Haredim screamed "Immoral! Immoral!" (but the Hebrew versions of the account said it was Whores! Whores! IIRC).

    • The 1947 UN resolution on the partition of Palestine contained a minority protection plan that required Israel to adopt a constitution that would guarantee women and minorities equal rights and protections under the law. Abba Eban lied and claimed Israel had adopted those guarantees during the hearings on Israel's application for membership in the UN. Since that time, whenever the subject comes up the official response has always been not no, but Hell no! (despite 60 years of armed conflict).

      Compare that with Egypt, where Under Secretary of State Bill Burns was dispatched to conduct hasty consultations with authorities regarding the constitutional amendments that are being voted on ... ...this weekend.

    • Are you speaking about the status of non-Jewish citizens of Israel, or of Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza?

      The crime of apartheid applies to any de facto "policy or practice", not just legislation. Nonetheless, in actual policy and practice Israel uses its legislation to discriminate against all Palestinians regardless of where they live. Refugees are barred from returning. Their lands and their properties have been stolen. The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have been forced into isolated racial enclaves and have been living under an apartheid regime for decades. Palestinians in Israel were kept under martial law and frequently recruited for forced labor. That regime lasted until 1963 and was used to prevent them from returning to their own so-called "abandoned properties". All of the existing laws that discriminated against non-Jews and made them second class citizens in the areas of access to land; family reunification and freedom to choose one's spouse; unequal funding of infrastructure and education; prohibitions against political parties that promote equality for Arabs and the abolition of "the Jewish state" were all grandfathered under the terms of Article 10 of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. Any new law that befits the values of a racist regime can be adopted under the terms of Article 8 of the same basic law.

      Hope that clears up your confusion.

  • Israeli flag is dropped off at Colo. legislator's office in the nick of time
    • There is an old (but true) saying: "Israel doesn't want to be the 51st State in the union, because they would have to give up all but two of their Senators."

    • It used to be that Israel denied having committed ethnic cleansing

      The other day, there was an article here about the Forward's "Top Genocide Scholars Battle Over How To Characterize Israel’s Actions". Readers may not have noticed, but even the apologist for the Israeli side admitted ethnic cleansing had taken place and that forced population transfer or deportation is a serious war crime. The scholars only disagree over whether or not that constitutes the crime of genocide when the intent is to destroy a society in whole or in part. The original journal article "The question of genocide in Palestine, 1948: an exchange between Martin Shaw and Omer Bartov" is available as a pdf file from this page

      The argument that the crime of genocide only includes acts that result in the physical destruction of members of the group is simply not unsupportable, since two of the constituent acts of genocide listed in the international convention can be committed without killing any victims at all:

      (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
      (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

      A report on international criminal law and the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples has just been issued by the Special Rapporteur appointed by the United Nations Permanent Forum which discusses "cultural genocide" (aka politicide & etc.) consisting of non-violent acts that are included in the definition of the crime of genocide in the international convention. He discusses the fact that the use of the term "ethnic cleansing" has been a tactic to avoid responsibility for genocide:

      The recent tendency to define as “ethnic cleansing” policies that could prove to be genocidal under the definition of “genocide” established in international law has been a way of escaping responsibility, and even of fostering impunity. “Ethnic cleansing” may the ideal term for journalistic and even scientific purposes because of its emotional content, but its ineffectiveness makes it a poor choice in the field of law. The same may be said of “ethnocide” and “cultural genocide” as fully separate terms distinct from “genocide” as defined in criminal law. Use of one or both of these expressions is frequently a way of circumventing the legal effects of use of the word “genocide” even in the face of the evidence.

      The European Court of Human Rights upheld a criminal conviction for the crime of genocide in the case of Jorgic v. Germany based upon destruction of the group as a social unit:

      The court also found that the applicant had acted with intent to commit genocide within the meaning of Article 220a of the Criminal Code. Referring to the views expressed by several legal writers, it stated that the "destruction of a group" within the meaning of Article 220a of the Criminal Code meant destruction of the group as a social unit in its distinctiveness and particularity and its feeling of belonging together; a biological-physical destruction was not necessary. It concluded that the applicant had therefore acted with intent to destroy the group of Muslims in the North of Bosnia, or at least in the Doboj region.

      That has interesting implications on the limits of the sanctions that can be legally employed against a civilian population to accomplish "regime change".

      Those helpful "New Historians" provided footnote citations to the official document numbers in the Israeli State Archives that detailed the ethnic cleansing operations in 1948 and 1967.

      That sort of evidence is every lawyer's dream. So, in the 2004 ICJ Wall Case, Jordan devoted 68 pages to of its Written Statement to "Annex 1 Origins And Early Phases Of Israel's Policy Of Expulsion And Displacement Of Palestinians". They pointed out that, in Israel, it's all a matter of public record:

      It is evident from the public record that from the earliest days of its existence Israel has been driven by an overriding policy to secure for the State of Israel the whole of the former mandated territory of Palestine, and to drive out of that territory the vast bulk of the indigenous Arab population in order to make room for an incoming Jewish population. The consistency of this purpose is apparent from the extracts from the public record set out at Annex 1 to this statement.

      Annex 1 starts on pdf page 163 of 227 in the written statement.

  • 'NYT' commenters rationalize attacks on Rabbi Lerner for backing Goldstone
    • Fascism may have been an integral part of the community decision making process that laid down the racist ground rules. Some religious zealots still use those rules today to govern their relations with Gentiles.

      There's the example of Phinehas the son of Eleazar who took a spear and drove it through the Israelite man, and the Midianite woman.

      Many think that the "Eighteen Matters" that Beit Shammai is said to have decreed despite the objections of Beit Hillel were measures adopted during the revolt against Rome which severed all relations and mandated complete separation between the Jews and Gentiles, e.g. link to

      "The disciples of the school of Shammai stood below, slaughtering the disciples of the school of Hillel. Six of them ascended, while the rest threatened them with swords and spears."

      link to

      "Five misfortunes befell our forefathers on the 17th of Tammuz," ... ..."The second is also from the Talmud, tractate Shabbat 13b and 17a": A count was conducted, and it was found that the sages of Shammai were more numerous than the sages of Hillel. Eighteen ordinances were enacted on that day... and that day was as difficult for the people of Israel as the day on which the Golden Calf was made.

      link to

      So, the "hatred without a cause" that led to the destruction of the Temple can be ascribed to a violent intra-communal conflict. But it may have also resulted from a disagreement over Gentiles and the massacre of those who taught that there ought to be friendly relations with them.

    • It is forward or surrender There is no historical support for the idea of surrender. The motto of Jabotinsky's Jewish Legion was קדימה Kadima (forward).

      The notion that Begin was more willing to kill fellow Jews than the Left-Wing Zionists is completely unhistorical. The Haganah assassinated Jacob Israël de Haan in 1924 for his anti-Zionist political activities and contacts with Arab leaders. The Haganah also blew-up the S.S. Patria with 1,800 Jewish refugees on board and killed about 260 of them and injured more than 170 others. Then they put out propaganda that the passengers had blown themselves up and sank the ship out of despair.

      The Haganah staged terror attacks in the territory designated for the Corpus Separatum after the UN Partition plan was adopted. They bombed movie houses, market places, and the Semiramis Hotel and in many cases blamed their attacks on the Revisionists. Later, during a debate in the Knesset, Ben Gurion was berating Begin and claiming credit for averting the danger to the State of Israel presented by the Altalena Affair and for putting an end to the armed insurrection in Jerusalem. The Haganah Commander, Moshe Sneh, interrupted Ben Gurion and reminded him "You sent me the cable not to harm the IZL!". MK G. Meyer responded by threatening him (ala Anat Kam/Uri Blau) : "Moshe Sneh, don't threaten us with publication!" -- See the Minutes of the 8th Sitting of the First Knesset, 8 March 1949, in Netanel Lorach, "Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981" Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, page 445.

      So, the major Zionist parties on both the left and the right did not hesitate to kill or threaten fellow Jews and have suppressed the publication of embarrassing information about themselves. Not that they ever fooled anyone in the Jewish community.

  • Jewish orgs excommunicated 'JVP' for heckling Bibi and refusing to swear by 'Jewish, democratic state'
    • Advocating for the elimination of Israel, for the forced removal of 550,000 if not 6 million, is not dissent pjdude, its something else.

      Witty you and eee are arguing for the maintenance of a status quo that resulted from the forced removal of three quarters of a million Palestinians + the human rights of 550,000 illegal settlers. If you want to do that, then as a bare minimum Israel would have to readmit a corresponding number of Palestinians to their own territory. That is a principle of diplomacy called "reciprocity" not "dissent" or anything else of the kind.

      For years I've been sickened by the extravagant measures Zionists employ to include "anyone but Arabs" or Jews who want Peace in their Jewish Community. One of the most shocking examples was this one "90 Peruvians became the latest Jewish settlers"

      I don't see any reason why it would be "wrong" for Israel to ask this group of South American Indian citizens to live on land that Abraham gave them in Israel, preferably some that isn't stolen. If they insist on staying they should pay property taxes that amortize the costs they represent to the Palestinian state and its own people. A redistribution of wealth is going to happen. Israel is simply trying to postpone its day of reckoning.

    • Jews claim descent from Judah and Benjamin, not from the ancestral tribes of Samaritans.

      The Tanach says the king of Assyria brought people from Babylonia, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel. The Talmud simply refers to them as "Kutim". But Y-chromosome studies have demonstrated that Samaritans and Jews had a common male ancestor about 80 generations ago. The matriarchs are something of a mystery: "Fourteen of the 16 Samaritan females [studied] carry either of two unique mitochondrial haplotypes not found among any other ethnic groups represented from the five continents." So, they are not closely related to any other identifiable ethnic group and have not married outside the group in an incredibly long time. link to

      Your other conclusion about the line of descent through only Judah and Benjamin is not correct. Our legends claim that some of the ten tribes returned:

      "Since the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah reigned, all Israel did not perform a Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem, because the kingdom had been divided in two since Jeroboam, and they would go to the calf in Bethel and in Dan until now that the ten tribes were exiled, Rashi says: "and Jeremiah brought them back, and Josiah reigned over them, and they all came to Jerusalem.". -- Melachim II (II Kings) - Chapter 23:22 from Rashi's Commentary and the Judaica Press Tanach

      The Talmud says that the remainder of the 10 tribes will not be returning. I hope that helps explain the historical details. I'm at a loss to explain the present day relations between all of the so-called peoples of Israel - so don't ask;-)

    • "I believe there are Muslim women in modern countries like Morocco and Turkey and USA who do not even wear a head-scarf"

      But have you ever heard of a place where married Haredi women do not wear a hair covering?

    • I don't see anything very "American" about this so-called "Jewish community" of theirs. eee is simply worshiping a new golden calf. In each and every instance these people have a symbiotic or parastatal relationship to an apartheid regime. So of course they don't like others to draw attention to that fact. Many of them even hold dual citizenship. In the Apartheid Convention, there is a perfect description of the situation in the territory between the Jordan and the Mediterranean - then comes this frequently overlooked passage:

      "International criminal responsibility shall apply, irrespective of the motive involved, to individuals, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State, whether residing in the territory of the State in which the acts are perpetrated or in some other State, whenever they:

      (a) Commit, participate in, directly incite or conspire in the commission of the acts mentioned in article II of the present Convention;

      (b) Directly abet, encourage or co-operate in the commission of the crime of apartheid."

      So, that "organized Jewish community" is either the intellectual equivalent of a racialist shuttered ghetto, or worse still, a bunch of enabling criminal co-conspirators. I agree about the necessity of adopting a litmus test for unquestioning support of a demographically manufactured and ethnically cleansed "Jewish and democratic state", but would employ it to excommunicate these heretics.

  • ADL suggests that U.N. sponsors terrorism-- the film 'Miral'
    • A group dedicated to working against defamation while operating strictly within an ideological framework that does not recognise its own defamation
      is an oxymoron.

      The ADL has been on the losing side of multimillion dollar defamation lawsuits. This letter is carefully worded to void any per se libel against the film's producer(s).

      The UN logo is completely inappropriate. It should be replaced with the familiar Star of David. The State of Israel has frequently been on the losing side of ICJ and arbital cases involving "Certain expenses of the United Nations" resulting from the deliberate assassination of officials on mission for the UN, and deliberate attacks on UN facilities resulting in scores of deaths and destruction. See for example Israel to pay UN compensation of US $10m

      I'm pretty sure the ADL is aware of the irony.

  • Mitchell Bard on the Arab lobby, at American University
    • Mitchell Bard, author of The Arab Lobby.

      Pot meet kettle: Mitchell Bard, Executive Director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and director of the Jewish Virtual Library

      Translation: He is an apparatchik in the propaganda ministry of the Israel Lobby.

  • Desch says Obama's 'counter-insurgency' model for Afghan occupation parallels Bush in Iraq
    • Desch says Obama’s ‘counter-insurgency’ model for Afghan occupation parallels Bush in Iraq

      That is hardly surprising since the original author of the counter-insurgency policy and tactics employed in both instances was General David Petraeus. The series of military organizations that he commanded in order were: 101st Airborne - Iraq>Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq (training Iraqi Security Forces)> Multi-National Force - Iraq>U.S. Central Command>US and International Security Assistance Force (training Afghan Security Forces) - Afghanistan.

      Conventional military wisdom holds that counter-insurgency is a tactic with very limited functional utility. In every generation there are people who think they can make it scale up for large strategic purposes and they have to learn the lesson the hard way. In practice it is completely ineffective beyond a local hamlet-sized area - and simply prolongs the misery of occupation indefinitely even in those situations. During the mandate era the Arabs and Jews bootstrapped their acquisition of training and arms by joining the local British and French-trained and equipped security forces. The same thing happened in Iraq to Petraeus. He poured billions into training, equipping, and bribing the insurgent forces there, before giving-up and calling for a surge. Afghanistan is just the latest example of the failure of the strategy.

  • Violence, hypocrisy and resistance
    • Israelis spend so much time discussing retaliatory strikes that we tend to forget that it is necessary to pretend that you've been on the receiving end of a prior illegal attack from the other party. US Presidents used to talk like this: "A belligerent act of retaliation is per se an act beyond the law, and the defense of an act as retaliatory is an admission that it is illegal."

      Although that is perfectly true. The President was criticized for saying it - because it's a sacrament "when we do it", not a crime e.g. See The Right of Retaliation

      In international law two wrongs do make a right. A reprisal is an act which is illegal, but it is (magically) rendered lawful by a prior illegal act committed by the enemy it is directed against. Bibi is claiming, among other things, that the PA owes him one. Now he can cash in their IOU at any time by doing something he regrets (not).

  • As if we needed more
    • "There are clear accusations of violations of international law, but there are no clear determinations."

      That's convenient. What you call "allegations" are in many cases final determinations by the responsible treaty organizations and treaty monitoring bodies that a crime has been committed. International law consists of the rules that States have adopted to govern their mutual relations. When the Security Council determines that a situation is illegal, then in accordance with the terms of Article 24 and 25 of the UN Charter that decision is binding upon all of the members. When the Reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions sitting en banc declares that a situation is illegal, then believe it or not, its is illegal.

      Under the international system of criminal law, only the Courts operate under a "presumption of innocence". There is already ample evidence available that requires a prosecutor to act. In other situations that has been considered sufficient justification for the international community of states to establish an international criminal tribunal and bring those responsible to justice.

      The permanent international criminal court only came into existence in 2002. It does not have compulsory jurisdiction or boundless discretion in the cases that it can pursue. In any event, Israel does not accept its legitimacy - despite the fact that it is a regularly constituted court, affording "all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples".

      The ICC does no more than what each and every State can do under existing international law. So, it is really only an extension of the national criminal jurisdiction of its member states (which not too surprisingly Israel also refuses to accept). The Zionists once claimed that Jews would only be able to function normally when they had created a state they could call their own. That clearly has been a completely unsuccessful experiment that needs to be quickly curtailed. Forcing millions of other people to die or live in poverty inside overcrowded and filthy enclaves surrounded by barbed wire, concrete walls, and remotely controlled weapons isn't the new "normal".

    • And, most disturbing of all to Netanyahu and company, it says that it intends to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state this summer.

      That part is unlikely. The Palestinians have said time and again that a unilateral declaration is not a part of their plan. They have already declared the existence of the state and have 150 countries lined up that will grant multilateral recognition and sponsor it for full UN membership.

      Palestine is already a state member in the Group of Asian States; the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; the League of Arab States, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries; the Organization of the Islamic Conference; and the Group of 77 and China. The members of the G-77 have increased to 131 countries since its founding. link to

      It maintains Embassies of the State of Palestine in dozens of countries. It is no longer time to discuss declarations, its time for the West to recognize it legally and move on. France has already recognized the rebels in Libya, but it is "premature to recognize Palestine", yeah right.

  • How to run for president
    • Lets try to accentuate the positive. The first head of state to formally recognize the United States was Muhammad III of Morocco in 1777.

      Morocco was also the first country to sign a Treaty of Friendship with the United States. Here is a link to an old State Department briefing about that - courtesy of the Web Archive. link to

  • Jewish newspaper admits that Israel has become an 'embarrassment' for liberal Jews
    • The purported closing of the Gulf of Aqaba has brought a new and grave dimension to the crisis. The United States considers the gulf to be an international waterway.”President LB Johnson May 24, 1967

      The President actually said the United States "feels that a blockade of Israel's shipping is illegal". Eisenhower said "believes" and noted that the US policy could be overridden by the ICJ.

      You've supplied words in square brackets that did not originate with Johnson. He did not say that the actions taken by the Arabs constituted a blockade of Israel's shipping. The "purported closure of the Gulf of Aqaba" is a material fact that is still the subject of a genuine dispute. There are continuing disagreements over the applicable law. The only thing that's certain (after the 1964 Tonkin Incident) is that only a damn fool would make a jus ad bellum determination on the basis of something that LBJ characterized as "puported".

    • fuster,

      the Egyptian Foreign Minister was told that closing an international waterway to Israel was an act of aggression and would be treated as such in the view of the US

      That is all true, but you forgot to mention that Nasser lifted the blockade and agreed to a conditional UN moratorium - which the Israeli side promptly rejected. Nasser's sole demand for permanently lifting the blockade was for Israel to agree to comply with the terms of the existing 1949 Armistice Agreements. Zionists like to cite the policy contained in the Aide-memoire from Secretary of State Dulles to Ambassador Eban of February 11, 1957, while omitting the part that it could be overridden by a decision of the ICJ and that "the enjoyment of the right of innocent passage by Israel would depend upon its prior withdrawal in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions".

      The UN Security Council had adopted Resolution 73 while acting under Article 40 (Chapter 7 of the UN Charter) and it required all of the parties to observe and execute the terms of the armistice agreements pending a final settlement. But Israel had declared the agreements null and void; unilaterally declared its sovereignty over the DMZs; and had illegally occupied them. It declared the indigenous Arab cultivators a security threat and declared the area "a closed security zone".

      FYI, the International treaty that established the boundary between Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine provided that the inhabitants of Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine would have the same fishing and navigation rights on Lakes Huleh, Tiberias and the River Jordan and that the Government of Syria would have the right to a pier at Semakh on Lake Tiberias where Syrian goods would not be subject to any customs regulations. So those were inland international waterways. See the Agreement between His Majesty's Government and the French Government respecting the Boundary Line between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hámmé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), Cmd. 1910, Page 7. The Israelis had used gunboats to patrol and attack the Eastern shore and Syrian fishing boats on Lake Tiberias for nearly a decade before the Six Day War. See for example The Arab News Agency, Mideast mirror, Volume 15, 1963, page 17.

      Israel was demanding that Arabs farm without land and fish without water in violation of the armistice agreements; Security Council resolutions, and the applicable international treaties. So, it wasn't even fulfilling the necessary conditions to enjoy the right of innocent passage under the terms of the Aide-memoire. The likelihood that it would have prevailed in either an advisory opinion or contentious case in the ICJ without a full withdrawal was absolutely nil.

      I hope this clears up your confusion.

    • pjdude,

      I was not discussing the philosophy of legitimism or my own thoughts on that subject. I was discussing the rules of law that states themselves have adopted to govern the conduct of their mutual relations an in the principles of their international organization.

      So, you will find the principles I mentioned incorporated the public international of the American States, the EU, & etc. such as:

      *The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States
      *The OAS Charter, Chapter IV, Fundamental Rights and Duties of States
      *Chapter 1 of the UN Charter

      Disputes involving these rights can be resolved in the OAS; the UN General Assembly; UN Security Council; or International Court of Justice

      OTOH the rights of people are found in the Universal Bill of Rights composed of:
      *The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
      *International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
      *International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

      Disputes concerning these rights are resolved through:
      *UN Human Rights Treaty monitoring bodies,
      *The International Court of Justice
      *OAS Monitoring Bodies
      *The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
      *The Inter-American Court of Human Rights

      The EU and other communities have similar regional institutions.

      Certain acts of concern to the international community of states are crimes when they are committed against any civilian population or state. States can be held responsible for some crimes such as genocide in the International Court of Justice. Individuals can be held responsible for genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court

    • Hostage, you surely know that the government of Egypt informed the US government that they were going to close the straits to all Israeli ships.

      I am obviously aware of a lot more than that. The US was working with the UK on the maritime force and their declassified documents include a Cabinet Conclusion: Minutes and Papers: CAB 128/42, Formerly CC (67) 31 23/05/1967 which said that the real risk was that Israel would be tempted to launch a preventive war.

      Not a single state, including the US, ever supported Israel's jus ad bellum legal argument. Only the Security Council could decide if an "act of aggression" had actually occurred, and that certainly never happened. The other members did not agree that Egypt's right of inspection in its own territorial waters was an act of aggression or tantamount to a blockade. Eilat was seldom if ever used for Israeli-flagged shipping in the first place, and Israel's other ports were all still open. The Indian delegate and many others supported Egypt's legal position.

      Egypt asked to have the case decided by the International Court of Justice. The fact that (i) Israel had only occupied Eilat after it had signed a binding Chapter VII armistice agreement with Egypt; (ii) had subsequently declared the armistice agreements null and void; and (iii) had threatened and attacked Egypt's Arab League allies, Syria and Jordan, legally triggered Egypt's exercise of its rights of belligerency. It also meant that Israel and the US were trying to enforce access to the port of Eilat based upon a "prescriptive right" to the acquisition of territory on which it was situated.

      The navigation channels after the Straits were an inland waterway that passed through Egypt's territorial waters. Egypt was not a signatory to any international convention that imposed an "international servitude" upon it at that time, and the 1958 convention had not yet obtained customary status. There is a discussion of some of the factors and divided legal opinion of the case in 'Armed Attack' and Article 51 of the UN Charter: Evolutions in Customary Law, By Tom Ruys starting on page 276:

      link to

      The final settlement between Egypt and Israel was based upon the old fashioned (conventional) contract theory of "acceptance", not upon any changes in customary law.

    • CK MacLeod,

      International law consists of the rules that states have adopted to govern their mutual relations. Other states will eventually go out of their way to give notice and enforce those rules on pariah states like the Union of South Africa and Israel.

      For decades Israel has chosen to ignore the international community. Meanwhile it complains about the disproportionate amount of time the UN has been forced to spend on the illegal situations Israel has created. I don't believe that its survival is under any serious threat at the moment, or that its survival has been threatened for many decades. I also don't believe that the Jews living there would go to bed hungry at night if there were a change of sovereignty and a bi-national state established.

    • Shingo,

      In fairness, I am reciting doctrine published by the UN International Law Commission and the League of Nations Lytton Report. The latter dealt with the Japanese attempt to use the right of preemptive self-defense to grant itself carte blanche in the Manchurian incident. You can read more about that here: link to

      After the spate of tell-all newspaper and book accounts by retired Israeli Generals and politicians, the majority of legal scholars no longer view Israel's attack on Egypt as a valid example of anticipatory self-defense. Here are some examples of articles which conclude that Israel violated the customary law prohibition of preemptive war:

      *A report published by the President's Commission of the American Society of International Law Task Force on Terrorism: Mary Ellen O’Connell, "The Myth of Preemptive Self-Defense" link to

      *An article by James Thuo Gathii, "Assessing Claims of a New Doctrine of Preemptive War Under the Doctrine of Sources"
      link to

      So even if "defensive conquest" wasn't prohibited under international law, Israel would still be fighting an uphill battle to retain any of the territory that came under IDF control in 1967.

    • I guess you don't understand Oren's use of the English phrases "The Catalyts Samu to Sinai" in the chapter's title? or "The Path to war"?

      There is no way I've misinterpreted Dayan's 1974 interview with Rami Tal. Dayan dismissed concerns about Syrian aggression and insisted that all of the IDF commanders had made a game out of escalating tensions along the Syrian front. Rabin's biography confirms that.

    • Fuster,

      Ben Gurion had declared the armistice agreements null and void; occupied the DMZs and unilaterally declared Israeli sovereignty over them. So, Israel was already at war with the Arabs. You must have forgot that.

    • The internal consistency of Israel's thinking about the right of passage and freedom of navigation never made much sense. Israel attacked the USS Liberty and the Gaza aid flotilla in international waters and said the passage of Iranian ships through the Suez Canal was an act of provocation. So, it appears the Israel only respects its own right of innocent passage and freedom of navigation on the high seas or in international waters.

      There really isn't any evidence that shipping through Tiran was ever interrupted. The UNEF Commander reported that Egypt had only stopped a few ships for inspection, but let them go on their way before suspending the practice and offering a U Thant a moratorium. Israel promptly declined the confidential offer of a UN-brokered moratorium while publicly calling for the formation of an international maritime force to break the blockade. Secretary Rusk noted that it would be hard to get Congressional approval, since the Liberian-flagged tankers that carried Israel's oil had not requested any assistance. In any event the clousure of the Staits doesn't pass the Caroline test, since the necessity for preemptive self–defense wasn't "instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation."

    • It could be that it is the Arab’s fault, my dear Hostage, for lobbing bombs into Israel from the Heights.


      In Six Days of War (starting on page 33) Oren explains that the path to war stated with the Israel attack on Samu. Rabin wanted to launch a retaliatory raid against Syria, but Eshkol was afraid that would lead to Soviet intervention, so it was decided to attack Samu in Jordan instead.

      General's Dayan and Rabin both admit that it was Israel that started the cross border shooting incidents with Syria. The IDF used tanks to shoot the heavy equipment used in Syria's water diversion project & etc. Israel unilaterally declared sovereignty over the DMZs and occupied them. Then it closed the DMZs to the Arab cultivators that lived there, and declared that they were a "security risk". Next the Generals sent armored tractors in to plough hoping that the Syrians would retaliate. They finally used IAF fighter aircraft in Syrian airspace to their retaliatory strikes and shot down several MIGS in April of 1967 - including one over the capital city of Damascus. Tom Segev wrote that when the Syrian planes were shot down, Moshe Dayan's response was "Have you lost your minds? You are leading the country into war!" Prime Minister Eshkol's aide General Israel Lior said: "From my point of view, the Six Day War had begun." See 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East, page 212.

      After the massive invasion and attack against the West Bank village of Samu in November of 1966, the Israeli authorities began crossing the Armistice Demarcation Line into the Latrun no-man's land and ploughed areas situated in Jordan and in no-man's land. You can read all about that in the Yearbook of the United Nations link to

      Hope that clears up your misunderstanding.

    • There is no right under international law to launch wars against other states because of a deterioration of a states so-called "strategic situation" or to obtain defensible borders.

      Every State has the right to exist and the right to protect and preserve its existence, but that right does not imply that a State is entitled to commit, or is justified in committing, unjust acts towards other States in order to protect and preserve its existence.

    • Fuster,

      *During the discussion in the Pit the General Staff was only worried about the loss of prestige and deterrence. General Peled said

      "We have heard something regarding Tiran, which lost its significance long ago. It was not important to start with and is even less important now." The entry of an Egyptian force into Sinai was nothing new for the IDF, having been anticipated and planned for in various exercises and war games. The only surprise, he stressed, was Nasser's audacity, since it was well known that his army was not ready for war."

      ISRAEL'S DECISION TO GO TO WAR, JUNE 2, 1967, Ami Gluska link to

      Accounts published by the Israeli decision makers, Israeli historians, and Israeli political scientists agree that the decision to go to war was made on the basis of the IDF's ''Doctrine of Deterrence'', not because they seriously thought that they were ''preempting'' an impending Arab attack.

      *Greg Cashman said that in late May 1967, Egypt had complained that the false Soviet report caused them to send troops into the Sinai. see An Introduction to the Causes of War: Patterns of Interstate Conflict from World War I to Iraq, page 185

      *The Egyptians had already provided categorical assurances to Israel through the US Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General that they did not intend to initiate hostilities, and that they were willing to make concessions to avoid a war. see Cashman; Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, document 132; and paragragh 9 of the report to the Security Council from the Secretary General of the United Nations, S/7906, 26 May 1967.

      *Christopher Gelpi says that the government of Egypt had let it be known that their tough statements were "mere words designed for public consumption." see The power of legitimacy: assessing the role of norms in crisis bargaining, page 141

      *David Rodman said that since the early days of the State, Israeli military doctrine placed a premium on offensive, rather than defensive warfare. Military leaders felt that there was a better prospect of deterring the outbreak of hostilities if the IDF transferred fighting to enemy territory as soon as possible. That strategy also compensated for limited finances and the absence of alliance partners. see Between war and peace, editor Efraim Karsh, page 153

      *Dan Kurzman said Rabin was not concerned with the Sinai build-up. see Soldier of peace, page 202

      *Rabin said the IDF GHQ Intelligence assessment was that Israel was facing a repetition of Operation Rotem (see the discussion above), and that Egypt would eventually withdraw. He characterized the Sinai troop build-up and the closure of the Straits as "humiliating pinpricks" that would render the IDF's long term ''deterrent capacity'' worthless. During the meeting in "the Pit", he and the other military leaders said they were afraid that it would appear that the government had lost confidence in the IDF, and that the significance of the closure of the Straits lay in the effect on Israel's ''deterrent'' capability. see The Rabin Memoirs, page 80-81; Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present, edited by Itamar Rabinovich, Jehuda Reinharz, pages 212-213; and Israel's Decision To Go To War, June 2, 1967, by Col. Ami Gluska

      *Avner Yaniv said that IDF doctrine was based on the assumption of the inherent disability of Israel to win a decisive strategic battle and impose peace on the Arabs. The leadership felt that Israel could not subdue the Arabs. It could defend itself, cause the Arabs pain, and destroy their armies for a while, but they felt that solving the problem once and for all was beyond Israel's capacity. The IDF relied on a strategy of active conventional ''deterrence'' that emphasized punitive and demonstrative use of force and the accumulation of dissuasive power not through one military victory, but through a succession of quick decisive blows to Arab military power. see National security and democracy in Israel, page 90.

      *Avi Shlaim said there is general agreement among commentators that Nasser neither wanted nor planned to go to war with Israel. He said the Israeli economy would survive the closure of the Straits, but ''the deterrent image of the IDF'' could not. see The Iron Wall, pages 236-237.

      *Yagil Levy says that the tendency to use force and generate escalation in order to bring about counter-reaction by the Arabs, ruled out possible options to settle the crisis other than by war. Israel's doctrine of ''deterrence'' called for "flexible retaliation" designed to deter the Syrians or provoke them so that Israel could launch a full scale response. He said that Israel became trapped in its own formula of ''deterrence''. see Trial and error: Israel's route from war to de-escalation, page 107

      *Re'uven Pedatzur said that any erosion of Israeli deterrent power is an impediment to peace in the region. He said that Israeli deterrence is greatly dependent on the IDF's capability to inflict great and painful damage to the enemy -- "deterrence through punishment." and that in the absence of comprehensive peace in the Middle East, deterrence will remain the chief component in Israel's national defense doctrine. see Limits of Deterrence, Ha'aretz, 28 March 1995 p B1

      *Uzi Benziman described Israel's doctrine of strategic deterrence and Ariel Sharon's role in launching cross-border attacks into Jordan or Egypt where his forces would strike targets and disappear. see for example Sharon: An Israeli Caesar, pages 42-44

      I hope that answers your question.

    • What did you expect to happen after Nasser threw out the UN peacekeepers?

      General Rabin blamed U Thant for that. In The Rabin memoirs
      By Yitzhak Rabin, pages 69-70 :

      [W]e learned that the Egyptians had stepped matters up another notch by demanding that the UN forces stationed along the Sinai border be removed from their positions and transferred to Gaza and Sharm el-Sheikh. This move was a radical departure from the pattem of Operation Rotem and sufficient reason for alarm. Still, it was a calculated step and did not necessarily call for an immediate, belligerent response. First of all, as many people throughout the world expected, rather than respond to Nasser's dictates the UN might categorically refuse to remove its forces. At the very least, it would take time for the General Assembly or Security Council to meet and debate the matter, which would slow down the momentum of developments. ... ...Commentators and historians have spent much ink on speculations about what would have happened if Secretary-General U Thant had agreed to Nasser's demand for a limited withdrawal of UN forces. But on May 17 we learned that U Thant had presented Nasser with only two options: either the UN troops remained in all their positions or they withdrew from the Middle East entirely. Given that choice, Nasser was left with the problem of saving face. His reply was quick in coming: the UN force was to withdraw from all its positions. In the chain of events that drew Nasser into war — perhaps contrary to his original intention -- U Thant's action proved to be a vital link.

      link to

      That of course is only half the story. U Thant blamed the Israelis. "The Making of Resolution 242", by Sydney Dawson Bailey, pages 21-22, says:

      Thant raised with Gideon Raphael the possibility of deploying UNEF on the Israeli side of the armistice demarcation line, but this was rejected by Israel as 'entirely unacceptable". ... ... Thant believed that if only Israel had decided otherwise, 'the course of history would have been different.

      link to

      Here is the report to the Security Council from Secretary General U Thant, S/7906, 26 May 1967. It explained Israel's permanent state of bellicose intransigence:

      6. It may be relevant to note here that UNEF functioned exclusively on the United Arab Republic side of the Line in a zone from which the armed forces of the United Arab Republic had voluntarily stayed away for over ten years. It was this arrangement which allowed UNEF to function as a buffer and as a restraint on infiltration. When this arrangement lapsed United Arab Republic troops moved up to the Line as they had every right to do.

      7. If UNEF had been deployed on both sides of the Line as originally envisaged in pursuance of the General Assembly resolution, its buffer function would not necessarily have ended. However, its presence on the Israel side of the Line has never been permitted.The fact that UNEF was not stationed on the Israel side of the Line was a recognition of the unquestioned sovereign right of Israel to withhold its consent for the stationing of the Force. The acquiescence in the request of the United Arab Republic for the withdrawal of the Force after ten and a half years on United Arab Republic soil was likewise a recognition of the sovereign authority of the United Arab Republic. In no official document relating to UNEF has there been any suggestion of a limitation of this sovereign authority'.... ...'President Nasser and Foreign Minister Riad assured me that the United Arab Republic would not initiate offensive action against Israel. Their general aim, as stated to me, was for a return to the conditions prevailing prior to 1956 and to full observance by both parties of the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement between Egypt and Israel.'

      link to

      BTW, why is it always the Arabs fault? When Israel invades another country it always demands that the other guy turn his territory into a buffer zone or kill box, i.e. Lebanon South of the Litani, the Sinai, & Gaza. Logic would tend to dictate that Israel should be demilitarized and that their armed forces not be allowed anywhere near the frontiers.

  • Brandeis Hillel imposes pro-Israel litmus test, excluding 'Jewish Voice for Peace' chapter
    • Those "statistics" are extrapolations based upon so-called random interviews with "4,500 Jewish adults" and "approximately 650 people with Jewish background". There was a deliberate oversampling in "areas of high Jewish population density". So, the results reflect an a priori selection bias.

    • P.S. The JAFI almost has to be "psychopathically" daft to demand that the German government take action to financially penalize Jews in order to make itself a less attractive place for them to live. But they damn sure did! See "Germany to decrease benefits for Jews" link to

    • I mean, you are almost psychopathically daft to cite German Jewish leaders’ response to Zionists that Jews had an obligation to the “Fatherland.” Do you not have any sense of irony, Ellen?

      Let's be realistic. The Jewish Agency for Israel lost their cool when a multitude of Russian Jews started opting to emigrate to Germany instead of to Israel. The Jewish Lobby started twisting arms in order to force the German government into adopting antisemitic immigration policies. link to That was hardly the first time that Zionists had resorted to dirty tactics to prevent their fellow Jews from having the freedom to choose where they wanted to live.

    • During the discussions regarding the wording of the draft Security Council resolution, Secretary of State Rusk explained to Foreign Affairs Minister Eban that US support for secure and recognized borders does not mean we support territorial changes. See Foreign Relations of the United States Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, Page 942, Document 487 link to

      In subsequent interviews the author of the final draft of the resolution, Lord Caradon, said that all of the parties assumed that withdrawal from occupied territories as provided in the resolution was applicable to East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank. He explained:

      "So what we stated was the principle that you couldn't hold territory because you conquered it, therefore there must be a withdrawal to let's read the words carefully: "secure and recognized boundaries." They can only be secure if they are recognized. The boundaries have to be agreed; it's only when you get agreement that you get security. I think that now people begin to realize what we had in mind that security doesn't come from arms, it doesn't come from territory, it doesn't come from geography, it doesn't come from one side dominating the other, it can only come from agreement and mutual respect and understanding."

      See “An Interview with Lord Caradon” (1976), 5 Journal of Palestine Studies 142, at pp. 145-6

      Mutual respect and understanding are way beyond the comprehension of the typical hard line Zionist, so the phrase secure and recognized borders registers on them as the pre-state "defensible borders" doctrine of conquest that was enunciated by Yigal Allon in 1947. He said: the borders of partition cannot be for us the final borders ... the partition plan is a compromise plan that is unjust to the Jews. ... We are entitled to decide our borders according to our defence needs. See Scars of war, wounds of peace: the Israeli-Arab tragedy, By Shlomo Ben-Ami, Oxford University Press, USA, 2006, ISBN: 019518158, page 34.

    • Everything old is new again. Louis Brandeis was accused of not being sufficiently devoted to the Zionist cause and it was claimed that he did not share or understand the "Jewish soul". I suppose that JVP should feel sort of honored.

  • Amanpour says P.A. has 'not missed the opportunity to miss an opportunity'
    • Hi talknic,

      You seem to be trying to construct a legal theory that will support the territorial allocations contained in the partition plan, but you are overlooking some of the relevant facts and legal principles that were, and still are involved. Here are some points to keep in mind:

      *Portions of resolution 181(II), such as the minority protection plan are still legally binding on the UN and the parties concerned.

      *The Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution on 4 September 1931 regarding the general conditions which had to be fulfilled before a mandate regime could be brought to an end. Although some members thought that no objection should be raised to the emancipation of one state in cases involving a mandate for a group of states, the criteria adopted included a requirement that prohibited the emancipation of part of the territory subject to a mandate, until all of the territory subject to the mandate was emancipated. See Luther Harris Evans, "The General Principles Governing the Termination of a Mandate, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 735-758

      *When Transjordan applied for membership in the United Nations the President of the Security Council noted that it was part of a joint mandate that had not been legally terminated. Several members subsequently objected that it was not eligible for membership in the UN, because it was part of an international trust and had not been recognized as an independent state. See the Minutes of the 57th Session of the Security Council, S/PV.57 pages 100-101 (pdf file pgs 3-4 of 52); the 204th; 205th; 206th; The ICJ Advisory Opinion in Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations (Article 4 of the Charter)"; and the remarks of the Secretary General regarding the problems of the representation of "Transjordan [Jordan]" in the UN in S/1466, 9 March 1950.

      *The Security Council was not empowered to alter the November 29, 1947 resolution of the General Assembly. However, the Security Council was empowered to take action pursuant to Chapter VI or Chapter VII of the Charter and recommend a political settlement other than the one recommended by the General Assembly. See for example the Memorandum of State Department Legal Advisor Ernest A. Gross on that particular point in the Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Volume 5, Part 2, page 748

      *The Mandatory Administration of Palestine refused to implement the General Assembly resolution without the consent of the inhabitants. The members of the United Nations can only interfere in the internal affairs of another state for the purpose of ending aggression and maintaining international peace and security, but they cannot unilaterally impose a political solution by force. See the Editor's Note in the 1948 FRUS, Volume 5, Part 2, page 542 and recall President Truman's remarks when he introduced the US Trusteeship proposal to the Security Council:

      We could not undertake to impose this solution on the people of Palestine by the use of American troops, both on [UN] Charter grounds and as a matter of national policy.

      *General Assembly resolution 186, May 14, 1948 suspended the implementation of the partition plan and established a Mediator to "Promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine". The Security Council also directed the UN mediator to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the Question of Palestine. He accepted the armistice agreements on behalf of the United Nations Organization. The Security Council invoked Chapter VII in its resolution 73 and ordered the parties to observe and execute the agreements pending the final peace settlement. All of the parties are bound by the terms of their acceptance of those agreements. So, no territorial revisions can ever be made to the armistice lines without the consent of all of the parties concerned.

      *The Security Council and General Assembly both relieved the Mediator of any further responsibilities. The General Assembly resolution 194(III) provided for the assumption of the responsibilities of Mediator by a Palestine Conciliation Commission. All of the parties agreed to the adoption of the Lausanne Conference protocols which stipulated that the map from the General Assembly plan of partition would be the basis for further negotiations. The Commission accepted the protocol on behalf of the UN organization. The status of the decision regarding the territorial allocations that had previously been made by the General Assembly thus became a moot court problem, since its own agent had agreed that those boundaries were subject to further negotiations by the parties concerned.

      *The General Assembly subsequently codified the principles of international law contained in the UN Charter. General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) provides that States have "the duty to refrain from the threat or use of force to violate international lines of demarcation, such as armistice lines." For example, the Security Council refused to accept the revival of Iraq's mandate era claims regarding the "colonial borders" of the territory of Kuwait. The Security Council enforced the terms of 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. Kuwait had become a full member of the United Nations in 1963, and the agreement was deposited with the Secretary General in 1964. The Security Council held that the parties were still bound by the terms of their acceptance.

      *The laws of belligerent recognition were fully developed by the mid-19th century. Israel signed an armistice agreement with the government of "Jordan" (not Transjordan) preserving its claims and recognizing Jordan's competence to negotiate a final settlement. "Jordan" likewise recognized Israel:

      Once the decision has been taken to recognize an insurgent government as belligerent, the legal consequences of the decision are not limited to its concession of belligerent rights. So long as it maintains an independent existence, the insurgent government is considered to have all the normal rights and liabilities of a State. Its legal position is not merely that of a military occupant as defined by the Hague Convention No. IV, of 1907. -- See Ti-chiang Chen, "The international law of recognition, with special reference to practice in Great Britain and the United States", Nabu Press, 2010, page 307-308.

      *The Jewish Agency, the Arab Higher Committee, the Mandatory Power, the UNSCOP Committee, the Ad Hoc Committee for Palestine, and the General Assembly had each agreed that the Mandate for Palestine should terminate as soon as possible, "but in any case not later than 1 August 1948".

      *In the Namibia case the ICJ advised that:

      the General Assembly declared that the Mandate having been terminated "South Africa has no other right to administer the Territory". This is not a finding on facts, but the formulation of a legal situation [a legislative act]. For it would not be correct to assume that, because the General Assembly is in principle vested with recommendatory powers, it is debarred from adopting, in specific cases within the framework of its competence, resolutions which make determinations or have operative design.

      *The Security Council and General Assembly are empowered by the members to conclude trusteeship agreements under the terms of Article 83 and Article 85 of the UN Charter.

      *Nothing in the Charter of the League of Arab States empowered it to either place territories under international tutelage or to continue to manage a member state under the terms of a League of Nations Mandate. The inhabitants themselves had demanded their immediate independence and they had been legally emancipated by a decision adopted by a two-thirds majority of the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

      *The principles of international law contained in the UN Charter did not permit the League of Arab states to interfere with the decisions of the Arab communities of the former Palestine mandate, i.e. Palestine and Transjordan, in determining their own political status. General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) provides that:

      The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.

      *The incorporation of part of Arab Palestine into Transjordan obviously could not satisfy the right of the "whole" Palestinian people to exercise their right of self-determination. In the 1970 Namibia case, the Security Council and ICJ said that the right of self-determination was a right of the whole people of a territory that had not yet attained their independence.

      *Membership in the United Nations is based upon the criteria of statehood and "sovereign equality". The travail préparatoire of the San Francisco Conference includes discussions regarding the criteria for membership. The League of Nations permitted colonies, such as India, to obtain full membership. However, it was decided that trusteeship or international tutelage was incompatible with membership in the United Nations. That fact was reflected in Article 78:

      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.

      *The 1955 admission of "Jordan" as a full member state in the United Nations was made on the basis of respect for its sovereign equality. That decision had the same legal effect as the earlier decisions to admit Syria, Lebanon, India, and the Philippines. It legally terminated any and all international trusteeship agreements or status of tutelage with respect to both the Central Districts of Arab Palestine and Transjordan. See Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship, by H. Duncan Hall, Carnegie Endowment, 1948, pages 265-266.

    • talknic,

      I provided citations to the official documentary records and the negotiating history of the respective governments and international organizations. You seem to be constructing arguments based upon an a priori conclusion instead of simply following the evidence. There are several insurmountable difficulties with the idea that "Jordan" was at one and the same time a "Sovereign State" with institutions of government composed of elected representatives from the West Bank and also a "non-self-governing territory" in accordance with Chapter XI of the UN Charter. During its first session UN General Assembly Resolution 9(1) reminded that the treaty obligations contained in Chapter XI of the Charter, "Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories", had been assumed by all of the members and did not require the establishment of trusteeship agreements. The Assembly said that those obligations were already in "full force and effect". The General Assembly never requested, and Jordan did not submit periodic reports on the West Bank in accordance with Article 73 (e) of Chapter XI. The West Bank was part of the territory within the boundaries of the "Sovereign State" of Jordan when it was admitted as a full member of the United Nations. That is the official published position of the Hashemite Kingdom contained in its written statement to the ICJ in 2004. See paragraphs 2.20 and 2.21 on printed page 11 (page 18 of 229 in the pdf file: link to

      Customary international law is based upon evolving state practice. During deliberations on the draft UN Charter and the codification of the rules of customary international law the Secretariat Legal Affairs Department and International Law Commission had lengthy discussions about the much disputed concepts of "sovereignty" and "sovereign equality". It was decided that sovereignty was simply a synonym for jurisdiction, i.e. The only manifestation of sovereignty in tangible form is jurisdiction. The records of those deliberations are available from the UN Journal pdf page 43 of The Secretary's Draft Study of State Responsibility. Sovereignty is also discussed in pdf page 81 of 324 of the UN Treaty Organization's Yearbook of the International Law Commission

      An entity is either sovereign or a subject of the law. In the West Bank, Abdullah assumed the powers exercised by the King of England, his minister, and the British High Commissioner under an order in council from the Privy Council in 1922. Those powers included adopting new laws by decree or an order in council. See for example the case of the Chagos Islanders if you have any doubt that meant the King was ultimately the sovereign. See Privy to Chagos islanders’ injustice

      The Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution on September 4, 1931 regarding the general conditions which had to be fulfilled before a mandate regime could be brought to an end. The criteria included a stipulation that none of the territory of a mandate could be emancipated from the terms of the mandate until all of the areas governed by the mandate were emancipated. The new governments were also required to provide an oral or written declaration acknowledging acceptance of an obligation to constitutionally guarantee the equal rights of ethnic and religious minorities. See Luther Harris Evans, "The General Principles Governing the Termination of a Mandate, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), pp. 735-758, American Society of International Law"

      Although the League of Nations (LoN) was open to membership by self-governing colonies like India, it was never open to entities under 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 agreed that in the interim, Iraq could apply for membership in the League of Nations, and if it was admitted, the mandate would lapse. See George Scott, The Rise and Fall of the League of Nations, (London: Hutchinson, 1973), ISBN: 0091170400, page 134.

      During the organizing conference of the United Nations, two of the founding members, Syria and Lebanon were still considered mandates. See B Broms discussion on that point in "International law: achievements and prospects", UNESCO/Martinus Nijhoff, page 46. The earlier proclamation of the (simultaneous) independence of Syria and Lebanon 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 4 April 1924".

      See Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963) 680–681

      Duncan Hall wrote

      "Thus, the Syrian mandate may be said to have been terminated without any formal action on the part of the League or its successor. The mandate was terminated by the declaration of the mandatory power, and of the new states themselves, of their independence, followed by a process of piecemeal unconditional recognition by other powers, culminating in formal admission to the United Nations. Article 78 of the Charter ended the status of tutelage for any member state: '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.'

      See Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship, by H. Duncan Hall, Carnegie Endowment, 1948, pages 265-266

      At its final session in Geneva in 1946, the Assembly of the League of Nations adopted a resolution welcoming the plan for Transjordanian independence. LoN member Egypt refused to participate and abstained because the proposal did not call for the emancipation of the entire territory of Palestine. See International Organization, Volume 1, World Peace Foundation, University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1947, Page 141.

      The United States advised the British government that Transjordan would follow the example of the Levant states and that termination of the mandate 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

      When Transjordan attempted to the join the UN in 1946, the President of the Security Council said that the fact Transjordan had been part of a joint Mandate presented legal difficulties and that Great Britain had not fulfilled the legal requirements for terminating the Mandate. He noted US Secretary of State Byrnes had spoken out against premature recognition of Transjordan as an independent state, and said that its application should not be considered until the question of Palestine as a whole was addressed. See the Minutes of the 57th Session of the Security Council, S/PV.57 pages 100-101 (pdf file pgs 3-4 of 52)
      link to

      The 2nd Arab Palestinian Congress at Jericho adopted four of the six proposed constitutional resolutions on 1 December 1948. The first one of them

      "decided that Palestine and the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan be united into one Kingdom and that King Abdallah Bin Hussein be proclaimed constitutional King over Arab Palestine."

      That is quoted from "The American Vice Consul at Amman (Stabler) to the Secretary of State (Marshall), despatch No. 13, Dec. 10, 1948. MS. Department of State, file 867N.01/12-1048" which is cited in the State Department's, Whiteman edition, of "The Digest of International Law", Volume 2, page 1163.

      The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy based upon rules of restricted or limited sovereignty spelled-out in the Magna Carta and other fundamental laws regarding devolution, home rule, & etc. The four resolutions of the Jericho Congress simply proclaimed Abdullah the constitutional King of Arab Palestine without any such reservations; thanked the other Arab states for all of the assistance they had rendered in the liberation of Palestine; thanked the Arab states for assisting the refugees; and decided that the proclamation contained in the first resolution be immediately conveyed to the King. There is no evidence that the Arab League exercised jurisdiction over the King of Jordan. At the Rabat Summit Conference in 1974 the government of Jordan said that in fact the annexation of the West Bank had been approved by popular vote, not the Arab League. link to The United States Memo authored by Mr Rockwell and the minutes of the UK Parliament Hansard cited above also recognized that the union was the result of the free expression of the will of the two peoples. The US recognized Jordanian sovereignty over the territory. The Digest of International Law and the FRUS say that the US refused to involve itself in the inter-Arab disputes involving the Egyptian "Arab League" plan for an All Palestine government or the Transjordanian "Greater Syria" plan, since neither was based entirely upon the self-determination of all the peoples involved. See for example INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES IN PROPOSALS BY TRANSJORDAN FOR A GREATER SYRIA

    • Talknic,

      The fact that the Arab League demanded Jordan only annex as a temporary custodian and that Jordan finally agreed

      But that is not the way it happened. You've confused the subject of "temporary annexation" with the related issue of "sovereignty". In not so many words, Abdullah never agreed to act as a temporary trustee and the Arab League never supervised any trusteeship in the West Bank. The State Department Digest of International Law article that I cited above explains the actual steps and the order that they were taken. Abdullah acquired "Jordanian" sovereignty over the territory. That was accomplished before any annexation ever took place. So, when he agreed that the step of annexation might be reversed in a final settlement at a future date, it did not include a pledge to relinquish Jordanian sovereignty:

      1. The Emir Abdullah became the King of Transjordan in 1946
      2. In "The Rise and Fall of the All Palestine Government in Gaza", Avi Shlaim explained that the final incarnation of the Arab Higher Committee was established after a 19 year hiatus by the newly created Arab League, not by the political parties in Palestine. During an Arab League Political Committee meeting in February 1948, the Mufti, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni asked for control of all affairs in Palestine. The Political Committee rejected all of his proposals on the basis that the Arab Higher Committee did not represent the Palestinian people. The Leagues' affairs were handled through its own Palestine Council, not through the Mufti or the AHC. See Politics in Palestine: Arab factionalism and social disintegration, 1939-1948, By Issa Khalaf, University of New York Press, 1991,ISBN 0-7914-0708-X, page 290. In "United States Policy toward the West Bank in 1948", Sandra Berliant Kadosh explained that the leaders and mayors of the West Bank claimed that the 80 members of the Gaza government represented no one but themselves. The United States declined to recognize the All-Palestine Government. It said that it had been established without consulting the wishes of Arab Palestinians; that the wartime activities of the Mufti could not be forgiven; and that the attempts of the Arab League to claim all of the territory of Palestine simply invited the Revisionist Zionists to do the same. See 'Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Volume V, Part 2, page 1448
      3. On December 1, 1948, Abdullah was (also) declared the King of Arab Palestine. He didn't prevent the creation of an Arab state in Palestine, he merely became its Arab King.
      4. The Transjordanian Council of Ministers announced it had received the plan to unite the two sister kingdoms into a joint kingdom on December 7 and their declaration was read to the Council of Representatives on December 9, 1948.
      5. The Transjordanian Parliament adopted a resolution on December 13, 1948, confirming the policy.
      6. On January 21, 1949 the new joint Kingdom officially changed its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Article 2 of the The Law Amending Public Administration Law in Palestine No. 17 of 1949 appointed a civilian administration in the West Bank and the King assumed all of the powers that the King of England, his minister, and the High Commissioner of Palestine had enjoyed by virtue of the Palestine Order in Council of 1922 (which did not mention the Arab League). You can read about that here:
      link to

      *Note: Israel also adopted a Transition Act and retained the retrofitted Mandate era laws in all of the territory it occupied (effectively annexing the additional portions that lay beyond its declared borders) .
      *On April 3, 1949 Israel and Jordan signed a General Armistice Agreement
      7. A general election, was held on April 11, 1950, to choose a parliament which would have equal representation from both the East and West Banks and in which 70 percent of the voters of the West Bank area balloted. It was regarded as a referendum and the results were accepted as confirmation of the incorporation of the West Bank into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The newly elected National Assembly, formed of the two Houses of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, approved a resolution of unity between the two banks of the Jordan on April 24, 1950, which called for an amalgamation into a single state. It was submitted to and signed by the King of Jordan on the same day. You can read the text of the new law here:
      link to

      8. The Political Committee of the Arab League decided unanimously on May 16, 1950, that the annexation of Arab Palestine by the Jordan Government was in violation of its resolution passed on April 12, 1950, with a view to prohibiting any annexation of any part of Palestine. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Lebanon voted, on May 16, 1950, for the proposal that the Jordan Government be expelled from the Arab League, but Iraq and Yemen abstained. Iraqi mediation resulted in a compromise by which Jordan on May 31 stated before the League "that the annexation was without prejudice to the final settlement of the Palestine issue."

      So, de-annexation would only have put everyone back at step #6 and Abdullah would have remained the sovereign (reversioner) of the joint Kingdom of Jordan - the position he held before the territorial annexation had occurred. Jordan was (i) an Arab State composed entirely of former mandate Arab communities; (ii) lying entirely within the boundaries of the former British mandate of Palestine;(iii) with its own Arab King. Nonetheless, Zionists like Blum, Shamgar, et al spun a yarn about the neighboring Arab states that prevented the creation of an Arab State in Palestine (ala Jasper Maskelyne) .

    • Talknic,

      Some of my not so distant relatives helped create the Zionist myth that the union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan was never legal or recognized by other countries. Please don't swallow the bait and go down that hasbara rabbit hole. Egypt and Syria didn't cease to exist when they formed and dissolved their union. The same rules of law apply to Palestine.

      The Palestinians were never out in the cold. On 28 October 1974, the Arab League summit in Rabat designated the PLO as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" and affirmed their right to establish an independent state. King Hussein dissolved the union and renounced Jordan's claims to the West Bank in favor of the PLO as part of a lawful act of succession. The PLO was declared the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine by the Palestinian National Council in 1988. The declaration of the establishment of an independent state was acknowledged by 104 members of the General Assembly and 92 countries formally recognized Palestine. The Palestinians had the advice of some of the best experts available in the field of international law while they were doing all of that. They dotted all of the "i"s and crossed all of the "t"s.

      Everyone always discusses the Palestinian people as if they are a monolithic block of inert matter that can only be acted upon by an outside force, such as Israel or Transjordan. But the new legal entity that they created, "Jordan", most certainly did include Arab Palestine. "Jordan" could not occupy itself "militarily" inside of the Green Line, since the Arab citizens were its lawful inhabitants and served in its armed forces. The Constitution of the State reserved half of the seats in the lower house of parliament for elected lawmakers from the West Bank. More than 70 percent of its inhabitants participated in the first election. Please compare that to the failure of Israel to mail-out absentee ballots to the folks on its "abandoned property" rolls.

      In a de jure sense, the desiderata of the Arab League is completely irrelevant. The people of Palestine had a legally recognized right to organize themselves however they wished after the mandate was terminated without any foreign interference from the Arab League or the UN. Article 1 of the ICCPR explains that the right self-determination means that peoples determine their own political status. Here is some material which explains that and takes note of the recognition of Jordan (including Arab Palestine) by other states and organizations :

      *Ernest A. Gross, a senior U.S. State Department legal adviser, authored a memorandum for the White House titled ''Recognition of New States and Governments in Palestine'', dated 11 May 1948. He discussed the legal status of "the whole territory of Palestine, including Transjordan" (starting on page 960).

      link to

      Gross said that: "The Arab and Jewish communities will be legally entitled on May 15, 1948 (the date of expiry of the British Mandate) to proclaim states and organize governments in the areas of Palestine occupied by the respective communities." Gross said "the law of nations recognizes an inherent right of people lacking the agencies and institutions of social and political control to organize a state and operate a government." That portion of the memo is contained in the Foreign Relations of the United States 1948, volume 5, part 2, page 964 and is cited by Stefan Talmon, in "Recognition of Governments in International Law" (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), page 36 Here's the link to the FRUS

      link to

      *In December of 1948 the mayors of the Central districts of Palestine met in Jericho and declared Abdullah "King of Arab Palestine". That declaration had immediate legal consequences without any annexation of territory. In the case of a monarch, the principle of "sovereignty" is not abstracted. For more information on the union; the role of the Arab League (none); and the acquisition of sovereignty over the territory see Marjorie M. Whiteman (ed), Digest of International Law, vol. 2, US State Department (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1963) pages 1163-68;

      *In December of 1948 the Secretary of State instructed the US Consul in Amman to advise King Abdullah and the officials of Transjordan that the US accepted the principles (i.e. sovereignty) contained in the resolutions of the Jericho Conference, and that the US viewed incorporation with Transjordan as the logical disposition of Arab Palestine. Note: Abdullah was already the monarch of Arab Palestine, this was a discussion about the organization of the departments of government over the joint kingdom through annexation. See Kadosh, Sandra Berliant, United States Policy toward the West Bank in 1948, Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 46, No. 3/4 (Summer - Autumn, 1984), pp. 231-252, especially 246 and Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume V, Part 2, Page 1706;

      *On January 21, 1949 Transjordan officially changed its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. See Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements, Vol. 4, Edmund Jan Osmanczyk, and Anthony Mango, Routledge, 3rd edition, 2004, ISBN 0-415-93924-0, page 2354

      *The United States extended de jure recognition to the Government of Transjordan (sic) and the Government of Israel on the same day, January 31, 1949. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume VI, Page 713

      *Israel had explicitly recognized the new state of "Jordan" as a belligerent community under the international laws of war by entering into an international agreement to jointly decide the status of the territory that the two states occupied.

      *The UN Security Council accepted the armistice agreements under the terms of a Chapter VII resolution. UN SC RES 73, 11 August 1949 requires the two sides to observe and execute the agreements pending a final settlement. Israel's UN credentials have been accepted, but there have always been formal reservations and challenges lodged against them with regard to the territories that came under its control in 1967. See for example pages 6 & 7 of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs

      link to

      *Great Britain recognized the annexation of the West Bank on a de jure basis, and the de facto authority of Jordan over East Jerusalem pending a final status determination. See British House of Commons, Jordan and Israel (Government Decision), HC Deb 27 April 1950 vol 474 cc1137-41

      link to

      *In 1950 France, the UK, and US issued a Tripartate Declaration regarding the "Armistice Borders" which recognized them and guaranteed against any unilateral changes. link to

      *The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series contains a Memorandum of Conversation, between Mr. Stuart W. Rockwell of the Office of African and Near Eastern Affairs and Mr. Abdel Monem Rifai, Counselor, Jordan Legation in Washington, June 5, 1950 which officially documents the US recognition of the union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan and "Jordanian" sovereignty over the territory. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, Volume V (1950), Page 921

      link to

      *Joseph Massad said that the members of the Arab League granted de facto recognition to Jordan and that the United States had formally recognized the annexation, except for Jerusalem. See Joseph A. Massad, Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001),ISBN 0-231-12323-X, page 229

      *Joseph Weiler said that other states had engaged in activities, statements, and resolutions that would be inconsistent with non-recognition. See Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state: a European perspective, By Joseph Weiler, Croom Helm, Ltd. 1985, ISBN 0-7099-3605-2, page 48, footnote 14

      *Thomas Kuttner notes that de facto recognition was granted to the Jordanian regime, most clearly evidenced by the maintaining of consulates in East Jerusalem by several countries, including the United States. See Israel and the West Bank, By Thomas S. Kuttner, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights 1977, Volume 7; Volume 1977, edited by Yoram Dinstein, Kluwer Law International, 1989, ISBN 0-7923-0357-1

      * § 204, Reporters Note 2, The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States says that "Recogni­tion of a state has been effected by express official declaration, by the conclusion of a bilateral agreement with the state, by the presentation of credentials by a United States representative to the authorities of the new state, and by receiving the credentials of a diplomatic represen­tative of that state." Department of State bulletin, Volume: volume 20, 1949 noted de jure recognition of the government of Jordan and said that a U.S. legation to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was established in Amman. Dr Yussef Baikal had presented credentials as Minister to the United States during a joint press conference with President Truman.

      *Jordan said that after the unification of the West Bank within Jordan's territory, Jordan concluded a considerable number of bilateral and multilateral treaties with other states. The application of those treaties extended to the entirety of Jordan including all of the West Bank. The other parties to those treaties did not made any reservation to the effect that their applicability to the West Bank was excluded. See Written Statement of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the International Court of Justice, para 2.21 pages 18-19

      link to

      *The US signed several treaties with Jordan: a Technical Cooperation Agreement with Jordan that entered into force February 27, 1951 (Volume 4206 of Department of State publication Volume 2233 of Treaties, a Guaranty of Private Investments Agreement effected by an exchange of notes, signed at Amman July 10 and September 24, 1956, Volume 3663 of Treaties, and an Economic Assistance Agreement including an exchange of notes signed at Amman June 29, 1957, Volume 3869 of Treaties of the United States. None of the treaties contained any reservations regarding the West Bank.

      *The Security Council adopted Resolution 228 (1966) in which the Council observed that, "the grave Israeli Military action which took place in the southern Hebron area [of the West Bank] on 13 November 1966... constituted a large scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel" "Written Statement of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan" submitted to the International Court of Justice, para 2.21, page 19 of 229

      *In a letter to David Ben-Gurion published by Reuters on 9 January 1968, French President De Gaulle explained that he was convinced that Israel had ignored his warnings and overstepped the bounds of moderation by taking possession of Jerusalem, and so much Jordanian and Syrian territory by force of arms. See Text of de Gaulle's Answer to Letter From Ben-Gurion

      link to

      *During the 5th Emergency Session of the General Assembly the representative of the Soviet Union, Mr. Kosygin, repeatedly asserted that the West Bank was Jordanian territory. See A/PV.1526 of 19 June 1967.

      link to

    • Talknic,

      I have no doubt that the Arabs of Central Palestine wanted to form a union with Transjordan in order to preserve the possibility of a future life of freedom and independence - just as they declared in the resolution of the Jericho conference. That fact did not please some of the Hussenis and Khalidis, but the right of "self-determination" includes the freedom to make tough decisions and to form & dissolve political unions. The Jordanian entity represented some of the Palestinians, but never satisfied the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people "as a whole".

      The Prime Minister of Transjordan explained that Abdullah had received hundreds of petitions from Palestinian notables requesting protection upon the withdrawal of the British forces. Historian Eugene Rogan says that those petitions, from nearly every town and village in Palestine, are preserved in "The Hashemite Documents: The Papers of Abdullah bin al-Husayn, volume V: Palestine 1948 (Amman 1995)". see Chapter 5, "Jordan and 1948", in "The war for Palestine: rewriting the history of 1948", By Eugene L. Rogan, and Avi Shlaim, Cambridge University Press, 2001.

      There never was any question of setting-up an "independent" Arab State in Palestine. In October of 1947, the representative of the Jewish Agency testified before the UN Ad Hoc Committee that Palestine was not included in the territory in which the Arabs were intended to realize their national freedom of sovereignty. He also said that the Agency did not view the plan for an economic union between the Arab and Jewish State as being essential. link to

      That situation had already set-off alarm bells at the State Department. It had declared that the UNSCOP plan would be unworkable without Jewish friendship and cooperation:

      the UNSCOP majority plan which provides for an economic union of the two states ... ...cannot possibly succeed without Arab-Jewish friendship and cooperation... ...Irrigation ditches, railways, roads, telephone and telegraph lines, etc. must pass through both states. These facilities cannot function if the population of one state is hostile to that of the other. If political partition providing for the incorporation of 400,000 Arabs in a Jewish State is forced on the population of Palestine, this hostility will exist and will increase. 4. The UNSCOP Majority Plan is not only unworkable; if adopted, it would guarantee that the Palestine problem would be permanent and still more complicated in the future.

      link to

      The Jewish State had been given (and later captured) the bulk of the Arab revenue producing farmlands and ports. The partition plan had been premised upon an economic union in which 50 percent of the customs collections and some of the additional revenues of the Jewish state were to be redistributed in order to provide for the necessary public services of the Arab State. A technical note from the Secretariat during the UNSCOP hearings explained that without some redistribution of customs and revenues from the Jewish state, Arab Palestine could not be economically viable. That fact unsettled the US State Department even more:

      a) Clarification should be sought with regard to the problem of the viability of the two states. On page 53 of the UNSCOP report it is stated that "the creation of two viable States is considered essential to a partition scheme". Yet on page 48 of the report it is indicated that the Arab state will be forced to call for financial assistance "from international institutions in the way of loans for expansion of education, public health and other vital social services of a non-self-supporting nature." Moreover, the technical note on the viability of the proposed states prepared by the Secretariat (pp. 55-56) is not conclusive as regards the viability of the Arab State. In view of the central importance of the question of viability as stressed in the Committee's report, a special subcommittee of the Ad Hoc Committee should be established to consider this question.

      Israel has been externalizing its share of the costs of establishing a Jewish state on the backs of foreign taxpayer subsidies to Jordan/Palestine ever since. See United Nations Special Committee on Palestine Report to the General Assembly, A/364, 3 September 1947, "A Technical Note On The Viability Of The Proposed Partition States Prepared By The Secretariat" and Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa Volume V, Page 1167 link to

      So, UN Mediator Bernadotte's proposal for the union of Arab Palestine with Transjordan was based upon an urgent economic necessity. In his first report he noted:

      Partition 2. The resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947 provided not for simple partition of Palestine, but for partition with economic union. It envisaged the creation of an Arab State, a Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime administered by the United Nations. These three entities, largely because of justifiable doubts concerning the economic viability of the proposed Arab State and the City of Jerusalem, were to be linked together in an Economic Union of Palestine. The obvious disadvantages of territorial partition were thus to be corrected to some extent by economic union.

      Bernadotte's diary said the Mufti had lost credibility on account of his unrealistic predictions regarding the defeat of the Jewish militias and that "It would seem as though in existing circumstances most of the Palestinian Arabs would be quite content to be incorporated in Transjordan." see Folke Bernadotte, "To Jerusalem", Hodder and Stoughton, 1951, pages 112-13.

      The overwhelming majority of Palestinians were defenseless and many had already been driven out of their homeland by the time Israel declared its independence. The Jewish Agency had successfully lobbied against any recognition of Transjordan as an independent state; blocked its entry into the UN; and had persuaded the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly to consider revising the UNSCOP plan in order to give both the Transjordanian Port of Aqaba and the Negev to the Jewish state. Meanwhile, the spokesmen in the Jewish Agency Political Department (who were born in Russia, Germany, & etc.) did a remarkable job of portraying Abdullah as a foreigner. This, despite the fact that he was an Arab living in Arabia - and that all of the inhabitants of Transjorsan ( including the residents of the former Hedjazi districts of Aqaba and Maan) acquired their citizenship by operation of law in accordance with Article 30 of the Treaty of Lausanne. Perhaps the Arabs of Egypt were not members of the non-Jewish communities of Palestine that had been separated from the Ottoman Empire by the war, but that was never the case with the Arab communities of Transjordan.

    • All of those countries had foreign assistance, but so does Palestine. The UN General Assembly and Security Council have created more subsidiary organs to establish states in Palestine; negotiate peace agreements; and guarantee the exercise of the "inalienable rights" of the inhabitants there than in any of the other cases that I cited.

    • In a 1950 lawsuit against Secretary of State Dulles, the D.C. District Court ruled that the Executive branch of the US government had recognized the State of Palestine in 1932. The suit was filed by a naturalized Jewish citizen of Palestine. See Kletter v Dulles link to

      The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 201 RN 3 says "The United States will treat States the territory of which is under foreign military occupation as continuing to exist." The U.S. State Department policy is that, in accordance with the 1949 armistice agreements, the status of the territory of Palestine can only be decided through a final negotiated settlement agreement.

      For years the US State Department listed "Jerusalem, Palestine" as the place of birth on passports & etc. until the government of Israel became enraged about it and labeled Palestine a historical fiction. See 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 or link to

      The State Department dropped the reference to Palestine, but that only led to lawsuits demanding that the US recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. link to

      In 1967 Under Secretary of State Lucius Battle explained the US government's position of not airing our disagreements with Israeli settlement policies & etc in public. See paragraph 4 link to

      The thirty-year declassification schedule has allowed the so-called "Arabists" in our State Department to finally have their say. In April of 1968, Secretary of State Rusk wrote a memo on the subject of the illegality of Israeli settlements to the Embassy in Jerusalem directing the Ambassador to restate in strongest terms the US position on the question to the Government of Israel. He said the settlements violated the Security Council resolution, and the Geneva Convention. link to

      CAMERA and JVL still (falsely) claim on some of their web pages that the Carter administration was the first to say the settlements violated international law and that Carter misinterprets resolution 242. It is pretty obvious that the Zionist habit of believing their own bullshit is pretty unhelpful.

    • I don't watch Amanpour's newscasts and did not attend the event. I did see God's Warriors and thought it exposed a lot of American's to the ugly face of the Israeli settler movement.

      I would guess that it is too late for a two state solution, but there are so many other historical examples of states and territories regaining their independence after long periods of occupation and annexation, e.g. Namibia, the Baltic states, East Timor, & etc. that I hesitate to make any predictions in this case.

      If Palestine can get sponsored for membership as a state in one of the UN specialized agencies or be recognized by the General Assembly, the ICC prosecutor would be hard pressed to ignore the Gaza complaint filed last year by the PA. An international criminal case might be the tipping point for the MSM and the public in this country. The Lobby doesn't have enough leverage with many of the States that fund and participate in the ICC to prevent the prosecution of the responsible Israeli officials. Establishing or funding settlements, either directly or indirectly, is still an indictable criminal offense regardless of the outcome of any vote in the Security Council.

  • BBC spots sharp climb in negative view of Israel in the U.S.
    • The Wall Street Journal just reported that Israel's security psychosis is going to require an additional $20 billion in US taxpayer-funded treatments to upgrade its ailing military "to help it manage potential threats stemming from popular upheavals in the Arab world." link to

      I guess that's code for "We are demanding Mubarak's cut of the protection racket". At any rate, that is bound to tick-off those Americans who are having their wages and benefits cut-back.

  • Two indications from Egypt that Gaza blockade will collapse
    • Shortly after Operation Cast Lead, the Foreign Minister and the Justice Minister of the PA accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC on behalf of the government of Palestine in accordance with Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. The declaration was made for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting those individuals responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Palestinian territory since 2002.

      Israel and its supporters quickly cited the lapsed Oslo Accords and claimed that Israel had sole criminal jurisdiction over Israeli citizens and that Palestine is not a "State" within the (undefined) meaning of the term in Article 12(3). Both of those arguments are very doubtful.

      The agreement on Gaza and Jericho stipulated that the Palestinian Authority had territorial jurisdiction and that Israel would exercise sole criminal jurisdiction over Israeli citizens through its military commander "in accordance with international law". In 2004 the ICJ found that Israel was not acting in accordance with international law. In that case the government of Israel specifically argued:

      3. Despite having ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has not incorporated it into its domestic legislation. Nor does it agree that the Convention is applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, citing the lack of recognition of the territory as sovereign prior to its annexation by Jordan and Egypt and, therefore, not a territory of a High Contracting Party as required by the Convention.

      See Annex 1 Summary legal position of the Government of Israel link to

      To clarify things a bit, the word "sovereign territory" appears in hasbara talking points, not in the Convention. Egypt never annexed the Gaza strip; the majority of UN member states have long since recognized the State of Palestine which is now a member of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Organization; and Jordan, Egypt, & Palestine are all signatories of the Geneva Conventions (until a Court says that they are not bound by their signed legal undertakings). In the 2004 Wall case the ICJ noted that the depositary State, Switzerland, considered Palestine's undertaking to apply the Conventions to be valid (see paragraph 91) and that the Conventions are applicable in the Occupied Territory in any event (paras 92-101). link to

      For example, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says that there are over 7,000 prisoners in Israeli jails. That practice violates the non-deportation provisions of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949). Recently the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected a petition to order the State to refrain from holding Palestinian prisoners and detainees in facilities located in Israeli territory within the Green Line. The HCJ held that since national legislation overrides the provisions of international conventions to which Israel is party, including conventions that reflect customary international law, the petition should be rejected. But under Oslo, the Palestinians only agreed that Israeli legislation would not derogate from international law in cases involving Israel's legislation over Israelis in personam. The notion that national legislation can be employed to sanction grave breaches of international humanitarian law or war crimes against Palestinians is part of the judge-made fundamental body of law that the Courts have incorporated into Israel's unwritten constitution.

      International courts have stated time and again that it is a universal principle of international law that a State cannot invoke its municipal law as the reason for the non-fulfillment of its international obligations. Other criminal tribunals have held that any attempt to excuse non-fulfillment of an international obligation on the basis of municipal law constitutes a breach of those obligations. See for example André Klip, Göran Sluiter, Annotated leading cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 1997-1999, Intersentia nv, 2001, ISBN 9050951414, page 134.

      Palestine is a member State of the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Its officials on mission to those organizations enjoy diplomatic immunity from arrest in accordance with international agreements. Those organizations also have treaties regarding extradition, e.g. the Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism and the Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Combating International Terrorism. It is a nonsensical proposition to hold that State parties to the Rome Statute, such as Jordan and Comoros, DO NOT intend to treat Palestine as a "State" in accordance with Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, but DO intend to treat it as a "State" when observing their obligations under agreements on extradition and immunity in accordance with Article 98 of the Rome Statute. Treaties cannot be interpreted that way in good faith. It is also difficult to argue that Palestine does not fulfill the criteria contained in the Montevideo Convention for statehood, when most of the State parties to that Convention accept the legal personality of the State of Palestine "with all the rights and duties determined by international law." That convention does not contain a compromissory clause or dispute resolution regime, because those sovereign determinations are final and legally binding in the national courts of those states.

    • pabelmount,

      Israel has already effectively recognized Gaza as another belligerent state when the Knesset adopted a statute designating it an "enemy entity" and when Israel put the territory under a blockade. So, long as the armed forces of Israel control the airspace and maritime economic zone and continental shelf, Gaza should still be considered occupied territory.

      FYI, the U.S. State Department maintains a web page on the laws of belligerent recognition which explains that blockades have historically resulted in belligerent recognition, because they are "a weapon of war between sovereign states." link to

      I posted some additional information about that at Tikun Olam a while back. link to

    • Interesting. In the Bosnia genocide case, the ICJ held that Security Council resolutions are subject to judicial review and that, while Article 103 of the Charter serves as a supremacy clause in the event of a conflict with other conventional agreements, it cannot be used to circumvent jus cogens (customary international law). See paragraphs 99-103 starting on page 65. link to

      The ICC itself merely exercises complimentary jurisdiction over certain "crimes of concern to the international community". The Security Council cannot prevent other states from exercising customary (universal) criminal jurisdiction over the crimes being committed in Libya. Those crimes are not within the exclusive criminal jurisdiction of a single state. The Security Council is unconditionally bound by peremptory norms of international law. Current and former US officials are already dodging arrest warrants in many other countries. If they persist in their efforts to protect their own impunity, they will eventually end up facing a coalition of willing state prosecutors from other countries.

    • Nabil Elaraby, who was a judge in the historic Int'l Court of Justice Ruling against the separation wall, in 2005, and whose concurrent opinion went further than the other judges, and held that the occupation was illegal.

      You may be missing the forest for the trees. The majority opinion found that BOTH the Wall and the associated IDF administrative regime were illegal because they interfered with the exercise of the Palestinian right of self-determination. So, the occupation has become illegal:

      "85. Lastly, it should be noted that the construction of the wall has been accompanied by the creation of a new administrative régime. ... ...142. In conclusion, the Court considers that Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall resulting from the considerations mentioned in paragraphs 122 and 137 above. The Court accordingly finds that the construction of the wall, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law. ... ...155. The Court would observe that the obligations violated by Israel include certain obligations erga omnes. ...The obligations erga omnes violated by Israel are the obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and certain of its obligations under international humanitarian law. ... ...160. Finally, the Court is of the view that the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion." link to

      So, every State has the right to exist and the right to protect and preserve its existence; this right does not however imply that a State is entitled to commit, or is justified in committing, unjust acts towards other States in order to protect and preserve its existence.

  • The history of the Camp David Accords reveals that even a sympathetic president could not stand up for the Palestinians
    • Dayan was the first Israeli official to float the "trial balloon" regarding the "disputed" status of the occupied territories during a speech to the UN in 1977. The memo demonstrates that even he knew that was a false statement.

    • Thanks, but no thanks Annie and Donald. I like it just fine right here in the peanut gallery for now.

    • You are welcome Citizen.

    • It has been axiomatic since the San Francisco organizing conference that the Security Council has general decision making powers under Chapter 5 of the Charter. In accordance with Article 24(1), members have agreed that any decisions made by the Council while acting on their behalf in it's role of maintaining international peace and security are binding on all of them in accordance with the terms of Article 25. That fact has been reaffirmed by the ICJ in several cases including the Wall decision:

      That an illegal situation is not to be recognized or assisted by third parties is self-evident, ... ... It follows from a finding of an unlawful situation by the Security Council, in accordance with Articles 24 and 25 of the Charter entails "decisions [that] are consequently binding on all States Members of the United Nations, which are thus under obligation to accept and carry them out"

      The Carter administration was the first US administration to question that authority. US Secretary of State Muskie was dispatched to advise the UN Security Council to mind its own business and stop interfering in the situation in the Middle East. He criticized a Security Council resolution which declared illegal any attempt to annex Jerusalem to serve as Israel's undivided capital. He also said that the US considered the provisions regarding sanctions to be non-binding. The resolution required members to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city. His remarks begin on page 13 of 24 in the verbatim record. link to

      The orders for Muskie to personally take part in the United Nations debate were reported by the MSM to have been a calculated political decision made by the White House to pander to the Jewish voters, e.g. link to

    • Israel has employed several approaches to the problem of the settlements. Most recently, the Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Alan Baker attempted to circumvent the provisions of Articles 52 & 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and Articles 7 & 8 of the Fourth Geneva Convention by claiming Israel had negotiated a binding international agreement that made the settlements legal. He pointed to a legal advantage bestowed on the settlers by Oslo Accords and said: "The central claim was always that they are living in the area contrary to international law, which forbids the transfer of a civilian population to an occupied territory. Now they are living there by agreement — by the force of an international treaty that determines that their status will be decided in the final agreement."

      Baker also authored Israel's 230 page written statement in the 2004 Wall Case. In Israel's executive summary of the case, and in its other pleadings, he advanced that now familiar sure-fire slam-dunk legal theory that readers of his JCPA and newspaper articles have heard ad nauseum. A review of the Oslo Accords, the applicable law, and the status of the territory was a preliminary to determining the legal consequences of the construction of the Wall. All 15 judges, including Judge Buergenthal, disagreed completely with Baker's theory of the case. They all declared that the Fourth Geneva Convention was applicable in the Occupied Palestinian territory. 14 of the judges joined in the majority opinion which stated that Israel had facilitated the transfer of portions of its own population into the Occupied Territory in violation of international law. Anyone who follows the ICJ knows that getting all of the judges to agree on a disputed point of international law is a bigger miracle than the parting of the Red Sea. In fact I think it my be the only case in which it has ever happened. There is only one Court on Earth that has general jurisdiction to render a binding decision in treaty disputes - the ICJ. Alan Baker could always put his money where his mouth is; accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court; and ask for a legally binding opinion about the Geneva Conventions. But in their advisory opinion the Court has already ruled that Israel had established the settlements in violation of international law. Nonetheless, in an article about the recent UN Security Council resolution on settlements, Baker was still reciting the same old hasbara fellowship talking points. link to

      A lot of ink has been spilled over the failed attempts to include the definite article, "the", in the English version of the resolution. But that is a deliberate subterfuge to draw attention away from the unsuccessful attempts to delete the withdrawal clause regarding the armed forces of Israel.

      In his memoirs Abba Eban wrote that the language in resolution 242 created a perceptible loophole in favor of the Israelis. See Abba Eban: An Autobiography, Random House, 1977, 0394493028, page 451 That proposition stands for the idea that nations are governed by the non-existent rules of English grammar regarding a missing definite article, rather than jus cogens. The negotiating history behind resolution 242 had already been published by Arthur Lall, Sydney Bailey, Glenn Perry, and many others. In 2000-2001 the documents were finally declassified and published as a chapter in the Foreign Relations of the United States.

      *Sydney Bailey wrote that Eban himself interpreted the inadmissibility clause to be a call for unconditional withdrawal, and said that if it was included it would lead to conflict between Israel and the US. link to
      *The FRUS said that Mr. Bitan of the Israeli Foreign Office said "Israel is “asking, begging” that U.S. not start with this resolution" and that he "particularly referred to para two and the phrase relating to the “inadmissibility of conquest of territory by war, etc.” ... "In conclusion, and with some diffidence, although nonetheless forthrightly, Bitan said he instructed to say on behalf Eshkol and Eban that in their view, if we persist along what they regard as our current line, we could be on collision course." link to
      *Goldberg subsequently met with Lord Caradon and explained that he had circulated a draft with the withdrawal clause deleted and that if it became known as a US resolution he would disown it. link to
      *Despite Goldberg's efforts, on the day of the vote all of the draft resolutions that were tabled by the various delegations once again contained a withdrawal clause.
      *On the day of the vote the representative of France called attention to the fact that his country considered the withdrawal of occupation forces an essential point. He noted that the resolution which had just been adopted, "if we refer to the French text which is equally authentic with the English, leaves no room for ambiguity, since it speaks of withdrawal "des territoires occupes", which indisputably corresponds to the [English] expression "occupied territories". See paragraph 111 on pdf file page 14 link to
      *British Foreign Secretary George Brown gave an interview to the London monthly, "The Middle East" (May 1978) which clarified the exact meaning of the resolution and the nature of any territorial revisions:

      It would have been impossible to get the Resolution through if the words "all" or "the" were included. But the English text is clear. Withdrawal from territories means just that, nothing more, nothing less. The French text is equally legitimate. In the French translation the word "des" is used before territories, meaning "from the", implying all the territories seized in the '67 war. The Israelis knew this. They understood that it called for withdrawal with only minor border changes from the old frontiers - just to straighten the lines. I told the Israelis they had better accept it, because if they didn't they could be left with something worse, and with our version there would be something to argue about later." -- See Palestine and the law: guidelines for the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict, by Musa E. Mazzawi, Ithaca Press, 1997, ISBN: 0863722229, page 209

      On the day of the vote, the Indian delegate quoted George Brown's statements on British policy to the General Assembly regarding full withdrawal, and the British representative, Lord Caradon, said "We stand by our declarations". In the same "Middle East" interview Brown said that they had arranged beforehand for the Indian delegate to make that statement, and also that they would not respond so that interpretation would remain on the record.

      Glenn Perry notes that "The absence of any rejection of the "full withdrawal" interpretation was the result of a behind-the-scenes agreement. Until November 22, there was uncertainty whether the United Kingdom would expressly reject any clarification of the meaning of the draft, in which case the Soviet Union was prepared to veto it." Perry cites the account contained in Arthur Lall, "United Nations and the Middle East Crisis, 1967, Columbia University Press. Lall was a member of the UN delegation from India:

      "A crucial meeting took place at 3 p.m. [on November 22] between the Arabs and Caradon. He was able to reassure them that their position on the question of withdrawal remained unprejudiced. Further negotiations followed between Parthasarathi [the Indian representative] and Caradon which involved also the French and Nigerian delegates. As a result of these late exchanges Caradon agreed to delete from his proposed response to the Indian delegate's projected statement the words "But the Indian interpretation is not binding on the Council." On this basis Parthasarathi decided to vote for the resolution and so informed the Soviet Union. -- See Glenn Perry, Security Council Resolution 242: The Withdrawal Clause, Middle East Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Autumn, 1977), pp. 413-433 esp. 429

    • In 1967 the US State Department told the Government of Israel that it would avoid publicly confronting Israel over policy differences regarding the settlements, e.g. link to The relevant portion of the minutes of the joint discussion said:

      4. Moving on to question of announced establishment Israeli settlements on West Bank and Syrian border, [Assistant Secretary Lucius] Battle said he wished to stress two points. First is need to avoid airing differences of opinion between us in public press. On other hand, in all honesty it is extremely important GOI actions during this period not provide ammunition for those at UN who would interpret GOI position as hardening in direction of territorial acquisition rather than negotiated settlement.

      In April of 1968 Secretary of State Rusk wrote a memo on the subject of Israeli settlements to the Embassy in Jerusalem directing the Ambassador to restate in strongest terms the US position on the question. link to He said:

      By setting up civilian or quasi-civilian outposts in the occupied areas the GOI adds serious complications to the eventual task of drawing up a peace settlement. Further, the transfer of civilians to occupied areas, whether or not in settlements which are under military control, is contrary to Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, which states “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Finally, you should emphasize that no matter what rationale or explanation is put forward by the GOI, the establishment of civilian settlements in the occupied areas creates the strong appearance that Israel, contrary to the principle set forth in the UNSC Resolution and to US policy expressed in the President's speech of June 19, does not intend to reach a settlement involving withdrawal from those areas.

      Defense Minister Moshe Dayan subsequently authored a classified memo proposing widespread settlement in the territories. It is cataloged in the Israeli State Archives as 153.8/7920/7A, Document 60, dated October 15, 1968 and said:

      “Settling Israelis in administered territory, as is known, contravenes international conventions, but there is nothing essentially new about that.”

    • The other important thing is that a US president could change the status quo by simply taking a stand against Israel’s agenda

      §204 “Recognition and Maintaining Diplomatic Relations: Law of the United States”, in "The Restatement of the Law (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States” explains that under the Constitution of the United States the President has exclusive authority to recognize or not to recognize a foreign state or government and to recognize foreign sovereignty over territory. It also explains that the Supreme Court long ago affirmed the binding power of those determinations on the other branches of the government. That is the reason the US Embassy is still located in Tel Aviv despite the so-called Jerusalem Embassy Act.

      That means President Truman's authority to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel within the boundaries of the UN resolution of 29 November 1947 can not be legally challenged. It also means that a sympathetic President could stand up for the Palestinians and the State of Palestine and that neither the Congress nor AIPAC could prevent it.

    • Quandt concluded, “It may take a lawyer to explain how, but Begin successfully protected his position that 242 did not apply to negotiations over the West Bank’s future

      The Security Council is unconditionally bound by peremptory norms of customary international law and the UN Charter. Article 13 of the UN Charter tasks the General Assembly with promoting the progressive codification of international law. It adopted GA resolution 686 (VII), “Ways And Means For Making The Evidence Of Customary International Law More Readily Available” and mandated that a répertoire of the practice of UN organs be prepared under the supervision of the Secretariat of the United Nations.

      The official 'Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council' contains an analytical table of Security Council decisions (Chapter 8) for 1966-1968. It says that resolution 242 contains several “substantial measures that govern the final settlement” One is the UN Charter prohibition against the threat or use of force and here is another from the list starting on page 5:

      “E. Provisions bearing on issues of substance including terms of settlement”
      * “1. Enunciation or affirmation of principles governing settlement”
      **”(a) Inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war,
      Situation in the Middle East(II): Decision of 22 November 1967 (resolution 242 (1967)) preamble” link to

      Here is how one lawyer summed it up: "This is not difficult - from Security Council resolution 242 (1967) through to Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), the key underlying requirements have remained the same - that Israel is entitled to exist, to be recognized, and to security, and that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State." -- Opinion of Judge Rosalyn Cohen Higgins in the 2004 ICJ Wall Case link to

      The Oslo Accords aim to implement resolution 242: "Article I: Aim of negotiations: The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, the elected Council (the "Council"), for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). It is understood that the interim arrangements are an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). -- Text of the 1993 Oslo Accords Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements link to

      In the 2004 Wall case the Court concluded that Israel was illegally interfering with the exercise of the Palestinian (jus cogens) right of self-determination. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides in "Article 52 Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force: A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations. Article 53 Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”) A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law." link to

      So, the notion that Begin or anyone else can create loopholes in the applicable international law by engaging in semantic shenanigans is utter nonsense.

  • A Dutch company helping to build the wall seeks to evade responsibility
    • I've been retired for two decades now. I've was schooled and employed in the fields of history, international affairs, and the law. I consciously avoided specializing in any one thing.

    • annie,

      If a genuine dispute exists regarding a material fact that might effect the outcome of a case under governing law, summary dismissal is inappropriate. The question needs to be addressed by a trier of fact and law. In this case, fourteen of the worlds best jurists have found that the construction of the wall was illegal based upon evidence that has never been rebutted.

      Palestine and several of the interested state parties in the 2004 Wall case, including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Cuba, Guinea, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference submitted written or oral statements to the relevant UN organs requesting an advisory opinion from the ICJ. They explained that Israel was pursuing a policy of Bantustanization and apartheid. They noted that the construction of the wall and the resulting situation correspond to the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid, as enumerated in Article 2 of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The Court's findings of illegality (contained in paragraphs 132-134) also correspond to a number of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid. The Court cited fact finding reports from the Secretary General and rapporteurs Zeigler and Dugard. Those reports described the human rights violations resulting from the construction of the "apartheid fence" and reliable Israeli press reports concerning the Sharon government's deliberate pursuit of a policy of Bantustanization.

      It was argued (paragraphs 145, 158, and 159) that Israel and the other high contracting parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War are under an obligation to search for and bring before their courts persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, grave breaches of international humanitarian law flowing from the planning, construction and use of the wall. link to

      Al Haq provided several of the contributing researchers listed in the South African HSRC-commissioned study "Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid". That study concluded that Israeli policies and practices satisfied the necessary elements of the crime of apartheid as defined by international law. The study had its basis in the 2004 Wall case and a subsequent UN human rights fact finding report submitted to the treaty bodies and to the General Assembly Third Committee by Special Rapporteur John Dugard. Additional reports regarding the crime of apartheid have been submitted by Dugard's successor, Richard Falk.

      So, there appears to be enough prima facie evidence (photographs & etc) to proceed with this case.

  • Weiner-Baird debate lived up to its billing
    • Nuremberg did not change a thing

      Antidote you are an ignoramus who probably thinks the O.J. Simpson acquittal proves that the California homicide statute changed nothing. At the outset of World War I Europe had several neutralized states, including Belgium. One of President Wilson's fourteen points proposed the abolition of the practice. So, the notion of demilitarized states did not originate with the Morgenthal Plan. Prime Minister Netanyahu is insisting today that Palestine be a demilitarized or neutralized state. Do you have a published source which says the Morgenthal plan killed millions of Germans (besides Dr. Goebbels)? The Wikipedia article makes no such claim and it points out that the proposal was widely publicized and panned during the war. It lists the scores of US and UK administration officials who opposed the plan on the grounds that it violated the Atlantic Charter & etc.

      The principles of international law contained in the Nuremburg Charter were codified. They have been the basis of the statutory jurisdiction of more than a half dozen ad hoc international criminal tribunals, commissions, and a permanent international criminal court. Those principles established that individuals could be prosecuted under international criminal law for crimes of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity regardless of the provisions of municipal law. Your posts are a bit long on hyperbole and short on facts. The abuses of both sides in WWII led to the adoption of prohibitions in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The abuses in post-WWII conflicts led to the adoption of even more prohibitions in the Additional Protocols. If you don't grasp the concept of the progressive codification of international criminal law, please do a little research on the subject and stop confusing the law with law enforcement.

    • Antidote,

      You seem to have gone off the beaten track. Neither Alfred de Zayas nor Timothy Waters ( link to & link to ) was discussing "the acquisition of territory by war" in the case of the Czech Republic and the Sudetenland. In any event, Zayas and Waters were discussing apples and oranges and talking past each other. I'll be happy to explain the legal differences between collective punishment, persecution, and ethnic cleansing for you (below).

      In "The Sudeten German Question after EU Enlargement" link to Jakob Cornides notes "Israel has never compensated expelled Palestinians, but cynically points to the example of the Sudeten Germans, saying that the Palestinians, too, should stop considering themselves as refugees." That bit of hasbara seems to be the whole point of your long off-topic excursion.

      To answer your other request "Please explain to me why, and authorized by what fundamental principles of international law or self-determination applicable at that time or now .....& etc. "

      Eyal Benvenisti explains the development of the prohibition against unilateral annexation of territory in the public international law of Europe during the 19th Century. See Benvenisti, Eyal, The Origins of the Concept of Belligerent Occupation, Law and History Review 26.3 (2008), link to

      That did not prevent the "Concert of Europe" from creating new states on a "multilateral" basis or using "international conference diplomacy", ala the Berlin Congress or Versailles Conference, to adjudicate or arbitrate disputes through territorial restitution and/or compensation. I cited Carol Fink in an earlier thread. She explained that the Concert of Europe had conditioned grants of territory to new States on the basis of minority rights treaties. Poland had been divided in 1771 between Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The Versailles Peace Conference restored Polish national sovereignty subject to the terms of a minority rights treaty. Here is a link to the earlier comment. link to

      The Potsdam Conference only dealt with a temporary period of Allied control during the occupation - pending a final determination by the post-war peace conference. Jakob Cornides noted that "Germany paid compensation to the Allied Powers (and the annexation of German territory by Poland and the USSR was, inter alia, understood to be part of this compensation)." Prussia had been a free state in the Weimar Republic that ceased to exist altogether when the Nazis dissolved the German states under the "Law on the Reconstruction of the Reich (1932)". It was replaced in the Russian Zone of Occupation by the new state of East Germany. After the reunification of Germany, the voters there rejected a 1996 proposal to merge Berlin and Brandenburg into a revived Prussian state. In an earlier thread I noted that the US government had refused to recognize the annexation of the Baltic states. That unilateral annexation was not approved by the post war peace conference. link to

      Articles 12, 13, and 15 of the Covenant of the League of Nations link to provided for arbitration, adjudication, inquiry by the Council, or referral of disputes to the Permanent Court. Those functions were distributed to the new General Assembly, Security Council, and International Court under the terms of Articles 10, 11, 18, and 36 of the UN Charter. link to

      The State of Palestine was originally created by the Allies (as of 1 March 1920) in accordance with the terms of Articles 30, 50, 60, and especially Article 52 of the Treaty of Lausanne. link to The Central Powers agreed to recognize the newly created states in Asia in accordance with:
      *Article 434 of the Treaty of Versailles link to
      *Article 60 of the Treaty of Neuilly link to
      *Article 74 (2) of Treaty of Trianon link to
      *Article 90 Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye link to

      The Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel understood the role of conference diplomacy in the creation of states, since the Zionist Organization participated in both the Versailles and UNSCOP/Ad Hoc Committee processes.

      The 'Council of Four Conference Held in the Prime Minister's Flat at 23 Rue Nitot, Paris, on Thursday, March 20, 1919, at 3 p.m. was attended by Prime Ministers Lloyd George, Clemenceau, and Orlando. President Wilson, Lord Balfour, and General Allenby also attended. link to That meeting resulted in the dispatch of the King-Crane Commission to determine the wishes of the inhabitants after a discussion regarding the McMahon letters to King Hussein. Lloyd George argued they were a binding treaty commitment and that the League of Nations mandate could not be used to put aside the bargain with King Hussein. Lloyd George also said Arab help had been essential and General Allenby claimed it had been invaluable. FYI, there was no mention whatever of the Zionist mule corps or the Jewish Legion.

      In 1947, the British government said that if the Arabs and Jews
      could not agree, the time had come to refer the question of Jewish immigration to international arbitration.
      link to The British government had in mind a decision regarding immigration by an arbitration tribunal set up under UN auspices. link to

      The adoption of the Partition Resolution (with provisions for immediate immigration, a port, and sufficient hinterland) by the two-thirds vote required for important questions gave it a high degree of legal authority. The representative of the Jewish Agency, Mr. Shertok (later the foreign minister and the prime minister of the Government of Israel), referred to its "binding force" on 27 April 1948:

      "With regard to the status of Assembly resolutions in international law, it was admitted that any which touched the national sovereignty of the Members of the United Nations were mere recommendations and not binding. However, the Palestine resolution was essentially different for it concerned the future of a territory subject to an international trust [not a member state]. Only the United Nations as a whole was competent to determine the future of the territory, and its decision, therefore, had a binding force. --U.N. Doc. A/C. 1/SR. 127, P. 7 (27 April 1948)

      See "An International Law Analysis Of The Major United Nations Resolutions Concerning The Palestine Question" link to

      The UN Mediator was given a mandate by both the Security Council and the General Assembly to "promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine". The Provisional Government of Israel noted with surprise that [the Mediator's] "suggestions appear to ignore the resolution of the General Assembly of 29 November 1947, which remains the only internationally valid adjudication on the question of the future government of Palestine." link to

      During the hearings on Israel's admission to the UN, the representative of Israel, Abba Eban, said that several issues, including refugees, the internationalization of Jerusalem, and etc. could be settled through adjudication by the international Lausanne Conference. link to

      For twenty years each of the permanent members of the UN Security Council reaffirmed the provisions of UN GA resolution 194(III) regarding Palestinian refugees. Israel and the United States claim that the final status can only be decided through negotiations. But other states have recommended that an international peace conference be convened to reach an adjudicated solution to the Question of Palestine, or that the matter be decided through arbitration. See for example the minutes of the 12th Plenary meeting of the 9th Emergency Session of the General Assembly, paragraphs 241 and 242 (pdf file page 16 of 21) link to

      Alfred de Zayas comments about the Waters article were incorrect in many respects. The article was not submitted for the award of a degree. Waters did not propose that the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans was legal; "might makes right"; and etc. Waters earned his J.D. (cum luade) from Zayas alma mater, the Harvard Law school in 1998 - long before he authored the 2006 article. Waters cited the joint Czech-German declaration of 1997 which said that the expulsion was illegal. He also noted that all of the government parties concerned had rejected the claim that it was an example of ethnic cleansing and that no provision had yet been made for individual compensation. Here are some other relevant background details:
      *Cornides noted "After EU enlargement, Sudeten Germans are free to return to Bohemia, settle down there, and acquire land property or set up businesses. Restitution and/or compensation is therefore the only remaining issue." That certainly is NOT the case with the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.
      *Sudeten Germans who were anti-Nazi activists were not deported. Their property was not transferred to the state. See Cornides, Waters, and Haaretz (2003) link to
      *The Czech prime minister has offered to compensate Germans that did not collaborate with the Nazis. link to Israel has NOT offered to compensate Palestinian refugees.
      *The fact that Sudeten Germans were assumed to be guilty until proven innocent and that Czechs were presumed innocent until proven guilty is discriminatory and a form of persecution and collective punishment. But it is not necessarily the crime of ethnic cleansing, since anti-Nazi activists were excluded.
      *The Czech Republic has not repealed the Beneš-Decrees, but they no longer produce legal effects. Israel has not repealed its own "Nazis and Nazi Collaborators -Punishment- Law- 5710-1950". link to John Demjanyuk, was charged with offenses under sections 1 to 4 of that statute. link to

      I hope that answers some of your questions.

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