The modern State of Israel Some historical and legal perspectives of the restoration of Israel Andrew Tucker C4I Regional Leadership and Training Conference 2012
Why is the land important? • Abrahamiccovenant – promise of the land (Gen 17) • The promises to restore the 12 tribes to the land (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, ....) • Descendants of Ishmael – 12 kingdoms in the region • The nationswillseek to dividethe land, whichwillbring the judgment of God (Joel 3; Zach 12) • Restoration of the 12 tribes – in phases, partly in blindness • Jerusalem (Zion) is the place where the Lord willestablishHis name in all the earth; also the place where the Lord willrevealHimself to Hispeople • Jerusalemwillbe a cup of trembling for the nations; all the nationswillgatheragainstJerusalem (Zach 12)
what many Christian leaders say about Israel ... • "… Israeli occupation of Palestine assumes dimensions of systemic injustice • Israel regards itself to be above the law and is treated as exempt from international law. This status provides the Israeli government the freedom to occupy Palestine with impunity. • the treacherous conditions imposed by the Israeli occupation on Palestinians and their land have reached a level of almost unimaginable and sophisticated criminality. • This includes the slow yet deliberate and systematic ethnic cleansing and the geo-cide of Palestinians and Palestine as well as the strangling of the Palestinian economy. " Bethlehem Call, 2012
More Christian nonsense ... • European Anglican church leader: "I don’t want to learn more about the Jewishness of Jesus, because I don’t like what Israel is doing in Gaza“ • Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Israel is an apartheid State • Sabeel, Palestinan liberation theology - • World Council of Churches – eg. world week for peace in Palestine Israel • US - Uniting and Methodist churches • Palestinian churches: Aman, Kairos document, Bethlehem Call
The main arguments • Israel’s establishment was illegal - ethniccleansing, Palestinianrefugees • Zionism = apartheid (a Jewish state cannotbedemocratic) • occupation of the West Bank since 1967 is illegal (ALL Jewishsettlements are illegal) • Israel’sannexation of “East Jerusalem” is illegal • attacksonLebanon and Gaza = war crimes
As Christians, we have a duty to stand up for the truth, and defend Israel and the Jewish people in the public arena The battleground: • History (facts) • International law • Morals and ethics
Part 1: history • ±2000BC Abraham • 740BC Assyrian exile (10 tribes of Israel) • 597-582BC Exile to Babylon (Judah and Benjamin) • 539 Return of remnant, restoration, second Temple • 0AD "Palestine” part of Roman Empire • 70AD – 135AD destruction of the Temple and dispersion • 70AD – 1514 empires and occupiers • 1514 Palestine comes under Ottoman rule • ±1860 – 1915: waves of aliyah from Europe • 1914-1918: First World War • 1917-22: Collapse of Turkish-Ottomon Empire • 1919-20: Paris Peace Conference • 1922-1948: Mandate for Palestine • 1947: Partition Plan • 14th May 1948: Declaration of the State of Israel • 1948-9: war of independence • 1967: Six Day War • 1973: Yom Kippur War • 1993-1997: Oslo Accords
From 1514 – 1914, Palestine was a part of the Ottoman Empire with no separate status or identity
Jews have always been living in "Palestine“ • eg. in 1881, the total population was approximately 300,000 • about 30,000 Jews • 55,000 Christians • 65,000 nomads (bedouins) • about 141,000 Muslims (comprising Arabs, Turks, Kaucasians, Bosnians and Druzes).
1917-19: WWI - collapse of Turkish-Ottoman Empire • Allied Powers: Britain, France, Italy, USA, Japan • Russian threat • position of Germany • 2nd Nov 1917: Balfour Declaration • British forces free Jerusalem in December 1917 (General Allenby) • Nov 1918: end of WW1 • Arab nationalist movement
25-26 April 1920: San Remo meetings • part of Paris Peace Conference • Attended by the Victorious Allied Powers • Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points • Allies had sovereignty over the defeated lands • decided NOT to colonialise, but to create Mandates to give indigenous peoples self-determination
1922-1948: Mandate for Palestine • created by the Allied Powers • adopted (not created) by the League of Nations • recognition of • "historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" • grounds of Jewish people for "reconstituting their national home in that country.“ • intended to result in Statehood • created legal rights and obligations
The Mandate required Britain to allow Jews to settle in the West Bank! Article 6: • The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes. • BUT IN THE 1930s BRITAIN AND THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD DID NOT WANT TO ALLOW THE JEWS TO LEAVE EUROPE!
November 1947: UN Partition Plan • resolution of the UN General Assembly • 2-state solution, with Jerusalem as international city • recommendation only - non-binding • reluctantly accepted by Jewish yishuv leadership (Jewish National Council) • immediately rejected by the Arab States
14th May 1948: establishment of the State of Israel • exercise of the right of Jewish people to self-determination – a right recognized under international law • recognized by almost all other States • Jewish AND democratic state • protection of human rights / rule of law • Jewish AND Arab citizens
1948-9: war of independence • 15th May 1948: Israel attacked by five neighbours • 1949 Armistice (not peace) • 1949 Armistice lines are NOT international boundaries • Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank
1967: Six Day War • Israel pre-emptive strike • acting in self-defence • re-captured the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) • Israel has annexed "East Jerusalem" • but has not annexed the West Bank (military presence) • Resolution 242 is not binding but intended to provides framework for negotiated settlement
Resolution 242 • Affirms that the fulfilment of UN Charter requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East • requires all parties to apply and respect 2 principles: • "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" • "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”
Part II – international law • What is law • What is international law? • “Lawfare” • Claims made against Israel based on international law • What is our response?
What is law (not)? Law is a set of binding rules established by a higher authority regulating conduct that are carefully protected by checks and balances LAW must be distinguished from: • Facts = what is • Morals = what should be • Policy = what is desirable
the "rule of law" • Governmental decisions should be made by applying known legal principles • SEPARATION OF POWERS IS KEY FOR DEMOCRACY TO WORK
rule of law(lessness) NATIONAL LAW INTERNATIONAL LAW NO JUDICIARY NO LEGISLATURE ONLY AN EXECUTIVE • Judiciary (Courts) • Legislature (PARLIAMENT) • Executive (Government) = LAWLESSNESS = RULE OF LAW
Explosion of International law in 20thC 1648 1907 1919 1945 1949 1990 STATES INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS NGOs INDIVIDUALS
2 common misunderstandings • Resolutions of the UN General Assembly are NOT binding, and they do NOT constitute international law. • Decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) are also not binding. The ICJ can interpret the law, but it cannot MAKE law.
principles of international law • general principles (ius cogens) • pacta sunt servanda (treaties are to be respected) • right of peoples to self-determination • law of the sea • law of war (int. humanitarian law) • illegal to acquire territory by war • right to self-defence • acquiring territory by self-defence is justified • int. human rights law
"Lawfare" • A strategy of using or misuing law as a substitute for military means to achieve military objectives • In this case the objective is: the weakening and ultimate defeat of Israel. • conscious or unconscious
Lawfare - unholy alliances STATES
the law of war .... • International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) (1863) • Geneva Conventions (1864 – 1949) • Hague Conventions (1907) • the concept of universal jurisdiction • 1998: creation of the ICC (Rome Statute)
International Criminal Court • 1998 Statute of Rome • Israel is not party to the ICC • Crimes of international concern: (a) The crime of genocide; (b) Crimes against humanity; (c) War crimes; (d) The crime of aggression.
human rights .... or anti-State ideology? • 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights • HR law seeks to protect the individual against the State • growth of NGO industry in 1980s (Amnesty, HRW, ...) • social media, press releases, etc • Monitoring, “legal” analyses and reports • Lobbying • Funding? • UN Human Rights Council – anti-Israel bias
International Court of Justice 2004 decision on West Bank Separation Wall” • request to ICJ was driven by politics • 26 states initiated the process • of these, 14 do not even acknowledge existence of Israel as legitimate state! • GA resolution adopted by only 90 states (74 abstentions!) • ICJ should have rejected the request • politics, not law • ICJ decision is full of inaccuracies, mistatements of law and anti-Israel prejudice
so, are the settlements illegal?(does the West Bank belong to the Palestinians?) • Jewish people had pre-existing rights to the West Bank before 1948 • Israel is not obliged to accept two-state solution which compromises its security • international law does not require Israel to withdraw from all of the West Bank • UN resolutions, ICJ decision (2004) and EU statements are political documents, not law • Arabs have rejected a state of their own (1947, 2000).... • international community expects Israel to comply with both the law of war (right to self protection) AND help create a Palestinian State – an impossible demand! • annexation of East Jerusalem is entirely consistent with international law
How should we respond? Spiritual warfare • discernment • prayer strategy • redefine the terms of the public debate • sharpenyour tools: Facts – Law – morals/ethics • bepro-active, notresponsive • act in confidence
To conclude: • Fighting not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers • Mystery of lawlessness in the last days • The battle belongs to the Lord
Want to know more? • www.eci.org • www.whyisrael.org • www.c4israel.org