Judea and Samaria leaders write a letter to the United Nations

Israel Matav

Please see below letter signed by Shomron Governor Gershon Mesika, Beit El mayor Moshe Rosenbuam, Benyamin residents head Yitzchak Shadmi and others. In this letter local leaders demand that the Unite Nations rocognize Jewish rights to the area of Judea and Samaria AKA “West Bank”. This offers a just alternative to notions of establishing an Islamic regime in the area like was done in Gaza after Israeli pullout in 2005. (I received this letter via email from Shomron Liaison Office Executive Director David HaIvri).

    Secretary-General of the United Nations
    Mr. Ban Ki Moon

    Dear Mr. Secretary-General:

    In this letter we respectfully wish to draw your attention, inter alia, to the repeated references by the UN to the territories liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War – territories until then illegally occupied by the Kingdom of Jordan – as “occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)” in UN communiqués. For your own most recent use of this term, see UN News Service, 23 March 2011, “UN Chief condemns bomb attack in West Jerusalem”. By repeatedly referring to the “occupied Palestinian territory” (or “occupied Palestinian territories” (as in UN News Service, 1 April 2011), you are unwittingly concealing from the public the true legal status of the lands to which you refer and causing the Jewish people unwarranted anguish. We describe hereunder in concise fashion the facts relevant to the topic:

    The territories liberated in 1967 from the illegal Jordanian occupation that had lasted from the signing of the Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Agreement in 1949 to the second week of June 1967, are lands belonging eternally, legally and unambiguously to the Jewish People, as clearly shown as follows:

    1. The entire Land of Israel was promised and granted to the Jewish People, the descendants of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by the Almighty for all time, as recorded time and again in the opening Five Books of the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Genesis 15:21; Deuteronomy 1:8 et al.), accepted by the adherents of the Christian faith whose Bible encompasses the aforementioned Books, and confirmed in various places in the holy book of Islam, the Kur’an (e.g., Sura 2 et al.). This fundamental precept of Jewish faith is reinforced by various expositions in another Jewish holy book, the Talmud, study of which is common not only in Jewish schools but also in those of South Korea.

    2. Despite the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the expulsion by force of the Jewish People from their Land by the Roman Empire at the outset of the common era (70 C.E.) after over a thousand years of consecutive Jewish presence in the Land, the various Jewish communities throughout the world maintained their spiritual and historical connection with their Holy Land, and this connection was then recognized by the entire international community during the period from November 1917 (the issuance of the Balfour Declaration), through 1920 when Great Britain was entrusted with the Mandate for Palestine and enjoined thereby to ensure the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, and 1922 (with the 52 member-states of the League of Nations confirming the Mandate) to December 1925 (when the Anglo-American Convention Relating to the Mandate for Palestine signed a year earlier was proclaimed before Congress by President Coolidge). Thus was the de jure sovereignty of the Jewish People over all of its Land, which the nations called “Palestine”, confirmed, while attributes of sovereignty were entrusted to the United Kingdom in order that it might prepare world Jewry for the successful administration of its nascent Jewish State, soon to be established in all of the Holy Land, i.e., on both sides of the Jordan River – all this as determined by the World War I Principal Allied Powers at San Remo in 1920 and formalized in the Mandate for Palestine. For the entire Mandate period, Great Britain worked assiduously to wreck the implementation of the Mandate by means of a series of “White Papers” that distorted the original aim of the Mandate beyond recognition.

    3. Even as the League of Nations disintegrated, the founders of the UN organization, the new body intended to replace the now-defunct League and at the head of which you, Mr. Secretary-General, now stand, guaranteed the continuity of Jewish legal rights to the Land of Israel by means of Article 80 of the UN Charter. The UN General Assembly, however, brushed this article aside and recommended the partition of “Palestine”, (1947) an illegal recommendation rejected out of hand by the Arabs of the Land and by the leaders of the Arab states who were unwilling to concede even a square inch of land to the returning Jewish People. This GA resolution was never legal, was never of an obligatory nature, has been dead for over 63 years and cannot be resurrected. The very opposite is what is required of the UN at this time: to recognize the continuity of Jewish legal rights to the entire Land of Israel under Article 80 of the UN Charter!

    4. The ensuing war (1947-9) forced on Israel by the invading armies of five Arab states ended in the signing of armistice agreements perpetuating until the achievement of peace the military lines held by the sides when the cease-fire went into effect and stating explicitly that these lines were not to be considered final borders nor were they to influence in any way the final borders when these should be determined in peace agreements. This, Mr. Secretary-General, is the infamous Green Line, which the UN seems to regard illogically as a border (“the 1967 borders”) between Israel and the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria, who were never a party to any armistice agreement and who had never considered themselves a separate people to either exercise or even demand a theoretical right to self-determination – as demonstrated by their resounding silence during over 18 years of Jordanian occupation and unrecognized illegal annexation (1949-1967). This silence still echoes significantly through the corridors of time and serves to interpret subsequent “Palestinian” Arab maneuvering.

    5. In 1967, war – the Six-Day War – was once again forced on Israel by four Arab states: Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, as the inevitable result of the Egyptian dismissal of the small UN force that had for the previous decade maintained the fragile ceasefire between Egypt and Israel, of the naval blockade imposed by Egypt on shipping to and from Israel’s port of Eilat; of international reluctance to intervene; and of the placing of the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian armed forces under a unified command. One of the spectacular results of this war was the expulsion of Jordanian forces from the regions of Judea and Samaria (the regions Jordan had called her “West Bank”) and the summary end of the 18-year-long illegal Jordanian occupation of those lands.

    6. Naïvely hoping that the Arab states, after their stunning defeat, would realize there was no logical alternative but to come to terms with Israel and sign peace treaties with her in return for the territories they had lost in the war, the Israeli government unwisely refrained from incorporating Judea and Samaria into the State of Israel – as she was legally obligated to do, the Jewish people having been awarded de jure sovereignty over this territory at San Remo long before (1920) and this having been confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922 – and, instead of applying Israeli law to the liberated territories, voluntarily applied the humanitarian provisions of the Laws of War, as embodied inter alia in the Fourth Geneva Convention. This was a step taken by Israel, Mr. Secretary-General, not out of legal compulsion (as would have been the case had the areas held been captured from a legal sovereign), but merely to protect the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria for what was naïvely expected to be a short interim period. This demonstrates clearly, Mr. Secretary-General, the absurdity of considering this land “occupied”, despite contrary interpretations provided even by some of Israel’s own jurists of international acclaim, who have, in a sense, turned out to be no less than the Muammar Ghaddafi of the Jewish People.

    7. As even a beginning student of Middle East history is well aware, the Arabs responded with a resounding “NO!” to peace, “NO!” to negotiations with Israel and “NO!” even to the possibility of Arab recognition of the Jewish State.

    8. It was only in 1979 that Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel and much later, in 1994, that Jordan did likewise. The Arabs living in the Land of Israel have refused to this day to end their hostilities, incitement and criminal terrorism against the Jews and the Jewish State; indeed, some “Palestinian” factions have entered into negotiations with Israel, but never have they been prepared to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion, despite the painful concessions Israel has offered them in order to achieve peace.

    9. The time has undoubtedly come – in fact, it is long overdue, Mr. Secretary-General – for the international community as represented by the UN to recognize the fact that the Arabs of the Land of Israel do not want their own state, nor do they want to conclude a peace agreement with the State of Israel; all they desire is the destruction of Israel; the time has indeed come to reaffirm international recognition of the immutable rights of the Jewish People to all of their historical homeland.

    10. Let us consider two cases in modern history, Mr. Secretary-General, [1] that of Namibia and [2] that of Jordan:

    [1] Just as the Principal Allied Powers of World War I granted a mandate for Palestine to Great Britain at San Remo in 1920, so they granted the Union of South Africa a mandate for South-West Africa. Unlike the British, who informed the UN in 1947 of their desire to rid themselves of their mandate, South Africa refused to surrender the mandate with which they had been entrusted. While the UN – instead of transforming the Mandate for Palestine into a Trust Territory under the Trusteeship System, the successor to the earlier Mandate System, as the UN Charter required it to do – recommended by means of its General Assembly the illegal partition of Palestine, contrary to the express stipulations of the Mandate Charter and entailing the gross violation of the rights of the national beneficiary of the Mandate – the Jewish People, in the case of Namibia the UN brought pressure to bear on South Africa until that country relinquished its mandate and the new Republic of Namibia finally came into being in 1990.

    Mr. Secretary-General, the blatant injustice of the UN position on the Land of Israel stands out clearly when compared with the UN position on Namibia. In the case of the Land of Israel / Palestine, the national beneficiary of the Mandate – the Jewish People – has been forcibly deprived of its rights, while in the case of Namibia, the UN acted forcefully to ensure that the aim of the Mandate for South-West Africa was achieved in full. It is no wonder, Mr. Secretary-General, that the UN – the organization which you head – is widely considered a biased, unfair and even anti-Semitic organization.

    [2] The Kingdom of Jordan exists on some 75% of mandated Palestine. Its ruling class, the Hashemite family with the support of nomadic Bedouin tribes, accounts for no more than 30% of the population of the Kingdom, perhaps even less. The other 70% of the population of that country is made up of “Palestinian” Arab people, the very same people the Arabs of the Land of Israel consider themselves. It is thus untrue that the Arabs of the Land of Israel are stateless; on the contrary, in the neighboring Kingdom of Jordan they are an unshakable majority of the population living on “Palestine” soil. If the Arabs at present sojourning in the Land of Israel prefer to live in their own country, rather than in a Jewish state, they are free to join their brethren on the east bank of the Jordan River, where they can live in peace and tranquility among people of their own flesh and blood, and even more important, people of their own culture.

    11. We must also consider the ramifications of the illegal establishment of yet another Arab state in the heartland of the Land of Israel, Mr. Secretary-General. We could learn from the rhetoric of Lebanon’s Hizbullah and from that of the Hamas of Gaza what fate would be in store for the nearly 600,000 Jews living legally in Judea, Samaria and “East Jerusalem”, but there is no need to go so far afield: the representatives of the Palestinian Authority make it abundantly clear that the territory they hope some day to control must be given to them judenrein – without any Jewish inhabitants whatever. Do you appreciate, Mr. Secretary-General, what it would mean to displace illegally over half a million men, women and children? Israel finds it difficult to provide permanent homes for the eight or nine thousand persons uprooted from their homes and sources of livelihood in 2005, when Israel unilaterally and unwisely pulled out of the Gaza district. Are you aware of the catastrophe suffered in the 1920s by the millions of Bulgars, Greeks and Turks forced to flee their homes and relocate elsewhere? The Palestinian Authority has even enacted a death penalty to be imposed on any of their own people who sell real-estate to Jews.

    In addition, it is clear how a so-called “Palestinian” state, illegal though it would be, would relate to the Jewish state, which to this day it actually refuses to recognize as such. By demanding of Israel to cede her own land to the Arabs, you are not only sentencing to relocation in refugee camps at best over half a million Jews, but also condemning the Middle East to yet another fierce war of Arab aggression, the possible results of which are too unspeakable to mention. Is this indeed your intention, Mr. Secretary-General? Can you reconcile this with International Humanitarian Law?

    These, Mr. Secretary-General, are the historical and legal facts. One must conclude that demanding of Israel to cede to the Arabs any land belonging to the Jewish People by divine grant and by international law is tantamount to requiring of Israel to commit national suicide and render null and void recognized legal Jewish territorial rights to its national patrimony. It is thus your responsibility to advise and guide your organization to reaffirm the recognition by the international community of these legal Jewish rights under Article 80 of the UN Charter, while seeking to provide the Arabs at present living on this Jewish land with a simple solution to their desire to exercise political rights in their own country – i.e., in the Kingdom of Jordan.

    Should you choose, Mr. Secretary-General, for any reason whatever to ignore the historical and legal facts enclosed in this letter, and continue with the present unjust and illegal policies of the UN, we shall feel free to act in accordance with the best interests of the Jewish people. This will entail at very least putting our case before an appropriate international judicial authority and suing for damages the persons responsible for this illegality.

May 4, 2011 | 3 Comments »

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    The core thesis of my book, The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law, is that de jure sovereignty over all of Eretz-Israel was vested in the Jewish People, i.e., world Jewry, as a result of the adoption of the San Remo Resolution of April 25,1920 by the Principal Allied Powers of World War I (Britain, France, Italy and Japan), a coalition of nations that defeated and dismembered the Ottoman Turkish Empire and then allotted those lands to various national beneficiaries.

    In 1920, there was of course no State of Israel, but the Zionist Organization (now called the World Zionist Organization) represented the national aspirations of the Jewish People to bring about a future independent Jewish State. In 1929, a second representative body was formed: the Jewish Agency for Palestine (now: the Jewish Agency for Israel) – in accordance with Article 4 of the Mandate for Palestine. It was these two Jewish-Zionist bodies that were instrumental in the eventual rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel, that officially came into existence on May 15,1948. In point of law, de jure sovereignty over the land of the Jews was devolved or transferred from the Jewish People via the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency to the State of Israel as of that date. However, the devolution of sovereignty was exercisable – in a de facto sense – only over those areas of the Land of Israel that were at that time in the actual physical possession of the State of Israel, while other integral areas of the Jewish National Home remained under illegal Arab control in 1948.

    The situation was drastically changed by the Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967 when eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan Heights and Sinai were all liberated from foreign Arab occupation by the Israel Defense Forces. The astounding Israeli victory in the war was, however, accompanied by a legal farce perpetrated by the legal advisers of the Eshkol National Unity Government, chief among whom was the then-Military Advocate-General Meir Shamgar, the future Attorney General and President of the Israel Supreme Court. Instead of applying Israeli law to the liberated territories, as required by the then-existing Israeli constitutional law, the Eshkol Government – acting on Shamgar’s misguided advice – shortsightedly and unconstitutionally applied international law (i.e., the laws of war, embodied in the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949), thus creating the harmful world-wide impression that Israel was henceforth an Occupying Power of “foreign lands” belonging to Arab states. That is the only reason why Judea, Samaria and Gaza came thereafter to be called “occupied territories”, both inside Israel and abroad, a misnomer that persists universally today, even among Israel’s friends and institutions, such as the Israeli Supreme Court.

    Under Israeli constitutional law that existed at the outset of the Six-Day War, the Government of Israel was legally obliged to apply the law of the State of Israel – and not international law – to the liberated territories. This obligation was inherent in the 1948 law known as the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance and the two Proclamations issued under its provisions, namely, the Jerusalem Proclamation of August 2, 1948 and the all-embracing and open-ended Land of Israel Proclamation of September 2, 1948. These enactments had one purpose only: to extend the area of the Jewish State beyond its narrow borders as recommended in the UN General Assembly Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 in order to embrace and incorporate into the State all other areas of the Land of Israel in Arab hands that had been re-possessed by the Israel Defense Forces. To achieve precisely that, it was in fact this law and the two proclamations that were invoked in 1948 by Prime Minister and Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion. This legal mechanism paved the way for cities such as Nahariya, Nazareth, Ramle, Lod, Beersheba, Ashdod (Isdud), Ashkelon (Majdal) and other places that were not yet part of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948 – to be brought within its boundaries. It may surprise many to know that the 1948 Ordinance and the Land of Israel Proclamation are still very much in force, and can even be invoked again, without new Knesset legislation, if the Government of Israel so desires, in order to incorporate Judea, Samaria and Gaza into the State of Israel.

    The pressing question that arises at this point is what would happen if, instead of incorporation or annexation, the Israeli Government decides to abandon or cede Judea, Samaria to the Arabs as indicated by the Road Map Peace Plan and the Two-State Solution. In this respect it should be noted that what was done to the Jewish inhabitants of the Gaza district and northern Samaria was a violation of the 1950 Law of Return, an infringement that the Supreme Court ignored in its decision approving the legality of the Disengagement Implementation Law of 2005. The discussion here will therefore be limited to the fate of Judea and Samaria.

    The sovereignty now vested in the State of Israel over Judea and Samaria, but which is inexplicably neither asserted nor even recognized by the Israeli Government, can, in my opinion, be exercised by the 300,000 or more Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria in the event and only in the event that the Government of Israel withdraws completely from this territory and leaves it once again to the mercies of Arab terrorists. As a matter of law, it should always be remembered that the State of Israel acts only in the role and capacity of agent and assignee of the Jewish People, and simply has no legal authority to renounce the right or rights that legally belong eternally to the Jewish People as a whole, not only of this generation but also of all future generations, as Ben-Gurion noted at Basel in 1937. Thus if the State acts contrary to its power as agent and assignee of the Jewish People who are directly and adversely affected by its renunciation of the right of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and its transfer of de facto control over the land to an Arab entity, i.e., to the “Palestinian Authority” or the “Palestine Liberation Organization”, then the right of sovereignty reverts back to the Jewish People, the original and implied sovereign of Palestine under the San Remo Resolution, and as a result other representatives of the Jewish People can legally act in its place and stead. This applies particularly to the Jews of Judea and Samaria who are part and parcel of the Jewish People in whom sovereignty over all areas of Eretz-Israel ultimately vests, who presently implement Israel’s de facto sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and who would suffer great injury by any decision of the Government of Israel to cede Judea and Samaria to foreigners.

    The Jews of Judea and Samaria would, in fact and in law, be well within their constitutional rights to remain living in those territories under the most significant law of the State of Israel, the Law of Return, that enshrines in its provisions the two-thousand-year-old Jewish Right of Return and, assuming Government abandonment, to take the necessary steps to govern themselves in an independent State of Judea and Samaria.

  2. Bravo. Thank you for releasing such an eloquent letter, with the facts laid out in such a concise way. I have been on a committee of people working tirelessly to get his information out to the world, to change the dialogue around this very important issue. Now please cc it to every leader you know. This lays it out better than anything we have done so far. Please send it to every left wing NGO, to the Knesset, to Israel News. Translate it into Arabic, rRussian, Hebrew, French, German. Send it to United State Government, Canadian Government (who are your friend), and circulate it on Facebook, YouTube ( someone reading it), email.

  3. “Judea and Samaria leaders write a letter to the United Nations”

    The UN doesn’t recognize YeSh as part of planet earth, much less the Jews living there. One more for the “dead letter” file.