Friday, May 01, 2009

The Mandate for Palestine

From a pamphlet by Eli E. Hertz, published in 2008 by Myths and Facts, Inc [my own emphasis added - SL]:

1920 - Original territory assigned to the Jewish National Home

1922 - Final territory assigned to the Jewish National Home

[Follow these links for the full 54-page pamphlet: pdf version or html version]

The “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, a 10,000- square-miles area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The legally binding document was conferred on April 24, 1920 at the San Remo Conference, and its terms outlined in the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10, 1920. The Mandate’s terms were finalized and unanimously approved on July 24, 1922, by the Council of the League of Nations, which was comprised at that time of 51 countries, and became operational on September 29, 1923.

...On April 18, 1946, when the League of Nations was dissolved and its assets and duties transferred to the United Nations, the international community, in essence, reaffirmed the validity of this international accord and reconfirmed that the terms for a Jewish National Home were the will of the international community, a “sacred trust” – despite the fact that by then it was patently clear that the Arabs opposed a Jewish National Home, no matter what the form.

Many seem to confuse the “Mandate for Palestine” [The Trust], with the British Mandate [The Trustee]. The “Mandate for Palestine” is a League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal rights in Palestine. The British Mandate, on the other hand, was entrusted by the League of Nations with the responsibility to administrate the area delineated by the “Mandate for Palestine.”

Great Britain [i.e., the Mandatory or Trustee] did turn over its responsibility to the United Nations as of May 14, 1948. However, the legal force of the League of Nations’ “Mandate for Palestine” [i.e., The Trust] was not terminated with the end of the British Mandate. Rather, the Trust was transferred over to the United Nations....

... Despite not being a member of the League, the U.S. Government claimed on November 20, 1920 that the participation of the United States in WWI entitled it to be consulted as to the terms of the Mandate. The British Government agreed, and the outcome was an agreement calling to safeguard the American interests in Palestine. It concluded with a convention between the United Kingdom and the United States of America, signed on December 3, 1924. It is imperative to note that the convention incorporated the complete text of the “Mandate for Palestine...”

...The “Mandate for Palestine” is Valid to This Day
The Mandate survived the demise of the League of Nations. Article 80 of the UN Charter implicitly recognizes the “Mandate for Palestine” of the League of Nations.

This Mandate granted Jews the irrevocable right to settle anywhere in Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, a right unaltered in international law and valid to this day. Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), Gaza and the whole of Jerusalem are legal.

The International Court of Justice reaffirmed the meaning and validity of Article 80 in three separate cases...July 11, 1950...June 21, 1971...[and] July 9, 2004...

In other words, neither the ICJ nor the UN General Assembly can arbitrarily change the status of Jewish settlement as set forth in the “Mandate for Palestine,” an international accord that has never been amended.

All of western Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including the West Bank and Gaza, remains open to Jewish settlement under international law.

Professor Eugene Rostow concurred with the ICJ’s opinion as to the “sacredness” of trusts such as the “Mandate for Palestine”:
“‘A trust’—as in Article 80 of the UN Charter—does not end because the trustee dies ... the Jewish right of settlement in the whole of western Palestine—the area west of the Jordan—survived the British withdrawal in 1948. ... They are parts of the mandate territory, now legally occupied by Israel with the consent of the Security Council.”

The British Mandate left intact the Jewish right to settle in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Explains Professor Rostow:
“This right is protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, which provides that unless a trusteeship agreement is agreed upon (which was not done for the Palestine Mandate), nothing in the chapter shall be construed in and of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."

“The Mandates of the League of Nations have a special status in international law. They are considered to be trusts, indeed ‘sacred trusts.’"

“Under international law, neither Jordan nor the Palestinian Arab ‘people’ of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have a substantial claim to the sovereign possession of the occupied territories.”


...Article 2.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion...

...Article 4.
An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine...

...Article 5.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.

Article 6.
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage...close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes...

Appendix F—Israel’s Government Position
Yehuda Z. Blum, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations.
At the Louis D. Brandeis Award Dinner of the Zionist Organization of America. (Washington D.C., 11 June 1979)

“A corollary of the inalienable right of the Jewish people to its Land is the right to live in any part of Eretz Yisrael, including Judea and Samaria which are an integral part of Eretz Yisrael. Jews are not foreigners anywhere in the Land of Israel. Anyone who asserts that it is illegal for a Jew to live in Judea and Samaria just because he is a Jew, is in fact advocating a concept that is disturbingly reminiscent of the ‘Judenrein’ policies of Nazi Germany banning Jews from certain spheres of life for no other reason than that they were Jews. The Jewish villages in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district are there as of right and are there to stay.

“The right of Jews to settle in the Land of Israel was also recognised in the League of Nations ‘Mandate for Palestine’ which stressed ‘the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and … the grounds for reconstituting’ - I repeat, reconstituting ‘their national home in that country.’

“The Mandatory Power was also entrusted with the duty to encourage ‘close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.’”
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