Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Why Mr Abbas's Statehood Request Should Be Rejected By The United Nations

"Theatre of the Absurd."  Regarding the United Nations that phrase does suggest itself. Bibi Netanyahu used it in that wonderful speech he delivered last week in response to Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Statehood bid.  And Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer uses it in his latest article ( "Palestine – The UN Farce Promises Theatre Of The Absurd") via the antipodean J-Wire service:

Writes David Singer:

'The appearance of Mahmoud Abbas at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September was reportedly met with “rapturous applause” by those present to witness this latest farce in the ongoing efforts to create a new Arab State between Israel and Jordan for the first time ever in recorded history.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was presented with a letter signed by Mr Abbas as "President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation".

Mr Abbas’s letter stated that he had  "the profound honor, on behalf of the Palestinian people to submit this application of the State of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations."

He continued:
 "This application for membership is being submitted on the Palestinian people’s natural, legal and historic rights and based on United Nations General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29     November 1947 as well as the Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine of 15 November 1988 and the acknowledgement by the General Assembly of this declaration in resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988.
 In this connection, the state of Palestine affirms its commitment to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the vision of     two states living side by side in peace and security, as endorsed by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly and the international community as a whole and based on international law and all relevant United Nations resolutions."

Those joining in the rapturous applause should now digest what Mr Abbas is asking for – and reflect on his standing to do so.

When they do – the application should be rejected by both the Security Council and the General Assembly for the following reasons:
  1. Mr Abbas falsely continues to use the title "President of Palestine"  although his term of office expired on 1 January 2010 pursuant to Article 36 of  the Basic Law 2003 (as amended).
  2. The application does not identify the territorial boundaries of Palestine and  thus would preclude any action by the UN against such a member – should the provisions of the UN Charter be breached by it n the future.
  3. No State can be admitted as a member of the UN  that fails to comply with the preconditions necessary for the declaration of Statehood pursuant to the Montevideo Convention 1933. The Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine on 15 November 1988 is similarly deficient.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The PLO is no longer the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs and Mr Abbas is deceiving the UN in claiming to be speaking “on behalf of the Palestinian people”
An unconstitutional president claiming to be the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs when he clearly is not – as his unresolved power struggle with Hamas shows – applying for membership of the United Nations for a country within undefined boundaries that is not controlled by the PLO whilst claiming to respect and observe international law when the opposite is demonstrably evident – is indeed the theater of the absurd into which the UN finds itself being propelled once again..

Israel’s Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu – followed Mr Abbas to the podium and was quick to  point out how automatic majorities at the UN had been used to incite institutionalised hatred against Israel.
"After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland — it was then that this was braided — branded, rather —  shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced! And it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.
Well, this is an unfortunate part of the UN institution. It’s the — the theatre of the absurd. It  doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya     chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the UN Committee on Disarmament.
You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the UN Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organisation presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.
You couldn’t make this thing up.
So here in the UN, automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also   decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory."
 The theatre of the absurd is definitely set to swing into action once again at the UN over the next few weeks. As it does so – the authority and standing of the UN is set to sink into further disrepute.'


  1. Great post here re Palestinian antisemitism:

  2. Daphne, I disagree with your comment 2, with respect offcourse.

    Part II of the UNGA Resolution 181 (aka “the UN Partition Plan Of Palestine) specifies the boundaries of the Jewish and Arab states – in other words whilst the Palestinians keep talking about “1967 borders”, in the application for their UN membership they seek to incorporate the 1947 UN PARTITION PLAN BORDERS which includes parts of Israel proper. In fact, 1967 is not even mentioned in his letter to the Secretary General (SG) although he referred to “1967 borders” infinitum in his speech to the general Assembly.

    Taking about subterfuge and moving the goal posts, welcome to Middle East politics.

    In his letter to the SG, Abbas also mention UN Resolution 43/177, which, amongst other things, states that the UN “Affirms the need to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967”. This is of course a complete nonsense since no Palestinian territory was EVER occupied! All territories held by Israel in 1988 had been taken from Jordan, Egypt and Syria and not from the Palestinians per se.

    Further, Res 43/177 recalls res 181 which was rejected by the ARAB states who claimed to represent the interests of the Arabs of Palestine although they, the Arab countries, had something else in mind and that was to eliminate the Jewish state and carve it territories among themselves. This is evident by the fact that Jordan subsequently annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    It is often said that Israel’s legitimacy in International Law is stems from resolution 181, which is wrong. Israel legitimacy in International Law stems from the San Remo Conference 1922 that set up the British Mandate over Palestine.

    The San Remo Agreement incorporates the Balfour Declaration and specifically states that the purpose of the mandate is “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…” and that “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country” pretty clear.

    (The San Remo Agreement also gave Britain the discretion, subject to the League of Nations’ approval, to assign the area east if the Jordan River for other purposes as they eventually exercised by creating the Emirate of Transjordan, later renamed to “the Kingdom of Jordan”)

    The San Remo Agreement:

  3. Thanks as always, Jacob. I will read that closely asap.
    The whole article, though, is David Singer's - those are his words, not mine. I look forward to his article - always good value, I find.