On April 5, 2011, Richard Miron, spokesman for the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, was reported to have reiterated that Jewish construction in the ‘territories’ , including East Jerusalem, is illegal.
The evidence to support this claim is political, unscholarly-- and legally suspect. The term ‘illegal’ as it is applied to these ‘territories’ is based on political manipulation and prejudice. But there is ample evidence that all the ‘territories’ in question, including East Jerusalem, are as legal for Israel as the state of Connecticut is for America.
In 1917, through the Balfour Declaration—as of October 31, 1917—the intent to establish a Jewish national homeland was declared by the British government, which had the legal right to dispose of this land as it wished. This intent was then legalized in 1920 at the San Remo Conference, where the commitment to formal statehood for the Jewish people on this exact land was explicitly entered into the conference record. In case you missed it, legal title to this specific land was given to the Jewish people on April 24, 1920.
In 1922, the League of Nations double-affirmed this commitment by assigning to Britain the Mandate to assist Jewish statehood; then in 1947, the UN triple-affirmed it by recognizing Israel as a sovereign state.
Today, the world calls the ‘territories’ illegal. But this is a manufactured political slight-of-hand.
Just as Emile Zola said, J’Accuse to France for its anti-semitism in the 1890’s, so Israel today can say, J’Accuse to the UN, because legal documentation for Israel had been established years before: Balfour, San Remo, League of Nations, UN.
What’s the problem? Arab hatred. They bring their bogus claims, even though all legal precedence was clearly, carefully and repeatedly given to the Jews. Calling the West Bank ‘illegal’ carries the same legal significance as calling Manhattan ‘illegal’.
Indeed, Israel has greater legal documentation for the ‘territories’ than America has for Manhattan.
Certainly, Arabs —all three hundred million of them--can make any claim they want. But it is quite another matter for the UN to parrot those complaints.
The UN was not created to support manufactured claims of a majority that wants to deny the legal rights of a minority. Instead, the UN was created specifically to make certain that “obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law (my emphasis) can be maintained”. The Internationally legal decision that establishes the Jewish right to a state on this land was ( above) very clear--and when legally-formed bodies (the San Remo conference, the League of Nations and then the UN itself) decide to establish an internationally legal entity, and then repeatedly confirm and reconfirm their decision, there can be no question that this ‘territory’ is legal.
The UN is obligated to ‘maintain’ those legal decisions.
Furthermore, Article two, Chapter One of the UN Charter states clearly that “All member states shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” But for sixty-three years Arab states have repeatedly violated this requirement, and their violations continue. Indeed, in case the United Nations has forgotten—as seems to be the case—the Arab nations surrounding Israel attacked aggressively three times since Israel’s creation, leaving Israel to defend itself with little or no help from the UN. Arab member states have consistently violated this most basic tenet, which appears at the very beginning of the UN Charter. These states now make a mockery of the UN ‘s purpose to maintain international peace and security.
Israel can say, J’Accuse.
Every pronouncement made by the Palestinian Authority against Israel is an insult to the framers of the United Nations, and a dagger into the soul of the UN; the UN cannot and will not survive if a member nation—a minority in its Region, taking up less than four-tenths of one per cent of Regional landmass—is isolated, delegitimized and threatened by their majority neighbors.
Article One, Chapter One of the UN Charter also states that the purpose of the United Nations is to suppress acts of aggression.
-How has the UN acted to suppress Hamas from shelling Israel?
-How has the UN helped Israel protect itself against homicide bombers?
-How has the UN helped to suppress Arab organizations whose founding charters call for the destruction of a UN member state?
Where is the United Nations? So far, the UN seems to stand firmly on the side of war, aggression and hate.
If the United Nations is to survive, it will have to do better.
West Bank building is illegal?
I don’t think so.
If the United Nations does not understand the spirit of its own Charter, it will not survive.