Not a day goes by when the MSM (Main Stream Media) tells you that the settlements are illegal under International Law and that Israel is considered an occupying force according to the Geneva Convention. They make it sound so clear cut. Watch this video and you will see that in fact, the opposite is true.
Professor Eugene Kontorovich's very watchable lecture gives you the facts to answer back.
- What exactly is International Law?
- When they say that it's illegal under International Law, exactly which law are they referring to, if any?
- Is there actually a court of International Law which is legally binding upon all countries?
- What legal power does the UN's International Legal Advisory Council have?
- Is a resolution passed in the United Nations binding under International Law?
- What's the difference between the UN General Assembly and the Security Council?
- Did the League of Nations have the status of the General Assembly or the Security Council when it came to binding International Law?
Some notes I made from the lecture.
International Law which is binding is either an agreement made by the superpowers or a resolution passed by the United Nation's Security Council.
Any vote passed by the UN General Assembly has absolutely no legal binding whatsoever. Because of the inherent make up and bias of the GA, all democratic countries consider any GA resolution laughable nonsense, except that is when it comes to Israel.
The UN's International Law Advisory Council is just what it says it is, "an Advisor" to the GA. Its job is to rubber stamp any GA legal opinion. It has absolutely no legal binding power whatsoever.
All UN member states agree to abide by resolutions passed by the UN Security Council.
The League of Nations had the same legal status as the Security Council has today, not the General Assembly! Therefore, any resolution passed by the League of Nations is legally binding and can never be superseded by any GA resolution.
Almost all Middle East countries have had their borders fixed by the League of Nations Mandate process including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey as well as Palestine. The sovereignty and boundaries of these countries have never been questioned with the single exception of Israel.
In 1923, Britain unilaterally removed 70% of the Mandate over Palestine and created a country called Jordan which they gave to their allies, the Hashomite family. Only Britain and Pakistan have ever formally recognised Jordan but no International body has ever questioned its right to exist. There have been no UN resolutions of any kind regarding Jordan's right to exist.
The proposed UN partition plan of 1947 was voted on in the General Assembly but actually had no legal binding. Despite this, the Jews agreed to it but the Arabs rejected it.
The so called "1967 borders" are in fact the 1949 Armistice lines where the armies of Israel and the Arab nations were when they agreed to a ceasefire. The Armistice agreement actually states that these lines have no legal binding regarding any determination of internationally recognised borders.
According to the UN itself, Egypt and Jordan illegally occupied the Gaza and the west bank of Jordan including part of Jerusalem yet not a single UN resolution was passed between 1948 and 1967 against this occupation.
The only dispute regarding the legal status of land which was occupied by Jordan in the 1948 war and captured by Israel in 1967, (which became know as "The West Bank") is whether it has no legal owner at all or whether it in fact belongs to Israel. There is absolutely no legal case for this area either legally belonging to Jordan or the Arabs who were living there up until 1948.
The Geneva Convention forbids governments who began a war of aggression from transferring their own population into occupied territories. However this clause does not apply to wars of defense. When you ask "legal experts" if Israel's wars were defensive or aggressive, (when it is clear to any unbiased historian that all of Israel's wars have been wars of defense), they can never actually agree. Yet, somehow they almost all agree that Israel is in breech of the Geneva Convention!
So, the next time your family member, friend, work colleague or neighbour tells you that Israel's settlements are illegal under International Law, instead of gazing at the floor in silence, you can answer them in clear and concise terms that they are very much mistaken.
Whether the MSM is giving you false information due to laziness to look up the facts for themselves or because they are simply anti-Semitic and wish for it to be true is a subject for another discussion.