Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Palestinian UN Gambit is Illegal

The following letter signed by dozens of experts in international law and lawyers from both North America and Europe has been sent to Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. (HT Melanie Phillips)

It outlines the main legal and historical reasons for why a recognition of a Palestinian State based on the 1967 "borders" would be illegal and without force.

It is of great educational value to those who do not know the background of the conflict.
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,

1st Avenue & 44th St., New York, NY 10017

May 25, 2011


Re: The proposed General Assembly resolution to recognize a Palestinian
State "within 1967 borders"- an illegal action

We, the undersigned, attorneys from across the world who are involved in
general matters of international law, as well as being closely concerned
with the Israeli- Palestinian dispute, appeal to you to use your influence
and authority among the member states of the UN, with a view to preventing
the adoption of the resolution that the Palestinian delegation intends to
table at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly, to recognize a
Palestinian state "within the 1967 borders".

By all standards and criteria, such a resolution, if adopted, would be in
stark violation of all the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians,
as well as contravening UN Security Council resolutions 242(1967) and
338(1973) and those other resolutions based thereon. Our reasoning is as

1. The legal basis for the establishment of the State of Israel was the
resolution unanimously adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, affirming
the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the historical
area of the Land of Israel. This included the areas of Judea and Samaria and
Jerusalem, and close Jewish settlement throughout. This was subsequently
affirmed by both houses of the US Congress.

2. Article 80 of the UN Charter determines the continued validity of the
rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international
instruments (including those adopted by the League of Nations). Accordingly
the above-noted League resolution remains valid, and the 650,000 Jews
presently resident in the areas of Judea, Samaria and eastern
Jerusalem, reside there legitimately.

3. "The 1967 borders" do not exist, and have never existed. The
1949 Armistice Agreements entered into by Israel and its Arab
neighbors, establishing the Armistice Demarcation Lines, clearly stated that
lines "are without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary
lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto". Accordingly
they cannot be accepted or declared to be the international boundaries of a
Palestinian state.

4. UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)called upon
the parties to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and
specifically stressed the need to negotiate in order to achieve "secure and
recognized boundaries".

5. The Palestinian proposal, in attempting to unilaterally change the
status of the territory and determine the "1967 borders" as its recognized
borders, in addition to running squarely against resolutions 242 and 338,
would be a fundamental breach of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian agreement on
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in which the parties undertook to
negotiate the issue of borders and not act to change the status of the
territories pending outcome of the permanent status negotiations.

6. The Palestinians entered into the various agreements constituting what
is known as the "Oslo Accords" in the full knowledge that
Israel's settlements existed in the areas, and that settlements would be one
of the issues to be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations.
Furthermore, the Oslo Accords impose no limitation on
Israel's settlement activity in those areas that the Palestinians agreed
would continue to be under Israel's jurisdiction and control pending
the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations.

7. While the Interim Agreement was signed by Israel and the PLO, it was
witnessed by the UN together with the EU, the Russian Federation , the US,
Egypt and Norway. It is thus inconceivable that such witnesses, including
first and foremost the UN, would now give license to a measure in the UN
aimed at violating this agreement and undermining major resolutions of the
Security Council.

8. While the UN has maintained a persistent policy of non-recognition of
Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem pending a negotiated solution, despite
Israel's historic rights to the city, it is inconceivable that the UN would
now recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, the borders of
which would include eastern Jerusalem. This would represent the
ultimate in hypocrisy, double standards and discrimination, as well as an
utter disregard of the rights of Israel and the Jewish People.

9. Such unilateral action by the Palestinians could give rise to
reciprocal initiatives in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) which
could include proposed legislation to declare Israel's sovereignty over
extensive parts of Judea and Samaria, if and when the Palestinians carry out
their unilateral action.


It appears to be patently clear to all that the Palestinian exercise, aimed
at advancing their political claims, represents a cynical abuse of the UN
Organization and of the members of the General Assembly. Its aim is to by-
pass the negotiation process called-for by the Security Council.

Regrettably this abuse of the UN and its integrity, in addition to
undermining international law, has the potential to derail the Middle-East
peace process.

We trust that you will use your authority to protect the UN and its
integrity from this abuse, and act to prevent any affirmation or recognition
of this dangerous Palestinian initiative.


Ambassador (Ret) Attorney Baker Alan, Ambassador (Ret) Dr. Rosenne Meir, Dr.
Arnon Harel. Adv.
Prof. Einhorn Talia, Prof. Shochetman Eliav, Abu Lior, Adv., Asraf Shlomo,
Adv. (LL.B, LL.M)
Baba-Nahary Merav, Adv., Benjamin Aryeh N., Adv. LL.M Ben-Shahar Meir, Adv.
Bulshtein Ariel, Adv., Burstyn Yitzhak .adv LL.M, Carmi Anat, Adv.
Cohen Hila, Adv. Daniely Mirit, Adv., David Liat, Adv. (LL.B, LL.M)
Dermer Yossi, Adv., Eagle Shira, Adv. Eisenberg M., Adv Elad Cohen, Adv.
Elkalay Shimrit, Adv., Friedman Shlomo, Adv., Fuchs Yossi ,Adv.
Ganan Yuval. Adv. Goelman Avinoam, Adv. Goldman Ezra Adv.,
Guggenheim Chanania U., Adv Hacohen Itay, Adv. Harshoshanim Ariel, Adv.
Hershkovitz David, Adv. LL.M Jarden Elon ,Adv., Kavatz Gad, Adv.
Koslowe Avital Adv. (LL.B, LL.M) Lapidot Harel, Adv.
Lapidot Ohad Ziv, Adv., Levy Yechezkel, Adv. LL.M. Magen Alon, Adv. LL.B
Meiri Eddy, Esq. Morginstin Philip B.,Adv Nadel Gill, Adv.
Naor Avi, Adv., Nimni Eliyahu, Adv. Nir-Tzvi Doron, Adv. Orbach Nir, Adv.
Peretz Yitzhak, (LLB, Hons.) Adv. Rotenberg Zvi E. ,Adv., Shaya Dotan, Adv.
Shimon Yehuda Arye, Adv. Shmuelyan Eli, Adv., Tamari Amir, Adv.
Tamari Ilana, Adv., Teplow Michael I., J.D adv. Vaknin Emanuel, Adv.
Weistuch Elad, Adv. Wiseman Gabriel, Adv. Yamin Uri, Adv.
Zell Mark, Adv.
Melanie Phillips discusses this letter and the hypocritical and despicable recent actions of David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK in a recent post.

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