Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Comprehensive Investigation of the Legality of Israeli Settlements Under International Law

Wallace Brand (Salubrius)

It is interesting that the claims of settlement illegality are always framed as illegal under International Law.  How many people worldwide who have accepted this claim have any knowledge whatsoever of International Law?  The technique used is reminiscent of the psychological warfare techniques of the Soviet, now Russian dezinformatsiya or disinformation group of the KGB and its successor.  If the Government of Israel were ever to engage in public diplomacy on this matter, I hope it would take into account some of what I have learned in my research for this paper.


The Paris Peace Talks and the decision at San Remo  

To understand the San Remo Agreement we must go back in time to WWI when the Turkish Ottoman Empire entered the War on the side of Germany. Germany and Turkey lost that war. They entered into an Armistice Agreement on November 11, 1918. As the holder of territory after being the winner of a defensive war the Principal Allied War Powers — The British Commonwealth, France, the US, Italy and Japan — were entitled under International Law of long standing custom to occupy the Ottoman Empire until a peace treaty was signed that delineated boundaries agreed on by the parties. 

After the Paris Peace talks that were held commencing January 4th, 1919 the Principals determined to establish a world government to maintain peace to be entitled The League of Nations. Its Covenant or charter was Part one of the Treaty of Versailles. The participants to the Paris Peace talks included the Principal War Powers and European claimants primarily interested in territories in Europe. 

Even before the end of the war, in November, 1917 the Lord Balfour Policy had been established as British policy that World Jewry would be the beneficiary of the trust of the political or national rights to Palestine. Both Arabs and Jews interested in territories in the Middle East were also present at the Peace Talks in Paris and submitted their claims there. 

The Arabs claims were made under the auspices of King Ibn Hussayn, however they were presented by Lawrence of Arabia and also through George Antonius. Antonius brought up Arab and French claims conflicting with the Balfour Declaration, notably claims based on the Hussayn--‐McMahon correspondence and the secret Sykes--‐Picot Agreement. Antonius had made a careful study of these and his arguments initially seemed quite convincing that the British had sold the same horse three times. 

The Zionist Organization made the following claim for a two-step process in which the territory would first become a Jewish National Home and then would become a reconstituted Jewish state:

"Palestine shall be placed under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment there of the Jewish National Home and ultimately render possible the creation of an autonomous Commonwealth, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non--‐ Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[emphasis added]
Read Part I of the Report 

 Download the Entire Report (59 Pages in PDF format)

Wallace Brand (Salubrius) is a retired lawyer. He worked for several government agencies, among which were the Federal Power Commission and the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice. He also had a private practice representing small non profit utilities against large established utilities. As a result of the attacks on 9/11, he has become an activist against terrorism.

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

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