Palestine Should Be Administered By UN Under International Mandate

So far, since 1948 when Israel emerged based on binding UN Security Council and UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolutions, the international community has been like the proverbial three monkeys, if not the three blind men with the elephant, on the rump state of Palestine.

Commentary and Analysis . . . The international community, based on the rule of law and the right of self-determination under international law, cannot simply look the other way on the plight of the Arabic-speaking people in Palestine in the occupied territories viz. the West Bank in the rump Biblical Holy Land and the Gaza Strip.

All nationalism are defined by what they oppose. Palestinian nationalism emerged after the UN recognised the state of Israel in 1948. It opposes land held by the Arabic-speaking Palestinian being permanently without title and/or the people plagued by landlessness in the rump Biblical Holy Land covering Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In its heyday, under Empire after Empire, the Biblical Holy Land covered much larger territory, now being coveted by the zionists harking back for the past which no longer exists. Let’s not go there. Zionism, based on the rule of law, may be deader than dead.

The UN should administer the West Bank, if not the Gaza Strip as well, under international Mandate for some time. Israel’s oft-stated position that West Bank remains disputed Territory, based on Biblical accounts, has no basis in international law, national law read as compliant.

So far, since 1948 when Israel emerged based on binding UN Security Council and UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolutions, the international community has been like the proverbial three monkeys, if not the three blind men with the elephant, on the rump state of Palestine. The state of Palestine, virtually still born, was recognised in 1948 by the UN at the same time as Israel.

We will have more on the right of self-determination later.

No Focus on Palestine

The widely-reported Hamas attack on the music festival in the desert in southern Israel, on Saturday 7 October 2023, may be shifting the Narrative away from focus on solutions for the Way Forward in the Biblical Holy Land.

The Narrative, fanned by the media, stays glued on problems problems problems and Hamas Hamas Hamas in the wake of the reported carnage at the music festival.

The situation in the Biblical Holy Land may be more complicated than what appears in self-serving media accounts based on fixations, pet theories and hang-ups.

Israel isn’t an exception on land issues which plague Palestine. Both the British and Ottoman Empires did not recognise the land claims of many people in the Biblical Holy Land on the grounds that Islam came from outside. That’s true but the majority of the people were indigenous.

When “God” gave Jew the Promised Land, based on Biblical accounts, it was not empty. There were people already living there and they — especially the nomadic Bedouin tribes in the desert — may have accepted the Quran and Arabic, the language of the Holy Book.

There are also Arabic speaking Christian in the Biblical Holy Land. These people have indigenous language but accepted Arabic as the lingua franca.

The Supreme Court of Israel may be the only Protector of landless people in the face of Israeli government efforts on dispossession of land.

Gaza Strip Vacated

Israel vacated the Gaza Strip decades ago on the grounds that based on Biblical accounts, it isn’t disputed territory.

However, the Gaza Strip remains under Israeli sea and land blockades. It has been sealed off for decades by double security fencing based on buffer zone in between, backed by network of cameras, drone surveillance and security personnel armed to the teeth, in body armour and helmet with camera. They patrol the fencing day and night, 24/7. The rocket attacks on Israel allegedly originate from the Gaza Strip.

Before Israel was recognised by the UN in 1948, both Jew and the Arabic speakers were called Palestinian, a term codified by the Roman Empire for the people of the Biblical Holy Land. In history, we are often known by what others call us.

Israel seized parts of the UN-recognised Palestine in 1948, the Golan Heights later from Syria, and occupied parts of southern Lebanon as buffer under the guise of having security zone as defensible border.

Borders, under international law, must be defensible. Otherwise, as seen in Ukraine, the international community would be helpless.

Israel has since withdrawn from southern Lebanon which remains plagued as the rest of the country by perennial Christian-Muslim issues in conflict after 14-year civil war in the mid-70s.

The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are the remaining parts of the Palestine recognised in 1948 by the UN.

Here and Now

What matters is the here and now.

There’s no place, under the rule of law, for theocratic — read Israel — state. The main complaint by Palestinian in 1948 was about Israel being theocratic state. Israel has no written/codified Constitution.

Israel has right to exist but not, under the rule of law, as theocratic state. The court cannot get into theology. Otherwise, others can demand Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic states, among others. True, after Jew were exiled by the Roman Empire, they were still the majority in Jerusalem.

The court of law remains only about law.

In the rule of law, no one was above the law, all are equal before the law. In law, there can be no discrimination save as provided by law. If so, i.e. discrimination by law, there must be sunset clause.

The court of law isn’t about ethics, moral values, civilisational values, theology, sin, God, justice, righteousness, truth, “racism”, xenophobia, prejudice, hate and emotions.

Israel has right of self-defence. That doesn’t mean killing innocent people or using disproportionate force. If just 500K people from neighbouring countries march into Israel, that will be the end of the theocratic state.

So, what does Benjamin Netanyahu want now?

Does he want to act with impunity and kill innocent people under the guise of self-defence and right to exist? Israel already has consent of the governed, legitimacy, territorial integrity and sovereignty behind secure borders.

Fog of War

In the fog of war, the first casuality is truth.

There must be fact-finding mission by the international community on the Netanyahu government and the right of self-determination for the people of Palestine.

The findings are matter for the Supreme Court of Israel, the ICC, the UN Security Council and UNGA. There are facts, issues arising, law applicable and benefit of the doubt.

It’s true that Hamas has been listed by the UN as terrorist organisation. However, the issue may be Israel killing innocent people in retaliation for Hamas terrorists killing innocent people.

Israel, by all accounts, did the killings in the Gaza Strip deliberately as form of collective punishment. It used disproportionate force. The right of self-defence does not include disproportionate force.

It’s violation of human rights, the basis of international law, national law read as compliant.

Israel is a democracy based on the rule of law.

There’s no basis for comparison between Israel and Hamas. Hamas has been listed by the UN as terrorist organisation.

Israel should not behave like terrorist state.

How many people did Israel kill in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the alleged Hamas attack on the music festival?

Israel laid siege to Gaza Strip, cut off water and electricity and bombarded it from the air.

The US sent aircraft carrier, jets and tanks. It was like squashing an ant with sledgehammer.

Biden was on CNN TV on Wednesday night 11 October 2023 on the Hamas attack on the music festival. BS, poorly scripted, was coming out of the ears. Terrorists commit terrorist acts. Israel isn’t terrorist state.

Permanent Conflict

Israel’s oft-stated position that the West Bank, based on Biblical accounts, remains disputed territory, has created permanent conflict situation in the Biblical Holy Land. If true, the Biblical account has been overtaken by inaction in law. In any case, Biblical account isn’t law.

In jurisprudence, God isn’t source in law. Law must have source for jurisdiction, authority and power. Law exists, and have always existed, based on common sense, universal values, and the principles of natural justice.

There’s law, no law, and where there can be no law.

There must be law before crime.

No law, no crime, is the principle in jurisprudence, criminal law and international criminal law . . . nullum crimen sine lege (no crime without law) and nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege (There’s no crime when there’s no law punishing the same).

In law, legislation cannot be retrospective, save where special circumstances can be cited for specific instance and not applicable in future law.

Future Palestine State

The West Bank and east Jerusalem have been proposed as the basis for the future Palestinian state, with or without the Gaza Strip.

Again, biblical accounts have no basis in international law, national law read as compliant.

Human rights remains the basis of international law.

Israel remains the sole obstacle to peace.

Israel has created permanent conflict situation in the Biblical Holy Land by false Narrative on the West Bank.

Israel went far beyond “an eye for an eye”.

The violence will not end as long as Israel says that the West Bank was disputed territory and continues building Jewish settlements there.

Private land cannot be taken for private purposes.

If China enters the conflict as in Korea, Vietnam and Ukraine, there’s no way that America will win. India will not help Israel against Palestinian and vice versa. — NMH

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Joe Fernandez
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the Southeast Asia Sea. He should not be mistaken for a namesake formerly with the Daily Express in Kota Kinabalu. JF keeps a Blog under FernzTheGreat on the nature of human relationships.

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