Report: International Law Is on Israel’s Side

Author: by Brian Schrauger





Judea & Samaria the “West Bank”Eliav Shochetman claims that history and its legal documents are clear, the case is ironclad: according to established international law, Judea and Samaria–what the world calls the West Bank– “belong exclusively to the Jewish People and to its national home.” Why, he asks, is the world convinced that the opposite is true?

Shochetman is Professor of Law Emeritus at Hebrew University and Dean of the Shaarei Mishpat Law College near Tel Aviv. In the current issue of Sovereignty Journal, its editor, Shlomo Cohen, reports Shochetman’s argument and explores its implications.

The basis for Shochetman’s claim begins shortly after the First World War when the League of Nations made a decision about allocation of land from the all-but defunct Ottoman Empire. “Within the framework of this assemblage,” writes Shochetman, “it recognized the right of the People of Israel to the Land of Israel.”

The Allied Powers of the First World War met in San Remo, Italy to determine allocation of Ottoman Empire lands and assign interim administrators. On 25 April 1920, the San Remo Resolution formally incorporated the Balfour Declaration. Just over two years later, on 24 July 1922, the League of Nations affirmed San Remo when it unanimously passed the Mandate for Palestine to “secure the establishment of the Jewish national home.”

When the League of Nations unanimously approved “Palestine” as the designated national home for the Jewish people, it explicitly included all of Judea and Samaria. The only “disputed” territory in “Palestine” was east of the Jordan River in today’s nation-state of Jordan. According to the Mandate, everything west of the Jordan River was part-and-parcel of the Jewish people’s national home.

And after the Second World War, when the League of Nations gave way to the United Nations? The UN Charter, adopted 26 June 1945, ratified into international law what the League of Nations had determined in this matter.

In the UN Charter, Shochetman notes, there is a special clause. Clause 80, to be exact, said that all of the rights that were recognized in international law by the League of Nations still existed and were still binding. “In accepted diplomatic jargon,” Cohen’s article says that Clause 80 “was called the ‘Palestinian clause,’ since its entire purpose [was] to assure the rights of the Jewish People, despite the fact that the name of the Land of Israel [was] not mentioned.”

In legal terms, says Shochetman, “there is no document in international law that grants rights of sovereignty to anybody other than to the Jewish People. This is the legal position.”

It is time for Israel and its friends to learn these things and use them in defense of the world’s one and only Jewish state.