Just the facts.
In 1920, at San Remo, the Jewish People were recognized by the Principal Allied War Powers in WWI as owning the political rights to Palestine
The competing Arab claims also submitted at the Paris Peace talks were implicitly denied in Palestine, but recognized in the rest of the Middle East, i.e. Syria & Mesopotamia and, indirectly, later in Transjordan.
The Allies had conquered this area from the Ottoman Empire in a defensive war. Their ruling was based on the historic association of the Jewish People with Palestine (the name given to the area by the Romans) in which there had been a continuous uninterrupted Jewish presence for 3,700 years.
In 1922, this political right was recognized by 52 nations but limited to Palestine west of the Jordan River. The rights were required to be placed in trust until the Jewish People attained a majority of population in the area in which they were to exercise sovereignty and were capable of exercising sovereignty in that area.
In 1948, the trustee abandoned its legal dominion over the political rights that were in trust and the Jewish People had established unified control over Palestine west of the Jordan River with some exceptions.
Just after it had declared independence in that year, the Jewish People’s State of Israel was invaded. Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem were invaded by the Arab Legion supplied and led by the British; they became illegally occupied by Jordan, and Gaza was similarly invaded and illegally occupied by Egypt.
By 1950 the Jews had also attained a Jewish majority population in the remaining area. With both a majority population in the area governed and the ability to exercise sovereignty, the political rights to that area vested in the Jews so they had legal dominion over them and the Jews were then sovereign in that area.
Following 1967, the Jewish People had annexed East Jerusalem; in 1967, it also liberated the other areas that had been illegally occupied. Later, in 2005 the Jews withdrew from Gaza.
It follows that now the Jewish People have sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem as well as the territory within the Green Line because they own and have legal dominion over the political rights to these areas and have established unified control over them, even though they have not as yet asserted that sovereignty except for East Jerusalem.
International Law does recognize the right of political self-determination in the case of colonies external to the areas from which they are ruled. This is referred to as “decolonization”. International Law supports decolonization. The quest for the right of political-self determination of a group of people in an area internal to the boundaries of a state that has sovereignty is referred to as “secession”. A secession would violate the territorial integrity of a sovereign state.
Effective as of 1976, International Law recognized the right of a “people” to political self- determination, but it did not provide any indication of where that rule would be applied. In any event, the so-called “Palestinians” do not meet the test of a legitimate “people” but are, in fact, an undifferentiated part of the Arab people residing in Palestine who were invented as a separate “people” by the Soviet dezinformatsiya in 1964.
In a decolonization, International Law gives preference to self-determination over territorial integrity. International Law regarding secession of an area internal to a state is a wholly different matter. The right to secede is not a general right of political self-determination for all peoples or nations. It is limited by the territorial integrity of a sovereign state. The unilateral right to secede, i.e. the right to secede without consent from a sovereign state, if it is to be recognized, say most commentators on International Law, should be understood as a remedial right only, a last resort response to serious injustices. In addition, those wanting to secede must show they have the capability of exercising sovereignty.
There is no evidence of serious injustice to support such a remedial right for the Arabs residing in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem although they have long complained of perpetual victimhood. Nor do they have the capability to exercise sovereignty such as unified control over the area they wish to have designated as an independent state.
It follows that the so called “Palestinians” have no right to political self determination under International Law.
Wallace Edward Brand, JD
The writer is an alumnus of Harvard and UCLA