Monday, September 21, 2009

In two separate but virtually identical paragraphs, the Goldstone Commission report says:
1582. Insofar that movement and access restrictions, the settlements and their infrastructure, demographic policies with regards to Jerusalem and Area C, and the separation of Gaza from the West Bank prevent a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian State from being created, they are in violation of the jus cogens right to self-determination.

1744. Insofar as movement and access restrictions, the settlements and their infrastructure, demographic policies vis-à-vis Jerusalem and Area C of the West bank, as well as the separation of Gaza from the West Bank, prevent a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian state from arising, they are in violation of the ius cogens [sic] right to self-determination.
(Jus cogens means a "higher law" that must be followed by all countries.)

I am not a lawyer and have no legal training. Even so, I believe that this is an astonishing statement from a number of legal perspectives.

First of all, the right of self-determination is defined by the UN in this way:
The two important United Nations studies on the right to self-determination set out factors of a people that give rise to possession of right to self-determination: a history of independence or self-rule in an identifiable territory, a distinct culture, and a will and capability to regain self-governance.
The first factor simply does not exist for Palestinian Arabs. The second is arguable; I believe that a distinct Palestinian Arab culture is a relatively new phenomenon that coincides with (at the earliest) 1948, and that the cultural differences between Palestinian Arabs and other Arabs is no different in scope than the cultural differences that exist within any country. And the third factor is specious, given the history of Palestinian Arab politics from the 1920s up until today. Even if you argue points 2 and 3, point 1 is demonstrably false and therefore the entire idea is wrong.

Even though the UN seems to have redefined "self-determination" in order to accommodate its pet Palestinian project, this does not make these factors automatically disappear.

Secondly, if you accept that there is a people called "Palestinians," the concept of "self-determination" does not automatically mean "the right to a state." The ICJ seems to define this as the right of a people to govern their own affairs free from outside interference - emphatically not statehood, a right that the world community would never accept for fear of every minority suddenly demanding the right of independence.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the UN Charter forbids nations from interfering with the territorial integrity of other nations. The idea that a Gaza and West Bank Palestine must be contiguous necessarily means that Israel's territory would be divided. (A bridge between the two could hardly be considered creating a "contiguous Palestinian state.")

Goldstone is not trying to give legal sanction to a Palestinian Arab state with free passage between two territories; he is not trying to innovate by saying that virtual contiguity via video and computer networks could be an alternative to physical contiguity. He is advocating that Israel cut itself in two and he is trying to say that the rights of Palestinian Arabs trump those of Israelis.

It may be politically incorrect to question Palestinian Arab peoplehood or to muse whether a state is the necessary means to achieve their self-determination. This does not make that opinion factually incorrect. Goldstone's sacrifice of legal definitions to the altar of political correctness is saddening, but not surprising.

However, the idea that somehow Palestinian Arab nationhood can rightfully impact Israeli national rights, as enshrined in the UN itself, is past sloppy interpretation of the law - it is illegal itself.

UPDATE: An email correspondent with real legal credentials told me that the idea that "self determination" falls under jus cogens is laughable.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

Contact

Elder: elder -at- elderofziyon dot com
Mrs. Elder: mrs.elder -at- elderofziyon.com


translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options



One time donation:



subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive