The legal aspects of coming into possession of the territories – 2nd Part of 2
By Eli E. Hertz
UN "Inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force"
Most UN General Assembly Resolutions regarding
"Aware of the established principle of international law on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force."
Professor, Judge Schwebel, a former President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), explains that the principle of "acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible" must be read together with other principles:20
"… namely, that no legal right shall spring from a wrong, and the Charter principle that the Members of the United Nations shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State."
Simply stated: Arab illegal aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of
Judge Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice, argued in 1968 that:21
"… territorial change cannot properly take place as a result of the 'unlawful' use of force. But to omit the word 'unlawful' is to change the substantive content of the rule and to turn an important safeguard of legal principle into an aggressor's charter. For if force can never be used to effect lawful territory change, then, if territory has once changed hands as a result of the unlawful use of force, the illegitimacy of the position thus established is sterilized by the prohibition upon the use of force to restore the lawful sovereign. This cannot be regarded as reasonable or correct."
Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, stated:22
"Territorial Rights Under International Law. ... By their [Arab countries] armed attacks against the State of Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and by various acts of belligerency throughout this period, these Arab states flouted their basic obligations as United Nations members to refrain from threat or use of force against
Columbia University Law Professor George Fletcher further clarified those points, after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called
"Annan, Fletcher suggested, is trying to redefine the Middle East conflict by calling "
2007 © Eli E. Hertz
Kofi Annan became victim to the 'Occupation' mantra his own organization has repeated over and over in its propaganda campaign to legitimize the Arab position.
UN Security Council Resolutions 242 or 338
Because the Arabs were clearly the aggressors, nowhere in UN Security Council Resolutions 242 or 338 – the cornerstones of a peace settlement – is
Resolutions 242 and 338 both rest on the concept of lawful occupations and acknowledge the current legal status of western
Strategically, the West Bank juts into
West Bank villagers played a key role in this first stage of the 1948 war, when organized armed gangs based on geographic and familial affinity cut off or overran isolated Jewish settlements and laid siege to
Nearly all of the above legal commentary regarding 'wars of aggression' were written long before the Palestinian Authority, a semi-autonomous political entity, launched a vicious guerilla war against Israel in October 2000, but the insights and opinions voiced, beg the question - whether Palestinians as well should not be considered accountable for their repeated aggression when it comes to setting "secure and recognized borders"?
1 "From Mandate to Partition, Lessons Learned or Mistakes Repeated – The United Nations and
http://www.badil.org/Publications/Bulletins/B_3.html. In this critique, the magazine justifies rejection of the Partition Plan in 1947, then blames the UN for not stepping in to
2007 © Eli E. Hertz
enforce it in 1948 when Palestinians began to lose the war, charging that the refugee problem was "the consequences of inaction by the UN."
2 "Back to the Future: NPR Rewrites Israel's War of Independence" citing A. J. Barker, The Arab Israeli Wars, October 9, 2002, at:
3 For a study of the struggle to obtain arms for the state in the making, see Leonard Slater, "The Pledge," Simon and Schuster, 1970.
4 Between November 30, 1947 – July 20, 1949.
5 For an overview of this, see Yoav Gelber, "Why Did the Palestinians Run Away in 1948?" December 10, 2002, History News Network, at: http://hnn.us/articles/782.html.
6 UN Security Council 69 (S/RES/69, 4 March 1949. See: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/ccf3096aa8f1bb8d852560c2005da665?OpenDocument.
UN General Assembly 273 (III) A/RES/273, 11 May 1949. See: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/83e8c29db812a4e9852560e50067a5ac?OpenDocument.
7 Cited in "Occupied Territories: Forgotten Facts About the West Bank and
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/2/DISPUTED TERRITORIES- Forgotten Facts About the We.htm.
8 See: http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapter7.htm.
9 In 1999, at the height of optimism regarding an impending settlement, 80 percent of the public in neighboring countries supported continuing the conflict and 54 percent wanted
10 Moshe Dayan, Milestones, 1976, Yediot Ahronot Publishers, p. 578.
11 Carta's Atlas of Israel: The Third Decade 1971-1981, p.130. By comparison, in the Six-Day War – a three-front war, not a two-front war,
12 Professor, Judge Schwebel has served on the
13 See UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 in the chapter "Definition of Aggression".
For a recent reexamination of the Six-Day War and how it came to be, see Michael Oren, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, Oxford University Press, 2002, at: http://www.shalem.org.il/oren/index.htm. For a 50-page excerpt, see: http://www.shalem.org.il/oren/book.doc. For an in-depth article by Michael Oren – "Did
2007 © Eli E. Hertz
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/SearchResults.htm?strSearch=disputed%20territories. Troop concentrations cited by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abba Eban in the Security Council in the aftermath of the war.
14 See Cato Policy Analysis No. 159; The Suez Crisis, 1956, "Ancient History": U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention, by senior editor Sheldon L. Richman. See: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html. In Time.com, see the section titled "Time 100" and dedicated to the most important people of the 20th century, including the section devoted to David Ben-Gurion and describing UN deliberation over the war of 1956 – The Sinai Campaign, states: "At this point, France's Premier Guy MoDd and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau arrived in
15 See Jordan official Website: "The Disaster of 1967" at:
16 See Jordan official Web site: "The Disaster of 1967" at:
17 See "
18 Moshe Dayan, ibid, p. 439.
19 Professor, Judge Schwebel, "Justice in International Law,"
20 Ibid. Professor, Judge Schwebel in What Weight to Conquest?
21 See "
23 George P. Fletcher is a professor at Columbia University School of Law and author of Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism. See "Annan's Careless Language," The New York Times, March 21, 2002, at: http://www.uscj.org/neweng/worcester/Link_Fletcher020321.htm.
24 See "Annan's Careless Language," The New York Times, March 21, 2002, at: http://www.uscj.org/neweng/worcester/Link_Fletcher020321.htm.
25 The massacre of innocent Arabs at Dir Yassin is discussed in the chapter on refugees.
26 The History of Gush Etzion, see: http://www.jafi.org.il/education/festivls/zkatz/atz/etzion9.html.
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2007 © Eli E. Hertz