Could the same approach bring peace in the Near East — a caldron of incessant fighting?
Could a Near East Community arise to become a prosperous body like the European Community did after the devastation of two world wars?
1. the Council of Europe that oversaw Human Rights and abuse of powers by States and governments.
2. He created the Community system that identified the cause of war and replaced the temptation for enterprises or States from going to war by a single market that ensured better prosperity.
The Community was given institutions that represented:
- State ministries as representatives of national interests;
- organised civil society including consumers and
- a parliament that represented the rights of individuals.
- The High Authority or Commission was to provide independent arbitration and was able to make proposals to the advantage of all.
- A court ensured fair-play.
What should Europe do about ‘Israeli occupation‘ and the ‘Palestine problem’?
Europeans should first get the facts:
- Free themselves from bad habits after years of blackmail.
- Be objective. Stick to real human rights and property law, not pretence.
- Be pragmatic.
- Above all analyse the Fake News.
- Don’t be deceived any more by the Disinformation Deception from Soviet Cold War times.
Is part of Palestine really being occupied and colonised by Israel?
If Europeans get the wrong answer to this question, then it can seriously affect European internal stability. It requires a general application of principles of law. Remember parts of Europe have been occupied by military force many times in its history.
Let’s start with analysing how and by whom Europe is pressured at the moment about ‘Palestine’. We will also discuss Why.
The United Nations created a U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories. The Rapporteur, Michael Lynk, is urging the European Union to take action against Israel if Israel moves forward with its plans to extend its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, and parts of Judea and Samaria. He called upon the European Union to ‘develop a menu of countermeasures.’
In his 26 June 2020 statement to the U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Lynk said:
‘It has sometimes been said by critics of the EU’s foreign policy towards Israel and Palestine that it suffers from paralysis and inaction. Nothing could better demonstrate that this argument is misplaced than for the EU to back up its criticisms of Israel’s occupation and looming annexation with a decisive menu of counter-measures.’
Why is Europe hesitating?
Mr Lynk urged European States to suspend certain Israeli goods from entering the EU. He wants the EU to downgrade its EU-Israel Association agreement and also the research and high tech programme Horizon and Horizon Europe 2021-27. Israel ranks third in participation in this high tech research collaboration. So this decision would cost Europe dear in economic development.
What does Lynk want? He urged the EU to ‘insist that Israel honour its obligations under international law and end the Gaza blockade, while taking the necessary steps to enhance Gaza’s economy.’ He does not mention that Gaza is ruled by Iran-funded Hamas that has declared jihadi war against Israel. He does mention it conducts: ‘beatings, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill treatment‘ of Gazans.
Nor does Lynk mention that Hamas is on the EU’s List of Terrorist groups. Why?
What sort of lawyer would advocate agreement with a terrorist group aimed at jihadi destruction of democratic States and civilised values? Is the UN being used as a ventriloquist dummy? For whom? Is it being used as leverage for anti-Israel policy and global antisemitism? Should Europeans obey the voice of this Canadian associate professor of labour law as above that of the European people and their interests for peace?
First we have to disentangle two layers of disinformation:
- Soviet and
- Arab anti-semitism.
When parties cannot agree or a legal process is impracticable or unwanted, then force is often used.
Ever since the 1973 and 1979 Arab Oil Embargo, Europe has succumbed to blackmail on its foreign policy about Israel. Petrol was rationed. The motorways were closed at the weekends.
In the seventies, European governments were told to either change their pro-Israel policy or they would get no oil. To reinforce this message the Arabs quadrupled the price of oil in 1973 and quadrupled it again in 1979. They also wanted Europeans to deal with the poverty that high oil prices had caused across north Africa and elsewhere. That is not free trade. It is blackmail for political ends.
So at a meeting in Venice 22-23 June 1980, European foreign ministers, meeting outside the framework of the European Communities, agreed to Wahabi demands to change their foreign policy. It supported the aims of Saudi global religious domination and also radical Palestinian and Marxist groups. The European ministers were afraid to present their submission to blackmail to European democratic institutions, like the Parliament. They were enslaved but Europeans got their oil.
Half a century later things have changed. Today, the blackmailing cartels no longer have the same power to control Europe’s energy policy. EU refused to deal with it using its own anti-cartel powers that Schuman provided. But US shale oil and its energy independence bust the cartel. Europe has nuclear power and now some native ‘green’ energy.
Oil spurts out of the ground in Saudi Arabia costing a couple of dollars a barrel. Anything above that is pure profit and was used without real supervision of the West. No viable energy policy. No safeguards about misuse of this wealth.
A mega-disaster was inevitable. Consumers have been fleeced by the oil producers and distributors for half a century. The cartel, trying to enforce its anti-Israel policy, pushed the oil price to nearly $150 a barrel in 2008. Western economies collapsed but survived.
Recently when the Covit-19 virus also crashed the economy by other means, the oil cartel was taken unawares. The oil glut crashed its market. Petroleum was being sold at negative prices! People were paid to buy it and take it away.
That exposed the cartel.
What exactly is Israeli “Occupation”?
At the United Nations, the Soviet Union had consistently taken an anti-Israel position. With bag-loads of money being dispersed, many poor States voted agreement with UN resolutions arguing that Israel is always in the wrong. It has been in ‘Palestine‘ too long and its ‘occupation‘ is bordering on colonisation. It is therefore wrong. Is Israel guilty of ‘prolonged occupation‘ and its victims of colonisation?
In 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed a Canadian associate professor Mr Michael Lynk to try to establish a legal basis to condemn the Israeli based on ‘occupation‘ of ‘Palestine.’ But many States in the UN occupy others. So how can Israel be categorised further? Colonisation. He presented his case to the UN by inventing a new concept of ‘prolonged occupation‘ as a form of colonisation. It was therefore illegal. All States would agree.
At first Lynk tried to create general legal principles about ‘Prolonged Occupation.’ These were hardly general as they were his means to deal with Israel specifically and what he sees as the ‘Palestine problem‘. Prolonged occupation leads to annexation, he says. It differs from colonisation or licit defensive occupation. He postulates four criteria to declare ‘prolonged occupation‘ illegal:
• An occupier cannot annex;
• Occupation must end soon;
• Occupier must act for interests of the occupied people;
• Occupier must act in good faith.
Are these valid? There are general principles and they can be applied but not at the expense of oversimplifying the Palestine Arab problems of the West Bank or Judea /Samaria.
No occupation by one culture of another can be expected to be without complaints about civility and overreach. Nor does hardly any government expect a free pass about civility from its own citizens. Demonstrations are a part of democratic life. And so a civility deficit cannot be the criterion for colonisation.
No army will leave soon based on a partisan list of offences. Nor would recourse to violence help a civility deficit. Forbidding annexation assumes the occupier has no inherent interests or rights there. That is seldom the case or the claim.
But occupation, whether military, humanitarian or otherwise, does not override Human Rights.
Whether occupations are ended soon or not, the Human and Property Rights involved cannot be ignored. Some rights are hereditary. No army or political organisation such as the United Nations can abrogate them.
Mr Lynk has a flimsy basis under international law, especially when other countries get a free pass. When, however, Mr Lynk turns to the interests of the occupied people and acting in good faith, he is on more solid ground, not for constructing artificial international laws as an excuse for war or sanction against Israel, but for arriving at solutions to international problems.
Let me give some examples.
Germany occupied Alsace-Lorraine in 1871 and swallowed up France’s strategic iron ore resources. It tried to create what it called Reichsland, imperial territory, tied to Prussia. The Prussian administration tried to change the population by encouraging emigration of natives and implanting Germans. It changed the administrative institutions to German ones. However, after WW1, it was returned to France without a formal referendum.
The question of who was the occupier, whether French occupying German territory or vice versa or whether Alsatians and Lorrainers had the right to independence was liable to make the Alsace-Lorraine question insoluble.
How was it resolved?
In 1910 the Lorrainer, Robert Schuman, architect of European Community system and Europe’s longest peace, wrote his D Jur on the juridical concepts behind occupation but in the restrained and theoretical terms necessary to gain a distinction of summa cum laude from a German university. He had been an undergraduate at different German universities. He was taught by professors who were the German delegates at The Hague peace conferences. They had taken opposite positions on several issues relative to international law. He learned both arguments.
Examples how occupation was resolved
Schuman was later active in resolving three crucial occupation problems of Europe that could have led to further war. The Council of Europe brought West Germany into a framework of human rights that gave citizens the means to refuse neo-Nazis and Communists. That move was a greater prize than instant reunion with Communist East Germany. The Community solution was also crucial for ending the Soviet occupation of central and eastern Europe.
At the height of the Cold War, he even foretold that the Soviet Union would crumble before the turn of the century. With it, Soviet ‘occupation‘ would end. He gave speeches about preparing to receive the central and eastern parts of Europe in the Community system.
Second example. As a post-WW1 French deputy, Schuman was the lead legislator for bringing together the main French and German codes in the provinces so that the natives benefited from the best aspects of both, for example, German social insurance the French lacked or religious freedom. This was considered the greatest work of legislative unification of modern times in any country. (C Pennera: Schuman, la Jeunesse d’un grand Européen, p127, D H Price: Schuman, Jalonneur de la Paix mondiale, p59)
Third example. At the start of WW2, Alsace and Lorraine were re-occupied by the Nazis but the problem was definitively solved by Schuman’s post WW2 efforts. However first France’s post-WW2 Gaullist policy started on the wrong track.
De Gaulle wanted to make the Ruhr industrial complex a separate entity from Germany. He wanted to move French borders up to the Rhine. That was military thinking. Schuman took a different tack. His policy and legal understanding created a permanent solution.
The Saar also was an area alternatively occupied by both French and Germans. This too was solved by Schuman’s understanding of occupation law.
Palestine and the Geneva Convention fraud
With this understanding we may turn to Mr Lynk’s comments about Palestine. He maintains that the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 applies to the Palestine-Israel dispute. Various UN Resolutions, including Resolution 237, mention this Convention in a sideways fashion.
It is nonsense to use it in this context. Palestine — that is a theoretical Arab State called ‘Palestine‘ — did not exist in 1949. Nor does it exist today. The Palestine Liberation Army/ Organisation was not even formed until the 1960s.
Even today, the so-called ‘State of Palestine‘ is an observer, not a signatory member. It is a phantom State.
Despite several applications for membership to the Geneva Convention, it was refused. Why? it was told:
Because the international community is uncertain as to “the existence or non-existence of a State of Palestine.”
That’s why the Resolution recommends use of the Convention. It is not mandatory or a legal process.
Only signatories of the fourth Geneva Convention are allowed to bring a dispute under this Convention.
Attempts to use the Fourth Geneva Convention in European law have failed.
French lower court and the Appeal Court threw out a case on east Jerusalem by Palestinian Arab activists trying to apply the Geneva conventions against Israel. The complainants have to be signatories, and the latter have to be States. The French Courts did a thorough study of the laws, That contrasts to political declarations and resolutions.
The Courts examined the fraud that politicians were trying to foist on them. Both the original case and the appeal exposed the fake ‘State of Palestine‘.
Why is it a fake?
One Arab declared to the press that Israeli occupation was illegal because, he said, his ancestors had been given the land by Saladin.
The problem with that argument is that Saladin was a Kurd from Tikrit in modern day Iraq. He has as much right as Saddam Hussein, who came from the same town but more recently. A twelfth-century, foreign invader won’t cut it. Saladin’s alleged donation and any claim based on it is on shaky legal ground.
Military conquest provides no long-lasting legality. Subsequent prolonged occupation provides not an atom of sovereignty to the occupier. Once the army leaves the natives can reassert or reclaim their property if necessary. They can re-establish their own laws pre-invasion. Anyone “given” property by a foreign military invader is automatically suspect.
On this argument Saladin’s offspring or the Kurds of Iraq would have a legacy not only on Israel, but on the future of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, regardless of who is now in charge.
A lot of events have happened since Saladin. The Arab in question would have to explain legalities under various subsequent changes of military occupation, whether Kurdish, European Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks or the British.
Murdering an owner or killing him in battle does not change property rights of the surviving family. Once the army has left, identifying oneself with the murdering group (especially a foreign one) generally excludes anyone from a property claim.
Many armies have also displaced and slaughtered Jews there.
The Crusader Europeans were involved in a mere score of battles in the area. They claimed they were trying to recuperate religious access to sites. They occupied what they claimed to be the Temple Mount. This occupation does not grant later believers or churches the deeds of ownership. The same goes for some Muslim claims for the Al Aksa mosque that involve mythical inventions based on supposed dreams and fabulous beasts, misapplied geographically. They would be laughed out of court.
Only one claim can stand up in any international court when it comes to the Temple Mount. That is because it has been reaffirmed by countless international and national legal judgements.
When speaking to western politicians the Palestine leaders claim sovereignty of the ‘West Bank’ but their flag and documents show they claim all the land called Israel.
Why is their emblem the eagle of Saladin? Did Saladin, the twelfth century warrior in the Sunni-Shia Isma’ili power struggle, provide their only fig-leaf of legitimacy? They claim to own Palestine but it is spelt Falestin in Arabic.
Saladin marks the triumph of the Sunnis over the rival Shia Fatimid caliphate, based in Egypt. He undermined it from within. So is the use of the Saladin eagle the dominant story behind the ‘Palestinian’ claims? Does this claim rest and fall with Saladin?
If so, then they will have to be tested in a Court of Law. The evidence that the ‘Palestinian Arabs’ cannot even spell the name of the region properly, ‘Falestin’, shows fraud is taking place. Palestine, that derives from ancient Greek. The name was imposed later by the Romans. Arabic has no letter ‘P’.
Why not the Ottoman Turks?
Why Saladin and not the Ottoman Turks? The Ottoman Turks held the land from 1517 to the First World War.
Sultan Selim I conquered Egypt the seat of the Abyssid dynasty. Its last caliph, as prisoner in Constantinople, caliph Al-Mutawakki III surrendered the seals and titles of office of the caliphate to the Turks.
The British had conquered Palestine in WW1. They were aware of whose land it really was. That is why the League of Nations declared it a Homeland for the Jews.
Armies had come and gone. Over the centuries Jews had always claimed the land as theirs. Some had, under great persecution and horrendous antisemitism, remained in the land to reinforce that claim.
In Israel most of the territory was not owned by people such as farmers as the land was barren. In the Ottoman Empire some land was owned by absent landlords and the law said if they did not re-iterate the claim the ownership lapsed. The deeds had to be signed and witnessed by the authorities.
The largest part of the land thus fell to no control or that of the Turkish caliphate. But it was strictly speaking not the owner except by conquest. Under the British Mandate it was therefore controlled by the British acting for the League of Nations. When the State of Israel took over, then the land came under control of the new State — but it was not the owner by deeds.
Individual property is a different matter. There property deeds are important to argue who is the real owner.
A person who was robbed of his property has another option. He can buy the property from the squatter. That is what some of the characters in the Bible were forced to do. Then there is no further dispute: he has his original claim and the claim of the squatter is annulled.
Global agreement under the League of Nations
The British under Prime Minister David Lloyd-George reinstated the Jewish claim. They did not do this out of favouritism, as in some ways it was against their national interests and their relations with some Arab States.
The British and other States represented at the League of Nations were familiar with the history of the region. They created a special Mandate for Palestine for the return of Jews to their homeland at Sanremo in April 1922. The Jews were to be known as Palestinians.
Most of the land area was held in the name of the Ottoman Turks and became in consequence the national property of the new State– Israel.
The League of Nations were motivated by principles of international law. It was also clear from historical documents and the Bible that Jews and Israelites had from the days of Abraham possessed the title to the land for four millennia. They had continually reasserted their claim despite waves of military conquests. Their ownership was recognised by historical figures such as Cyrus of the Persians and Alexander the Great of the Greeks, It was recognised by Julius Caesar and confirmed by Augustus.
That is why the Mandate for Palestine traces the borders of what were ancient Israel. When the British decided to cede some of the Mandate territory ‘temporarily’ to Abdullah, the Hashemite from Mecca, they cut off a major part of the territory.
The Dead Sea Scrolls from the Judean desert provide proof of the connection.
Archaeological finds show that the land was Jewish from the time of King David well into modern times. When there was any dispute with those who occupied the land, they had bought the land from these alleged owners, often at exaggerated prices. That should have solved the legality issue.
Judea is the ancient Jewish heartland. It is named after Judah, the patriarch of all Jews. Samaria was the land of the northern Israelites.
Where is it today? It was illegally occupied by a foreign power in 1948. The name was an embarrassment so it was changed to the ‘West Bank‘.
That foreign power was Jordan, ruled by the Hashemite monarchy that was driven out of Saudi Arabia by the Wahabis. What right have Arabian refugees to a place called Judea? What right do they have to the ancient land of northern Israel called Samaria? Then called Transjordan, it was recognised only by Britain and Pakistan.
Centuries before the Crusades and before the Arab-Muslim invasion, many families of Christians and Jews had been living in Judea/Samaria/ West Bank and Jerusalem. They were expelled or forced to flee especially in the post 1947/8 period. Many still do not feel safe to return to their properties in such areas, even under ‘prolonged Israeli occupation‘ – but not because of the Israelis but because of the later occupiers turned terrorists. The UN resolution 242 says that Israelis must ‘have the right to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, free from threats and acts of force‘.
So who owns the property rights of the land?
Property rights and occupation
When some Britons bought property in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, the Greek families of the original owners reasserted their property rights in both European and UK Courts. The Courts decisions were unanimous. The occupant has no right to sell a house there to a British would-be buyer. A occupant is not the owner for a legal sale.
The families of those Jews chased from their properties in Poland during WW2 have a right to reclaim them.
How far does this principle go in Law? Independent Israel was occupied by the Roman Pompey around 61 BCE. Then it was further occupied militarily by the Roman Empire at Constantinople. All this while Jews expelled abroad claimed their ancestral property and other Jews lived in parts of the land proving the claims. Parthians and Persians came and went.
The Jewish claims were repeated frequently orally and in writings. Archaeological finds, such as royal seals, are evidence of property ownership dating continuously from more than 3000 years. The League of Nations rightly recognised these claims and interests. The UN confirmed them in its founding Charter. For the best part of a century before the 1948 war, Jerusalem, capital of Mandate Palestine, had maintained a largely Jewish majority despite its afflictions.
The League of Nations Mandate on Palestine (Article 7) defined the Jews wanting to live in the land as ‘Palestinians‘. The Arabs refused almost without exception to be called by that name.
Official documents of Palestine, including bank notes and stamps, bore the initials for Land of Israel, aleph yod. It stands for Eretz Israel, the term in Hebrew used multiple times in the Bible and Jewish writings.
Only after 1948 was the name of the country (Palestine = land of the Jews) dropped. The Jewish government changed the country’s name.
It became Israel.
Moshe Dayan’s mother, Dvora, had a passport issued by the British authorities that gave her nationality as a Palestinian citizen, meaning Jewish. Palestinian, according to the international legal authorities of the time, meant a Jew who was legally recognised by all the Member States of the United Nations. He or she was entitled to own property and form the government of the lands of the Mandate territory.
The Dayan family were not unique. This was the general rule for all Jews under the Palestinian mandate. Jews in the land of the Mandate and those who entered it as part of the Mandate were given such Palestinian passports as their unique passports. They had to give up any other passport or national identity they had.
That means the Jews and a small minority of others in Palestine were the only persons legally able to call themselves Palestinians.
That still applies today, except that the Palestinian passport holders have all now changed their passport for one saying Israeli citizen.
Then in the Cold War period, the USSR and some others tried to muddy the waters and stir up confusion.
First, they tried to distort what Palestinian identity meant in general terms for the public. Then they tried to change or distort what it meant in international law by resolutions in the United Nations where the USSR had the controlling influence over many developing States.
Only in the decades after Israeli independence did the Egyptian-organised, Soviet-backed ‘liberation army’ take up the name Palestine. This was part of the ideological Cold War effort of the USSR. It funded the ‘armed struggle’. It educated leaders of the ‘Palestine Liberation Organisation’ in Moscow to join its other liberation movements in the Cold War.
It as a fraud. It showed. Syria’s leaders and others refused to accept Yasser Arafat because of his Egyptian accent and links, fearing it was a plot against them.
USSR changed the meaning of Palestine
Changing the meaning of a key word is a powerful tool of disinformation. Lawyers should designate it as criminal fraud. Propagators show their own culpability and purpose.
The Soviet Union’s spy agency, the KGB, was expert in this type of confusion. Disinformation was the KGB’s largest department, not spying.
Before Israel became independent again in 1948, the whole land of the Mandate was known as Palestine (in Greek, it means the old narrows, a thin stretch of land between Babylonia and Egypt). It is the chokepoint of the Fertile Crescent.
During the Palestine Mandate period, Jews were called Palestinians. The Arabs there refused to be called Palestinians. They usually called themselves South Syrians or said they were Arabs from Egypt, Saudi Arabia or elsewhere as their surnames usually indicated this. Their civil rights were protected under the Mandate.
Palestine = Israel
In Mandate times the general public around the world recognised who Palestinians were — Jews in Palestine. In the 1920s Americans who liked jazz sang about Lena, the Queen of Palesteena who played the concertina for Jews there.
Jews around the world came to the country under the Mandate and called themselves Palestinians.
Up to independence in 1948, the main newspaper was called the Palestine Post. After independence it became the Jerusalem Post.
After independence the Palestinian Jews and others with passports became Israelis. British Palestinian passports were changed for Israeli ones.
All the institutions of the government under the Mandate and its financial obligations became Israeli.
The Israeli government signed a financial settlement with the UK in 1950 on such things as the currency and bonds as successor to the Palestine Mandatory government.
Palestinian as a national descriptor disappeared for a decade or two. it became defunct. It took the best part of a generation for memories to fade and another story or myth to be inserted into the public’s minds. Then some plotters saw an opportunity for trouble.
In the 1960s the USSR’s KGB invented the concept of the Palestine Liberation Army, PLA. It was formed by the Arab League meeting in Alexandria in 1964 and had brigades from Syria, Egypt and Jordan, largely under their rival national control.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation was under Egyptian control. After the failures of these States who invaded in the Six Day War, Yasser Arafat and his militant Fatah movement took control. With help.
To anyone who has lived through the events the idea of Palestine Liberation was utter nonsense. A military re-occupation by rival Arab States would have been a bloodbath. The Egyptian president Nasser had made clear what he would do to any Jews found there.
Palestinian meant Jew! But the USSR policy was then against Israel, so they chose an Egyptian-born Arab, Yasser Arafat. He was trained in the KGB’s centre at Balashikha outside Moscow with others. They were educated there in revolutionary tactics. In the mid-1960s the USSR set them up to lead a liberation of Israel-Palestine by plane hi-jacks and terrorism!
The trick involves changing the meaning of an important name in history by terror to mean something else, the trickster’s ideological position. This obscures the older, true history. Changing the meaning of a key word is well known disinformation technique. It is a subtle way to alter the real context of a problem.
Geographical fluidity, shifting border demands, is another evidence of fraud. Jordan had illegally occupied the region previously called Judea.
The original PLO of the early 1960s did not make any claim to this area of Judea, the ‘West Bank’. Only later by a clever public relations campaign was it called the ‘West Bank‘. The PLO targeted only the liberation of the area West of Jerusalem such as Tel Aviv and including all the coastland to the Mediterranean.
The PLO refused to say Jordanian occupation of Judea/ West Bank was illegal. In any case it was then no part of its ‘Palestine’.
In its 1964 PLO Charter, promulgated from Jordanian-occupied east Jerusalem, the PLO stated:
‘This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area.’
So there should be no question about claiming the West Bank! After 1967, Judea and Samaria, the area militarily occupied illicitly by Jordanians but recuperated by Jews, then became ‘Palestine‘ for the PLO. Jordan, not the PLO, claimed East Jerusalem.
Shifty borders, shifty thinking, but not a legal process.
The PR term ‘West Bank‘ dates from this same factual fluidity. Arab rejectionists saw little political mileage in saying they wished to eradicate Jews from Judea (a term used earlier in UN and League documents). Arabs from Arabia would have zero credibility as owners of Judea.
What was rejected as ‘Palestine‘ before 1967 cannot suddenly become a long-standing claim of land sovereignty. Nor can a city like Jerusalem that was never an Arab or Ottoman capital suddenly become its long-standing capital by say-so post-1967. Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab entity. It was never a capital under the Ottoman Turks.
The geographic shift.
Unable to take over French-occupied Syria after WW1, the Hashemite Abdullah became “Emir” of the sparsely populated Trans-Jordan. Like his brother Faisal who occupied Iraq as its king, he had been expelled out of Mecca and Arabia by the Wahabis and ‘king’ Saud, who renamed the country after himself.
Post-facto changes to recognition are not allowed in law.
The League of Nations recognised the territory of Palestine Mandate as the historic land of the Jews. No subsequent decision by the League or the UN can change that decision once made. The case is already closed. Any further decision rests with the sovereign power.
In 1920 the UK Foreign Office decided to ‘postpone or withhold‘ conditionally on later League decision the inclusion of the Transjordan area in the Palestine Mandate. Abdullah’s territorial occupation was thus seen as temporary. Abdullah showed that ‘his‘ area was still Mandate Land when he invited Jews to colonise and encourage agriculture there.
In 1948, it was renamed the ‘Hashemite Kingdom of Trans-Jordan.‘ But the world knew this was a shifty, shady deal. The country taking over part of the Mandate region was still not recognised by the UN or the USA but only by UK and Pakistan. That shows that most States in the UN knew it was already designated to Jews originally and not legally belonging to the Hashemites de jure.
Besides this dubious legal status, Jordan’s military incursions into Israel, its expulsion of Jews, its sniping across cease-fire lines, desecration of synagogues and religious sites in Judea/West Bank make Jordan a signal example of prolonged, illegal occupation.
The main question that the international community has to tackle is not one of Israel and ‘prolonged occupation’ as an intermediary between colonisation and legitimate defence. It is rather one of recuperation of rights for a people like the Jews that have suffered prolonged serial colonisation for two thousand years by Romans, Persians, Ottoman Turks, and finally British who recognised it was Jewish homeland. It has at last regained its human rights and freedom under Jewish leadership.
Europeans today can rejoice in more than three-quarters of a century of peace. That has never happened before.
No one today doubts that Robert Schuman helped resolve permanently some of history’s trickiest, most enduring and explosive ‘occupation‘ issues. He did so fully in the spirit and letter of both national and international law.
• the Ruhrgebiet, called ‘the problem of the century’ as the arsenal of Germany. Today, everyone has forgotten,
• French Rhine borders,
• the Saar,
• (together with numerous other ‘occupation‘ and border disputes resolved by the Community method).
His understanding of Human Rights and the nature of international law were the main instruments freeing Soviet-occupied Europe (including Russia) from illegal occupation.
Schuman brought the Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms into force as Prime Minister in 1948 (with the proposal for a European Assembly and a Customs Union) and as Foreign Minister in 1949 with the signing of the Council of Europe Statute and the signing of the Convention in 1950.
Jurists and politicians should best analyse his practice and method about how this was achieved rather than bending the letter of the law and the facts of history to what they see as the power politics of the day.
Real peace, as Schuman demonstrated, depends on truth (verification of facts) and human rights.
Author : David Heilbron Price