I disagree with Ariel Ilan Roth's op-ed "U.S. is Wrong on Palestine" (Sept. 21). I will make a purely legal argument why the U.S. should veto Palestine's unilateral attempt for statehood in the United Nations.
The following information is from the European Coalition for Israel's research document titled "Foundations of the International Legal Rights of the Jewish People and the State of Israel" and video documentary, which includes commentary from Dore Gold, Howard Grief, and Jacques Gauthier. Mr. Gold was a former Israeli ambassador to the U.N., and Messrs. Grief and Gauthier are international lawyers.
In 1920, after World War I, the Principal Allied Powers (France, Britain, Japan, and Italy) convened at the San Remo Conference. In this conference, they divided the conquered Turkish Ottoman Empire. The results of San Remo Conference were legally bound by international law. A mandate was given for each section of the empire (Syria and Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine). Britain received the mandate for Palestine. The mandate stated that "recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." It also provided that the civil and religious rights of non-Jews in Palestine were to be protected. But the collective national and political rights were reserved for the Jewish people. This mandate was later approved by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922. Thus, became it an international treaty and legally binding.
Although the League of Nations dissolved and gave way to the United Nations (U.N.), the Final Resolution of the League of Nations in 1946 required that the territories under mandate must be administered in the accordance to the original mandates. Moreover, Article 80 of the Charter of the United Nations requires that the existing rights of any state or people cannot be altered. Therefore, even the though the League of Nations dissolved, the Mandate for Palestine is still in effect today. Palestine is still legally the land for the Jewish people.
Lastly, in 1995, the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the 1995 Interim Agreement. This agreement dictated that neither side could unilaterally change the status of the West Bank or Gaza strip without the completion of negotiations over the permanent status of Israel and the PLO's relationship. Therefore, because the negotiations are not complete, Palestine's unilateral bid for statehood in the U.N. breaks the treaty that it signed in 1995.
The U.S. should veto Palestine's statehood bid because it is illegal. According to the Mandate for Palestine, the land of Palestine is for the establishment of the homeland of the Jewish people. This mandate had the backing of international law and continues to have the backing of international law because of the provisions in the League of Nations' Final Resolution and the United Nations' Article 80. Now, Palestine is breaking the 1995 Interim Agreement by unilaterally seeking statehood without completing negotiations with Israel. Why should the U.S. facilitate the breaking international law and support the Palestine statehood bid? The U.S. should veto the Palestine's proposal and uphold international law.
Stephen Torres, Towson