The Future of Israel’s Borders: International Law and Islamic Law. Part I

Jun 30, 2020 by

by Denis MacEoin, Gatestone Institute:

In general, taking territory from another country is treated under international law as illegal. Much of our sense that such illegality is as much morally wrong as it is legally prohibited comes from historical realities in modern history. The Nazi German takeovers of numerous countries across Europe between 1938 and 1945, together with the brutality with which they were carried out, stand even today as notorious examples of unacceptable behaviour in an attempt to dominate other peoples without the least pretence of legality of purpose or practice. More recently, the Russian Federation’s 2014 invasion of Crimea has caused unnecessary conflict with Ukraine and damaged Russia’s own international reputation.

Article 2 of the first chapter of the United Nations Charter declares:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

This was formulated in 1945, in a very understandable response to the aggressions by Nazi Germany. It remains a valid ruling on the dangers posed by powerful nations should they too choose to use force to take over neighbouring territories. Even so, Article 2 was contravened by China in 1959 when it overran Tibet; by Turkey in 1974 when it invaded northern Cyprus, and is constantly contravened by Iran — with the evident complicity of most of the members of the UN — in its expansions into Iraq, Syria, Yemen ad Lebanon, as well as its 41-year-long threats to obliterate a fellow UN member state, Israel.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), with its existing and locked-in bias against Israel, should condemn Israel for its plan to extend Israeli law to disputed lands, in line with the US peace plan revealed in 2020. The rejection of the US plan by the UNHRC and others ignores the reality that it is one of the most balanced documents drawn up in favour of peace and the creation of a viable State of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza.

Plans designed to bring about peace between the state of Israel and the Palestinians have been multiple, yet none has succeeded — in all instances because of Palestinian rejectionism. The worst case was President Clinton’s offer to the head of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, that would have required the Israelis to hand over about 90% of the lands to help create a State of Palestine. Arafat seemed to agree, then walked away and, from 2000-2005, waged against the people of Israel a campaign of terrorism known as the second intifada.

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