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Trump ‘Plan’ would create a fictitious Palestinian state devoid of rights under international law

Opinion
on 80 Comments

After being announced shortly after Donald Trump took office in 2017, the “Plan” (modestly called “the Vision”) supposed to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was made public on January 28th. It is therefore now possible to analyse its substance in detail, deepening the reflections that have already been made on the basis of the leaks of some of its aspects. The United States had already adopted a series of decisions and measures which suggested that the definition of the parameters supposed to bring a definitive solution to the conflict would largely espouse Israeli positions: recognition of Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the State of Israel, closure of the office of the Palestinian delegation in Washington, cessation of funding for UNRWA (the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees) and, most recently, recognition of the legality of Israeli settlements installed on Palestinian territory. A thorough reading of the “Plan” in all its aspects only reinforces this presentiment, as it appears that the proposals it contains support the main Israeli demands, setting aside the internationally recognised rights of the Palestinian people. Generally speaking, the “Plan” appears to enshrine the existing situation on the ground, consolidating the occupation and Oslo regime by changing its label only. In the following lines, the main aspects of the “Plan” are analysed, showing how it departs diametrically from the principles established by international law and that the creation of a Palestinian State, presented as a major step forward in the proposed solution, would only be virtual, the envisaged Palestinian entity being devoid of the essential prerogatives of sovereignty.

1. The exclusion of international law from the parameters of the solution to the conflict

In the preamble of the “Plan”, a position is taken which results in the exclusion of the whole of international law, as derived from UN resolutions and a range of other texts, as the essential basis for establishing the parameters of the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It reads as follows:

“Since 1946, there have been close to 700 United Nations General Assembly resolutions and over 100 United Nations Security Council resolutions in connection with this conflict. United Nations resolutions are sometimes inconsistent and sometimes time-bound. These resolutions have not brought about peace. Furthermore, different parties have offered conflicting interpretations of some of the most significant United Nations resolutions, including United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. Indeed, legal scholars who have worked directly on critical United Nations resolutions have differed on their meaning and legal effect.

While we are respectful of the historic role of the United Nations in the peace process, this Vision is not a recitation of General Assembly, Security Council and other international resolutions on this topic because such resolutions have not and will not resolve the conflict. For too long these resolutions have enabled political leaders to avoid addressing the complexities of this conflict rather than enabling a realistic path to peace”.

Indeed, the rest of the Plan will no longer mention UN resolutions as a basis or justification for the proposed solutions, with the exception of a furtive reference to Security Council Resolution 242, whose Israeli interpretation, which is in favour of only a partial withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967, albeit isolated, will be adopted to justify the annexation of a substantial part of the West Bank by Israel (see below). However, any peace process as previously envisaged by the United Nations or by the United States itself was based on the need to implement resolutions 242 and 338 in order to reach a settlement of the dispute, and the International Court of Justice concluded its 2004 opinion on the legality of the Wall by stating that “any negotiated solution” for the establishment of a Palestinian state must be “on the basis of international law”. In reality, and contrary to what the “Plan” claims, the UN resolutions do indeed establish all the principles that should guide the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

– right to self-determination of the Palestinian people

– Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied Palestinian territories”.

– illegality of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory

– illegality of the annexation of East Jerusalem

– Israel’s obligation to withdraw from the territories occupied in the June 1967 war

– the right of all states in the region to live within secure and recognised borders

– Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes or right to fair compensation

As will be seen, the “Plan” does not apply, or even mention, any of these principles, and generally takes the opposite view in defining the criteria for resolving the main points of dispute, based on two elements that will be overriding: Israel’s security concerns and the recognition of its “valid legal and historical claims”.

2. The determination of the borders: validation of the annexation and the settlements

The territorial question and the determination of the borders between the State of Israel and a State of Palestine is a fundamental aspect of the conflict. Since 1967 and the conquest of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel has pursued a policy of annexation (de jure or de facto), resulting in the colonisation and fragmentation of Palestinian territory, policies declared illegal by numerous United Nations resolutions, the most recent being resolution 2334 adopted by the Security Council in December 2016. The “Plan” provides for the annexation by Israel of approximately 30% of the West Bank, including almost all of the existing settlements and a large part of the Jordan Valley. Among the criteria set out as the basis for this border delineation are the “security requirements of the State of Israel”, as well as “its “valid legal and historical claims”. The solution is justified by the “Plan” as follows:

“The State of Israel and the United States do not believe the State of Israel is legally bound to provide the Palestinians with 100 percent of pre-1967 territory (a belief that is consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 242). This Vision is a fair compromise, and contemplates a Palestinian state that encompasses territory reasonably comparable in size to the territory of the West Bank and Gaza pre-1967”.

Here is the only reference to international law made by the “Plan”, reflecting the interpretation that Israel and the United States have given to it, whereas the most consistent reading, shared by the vast majority of the international community, is that resolution 242 implies withdrawal from all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, in accordance with the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force, recalled in the preamble to the resolution. The “Plan” goes so far as to consider that the allocation of territory for a Palestinian State is in fact a “significant concession” on the part of Israel, since Gaza and the West Bank have been conquered “in a defensive war”, that Israel has already withdrawn from 88% of all the Arab territories captured in 1967 (mainly the Egyptian Sinai), and that the remaining areas are part of “the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people”, over which Israel has asserted “valid legal and historical claims”. The “Plan” claims that the new route “encompasses a territory reasonably comparable in size to the territory of the West Bank and Gaza before 1967”. In reality, the West Bank is being reduced by a substantial part of its surface area, including the most fertile part, the Jordan Valley, which is compensated quantitatively only by the addition of small portions of land adjacent to the West Bank and by the granting of two areas west of the Negev Desert to be linked to Gaza by road corridors. In addition, Israel is expected to “retain” sovereignty over Gaza’s territorial waters on the grounds that they are supposed to be “vital to Israel’s security”.

Map of a future Palestinian state in the Trump administration plan.

Map of a future Palestinian state in the Trump administration plan.

In sum, in view of the map annexed to the “Plan” (see above), the West Bank would appear as a set of fragmented islands, perforated by Israeli enclaves formed by the settlements, linked together by a very complex road system, totally subjected to Israel’s security responsibility. The West Bank itself would also be enclaved in Israeli territory, with no contiguity with the Jordanian border and no access to the waters of the Jordan River or the Dead Sea. The “Plan” thus has the effect of validating all the Israeli settlements, ignoring their illegal character under international law, and attributes the Jordan Valley to Israel on the grounds that this region is “essential for Israel’s national security”, without taking into account its status as “occupied Palestinian territory” or the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force. It is therefore in complete disregard of international law that the borders have been drawn in the plan devised by the US Administration.

3. The status of Jerusalem: confirmation of the Israeli annexation

In line with the recent positions adopted by the Trump administration, the “Plan” confirms that Jerusalem remains the indivisible capital of the State of Israel. By a semantic game, the “Plan” announces that the capital of the Palestinian State will also be located in Jerusalem, but in reality it would include only a few Arab neighbourhoods and villages already separated from the city by the Wall built by Israel, and the peripheral city of Abu Dis:

“Jerusalem will remain the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and it should remain an undivided city. The sovereign capital of the State of Palestine should be in the section of East Jerusalem located in all areas east and north of the existing security barrier, including Kafr Aqab, the eastern part of Shuafat and Abu Dis, and could be named Al Quds or another name as determined by the State of Palestine”.

Once again, this is a total rejection of one of the fundamental demands of the Palestinians, inherent in their national claims, and a confirmation of the Israeli annexation, although condemned by several United Nations resolutions, which declared it “null and void” and referred to East Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory”.

4. The creation of a State of Palestine devoid of any effective sovereignty

The supposedly most favourable contribution to the Palestinians, and the main Israeli concession, is the creation of a Palestinian state, reflecting “the legitimate desire to govern itself and to chart its own destiny”. Upon analysis, it appears that the Palestinian entity envisaged by the “Plan” has very few of the characteristics of a State and cannot seriously be considered as the genuine implementation of the right to self-determination. From the outset, the “Plan” makes things clear:

“Sovereignty is an amorphous concept that has evolved over time. […] The notion that sovereignty is a static and consistently defined term has been an unnecessary stumbling block in past negotiations. Pragmatic and operational concerns that effect security and prosperity are what is most important”.

And indeed, the State of Palestine as conceived by the “Plan” is so limited in its powers that it can hardly be considered as possessing the attributes classically associated with the concept of sovereignty. It is not possible to go into all the details of the “Plan” here, but here are some illustrations of the very substantial limitations that would affect the Palestinian State. First, entry into the Palestinian territory will be done exclusively through Israeli control posts, whether at the Jordanian border, via Israeli territory (annexation of the Jordan Valley), or Egyptian, via Gaza. The “Plan” states unambiguously in this regard: “All persons and goods will cross the borders into the State of Palestine through regulated border crossings, which will be monitored by the State of Israel”. Then, Israel will exercise operational control of all Palestinian airspace for security reasons and will have sovereignty over Palestinian territorial waters. Finally, Israel will have the ultimate prerogatives for all security issues in Palestinian territory. As the “Plan” states: “Upon signing the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement, the State of Israel will maintain overriding security responsibility for the State of Palestine, with the aspiration that the Palestinians will be responsible for as much of their internal security as possible, subject to the provisions of this “Vision” “. To implement this prerogative, Israel will have the right to use “blimps, drones and similar aerial equipment for security purposes”. The use of such equipment is intended to “reduce the Israeli security footprint within the State of Palestine”, which implies that ground military interventions will also be possible. Israel will also maintain its security jurisdiction over the entire road network linking Palestinian and Israeli enclaves, and over constructions on Palestinian territory “in the areas adjacent to the border between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine, including without limitation, the border between Jerusalem and Al Quds”. It should also be pointed out that the Palestinian State will not have sovereign authority over national immigration on its own territory, since the return of Palestinian refugees would be subject to numerous restrictions, depending on Israeli consent (see below).

To all these limitations must be added the fact that the State of Palestine could come into being only after fulfilling many preconditions in the matters of security, disarmament of Palestinian groups, governance and institutions. Whether all the conditions have been met will be subject to review by Israel and the United States.

5. The Palestinian refugee problem: rejection of the right of return and the right to compensation

Another central aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the issue of Palestinian refugees, who have been expelled or had to flee their homes as a result of the 1948 or 1967 war. There are now several million of them, scattered all over the world, particularly in the Arab states, the West Bank and Gaza. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, adopted in 1948 and reiterated many times, established a right of return by resolving “that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible”.

Any exercise of a return of Palestinian refugees to their homes, now located in Israel, is precluded by the “Plan”, and even a return to the State of Palestine is subject to a series of restrictions. No right to compensation is enshrined, and no mention is made of Israel’s responsibility, its primary role in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem being overlooked. On the contrary, it is the Arab states that are held responsible for the persistence of the situation. This general approach is explained by the “Plan” as follows:

“The Palestinians have collectively been cruelly and cynically held in limbo to keep the conflict alive. Their Arab brothers have the moral responsibility to integrate them into their countries as the Jews were integrated into the State of Israel. […] Proposals that demand that the State of Israel agree to take in Palestinian refugees, or that promise tens of billions of dollars in compensation for the refugees, have never been realistic and a credible funding source has never been identified”.

The “Plan” therefore concludes that “there shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the State of Israel.” Three options are then possible: absorption in the Palestinian State, local integration in current host countries, or resettlement (with a maximum of 50,000 refugees) in one of the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It should be pointed out, as already noted above, that the return of refugees to Palestinian territory would be subject to serious restrictions, depending on Israel’s consent: Palestinians from countries “extremely hostile” towards the State of Israel would be subject to a special procedure through a joint Israeli-Palestinian committee which would analyse the security issues. More generally, for all Palestinian refugees, the volume of immigration would have to be agreed between the parties and regulated by various factors, “including economic forces and incentive structures, such that the rate of entry does not outpace or overwhelm the development of infrastructure and the economy of the State of Palestine, or increase security risks to the State of Israel”.

On the issue of compensation for property lost as a result of Palestinian exile, no rights are formally recognized. The “Plan” simply states that priority will be given to financing the political and economic structures of the State of Palestine, which will indirectly benefit the returning refugees, and that in order to allow certain individual compensations, the United States will “endeavour to raise a fund”, whose sources of funding and mechanism remain unclear at this stage. In any case, this is not an accountability mechanism, involving the State of Israel.

Conclusions

It is absolutely obvious that the “Plan” published by Donald Trump consists mainly of a validation of the occupation and settlement policies pursued by Israel on the ground, considered illegal by multiple UN resolutions and by the overwhelming majority of states. In reality, it is a perpetuation of the occupation and the Oslo system under another name, with Israel keeping in its hands the essential elements of the administration of the Palestinian territories and the population residing there. The State of Palestine that would be created would be largely fictitious, with no control over its borders, its security and its population, with a completely fragmented and shrinking territory, losing East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, taking the 1967 lines as a reference. The West Bank would become landlocked with Israeli territory, losing its border with Jordan, making it particularly dependent on the goodwill of the State of Israel, both for the movement of people and goods. The logic of the “Plan” is reminiscent of the Bantustan policy implemented by the South African apartheid regime from the end of the 1970s, which artificially created fictitious, supposedly independent states in which most of the black population was confined, thus justifying their exclusion from the South African political system. Under the Trump Plan, Israel, as today, will de facto control the entire territory of historic Palestine, but without having to grant any political rights to the Palestinian population residing in the so-called “State of Palestine”.

The “Plan” obviously has no chance of being accepted or even discussed by the Palestinians, as it constitutes a denial of their basic rights. Nevertheless, it has been understood by the Israeli government as a green light for the formalization of the annexation of the Jordan Valley and the settlements. It is also further proof of the contempt expressed by the Trump administration for respect for the most fundamental rules of international law and multilateralism.

François Dubuisson

François Dubuisson is professor of International Law, at the Centre de droit international, Université libre de Bruxelles

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80 Responses

  1. mondonut on January 31, 2020, 11:29 am

    Amazing. An actual professor of International Law who thinks that a General Assembly Resolution can establish a right.

    No wonder International Law is such a mess.

    • Misterioso on January 31, 2020, 12:49 pm

      MP3 link:

      https://fair.org/audio/counterspin/CounterSpin200131Baddar.mp3

      Discussion with Omar Baddar, deputy director of the Arab American Institute regarding Trump and Kushner’s phony and doomed peace proposal.

    • Misterioso on January 31, 2020, 1:08 pm

      @mondonut

      However, the UN Charter. the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are binding on all UN member states.

      • mondonut on January 31, 2020, 1:48 pm

        @Misterioso , However…

        Off topic, natural and expected. Ignore my comment, of course.
        And the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not legally binding on anyone.

      • oldgeezer on January 31, 2020, 9:07 pm

        @mondonut

        While still commonly referred to as the UDHR, it was eventually incorporated into the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. ICCPR!

        This is a formal document and Israel is a signatory with no stated reservations. Israel signed in 66 but didn’t ratify until the early 90’s.

    • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 1:23 pm

      mondonut: “Amazing. An actual professor of International Law who thinks that a General Assembly Resolution can establish a right.

      No wonder International Law is such a mess.”

      Amazing, mondonut has allready forgot that nobody claims that 194 did “establish” the right of return, but only recommended how it should be implemeted. He also forgot that human rights are enshrined in the charter of the UN and were defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was accepted just one day before 194.

      No wonder he’s such a mess.

      • mondonut on January 31, 2020, 1:41 pm

        @Talkback , nobody claims that 194 did “establish” the right of return,

        Nobody except the very person who wrote what your are commenting on.

        “United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, adopted in 1948 and reiterated many times, established a right of return…”

        – François Dubuisson, Professor of International Law

      • Misterioso on January 31, 2020, 2:55 pm

        @Talkback

        RIGHT ON!!

      • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 5:41 pm

        mondonut: “Nobody except the very person who wrote what your are commenting on.”

        What YOU mean by “established” is created. What François Dubuisson means is “recognized, acknowledged”. You yourself admitted not long ago that this right was acknowledged in international law.

      • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 7:26 pm

        Btw. isn’t it amazing how mondonut completely ignores the rest of my comment and only focusses on the word “establish”?

      • mondonut on January 31, 2020, 7:34 pm

        @Talkback What YOU mean by …

        Nice try on the spin. Caught out on an obviously false statement, so you simply try to redefine the term “established”, as if Dubuisson never made the claim contrary to your assertion.

      • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 9:14 pm

        mondonut: “Nice try on the spin. Caught out on an obviously false statement, so you simply try to redefine the term “established”, as if Dubuisson never made the claim contrary to your assertion.”

        It is you who actually spins it. Because you have do distract from the fact that the right of return was “created” in the preceeding UDHR and therefore have to create the straw argument that it was not created in resolution 194. And because I don’t fall for your straw argument I don’t intepret “established” as “created”, but as “acknowledged” or “introduced”, because it was the first time that a General Assembly refered to this human right and only one day after the UDHR was approved.

        As long as you spread the lie that no refugee has a right to return or only those who fled or were expelled after the UDHR you will use every straw man argument as idiotic it may be.

      • mondonut on February 1, 2020, 12:31 am

        @Talkback

        D: United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, adopted in 1948 and reiterated many times, established a right of return
        M: An actual professor of International Law who thinks that a General Assembly Resolution can establish a right.
        T: nobody claims that 194 did “establish” the right of return,
        M: Sure he did, see statement above
        T: I don’t intepret “established” as “created”, but as “acknowledged” or “introduced”, because it was the first time that a General Assembly refered to this human right and only one day after the UDHR was approved.

        Yep, the no spin zone.

      • Misterioso on February 1, 2020, 10:43 am

        @Talkback, et al

        As mondonut chooses to remain ignorant this short blurb from my university notes is not meant for him.

        Israel’s first and second attempts to join the United Nations following the signing of the 1949 armistice agreements were unsuccessful because the General Assembly considered it to be in contravention of the UN Charter. This was due to the fact that in violation of the Partition Plan (General Assembly Resolution 181, 29 November 1947), Israel was occupying the international zone of West Jerusalem and more than half of the territory assigned to the proposed Palestinian state. Consequently, with another vote on its application for admittance about to take place, Israel’s negotiators at Lausanne were instructed to go along with the Arab block and sign a protocol proposed by the commission “which would constitute the basis of work.”

        On May 12, 1949, what is known as the Lausanne Protocol (consisting of two separate, but identical documents) was signed by Arab and Israeli negotiators. It stated that the Palestine Conciliation Commission, “anxious to achieve as quickly as possible the objectives of General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948, regarding refugees, the respect for their rights and the preservation of their property, as well as territorial and other questions, has proposed to the delegations of the Arab states and to the delegation of Israel that the working document attached hereto (map of partition) be taken as a basis for discussions with the Commission.”

        By signing the Lausanne Protocol, Israel and the Arab states formally accepted its provision that the Partition Plan was the “starting point and framework for the discussion of territorial questions.” (Fred J. Khouri, The Arab Israeli Dilemma, pp. 293-94) Israel also agreed to comply with the terms of U.N. Resolution 194 regarding refugees.

        In the interests of reaching a peaceful solution, the Arabs made a major concession: “By signing the Lausanne Protocol, the Arabs had in fact accepted the legitimacy of the UN Partition Resolution, a radical departure from their previous strategy. They had abandoned the idea of Palestine as a unitary Arab state, accepted the reality of Israel, and agreed to solve the dispute by political means.” (Simah Flapan, The Birth of Israel, p. 224)

        During the Lausanne Conference Israel was admitted to the United Nations. However, “[a]s a price for obtaining full membership in the United Nations in 1949, Israel’s ambassador, Abba Eban, had given assurances that Israel would faithfully adhere to the UN Charter and to the resolutions of the relevant UN bodies.” (George W. Ball and Douglas B. Ball, The Passionate Attachment, p. 33)

        Abba Eban assured the members of the U.N. Ad Hoc Political Committee reviewing Israel’s request for admission that his government “[would pursue] no policies on any question which were inconsistent with…the resolutions of the Assembly and the Security Council.” (Fred J. Khouri, The Arab Israeli Dilemma, p. 105). Eban thus further committed Israel to abide by Resolutions 181 and 194.

        Once it secured UN membership Israel promptly reneged on its commitments to the U.N. Palestine Conciliation Commission and the General Assembly by pressuring the Arab representatives at Lausanne to make further territorial concessions. The Israeli delegates insisted the protocol they had signed was merely a “procedural device” to get talks going and demanded that “the international frontiers of Mandatory Palestine be considered the frontiers of Israel, with one provisional and temporary exception, namely, the central area of Palestine then under Jordanian military authority, in which the Israelis consented to ‘recognize the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as the de facto military occupying Power,’ without entering into `the future status of the area’ for the time being.” (Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 128)

        Mark Ethridge, the American representative at Lausanne blamed Israel for the breakdown of negotiations: “[I]f there is any assessment of blame for a stalemate at Lausanne, Israel must accept primary responsibility….Aside from her general responsibility for refugees, she [Israel] has particular responsibility for those who have been driven out by terrorism, repression and forcible ejection.” (Quoted by George W. Ball ad Douglas B. Ball, The Passionate Attachment p. 39)

      • Talkback on February 1, 2020, 4:38 pm

        mondonut: “Yep, the no spin zone.”

        Yep, it’s just like you said without trying to spin it: Every human being enjoys the right to return, because the right to return is acknowledged in international law, even Palestinians.

        @ Misterioso. That’s the way to talk to someone who is an expert at ignoratio elenchi.

    • bcg on January 31, 2020, 2:03 pm

      @Mondonut: So in your view, just how do rights get established?

      • Misterioso on January 31, 2020, 2:43 pm

        bcg, etal

        mondonut lives in a fantasy world drowning in hasbara.

        Here’s a brief summation of reality:

        Throughout history the right of return was so universally accepted that it was not codified until 1215, in Chapter 42 of the Magna Carta: “It shall be lawful in the future for anyone…to leave our kingdom and to return, safe and secure by land and water….”

        The right of return was further enshrined in international law when the United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948, Resolution 217 AIII) of which Article 13(2) states: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.” The United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948 (Resolution 217 A III).

        The next day, 11 December 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 (derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and binding on all UN members) of which paragraph 11 resolves “…refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible….”

        Thus, the Palestinian refugees’ had the right to choose between returning to their homes per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or receiving financial compensation per Resolution 194.

        On 11 May 1949, the General Assembly passed Resolution 273 granting Israel admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice.) As a pre-condition, Israel formally agreed at the UN to obey General Assembly Resolution 194. Along with Arab states and Palestinian representatives, Israel also signed the Lausanne Protocol at the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference to the same effect.

        Israel’s pledge to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 was made legally binding by incorporating it into Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting Israel UN membership: “Recalling and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by [Israel]…in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, the General Assembly… decides to admit Israel into membership in the United Nations.” Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be implemented.

      • Mooser on January 31, 2020, 3:29 pm

        “So in your view, just how do rights get established?”

        Mondonut: ‘Well, rights pass from the mandated colonial power to the better-armed group backed by a superpower. It’s in the Torah.

      • jon s on January 31, 2020, 3:31 pm

        Note that the Arab States REJECTED resolution 194.

      • mondonut on January 31, 2020, 3:36 pm

        @Misterioso, Here’s a brief summation of reality:

        – Palestinans claim RoR via the Magna Carta ????
        – The UDHR is non-binding, always has been. It enshrines no rights.
        – GA Resolutions are non-binding, they establish no rights. This includes 194.
        – Israel did not formally agree to obey 194. You keep repeating this lie.
        – Israel was admitted to the UN in the same manner as any other country, no special rules for the Jews.

      • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 6:56 pm

        mondonut: “Palestinans claim RoR via the Magna Carta ????”

        Israel claims a right to ethnic cleansing????

        Btw. when are you going to finally prove that states have a right to ethnically cleanse people by expelling them and/or denying them them to return? But please do not quote Nazi literature.

        mondonut: “– The UDHR is non-binding, always has been. It enshrines no rights.”

        That’s just one of your idiotic straw man arguments. Human rights are enshrined in the legally binding UN Charter. And the UDHR simply defined them.

        monodonut: “”– GA Resolutions are non-binding,”

        Not true. GA- resolutions are binding if they regulate internals of the UN. For example when adopting the UDHR which dealt with the term “Human Rights” in the UN charter. And if the GA constantly reaffirms the right of return and calls it inaliable it’s because it’s just that: An inaliable right. Opinio juris becomes international law.

        mondonut: “… they establish no rights. . This includes 194”

        Another one of your idiotic straw man arguments. 194 did not create this right, but resolved when it when it shoud be implemented and what to do with those who don’t want to exercise it. It’s obvious that the right of return was allready acknowledged.

        Likewise the Security Council did not “establish” the right of return in Res. 237:
        “Considering that essential and inalienable human rights should be respected even during the vicissitudes of war, …

        1. Calls upon the Government of Israel … to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities.”

        Spot the human right in this security Council resolution and you will know which one is refered to by “inaliable human right” which is the same wording that GA uses over and over again. Btw has the Apartheid Junta allowed these refugees to return? Nope. Just another violation of inaliable human rights and Security Council resolutions.

        Let’s see how many weeks it is going to take you to repeat your same idiocies again. My estimation is three.

      • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 6:58 pm

        jon s: “Note that the Arab States REJECTED resolution 194.”

        What’s your point? They also rejected 181. Now think thoroughly, before you give an answer.

      • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 7:03 pm

        bcg: “Mondonut: So in your view, just how do rights get established?”

        You will never get an answer from mondonut.

      • Misterioso on January 31, 2020, 7:21 pm

        @bcg

        Mondonut’s ignorance is beyond words. Let him wallow in it.

        As the old adage goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

      • mondonut on January 31, 2020, 8:34 pm

        @Talkback
        Israel claims a right to ethnic cleansing????
        When did Israel make than claim? And what does it have to do with the Magna Carta?

        Human rights are enshrined in the legally binding UN Charter.
        That’s correct and the Charter is binding. But that status does not extend to the non-binding UDHR, which is not an extension of the Charter, nor is it a treaty. It is self defined as a “common standard of achievement”.

        GA- resolutions are binding if they regulate internals of the UN
        Yes, internals regarding the operation of the GA itself, such as budgetary and procedural issues. The UDHR was not an internal resolution and it remains non-binding.

        194 did not create this right…obvious that the right of return was already acknowledged.
        Correct, it did not create the RoR (you should explain that to Misterioso). It also made no mention of anything being obviously acknowledged.

        Likewise the Security Council did not “establish” the right of return in Res. 237
        Also correct, 237 makes no mention of a Right to Return. Nor is a right established or recognized simply because “inalienable human right” happens to occur within the same document as “facilitate the return”.

      • RoHa on February 1, 2020, 2:05 am

        “@Mondonut: So in your view, just how do rights get established?”

        You will notice that Mondonut only regards rights in legal terms.
        The idea of moral rights is beyond his imagining.

        Many Zionists seem incapable of understanding morality.

      • Talkback on February 1, 2020, 5:34 am

        @mondonut.

        Seriously I’m fat up with waisting my time with you and your word twisting.

        It’s obvious that whenever the UN accuses a state of violating human rights the UDHR is the only document which creates a legal base for this accusation, because it lists all human rights. You may say that the UDHR it itself is not legally binding, but that’s legally completely irrelevant. The crime of Apartheid for example refers to the right of return. Whenever this right of one people is violated by another people to maintain a regime that is dominated by the latter that’s Apartheid, too, according to the definition of this crime. Who cares if the UDHR in itself is “legally binding” or not, if the violation of thehuman rights that it mentions are legally considered to be crimes.

        And it’s obvious from the whole text of Security Council resolution 273 that when it mentions “inaliable human rights” it did not just “happen to occur within the same document” with “facilitate the return” as you claim without any reason and sense. It’s obvious that the whole line including “inaliable human rights” ONLY connects to 1.) “1. Calls upon the Government of Israel” where Israel is called upon to facilitate the return of refugees and to “ensure the safety, welfare and security” which are also mentioned in the Declaration of human rights. When I said that it 273 didn’t create “inaliable human rights I was simply emphasizing that they allready existed and 273 was simply refering to them and calling upon Israel to implement them.

        You are just doing what Israel does. Interpreting international law and Security Council resolution in bad faith and it is no coincidence that the International Court of Justice in its advisory opinion makes the following statement where it shreds Israel’s interpretation of the Geneva Conventions:
        “The Court would recall that, according to customary international law as expressed in Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969, a treaty must be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to its terms in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.”
        https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/131/131-20040709-ADV-01-00-EN.pdf

        @ Misterioso. Please don’t feed this word twisting troll with summaries. He will just find anything to pick upon to create a smoke screen, allthough he has allready admitted that the right of return is acknowledged in international law. Just remind him of that fact.

      • Talkback on February 1, 2020, 6:08 am

        Btw. Mondonut: Are you going to answer bsg’s question how rights get established according to your view? I’m waiting, too, for an answer. allthough I know how limited it would be.

      • Mooser on February 2, 2020, 1:47 pm

        “The idea of moral rights is beyond his imagining.”

        The entire Zionist moral universe revolves around US military aid and political cover for Israel.

      • jon s on February 3, 2020, 6:38 am

        Talkbalk,
        “Now think thoroughly “- please don’t
        patronize me.
        My point is that the side that rejected the resolution is now demanding its implementation , 72 years later. How much sense does that make?
        (And according to a specific interpretation of the resolution…)

      • Talkback on February 3, 2020, 10:44 am

        jon s: “My point is that the side that rejected the resolution is now demanding its implementation , 72 years later. How much sense does that make?”

        Both sides rejected the partition. One side was lying about its intentions. And the other is willing to sacrifce more than the partition plan proposed to end an illegally prolonged occupation.

      • catalan on February 11, 2020, 8:43 am

        There was a great deal of sympathy towards Hitler and the Nazis in the Arab world. This is attested also by the fact that Iraq, Syria and Egypt welcomed many SS and other Nazi fugitives after the war and used them for training. Also, there was a Muslim SS unit which actively participated in destroying the Jews of Yugoslavia. The Mufti developed a spy network which helped the Germans land in Tunisia and Libia. Rommel and Hitler were both widely admired among Arabs. There are plenty of good resources on the cooperation between Hitler, the Mufti and many other Palestinian Arabs.

    • Misterioso on February 1, 2020, 11:24 am

      Breaking news:

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/arab-league-holds-emergency-meeting-trump-plan-200201105251740.html

      “Arab League rejects Trump’s Middle East plan,” Al Jazeera, Feb. 1, 2020

      “Arab leaders say US initiative does not meet ‘minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people’.

      “The Arab League has completely rejected US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan during an emergency meeting in Egypt’s capital, saying it would not lead to a just peace deal.

      “In a statement on Saturday, the pan-Arab bloc said it ‘rejects the US-Israeli ‘deal of the century’ considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.’

      “Arab states also agreed ‘not to…cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan,’ adding that Israel should not implement the initiative by force. They insisted on a two-state solution that includes a Palestinian state based on borders before the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. They also called for East Jerusalem to be the capital of the future Palestinian state.

      “The session was requested by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), who urged Arab nations to take a clear stance against Trump’s proposed plan.

      “The 181-page proposal was unveiled by Trump last week at the White House as he spoke standing next to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      “‘This is a disgrace'”
      “The plan, dubbed by Trump as the ‘deal of the century,’ was presented on Tuesday after being negotiated with Israel but with no input from the Palestinians, who had cut off all ties with the Trump administration after its 2017 decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

      “The proposed plan envisions the Israeli annexation of large swaths of the West Bank, including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley, giving Israel a permanent eastern border along the Jordan River.

      “‘They told me Trump wants to send me the deal of the century to read, I said I would not,’ Abbas told the meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.

      “‘Trump asked that I speak to him over the phone, so I said ‘no’, and that he wants to send me a letter, so I refused to receive it.’

      “Holding up a map that shows the gradual geographic reduction of Palestine through four stages from pre-1948 to Trump’s Middle East plan, Abbas said: ‘I challenge any of you, if you can even see us on the map. If you ask a child in first grade to draw Trump’s map he will never know how to.’

      “‘This is a disgrace,’ he added.

      “Reporting from Ramallah, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said many Palestinians there ‘might not even know that there is an Arab league meeting taking place.’

      “‘It doesn’t seem that the street is holding so much hope,’ she said.

      “‘Clear declaration’
      “Abbas said the Palestinians remain committed to ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

      “Trump’s plan also proposes making Abu Dis, just outside Jerusalem, the capital of a future Palestinian state, which was also instantly rejected by the Palestinians.

      “The Arab League’s head, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, said on Wednesday an initial study of the plan’s political framework showed that it ‘ignored legitimate Palestinian rights in the territories.’

      “He said the Palestinian response would be key in shaping a ‘collective Arab position’ on the plan, which he noted was a ‘non-binding US vision.’

      “In a tacit sign of support for the US initiative, ambassadors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Oman attended the unveiling of the plan in Washington. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Arab states that are close US allies, said they appreciated Trump’s efforts and called for renewed negotiations without commenting on the plan’s contents.

      “Egypt urged in a statement Israelis and Palestinians to ‘carefully study’ the plan. It said it favours a solution that restores all the ‘legitimate rights’ of the Palestinian people through establishing an ‘independent and sovereign state on the occupied Palestinian territories.’

      “Jordan warned against any Israeli ‘annexation of Palestinian lands’ and reaffirmed its commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines, which would include all the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. Qatar said it welcomed efforts to broker ‘long-standing and just peace’ but warned that was unattainable without concessions to the Palestinians.

      “Analysts said the ‘divided’ reaction from Arab states to Trump’s plan was no surprise, noting the main reason for support – whether strong or subtle – was to guarantee Washington’s backing against a common regional enemy, Iran.

      “‘The US-Iran brief military confrontation in January has convinced some Gulf countries that Washington is their only protector,’ Ramzy Baroud, a Palestinian author and journalist, told Al Jazeera.

      “‘Some Arabs have completely forsaken Palestine and are embracing Israel to fend against an imaginary Iranian threat,’ Baroud said.

      “Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, which traditionally championed the Palestinian cause, have cossied up to Israel in recent years as they see Iran as a bigger regional threat.

      “‘I think that what has been done is these people have adopted the approach that my enemy’s enemy is my friend,’ Diana Buttu, analyst and former legal adviser to Palestinian peace negotiators, told Al Jazeera.

      “‘And it shouldn’t have to neutralise Iran, or deal with Iran…It would come at the expense of the Palestinians,’ she said.

      • just on February 1, 2020, 7:14 pm

        Al Jazeera America opened their program with live coverage of this today. A welcome surprise from the rest of MSM.

        Now I read this in The Guardian:

        “Palestinians cut ties with Israel and US after rejecting Trump peace plan

        The Palestinian Authority has cut all ties with the US and Israel, including those relating to security, after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by Donald Trump, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said on Saturday.

        Abbas was in Cairo to address the Arab League, which backed the Palestinians.

        The blueprint, endorsed by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state that would exclude Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and remain under near-total Israeli security control.

        “We’ve informed the Israeli side … that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States including security ties,” Abbas told the one-day emergency meeting in Cairo, which was called to discuss Trump’s plan.

        Israeli officials had no immediate comment.

        Israel and Palestinian Authority security forces have long cooperated in policing areas of the occupied West Bank that are under Palestinian control. The Palestinian Authority also has intelligence cooperation agreements with the CIA, which continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting Trump’s peace efforts in 2017.

        Abbas said he had refused to discuss the plan by with Trump by phone, or to receive even a copy of it to study it.

        “Trump asked that I speak to him by phone but I said ‘no’, and that he wants to send me a letter … but I refused it,” he said.

        Abbas said he did not want Trump to be able to say he had been consulted. He reiterated his “complete” rejection of the Trump plan, presented on Tuesday.

        “I will not have it recorded in my history that I sold Jerusalem,” he said. ” …

        more @ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/01/palestinians-cut-ties-israel-us-trump-peace-plan

  2. brent on January 31, 2020, 1:55 pm

    Netanyahu did a brilliant job of humiliating Palestinian pride in his appearance at the White House and at first, blush accomplished his objective. He banked on an undiplomatic reaction to validate his claim they should not be trusted to manage a state.

    Abbas can check Netanyahu by calling national elections whereby Palestinians can establish a collective approach to resolving the conflict, and establish a mandate to move forward with.

    Abbas can also go the diplomatic route and accept Trump’s challenge “to come up with a counter offer”. “We’d look forward to that and we’re prepared to listen”, Pompeo said.

    A counter would necessarily have to address among considerations, the capital in Jerusalem, land swaps, how to deal with major settlement blocks, smaller settlements and their infrastructure/constructions, whether residents would get citizenship, rights of access for Jews within the state, having an army, and compensation/reparations for refugees (50 B).

    Possibly putting down a 4 year timeline with the understanding if negotiations were unsuccessful, a return to the PLO secular state would be in order. A state with full equality under the law, a constitution with minority and majority rights, culture and religious rights, separation of church and state and one person, one vote.

    Te best defense is a good offense. Putting the best foot forward.

    • Mooser on January 31, 2020, 3:12 pm

      “brent” is a “longtime follower of Palestine Question”.

      He’s followed Palestine Question longtime.

    • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 7:16 pm

      Brent: “Abbas can also go the diplomatic route and accept Trump’s challenge “to come up with a counter offer”. “We’d look forward to that and we’re prepared to listen”, Pompeo said.”

      Please Brent, don’t insult the intelligence of the Palestinians. All positions are allready known.

      Nothing is going to acually change except that the US is going to recognize Israel’s illegal annexation of the Jordan valley and is selling this as the deal of the century.That’s what this scam is all about.

      • brent on January 31, 2020, 8:43 pm

        Talkback: “All positions are allready known. (so inviting a counter offer is an insult?)

        I thought there has been a divided leadership who do not fully agree on points. Perhaps you’d educate on what lands Palestinians agreed upon in past talks to accept in an exchange for the major settlement blocks and where they stand today on land swap. Where? Would any settlers be welcomed as citizens of the Palestinian State? The infrastructures? What are the Jerusalem details?

        Abbas spoke quite some time back about moving from the two-state to the one-state approach if Israel didn’t seriously negotiate but didn’t go into details. A few days ago Erekat said if Israel annexed territory that would open the door to one person, one vote but didn’t add any details. Details would help may people understand the Palestinian vision?

        Trump’s vision was in detail. Why doesn’t it make sense for Abbas to engage diplomatically and articulate a counter offer? Why do thou protest?

      • eljay on January 31, 2020, 9:52 pm

        || brent: … Why doesn’t it make sense for Abbas to engage diplomatically and articulate a counter offer? … ||

        It does make sense to articulate a counter offer. But seeing as how Trump – a bought-and-paid-for Zionist – has already gifted to Israel…
        – most of occupied-and-colonized not-Israel (including Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley);
        – control over the remaining scraps of not-Israel; and
        – control of geographic Palestine’s exploitable on- and off-shore natural resources,
        …what exactly do the Palestinians have that they can use to “outsmart” Trump and get him to embrace justice, accountability and equality in I-P?

      • Talkback on February 1, 2020, 6:03 am

        Brent: ” (so inviting a counter offer is an insult?)”

        What a fine example of word twisting.

        Brent: “Perhaps you’d educate on …”

        Nope, not going to waste my time. The US knows Palestine’s position, rejects it in every points and is willing to recognize illegal annexation. Nobody can make reasonable offers to someone who is co-violating Security Council Resolution 242 an recognizing violations of international law, human rights and the right to self determination.

        You may believe that Israel or the US are interested in peace, but they are only interested in creating a situation to maintain the illegally prolonged occupation PLUS recognizing the illegal annexation of Palestinian land while blaming the Palestinans, because of their understandable rejection. This has been a Zionist strategy since 1947 and the “deal of the century” should be better called “Proposal for a Palestinian Bantustan and recognition of Israeli Apartheid in the 21st century”

      • Mooser on February 1, 2020, 5:14 pm

        “brent” because I think you mean well (ROTFL) let me give you a tip; what you are doing is called “equivalency hasbara“, and most everybody has been fed up to the back teeth with equivalency hasbara for years.

        If you want to argue for Israel and win, here’s “How to make the case for Israel- and win!”

  3. bcg on January 31, 2020, 2:07 pm

    Meanwhile, the Israeli right doesn’t like the plan because (apparently) it gives some sort of vague lip service to the very IDEA of a Palestinian state!

    Israel’s Minister of Communications Betzalel Smutritich, from the United Right Alliance, told Israeli TV Channel 12 today: “Trump’s plan is not good enough, and if we have to ratify it in the government or the Knesset, we will oppose it with all our strength. This is a plan at the end of which is the establishment of a Palestinian state, and this is something that we will not allow under any circumstance. The entire land of Israel is ours, and we will not give up any centimetre of it. This is true from Zionist, ethical, Jewish and certainly security perspectives, as witnesses the history of 100 years of Zionism.”

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200131-netanyahu-israeli-right-turns-against-deal-of-the-century/

  4. ckg on January 31, 2020, 2:23 pm

    And now the term ‘bantustan’ is trending like a hockey stick: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=US&q=bantustan

    • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 7:00 pm

      It’s trending world wide.

    • Ernie on February 3, 2020, 1:34 pm

      As if a Palestinian bantustan hasn’t been on the agenda since 1947, and even earlier, well before the Boers even thought of it! If Kushner or his ghostwriters had a new idea, that would be a real shock!

  5. Koshiro on January 31, 2020, 2:45 pm

    Some interesting things about this allegedly “comprehensive” “peace” “plan” (quotation marks are thankfully not a limited commodity):
    Search the PDF for “currency”: Zero hits.
    Search the PDF for “jurisdiction”: Zero hits.
    Search the PDF for “Palestinian nation” or “nation of Palestine”: Zero hits.
    Search the PDF for “equality”: Zero hits. (A few hits on “equal”, none of which relates to relations between humans.)

    “Sovereignty is an amorphous concept that has evolved over time” says the “plan”.

    Search the PDF for “sovereignty” in phrases like “Israel’s sovereignty”, “Israeli sovereignty”, “Israel’s undisputed [yet amorphous?] sovereignty”: Six hits.
    Search the PDF for “sovereignty” in phrases in any way connected with “Palestine” or “Palestinian”: Zero hits.

  6. bcg on January 31, 2020, 6:52 pm

    @Mondonut: So in your view, just how do rights get established? Can we pursue that question?

    • Talkback on January 31, 2020, 9:18 pm

      Again, mondonut won’t answer you. He just knows how to create straw arguments.

  7. Shiralee on January 31, 2020, 11:04 pm

    @Koshiro that was the thing I first noticed about the plan, no mention of the word Palestine nation or nation of Palestine. I knew it was a crock of shite strIght away. By the way @Mondonut I think you might need to brush up on your comprehension skills, they are severely lacking. To quote and old saying ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too.’

    • mondonut on February 1, 2020, 12:34 am

      @Shiralee, you can’t have your cake and eat it too

      OK, I’ll bite. What the hell is that supposed to mean?

      • Talkback on February 1, 2020, 5:09 pm

        to have or do two good things at the same time that are impossible to have or do at the same time

  8. Talkback on February 1, 2020, 7:42 am

    That was the first thing that you noticed? I couldn’t make it beyond page one of the introduction:

    “Palestinians have aspirations that have not been realized …, many Palestinians
    desire peace. … Israeli citizens have suffered greatly as a result of violence and terrorism, Israelis still desire peace.”

    So its was not the Palestinians who have suffered greatly from violence and terrorism and whose aspirations have not been realized, because of Israel’s illegaly prolonged occupation, but only the Israelis. And only “many” Palestinians – which translates to only a minority – desire peace, while on the other hand just being Israeli means, that they “still” desire peace as if Israel is not the occupier, but the occupied.

    I just can’t force myself to continue to read this trash.

  9. bcg on February 1, 2020, 9:01 am

    a) J Street has just created a web page analyzing the “peace plan” – whatever you think of J Street I think it’s a pretty good compilation of resources:

    https://jstreet.org/the-trump-peace-sham/?akid=162349.150310.G3XEec&rd=1&t=5#.XjWD2W5FyYN

    b) Mondonut,, in your view, just how do rights get established?

  10. Shiralee on February 1, 2020, 11:30 am

    @Mondonut your question just proves the point. see @bcg’s post.

  11. GusCall on February 1, 2020, 4:07 pm

    Let’s talk in terms of ethics, not international law, unless we’re arguing in court. The world public that informs itself about the Palestine-Zionism conflict can be reached by ethical argument. When we get into the ‘legal’ ins and outs, as in almost every entry in this thread, the discussion goes nowhere.
    Anyway, the law itself did not fall from heaven and has been created by human beings out of a mixture of power (interests) and ethics. It’s not ‘In the beginning was the law’. In the beginning are human beings with ethical ideas about human rights. The case for reclaiming Palestine for the Palestinians is strongest in the areas of morality and history – not international law.

    • bcg on February 1, 2020, 4:42 pm

      I completely agree. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Occupation is illegal under international law, but that whole approach just invites Alan Dershowitz to construct convoluted legal arguments about what Subsection 6, paragraph C of U.N. resolution 1,986 really says. And to expand a little on what you’ve said, the law is just a crystallization of power relations between people: the reason the law says that factory workers have to have bathroom breaks is because the factory workers were able to express power through unions, not because some cosmic God of justice declared it. My personal opinion is that the fight will be won when the person in the street understands the outrageous injustices Israel has committed, not when the legal experts all agree.

    • Talkback on February 1, 2020, 6:31 pm

      The best way to make a moral argument is to expose Zionist double standards. It’s cheap but effective. Just reverse roles and put Jews in the shoes of the Palestinians.

      Example: My peace proposal:

      Jews should get less than 20% of Palestine, especially large parts in the Negev, because we all know how they can make the desert bloom. Old Jerusalem will be the undivided Palestinian capital, Israel will be demilitarized and its borders and airspace controlled. Israel itself will only have limited souvereignity, like a South African bantustan. But all of this is only going to happen, if Jews meet the Palestinias security demands and don’t reject this plan, as they usually do.

      I dare any Zionist to say that this is a hateful proposal that only leads to war.

      • catalan on February 1, 2020, 8:08 pm

        “I dare any Zionist to say that this is a hateful proposal that only leads to war.” Talkback
        It’s what the proposal would be if the Jews had lost the wars. I assume the non-Jews would be thrilled by your hypothetical proposal. It’s just, whoever wins the wars and chooses the right side gets the better deal.

      • Nathan on February 1, 2020, 8:35 pm

        Talkback – I have to say that I really found your peace proposal to be very interesting. It reminded me of the White Paper of 1939. During the 1936-9 rebellion, the Palestinians demanded from the British government (1) an end of Jewish immigration, (2) to forbid the selling of land to Jews in Palestine and (3) political independence (statehood). In May 1939, the British government published its policy for Palestine in which it essentially accepted all three demands. However, the Arab High Council rejected the White Paper. In other words, they didn’t accept their own proposal.

        You propose, for example, that the “Jews should get less than 20% of Palestine, especially large parts in the Negev…” I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, and I had to read your proposal yet again. Can it be that Talkback actually proposes that the Jews get 20% of Palestine, even in jest? This would mean that Talkback actually gives some legitimacy to the Zionist idea. In other words, you are proposing a proposal that you yourself reject entirely. That’s called dishonesty.

      • Talkback on February 9, 2020, 12:41 pm

        @ catalan & Nathan

        It’s so hilarious that you don’t even recognize that I just inverted the Zionist “peace proposal”. It’s just too easy with you guys.

        Nathan: “Can it be that Talkback actually proposes that the Jews get 20% of Palestine, even in jest?”

        It would be just a “homeland” with limited souvereignity. More like a reservation, but you only projected your own dishonesty.

      • catalan on February 9, 2020, 4:26 pm

        “It’s so hilarious that you don’t even recognize that I just inverted the Zionist “peace proposal”.
        You are always in a fantasy making meaningless hypotheticals. Sure, the Palestinians would get a smaller part of the territory but that’s kind of what happens when you lose a war (in their case, multiple wars). Maybe if the Mufti had not conspired with Hitler to destroy the Jews but instead fought with the allies, things would be different. As it is, the Palestinians chose the losing side. I think few Israelis have any illusions what happens if Iran or Syria or Hamas wins the next war. Personally, I think the standard of living in the West Bank would improve immensely if they accept Trump’s plan. It’s not all they wanted but it never is. Albania for instance got about a third of all Albanian populated territory in 1913. And so with many places. Life is the art of accepting less than perfection.

      • Talkback on February 10, 2020, 8:53 am

        catalan: “You are always in a fantasy making meaningless hypotheticals.”

        I do a lot of things to make you look stupid.

        catalan: “Palestinians would get a smaller part of the territory but that’s kind of what happens when you lose a war (in their case, multiple wars). ”

        Nope. Since 1945 the acqusition of territory through war is anadmissable. Even according to the UN, Gaza, the West Bank and all of Jerusalem is occupied.

        catalan: “Maybe if the Mufti had not conspired with Hitler to destroy the Jews but instead fought with the allies, things would be different.”

        There were more Palestinians fighting against Nazism than following the Mufti:
        12,000 Palestinians Fought for U.K. in WWII Alongside Jewish Volunteers, Historian Finds
        https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-historian-12-000-palestinians-fought-for-u-k-in-wwii-alongside-jewish-volunteers-1.7309369

        Maybe if Zionist Jews had not the plan to take over Palestine and accepted the US truce proposal at the end of April 1948 instead of taking Palestine through war and expulsion, things would be different.

        catalan: “As it is, the Palestinians chose the losing side.”

        Actually they accepted the partition resolution as a fait accompli, but the Zionist Jews had always wanted all of Palestine.

        catalan: “Personally, I think the standard of living in the West Bank would improve immensely if they accept Trump’s plan.”

        That’s what the architects of South Africa’s Apartheid said about their Bantustan plans.

        catalan: “Life is the art of accepting less than perfection.”

        If that’s your way of describing the Nakba I don’t want you to describe the Holocaust.

      • just on February 10, 2020, 10:07 am

        Many thanks to you, ‘Talkback’ !!! Facts over fiction.

        Wow, bingo, and shazam!

      • catalan on February 10, 2020, 1:46 pm

        “Since 1945 the acqusition of territory through war is anadmissable. “ talkback
        Well, inadmissible or not it happens and it will happen. You are like a child that thinks that words can change reality. Unless you can defeat the Israeli Air Force, navy and army, the acquisition of land will continue. At least Hamas is honest about what they want – your sophistry is just intolerable.

      • Talkback on February 10, 2020, 3:35 pm

        Catalan: “Well, inadmissible or not it happens and it will happen.”

        Yes, like the Nazis.

        Catalan: “You are like a child that thinks that words can change reality.”

        You are like an adult that just can’t stop lying. Try breathing instead. It could improve your brain functions.

        Catalan: “Unless you can defeat the Israeli Air Force, navy and army, the acquisition of land will continue.”

        That’s what other Apartheid states thought, too. And went they went too far they lost support and went down. Why don’t you listen to Israeli politians who know very well what is going to happen as soon as Palestinians will change theif fight for a two state to a fight against Apartheid.

        Well I’m quite happy that you joined Nathan in his fist law approach. I mean there’s nothing to justify Apartheid Israel or its creation after all.

      • Mooser on February 10, 2020, 3:55 pm

        You bet “catalan”! The answer to Israel’s problems is always more bigotry, more defiance and more violence. Oh, and more dependence on the US.

      • RoHa on February 11, 2020, 1:34 am

        A couple more pieces about the Palestine Regiment. I find it surprising that so many Arabs were willing to join the British Army when that same army had just been suppressing the Arab Revolt.

        https://www.countercurrents.org/fisk171103.htm

        https://www.jta.org/1942/08/07/archive/palestine-regiment-of-jews-arabs-to-be-formed-war-secretary-rejects-jewish-army

        Also worth noting is why the Regiment was disbanded. It ws broken up by the Zionists.

        “But within months the Haganah … infiltrated the regiment and persuaded its Jewish servicemen … to replace the Union Jack over their camp with the Star of David. The British called it the “Flag Mutiny’ and disbanded the Palestine Regiment. “

    • RoHa on February 2, 2020, 12:59 am

      Since my knowledge of law is derived from TV courtroom dramas, I have always preferred to argue on the basis of morality.

      But the biggest problem with that is that Zionists do not grasp the fundamental idea of morality, and many of their supporters are politicians or have had their moral sense bludgeoned out of them by repeated charges of “anti-Semite”.

      The moral appeal has to be to the rest of the population.

    • catalan on February 10, 2020, 5:54 pm

      “The answer to Israel’s problems is always more bigotry, more defiance and more violence.” Mooser
      I never said that and I don’t believe that. I think there is no”answer” to the human problems of strife, inequality, disease and conflict. The secret of Israel’s success is simply a sort of pragmatism – focus, work, and do the best you can. If there is a realistic way out of the quagmire with the Palestinians, I think it will happen. The current demands of Hamas, etc, are simply not going to be met except by violence. Everyone has their red lines.

      • Talkback on February 11, 2020, 8:47 am

        catalan: “The secret of Israel’s success is simply a sort of pragmatism – focus, work, and do the best you can.”

        No, the secret of Israel’s “success” is the complete disregard of international law, human rights and anythine else that could be described as being humane. That and intensive lobbyism while pulling the antisemitism and Holocaust card whenever needed.

  12. Nathan on February 1, 2020, 8:09 pm

    The Palestinians have announced that they will present their counter-proposal. If they indeed do so, the publication of the American plan will be a gigantic success. It would be nice to hear the Palestinians committing themselves to ending the conflict with Israel (no matter what their conditions might be). It’s hard to believe that the Palestinians will define their vision of ending the conflict. An end of conflict with Israel means that they will have accepted the legitimacy of Israel, so don’t hold your breath. Their counter-proposal (if it will materialize) will be a very long list of demands, but there won’t be a mentioning that the conflict is over. My guess is that there won’t be a counter-proposal, but I’d be happy to be wrong and to find out that the Palestinians have a proposal that defines their vision of living in peace with Israel.

    The above article complains twice about the “Oslo regime”. The distinguished author should be reminded that the Oslo Agreement was accepted and signed by both sides. As a professor of international law, it should be obvious to our author that an agreement between the two sides is fundamentally important. If the Oslo Agreement is illegitimate, then the conclusion is that there is no point in negotiating agreements in the future. Actually, it would have made sense if our author had based his criticism of the American plan on the fact that it contradicts Oslo (which asserts that the issues of refugees, borders, Jerusalem and settlements have to be negotiated – not dictated). If you feel that Oslo’s approach of a negotiated solution is no good, then the American approach of a dictated solution shouldn’t be too surprising.

    • eljay on February 1, 2020, 9:30 pm

      || Nathan: … An end of conflict with Israel means that they will have accepted the legitimacy of Israel … ||

      An end of conflict with Israel should mean that the Palestinians accept the existence of Israel. It should not mean that they accept that Israel came about legitimately (because it didn’t), and it most definitely doesn’t mean that they accept – or should have to accept – Israel’s Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism, its past and on-going (war) crimes or its ill-gotten gains.

      (Supremacists have this bizarre belief that just because they think their shit doesn’t stink nobody smells it.)

      • Talkback on February 2, 2020, 5:52 am

        I would like to hear from Nathan, if the establishment of a “Jewish” state (which is not a state for all of its citizens) in most of the US through war against and expulsion of its Nonjewish majority is legitimate after 1945.

    • Talkback on February 2, 2020, 5:24 am

      Nathan: ” It would be nice to hear the Palestinians committing themselves to ending the conflict with Israel (no matter what their conditions might be).”

      Yes, it would be even nice to hear the occupying Apartheid state of Israel commiting itself to being interested in ending the conflict with the Palestinians (instead of imposing its conditions through illegaly prolonged occupation), constitutionally enshrining the right to equality and abiding to international and human rights law.

      Nathan:: “It’s hard to believe that the Palestinians will define their vision of ending the conflict.”

      It’s harder to believe that occupying Apartheid state of Israel is going to stop being one, return illegally annexed and illegally confiscated territory and abide by international law and human rights in general even if you are willing to identify the Palestinian’s vision of ending the conflict that has allready existed for decades.

      Nathan: “The above article complains twice about the “Oslo regime”. The distinguished author should be reminded that the Oslo Agreement was accepted and signed by both sides.”

      Oslo was about ending the occupier’s illegally prolonged occupation within five years, not illegally prolonging it for another 25 years and actually illegally prolonging it forever while pretending that a Palestinan bantustan is not a variation of Israel’s illegally prolonged occupation.

      Nathan: “An end of conflict with Israel means that they will have accepted the legitimacy of Israel, so don’t hold your breath.”

      They have allready recognized the the occupying state 25 years ago. An end of conflict with Palestine means that the occupying state will have to recognize the State of Palestine under its occupation, so don’t hold your breath.

      But someone must have hijacked Nathan’s account, because the Nathan I know says that it is competely irrelevant if existence fo the occupying Apartheid state is legitimate or not, because it’s existence is a fact. ROFL. Well, that “state as a fact” approach was easy to debunk.

      But since we are talking about it. Maybe it would be much easier to accept an alleged legitimacy of the occupying Apartheit state, if you or Israel would be able to defined it and without turning it into a Jews-are-oh-so-special case.

      i’m going to make it easy for you. How about starting to legitimize its territorial expansion beyond the the borders in which it declared statehood (which wer along the lines of resolution 181), the denial of the Palestinins right to return and its institutionalized Apartheid character which states that Israel si not the state of all of its citizens, but Jews-only.

      Nathan: “Their counter-proposal (if it will materialize) will be a very long list of demands, but there won’t be a mentioning that the conflict is over.”

      What a stupid side show. Has the occupying state EVER claimed in ANY of its oh-so-generous-that-it-hurts peace proposals that the conflict will be over?

      Just check all of its “peace proposals” since 1993. A Palestinian bantustan doesn’t end the conflict but its just the occupier’s modification of an illegally prolonged occupation. The occupying state has NEVER accepted a two state solution since 1947. Even back than the Jewish’s Agency proposal at the UN was to put Palestine under Jewish control and if necessary by force, if the UN accepts this proposal. The UN didn’t, but that didn’t stop the Jewish Apartheid Agency to implement its goal through terrorism, war and expulsion, And it won’t stop the nationalized version of this criminal organisation tomorrow or the day after.

  13. echinococcus on February 1, 2020, 8:20 pm

    Why could they say it leads to war, when you give them 20% of the territory, on top of the 0% that the Zionists have a right to be on? When you let them have any borders or airspace, to which they have absolute zilch right?

    As always, you are way too generous.

  14. Ernie on February 2, 2020, 1:08 am

    After plowing through this whole thread, I was refreshed to find GusCall and bcg’s sensible contributions. I hate to find myself in agreement with Mondonut, but s/he’s right to think International Law a dog’s breakfast and GA resolutions do not have the force of law. That said, it’s not because professors of International Law are muddled; they’re muddled because of their subject matter, so it’s not amazing. Or was that supposed to be sarcastic?

    Anyway, here’s my two bob:

    1. I endeavour to operate on the basis of a principle of human solidarity. If I am the victim of an action I experience as unjust, it is equally unjust whoever does it – even me. The principle pertains regardless of any treaty, declaration, convention, or UN resolution.

    2. If I leave my residence for any reason whatsoever and you prevent me from returning until I satisfy some condition you set, I would call that unjust, whatever the Magna Carta, the UDHR, the ICCPR, UNGAR 194, or anything else may say.

    3. Under Chapter IV of the UN Charter (https://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-iv/index.html), the force of a General Assembly resolution is a recommendation. Assuming, however, for the sake of argument, that a GA resolution has the force of law, surely all resolutions have the same force.

    4. So to assert that UNGAR 194 establishes the right of return in International Law would imply that UNGAR 273 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Resolution_273) establishes that ‘Israel is a peace loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations’, even after noting Israel’s declarations and explanations (https://web.archive.org/web/20120203124136/http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/85255a0a0010ae82852555340060479d/1db943e43c280a26052565fa004d8174?OpenDocument#Mr.%20EBAN%20(Israel)%20understood%20tha), among many other things.

    5. If the right of return derives from UNGAR 194, then it is explicitly conditional. The refugees are not to be permitted to return until ‘the earliest practicable date’ and only if they wish to ‘live at peace with their neighbours’. It is silent on what it would mean to live at peace, who determines whether that is their true wish, or when the earliest practicable date will occur.

    6. Israel’s position has always been that ‘responsibility lay with the Arab States which, by virtue of having proclaimed and initiated the war which had rendered those refugees homeless, were under moral obligation to take a full share in the solution of their problem’. They aver, ‘those who wished to “live in peace with their neighbours”, should be permitted to return to their homes, clearly presupposed a situation of peace and excluded the possibility of a renewal of hostilities…the “earliest practicable date” was also a definite acknowledgment of the fact that the restoration of normal conditions was essential to any fruitful discussion on the proportion of refugees willing and able to return’.

    7. That is certainly a cynical and casuistical reading of 194, but it satisfied the UN General Assembly less than six months later and has never been successfully challenged. To construe Article 11 of 194 as if the right to return was unconditional, or that Israel and the GA misinterpreted them, effectively negates 194’s status as International Law. Similarly, to reject Israel’s admission to UN membership under 273 undermines any claim that GA resolutions constitute International Law.

    8. Even assuming one could construct a plausible argument that the really and truly correct interpretation of 194 was that all the refugees possess a right to return unconditionally, it is worth observing that those who have exercised that right have had to do so surreptitiously, and few, if any, have returned to their actual homes. Seventy-one years down the track, that raises the uncomfortable question of what the nature and status is of a right that you can only enjoy by stealth, or posthumously, if at all.

    9. Ultimately, it comes down to who is empowered to interpret International Law. A lot of people seem to assume that they are, often, as in the case of 194, without reference to the UN Charter, the text of the resolution itself, or alternative interpretations. If we can pick and choose which bits of which resolutions, declarations, covenants, conventions, etc. we like, and how to parse them, that’s not much of a law.

    10. If, on the other hand, we relinquish that responsibility to the International Court of Justice, or the International Criminal Court, and the Security Council, they are overwhelmingly likely to vindicate patently unjust principles.

    That’s why I would never cite International Law or any other law as a reason for endorsing or opposing anything. Where the law agrees with solidarity or justice, it’s usually coincidental.

    • Talkback on February 4, 2020, 1:47 pm

      Ernie: “It is silent on what it would mean to live at peace, …”

      It simply means that they are willing to accept to live as Israelis and won’t fight to reunite/liberate Palestine.

      Ernie: “… who determines whether that is their true wish, …”

      If it weren’t their true wish, there’s always a prison. But those who actually managed to return where amongst the most peaceful citizens of Israel.

      Ernie: “… or when the earliest practicable date will occur.”

      It simply means as soon as possible as the military situation allows it. There were still some hostilities going on in Palestine and it wouldn’t have been safe to return to a town/village in which fighting still occured.

      • Ernie on February 5, 2020, 1:44 am

        Thanks for clearing that up for me, Talkback. I’m looking forward to the triumphant return of the refugees and watching the war criminals led off to the hoosgow, after forking over crippling reparations.

        Or were you just trying to underscore my point?

  15. just on February 2, 2020, 4:25 am

    Diana Buttu in today’s Guardian speaks to international law and more:

    “What we Palestinians think does not matter – all that matters is Israel …

    The message of Donald Trump’s Middle East ‘peace plan’ is that international law can be bypassed …

    …. Throughout all of the negotiations of the past two decades, Israeli desires were always placed ahead of Palestinian rights. Israel always disguised its insatiable appetite for Palestinian land as being a “security” or “demographic” concern – a polite way of saying that Israel does not want any non-Jewish Palestinians in its midst, which Palestinians were always required to accommodate. For example, while ample attention was always paid to Israeli security, Palestinians were to be content living in a demilitarised state, with no means of defence and with Israel and its armed settlers retaining the right to invade Palestinian cities as it pleases. Israel’s “demographic concerns” are to be met by redrawing boundaries in order to accommodate illegal Israeli settlements while denying Palestinians the right to return simply because they are not Jewish. Israel’s desire to have Jerusalem as its “undivided, eternal capital” results in international law being ignored, and Palestine’s capital is in a distant suburb cut off from holy sites and its economic hub.

    This attitude is reflected in the Trump plan’s vision for Palestinian citizens of Israel as well. Since the establishment of Israel on 78% of Mandate Palestine in 1948, some leading Israelis have lamented that they did not expel all Palestinians, with 150,000 remaining in what became Israel. Those 150,000 now number 1.8 million, amounting to 21% of Israel’s population, treated as a fifth column, with more than 60 laws discriminating against them.

    The Trump plan provides that major Palestinian towns inside Israel will become part of the “Palestinian state”. No Palestinians in Israel were consulted over the plan and Israeli officials appear shocked that Palestinians are not wholeheartedly endorsing this idea.

    This colonial attitude – in which Israel and the US know what is best for Palestinians – remained unchallenged for decades, during which time I often heard Israelis balk at the thought of equality, with representatives of the EU and other countries following suit. We were told how “unrealistic” it was to require Israel to comply with international law and how “necessary” the US was in securing an agreement. Allowing this colonial attitude to prevail has led to more than five decades of Palestinians requiring Israeli permission for virtually all of life’s necessities and pleasures – including things as commonplace as seeing loved ones, getting an education, accessing medical care, building a home or seeing the sea. It is cruel that Palestinians have had to endure this colonial arrogance, only to appease Israel’s insatiable appetite for Palestinian land.

    To be clear, this is not just about Palestine, but about international legal order as we know it. Rewarding Israel for stealing Palestinian land and aiding Israel in ethnically cleansing the indigenous Palestinian population will have untold consequences internationally, with dictatorships around the world being sent the message that they, too, can do as they please and that they, too, will be rewarded.

    The world’s colonial history and Israel’s colonial present must become a thing of the past. But it isn’t just Israel that must be held to account: all states that have ever demanded that Palestinians make “concessions” for the sake of “peace” should understand that peace cannot come through accommodating Israeli desires but by embracing equality.

    Just as the world would never accept that Tel Aviv become tradeable, so too Palestinian cities, towns and land are not tradeable. Just as the world would never accept a demilitarised Israel, it should not demand that Palestinians be unable to defend themselves from an aggressive Israel.

    As Israel pushes ahead with annexing the West Bank, I fear I will continue to hear the same international condemnations I’ve heard for the past 25 years, since the start of the Oslo process. These will do nothing to change the colonial mentality of Israel and the US and will only continue to demonstrate to Palestinians that force, might and bullying – and not law – are paramount.”

    more @ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/02/israel-us-palestine-what-palestinians-think-does-not-matter

  16. Shiralee on February 4, 2020, 9:12 am

    Here’s what @Nathan’s, more than a little disingenuous, take on the White paper left out…..
    On 17 March 1939, Weizmann sent a letter to MacDonald: “The Jewish delegation, having given profound consideration to the proposals placed before it by His Majesty’s Government on 15 March 1939, regrets that it is unable to accept them as a basis for agreement, and has therefore decided to disband.”

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