Monday, December 21, 2015

Settlement: Check international law - Ze'ev Jabotinsky

by Ze'ev Jabotinsky

The arguments put forth by the Foreign Ministry are welcome but hardly convincing. The truth is that international law is squarely on Israel's side.

This month, it was reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely initiated the wording of an official document that would for the first time present Israel's legally supported position that settlement beyond the Green Line is completely legal and does not violate international law. The document will explain that decision by arguing that the territory did not belong to any lawful sovereign power and was therefore conquered in a defensive war. Likewise, the document rejects arguments of colonialism because of thousands of years of Jewish connection to the area. This legal opinion will be sent out to Israel's embassies and to various world leaders. 

The initiative should be welcomed, because the only way to lessen the process of delegitimizing Israel in the world is by presenting the truth, outlined in a document, at the center of the international debate. But despite this, in my opinion the document does not do what it is designed to: convince. It's much easier to convince people using the fact that according to international law today, no entity other than the Jewish people has a right to any sovereignty whatsoever over any territory in any of the land of Israel west of Jordan. 

This can be seen from the professional legal standpoint that the State of Israel claimed the rights unanimously granted by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, when it ratified the British Mandate over all of the land of Israel. That vote put into international law the right of the Jewish people to revive its homeland in all of the land of Israel. The State of Israel fulfilled the point of the Mandate before the latter ended. David Ben-Gurion declared the foundation of the state a day before the Mandate ended, thereby inheriting the state with the aforementioned rights. The U.N. invoked Article 80 of its charter to limit any change to the national rights granted to the Jewish people, and so the decision of the General Assembly on November 29 violated a clear article of the charter. So it has no legal validity. The situation is the same for any law, even those passed by the U.N. Security Council, that contradict the sovereign rights granted to the Jewish people in 1922. 

This argument is supported by experts in international law, such as Dr. Jacques Gauthier of Canada, who spent 20 years on a doctoral thesis that proves in detail the above claim as it pertains to the whole of Jerusalem. The University of Geneva approved the results of the in-depth research and granted him a doctorate in law. That thesis stood up to a close academic examination of its international legal aspects, in the most objective place in the world. 

The conclusion of the research is irrefutable: According to international law, only Jews have the right to sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Those same arguments apply to all of the land of Israel west of Jordan, too -- including Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Normative people in the Western world put great importance on respecting international law. Therefore, because international law is on our side, it's the most effective tool for bringing sectors who were fooled by our enemies to think that we have no rights to do what we do over to our side.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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