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A Petition to Annul the Interim Agreement

Howard Grief

Policy Paper No. 77, 1999


It was beyond belief: those directing the affairs of the Government of Israel one day lost their senses.* They decided voluntarily, secretly and anti-democratically to make an agreement with an illegal, criminal organization representing a fictitious nation, non-existent in anyone’s imagination prior to this century. They ceded parts of the heritage of every Jew living in the Land of Israel as well as those outside the country who identify with the aims of Zionism. Before Israel’s envoys actually met with PLO members on a regular basis under the auspices of the Government of Norway, such developments were beyond the scope of imagination. The heritage ceded relates to Judea, Samaria and Gaza, where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel once thrived and which had always been considered core, inalienable parts of the Land of Israel, belonging to the Jewish people, exclusively and eternally. Yet, the Government of Israel and its top leaders, acting illegally and unconstitutionally, agreed to forfeit this precious Jewish heritage. They did so when they signed the Declaration of Principles at Oslo on August 20, 1993, re-signed it at Washington on September 13, 1993, and then hastily concluded the terrible Interim Agreement signed at Washington on September 28, 1995.

In light of the gross illegal nature of the Israel-PLO Agreements, it was natural for Israeli citizens to seek redress in the Supreme Court of Israel by submitting a Petition to its august judges for a ruling on the legality of what was done in their name by their Government. To make it easier for the Court to adjudicate such a portentous matter, viz., that of the alleged illegality of the Interim Agreement, the Petition was carefully drafted and arranged to make the Court see clearly, without any blinkers or hesitation, the violations which the Government of Israel committed under both constitutional and criminal law, the laws of the State which the Court is bound to enforce. This was also done to prevent the Court from evading its judicial duty to discuss on the merits the alleged violations of the laws cited in the Petition. The Petition presents no less than fourteen breaches of legislative enactments and principles of law which are found in the Interim Agreement. The Petition focuses attention most of all on three primary constitutional violations concerning Section 11B of the Law and Administration Ordinance, Section 1 of the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance and the Law of Return, all of which absolutely prohibit in their converse sense the voluntary cession of any part of the Land of Israel in the possession of the State, apart from minor boundary adjustments. “Possession” here means under Israel’s de facto sovereignty in conformity with the inherent meaning of these three laws, which assume that the People of Israel are and always have been the de jure sovereign over all parts of the Land of Israel since the time of the Patriarchal Covenants. Moreover, these constitutional laws are buttressed by criminal sanctions, rendering the Government of Israel – including all of its cabinet ministers and officials, both past and present, who initiated, participated in or endorsed the idea of giving up Israel’s territorial possessions to the PLO – liable for prosecution under the relevant provisions of the Penal Code of Israel with regard to treason. The Petition also clarifies the Rule of Law as it applies to the Interim Agreement and the three separate branches of Government. In this respect, the Knesset has no right to validate an illegal agreement by passing laws which are contrary to the norms of the Jewish State, one of which is the prohibition of territorial withdrawal from the Land of Israel.

The Petition stands on its own as an historical document by providing the substantive grounds under Israeli constitutional and criminal law for the illegality of the Interim Agreement and all other Israel-PLO agreements. The straightforward, convincing logic of the Petition was not enough to overcome the fearful reluctance of the Supreme Court to deal with the legal arguments contained in the Petition. Instead, the Court extricated itself from having to decide the legal issues on the merits by the expedient of calling the Petition “a political position”, thus automatically placing it outside its purview. However, any serious reading and study of the Petition will show that the exact opposite is the case. Another conclusion is that the Court itself, including its President, Justice Aharon Barak, to whom an application was made for a Further Hearing, ignominiously violated the law of Israel by deliberately refusing to adjudicate apparent violations of State laws duly brought to their attention for adjudication.

*    “A government that has lost its senses,” are the exact words used by Prime Minister Netanyahu, then Leader of the Opposition, in his published statement reacting to the Mutual Recognition Agreement between Israel and the PLO (see Yediot Aharonot, September 10, 1993, page 4).

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