Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Dershowitz: Legal Implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine

December 2, 2012 2:10 am 6 comments

The United Nations logo.

The General Assembly vote declaring that Palestine, within the pre-1967 borders, is a “state”, at least for some purposes, would have nasty legal implications, if it were ever to be taken seriously by the international community.  It would mean that Israel, which captured some Jordanian territory after Jordan attacked West Jerusalem in 1967, is illegally occupying the Western Wall (Judaism’s holiest site), the Jewish Quarter of old Jerusalem (where Jews have lived for thousands of years), the access road to the Hebrew University (which was established well before Israel even became a state) and other areas necessary to the security of its citizens.  It would also mean that Security Council Resolution 242, whose purpose it was to allow Israel to hold onto some of the territories captured during its defensive 1967 war, would be overruled by a General Assembly vote—something the United Nations Charter explicitly forbids. It would be the first time in history that a nation was required to return all land lawfully captured in a defensive war.

If all the territory captured by Israel in its defensive war is being illegally occupied then it might be open to the newly recognized “Palestinian State” to try to bring a case before the International Criminal Court against Israeli political and military leaders who are involved in the occupation.  This would mean that virtually every Israeli leader could be placed on trial.  What this would entail realistically is that they could not travel to countries which might extradite them for trial in the Hague.

These absurd conclusions follow from the theater of the absurd that occurred when the General Assembly, for the thousandth time, issued an irrelevantly one sided declaration on Palestine.  As Abba Eban once put it:  “If Algeria introduced a General Assembly Resolution that the world was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass 100 to 10 with 50 abstentions.”  That’s pretty much what happened the other day.  I wonder whether the European countries that voted for the Resolution knew what a tangled web they were weaving.

Nor was this Resolution a recognition of the two-state solution, since a considerable number of states who voted for it have refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist.  What they were looking for was a one state resolution—that one state being yet another Islamic country that voted for Hamas in the last election and that is likely to be governed by Sharia Law that will not allow Jews or Christians equal rights.

Neither will the General Assembly’s actions move the Palestinians closer to accepting the ongoing Israeli offer to begin negotiations toward a two state solution with no prior conditions.  The Palestinians now have little incentive to negotiate a state, which would require considerable compromise and sacrifice on all sides.  They now think they can get their state recognized without the need to give up the right of return or to make the kinds of territorial compromises necessary for Israel’s security.  The United Nations action will only discourage the Palestinians from entering into serious negotiations with Israel.

The United Nations’ action will also incentivize Hamas to continue firing rockets into Israel on a periodic basis in order to provoke Israeli retaliation.  Many in Hamas believe that the recent fighting in Gaza actually helped the Palestinians get more votes in the General Assembly.  They are certainly taking some of the credit for these votes.

All in all, the United Nations vote will make it harder to achieve a peaceful two state solution, acceptable to both sides.  But that has been the history of General Assembly actions with regard to Israel, beginning with the lopsided vote in 1975 that challenged Israel’s very existence by declaring Zionism—the national liberation movement of the Jewish people—to be a form of racism.  Although the General Assembly was ultimately pressured into rescinding that blood libel, its bigoted spirit still hovers over numerous United Nations agencies which continue to regard Israel as a pariah.  It could be felt in the General Assembly hall when so many countries that refused to recognize Israel voted to recognize Palestine.

This is all a prescription for continued warfare, lawfare and enmity.  It is not a prescription for resolving a complex and difficult issue in a realistic manner.  But what else is new at the United Nations!

6 Comments

  • Dear Mr Dershowitz, you write about the Legal Implications of the UN resolution as if these are undesirable outcome for all. Those who voted for the resolution, indeed want and wish further negative implications for Israel. I’d expect you to delve into the legal ramifications for the Arabs, for example: the annulment of the OSLO agreements due to fundamental breach. Come on Alan, lend us your sharp legal mind.

    • Dear, o h dear.
      Dershowitz still REFUSES to get.
      Two states living in peace next to each other? ABSURD
      What is keeping this learned, smart professor from admitting the truth?

  • Voice of Truth

    Don’t worry, Israel has it all covered. Let the PA just try and take this insanity to court, I promise, it will not turn out like they plan. They best beware of who they are messing with. Any man or nation that comes against Israel comes against the G-d of Israel and no man or nation stands against HIM…. HE wins…. they loose…. that simple. You would think they would learn by now…. Ya Think!

  • Théâtre de l’Absurde! The United Nations didn’t make a move to save Rwanda from its horrific plunge over the edge of darkness. Later, the UN dragged its feet rather than do anything about Darfur. It’s getting hard to tell whether its list of unaccomplishments is longer than it is bloody. Such a mess!

    The United Nations, as an organisation of states, may be uniquely unsuited to protecting the rights of individuals — especially those cowering under the tyranny of ‘popular’ member states.

    Where is the integrity?

  • Yes and why were the Jews in America so quite while all this was taking place. Why were they not demonstrating outside the UN? Why do the Jews in America remain so quite every time the palestinians attack us? Why dont they demonstrate outside the UN and the Whitehouse? The reason is simple, they dont want to rock the boat in America. Heaven forbid that israel should be more important to them than abortion and gay rights,

  • Jon, a Brit in Euroland

    This article, as most I have read in the past week from the word processors of eminent people focus on the inconveniences of a Palestinian State crawling out from under the UN. It seems to me that there is one huge advantage that accrues from this creation of a state, and that is the well established fact in law that states can go to war.

    It does seem quite clear that Hamastan (which may or may not be part of the “palestinian state” recently posited, is at war with Israel. The fact that the PA has declared, through its leader that the Western wall, incorporated by Israeli law into Israel, is actually part of Palestine “state”, seems to suggest that the PA areas are also at war with Israel.

    In a war a beligerant can do whatever is required to end the beligerency of the other party or parties, since it is assumed that a state’s authorities are speaking (even in dictatorships) for their populations. This Israel can bomb or blast them into submission, leaving ramala is the same state that the Allies left Berlin, or Hamburg, or Cologne. States of rubble. This was less legally possible with a non state….

    Thus Israel can rosecute a war with a state until unconditional surrender, leading to war crimes tribunals etc. In the interim it can cut off all power, water and food imports, as has traditionally been done by force or arms intimes of war.

    Israel would also be “entittled”, at its own expence, in preparing a generation long reeducation programme for the survivors of the comming, or current war, just as Japan and Germany were reeducated into democracy by the allies….

    Perhaps this might be worth considering….

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →