Saturday, 3 November 2012

United Nations Human Rights Council

“International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Submission from Professor Geoffrey Alderman


1.      This document evidences the submission of Professor Geoffrey Alderman to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s investigation entitled “International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

2.      This submission is made by Professor Geoffrey Alderman exclusively in his personal capacity.

3.      This submission addresses only the issue of the legality of Israeli settlements in the territory commonly referred to as “The West Bank,” more especially in the context of the Human Rights Council’s reference to “occupied Palestinian territory.”

Professor Geoffrey Alderman

4.      Professor Geoffrey Alderman is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where he studied Modern History and from which he holds the degrees of Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Letters.

5.      Professor Alderman is a much-published academic specialising, inter alia, in the history of the Jewish people.  He is also a prize-winning journalist.

6.      Professor Alderman has held senior posts in the University of London, Middlesex University and Touro College (New York). He is currently Professor of Politics & Contemporary History at the University of Buckingham (England).

7.      Professor Alderman is an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK) and a Life Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts (UK).

8.      Further information about Professor Alderman may be found at his website: .


9.      Persons who are Jewish by virtue of ethnicity have the right of settlement in Judea and Samaria (the territory otherwise known as the West Bank). This right derives from the precise terms of the Palestine Mandate (1922) as given to the United Kingdom by the League of Nations. Article 6 of that Mandate obligated the mandatory power “to facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and [to] … encourage… close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes”.

10.  “The land” in this context referred to the land within the geographical limits of the entire territory encompassed by the Mandate, and included - therefore – the West Bank in its totality.

11.  Consequently, this right was lawfully exercised by Jewish people during the period 1922-1948. Its exercise was unlawfully suppressed by the government of Jordan, which controlled the West Bank from 1948 until 1967, when it fell under the control of the government of the State of Israel. This control has enabled the right to be exercised once more.

12.  It is important to remember in this context that the Palestine Mandate has never been rescinded. On the contrary, the rights of ethnic Jews, as referred to in the Mandate, have been expressly guaranteed by the founding Charter of the United Nations Organisation.

13.  Article 80 of the Charter of the United Nations states that “Nothing in this Chapter [dealing with the establishment of Trusteeships and Trustee Agreements] shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of… any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” [author’s emphasis]

14.  No Trustee Agreement has ever been entered into relating to the Palestine Mandate, and the Mandate itself has neither been revoked nor suspended. It is, therefore, in pursuance of Article 80 of the UN Charter, an “existing international instrument,” whose efficacy and purport that Article intentionally guarantees.

15.  The government of the State of Israel – which currently controls and administers parts of the territory known as the West Bank – is, therefore, under a legal obligation to ensure that the right of ethnic Jews to settle within that territory is honoured and facilitated.

16.  As matter of international law, Israel is, furthermore, fully entitled and indeed obligated not merely to permit the voluntary settlement of ethnic Jews beyond the so-called Green Line, but to take any and all such other steps as may be deemed necessary to protect ethnic Jewish populations so settled.

17.  These steps may include the building of walls, fences and ramparts, the imposition of curfews, the suppression of assemblies, the erection of checkpoints and gun emplacements, and the restraint of materials likely to incite violence against persons of Jewish ethnicity.


18.  Professor Alderman will be pleased to dilate upon this Submission should the Human Rights Council so wish.

19.  This Submission may be made public, provided that it is published in full and without amendment of any kind.

Professor Geoffrey Alderman

22 October 2012

Sunday, 5 August 2012




Professor Geoffrey Alderman, the internationally-known authority on the shortcomings of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), described himself as ‘deeply shocked’ on receiving feedback following his failure to be short-listed for the post of Director of Educational Oversight at the QAA.

‘Following my utter devastation [Alderman explained] at not being short-listed, and being naturally anxious to improve myself and enhance whatever career prospects I may still perchance enjoy, I asked the QAA for some honest-to-goodness feedback on my failure. This morning I got it, in the form of an email from the Agency’s Human Resources & Organisational Development secretariat.’

‘Typically, the QAA did not mince its words [Alderman continued]. In a hard-hitting judgement it declared that my application had contained only ‘partial evidence’ of meeting the QAA’s exacting selection criteria in two areas, namely "resource management" and "well developed interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with senior staff in institutions and other organisations (including UKBA)”.’

‘My gast was flabbered! After all, my carefully crafted application for this post highlighted, inter alia, my experience in relation to the strategic management of an HE institution whose operating budget ran into well over £100 millions per annum. What is more, the application pointed out that key players in the Home Office in relation to Tier 4 (international students) were personally known to me.’

Asked whether it might not be true that, at least to some extent, he lacked the ability to ‘work effectively’ with one or two senior staff Alderman launched into a robust defence of his managerial profile. ‘Working effectively [he insisted] is not the same as being liked. Some people (offhand I can't think who) may not like me.  But by jingo they sit up and take notice whenever I put finger to word-processor.’

Alderman added that he understood no-one had been appointed to the post of Director of Educational Oversight at the QAA. ‘I’m prepared to forgive and forget,’ he explained, and I have told the Agency that – in the national interest -  I am standing by to take up this important position at a moment’s notice.’

Note for Editors:
‘Educational Oversight’ is a newly-established inspection process which the QAA runs on behalf of the UK Border Agency.

Professor Alderman, who holds an endowed professorship at the University of Buckingham and is a visiting professor at several UK and overseas universities, may be contacted or on 07850-457289.

This statement is issued by Professor Alderman in a personal capacity.

[1 August 2012]

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Let’s Rejoice As We Commemorate The Heroes Of Bomber Command

Today Her Majesty the Queen will unveil in London an imposing but controversial memorial to Bomber Command. Specifically the memorial honours the memory of the 55,573 British and Commonwealth airmen who gave their lives as crew-members of Bomber Command during the Second World War.  Some of these (like my uncle, the late Sargeant Henry Landau, who flew as the “air bomber” in a Mark III Lancaster in 166 Squadron: ) have no known graves, and their names are therefore already memorialised at the RAF memorial at Runnymede, opened by the Queen in 1953. The memorial that the Queen will unveil today commemorates them and their comrades whose last resting places are known. But it also includes an inscription remembering “those of all nations who lost their lives in the bombing of 1939 – 1945.”

Behind this curious wording – and the fact that it appears following what has been described as a “negotiation” with Germany – there lies sixty years and more of totally misplaced controversy over the exploits of Bomber Command, and specifically over the policy of Area Bombing devised by Air Marshal Arthur “Bomber” Harris (whose own statue, in The Strand, London, was vandalised within 24 hours of its unveiling in 1992).

Area bombing undoubtedly led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of German civilians. It is too easy to moralise now about these deaths, and it is an act of intellectual laziness into the bargain.  The past can only be understood, and judged, in its own terms. For several years after the British defeat at Dunkirk in 1940 the sorties of Bomber Command offered the only way in which the struggle against Nazi Germany could be taken into Germany itself – right into the heart of the enemy’s camp.

Among the many accomplishments of the brave men who flew in Bomber Command (and of the ground crews who serviced their aircraft) was that their exploits forced the Nazis to concentrate on the manufacture of defensive weaponry (such as anti-aircraft guns) rather than offensive armaments (such as tanks). Arthur Harris’s Strategic Air Campaign also resulted in very substantial rates of absenteeism from German factories dedicated to the production of munitions of war. We know that the Dambusters’ raid (May 1943) resulted in the deaths of civilians.  But it also led to the movement of bricklayers and stonemasons back to Germany (to repair the damage) from France, where, as Rommel later pointed out, they might have been employed strengthening Nazi defences against the D-Day landings. Yes, Hamburg was fire-bombed (July 1943), leading to the deaths of some 42,600 civilians. But we need to recall that the port of Hamburg housed numerous shipyards, U-boat pens and munitions factories. And can we please remember that Dresden (destroyed by bombing February 1945) was an important railway junction, that the city housed many small factories and workshops making armament components, and that its bombing was actually requested by the USSRBritain’s wartime ally?

We also need to recall that every member of Bomber Command was a volunteer - no-one was forced to enlist into its ranks – and that its activities were extremely popular at the time. The bombing of German cities was popular. This is the truth that must be faced: the killing of German civilians met with widespread approval in blitz-hardened Britain. The “Bomber Boys” were all national heroes.

If, today, some commentators find this truth unpalatable, that’s just too bad. What I find unpalatable is that the memorial which the Queen will unveil today, to honour the memory of my late uncle (shot down in a raid on the rocket factories at Magdeburg in January 1944) and his fallen comrades, also honours – apparently – all those who lost their lives in the bombing of 1939-45.  All? Including paid-up members of the Nazi party? Including German air-crews shot down over the United Kingdom?

I have been told that it is “bad form” to be triumphalist? Why? Bomber Command was about beating the Germans. The Strategic Air Campaign was about winning the war. The activities of Bomber Command were entirely praiseworthy. A memorial to them all – and to them alone - is long overdue.