Balfour Declaration Will Not Recur – Statement by IADL – supported by ELDH
Balfour Declaration Will Not Recur: The Palestinian Right to Jerusalem is An International Law That Cannot Be Given away by Political Measures and Statements
In a flagrant challenge to international law, the United States President Donald Trump on 06 December 2017, declared that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and signed an official decree to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s declaration and actions aid and abet Israel’s war crimes and crimes of aggression against the Palestinian state, in violation of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Rome Statute.
The irresponsible declaration by the U.S. President does not change the legal status of Jerusalem. It indicts its declarant as a violator of international law. Jerusalem has been and will always be an integral part of the Land of Palestine — based on history, reality and the resolutions adopted by the United Nations and decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) along with the recognition of an overwhelming majority of the world’s States.
The U.S. policy to move its embassy came to light during the current U.S. Administration’s systematic policy of denying the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and attempting to subvert the Palestinian cause. This policy began with support for the settlement expansion and deprivation of the Palestinians’ right to resort to the ICC. And finally, it is now all but destroying the efforts for peace and a two-state solution.
The U.S. President’s declaration is illegal as it supports and perpetuates Israel’s illegal annexation of lands by force. It also illegally aids and abets the Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
Moreover, Trump’s statements and measures constitute a clear violation of more than 16 resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council; the most prominent of them are Resolutions 476 and 478, adopted in 1980. The U. S. President’s declaration also violates the General Assembly’s resolutions relevant to the Palestinian right to Jerusalem, including Resolution 303, adopted in 1949, and Resolution 2253, adopted in 1967. Furthermore, in its 2004 Advisory Opinion on Legal Consequences of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the ICJ affirmed that the territory seized by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem, constitutes an occupied territory. UNESCO has also adopted several resolutions relevant to the Palestinian right to Jerusalem and its holy places.
The official and popular reaction, which unanimously protested the U.S. President’s decision as it undermines the peace process, affirms that the U.S. position is isolated from all major world countries, including the Permanent Member States of the Security Council and UN bodies. The U.S. President’s decision recalls the crime of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in which those who did not own came to grant recognition to those who do not deserve. During World War I, the British government proposed the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, which was an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population.
Trump’s declaration constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and disregard for international peace and security. It also constitutes provocation that endangers the lives of myriad innocent Muslims and Christians around the world.
This decision is an explicit call to impose the rule of the jungle and de facto illegal policy as it flouts international law and the role of the UN. This declaration also provides political cover for Israeli crimes and vastly impacts the history, present and future, and the dignity of the Arab and Muslim peoples.
Thus, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL):
- Calls upon the Arab States and Muslim world to take decisive steps to force the U.S. administration to rescind the declaration and cease violating the lawful status of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy places;
- Calls upon the ICC to investigate the U.S. President for aiding and abetting the commission of illegal settlement activity, a crime in the occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of the Geneva Convention.
- Calls upon the Palestinian leadership to resort to the General Assembly and work with the peace-loving states of the world to use the special mechanism of “Uniting for Peace” to avoid the U.S. veto in the Security Council; condemn the U.S. declaration, rendering it null and void; and take necessary measures to confront it;
- Demands an urgent meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to draft a statement condemning the U.S. position; ensure the application of the Geneva Conventions in the occupied territory with 1967 borders, including Jerusalem; and pressure the U.S. to abide by these Conventions as it is one of the High Contracting Parties;
- Appreciates the European Union’s decision to condemn the U.S. decision and calls upon the E.U. to take serious steps in order to confront this decision, which violates international law and directly threatens international peace and security; and
- Calls upon U.S. Civil Society and people around the world to take actions and pressure the U.S. President to rescind his declaration in order to protect world peace and spare the world a religious war occasioned by the irresponsible declaration and actions of the U.S. President.