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Legal Problems with a Unilateral Declaration

Legal Problems with a Unilateral Declaration

An Open Letter to Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.


(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 U.S. 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 these 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 Interim 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 U.S., 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.

This letter was drafted by the Legal Forum for Israel and by Amb. Alan Baker of JCPA. It was signed by jurists and international lawyers.

September 3, 2011

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Visitor Comments: 7

(6) Miriam M., December 1, 2012 6:51 AM

Still State of/at war!

When Israel was approved for Statehood in '48, all the Arab armies tried to invade and annihilate her. Each time they tried again, Israel ended up with more territory. The Palestinian Arabs call it "occupation" but until there is a peace agreement, they are still technically at war and entitled to continue occupying and even taking over more territory if the necessity arises. Is that not so?

(5) Marj Eime, September 26, 2011 10:45 AM

please tell the world this..everyone needs to know the truth

keep telling the truth, one day people may listen

(4) Tamara, September 5, 2011 12:32 PM

Why is this not more widely known?

Why is this not more widely known?

(3) michael sahenny, September 5, 2011 8:11 AM

false hope

A legal basis for any argument is first and foremost dependent on the premise that legislation has been passed and accepted by it's country's legislative body, it would then be adjudicated by it's judiciary then enforced by it's police force, for better or for worse, according to each countries bias. In International law, where the forum for legislating, implementing, ( and eventually enforcing ) the law, falls on every country collectively, this introduces the problem of personal (countries) interests and bias. In the final analysis The United Nations may be the best theoretical forum for adjudicating the worlds problems, but practically, it will never work.

(2) Anonymous, September 4, 2011 2:28 PM

hypocricy of the u.n.

rashi hakodesh says,'halacha ,e'sav sonei l'yaakov'. -- eisav hates yaakov. therefore the un's action is a typical response from eisav. dont be impressed it will turn out good for yaakov.

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