Israel Had No Right To Exist…Until 1988
The statement that Israel has no right to exist today is only voiced aloud by Islamic fundamentalists. Such is the state of dialogue and the power of propaganda today. My personal background shouldn’t play a role in the discussion I’m about to enter, but it will of course.
The sky is blue, and I will be called an anti-Semite. One thing that is not true is that following a charge of anti-Semitism, the accuser will continue on to argue and win a debate on the merits. There is one exception to what I’ve said above. That is, if one believes a religious text can confer a right in international law to statehood. If someone starts with this assumption, they will always appear to win the debate, hands down, who can argue with god? But if history and law are what determines a right to statehood, then bring it on.
I’m forty-five years old and have been studying the Arab-Israeli conflict for thirty-four years, yes, I was eleven when I debated a Jewish kid on the subject in my sixth grade class. When two people argue this subject, if both are acutely aware of many details they can debate it in shorthand. To observers equally cognizant, it’s a fascinating thing to behold, like watching giants sprint. What’s not fascinating is to observe this same debate when one or both sides are lacking in their grasp of law and history. This is the droll and pointless exercise I’ve witnessed innumerable times.
Rather than continue to cite page after page of history, I’ll present my three conclusions alone, and wait for educated responses such as I’ve often witnessed from readers of this site.
The first conclusion is that the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, to end the British mandate in Palestine, and to partition the area went beyond the legal authority of that body at that time.
The second conclusion, that the land acquired by the self-declared state of Israel through the war of 1948 was gained after international law had already codified that the acquisition of land through warfare was illegal.
The last conclusion is that when the Palestine National Council declared statehood of Palestine in Algiers in 1988, ceding land within the Greenline to Israel, those borders became the de jure borders of the state of Israel.
One request; if most of the items in the following laundry list of history are unfamiliar to you, please don’t respond.
The Ottoman Tanzimat reforms
The 1888 First World Zionist Congress
The Hussein-McMahon Correspondence
Chaim Weizmann, acetone, and the British war effort
The Balfour Declaration
The British White Papers
Czech arms smuggling
The Irgun and Stern gangs
The Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973
UN Resolutions 181, 242, and 338
The Fourth Geneva Convention
The PNC Declaration of 1988
I look forward to increasing my education on this subject from thoughtful readers.