Saturday, October 26, 2013

What "Occupation"?

The following document was presented by Eli Hertz at the meeting of the Board of Governors of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists on December 3, 2009 in Washington D.C.

Dear friend,
Have you ever asked yourself why during the period between 1917 and 1947 hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout the world woke up one morning and decided to leave their homes and go to Palestine?
The majority did this because they heard that a future National Home for the Jewish people was being established in Palestine, on the basis of the League of Nations' obligation under the "Mandate for Palestine." This historical document laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law.

The "Mandate for Palestine" was not a naïve vision briefly embraced by the international community.

 Fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:
"Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

American Support for a Jewish National Home:
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution (the Lodge Fish Resolution) of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine – anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea:
"Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected." [italics in the original]

On September 21, 1922, President Warren G. Harding signed the Lodge-Fish Resolution, endorsing the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The U.S. Government (not a member of the League of Nations) maintained that her participation in WWI and her contribution to the defeat of Germany and the defeat of her Allies, entitled the United States to be consulted as to the terms of the "Mandate for Palestine."

The outcome of this request was a "Convention [Treaty] between the United States of America and the United Kingdom with respect to the rights of the two governments and their nationals in Palestine," a relationship governed by international law. The Convention contains the entire text of the "Mandate for Palestine" including the preamble and was concluded and signed by their respective plenipotentiaries in London on December 3, 1924; Ratification advised by the Senate, February 20, 1925; Ratified by President Calvin Coolidge, March 2, 1925; Ratified by Great Britain, March 18, 1925; Ratifications exchanged at London, December 3, 1925; Proclaimed, December 5, 1925.

In ratifying the Convention, the United States of America formally recognized the terms of the "Mandate for Palestine" and the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.

Any attempt to negate the Jewish people's right to Palestine - Eretz-Israel - and to deny them access and control in the area designated for the Jewish people by the League of Nations is an actionable infringement of both international law and the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, paragraph 2 of the United States Constitution), which dictates that Treaties "shall be the supreme Law of the Land".
We collectively and individually must do all we can to support the Jewish people and the state of Israel. There is no more crucial time than today, and I believe that this body has the capacity to help defeat the "Occupation" mantra by insisting that the land of Israel has been given to the Jewish people as of right, and in accordance with existing international law.

Sincerely,
 Eli E. Hertz
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