Arabs living in Jerusalem do not want a Palestinian state. And several legal experts now say that it would break international law.
Palestinian state not wanted
Today the Knesset Interior Committee heard from several Arab witnesses, who live in East Jerusalem. They do not want Israel to give up its sovereignty over the city’s eastern neighborhoods. They want no part of the Palestinian Authority or any Palestinian state.
And they have reason to worry. Several MKs say Israel is quietly turning Arab neighborhoods over to the PA. Activist Aryeh King planned to show
photographs of PA policemen directing traffic in Jerusalem neighborhoods, PLO flags waving on porches, signs of official PA government offices sponsoring public works in the capital, and more.
Palestinian state quietly moving forward?
Israel has started to build a wall through Jerusalem, along the 1949 armistice line. That, says King and his allies in the Knesset, will be a fatal mistake.
That’s not all. Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu of Arutz-7 reported yesterday that US diplomats were spying on Israeli land activists. Specifically, several diplomats drove (in their Embassy cars) to a contested area called E-1 (due east of Jerusalem). Activists had pitched three tents there. The diplomats said that they were police, took pictures, then left. Then the real police showed up, took down the tents, and took them away.
Why did the diplomats lie? (They admit they were there. They just say that they were doing “routine” things.) Did they give their pictures to the police? MK Michael Ben-Ari wants answers. He accuses the American diplomats of spying. Is the American State Department leaning on Israel to stop Jewish development in West Bank lands? Does Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu know about this? Why does he take this?
Palestinian state against international law
All of this ought to be moot. Several Israeli lawyers and law professors sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. They said that declaring a Palestinian state would break the UN charter and several resolutions and treaties.
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Specifically, the lawyers said:
- On July 24, 1922, the Council of the League of Nations unanimously resolved to let the Jews set up a national home in Israel, and settle in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem. Those are the very lands in dispute.
- Article 80 of the UN Charter says that all decisions of the old League of Nations are still in force. The UN cannot go back on them.
- The “1967 Israel borders” are really the 1949 Armistice Line. That line was never to be a permanent international border. The armistice agreement itself said that the line was only temporary. (Jordan annexed the West Bank lands, and lost them in the 1967 War.)
- UN Resolutions 242 and 338 say that Israel is entitled to “secure and recognized” borders.
- Article 31 of the Oslo Accords says that the PA must not do anything by itself to create a Palestinian state. Those Accords also say that the “status” of Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem must not change until negotiations end.
Palestinian state – so why talk about it?
So why is anyone still talking about it? Why did the police confiscate those tents in the E-1 area? Why are Arab neighborhoods slipping out of Israeli hands, when their residents do not want that? Some observers here in the United States do not trust Netanyahu. They say he is quietly getting ready to sign a deal for a Palestinian state while loudly saying that he wants anything but that. And if those lawyers and law professors are right, he doesn’t have to do that. Legally, they haven’t a leg to stand on. Politically, Netanyahu has friends where he least suspects them, friends that he is abandoning.
Featured image: the Western Wall. Photo: CNAV.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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