International Law, what’s it good for?

By Ted Belman

Recently Nathaniel Berman, a Professor on International Law, wrote an article titled The Settlement Legality Debate: FAQ  It was extremely well argued.  I was not equipped to meet him head on or to refute his analysis.

A friend of mine from Canada, Mark Vandermass, entered the fray with
The Mandate is the foundation of Israel’s right to the land west of the Jordan River. I tip my hat to him.

Berman decided to take his arguments to task by commenting, and the subsequent comments from myself and others were well worth reading. So go to Vandermass’ article and read all the comments. You will be glad you did.

May 15, 2017 | 2 Comments » | 78 views

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. The U.N. which can only issue a non-binding resolution with no legal standings did not create or re-establish the State of Israel; it only followed the instructions and Agreements of “The Supreme Allied Powers” after WWI – The U.N. can only issue non-binding resolutions which has no legal standings. The British Mandate for Palestine, April 1920 and its consequences The British Mandate for Palestine (as trustee for the Jewish people), sometimes referred to as the Mandate of Palestine, was a League of Nations Mandate created after the First World War when the Ottoman Empire was split up by the Treaty of Sèvres and Lausanne. At the 1920 San Remo conference of the Allied Supreme Council, at which the Mandates were granted (and the 1917 Balfour Declaration was incorporated as part of the allocation, that gave it the force of International Law), and at which time the Arabs received over 12 million sq. km. of territory with a wealth of oil reserves, the precise boundaries of all territories, including that of the British Mandate of Palestine aka The Land of Israel, were specified, to “be determined by the Principal Allied Powers” and were completely finalized based on the Faisal Weizmann Agreement of January 1919 which specified all of Palestine for the Jewish National Home which is about 120,000 sq. km., (see the minutes of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference and the 1920 San Remo Conference) and described four years later. However, it was clear that the boundary of Britain’s mandate for Palestine as trustee for the Jewish people was to extend eastward to the western boundary of its mandate for Mesopotamia. In 1921, following Churchill’s negotiations with Emir Abdullah Transjordan (later Jordan in 1946 was created in violation of Agreements, as the new Arab Palestinian State for the Arabs in Palestine/Israel) was part of the Mandate, but it was separated from the area on which a Jewish National Home had been reconstituted and to be re-established, a move formalized by the British in violation of treaties and agreements, by the addition of a September 1922 clause to the charter governing the Mandate for Palestine aka The Land of Israel, which allowed for postponement of all mandatory provisions which expressly included as part of the ‘Jewish National Home’ on lands which lay to the east of the Jordan River. YJ Draiman.
    The objective of the League of Nations Mandate system in the 1920’s was to administer parts of the recently defunct Ottoman Empire (which as occupiers controlled/owned over 90% of the land in Palestine aka The Land of Israel, some of the land was leased to the Arabs by the Ottoman Empire as sharecroppers. There was no Arab ownership of land in Palestine aka The Land of Israel – only some wealthy land owners from Lebanon and local Arab leaders. Much of the land claimed by the Arabs was given to them illegally by the British Mandate authorities who violated their fiduciary obligation and were going to be charged by the League of Nations for those violations; but the League was dismantled after WWII and taken over by the U.N.), which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone”.
    In 1948 when the British regime as trustee abandoned their duty and commitment to help re-establish the Jewish National Home in Palestine aka The Land of Israel, the Historic Land of Israel as was established during King Solomon’s and King David’s reign.
    Israel Jewish population became the Majority and as stated in the 1920 Agreement declared its Sovereignty over its Historic National territory.
    The borders of the Mandate for Palestine extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the west including what is today Jordan, the British Mandate of Mesopotamia to the east, the French Mandate of Lebanon to the north, the French Mandate of Syria to the northeast, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kingdom of Egypt to the southeast and southwest respectively.
    The Arab-Palestinians in Greater Israel do not seek peace and co-existence, only terror and violence and the destruction of the Jewish State.
    YJ Draiman

  2. The title is framed openly for the entire World and needs answering as such. International law as more than custom self enforced by the deterrence of reprisals alias two can play nasty, dates from the late 16th century – 1500’s – because the Protestant Reformation broke the cultural unity and Papal supremacy of Roman Catholic Europe.

    Accordingly there are two sources of authority: specific treaty about borders and peace and trade terms, inclusive of the sub-group of “conventions ” which deal with technicalities whether, POW’s,road signs, ticketing terms and conditions, post, health quarantine and or arrest warrants…. The UN and, “all its works,” are derived from its founding treaty, and the League of Nations before it, ditto with the World Postal Organisation and the WHO originally the “Paris Office.”

    Then there is “custom” of two sorts to the mists of time: “of merchants”, and “of states.” Interestingly: the Nazi Germans were in part caught on this last for not behaving as a state normally does or should – as recognised by their own attempts to cover up their crimes.

    As in all 19th and 20th century development there is an increasing pace of reviewing custom into convention to make life clearer, faster and easier. A good early example was how at the end of the Napoleonic War at the Vienna Congress the powers standardised diplomatic practice into the “Vienna Convention” which still governs most international diplomatic procedure, ranks etc.

    Just because the Arabs often claim whatever suits them is “international law” does not mean it is so; but various economic and military developments have also returned a lot of power to many lesser states – at least on their hearthrugs – and the US and ex-SU can no longer just shove the system about – if they ever could.

    A lot of routine international intercourse uses international law satisfactorily and we need it – especially when cleaning up after an Arab tantrum.

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