John Landau, freelance journalist, independent scholar, and longtime student of world history and international relations co-authored this article.
The recently adopted Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary of State’s follow-up speech that doubles down on the lame duck Obama administrations’ support for it, as well as outlining a “framework” for an additional destructive Security Council resolution that Obama and Kerry are believed to be planning for their last days in office, are major obstacles to peace in the Middle East. They contain an extraordinary array of falsehoods and misconceptions that are themselves major obstacles to peace.
Cardinal John Henry Newman, in his classic autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua (“Apology for My Life”) explains how it is possible to slander a person in a single sentence, while it may require an entire book to refute the slander. It would take us an entire library of books to expose the scores of false and misleading statements in Secretary Kerry’s speech. So we will take up only a few of the worst falsehoods.
1. A two-state solution is the only solution. In reality, it is no solution at all. The PLO Ramallah regime, (which calls itself the “State of Palestine,” and is called the “Palestinian Authority” in the Oslo Accords), regularly praises terrorists who murder Israeli civilians and soldiers by calling them “martyrs,” gives them photo opportunities with “President” Abbas and other PLO leaders, and names schools, hospitals, roads and athletic competitions after them within days after they commit these murders. Worst of all, it pays these terrorists generous salaries and awards generous pensions to their families. The very idea that Israel could “live in peace” with a state ruled by such monsters of hate and duplicity less than a mile, and in some places only a few yards, from its main population centers, is absurd. Kerry even admitted all this while still maintaining it is a worthy “peace partner” for Israel.
2. The Israeli administration of Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) is an “illegal occupation” that must be ended. This is nonsense. Two monumental and thoroughly documented studies by international lawyers Howard Grief, “The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law,” Mazo Publishers, 2008), (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legal-Foundation-Borders-Israel-International/dp/9657344522”), and Jacques Paul Gauthier, “Sovereignty Over the Old City of Jerusalem: A Study of the Historical, Religious, Political and Legal Aspects of the Question of the Old City,” (Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales, 2007), conclusively demonstrate that the San Remo Conference of the victorious World War I Allies (Britain, France, Italy and Japan), and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, approved unanimously by all 51 members of the League of Nations, decided that Palestine would become a Jewish state and the sovereign territory of the Jewish people.
They further demonstrate that both bodies had the legal authority at the time to award these territories to the Jewish people, and that under the international legal doctrine of estoppel, neither decision can be or has been lawfully altered. Further, the United Nations Charter, Article 80, obligates the United Nations to respect “the rights of nations and peoples” guaranteed by its predecessor organization, The League of Nations. The United Nations inherited both the property and the legal obligations of its predecessor, the League.
Israel is also the legal sovereign in Judea-Samaria under the doctrine of international law known asuti possidetis juris, as law professors Abraham Bell and and Eugene Kontorovich point out in their brilliant and timely study, “Palestine, Uti Possidetis Juris, and the Borders of Israel” (http://arizonalawreview.org/pdf/58-3/58arizlrev633.pdf). This doctrine holds that when a foreign state (in this case, Britain), withdraws from a territory, the successor state formed in this territory acquires immediate and permanent sovereignty over the entire territory administered by the withdrawing power, according to its borders at the time the foreign state withdrew.
Since Israel was the only state formed in the former British mandatory territory of Palestine, on the very day that the British ended their administration of the territory, Israel became sovereign in all of Palestine immediately on that day, May 14, 1948. It has been the sole lawful sovereign there ever since. Bell and Kontorovich document that the International Court of Justice has expounded and cited this doctrine in its decisions resolving several dozen territorial disputes between states that had formally been territories administered by foreign (nearly always European) countries, The doctrine’s applicability to the former British Mandate territory of Palestine, which has been succeeded by the State of Israel, is beyond any rational dispute.
While there are many more falsehoods in Resolution 2334 and in Kerry’s expansion of it, we have already run out of the space for a single column! Our next column will be Part II on this subject.