Without question, Israel is currently facing an increasingly coordinated and concerted effort by Europe and the Arab world, to delegitimise and cripple her.
Barack Obama is presiding over seismic shifts in geopolitical alliances instigated by a foreign policy that is foreign to everything America has said they stand for till now.
It is not coincidental that China and India are strenuously courting the tiny Jewish state as it becomes increasingly clear that liberal democrat America does not have Israel’s best interests at heart.
Consider the present administration’s full-throated support of “Palestinian” statehood and its increasingly strident efforts to accommodate a landscape-changing Iranian nuclear deal.
Both developments would seriously affect Israel’s ability to adequately protect itself without using the nuclear option if the Arab world continues to see as its primary foreign policy objective, the removal of the Jewish state from the Middle East.
But are Europe and America barking up the wrong tree? Do the Chinese and Indian governments more accurately evaluate the danger of spreading radical Islam given the chaos Muslim minorities cause in their respective countries? Does Russia, whose propaganda campaign is responsible for much of the European shift towards delegitimisation of Israel, also know what the Israelis know: that radical Islam unchecked today will rapidly convert significant sections of European cities into expanding Sharia-controlled no-go Muslim enclaves? Will Muslim terror stop once the world recognises the illegality of the Zionist enterprise in the Middle East. Is the foundation of the state of Israel illegal under international law?
The short answer is that the formation of the State of Israel is completely legal under international law, even if Arab backed European politically motivated communities would like to revise the fact.
There is a reason, in international law, there has been no “Palestinian” state these past 66 years.
And as long as there are those who would delegitimise a UN member state, there will always be those who will make sure that petty, genocidal, religious dogma neither changes the facts of history nor subverts international law which has at its very core, the objective of limiting the institutionalised violence we call war.
Israel is a sovereign state under international law. International law is a set of rules that are generally accepted in relations between states (Glick, 2014). International law is based on consent, and states follow the rules of international law to which they consent.
International law comprises two strands: treaties and custom. Treaties may be bilateral, based on international conventions like the 1948 Geneva Convention, or they may be multilateral such as is the case with the NATO treaty.
However, while treaties are binding under international law, institutions created by the treaties cannot make new law. Thus international bodies such as the UNGA can only pass resolutions which are recommendations. The UNSC may pass binding resolutions, but exercise of that power is limited to situations that are 1) threats to peace, 2) breaches of peace, 3) and acts of aggression against UN member states. Clearly, in the case of the Israeli Arab conflict as regards “Palestine”, “Palestinian” Arabs, hyperbole notwithstanding, have no legal leg to stand on. They have continuously threatened the peace, breached innumerable ceasefires, and often attacked a UN member state.
On the other hand, treaties do not carry the same weight as legislation, and states only have to obey treaties to which they are parties. In other words, no consent, no law.
Does this mean that a would-be “Palestinian” ‘nation’ could refuse to honour a treaty to which they were not party?
The brief legal answer is no.
International law permits self-determination claims to be satisfied by incorporation into the ruling state, by sovereign independence, or by anything in between.
In order to abide by its international obligations as a member of the family of nations to respect the self-determination rights of “Palestinians”, Israel is required to take good-faith negotiations with the “Palestinians” in a bid to satisfy these self-determination rights.
Nobody would dispute that the two unprecedentedly generous Israeli peace offers to Arafat and Abbas, in attempts to reach a peace settlement over the past 20 years, in addition to the commencement of the Oslo Accords which recognised the PLO as official representative of the “Palestinian” people, do not constitute good-faith efforts by the Israelis to satisfy “Palestinian” self-determination rights. The remarkable Barak and Olmert offers are historically documented proof of that.
Thus, Israel has fulfilled its obligations in this sphere as well.
Unlike Israel, there has never been a polity/state called “Palestine”. Thus not agreeing to international law has never been an option for them, despite their bombast and continuous claims of victimhood over the years.
And finally in this section about the legality of the Israeli negotiating position under international law, the prospect of the PA unilaterally approaching the UN for membership and thus statehood, would be a grave violation of the PLO’s signed agreement with Israel, under international aegis, which specifically barred such unilateral actions. Under international law, this agreement was witnessed by outside parties including the United States, Russia, Norway, the EU and so on.
This means that any material violations of agreements that were witnessed by the EU or similar, would irreversibly jeopardise the worth of such agreements in international law and the worth of such witnessing, and would free Israel to act in its best interests without fear or favour. A scenario fraught with potential for untold violence anyway you care to look at it.
Custom in international law, on the other hand, is different in that it results from general and consistent practice of states followed by them from a sense of legal obligation.
International law requires states to follow customary law even when the states have not explicitly consented to the custom (Glick, 2014). However, because customary law is also based on implied consent, a state that consistently objects to an international custom, is not bound by that custom.
Once again, in the absence of there ever being a sovereign “Palestinian” state to even invoke customary law and thus invoke consistent objection to the legal establishment of the State of Israel, in the light of the point blank refusal of three offers of “Palestinian” statehood 1947-2014 thus abrogating its rights to sovereignty in PA controlled “West Bank”, and in the absence of any codification of rules and charters minimising violence against Jews by the current “unity” government as per the requirement of an intending member of the United Nations, “Palestinian” claims that they are a people living in a non-self-governing territory and thus have a right to self determination is belied by the fact that the “Palestinians” have been exercising self rule over inhabited parts of Judea and Samaria since 1994 when PA was formed…….
Thus, the PA’s invocation of even this tenet of international law is baseless.
In light of the above, understanding “Palestinian” Arab violence towards the State of Israel becomes even more difficult to accept in any form, because of the documented incidents of a violent minority which proffers its own apocalyptic Islamic interpretation of how the world should be, and what should replace western interpretations of law and order.
In Gaza, and further afield, the rebirth of Islamic imperialism and violence post 9/11, from the World Trade Center, to a discothèque in Bali, to beheadings in the barren stony lands around Dabiq and Raqqa point to what Buruma and Margalit (2004) have termed Occidentalism.
Like Orientalism, which was perceived as a general patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African societies, Occidentalism sees the West as something less than human, something to be destroyed, something that goes beyond Wall Street, Hollywood, capitalism or the all-too-convenient catch-cry of “US imperialism”.
The current crop of jihadis see western liberalism as a threat to their religious fundamentalism, self-appointed caliphs and religiously inspired “pure” and “authentic” cleansing of the kuffar through blood letting, because it deflates the pretensions of their own brand of heroic Islamic utopianism.
Wherever it occurs, this Occidentalism is fed by an inflated Muslim perception of humiliation, of defeat.
The current wave of Islamic Occidentalism seeks to right a perceived historical wrong. And nothing matches the perceived Arab Muslim sense of failure and humiliation as much as the perception that a once glorious civilization has been left behind in every respect by the post-Enlightenment West.
This over-indulged perception of humiliation, historically redolent of the Arab psyche, can easily turn into a self-aggrandising cult of the pure and the authentic. And it is when “purity” or “authenticity”, of faith or race, leads to purges of the supposedly inauthentic, of the allegedly impure, that mass murder begins. The fact that anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and a general hostility to the West currently overlaps is no coincidence. (Buruma & Margalit, 2004).
However, in a modern world dominated by the spread and take up of western values of business and culture, copied and practised skilfully by the very people who would kill you for it, international law remains the final fragile red barrier “authenticity” and “purity” of Islamic thought must breach in order to imprint its brand of religious fundamentalism on a wide swathe of the world’s peoples.
To that extent, I submit that Muslim violence today against the west is not the fault of anyone else except irrational, inverted Muslim Quranic interpretation and thought, and a willingness to shed as much blood (of others) as it takes to spread a violent, radical brand of Islam.
This vision radical Islam has of itself as an antidote to “Westoxification”, is a mixture of the universal and the pure: “universal” because all people can/should, in the eyes of the believers, become orthodox Muslims; and “pure” because those who refuse the call are not simply lost souls but savages who must be removed from this earth.
Thus the “pure” and/or “authentic” Occidental hero is the one, whether he is a Nazi or an Islamist, who is just as ready to destroy those who sully the purity of his race or creed. It is indeed his duty to do so. When the West is seen as the threat to authenticity, then it is the duty of all “holy warriors” to destroy anything to do with the “Zionist Crusaders,” whether it is a U.S. battleship, a British embassy, a Jewish cemetery, or a Bali discotheque; even unto the extreme of beheading well-meaning western aid workers and journos in Dabiq and Raqqa as a terror tactic to induce compliance (Buruma & Margalit, 2004).
But, whatever the rest of the world might be comfortable acceding to in appeasing Muslim violence by permitting Sharia police no-go zones in European cities and towns, with regards to the Israeli- “Palestinian” conflict, there is always the question of international law.
It is the source of greatest frustration to large hostile bodies such as the Arab League and their enablers in the European Union that, since their inception in 1945, they have never been able to either militarily extract a territorial concession from Israel in all the wars they have initiated, nor circumvent the rule of international law in their efforts to financially and socially/legally cripple the sovereign Jewish state these past 66 years….
The sovereignty of the Jewish state became a legal issue in 1917 with the demise of 400 years of Ottoman Muslim rule in the Levant.
Whereas the Levant Arabs, now freed from the oppressive yoke of the Ottomans, agreed to League of Nations mandates to create Muslim entities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza in return for supporting the British and the French, those self-same Arabs did not see their way clear to the same League of Nations establishing the Jewish state of Israel in what was called the British Mandate for Mesopotamia……
Thus, with the disintegration of the despotic Ottoman rule in the region, the Arabs accepted international law in the creation of five more Muslim entities along national ethno-religious lines, but just not a single Jewish one.
Fortunately for Israel, its creation has always been anchored in international law both through treaty and through custom as described above. For example, Israel is well within its international legal rights in building as it sees fit in Judea and Samaria. Yehuda and Shomron were always included territory in the intended Jewish state under both the League of Nations and the legally approved British Mandate, despite the illegal invasion and occupation of the area (euphemistically called the West Bank [of the Jordan]) by Jordan in 1948. In 1967, Judea and Samaria were returned to Jewish sovereignty in a defensive war where Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq combined to try and wipe out (again) the tiny Jewish state.
Forty years previously, the 1937 Peel Commission succumbed to Arab violence and recommended the partition of the remainder of the Mandate, now not including Jordan, into a further division of Jewish and Arab land. The Jews were now to receive a mere 19% of the truncated Mandated lands, with 81% going to the creation of yet another Muslim Arab state. The Jewish Agency accepted even this disappointing breach of promise. The Arabs rejected the compromise.
The records will always show the facts of the matter: Arab intransigence and religious racism are the only reasons there is no “Palestine” today. The Arab-Israeli conflict never had anything to do with land. It was always a war of religion.
Clearly, as it has always done since 1917, international law will always back up the Israeli position on any future negotiated settlement.
International law (and an innate sense of fairness in other nations around the world that is difficult to legislate for) remained the major stumbling block in MENA and the EU preventing the dismemberment of the Jewish state.
But, in the end, all of history shows that people do not like continuous change or violent upheaval. The average person in the street does not approve of murder and mayhem, be they from Dubai or Donetsk. The average person just wants to get on with life and make the most of their time while alive.
For this reason alone, the current orgy of Islamic violence will splutter and die as the internet continues to interleave the commonality of the human condition, race, religion or creed notwithstanding.
And because of this, the State of Israel will continue to survive and prosper.
Because of this, and international law……….