Ariel Center for
Policy Research



NATIV  Volume Sixteen   Number 3 (92)  ■  May 2003 ■ Iyar 5763 ■ Ariel Center for Policy Research





The Status of Palestine/the Land of Israel and its Settlements
under Public International Law

Talia Einhorn

This paper discusses the establishment of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, and the rights of Jews to settle Palestine/the Land of Israel under public international law. It explains why the Arab claim that there is a legal right to a separate Arab state to be established in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (“Yesha”), and the further claim that Jewish settlement of Yesha is forbidden, have no basis in international law.

Nonetheless, Israel has come under incessant international pressure to recognize the “rights” of the Arab people and to uproot the Jewish settlements in Yesha by deporting hundreds of thousands of Jews and transferring them to tiny, pre-1967 Israel. The international pressure has been supplemented by internal pressure, exerted by Israeli Jewish citizens brought up to prefer the comradeship among nations and universal values – even when those were shattered by reality – to the basic needs of Jewish national existence. The pressures from within and without made a part of Israel’s Jewish population lose heart and start doubting the justifiability of the Zionist endeavor itself. The Oslo agreements and the Arab violence which has become part and parcel of the so-called “peace process” since its inception, bear ample testimony to that.

It is submitted, however, that international law does not compel Israel to agree to the establishment of a sovereign Arab state west of the Jordan river. Neither is Israel obliged to undo nor freeze the Jewish settlement of Yesha. Indeed, the dangers emanating from an Arab terrorist state should make all lovers and pursuers of true peace – not just a “peace process” – wary of such a “solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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