The Western world, including countries, NGOs, and institutions like the EU and the UN, seem to forget that they no longer rule empires and control vassal states around the world, for they have made it their business to poke their nose into Israel’s internal and external affairs. They prod, cajole and often outright threaten Israel to take actions vis-a-vis the Palestinians which would ultimately harm our security and potentially become existential problems for us.
None of this is new, as anyone who reads the news can attest. However lately the political and diplomatic onslaught on Israel has taken on a new ferocity, no doubt inspired by America’s abdication of its responsibility, power and influence in the Middle East and its overt eagerness to come to a deal, any deal, with Iran which would leave it with its nuclear weapons program intact.
Thus we had the recent sorry spectacle of the British Parliament voting in favour of a recommendation to recognize a Palestinian state.
The British vote however was still one step away from Sweden’s vote last week. The British only voted to “recommend the recognition” of a Palestinian state. Sweden took the matter one step further and declared its recognition of “Palestine”, despite the fact that the state does not actually exist yet.
It would behove the British and the Swedes, besides any other countries who are tempted to recognize a Palestinian state, to read the following article by Eli E. Hertz at Myths and Facts. He reminds us of the salient facts about “Palestine” as it was originally envisaged when the Mandate for Palestine was established:
The Mandate unconditionally rejects Arab claims to national political rights in the land, in favor of the Jews self-determination and political development, in recognition of the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.
Eleven successive British governments, Labor and Conservative, from David Lloyd George (1916-1922) through Clement Attlee (1945-1952) viewed themselves as duty-bound to fulfill the “Mandate for Palestine” placed in the hands of Great Britain by the League of Nations.
Lord Curzon, who was then the British Foreign Secretary, made this reading of the mandate explicit. “There remains simply the theory that the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have an inherent “natural law” claim to the area. Neither customary international law nor the United Nations Charter acknowledges that every group of people claiming to be a nation has the right to a state of its own.”
It is important to point out that political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs, were guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates—in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].
Any attempt to negate the Jewish people’s right to Palestine—Eretz-Israel, and to deny them access and control in the area designated for the Jewish people by the League of Nations, is a violation of international law.
Of course the huge international objection to Israel’s building Jewish homes in Jerusalem and in other places over the invisible “Green Line” is not to be forgotten either. As if housing for Jews is all that stands between civilization and the end of the world.
On this theme, I would recommend reading Varda Epstein’s post at Israellycool where she succinctly encapsulates the misunderstandings and outright lies about Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria:
How about starting with the legal definition of the word “occupation,” which refers to land beyond a country’s natural borders seized by belligerents during an offensive? Since Israel’s wars were defensive, rather than offensive, any territorial victories are legal under international law.
As a matter of fact, in 1948, Jordan seized land deemed to be part of Israel, according to the international community. Now THAT was an occupation. Only two UN member states deemed Jordan’s occupation of Israeli land to be legal: Great Britain and Pakistan. Israel, in defending itself against the Arab aggressors, regained more of Jerusalem than it had in its possession prior to 1948, but that does not make Israel an occupier according to international law, since Israel was not the aggressor.
But it is not the Arabs’ indigenous land and never was. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in Israel for thousands of years. The Jewish presence in Israel and in fact the Jewish people, predate the Arab people and Islam by more than one thousand years.
Jerusalem is not “Palestinian” land, because there is no such thing as a Palestinian. Rather, there are Arabs who came to what was then called Palestine and is now called Israel, seeking a better life. Now they are making a land grab with the approval of the international community, which nonetheless does not make the land grab moral or even legal.
Read the whole thing which goes a long way in clarifying a complicated subject.
But the ultimate defender on the front line of international delegitimization is Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor. He is an outstanding and eloquent spokesman, and in a recent brilliantly scathing speech at the UN, he defended Israel’s position and attacked international hypocrisy after the Palestinians tabled an emergency resolution about Israel’s construction of housing in Jerusalem and their allegations of Israel’s violation of religious freedom on the Temple Mount.
Would that all our politicians defend Israel so robustly and speak with such eloquence and conviction, and would that they all had the courage to call out the international community on its hypocrisy in the Middle East, allowing the Arabs literally to get away with murder while condemning Israel for building homes.
Will his speech convince anyone in the UN? No, I’m pretty sure he won’t. The hypocrisy and self-interest is built-in at the UN and at other international institutions and NGOs. But Israel’s case must be put on the record and broadcast far and wide for those who are undecided and for those who want to defend Israel and don’t have the facts and figures to hand.