15th May 1948 Letter From the Agent of the Provisional Government of Israel to the President of the United States, “MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”
Despite the fact that the League of Nations Covenant Article 20 tells us Palestine was a state with provisional recognition, referenced in the very first line of the League of Nation Mandate for Palestine and in Article 7, one of Israel’s main assertions has been that Palestine has never been a state.
Another of Israel’s arguments is that because the Arabs refused to recognize UNGA res 181, Israel somehow has some extra special right to territories the Israeli Government itself claimed on May 22nd 1948 were “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” and under Israeli military control. I.e., “occupied”
The arguments are not only nonsense, they’re entirely irrelevant. States cannot simply take what is not their own without the express permission of the legal inhabitants. Since at least 1933 it has been illegal (inadmissible) to “acquire” territory by war, furthermore it is illegal for other states to recognize territories acquired by war. A fact confirmed by Schwebel, Lauterpacht & Herzog, who tell us territory may only be “restored” by war. No Israeli territories have ever been taken. Israel has never had to ‘restore’ any of its territories, it has been “acquiring” territory by war.
Israel is no different from any other independent state. What lies outside of Israel’s legal sovereign extent, is simply not Israeli. Since Israel’s territories were proclaimed by the Israeli Government in their plea for recognition, no further territories have ever been legally acquired by Israel by any agreement and no state has ever recognized any territories acquired by war as Israeli.
Israel’s official 31st of August 1949 claim (as a UN Member state) to alleged non-state territories of Palestine shows “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area” except for the Palestinian territories. Israel’s claim was refused BTW, citing the Armistice Agreements.
The Egypt Israel Peace Treaty ensured Israel withdrew from all territories sovereign to Egypt before peaceful relations were assumed. Again eventually showing respect for the territory belonging to state in the region.
Not so with the West Bank as it is now known, which was legally annexed by Jordan at the request of the Palestinians. Jordan’s annexation of that territory was as a trustee only (Session: 12-II Date: May 1950). Unlike the UNSC condemnation of Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem, there is no UNSC condemnation of the bilateral annexation by Jordan. At the time of its capture by Israel in 1967, the west Bank was territory sovereign to Jordan, by then UN Member state and High Contracting Power. Which is why the UNSC considers Geneva Convention IV to apply.
The vast majority of the International Community of Nations have already recognized Palestine as a state in accordance with the Palestinians 1988 declaration of statehood, where Palestine conceded 78% of their rightful territories for peace with Israel. Israel’s reply was to ignore and create even more illegal facts on the ground.
Despite hundreds of UNSC resolutions affording Israel hundreds of opportunities to adhere to the binding Laws, UN Charter and relevant binding conventions those resolutions reaffirm and emphasize, why does Israel insist maintaining its stance in respect to the territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” ?
Perhaps the answer lies in one line of A) the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel “The state of Israel ….will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel“ and one line from; B) Deuteronomy 20:15 which describes how territories not belonging to neighbouring states should be treated.
…1948 …discussing the Declaration…
Ben-Gurion did not want to limit themselves from the outset: “We accepted the UN Resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don’t accept?”
It should be noted that A) the resolution contained the proviso as envisaged in this plan, B) the Jewish Agency’s final acceptance of UNGA res 181 is enshrined in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel and C) the Israeli Government asked to be and indeed was recognized per the frontiers outlined in the resolution. Furthermore, the resolution contained no clause requiring the Arab States to agree or co-sign, nor could it. It was an offer for “either” party to declare Sovereign Independence over a set of boundaries as envisaged in this plan, if they wished. It was not and could not be demanded or obligatory as it would go against the meaning of ‘independent’. The declaration of one could not be ‘dependent’ on the other. This was confirmed by the Jewish Agency itself prior to declaration Friday, 19 March 1948 Rabbi Silver replacing Mr. Shertok at the Council table as representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine stated:
“We are under the obligation at this time to repeat what we stated at a [262nd meeting] meeting of the Security Council last week: The decision of the General Assembly remains valid for the Jewish people. We have accepted it and we are prepared to abide by it. If the United Nations Palestine Commission is unable to carry out the mandates which were assigned to it by the General Assembly, the Jewish people of Palestine will move forward in the spirit of that resolution and will do everything which is dictated by considerations of national survival and by considerations of justice and historic rights.” “The setting up of one State was not made conditional upon the setting up of the other State.”
And again Security Council S/PV.271 19 March 1948 The representative of the Jewish Agency, Rabbi Silver:
“The statement that the plan proposed by the General Assembly is an integral plan which cannot succeed unless each of its parts can be carried out, is incorrect. This conception was never part of the plan. Indeed, it is contrary to the statement made by the representative of the United States during the second session of the General Assembly. The setting up of one State was not made conditional upon the setting up of the other State. Mr. Herschel Johnson, representing the United States delegation, speaking in a sub-committee of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question on 28 October 1947, stated, in discussing this very matter in connexion with economic union: “The element of mutuality would not necessarily be a factor, as the document might be signed by one party only.”
UNGA res 181 F. ADMISSION TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS
When the independence of either the Arab or the Jewish State as envisaged in this plan has become effective and the declaration and undertaking, as envisaged in this plan, have been signed by either of them, sympathetic consideration should be given to its application for admission to membership in the United Nations in accordance with article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations. (Article 4 Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations)
In order to be accepted into the UN through a recommendation by the UNSC, Israel had to declare its independence “as envisaged in” the UN plan enshrined in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel and; the International Community of Nations granted recognition as asked by the Provisional Government of Israel.
Letter From the Agent of the Provisional Government of Israel… ” I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”
ShortLink to here In the following letter of the 31st August 1949 to Conciliation Commission Israel reveals : A) It’s intention to possess all the non-state (Palestinian) territories in the region. B) It’s admission, by stating it’s intention, that the non-state territories it had acquired by war by 1949 were not it’s own C) It’s admission, by stating it’s intention, that no part of Syria (the Golan) was Israeli. D) It’s admission, by stating it’s intention, that there would be no form of self determination by the Palestinians, relating only to the surrounding Arab states E) Via the final paragraph, if Israel didn’t get it’s way, it would not respect the recognized Sovereign integrity of the Arab states and their right to live in peace
31 August 1949 Addressed to the Chairman of the Conciliation Commission by Mr. Reuven. Shiloah Head of the Delegation of Israel and containing Replies to the Commission’s Questionnaire of 15 August 1949 I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of the Conciliation Commission’s memorandum of August 15 and to convey to you the answers of the Delegation of Israel to the questions submitted therein, 1. The Delegation of Israel is prepared to sign a declaration along the general lines suggested in Chapter I of the Commission’ s memorandum, subject to precision on the following specific points: (a) The Government of Israel considers that the solution of the refugee problem is to be sought primarily in the resettlement of the refugees in Arab territories, but it is prepared for its part, as already indicated to the Commission, to make it’s own contribution by agreeing to a measure of resettlement in Israel. (b) While the Government of Israel cannot bind itself in advance to the implementation of such solutions as the survey group may propose, it will undertake to facilitate the task of this group and to give full consideration to any proposals the group may put forward 2. The Delegation of Israel wishes to offer certain further comments on Chapter I of the Commission’s memorandum, in order to make its attitude perfectly clear: (a) The Delegation of Israel has taken note of the proviso that it is understood that the repatriated refugees will become ipso facto citizens of Israel and that no discrimination will be practised against them both with regard to the civil and political rights which they will exercise and to the obligation imposed upon them by the law of the land. The Delegation is astonished however,that there is no mention of any similar understanding with regard to the refugees to be resettled elsewhere. (b) The Delegation of Israel desires to stress it’s understanding that any repatriation in Israel as indicated by the Commission, would take place subject to financial assistance furnished by the International community and that such assistance would be extended to include the. resettlement of Jewish refugees from the Arab-controlled areas of Palestine (c The Delegation of Israel has already presented to the Commission a provisional estimate of the number of refugees which the Government of Israel would be ready to accept. It is desired, in this connection, to point out that the Government of Israel’s willingness to facilitate the task of the survey group rests within the framework of the contribution which it has declared itself ready to make to the solution of the refugee problem. (d) The Delegation of Israel desires to take this opportunity of reiterating its earlier statement to the Commission that the Government of Israel can agree to the repatriation of refugees to Israel only as part of an overall settlement of the refugee problem and of the Palestine conflict.
Link this bit 3. With regard to the territorial adjustments of which the Commission treats in Chapter II of it’s memorandum, the Delegation of Israel considers that in addition to the territory indicated on the working document annexed to the Protocol of May 12, all other areas falling within the control and jurisdiction of Israel under the terms of the armistice agreements concluded by Israel with Egypt, the Lebanon, the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom and Syria should be formally recognized as Israeli territory. The adjustment of the frontiers so created will be subject to negotiation and agreement between Israel and the Arab Government in each case concerned. 4, In this connection the Delegation of Israel desires to offer a number of observations: (a) The territorial adjustments proposed above has the following effects: (i) No territory forming part of Egypt, the Lebanon, the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom or Syria is added to Israel by this adjustment (ii) No territory ever awarded to Egypt, the Lebanon, the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom or Syria by any international instrument or held by them under any agreement is added to Israel by this adjustment. (iii) No territory in which Egypt, the Lebanon, the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom or Syria exercises authority or jurisdiction under the armistice agreements concluded pursuant to the Security Councils resolution of November 16, 1948 and endorsed by the Security Council’s resolution of August 11, 1949 is added to Israel by this adjustment. If the territorial adjustment proposed were not effected, territory awarded to Israel under an international instrument or held by it under the terms of an agreement (viz: territory in which Israel exercises authority and jurisdiction under, the armistice agreements concluded pursuant to the Security Council’s resolution of November 16, I948 and endorsed by the Security Council’s resolution of August 11, 1949) would be added to one or more Arab States. The Delegation of Israel holds, therefore, that only the territorial adjustment proposed above falls equally in its effects on the rights and position of each negotiating party, makes no encroachment upon existing sovereignties, and preserves the juridical status and actual, stability achieved by the existing agreements. This method of achieving a territorial settlement is furthermore, in precise accord with the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 11, 1948 calling upon the Governments concerned to extend the scope of the negotiations provided for in the Security Council’s resolution of November 16, 1948 and to seek agreement by negotiations conducted either with the Conciliation Commission or directly, with a view to the final settlement of all questions outstanding between them. 5, I venture to point out that paragraph 3 above is to be read in the light of the observations offered in paragraph 4, and to request that in any use which the Commission may make of this statement of the Israeli Delegations position, shall not be cited without the addition of paragraph 3. I am Yours faithfully, Reuven Shiloah
THE REPLY: 3 September 1949 addressed to Mr. Reuven Shiloah, Head of the Delegation of Israel, by the Chairman of the Conciliation Commission, Emphatically dismisses the notion. referring Israel back to the armistice agreements. “2. The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question” NB: (a) The territorial adjustments proposed above has the following effects: …etc etc The territorial adjustments proposed were not accepted, to the opposite effect. Actions speak louder than words. The ‘effects’ have been Israel has: A) failed to have “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” B) illegally acquiring by war, Sovereign Syrian territory (Golan ’67). (Israel was requires, agreed and withdrew from Egyptian territory BEFORE peaceful relations were assumed) C) illegally claimed non-state territories belonging to the Palestinians, prior to the question of Palestine being resolved. D) illegally annexed “territories occupied” E) illegally instituted Israeli Civil Law in “territories occupied” F) illegally built Israeli civilian infrastructure and dwellings for illegal settlers in illegally acquired and illegally annexed “territories occupied” G) illegally sold illegally acquired and illegally annexed “territories occupied” to illegal settlers H) has yet to write a constitution i) shown that it cannot be trusted J) As a separate state, taken away the Jewish right to live in all of Palestine, limiting Israeli Jews to only Israeli Sovereign territory unless, they become ILLEGAL settlers or citizens o Palestine or Syria (in the Golan). Furthermore, under the 1948 Israeli military ordinance, still current, it is forbidden for Israeli citizens or residents to travel from Israel into the territories of a hostile entity. Contrary to the Hasbara, the Israeli emergency Law of 1948 prevented Israeli Jews and Israeli Muslims, Israeli Christians et al, from worshiping in Jerusalem from 1948 – 1967.
It is of course quite common for countries at war to either expel or inter foreign nationals and/or possible 5th columnists and to freeze their assets. It’s also common to repatriate then and release their assets at the close of hostilities.