Israel's LEGAL RIGHT to Judea and Samaria under International Law


By Michael Gottlieb
June 27, 2011
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Believe it or not...

Israel's Legal Right to Samaria is enshrined in International Law!

A cold, hard look at the law reveals an undeniable if inconvenient (for some) truth: Israel and the Jewish People have full sovereign rights to Judea and Samaria. A fair and objective analysis of the various post-WWI agreements, decisions, conferences, treaties, declarations, covenants and conventions regarding the Question of Palestine (not to be confused with today's made-up "Palestine" that the "Palestinians" claim as theirs) can only lead to this conclusion.

The most significant of these decisions was the San Remo Resolution of 1920, which recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine. The outcome of this declaration gave birth to the "Mandate for Palestine," an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, in San Remo, the nations of the world had formally obligated themselves not only to establish a Jewish state on the historic Jewish Homeland but also to facilitate its development as well (see Article 6 of the still-binding Mandate for Palestine). This plainly means that today's Israeli settlements are in fact 100% legal and that the accusation of "occupation" is completely false. Back then, the concept of a "Palestinian People" was unheard of and "Palestine" referred only to a Levantine region and never to an Arab nation or state. Believe it or not.

So if the world ratified into international law that a Jewish state be established within the boundaries of Mandatory Palestine, how is it we hear nothing about this today? Why has this truth completely disappeared from today's narrative? By what right do the nations of the world shirk their obligations and deny the State of Israel and the Jewish people their due? Suffice to say that if the truth, any truth, is not actively preserved and if the facts are forgotten, falsity and misinformation fill the vacuum. That is why "Palestinian rights", "Israeli occupation" and "1967 borders" dominate the headlines today.

The Legal Right: Following the WWI defeat of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations (precursor to the U.N.) decided to divide up the huge landmass of the vanquished Ottomans as follows: a mandate, or trusteeship, for France (Lebanon and Syria) and a mandate for Britain (Iraq and Palestine [comprised of what is today Israel, Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jordan]). The legal position of the whole of Palestine was clearly defined in several international agreements, the most important of which was the one adopted in April 1920 at the San Remo Conference, attended by the Principal Allied Powers (Council of Four). It decided to assign the Mandate for Palestine under the League of Nations to Britain. Two years later an agreed text was confirmed by the League and came into operation in September 1923. In Article 2 of that document, the League of Nations declared that

"The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble.”

The preamble clearly stated that

"recognition has hereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

It was on this basis that the British Mandate was established. The San Remo Agreement was the last legally binding international decision regarding the rights to the land in the West Bank of Jordan and thus, according to international law which is still binding to this day, these parts, Judea and Samaria, belong to Israel and the Jewish People, period.

The significance for Israel and the Jewish People of San Remo cannot be overestimated. None other than Chaim Weizman, the Zionist leader of that time, declared:

"The San Remo decision...is the most momentous political event in the whole history of our (Zionist) movement, and, it is perhaps, no exaggeration to say in the whole history of our people since the Exiles"

Powerful words indeed, yet regrettably so unfamiliar. It makes one wonder just how many of today's "Middle East experts", journalists and opinion makers know the details of this and other important agreements of that era? How many have even a rudimentary understanding of San Remo's historical and legal importance?

This four minute video will give you the basics about the San Remo Conference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijS8mFP4I1A

Renowned scholar and jurist Dr. Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian attorney specializing in international law as it applies to Israel and the territory she holds, spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem. The video below is a segment of his address to the ICEJ conference in Jerusalem, September 2010 (see his entire address here). Invest 16 minutes of your time to watch as he eloquently and passionately encapsulates Israel's legal foundation for her right to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. A must-view video for those who really want to understand Israel's legal rights to Judea and Samaria and the legitimacy of the settlements therein.

See minutes 34:12 to 50:02 of this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55GR84ITI6w

The dissolution of the League of Nations in 1946 in no way altered the Jewish People's rights to Judea and Samaria, given to them by the nations of the world, first in San Remo, then in the provisions of the Mandate for Palestine. When the United Nations was established, Article 80 of its charter clearly specified that rights previously granted by the League would be legally binding.

In the aftermath of the defensive war of June 1967, forty-five years after the League of Nations Declaration in San Remo, Israel retrieved some of her rightful possessions of the territories assigned to the Jewish People as a National Home. How her possession of her own homeland can be called the "Occupation of Palestinian territories" is beyond explanation. What is tragic is that the Jews themselves have adopted this usage and made it a cornerstone of their own national policy.

This excerpt was taken from the Shomron Central blog. See the whole blog here:

http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/

COMMENTS

Joe Millis

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 11:21

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Legal right, schmegal right. Unless Israel gives up the occupied territories and the toxic settlement movement, it will cease to be a Jewish and democratic state. The end of Zionism, End of.


Michael Gottlieb

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 13:18

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C'mon Joe, you can't be THAT dense. If you read my words with an open mind, you'd see that my point is that there IS NO OCCUPATION precisely because Israel has exclusive (yes, exclusive)legal rights to the land. It's not my opinion but a legal fact. I can quote you chapter and verse why this is so. If you'd like to argue the point of a Jewish vs. a democratic state, then fine, we can debate that. But you can't dismiss ("legal right,schmegal right")the fact that the Jewish People were assigned, under the British Mandate, western Palestine as a national homeland. This international decision was ratified into law in 1923 and is binding to this day. You can't dance your way out of that.


Joe Millis

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 14:39

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There is an occupation. Plain and simple. Israel is militarily occupying the West Bank and placing there settlements. These settlements are toxic and have poisoned the debate within Israel and between Israel and world Jewry. It is because of these settlements that a growing number of Jews around the world are dissociating from Israel.
And a growing number of middle-class Israelis - you know, the productive sector in the society - are seeking the papers of their ancestors in order to get EU passports.
Israel is ceasing to be the state of all the Jewish nation, and becoming the state of the Orthodox and ultra-nationalist among the Jews. And quite frankly, the way it is going, Israel is beginning to lose the moral right to speak for the Jews.
And It is because of these settlements that Israel now controls the lives of more non-Jews than Jews, with most of the former not enjoying the same political and other rights of the latter.
That's the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. That's the end of Israel. End of.


Michael Gottlieb

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 15:27

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Please permit me to respond by quoting from my blog:

"Occupation" Myth:

"OCCUPATION". How many times must we hear that again?! This harsh, loaded and damaging term has unfortunately
worked its way into the daily discourse about Israel to the point where people use it automatically and without considering its ramifications. Use of this expression serves the interests of Israel's enemies by not only delegitimizing the Jewish claim to Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. "occupied territories") but by also weakening the Jewish claim to all of Israel, in its entirety. It throws into question the legality and morality of Israeli sovereignty over pre-1967 Israel no less than it denies Israel's right to the "West Bank". More so, actually. Because when you think about it, if the Jewish People have no claim to ancient Biblical Shechem (Nablus), the principal Samarian city intimately linked to Jewish history ever since the time of Abraham, then a fortiori they certainly cannot claim Tel Aviv, a modern day creation of no historical, national or religious significance. From a legal standpoint, both Tel Aviv and Shechem clearly belong to the Jewish People. Yet the moral Jewish claim to Shechem is arguably stronger. This is a subtle but crucial point consistently missed by the Left. By bashing the settlements, the Left is actually shooting itself (and all the rest of us) in the foot. Claiming Tel Aviv while renouncing Shechem, as they do, is illogical, misguided and harmful. In fact, there's no difference between Israel proper and the "West Bank". There never was. Both were recognized, by international agreements subsequently ratified into law, to comprise the Homeland for the Jewish People. Ironically, it is the rest of the world which recognizes this inconsistency, albeit unconsciously. They sense that Israel is not being true to herself. They feel she is not living up to her true potential, not fulfilling her true role in the world. Maybe that's the real reason why Israel is universally held in such low regard.

Bottom line: there is no and never was any "occupation" of "Palestine". This patently false charge has NO BASIS in either fact or law and has been hugely damaging to Israel's morale, self-image, sense of purpose and of course its public image. Here's a direct quote from Stephen Schwebel, former head of the International Court of Justice in the Hague:

"Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully [Jordan's 1948-1967 occupation of Judea and Samaria], the state which subsequently takes that territory [Israel] in the lawful exercise of self-defense [1967 War] has, against that prior holder, better title." - Stephen Schwebel, "What Weight to Conquest," American Journal of International Law, vol. 64 (1970) pp. 345-347

If you do nothing else, be sure to click here: http://www.amisraelchai-eretz.com/occupation.htm

for this required reading.


Joe Millis

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 15:38

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Israel has no claim to the occupied territories, unless it wants to forfeit being a democratic state and be just the state of the Orthodox Jews. That's the bottom line.


JonOtway

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 16:18

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There is no problem here. You have a legal right to the land, quit prevaricating. Just take it. You have the power. Ooops but then you would be stuck with the people too, and that wouldn't do at aall would it.


JonOtway

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 16:18

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There is no problem here. You have a legal right to the land, quit prevaricating. Just take it. You have the power. Ooops but then you would be stuck with the people too, and that wouldn't do at aall would it.


JonOtway

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 16:23

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But in fact nothing and no one can accrue legal rights before they existed. I cannot have accrued legal rights before I was born and Israel cannot have accrued loegal rights before it existed. But no matter take it be my guest. Good luck.


Michael Gottlieb

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 16:31

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Jon,

The legal rights were given at San Remo and provided for by the Mandate for Palestine, to the Jewish People, recognizing their historic rights to their homeland. Israel (state) was a logical outgrowth. Of course Mr. Millis would probably consider tht growth as cancerous.


JonOtway

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 16:37

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Israel is not the Jewish people. The outgrowth maybe logical but I am afraid Michael you are spouting crapola


JonOtway

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 16:37

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no offence


JonOtway

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 16:46

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And even if one accepts that various happenings entitled a future State of Israel to the west bank....Parliament is sovereign but no parliament can bind future parliaments. A present parliament is more sovereign then past parliaments. The stuff you refer to has been long overtaken by events and international law institutions. But like I say just take it, I know of loads of Palestinians that would love to live in Tel Aviv and will do so in exercise their democratic rights as citizens of Greater Israel to do just that.

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