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August 2, 2013 6:20 am

Lawyers: EU Has No Right to Determine Israel’s Borders (VIDEO)

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

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Court room of the European Court of Human Rights. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Over 1,000 international lawyers, ambassadors, and professors from 30 different countries signed a petition protesting the European Union’s recent funding ban on Israel’s settlements.

Israel’s former ambassador to Canada and legal advisor, Alan Baker, who heads the Legal Forum for Israel’s International Action Division, initiated the petition and an accompanying letter, which drew widespread support across the world.

The Legal Forum, a legal advocacy group established in 2004, sent out the petition and protest letter to EU officials earlier this week.

In July, the European Union issued a directive barring its 28 member states from funding projects and ending cooperation with Israeli institutions in in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem.

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According to Baker, the directive is discriminatory and based on a legal premise that is completely wrong. “The EU is incorrectly asserting that the pre-1967 lines are Israel’s borders and that the settlements are illegal. That is a misreading of international law,” Baker told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview.

Baker believes that the EU’s recent calls are “absolutely unacceptable” and states that it was one of main reasons why the Legal Forum had first written the letter.

“It has not been determined that the 1949 armistice lines are Israel’s borders- that is one of the issues up for negotiations along with the settlements,” explains Baker.  “The parties have to determine these issues at the negotiating table themselves; the EU has overstepped its status and has no right to take international law into its own hands.”

The 1,100 signatures supporting the letter include lawyers as well as rabbis, senior ambassadors, and professors – both Jewish and Christian – from Australia, Britain, Bolivia, Greece, Norway, Mexico, Taiwan, France, Italy, Canada, the U.S., and India, among others.

Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, former Israeli ambassador to the United States Meir Rosenne, and UK House of Lords member Baroness Ruth Deech are among those who signed the letter.

The European Union was established following World War II to foster economic cooperation between countries that traded with one another, primarily in Europe. Today, the EU is an organization that spans policy areas, from development aid to environment while promoting human rights. According to the EU’s website, “everything that the EU does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by all member countries.”

“The EU feels that it can take this liberty with Israel. It has a fixation, an obsession with the Jewish state and it has shown that it is not an impartial player in the peace process,” said Baker. “With this letter, we hope that EU members working with Catherine Ashton will consider a more impartial policy towards this area of the world.”

Watch the interview with Baker below.

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  • Michael Perloff

    Of course not. They were determined by international law and binding treaties after WWI. Every recommendation to alter the allocation of former non-Arab Ottoman Empire territory for the reconstituted Jewish state was rejected by the Arab leadership. That includes UN General Assembly resolution 181.

  • Wallace Edward Brand

    In the foregoing comment, Acquired Tights should be Acquired Rights

    • Paddy McCrann

      You had me going there, but it does has a certain ring to it.

  • Wallace Edward Brand

    International Law has only two sources. One is treaties or conventions of two or more nations. The other is long standing custom among nations. The EU has no authority to make International Law any more than the UN. In fact most of the EU members, if not all of them, are bound by the doctrine of Acquired Tights and the legal doctrine of Estoppel. from denying that World Jewry has sovereignty over at least all of Palestine west of the Jordan River.See: Brand, Roots of Israel’s Sovereignty and Boundaries under International Law: In Defense of the Levy Report
    http://www.think-israel.org/brand.allegedoccupation.html

    The term “occupied” has turned into a pejorative. I have occupied my own house since 1964 and I am doing nothing that is illegal or immoral. I own it. The Jews have been the recognized owners of the political rights to Palestine since 1920, based on the resolution of the Principal Allied War Powers of WWI at San Remo in 1920 and the Mandate for Palestine that spells it out in more detail. By 1922, 52 nations including the US had recognized World Jewry’s beneficial interest in the political rights for Palestine west of the Jordan River. By 1950 the legal dominion over these rights vested in the Jews after the British had abandoned their trusteeship and the Jews had met the standards established for that event. These rights have survived the demise of the League of Nations due to Article 80 of the UN Charter, and the doctrines of Acquired Rights and Estoppel.

    In 1967 the Jews drove out the Jordanians that had illegally occupied Jewish land since 1948. They liberated it from illegal occupation. Sure it is occupied by Jews but the occupation is no more immoral or illegal than my occupation of the house I own.
    Since 1920 the Arabs have tried to take the political or national rights from the Jewish People by threats of violence and by actual violence. The Government of Israel wants to call the liberated land “disputed” territory rather than “occupied”. When in the US the Mafia tries to take someone else’s property away by threats of violence or actual violence we call it extortion. We do not dignify the property involved with the term “disputed”.

    • Michael Perloff

      Exemplary comment. Well done.

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