Legal implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine
The General Assembly vote declaring that Palestine, within the pre-1967 borders, is a "state", at least for some purposes, would have nasty legal implications if it were ever to be taken seriously by the international community. It would mean that Israel, which captured some Jordanian territory after Jordan attacked West Jerusalem in 1967, is illegally occupying the Western Wall (Judaism's holiest site), the Jewish Quarter of old Jerusalem (where Jews have lived for thousands of years), the access road to the Hebrew University (which was established well before Israel even became a state) and other areas necessary to the security of its citizens. It would also mean that Security Council Resolution 242, whose purpose it was to allow Israel to hold onto some of the territories captured during its defensive 1967 war, would be overruled by a General Assembly vote—something the United Nations Charter explicitly forbids. It would be the first time in history that a nation was required to return all land lawfully captured in a defensive war.
If all the territory captured by Israel in its defensive war is being illegally occupied then it might be open to the newly recognized "Palestinian State" to try to bring a case before the International Criminal Court against Israeli political and military leaders who are involved in the occupation. This would mean that virtually every Israeli leader could be placed on trial. What this would entail realistically is that they could not travel to countries which might extradite them for trial in the Hague.
These absurd conclusions follow from the theater of the absurd that occurred when the General Assembly, for the thousandth time, issued an irrelevantly one sided declaration on Palestine. As Abba Eban once put it: "If Algeria introduced a General Assembly Resolution that the world was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass 100 to 10 with 50 abstentions." That's pretty much what happened the other day. I wonder whether the European countries that voted for the Resolution knew what a tangled web they were weaving.
Nor was this Resolution a recognition of the two-state solution, since a considerable number of states who voted for it have refused to recognize Israel's right to exist. What they were looking for was a one-state resolution—that one state being yet another Islamic country that voted for Hamas in the last election and that is likely to be governed by Sharia Law that will not allow Jews or Christians equal rights.
Neither will the General Assembly's actions move the Palestinians closer to accepting the ongoing Israeli offer to begin negotiations toward a two-state solution with no prior conditions. The Palestinians now have little incentive to negotiate a state, which would require considerable compromise and sacrifice on all sides. They now think they can get their state recognized without the need to give up the right of return or to make the kinds of territorial compromises necessary for Israel's security. The United Nations action will only discourage the Palestinians from entering into serious negotiations with Israel.
The United Nations' action will also incentivize Hamas to continue firing rockets into Israel on a periodic basis in order to provoke Israeli retaliation. Many in Hamas believe that the recent fighting in Gaza actually helped the Palestinians get more votes in the General Assembly. They are certainly taking some of the credit for these votes.
All in all, the United Nations vote will make it harder to achieve a peaceful two state solution, acceptable to both sides. But that has been the history of General Assembly actions with regard to Israel, beginning with the lopsided vote in 1975 that challenged Israel's very existence by declaring Zionism—the national liberation movement of the Jewish people—to be a form of racism. Although the General Assembly was ultimately pressured into rescinding that blood libel, its bigoted spirit still hovers over numerous United Nations agencies which continue to regard Israel as a pariah. It could be felt in the General Assembly hall when so many countries that refused to recognize Israel voted to recognize Palestine.
This is all a prescription for continued warfare, lawfare and enmity. It is not a prescription for resolving a complex and difficult issue in a realistic manner. But what else is new at the United Nations?
Reader comments on this item
|Fallacy of the "two-state solution" [370 words]||Phil Slepian||Dec 3, 2012 15:09|
|A future of warfare, lawfare, and enmity [175 words]||Don Straub||Dec 3, 2012 15:04|
|A question for Professor Dershowitz [34 words]||Peter||Dec 3, 2012 09:28|
|Privilege [16 words]||Joel Beer||Dec 2, 2012 12:22|
|Well said Professor Dershowitz [30 words]||Geoff Short||Dec 2, 2012 12:15|
|What is new? [32 words]||John Pass||Dec 2, 2012 07:18|
|Legality of UNGA Resolution of Nov. 29, 2012 [323 words]||Ben Dor Avinoam||Dec 2, 2012 05:28|
|Why not apply the fundamental principles of international law? [557 words]||Allen Z. Hertz||Dec 2, 2012 04:05|
|Legal implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine by Alan Dershowitz [479 words]||Makram Samaan, PHD||Dec 2, 2012 03:32|
|But what else is new at the United Nations? [26 words]||Mustapha||Dec 2, 2012 02:09|
|International law [125 words]||Ali Khan||Dec 2, 2012 00:22|
|Despair [111 words]||Nicky||Dec 1, 2012 19:09|
|This is all so very infuriating [83 words]||NuritG||Dec 1, 2012 18:11|
|Legality of recognition [38 words]||Sharon||Dec 1, 2012 17:46|
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by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.
by Yaakov Lappin
Hamas's long-term ambitions are indistinguishable from those of Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Hamas will now focus on its next goal -- trying to strengthen its presence in the West Bank and eventually toppling the Palestinian Authority from power there, just as it did in Gaza. If Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, Hamas would certainly find such a goal easier to accomplish.
Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas's popularity secure, like frequent wars.