In April 1950, Jordan annexed eastern Jerusalem (dividing the city for the first time in its history) and the “West Bank” areas in historical Judea and Samaria that Trans-Jordan had occupied by military force in 1948 (Jordan changed its name to Trans-Jordan in April 1949). On April 24, 1950, the Jordan House of Deputies and House of Notables, in a joint session, adopted a Resolution making the West Bank and Jerusalem part of Jordan. This act had nobasis in international law; it was only the de facto act of Trans-Jordan as a conquerer.The other Arab countries denied formal recognition of the Jordanian move and only two governments – Great Britain and Pakistan – formally recognized the Jordanian takeover. The rest of the world, including the United States, never did.
Jordan's annexing of the West Bank, though it nominally expanded the Hashemite Kingdom, provided few benefits for King Hussein. As a result of the Six Day War in 1967, Jordan lost control of the lands west of the Jordan River, including East Jerusalem. Israel began its administration of the territories, which continues today. Jordan not only suffered heavy casualties but also lost much of its best farmland and, as well, had to cope with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who fled the Israelis by crossing the Jordan to the east.
Jordan maintained an uneasy relationship with its Palestinians, now the majority east of the Jordan. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) constantly incited the Palestinians against Jordan even though Jordan gave them citizenship and in general treated them better than any other Arab land. By 1970 the PLO became such a threat to Jordan, and an international embarassment for Jordan because of their terrorism, that King Hussein drove them out of Jordan.
In the 1970s several peace plans for Israel and the Palestinians were proposed that would have put Jordan in control of the West Bank, but these were rejected by Yasser Arafat who wanted an independent state. With the election of Menachem Begin as Israeli Prime Minister in May 1977, it became Israeli policy under Likud to keep the West Bank, known to Israelis by the biblical names of Judea and Samaria. Peace ideas involving Jordan became moot weakening Jordanian motivation to engage in a conflict with the PLO on that front.
Attempting to find a working solution between Jordan and the PLO, King Hussein let the Palestine National Council meet in Amman, and in 1985 he agreed to aid the PLO in coordinating a joint peace initiative. Hussein wanted a confederation of the West and East Banks with autonomy for the Palestinians but under Jordanian rule. Arafat was happy to agree to confederation between a future Palestinian state and Jordan, but his vision always included independence for the West Bank. In February 1986 talks between Hussein and Arafat broke down. Hussein needed assurances from Arafat that he would renounce violence and recognize Israel but such an undertaking was never given. Hussein declared that Jordan would be responsible for the economic welfare of the West Bank Palestinians and, as well, he raised the number of Palestinian seats in the National Assembly.
Hussein hoped to outflank the PLO and reach some accord with Israel, that would leave Jordan with some control of the disputed land. In April 1987 Hussein and Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister, agreed to a UN-sponsored conference that would include Palestinian representatives as part of a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. In spite of American assent to the plan, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir refused, wanting the conference to include only Jordan and not the PLO.
In December of 1987 the first Intifada, the Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and in Gaza, changed the entire situation for Jordan. Hussein supported the Intifada publicly and offered aid in an attempt to keep, or regain, Palestinian confidence. But Hussein's attempts at being seen as a friend of the Palestinians were rejected as Arafat became the spokesman for the Palestinians.
In summary, the Arab and international recognition of the PLO as "the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians," the overwhelming PLO victory in the 1976 municipal elections in the Territories, and the fact that seventy percent of the Jordanian population is of Palestinian origins, made it impossible for Jordan to compete with the PLO over representation of the Palestinians in the Territories without jeopardizing its domestic stability.
In July 1988, in response to the accumulated pressures and the months of intifada demonstrations by Palestinians in the West Bank, King Hussein of Jordan ceded to the PLO all Jordanian claims to the territory. Any hopes of a Jordanian-Israeli resolution to the Palestine problem were effectively ended. He dissolved the Jordanian parliament, half of whom were West Bank representatives, and stopped paying salaries to over 20,000 West Bank civil servants. When the Palestine National Council recognized the PLO as the sole legal representative of the Palestinians, Hussein immediately gave them official recognition.
Although the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank posed a potential threat to Jordan as a Hashemite kingdom, Hussein gambled that this was less of a threat than the possibility of Jordan to become the alternative homeland for the Palestinians. By taking Jordan out of the way, relinquishing any claim of sovereignty, he sought to move solutions toward the Palestinian state in line with the desires of Arafat and the PLO.
Israel and the Territories after the 1967 War
What did Israel do with the areas captured in the 1967 war?
Israel captured Golan Heights, Jerusalem, West Bank and the Gaza Strip from the Arabs after the Six-Day War of 1967 and formed settlements. Most of the world community consider these settlements as areas annexed by Israel and do not recognize them. These settlements do not have support from any foreign government, and are considered illegal according to the International Court of Justice.
In the past, United Nations has insisted that the construction of Israeli settlements in these areas is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In response, Israeli legal experts resisted the label on these territories as “occupied” or falling under the international treaties regarding it as a military occupation. Israeli government reject these claims stating that the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention does not put forward any de jureapplicability regarding the case of West Bank and Gaza, as the Convention “is based on the assumption that there had been a sovereign who was ousted and that he had been a legitimate sovereign.”
After the war, Israel took over 96 percent of the population which previously comprised of Muslims and Christians and prohibited them from returning to their homes in a state which is now self-described as Jewish. The ones who continue to live there are subjected to continuous discrimination and poor living conditions.
Israel unleashed military occupation on West Bank and Gaza, confiscated their privately owned land. Because of the extreme oppression, Palestinians have minimal control over their lives. Over 10,000 men, women and children are held in Israeli prisons and are subjected to trials, physical abuse and torture. Israel also took control of all the Palestinian borders including the internal ones where men, women and children were strip searched. Israeli soldiers beat people; stopped women in labor to reach hospital on time which caused many deaths, and the entrance of food and medicine in Gaza was restrained which resulted in escalating humanitarian crisis. Injuring, kidnapping and killing of Palestinian inhabitants were carried out almost daily by the Israeli forces. The situation continues to the present day.
Since the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israel has refrained from establishing new settlements in the occupied territories; however, the expansion of the existing settlements continues which is frequently termed as an obstacle to the peace process by the United Nations. The European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States and many other countries hold the same view. Remarking on the ongoing situation, president of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees Mustafa Barghouti asserted that “the root of the problem is Israeli occupation.” According to Oslo Accords of 1993, these territories were to become a part of the Palestinian state, yet the issue remained unresolved and steadily worsened. This resulted in the Palestinian population rebellion and the uprising called “the intifada” began in September 2000.
Territories after the 1967 War”
I find this article very interesting, and I agree with the points made about the expansion of settlements. That is hindering the peace process, but you have to understand that that is not the main issue at hand when it comes to peace. Israel under resolution 242 by the United Nations has no obligation to give back any land, that it rightfully obtained in a defensive war, unless for the purposes of peace that stem from the other Arab nations. In your article you do not mention the Sinai, which Israel gave back after the war, and consists of the majority of land that was obtained during the war. Further more, you briefly mention the disengagement process that Israel had in Gaza, in which thousands of Jews were forced by the Israeli Army to leave Gaza and set up new homes elsewhere. This process destroyed parts of Israel’s agricultural production, 65% of all Israeli agriculture products came from their, in exchange for peace. That peace never came, and as we are all aware, certain Gazan’s have used Israeli and foriegn aid to make bombs or smuggle in rifles from neighboring countries. This shows that while Israel was willing to put its own citizens behind them, and attempt to make peace, the Palestinian Authority was not. Furthermore, Palestinians have of control over their life, in many areas in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), their is complete autonomy. Granted checkpoints are set up, but Palestinians can still travel into Israel for work and other purposes, while Israelis civilians are never aloud in those autonomous regions. And while these checkpoints might be frustrating for many Palestinians, you have to realize that any normal country would enact possibly even harsher measures if they were attacked daily from neighboring countries. Many Israelis would want to take down the security fence and checkpoints, and many checkpoints have been closed in recent years, when the government realized that those areas were no longer hostile, but it is a necessary measure for their own safety. That is why unfortunately certain Palestinian women have not been allowed to access hospital service from Gaza because their have been occasions when the woman secretly had bombs attached to her, and then blew herself and many Israeli civilians up. It is certainly not the best solution to the problem, but it is the most effective. I hope that my points have made sense, and we can come to a better understanding of the complicated issue, and find an effective solution for peace.
Legal Basis of the State of Israel
What is the legal basis for the State of Israel?
Some ask the question, “Does Israel have a right to exist?” That is not a properquestion since Israel does exist, is recognized by the United Nations and many other countries, and isno more subject to being so questioned than is the United States, Japan, or any othercountry. Anyone who persists with the question of Israel’s right to exist is one whoseagenda is to eliminate Israel and its Jewish inhabitants.
But there is a legal background to the State of Israel. TheDeclaration of Israel's Independence, issued at Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948, recites the legal historythat led to the founding of Israel as an internationally recognized sovereign state:
The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world.
In the year 1897 the First Zionist Congress, inspired by Theodor Herzl's vision of the Jewish State, proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national revival in their own country.
This right was acknowledged by the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, and re-affirmed by the Mandate of the League of Nations, which gave explicit international recognition to the historic connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and their right to reconstitute their National Home.
On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution for the establishment of an independent Jewish State in Palestine, and called upon the inhabitants of the country to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put the plan into effect. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their independent State may not be revoked. It is, moreover, the self-evident right of the Jewish people to be a nation, as all other nations, in its own sovereign State.
ACCORDINGLY, WE, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the Zionist movement of the world, met together in solemn assembly today, the day of the termination of the British mandate for Palestine, by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish and of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, HEREBY PROCLAIM the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called ISRAEL.
At that point, the State of Israel came into existence. The United States recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the Jewish state within minutes. The Soviet Union granted de jure recognition almost immediately in 1948 along with seven other states within the next five days (Guatemala, Byelorussia, the Ukraine, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia).
Since the League of Nations was formally terminated in April 1946, there was a specific UN resolution that preserved the rights of the Jewish people in Palestine (and in Jerusalem particularly). The United Nations, as the successor organization to the League of Nations, adopted Article 80 of the UN Charter, which negated efforts "to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples (emphasis added) or the terms of existing international instruments" at the time of the UN's creation. This provision carried the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations, includingall of its committments to a homeland for the Jewish people, into the framework ofinternational law at the United Nations.
Israel's success in defending its territory against the invading Arab armies in 1948made the country an established reality. General elections were held on January 25, 1949: the provisional State Council was replaced by an elected Parliament (Knesset) and the Provisional Government by a regular parliamentary Government.De jure recognition by the United States was extended on January 31, 1949 after the permanent government was sworn in.On January 29, 1949, the former Mandatory Power, Britain, recognized the state of Israel, a step that also recognized the end of British efforts to affect the course of the region?s politics.
In the fall of 1948, Israel had applied for membership in the United Nations but failed to win the necessary majority in the Security Council. In February 1949, Israel renewed its application for membership in the United Nations. On March 4, 1949, the Security Council recommended to the General Assembly that it be admitted. On May 11, Israel was admitted, to become the 59th member. Between January 1, 1949 and May 11. 1949, Israel was recognised by 32 States, in addition to the 20 that had accorded it recognition prior to December 31, 1948. Today Israel has fulldiplomatic relations with most countries of the world, except portions of the Islamic/Arab blockthat continue to believe that Israel can somehow be eliminated.
The Arab-Palestinians themselves are acting in such a way as to make it impossible for them to achieve recognition as a prper, independant state. Basing the application on UN General Assembly Resolution 181(11) of 29 November 1947 is meaningless since this Resolution was rejected in1947 and has become extant. General Assembly resolutions in any event are not binding in international law.
They themselves rejected the UN Resolution by declaring war on the nascent Israel.
As Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – Mr Abbas is committed to maintaining the territorial indivisibility of Israel, Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan under Article 2 of the PLO Charter. The current application contains no mention of his intention to revoke this provision in the Charter or to forgo any claims to any other parts of this territory from either Israel or Jordan.
Claiming that the application is based on international law and all relevant UN resolutions is contradicted by the fact that the PLO considers all such law null and void under article 20 of the PLO Charter which states:
“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.“
No commitment has been made by Chairman Abbas to revoke this provision of the PLO Charter as a condition of the UN approving his application for membership.
The Jews were allocated land in all of Palestine by the San Remo Treaty of 1920 to establish their own state. The British were set up as a trustee for the Jewish people. The Jews did and the Arabs were not interested. (with the exception of the State of Jordan that was set-up by the British for the Arabs in violation of the Treaty). The Balfour declaration was to establish one state for the Jewish people. The U.N. partition of 1947 set up an Arab one and a Jewish one, but the Arabs rejected it so there was no Arab state created called Palestine (except Jordan). The Arabs had so many opportunities to create another Palestinian state and they declined every single time. Their goal is the destruction of Israel. They will not live next to a Jewish state. It’s in the PLO charter as one of the Arabs goals to wipe out Israel. Only a fool would continue to try to live in peace with an evil and violent entity that wants you destroyed, yet the nations keep trying to get the Israelis and the Arabs to come to the negotiation table. They totally ignore the fact that the Arabs terrorize Israel on a daily basis, and the fact that the Arabs have launched a propaganda war against Israel that is all lies. No one in their right minds would put up with the crap that Israel puts up with.
And just because you say G-d doesn’t exist, doesn’t make it so. What are you, the authority on the subject? Everything is according to how C sees things and everyone who has different views from C is wrong? G sees something you do not. If you can believe whatever you want, then so can G. That’s called freedom. Something you are practicing, but denying G. This concept of Israel being for the chosen is in the Torah and it’s in the Koran. There has been an Israelite/Jewish presence in the land of Israel, continuously, for 4000 years. That goes along with the promise that G-d made to Abraham. There has got to be something to that, seeing as how all the other nations who came up against Israel are now gone or are not a ruling entity any longer, yet Israel and the Chosen remain. Just as G-d said.