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|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz