Monday, November 24, 2014




Wallace Edward Brand

This paper explains why people think that the Jewish

settlements in Judea and Samaria are illegal and why

they really aren’t.

Following WWII a large number of small territories

became decolonized and became states. This added

a large number of very small states to the UN. With

one state, one vote, (no matter what the size of the

state) these additions permitted the Afro-Asian and

Soviet blocs to dominate the vote in the UN General

Assembly. But the UNGA only recommended – it was

not intended to be a world legislature. If all parties in

dispute agreed, they could sign a treaty. That would

be International Law.

Russia had turned against Israel because it saw Israel

as a barrier to its domination of the oil of the Middle

East, and, as a consequence to hegemony over

Western Europe. It tried to exploit the Arab hatred of

the Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate and

the existence of Israel. It was able to enact in the UN

Electronic copy available at:

a resolution promoting the "inalienable rights of the

Palestinian People" without any examination of

whether there was a Palestinian People or what their

rights were and then was able to form a UN

"Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights

of the Palestinian People’.

The committee commenced writing a report entitled

Origin and Evolution of the Palestine Problem relying

on work of an Arab Lawyer named Henry Cattan who

had been a member of the Arab Higher Committee.

That committee had been led by Haj Amin al Husseini

the grand mufti of Jerusalem. Husseini had been a

friend of Adolph Hitler. He told the Germans that if

they wanted to reward him for his help, they could,

when they prevailed in WW2, give him permission to

liquidate all the Jews in Palestine.

Cattan had also represented the Arabs in the 1947

UNSCOP hearings. His work, and that of his friend

W.T. Mallison was relied on in the first part of Origin

and Evolution etc. covering 1917 to 1947. In 1979 his

friend Mallison, who had written the foreword of

Cattan's book "The Palestine Problem", at the request

of the UN Committee, wrote a legal opinion based on

the Major Resolutions of the UN General Assembly. It

concluded that the Jews were, under international

law, engaged in illegal occupation of Judea, Samaria,

East Jerusalem and Gaza. However their opinion

was not based on genuine International Law as the

Resolutions of the General Assembly are mere

recommendations. They can only become

International Law if the recommendations are

accepted by all parties and all parties sign a treaty

incorporating the recommendations. This wasn't done

with the Partition Resolution. Nonetheless, Mallison's

opinion was published in pamphlet form by the

Committee and it received wide publicity.

An Australian lawyer named Julius Stone, widely

acclaimed as an authority on international law, was so

outraged by the gross distortion of international law

that he published a criticism of it entitled: Israel

Palestine: Assault on the Law of Nations. He showed

that the Resolutions the opinion were based on were

not International Law but mere recommendations that

died at birth when the Partition Resolution, No. 181 of

1947 died at birth because it was rejected by the

Arabs. Stone also showed that it was pretty far

fetched to believe that any group claiming to be a

people could empower the UN to redraw the

boundaries of a sovereign state. He showed that the

Jewish People already had sovereignty based on the

San Remo Resolution and the Palestine Mandate.

Long before the time the natural law on the self-determination

of a people had been adopted as

international law, the British Policy to recognize

Jewish political self-determination in Palestine had

evolved into international law. It became law first at

San Remo, and then as the Palestine Mandate, a

treaty approved by 53 states. That was to give the

Jews initially an equitable interest in the political rights

to Palestine. It gave them the right to close

settlement on the land, but placed the rights in trust

until the Jews were able to muster a majority, by

immigration from the Diaspora. When the Jews were

in the majority, and could carry out the obligations of

sovereignty, the political rights, carrying with them the

right of establishing a Jewish Government, would vest

in World Jewry. You can find the details of all of this in

an opinion I have prepared entitled Claims of the

Jewish and Arab People to the Right of Self-

Determination in Palestine.


First, treaties, and second, long standing practices

accepted by most states are the stuff of International

Law. Mallison tried to cram into the second category

the partition of Palestine even though states barely

approved the Partition Resolution with the aid of the

Russian bloc and soon thereafter Russia had turned

against the Partition. After WW2 the rights of a people

to self-determination that had been only natural law,

became adopted as international law in the 1970s.

However in each instance, the lawyers inserted in this

legislation the legal code words “sovereign equality”

that meant that the territorial integrity of each

sovereign state must be preserved. That caution was

ignored in Mallison’s opinion coming out of the UN

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights

of the Palestinian People. So when the Palestinian

People assert their inalienable rights to self-determination,

they will find doing so will interfere with

the rights of territorial integrity of a preexisting state,

the Jewish People’s state and that right is paramount.

Russia also pushed the view that Jewish settlements

were outlawed by the 4th Geneva Convention that

prohibited states from deporting or transferring

people. But it wanted to apply this theory to people

who weren’t being transferred – they had decided

themselves they wanted to move and it would violate

their human rights to prevent them. And in any event

the land designated to be kept clear was land under a

“belligerent occupation” that had had a legitimate

sovereign, not just any land under a Military

Occupation. And the land had been liberated by

Israel in 1967 in a defensive war was from an illegal

occupier, Jordan, who had gained it in an aggressive

war in 1948. Israel’s occupation was not a “belligerent

occupation”. In 1967 it still owned the political rights

to all Palestine west of the Jordan. Jordan was not a

legitimate sovereign over territories on the west bank

of the Jordan River and was not recognized as such

even by the members of the Arab League.

Russia is now cooking on the front burners and will

likely come up with still another reason that the land

belongs to the Arabs or anyone but the Jews. Just

look at the stories they are cooking up in the Ukraine.

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