then it’s a territory of Palestine…
If you can disprove any of the items here with logic and citations of official documents from credible sources, I will gladly remove the offending item. Till then, feel free to put up, sans abuse and personal attacks…..enjoy!
The UN is not perfect. It is an attempt to maintain order in a chaotic world. Understanding the UN, the UNSC their resolutions and UN Member’s obligations in respect to the Palestinian / Israel issue can be difficult. It takes time and effort and can’t be encapsulated with a few sound bytes.
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The UNITED NATIONS – MEMBERSHIP: Only Nation States can become Members of the United Nations. Non-state and even state entities, can be granted observer status. They can’t vote and the UN/USNC cannot pass resolutions directly against them. The UN can only advise and direct UN Member States on how they may treat Non-Members according to the UN Charter, Customary International Law, Laws of War, Conventions and UNSC resolutions.
The UN/UNSC cannot interfere in matters that are under the civil jurisdiction of Sovereign States. e.g., civil wars. Unless they threaten regional or world peace. They can issue a statement or adopt a resolution to make a statement condemning and/or asking them to modify their behaviour. A statement is not a resolution, nor does it carry any legal weight, although it may contain reminders of the UN Charter and the Law. The UN Charter and the Law are binding on all UN Members. Sanctions apply to the countries agreeing to them. It is the sanctioning countries who may not trade with the Sovereign State in question.
In an instance of civil war, the Government may request UN intervention or a majority opposition body may request intervention as in Lybia. Peace keeping forces have strict mandates which generally preclude them from engaging on behalf of or against factions or Government.
The UN / UNSC can only vote to issue a statement condemning Non-Members behaviour, even if they are engaged in hostilities with a Member State. However the UNSC can intervene if it considers an entity or a Nation State or a conflict is a likely threat to regional or International peace. When civil war crosses an acknowledged national boundary, it becomes an International or regional conflict.
Regional powers have a right and a duty to maintain peace in their region. They also have a right and a duty under Chapt XI, to protect non-self governed or undeclared entities in their region by attempting to expel foreign forces or by what might be called benevolent occupation.
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THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER: must be upheld by all UN Member States in it’s entirety. So too the Laws of War. Other obligations become mandatory and/or binding, once a Member State has signed to Conventions (ratification), Treaties & Peace Agreements, etc. A convention passes into Customary International Law when it has been ratified by the majority of Nations. Customary International Law is binding on all Nations.
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UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (UNGA): It’s resolutions are non-binding suggestions, recommendations, advice, pleas, reminders of binding obligations via Conventions, the Charter, Law and UNSC resolutions.
UNGA resolutions can only ask or plea with Member States to adhere to their obligations and to uphold the Law. However, UNGA can ask the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to demand a UN Member uphold it’s obligations and/or the Law. UNGA can also ask the UNSC to take action. Meanwhile, all UN Members are obliged to uphold all the Laws and Conventions which might be emphasized or referred to in UNGA resolutions.
Some UNGA resolutions resolve merely to make a statement. Others set down conditions according to binding Law, conventions etc. If those conditions are agreed to by the party or parties concerned, they then become binding by the agreement, similar to any business or purchase contract. Until a contract is signed, it is only a proposal, once signed, it becomes an obligation on the party or parties signing. A declaration of Statehood or Independent Statehood is such an instance.
An example is UNGA Resolution 181, a much mis-understood non-binding resolution. Contrary to the belief that UNGA voted to create a Jewish and an Arab state, UNGA voted only to present a set of conditions under which either party could, if they wished, declare Sovereign Independence over the recommended boundaries. If a party accepted the conditions, they could bind themselves by a voluntary Declaration of Sovereignty.
A declaration of Sovereign Independence is not an agreement between the declaring party and the UN. Nor is it an agreement between other entities. It is a voluntary statement to the wider International Community of States of what an entity claims as it’s own and it’s intention to abide by the norms of International law. Recognition is acceptance of that declaration.
A Declaration of Independence cannot be conditional on what another party decides, because it is a declaration of independence from the influence and/or control of other parties. There is no article in UNGA res 181 requiring co-signing for exactly that reason.
It is a fallacy that Israel’s boundaries were not defined because the Arab States did not recognize Israel or res 181. Israel itself defined it’s boundaries by it’s own Declaration of Independence, accepting unreservedly and enshrining UNGA res 181 in it’s Declaration and announcing it to the International Community. The extent of Israeli Sovereignty was also confirmed in statements by the Israeli Government on May 22nd 1948 and June 15th 1949. to the UNSC.
Based on the notification Israel issued ,the majority of the International Community of States recognized Israel as a Sovereign state, over riding the Arab States’ objections.
Letter From the Agent of the Provisional Government of Israel to the President of the United States, May 15, 1948
“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.”
Recognition of Israel:
USA 15 May 1948 “… as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947…”
Russia 17 May 1948
Letter from Mr. Molotov stated: “Confirming receipt of your telegram of May 16, in which you inform the Government of the USSR of the proclamation, on the basis of the resolution of the United Nations Assembly of November 29, 1947, of the creation in Palestine of the independent State of Israel and make re-quest for the recognition of the State of Israel and its provisional government by the USSR. I inform yon in this letter that the Govern-ment of the USSR has decided to recognize officially the Stale of Israel and its Provisional Government.”
British 27 April 1950 The British Foreign Office issued a statement on May 17 to the effect that Great Britain would not recognize Israel for the time being because it had not fulfilled the “basic criteria” of an independent state. The British waited until a political party was elected to Govern the State of Israel, then granted de jure recognition, with conditions. The territories Israel had acquired by war, outside of it’s declared Sovereign Boundaries, were considered to be ‘occupied’. I.e., NOT Israeli Sovereign territory.
“His Majesty’s Government have also decided to accord de jure recognition to the State of Israel, subject to explanations on two points corresponding to those described above in regard to the case of Jordan. These points are as follows. First, that His Majesty’s Government are unable to recognise the sovereignty of Israel over that part of Jerusalem which she occupies, though, pending a final determination of the status of the area, they recognise that Israel exercises de facto authority in it. Secondly, that His Majesty’s Government cannot regard the present boundaries between Israel, and Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Lebanon as constituting the definitive frontiers of Israel, as these boundaries were laid down in the Armistice Agreements concluded severally between Israel and each of these States, and are subject to any modifications which may be agreed upon under the terms of those Agreements, or of any final settlements which may replace them.” Thus far nothing has replaced them.
Australia 28 January 1949 “… on the basis of the resolution of the United Nations Assembly of November 29, 1947…”
New Zealand 29 January 1949 “It is the understanding of the New Zealand Government that the settlement of boundaries and other outstanding questions will be effected in accordance with the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 11 December 1948.”
Israel has never legally annexed any territory beyond it’s declared, recognized and acknowledged, Sovereign boundaries.
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UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL (UNSC): There are fifteen Member states in the Security Council. Only the five Permanent Members powers have the right to veto. China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America. The non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected for a term of two years.
UNSC resolutions can demand Member States adhere to their obligations and/or the Law. Usually referred to as Chapter V1 resolutions. Chapter V1 resolutions are often misconstrued as non-binding, when in fact they are issued based on binding law, conventions and/or the UN Charter. They demand peaceful settlement of issues, which is a BINDING obligation on the part of parties the moment they become a UN Member State.
Chapter V11 resolutions call for action if the obligations of Chapter V1 resolutions are not met. The decision to take action, is made by vote. If a Permanent Member abstains from voting, they are choosing not to be a part of the process. If enough UNSC members abstain, the resolution will fail.
This is not the same a a veto vote, where a Permanent Member can prevent a majority vote taking effect, by voting against a resolution. For instance, the US Power of Veto has prevented any action against Israel. This in no way negates Chapter V1 resolutions, it merely prevents action being taken. The Laws, Chapter V1 resolutions and obligations, still stand. Guilty but the sentence has been suspended.
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OCCUPATION: Occupation is not obligatory, it is completely voluntary. Occupation is usually agreed between regional powers under an armistice agreement. E.g., Israel AGREED to Jordan & Egypt occupying the West Bank & Gaza in their armistice AGREEMENTs. Their occupation’s were legal.
Likewise with Israel occupying the territories of Palestine. Although there was/is disagreement on how much of the “territories occupied” Israel should withdraw from (UNSC Res 242), common sense tells us that “territories occupied” and not withdrawn from, are still occupied. A glass of Palestinian water half emptied, still contains Palestinian water. It does not change into Israeli water, despite the Israeli froth surrounding the issue.
Occupation is exactly the opposite of acquiring territory. An occupier cannot unilaterally annex or change the status of “territories occupied”. It is the occupier who is responsible for maintaining order in the territories it chose to occupy.
The UN does not care which Member state becomes the Occupying Power over an entity, they do however, require the Occupying Power to uphold the UN Charter, Laws of War and the Conventions the Occupying Power has ratified, making them obligatory and binding on the signatory.
An Occupying Power must legally annex territory on order for it to become a part of their sovereignty. Legal annexation is only through agreement with the other party or via a treaty between the two parties.
It is inadmissible to acquire territory by war/force, regardless of who started and/or who wins a war, no matter which UN Member State is in control of territory outside it’s own sovereignty. Laws of War Art. 55. “The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.”
This is the basis of the Geneva Conventions, all civilians and belligerents (who comply with the Laws of War) are protected persons who might not have voted for or even been able to vote for the regime in power when war was waged.
It is often held that the Geneva Conventions do not apply because Palestine is not a state. i.e., not a High Contracting Power. However, we only have to look at who signed the ceasefires, armistice agreements and peace treaties. The reason the UNSC says the GC’s do apply, is because Israel’s wars were all with states fighting was over the territories of Palestine.
In fact, no war has been fought over or in the Sovereign territories of Israel. There are no UNSC resolutions calling for peace in Israel. No Resolutions calling for any Arab state to withdraw from Israeli territories. There has never been a War in Israel. No Arab state has invaded Sovereign Israeli territory.
All the ceasefire, armistice and peace agreements call for peace in Palestine and a resolution to the Palestine question. Israel ceased to be a part of Palestine May 14th 1948.
Israel has not upheld it’s obligations as a UN Member State. In an attempt to have Israel do NO MORE than comply with it’s obligations, there have been 223 UNSC resolutions adopted against it. None of which would endanger or compromise Israel’s security or it’s rights as as Sovereign State. Many of which are reminders of previous, un-heeded, UNSC resolutions.
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The UN is biased against Israel:
The 223 UNSC resolutions (some of these Wiki links seems to have been bastardized) against Israel ask no more than the UN Member uphold it’s obligation to the UN Charter, ratified Conventions and Peace Treaties. The majority of the 223 UNSC resolutions re-iterate what has gone before. Like a bill, if you don’t pay it, you get reminders.
The US Power of Veto has only prevented action being taken, allowing Israel to ignore it’s obligations. This does not negate the Law or Israel’s legal obligations.
Q1: – If a country has not adhered to the law or it’s obligations, is it biased to ask again?
Q1: – Is it antisemitic, or hateful to ask that Israel abide by it’s legal obligations?
Avalon Law – Yale University A repository of documents relating to the Palestine / Israel issue