Monday, November 20, 2017

Professor Erekat, Where'd "Israel" Go?

I read this in an Al-Jazeera piece entitled, "Why there can never be a two-state solution" the US-based Journal of Palestine Studies, lawyer and Georgetown University professor Noura Erekat wrote that Israel has used Resolution 242 to justify the seizure of Palestinian land."When Israel declared its establishment in May 1948, it denied that Arab Palestinians had a similar right to statehood as the Jews because the Arab countries had rejected the Partition Plan," Erekat wrote, referencing UN Resolution 181.

The professor 

further claims there that

Israel has used UN Security Council Resolution 242 to retroactively legitimate [its] colonial takings

There are two ways to counter her arguments besides discounting her use of "colonial".

There is the easy way which is to point to the website of Jadaliyya where Ms. Erekat serves as co-editor. I signed up to receive its newsletter but I had to note I reside in "palestine" (yes, with a small P) which is not a country nor a state but a region.


Well, Israel isn't listed:

Not nice. 

And she complains about Israel, which is a real state?  I hope I'm updated.

The second way, as she lectures in law, is to be a bit more serious.

In rejecting UNGA 181, the Arabs rejected the establishment of an Arab state in Palestine.  They also declared war against the nascent state of Israel and hostilities began on November 30.  In doing so, the violated UN resolutions.  What did they expect would result from all this?  That they would win even if they lost?

As for Israel's Declaration of Independence, it reads it a relevant section:

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

As for 242, it does not mention a "Palestinian people" nor a "state of Palestine".  Not all territories needed to be evacuated. The only related problem needing  solution is "the refugee" one.  And there were Jewish refugees, too.

Poor George Mason University (where she teaches).



Anonymous said...


"Israel's acquisition of territory it never sought was NOT by war, but through self-defense after attack.
There is no international rule that says a country that is attacked may not cross its border into the aggressor's territory and occupy that territory to stop the aggression.
And there is no rule that says a country has to give up/back all the territory it acquired in those acts of self-defense.

That should be self-evident because then an aggressor would know it risked no loss of territory.
If the aggression failed, the territory would return to status quo ante and the aggressor could then just do it again, ie, Sinai.
The deliberate use of the word "war" not "force" as its often translated in English, precluded that.

242 also entitled Israel to "secure" and recognized boundaries - with the understanding that the 1947 partition line and the 1949 armistice line were not securable.
To make them secure would require territorial adjustment - which 242 acknowledged."

Anonymous said...

In 1967, Israel liberated the so-called Occupied Territories from Jordan and Egypt neither of whose belligerent occupation of these lands in 1948-49 was internationally recognized (except for the UK and Pakistan with respect to Jordan). Israel's rights stem from the recognized international law doctrine of "uti possidetis juris". The Palestinian people, acting through the PLO had already relinquished their (non-existent) sovereign rights to these lands in Article 24 of its 1964 Charter.
Having returned well over 90% of the conquests of 1967, Israel is arguably already in full compliance with its obligation under UNSC resolution 242 to withdraw from territories. Israel never had nor claimed that Sinai was part of the historical homeland of the Jewish people. It also never renounced its claim to the lands of the forner Mandate as it existed in 1948. So, assuming the Palestinian Arabs ever decide they want an end of conflict resolution, it will come in exchange for Israel's relinquishing lands to which it has the superior legal right. Israel, and everyone else, no doubt await that sea change in the Arab mindset.

Anonymous said...


"If acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible. at the very least Chevron and Gush Etzion should be part of Israel with absolutely no controversy."

Anonymous said...


"Jordan’s claims to the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Egypt’s to Gaza stem from claims of acquisition of territory by war.

Israel’s claims to the same have nothing to do with war, defensive or otherwise. Israel’s claims to sovereignty sound in the doctrine of uti possidetis juris, and are rooted in the Mandate’s boundary on the eve of Israel’s independence.

The claim of “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” is a claim that states are not entitled to claim sovereignty by virtue of conquest, and thus assumes there is a rule that says a country has to give up territory it acquired in acts of self-defense if the conquest is the only grounds for claiming the acquisition of sovereignty. Of course, the claimed rule may not actually reflect the law, but that is a different matter. The Resolution clearly claims that there is such a rule.

Neither the 1947 partition line, nor the 1949 armistice lines were ever the borders of Israel and thus there is no need to look to resolution 242 to permission to change them. In any event, the Security Council would not have the authority to change them even if it wanted to."