Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


ACPR Research – Summary


Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty of the Jewish People to
the Land of Israel and Palestine
Under International Law

Howard Grief

Policy Paper No. 147, 2003

This policy paper is the introduction of a forthcoming book to be published on the legal rights and title of sovereignty of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and Palestine under international law. These rights were recognized as inhering in the Jewish people when the highest representatives of the Great Powers that had defeated Germany and Turkey in World War I met at the Paris and San Remo Peace Conferences in 1919 and 1920. Their purpose was to design a global political and legal settlement to dispose of the conquered territories that formerly belonged to the dissolved German and Turkish Empires. Under this settlement, the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan was reserved exclusively for the Jewish people as the Jewish National Home, in recognition of their historical connection with that country, dating from the Patriarchal Period. Its boundaries were to be delineated in accordance with the historical and biblical formula “from Dan to Beersheba” which denoted the entire Land of Israel. The Arabs were accorded national rights in Syria, Mesopotamia and Arabia, but not in Palestine. The British Government as Mandatory, Trustee and Tutor was charged with the obligation to create an eventual independent Jewish state in Palestine, and for this purpose only it could exercise the attributes of sovereignty vested in the Jewish people.

The Palestine aspect of the global settlement was recorded in three basic documents that led to the founding of the modern State of Israel: the San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920, combining the Balfour Declaration with the general provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations; the Mandate for Palestine confirmed on July 24, 1922 and the Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920, supplemented by the Anglo-American Convention of December 3, 1924 respecting the Mandate for Palestine.

The British Government repudiated the solemn obligation it undertook to develop Palestine gradually into an independent Jewish state. This began with the Churchill White Paper of June 3, 1922, and culminated with the MacDonald White Paper of May 17, 1939. The US aided and abetted the British betrayal of the Jewish people by its abject failure to act decisively against the 1939 White Paper despite its own legal obligation to do so under the 1924 treaty. The UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 illegally recommended the restriction of Jewish legal rights to a truncated part of Palestine. Astonishingly, the State of Israel has contributed to the denial of Jewish legal rights to the entire country by illegally transferring substantial areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the PLO representing a mythical Arabic-speaking Gentile nation called “Palestinians” who falsely pretend to hold the real title of sovereignty over the country.

Despite all the subversive actions to smother and destroy Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to the entire Land of Israel, they still remain in full force by virtue of the Principle of Acquired Rights and the Doctrine of Estoppel that apply in all legal systems of the democratic world.

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