Contrary to misconceptions about the status of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, international law actually proves Israel’s legal right to this land.
The World Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Speaking at a sovereignty conference on Friday held by Israel advocacy organization Women in Green, Karen Stahl-Don of the Legal Grounds Campaign declared that international law provides “effective tools” to prove Israel’s right to Judea and Samaria. “We can win,” declared Stahl-Don, an expert on international law as it pertains to Israel, if advocates for the Jewish state stop being frightened of using legal arguments to further their cause.
Stahl-Don discussed her June trip to a conference of The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation. There, 24 international lawyers from 12 countries came together to create “a new paradigm” to create peace between Israel and its neighbors – by, among other things, promoting Israel’s right to Judea and Samaria.
“We have friends in the world… we’re not alone,” Stahl-Don stated. Referring to Asia and Africa, she said, “There are many places where Israel is viewed as a successful, ‘techie’ country that can help their countries grow…. In Europe we’re seeing a softening [due to the wave of Muslim immigrants], and even in some Arab countries [due to fear of Iran]. So we have an opportunity now, but we must overthrow the false narratives and hijacking of international law.”
Anti-Israel Voices Misrepresent UN Resolutions
One of the most famous false narratives, she says, reiterated by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before the UN General Assembly as recently as September 22, 2016, is that UN Resolution 181, otherwise known as the Partition Plan, gave part of British Mandate Palestine to the Arabs, and Israel is therefore violating international law by settling Judea and Samaria.
“If you actually read 181, you’ll find that it doesn’t say the Palestinians should have a state,” Stahl-Don revealed. “The resolution proposed two states joined by economic union, with a joint currency system, joint Economics Board, joint telephone and postal services, common ports and airports, shared water and power facilities, and more. The condition under which the Jews accepted 181 was that the other side would cooperate. They didn’t.”
Another revelation was that no boundaries were ever set in 181 for the Jewish and Arab entities. A UN-Palestine commission was set up to finalize the resolution and determine the borders, but neither Great Britain as the Mandatory Power, nor the Arabs, cooperated with it. “The resolution never took effect and it is not binding,” Stahl-Don emphasized.
Stahl-Don then mentioned some facts that are accepted as part of international law, and yet ignored when it comes to Israel.
– General Assembly Resolutions are not legally binding and are actually only policy recommendations.
– UN resolutions are only binding if both parties agree; the Arabs immediately rejected Resolution 181 in both word and deed, waging war in 1948 to annihilate Israel.
– The party that rejects an agreement does not retain any rights based on that agreement.
The Palestinian insistence that the resolution remains valid, with the option of a state being held open for them forever, is simply not true.
“The British Mandate is therefore the only legally binding document regarding Palestine,” Stahl-Don concluded, “and its Article 6 explicitly states that the Mandate should encourage the settlement of Jews in Palestine – which included Judea and Samaria.”