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United Nations Human Rights Council

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

Submission from Professor Geoffrey Alderman


Introduction

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: www.geoffreyalderman.com .



Submission

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.



Conclusion

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

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