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)

Saturday 21 July 2012

David Singer On The Legal Status Of Jewish Settlements In The West Bank

"Palestine – United Nations' Perfidy Exposed,"  is the latest article, via the antipodean J-Wire service, by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer

Writes David Singer:

'The canard – supported by countless United Nations General Assembly Resolutions – that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal in international law – has been dealt a crushing blow with the the recent release of the Levy Committee Report in Israel rebutting that claim.

The Committee comprised a retired Supreme Court Judge (Edmund Levy), a  Tel Aviv District Court Judge (Tchia Shapira),  and a former Foreign Ministry  legal adviser (Alan Baker). They were appointed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January 2012 to consider among other matters the legality of Jewish settlements established in the West Bank.

The San Remo Conference held in Italy in April 1920 was the Committee’s starting point.

That Conference had laid the grounds for the eventual creation of the Mandate for Palestine as part of a Mandate system involving the disposition of vast tracts of territory held by the Ottoman Empire for 400 years – but lost by it following its defeat in World War I.

Whilst Arab self-determination was to occur in 99.99 per cent of the captured territory – the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home was limited to the remaining 0.01 per cent of that territory.

The Levy Report elaborates:
"In August 1922 the League of Nations approved the Mandate which was given to Britain, and thus the Jewish people’s right to settle in the Land of Israel, their historic homeland, and to establish their state there, was recognized in international law.
To complete the picture, we’ll add that with the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, the principle of recognizing the validity of existing rights of states acquired under various mandates, including of course the rights of Jews to settle in the Land of Israel by virtue of the above documents, was determined in article 80 of its charter"
The International Court of Justice had failed to consider the Mandate and Article 80  when it delivered its non-binding advisory opinion on 9 July 2004 that  Israel had no legal right to erect part of Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank.

That decision has since been used by the United Nations and detractors of Israel to repeatedly discredit and delegitimise Israel’s right to maintain its claim to sovereignty in any part of the West Bank and for Jews to live there.

Surprisingly it was Egyptian appointee to the International Court – Judge El-Araby – who in fact had cautioned the other 14 Justices against ignoring an examination of the legal effect of the Mandate:
"The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the     accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain."
Regrettably Judge El-Araby’s sage advice was ignored – as the Levy Report now makes very clear.

In one respect the International Court could be excused for failing to consider the Mandate and Article 80 – since the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, had failed to include these vital documents in the dossier of 88 documents he was required to submit to the Court that were “likely to throw light upon the question” – as he was legally required to do under Article 65 of the Court‘s statute.

The International Court’s decision was fatally flawed  as a result.

If you only submit half the relevant documents – you are sure to get only half an answer.

Those persons who prepared the dossier of documents and Mr Annan himself now need explain how documents – deemed so relevant by the Levy Committee – were omitted from the dossier submitted to the International Court.

The Levy Committee – after having considered the Mandate and Article 80 – concluded:
"... we have no doubt that from the perspective of international law, the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is legal"
The Levy Committee dismissed the opinion of the International Court that the legal status of this tiny sliver of land between Jordan and Israel – the size of Delaware – was solely governed by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 – when stating:.
"We do not believe that one can draw an analogy between this legal provision and those who sought to settle in Judea and Samaria not as a result of them being “deported” or “transferred” but because of their world view – to settle the Land of Israel.
We did not ignore the view of those who think that one should interpret the Fourth Geneva Convention as also prohibiting the occupying state to encourage or support the transfer of parts of its population to the occupied territory, even if it did not initiate it
But even if this interpretation is correct, we would not change our conclusion that no analogy should be drawn between Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, in light of the status of the territory under international law"
It would surely be the height of folly for the United Nations and Israel’s denigrators to continue to categorically spruik that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is illegal following the release of the Levy Report.

The United Nations needs to come clean and investigate why highly relevant documents to support the legal claim of Jews to settle in the West Bank were withheld from the International Court.

Will the egg splattered all over the United Nations following the release of the reasoned and considered Levy Report deter it from conducting such an investigation?

The continuing use of  the International Court decision and the Fourth Geneva Convention to assert that Israel has no legal right to remain in even one square meter of the West Bank must now be seriously questioned.

Ironically Judge El-Araby is now the Secretary General of the Arab League and meets with Mr Annan frequently in Mr Annan’s new job with the United Nations trying to stop the slaughter in Syria.

Maybe Mr Annan can explain the cover up to Judge El-Araby over a cup of Turkish coffee.

Don’t hold your breath waiting.'

Crossposted from here


  1. In their attempt to establish peace between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors, the nations of the world should remember who the lawful sovereign is with its rights anchored in international law, valid to this day.

    The “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, a 10,000-square-miles3 area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
    The legally binding document was conferred on April 24, 1920 at the San Remo Conference, and its terms outlined in the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10, 1920. The Mandate’s terms were finalized and unanimously approved on July 24, 1922, by the Council of the League of Nations, which was comprised at that time of 51 countries,4 and became operational on September 29, 1923.

    Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before the state’s independence.
    Some examples include:
    The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called The Palestine Post until 1948.
    Bank Leumi L’Israel, incorporated in 1902, was called the “Anglo-Palestine Company” until 1948.
    The Jewish Agency – an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish settlement since 1929 – was initially called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
    Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was originally called the “Palestine Symphony Orchestra,” composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews.17
    The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fund-raising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.
    Encouraged by their success at historical revisionism and brainwashing BDS and lefties with the “Big Lie” of a Palestinian people, Palestinian Arabs have more recently begun to claim they are the descendants of the Philistines and even the Stone Age Canaanites.

    The “Mandate for Palestine” is Valid to This Day
    The Mandate survived the demise of the League of Nations. Article 80 of the UN Charter implicitly recognizes the “Mandate for Palestine” of the League of Nations.
    This Mandate granted Jews the irrevocable right to settle anywhere in Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, a right unaltered in international law and valid to this day. Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), Gaza and the whole of Jerusalem are legal.
    The International Court of Justice reaffirmed the meaning and validity of Article 80

  2. The “Mandate for Palestine” is Valid to This Day
    The Mandate survived the demise of the League of Nations. Article 80 of the UN Charter implicitly recognizes the “Mandate for Palestine” of the League of Nations.
    This Mandate granted Jews the irrevocable right to settle anywhere in Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, a right unaltered in international law and valid to this day. Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), Gaza and the whole of Jerusalem are legal.

    The International Court of Justice reaffirmed the meaning and validity of Article 80

    1. the problem is that international law is non sense to jew haters and islamic countries

  3. To Jean

    Really amazing how Kofi Annan and his acolytes at the UN could have overlooked these documents in the dossier they submitted to the International Court!!

    Definitely not an oversight in my opinion.

    Only Kofi Annan can explain what happened and who is responsible for this attempted perversion of the course of justice.

    Israel should be banging on the UN door demanding answers.

    1. David do the people who regularly voice opinions on “International Law” realise that Jordan only signed the Hague Convention (1907) in 1992?
      Surely Art 2 then would invalidate claim of “military occupation” under Art 42.

      1899 and 1907
      Lebanon 14-02-1968 14-04-1968
      Israel 17-06-1962
      Jordan 27-01-1992
      Source: Permanent Court of Arbitration.

    2. to David

      perversion of the course of justice makes a niche of dictatorial regimes

      The UN is monster serving Evil

  4. Ian

    You appear to be confusing 1907 Hague I with 1907 Hague IV.

    In any event I believe either have little bearing on specific provisions subsequently dealing with the legal right expressly conferred on the Jewish people to reconstitute its national home in Palestine as specified in the 1920 San Remo Conference, the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, the 1922 Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the 1945 UN Charter.

    The best the PLO could do was declare these provisions to be null and void in 1964.

    It is a decision that has brought the Palestinian Arabs nothing but grief - and so will it continue until they see commonsense and reason and accept the Jewish State as legally constituted under these long standing pillars of international law.

    1. David thanks for replying.
      Just to clarify, I’m only referring to the PCA list to get the date that Jordan signed the convention.
      Are you saying that the four sections can be agreed to individually on different dates?

      I: The Pacific Settlement of International Disputes
      IV: The Laws and Customs of War on Land includes the
      Annex on The Qualifications of Belligerents

      If so where are the dates for countries signing 1907 Hague IV.

  5. another an excellent article by David Singer


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