Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The "Right to Resist"

As a member of a discussion/action group, I was pointed to Paragraph 1875 of the Goldstone Report where you can read this:

People of Palestine have the right to freely determine their own political and economic system, including the right to resist forcible deprivation of their right to self-determination and the right to live, in peace and freedom, in their own State.

and one person asked:

Is there any such right in international law? How far does the "right to resist..." go?...this is one of the few cases where Goldstone uses the word "Palestine" in the context of an already existing entity
And someone else noted:

There may be some ill defined "right to self determination" but how such a right is exercised is debatable (See e.g., Judge Koojimans decision in the Wall case). Moreover, a so-called "right to resist" is a fabrication invented by Richard Falk in the 60s and there certainly is no "right to resist" by directing attacks against Israeli civilians.

I think the wording is a template text based on and lifted from resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which has been repeated many times subsequently, as in this 1991 resolution which all, and others, contain this:

Reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of the oppressed people of South Africa for the elimination of apartheid and for the establishment of a society in which all the people of South Africa as a whole, irrespective of race, colour or creed, will enjoy equal and full political and other rights and participate freely in the determination of their destiny,

Also reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of all peoples under colonial and foreign domination, particularly the Palestinian people, for the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination and national independence, which will enable them to decide freely on their own future,

...Recalling its resolution 44/147 of 15 December 1989,

1. Reiterates that, by virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right, freely and without external interference, to determine their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and that every State has the duty to respect that right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter;...

So, you see,

a) there is a logic to the madness of the "apartheid" campaign. it's their 'base of operations';

b) Goldstone, a South African, aka former apartheidist expert is quite necessary for the campaign;

c) the squabbling over whether there is a "Palestinian people" is not simple semantics but a matter of life-and-death, mainly for Jews; [on "Palestine" see here]

d) "struggling" is one thing but "resistance" is terror. There is no 'right to resist' in the UN resolution. (*)

There is this using the term resist:

“One has an undoubted right to resist an unlawful arrest, and courts will uphold the right of resistance in proper cases.”

United States Supreme Court, United States v. Di Re, 1948.

But that is not relevant in our case. Seems that:

Professors Richard Falk and Ted Honderich have referred in the past to a right to violence – Honderich has gone further, suggesting that on the basis of present realities, the Palestinians are entitled to their terror.

As a pro-Pal. blogger wrote:

How come the Israeli ‘right to defend’ (right to occupy and kill innocents) is respected and supported by U.S. but Palestinians ‘right to resist’ and fight back the occupation is a crime? What a hypocrisies and double standard.

There is this claim, too:

(UN Charter art. 51) The right to resist finds application within the framework of the right of legitimate defense because "a state which forcibly subjugates a people to colonial or alien domination is committing an unlawful act as defined by international law, and the subject people, in the exercise of its inherent right of self-defense, may fight to defend and attain its right to self-determination."

but what the UN Charter actually reads is:

Article 51

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Of course, a 'right to resist' is a sneak-in. Someone coopted it where it did not originally exist.

As this legal observer wrote on p. 130 of his article:

...the source of violence around the world occurs where there is no democratic outlet for dissent or credible protection for persecuted peoples and minorities. A dangerous political and human rights lacuna has been created in the international legal system. This lacuna consists of the international communities failure to address the position of stateless nations, peoples, and persecuted minorities, and those involved in the collective fight for democratic reform against authoritarian regimes. Instead, member states within the United Nations have preferred to reinforce the virtual inviolability of the system of state sovereignty, save in the exceptional circumstances where the Security Council authorises use of force under Chapter Seven. This lacuna has led to numerous internal conflicts which could have been avoided had certain avenues of international political and legal redress been available. The failure to provide avenues of redress has led numerous groups to turn to more violent methods.

But, as we all know, the Pals. particularly have been provided with numerous democratic avenues which they have all rejected as their interest is not in the promotion and realization of their own rights but more in the obliteration and negation of any national rights of the Jewish people.

But, getting back to Honreich, it seems that Tomis Kapitan in his Israel, Palestine, and Terror, in Continuum (2008): 17-33, on pages 2-3 asserts:

...Ted Honderich describes terrorism as small-scale violence, driven by a political aim, that violates national or international law and is prima facie morally wrong. He thereby counts a good deal of resistance activity and guerilla warfare as terrorist, even when directed against military personnel, while excluding the large-scale military actions of governments. Of course, he may define the word as he chooses, but given its common currency and negative connotation, ‘terrorism’ has become the term of art for classifying illegitimate political violence...

...Honderich argues that the ‘right thing’ in 1947-48 was the establishment of a Jewish national state in Palestine. However, to secure a Jewish state required a ‘decisive Jewish majority’ among the citizens, and at the time this entailed ‘transferring’ a large segment of the Palestinian Arab majority to areas outside those claimed for a Jewish state. During the 1948-49 war, this was achieved through massacre, fear-induced flight, and forced exodus, resulting in the removal of three-quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs from their homes and lands.3 Accordingly, by Honderich’s logic, since the only means of establishing a Jewish national state was through terrorism, then ‘the founding of Israel in Palestine and the terrorism for it was right in what is arguably the most fundamental sense.’ The same blessing is to be withheld from what Honderich calls ‘neo-Zionism’— the endeavor to extend the Jewish state throughout Palestine. However, since the Palestinians also have a right to a state of their own in the remainder of Palestine, then they have a right to resist neo-Zionism, and since the only means to do so is through the use of terrorism against Israelis, then Palestinians have a right to engage in terrorism...

...Viewed in its proper light, the Principle of Self-Determination derives from the same root as the doctrine of popular sovereignty, conferring upon the inhabitants of politically-defined regions the right to be self-governing, regardless of their national, ethnic, or cultural complexion. The massive violation of this fundamentally democratic principle is the chief moral failure that has shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If we are serious about ‘keeping people out of bad lives,’ as Honderich urges, then there is plenty of reason to resist nationalism, and if terrorism can only be justified because it is the means for creating nation-states then Honderich's argument fails. But an argument is one thing; its conclusion is quite another. Despite his reasoning, perhaps a distinct justification can be given for Palestinian terrorism.

He refers to: Honderich, T.(2006), Right and Wrong, and Palestine, 9-11, Iraq, 7-7. . . Boston: Seven Stories Press and this book, too.

But he also, in footnote 3, writes:

See the documentation of this Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing in Khalidi 1971, Flapan 1987, Morris 1987, 1999, 2001, and Pappe 2006. In his diaries, Theodore Herzl advocated discrete expropriation of Arab property and removal of the poor Arabs from the land (Patai 1960, vol. I, p. 88). Subsequent Zionist leaders such as David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky explicitly favored forced transfer of the Arabs from Palestine to make way for the establishment of a Jewish state (Flapan 1987, 103; Gorny 1987, 270; Morris 1999, 659, and 2001, 42-44; Segev 1999, 407).

That footnote is academically worthless and has been disproved as misquotations, outright lies and falsehoods and devious misinterpretation. I have dealt with Jabotinsky previously at this blog.

His 'nail in the coffin' (literally) is this conclusion, p. 17:

...the undeniable fact is that the Israeli political leadership remains determined to expand the Jewish state beyond the 1949 armistice lines, with or without Palestinian resistance. The Israeli settlements are integral to this expansion, for not only are they portrayed as irreversible facts on the ground, they are instrumental to the argument that the only way to end hostilities is by separating the two communities by either transferring the Palestinians out of the area or isolating them within increasingly infeasible disconnected ‘bantustans’ (Reinhart 2003. chps V, IX). It is ludicrous to think that these settlements in occupied territory are driven by a desire for security; if anything, they multiply Israel’s security concerns. Not only must the Israeli government continue to expend large amounts of money in protecting their inhabitants, but Palestinian outrage and frustration will only intensify with every dunum confiscated and every Israeli house built. Unless there is a collective decision on the part of Palestinians to concede defeat and evacuate their ancestral homeland, these emotions will seek outlets. Recourse to terrorism is one way of checking the Zionist ambitions which otherwise would very likely proceed unopposed and beneath the radar of world opinion and concern.

That conclusion is also predicated on mendacious assertions. For one, it is the Pals. who, since 1949, have attempted quite violently to 'expand beyond the armistice lines'. International law guarantees "close Jewish settlement" in Judea and Samaria - something quite independent, if you want to argue, from what state exists there - in the League of Nations Mandate, Article 5. And, as pointed out, have consistently rejected any resolving of the situation through any forum.

Unfortunately, Hondreich suspects that his

...view, on Zionism and neo-Zionism and Palestinian resistance to or self-defence [actually, "arguing that support for the Palestinians includes acknowledging their right to terrorism"] against neo-Zionism, is in fact easily the majority view in the world, however quiet people are about it, however reluctant to express it.

Of course, there are those who think Hondreich isn't going far enough with the immorality he promotes and well as the misreading of history and the understanding of Jewish nationalism.

(To be continued...)



See this:

3236 (XXIX). Question of Palestine
The General Assembly,
Having considered the question of Palestine,
Having heard the statement of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,1/
Having also heard other statements made during the debate,
Deeply concerned that no just solution to the problem of Palestine has yet been achieved and recognizing that the problem of Palestine continues to endanger international peace and security,
Recognizing that the Palestinian people is entitled to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
Expressing its grave concern that the Palestinian people has been prevented from enjoying its inalienable rights, in particular its right to self-determination,
Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter,
Recalling its relevant resolutions which affirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,
1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including:
(a) The right to self-determination without external interference;
(b) The right to national independence and sovereignty;
2. Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;
3. Emphasizes that full respect for and the realization of these inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine;
4. Recognizes that the Palestinian people is a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
5. Further recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

(Kippah tip: Daled Amos)


Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Well done, YM. However, a resolution passed in 1960 can't refer to the year 1989 in the past tense. You might want to check the dates or clear up the unclear.

On the whole, this post is important and well done.

YMedad said...

Thanks. I had dropped a reference and lost the train. Fixed it.

Anonymous said...

There are any number of HRC resolutions to the same effect.

However, none of these documents is a source of legal rights.

Kae Gregory said...

A universal "Right to Resist" is equivalent to a right to murder. Only people with common interests could determine under what circumstances the right would be applicable. If I for example, disagreed with those interests, I would then have a right to resist the resistance even if I was a murderous despot. The lack of rational thought behind this concept is breathtaking.

YMedad said...

Kae, save your breath. They are trying to take away your brains. Don't let them!

Metternich said...

1. By "Palestinians" and by "Palestinian people", they must mean the Jews. For example, the Jews can resist an attempt to "Freeze" construction in their villages.

2. Jews clearly have national rights to all of Palestine, from the San Remo Convention of 1920 and the Palestine Mandate. So we really are the Palestinian people. By international law.

3. Terrorism can be most usefully defined as "Acts of War by NGOs". Or perhaps "Acts of War by civilians".