After all the brouhaha at the nasty surprise we received at the hands of the Obama Administration who refused to veto UNSC Resolution 2334, followed by John Kerry’s nasty attack on Israel, putting all the blame for the failure of the “peace process” on Israel and the settlements, it’s a useful exercise to examine exactly what is so wrong with this resolution.
Just to remind you, Resolution 2334 outlaws ALL Israeli settlement, construction, residence in ANY AND ALL areas captured, or rather liberated, in 1967. This includes “East’ Jerusalem, which itself includes the Jewish Quarter, the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – and the Western (Wailing) Wall, aka the Kotel, which is the holiest site at which Jews are permitted to pray. For now.
Below is Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, explaining exactly what is wrong with it, and how it goes further than Resolution 242 which was voted on in 1967 after the Six Day War.
One of the most succinct and clear answers that I have read appeared on the Quora website, a site where members can ask questions on any subject, and anyone who feels qualified (or even not!) may answer. Gail Ellis, who lives in Israel, wrote the following answer to the question “Why should the US have vetoed Resolution 2334?“:
Because, in characterizing the West Bank as “Palestinian territory” and the Israeli settlements as ‘illegal’ the resolution both lying and contradicting longstanding US policy (as well as its signed legal obligations).
And in passing it, not only has the UN tried to usurp powers it is NOWHERE granted in its charter and violated its own charter, it has demonstrated that the international community (separately and collectively) will not uphold its signed agreements. None of which is going to bring peace any closer.
Here are the historical and legal facts in support of the above:
- In 1910 the legal sovereign of the area that became the Mandate for Palestine was the Ottoman Empire. (No one disputes this).
- After the allied powers defeated the Ottomans, the Ottomans transferred the sovereignty of the area to the victorious allied powers, in the treaties of Sevres and Lausanne. (No one disputes this).
- In 1920 the Balfour Declaration was incorporated into international law in the San Remo Resolution, adopted by the victorious allied powers, this being a binding international agreement. (No one disputes this).
- In 1922 the San Remo Resolution was implemented as the Mandate for Palestine, and ratified by the League of Nations, this ALSO being a binding international agreement. No one disputes this. Or, rather, I should say (since the effect of this UN Resolution is to ignore or attempt to nullify, the provisions of the Mandate, in violation of its own charter) no one disputes that the League of Nations Mandates were binding legal documents that set valid borders for the states that emerged out of them in the case of any OTHER of the MANY instances of them).
- The MANDATE of the Mandate for Palestine WAS the creation of a Jewish national home (understood by all signatories at the time to be a Jewish commonwealth in the event that Jewish immigration was sufficient to permit this) in the area defined as the Mandate (and that included the West Bank and Jerusalem).
- In 1924 the US and Britain ratified the Anglo American treaty (which contained a carbon copy of the Mandate), this ALSO being a binding international agreement. In becoming party to this agreement the US became party to article 5 and 6, in both it and the Mandate (see below)
- Article 6 of the Mandate IS THE ONLY TIME THE WORD ‘SETTLEMENT’ IS MENTIONED IN A BINDING INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENT REGARDING PALESTINE.It states: “The Administration of Palestine … shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land”Article 5 of the Mandate specifically states “The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.”THE US IS PARTY TO THESE CLAUSES AS WELL VIA THE ANGLO AMERICAN AGREEMENT.
- Article 80 of the UN charter PRESERVES the rights granted by Mandates.
- The 1948 partition plan was a UNGA resolution (i.e. a non binding suggestion of compromise, as all UNGA resolutions are nonbinding). IF both the Jews and the Arabs had accepted it, AND had signed a treaty by which the Jewish people relinquished part of its rights (promised in the Mandate) to future sovereignty over the area, THEN the borders suggested by UNGA 181 would have become the legal borders. The Arab side rejected the compromise (with an invasion by 5 armies). Therefore the borders proposed by UNGA 181 have the same legal validity as any other rejected offer: NONE. And NOTE – even if you assume (for the sake of argument) that UNGA 181 was legally binding (which it was not), under its terms Jerusalem was supposed to be a corpus separatum, belonging to neither party.So how did Jerusalem suddenly legally become “Palestinian territory” ? (NO ONE has an explanation for this.)
- At the end of the War of Independence, the ‘green line’ was established by the 1949 Armistice agreement, whichspecifically states (because it was the ONLY THING both the Jews and Arabs agreed on) that it is not a permanent political border.
- Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank. Jordan’s annexation was not recognized by anyone except the Brits AND the PLO which stated in article 24 of its original 1964 charter “This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.”So how did the West Bank suddenly become ‘Palestinian Territory’? (No one has an explanation for this).
- The Oslo Accords (which transfer a kind of partial sovereignty to the Palestinian Authority in Areas A and B (basically all powers except the preservation of external security in Area A, and a joint responsibility for security in Area B) give Israel FULL administrative control over Area C (including the right to build). The Oslo accords specifically state that settlements are an issue that will be resolved ONLY in the final agreement.
There is not a person on this earth who can give the name, date and signatories of ANY binding legal agreement which transferred the right to full sovereignty over the West Bank and Jerusalem from the last legal beneficiary thereof (the Jewish People, via the Mandate) to the Palestinian people.
As there is NO SUCH DOCUMENT, consequently, the West Bank is NOT Palestinian territory (as the resolution claims).
In addition, NOWHERE in the UN charter is it granted the power to set the borders of one of its member states OR to nullify existing treaties setting them.- which this resolution does.
… apparently precedent works differently when it comes to Israel – as there is not ONE instance of the UN invoking the fourth Geneva convention in any other ongoing occupation, such as Turkey’s of North Cypress, China’s of Tibet, Morocco’s of Western Sahara, Russians of the Ukraine etc. Nor is there ONE instance of a border dispute between countries arising out of the mandate system in which the borders set by the mandate were not held to be the legal borders.)
Gail draws the very obvious, harsh conclusions of the effect of this resolution:
- To encourage the Palestinians not to negotiate (which is the only way sovereignty can be legally transferred to them), because they know the UN will LIE, USURP POWERS IT DOES NOT HAVE AND VIOLATE ITS OWN CHARTER on their behalf whatever they do
- To encourage Israel not to negotiate as it clarifies that Israel can not expect the international community to uphold any future signed agreements, as it has (separately and collectively) demonstrated that it will not uphold past signed agreements.
That is why the US should have vetoed it.
That response should be bookmarked and used every time someone questions Israel’s right to build in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, the Golan, or even questions Israel’s very right to exist.
It should also be sent to John Kerry next time he feels a speech coming upon him.
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I’m only sorry Aridog (RIP, PBUH) were not alive to read Ms. Ellis’ informed comment. He did so enjoy torquing the San Remo Convention and its context. As Howard Grief (also, regrettably, now RIP and PBUH) has so accurately concluded, the “Palestinians” have had their two-state solution for almost a century as the British carved out illegally the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” from the Mandate lands.
As for Kerry (spit) (cruising on his wife’s inherited fortune)- progresives/Jew-haters don’t “do” facts, so all of Ms. Ellis’ efforts would be wasted on him. Even a solid application of nekama’s Troll Hammer (TM) wouldn’t educate Kerry…
I’ve been thinking about Aridog all week, ever since the ambush of Israel at the UN last Friday/Saturday. He would have made mincemeat of Kerry’s speech. He is sorely missed. 😦
Indeed, every time I or anyone else mentions the San Remo Conference I can almost hear his voice in my head.
1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,”
The U.S. Congress in 1922
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,” confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine—anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea:
“Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected.” [italics in the original]
On September 21, 1922, the then President Warren G. Harding signed the joint resolution of approval to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine.
Here is how members of congress expressed their support for the creation of a National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine – Eretz-Israel (Selective text read from the floor of the U.S. Congress by the Congressman from New York on June 30, 1922). All quotes included in this document are taken verbatim from the given source.
1922 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
NATIONAL HOME FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE
JUNE 30, 1922
HOUSE RESOLUTION 360
(Rept. NO. 1172)
Representative Walter M. Chandler from New York – I want to make at this time, Mr. Speaker and gentlemen of the House, my attitude and views upon the Arab question in Palestine very clear and emphatic. I am in favor of carrying out one of the three following policies, to be preferred in the order in which they are named:
(1) That the Arabs shall be permitted to remain in Palestine under Jewish government and domination, and with their civil and religious rights guaranteed to them through the British mandate and under terms of the Balfour declaration.
(2) That if they will not consent to Jewish government and domination, they shall be required to sell their lands at a just valuation and retire into the Arab territory which has been assigned to them by the League of Nations in the general reconstruction of the countries of the east.
(3) That if they will not consent to Jewish government and domination, under conditions of right and justice, or to sell their lands at a just valuation and to retire into their own countries, they shall be driven from Palestine by force.
Hi, could you please explain to me how UN Resolution 2334 will affect the Jewish people in regard to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. I am being told by a World Vision guy… pffft! that the resolution which my nation NZ shamefully co-sponsored does not affect these areas and that this was a separate UNESCO Resolution on the Temple Mount and which has nothing to do with my country,
While I understand that UNESCO put forth a resolution on the Temple Mount it is my understanding that the outcome of UN 23344 will make these areas illegal to the Jewish people?
Thank you for your help. I desire to be rightly informed so I can stand against the thinly veiled antisemitism coming from Word Vision and others.
Hello Moments of G&G, thank you for comment. In answer to your question, there are 2 parts:
1) There was indeed a UNESCO vote which removed all mention of any Jewish (or indeed Christian) connection to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall and other holy sites. And no, New Zealand was not involved in that vote, probably because they don’t have a seat at UNESCO.
2) However New Zealand not only voted in favour, they actively SPONSORED UNSC Resolution 2334 last week. This Resolution 2334 is non-binding, as I wrote in my post above, but its declarative status, and the forum in which it was taken, declares all Israeli sovereignty in any part of “East” Jerusalem, i.e. any and all of the holy places, illegal. This is besides the settlements in Judea and Samaria. The resolution does not distinguish between any parts of the territories liberated by Israel in 1967.
It could be that the resolution does not make it illegal for Jews to pray at their holy sites, but in practice, if Israel sovereignty is illegal according to the Resolution, then you can be sure that the Muslim sovereignty which the UN insists should take over, will make damn sure that Jews will not be permitted to pray there. Just see what happened during the 19 years that Jordan had control of Jerusalem. They destroyed every single synagogue, desecrated the 3,000 year old Jewish cemetery on the Mt. of Olives, and of course did not allow the presence of a single Jew. All this contrary to their promises to the UN at the time. We have no reason to expect any different this time around. In fact it would probably be worse.
The wording of the resolution on Jerusalem is as follows:
““Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,”
“1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;
“3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
You can read more at my post: https://anneinpt.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/obamas-last-vicious-back-stabbing-of-israel-on-his-way-out/
Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a clear understanding of what has happened and from a New Zealander who stand with Israel I am deeply deeply sorry that my nation has not only been involved but co-sponsored this bill. x
You don’t need to apologize for your government, Moments of G&G. We know that your government does not represent all Kiwis. You can be proud of all your many compatriots who protested the NZ government’s sponsorship of this vile resolution:
Thank you Anne, I have been a long time national party supporter and I left a long post on the facebook page of our new prime minister Bill English letting him know how angry I am at what has happened. There are many Kiwi’s who stand with Israel. I have 6 children and all of them have been brought up to understand both from a biblical and political and historical viewpoint why Israel has every right to exist. As for me and my family we will pray for and stand up for Israel.
Thank you for your support MG&G. It is very much appreciated.
Excellently and clearly explained. I have shared this post on my Facebook page.
Thank you. I can’t take credit for it. I just found the answers on the internet!
Thank you for the share too. It’s so important to get this message out.
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