Israel's Legal Right to Judea and Samaria is enshrined in International Law!
Israel's Legal Right to Judea and Samaria is enshrined in International Law!
A cold, hard look at the law reveals an undeniable if inconvenient (for some) truth: Israel and the Jewish People have full sovereign rights to Judea and Samaria. A fair and objective analysis of the various post-WWI declarations, agreements, decisions and treaties regarding the Question of Palestine (not to be confused with today's made-up "Palestine" that the "Palestinians" claim as theirs) can only lead to this conclusion.
The most significant of these decisions was the San Remo Resolution of 1920, which recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine. The outcome of this declaration gave birth to the "Mandate for Palestine," an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, in San Remo, the nations of the world had formally obligated themselves not only to establish a Jewish state on the historic Jewish Homeland but also to facilitate its development as well (see Article 6 of the still-binding Mandate for Palestine). This plainly means that today's Israeli settlements are in fact 100% legal and that the accusation of "occupation" is completely false. Back then, the concept of a "Palestinian People" was unheard of and "Palestine" referred only to a Levantine region and never to an Arab nation or state. Believe it or not.
From San Remo to Samaria: Following the WWI defeat of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations (precursor to the U.N.) decided to divide up the huge landmass of the vanquished Ottomans as follows: a mandate, or trusteeship, for France (Lebanon and Syria) and a mandate for Britain (Iraq and Palestine [comprised of what is today Israel, Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jordan]). The legal position of the whole of Palestine was clearly defined in several international agreements*, the most important of which was the one adopted in April 1920 at the San Remo Conference, attended by the Principal Allied Powers (Council of Four). It decided to assign the Mandate for Palestine under the League of Nations to Britain. Two years later an agreed text was confirmed by the League and came into operation in September 1923. In Article 2 of that document, the League of Nations declared that
"The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble.”
The preamble clearly stated that
"recognition has hereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
It was on this basis that the British Mandate was established. The San Remo Agreement was the last legally binding international decision regarding the rights to what is today known as the West Bank, and thus, according to international law which is still binding to this day, these parts, Judea and Samaria, belong to Israel and the Jewish People, period.
The significance for Israel and the Jewish People of San Remo cannot be overestimated. None other than Chaim Weizman, the Zionist leader of that time, declared:
"The San Remo decision...is the most momentous political event in the whole history of our (Zionist) movement, and, it is perhaps, no exaggeration to say in the whole history of our people since the Exiles"
Powerful words indeed, yet regrettably so unfamiliar. It makes one wonder just how many of today's "Middle East experts", journalists and opinion makers know the details of this and other important agreements of that era? How many have even a rudimentary understanding of San Remo's historical and legal significance?
This four minute video will give you the basics about the San Remo Conference:
So, if the world ratified into international law that a Jewish state be established within the boundaries of Mandatory Palestine, how is it we hear nothing about this today? Why has this truth completely disappeared from today's narrative? By what right do the nations of the world shirk their obligations and deny the State of Israel and the Jewish people their due? Suffice to say that if the truth, any truth, is not actively preserved and if the facts are forgotten, falsity and misinformation fill the vacuum. That is why "Palestinian Rights", "Israeli Occupation" and "1967 Borders" dominate the headlines today.
Renowned scholar and jurist Dr. Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian attorney specializing in international law as it applies to Israel and her territories, has not forgotten the facts. The video below is a segment of his address to the ICEJ conference in Jerusalem, September 2010 (see his entire address here). Invest 16 minutes of your time to watch as he eloquently and passionately encapsulates Israel's legal foundation for her right to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. A must-view video for those who really want to understand Israel's legal rights to Judea and Samaria and the legitimacy of the settlements therein.
The dissolution of the League of Nations in 1946 in no way altered the Jewish People's rights to Judea and Samaria, given to them by the nations of the world, first in San Remo, then in the provisions of the Mandate for Palestine. When the United Nations was established, Article 80 of its charter clearly specified that rights previously granted by the League would be legally binding.
In the aftermath of the defensive war of June 1967, forty-five years after the League of Nations Declaration in San Remo, Israel retrieved some of her rightful possessions of the territories assigned to the Jewish People as a National Home. How her possession of her own homeland can be called the "Occupation of Palestinian territories" is beyond explanation. What is tragic is that the Jews themselves have adopted this usage and made it a cornerstone of their own national policy.
"The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the Mandate
under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem before the state of Israel was created."
-- Prof. Eugene Rostow, Israel's Legitimacy in Law and History, Douglass J. Feith and Edward M. Siegel, ed., N.Y., 1993
Pictured: "Tel Aviv's Romantic Promenade" by Alex Levin. All rights reserved.
Click here for an exhaustive study of the Jewish legal rights to Judea and Samaria by Myths and Facts author Eli Hertz.
* Balfour Declaration, San Remo Agreement, Treaty of Versailles, Treaty of Sèvres, League of Nations Covenant and Mandate for Palestine, Treaty of Lausanne and Anglo-American Convention on Palestine.
The Historical Right: Constant Jewish Presence. Samaria is the cradle of Jewish history, reaching all the way back to the time of Abraham the Patriarch, some 3700 years ago (see Genesis, chap. 12). Despite numerous expulsions over the centuries, the Jews nonetheless maintained a continuous presence in their beloved homeland ever since they first crossed over the Jordan River and entered into the land under Joshua's leadership nearly 3300 years ago (10th day of Nissan, 2488 [1272 B.C.E.]). Innumerable archeological findings uncovered in the Shomron bear witness to the presence of the Jewish People in their homeland going back millennia. The magnificent 3,283 year old Alter of Joshua on Mount Eval is a shining example (click here for more detail). The ancient remains of King Ahab's palace and King Herod's works can be seen today in Sebastia, near the settlement of Shavei Shomron. Especially intriguing are the Samaria Ostraca, potsherds with ancient Hebrew inscriptions found in Ahab's palace. This spectacular find corroborates the Biblical narrative regarding the names of the the Israelite clans of Manasseh and their connection to the land. It verifies the Biblical account (in the books of Numbers and Joshua) and confirms that the Jews were rooted in Samaria some 1500 years before the birth of Islam. See the actual study here.
The Jewish historical claim to the Land of Israel is indisputable, supported by hard evidence and predates competing (Arab) claims by two thousand years. To the right, the northern Kingdom of Israel (931-722 BCE), part of which was in the Samaria region, after the splitting of the House of David. Today's Samaria was once home to the Israelite tribes of Benjamin, Ephraim and the western half of Manasseh, and today millions of reawakening "lost 10-tribers" worldwide trace their roots to the Shomron.
The presence of an Arab population in Samaria should not in any way detract from the time-honored
Jewish rights to this land. A view of the Kana Nature Reserve, Karnei Shomron. In Biblical times,
the Kana Stream (center) divided the tribal portions of Ephraim and Manasseh.
The Biblical Right: The Birthright of the Jewish people. The Torah (Jewish Bible) says explicitly and unequivocally that the Land of Israel is the G-d given patrimony of the Jewish People. This is the Jews' oldest and strongest claim to the land and on that basis alone the Shomron and all the rest of the land should rightfully be in their sole possession. For millennia Jews had yearned for the return to Zion and the Land of Israel. The practice of their religion in exile, far from their homeland, has always been an adaptation and a compromise. A truly authentic and complete fulfillment of Judaism requires a presence in Eretz Yisrael. The Jews' presence in and ownership of their homeland is only natural and they need not apologize for it.
Ironically, Israelis, who so jealously guard their day-to-day mundane rights such as that parking spot they saw first or their place on line at the bank, would blithely give away that which is rightfully theirs - their patrimony, no less! - when they really don't need to.