+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Settlers fabricate non-existent “eternal rights”

Why settlers lie and claim that an article of the UN charter grants “eternal rights” to Jews in Palestine

A bunch of senior settlers – Gershon Messica, Boaz Ha’etzni, Benni Katzover, Ariel mayor Ron Nahman, and others – have boldly gone where no nutjob has gone before. They sent a threatening letter to the General Secretary of the UN, Ban Ki Moon (Hebrew), stiffly informing him that if he would not stop his odious custom of noting facts and referring to the West Bank as an occupied territory, they will sue him an international court, and demand damages.

Whatever for? Well, the NRG article breathlessly informs that Moon’s statements contradict Article 80 of the UN Charter of 1945, known colloquially as the “Eretz Israel article”, which, claim the settlers, lays down the “judicial rights of the Jewish people for Eretz Israel as eternal rights, which cannot be abrogated without the agreement of the Jewish people”.

This seemed rather strange. I mean, if such an article existed, I’m pretty certain I’d have heard of it by now. Furthermore, it makes the whole drama of the November 29th 1947 rather pointless. If the UN recognized eternal Jewish right to Palestine more than two years earlier, what was all the noise about?

So I decided to look up this mysterious Article 80 of the UN Charter. Now, it’s rather complicated, even twisted – make up your own minds – but even Rashi, that great fabulist, wouldn’t have managed to find “Eretz Israel”, let alone “eternal rights, which cannot be abrogated without the agreement of the Jewish people”. That is, the NRG piece lies about several critical points. It is not at all an accident of fate that the reporter who wrote it (and did not even bother looking up Article 80, if only for the sake of his own credibility) is Amikhay Ath’eli, NRG’s settler-affairs reporter. There is a myth that the Israeli press is leftist; Ath’eli used false propaganda, hot off the press, and printed it as news. One wonders what happened to the editors of NRG; they used to have some.

So what does Article 80 actually say? It says that until issues regarding territories held under trusteeship, mandates included, are resolved, the UN charter ought not be considered prejudicial to the right of the people under trusteeship or of the nations running them. And if that’s Jabberwocky to you, that’s because you don’t know that the merry band of settler fabricators wants to bring back the San Remo resolution of 1920, which was the basis for the British mandate over Palestine.

Why would they want to bring up, zombie-like, that old piece of paper? Because the UN 181 resolution, which created Israel, specifically speaks of partition, and the San Remo contains no partition, and in fact considers Jordan to be part of Palestine.

This particular trick of time travel suffers from three massive problems. To begin with, the League of Nations – which accepted San Remo – was a much less representative body than the UN, and was superseded by the UN. The settlers want to bring us back to the good old days of the age of colonialism, but alas – where’s Superman when you need him? – the Earth staunchly refuses to turn back on its axis.

Secondly, the San Remo decision, which divides the Middle East between Britain and France, does not say what the settlers think it says. It speaks of the creation of a “national home” – not a state, and that’s not because the French and British diplomats were unfamiliar with the term – for the Jews within Mandatory Palestine; but it says nothing whatsoever about “eternal rights”, and it contains a clause the settlers would like to forget. Specifically, it says that the aforementioned national home is to be created while it is “being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. So, if the settlers want to go back to San Remo, assuming they can find anyone in the world who will agree to that – strangely enough, outside Israel people tend to think that non-Jews are people, too – they’ll have to grant all the Palestinians citizenship and civil rights.

Thirdly, saying that resolution 181 is void, and that the UN has no authority to make it, removes the only internationally-recognized basis for the existence of Israel. But if that’s what the settlers would say, plainly and without the mumbo-jumbo of a “Eretz Israel article” and “eternal rights”, most Israelis will kick them down the stairs.

So what do they do? They lie, they fabricate a parallel reality, and count on it that Im Tirzu’s dying bulletin will print it without seriously checking it. That’s how it goes: When you’ve been used to living deceitfully for decades, pretending at the same time you live in a military base – so-called “security reasons” are the only grounds for the creation of settlements – and at the same time pretending you live in a normal Israeli home, you’re addicted to lies, and you can’t stop abusing reality. So that’s what you’re stuck with: Trying to muddle the water and conning Israelis into believing in an “Eretz Israel article”.

Oh, and here’s a free piece of advice to Kaztover, Nahman, Ha’etzni and the others: About that threat? I wouldn’t get too close to an international court if I were you. This can seriously backfire.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Ben Israel

      Funny how you pour all your fire and brimstone on the settlers and the political Right, but how are you any different than them, really?
      If Jews have a right to live in Tel Aviv, then they have a right to live in Hevron and Shomron, and if they have no right to live in Hevron, they have no right to live in Tel Aviv.
      Now, as I understand, you claim the whole Zionist enterprise is a fraud, and that there is, in fact, no such thing as a Jewish people with any sort of national rights, so therefore you say that Jews have no right to live in Hevron, but even though you agree with all the Arab claims against Zionism, you happen to like Tel Aviv (presumably in the way some people like vanilla ice cream more than cholcolate) and where ever it is you and your friends live and you want to keep those places .
      How, exactly, do you expect the Arabs to view you as some sort of ally if you deny their basic right to Tel Aviv without any good reason?

      Reply to Comment
      • David

        Foreign Jews had the same right to Palestine as did Irish Catholics and Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever!!

        Reply to Comment
    2. “Ben Israel”, if that is your real name, can you please try, at least once, to answer the arguments in the post, and not hijack the debate? Thank you.

      As for your claim, no, it’s false. And no, I’m not going to waste time explaining why to a troll.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Carl

      He has got a pont Ben, though I wouldn’t say you’re troll. You aren’t dealing with his post here, just going the inevitable way all Middle East debates demand to go; no matter what the point of departure or direction, the argument winds up in the same place. It’s like some weird magentic pole of politics: predictable, usually quite dull, but oddly atractive.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Danny

      What happened to NRG? Simple. NRG belongs to Maariv, which used to be a decently-balanced newspaper up until about 10 years ago. Over the last 20 years or so, Maariv has seen consistent declines in its market share of both readership and revenue. It got to the point where its future was in doubt. So Maariv did what every scoundrel does when he looks for refuge – it became patriotic. Notice the impressive cadre of regular writing talent on NRG: Moshe Feiglin, Ben-Dror Yemini, Menachem Ben (he of Big Brother fame), Gabi Avital (he of global warming is a myth fame), Zalman Libskind, Harel Segal, as well as a particularly awful right-wing nutter named Amir Hetzroni. The “talent” list goes on and on, but we get the picture.

      Reply to Comment
    5. max

      YG, you seem to forget that the creation of Jordan started with the same unimportant body & resolution you mention (btw, 1922 was the official LoN confirmation, which is the important legal part).
      Incidentally, Jordan was created as a present to the Brits’ collaborators kicked out of Arabia…
      But what exactly is your point – that people lie? Yes, they do, and Ynet has recently proven once more (see the incident of the crying mother) that both sides do, and journalists on both sides either don’t check the info, or participate in the lie.
      The LoN has set the legal right for Jews to come back to their land to create a Home; the UN has further defined this Home to be a State, and the ensuing wars defined its borders.
      Now these borders have to be redefined, for practical reasons.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Carl

      Max I think the point is that as you correctly say, the article is a little shy of the truth. Whether or not anyone else of an opposite political persuasion to yourself or NRG has ever lied, doesn’t affect that. In fact even if the right wing has only ever told one lie and the left has built an entire house out of them, that lie is still a lie. In fact I think I once heard something about two wrongs not making a right, but then I might be mistaken. In fact I confess to having told the odd untruth in my time so you can bank that for my next post.

      Reply to Comment
    7. abban aziz

      I think it’s about time the world start accepting the fact that Jews are going to live in the West Bank whether the Palestinians like it or not. Jordan implemented apartheid policies and completely banned Jews from living in the land, and destroying the dozens of Jewish villages and cities replacing them with Arab settlements.

      I have a hard time believing Jews who have lived 4 or even 5 generations in the West Bank are “settlers.” 20th generation Americans are more settler than any Israeli.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Ben Israel

      I fail to see how my comment is “not relevant”. YG points out how the “nutjobs” (i.e. everyone who disagrees with YG is mentallly deranged….too bad the Yevsektsia doesn’t exist anymore, you could have had them deported to Siberia) have this crazed idea that the Jews have “eternal rights” to the West Bank. But the point I am making is that Zionism, as recognized by the Balfour Declaration, does exactly that…recognizes “eternal rights” of the Jewish people in the country…which YG doesn’t recognize.

      Regarding the “national home”…well, the Zionist leaders of the time certainly did interpret it as ultimately meaning a state because it certainly does NOT exclude that possibility. The clause about “not prejudicing the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish population” does NOT mention NATIONAL rights, which only belong to the Jews. Israel honors that clause today by giving Israeli non-Jews the vote and autonomy to their religious bodies, and the status of the West Bank is pending a peace agreement which will regularize the currently autonomous state of the Palestinians Authority.

      Reply to Comment
    9. max

      @Carl, so you have an article “shy of the truth” blasting an article stretching the truth…
      In fact, reading the researched background documents regarding the declarations, one can clearly see that their authors left on purpose a lot of room for interpretation: the interpretation of the article in NRG is absolutely valid; claiming that it’s clearly stated is the stretch.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Koshiro

      “Regarding the “national home”…well, the Zionist leaders of the time certainly did interpret it as ultimately meaning a state because it certainly does NOT exclude that possibility. The clause about “not prejudicing the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish population” does NOT mention NATIONAL rights, which only belong to the Jews.”

      So, in the first case you say: ‘Well, it’s not explicitly excluded, so it’s included.’
      And in the second case you say: ‘Well, it’s not explicitly included, so it’s excluded.’
      Wow. I honestly don’t think I could do that. I envy you. Doubleplusgood doublethink!

      Seriously though: Discussing this, or any other, topic with someone who cannot or will not maintain coherence in his argumentation over two consecutive sentences is pointless.

      Reply to Comment
    11. max

      Koshiro, you constantly prove that logic isn’t your strong point 🙂 In this case, you’re also a proof that taking things out of context is a universal problem…
      The language used “Home”, which isn’t a legal term, so it has to be interpreted, and a State is a valid one.
      In the other case, the language was specific, leaving no need for interpretation, so what’s not included is excluded.
      Besides, it’d be ridiculous (in fact, it is) to read the declaration as calling for a Home within a Home 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    12. Ben Israel

      Koshiro-
      To clarify….Palestine was to be the “National Home” of the Jewish people. This can be viewed as leading to a state. There is no mention of a “National Home” of any other group. The only time other groups are mentioned is regarding their “civil and religious” rights, which are to be insured while living as a minority in the “Jewish National Home”.

      I presume the the reason the British used the term “National Home” was to leave open the prospect of continuing to control Palestine as a “protectorate” or some such thing within the British Empire. That was the status of Egypt, for instance, at the time.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Koshiro

      “The language used “Home””
      By Ben? Wrong.

      “In the other case, the language was specific”
      Wrong. (Not mentioning something is specific. That’s a new level.)

      “Palestine was to be the “National Home” of the Jewish people.”
      Wrong. Hattrick!

      Reply to Comment
    14. Ben Israel

      Koshiro-you lost me in your last comment. But in any case, the British Mandate authorities did work, although quite reluctantly, to implement the Balfor Declaration to make Palestine a national home for the Jewish people, so I don’t know what you are talking about.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Koshiro

      “Koshiro-you lost me in your last comment.”
      Quelle surprise. Then again, I can’t really believe that nobody ever put you right about your false assumption that Palestine, as a whole, was supposed to become the Jewish ‘national home’. It’s one of the most widely spread Zionist falsehoods after all.

      Reply to Comment
    16. RichardNYC

      “Why would they want to bring up, zombie-like, that old piece of paper?”

      But GA Res. 194 is hot off the presses!

      Reply to Comment
    17. Saeed Hotary

      Yossi
      I ilke the use of the term fabricated, because it describes the entire method that the zionists used to steal Palestine. First, there is the false history of ancient israel, Second, the holocaust has been conflated to give zionists rights, when distinguished historians such as Arnold Toynbee speculate that the Naqba may have been the greater crime. Finally was the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. In your previous column on Acre, you had mentioned that the entire country was stolen, and I couldnt agree with you more.

      Reply to Comment
    18. max

      “distinguished” Arnold Toynbee managed to reverse his views on everything he wrote. This, and his reliance on myths, metaphors and religious reasoning instead of factual data are probably the reasons you don’t hear of his work anymore.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Dannecker

      I support the right of return of israelis to Litzmannstadt, Breslau, Oppeln, Lemberg, Minsky, Vilnius, Danzig, etc

      Reply to Comment
    20. annie

      “well, the Zionist leaders of the time certainly did interpret it as ultimately meaning a state because it certainly does NOT exclude that possibility.”

      gee ben, it’s hard to argue your superior logic.

      “So what do they do? They lie, they fabricate a parallel reality, and count on it that Im Tirzu’s dying bulletin will print it without seriously checking it.”

      have you considered there’s a strong possibility all these people are just delusional idiots? so accustomed to creating their own reality and getting away with anything they can no longer distinguish between reality and fantasy. or perhaps they’re trying to break into the israeli myth making market given how successful their predecessors have been, up until the last decade that is.

      very entertaining article! once the UN recognizes palestine in the fall these nutjobs are going to be learning a thing or two about international law that may sweep them right off their feet. won’t that be fun.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Piotr Berman

      Max:

      Koshiro, you constantly prove that logic isn’t your strong point 🙂 In this case, you’re also a proof that taking things out of context is a universal problem…
      The language used “Home”, which isn’t a legal term, so it has to be interpreted, and a State is a valid one.

      Max proves that he would not recognize logic if it would hit him in the head. One could argue that since the language “I wish you a happy New Year” does not include legal term it has to be interpreted, and “feel free to withdraw any funds from my bank account” is a valid one. Does we can take a postcard to a bank and argue our case.

      Ben Israel: “in any case, the British Mandate authorities did work, although quite reluctantly, to implement the Balfor Declaration to make Palestine a national home for the Jewish people”

      and this “national home” differed sufficiently from “Jewish state” that Jewish terrorists were attacking the Mandate authorities.

      Abban Aziz: I have a hard time believing Jews who have lived 4 or even 5 generations in the West Bank are “settlers.” 20th generation Americans are more settler than any Israeli.

      As a Martian, I am trying to figure out physiology of Jews in West Bank from Abban Aziz statement. Since there were no Jews in West Bank under Jordanian rule, it appears that there were 4 or even 5 generations in 43 years, suggesting full reproductive maturity at the age of 10 and offsping at the age of 11. Americans somehow need 18 years and offspring at the age of 19. Clearly we deal with different species here, homo electus, which not being sapiens has “hard time thinking and performing elementary arithmetic”. Or is “trollus plumbeus”?

      Reply to Comment
    22. Emma

      “Because the UN 181 resolution, which created Israel ….”

      In fact, Resolution 181 did not create Israel. It is “null and void” because the plan failed – the Security Council never passed it, refusing even to consider it. It never became law.

      Jeremy Hammond, an editor at Foreign Policy Journal, has written a book about this: The Rejection of Arab Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Arab-Israeli Crisis. Here is an excerpt:

      “One enduring myth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that ‘Israel was created by the U.N.’ under General Assembly Resolution 181.[15] This claim is absolutely false.

      “While the General Assembly is the more democratic of the two U.N. bodies, only Security Council resolutions are considered legally binding. Resolution 181 was nothing more than a recommendation. Naturally, any such plan would have to be acceptable to both parties, and it was not.

      “The plan would have awarded a majority of the territory to its minority Jewish population, who were in possession of a mere fraction of the land, and so was naturally rejected by the Arab majority who legally owned most of Palestine.[16]

      “Regardless, the U.N. was no more ‘free to dispose of Palestine without regard for the wishes and interests of the inhabitants of Palestine’ than Great Britain, and any U.N. resolution from either body that would have sought to do so would have been a violation of the U.N.’s own Charter and therefore null and void.”

      See: http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15883

      Reply to Comment
    23. max

      Emma, you’re right, the resolution didn’t create the Jewish state, it only provided yet another recognition of the Jewish right to statehood.
      .
      The coming into existence of Israel does not depend legally upon the Resolution. The right of a State to exist flows from its factual existence. Israel exists since 60 some years; Palestine never existed – so what’s your point? You’re against a Palestinian state?
      .
      An interesting memo around 181: “The [British] Government of Palestine fear that strife in Palestine will be greatly intensified when the Mandate is terminated, and that the international status of the United Nations Commission will mean little or nothing to the Arabs in Palestine, to whom the killing of Jews now transcends all other considerations. … The Arabs have made it quite clear and have told the Palestine government that they do not propose to co-operate or to assist the Commission, and that, far from it, they propose to attack and impede its work in every possible way. We have no reason to suppose that they do not mean what they say.”
      Indeed they meant, and lost.
      .
      You’re absolutely right: the Arab rejectionism is consistent

      Reply to Comment
    24. Michael

      Believe it or not…
      Israel’s Legal Right to Samaria is enshrined in International Law!
      A cold, hard look at the law reveals an undeniable if inconvenient (for some) truth: Israel and the Jewish People have full sovereign rights to Judea and Samaria. A fair and objective analysis of the various post-WWI agreements, decisions, conferences, treaties, declarations, covenants and conventions regarding the Question of Palestine (not to be confused with today’s “Palestine” that the “Palestinians” claim as theirs) can only lead to this conclusion.
      The most significant of these decisions was the San Remo Resolution of 1920, which recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine. The outcome of this declaration gave birth to the “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This plainly means that today’s Israeli settlements are in fact 100% legal and that the accusation of “occupation” is completely false.
      Again – 91 years ago, in San Remo, Italy, the nations of the world had formally obligated themselves not only to establish a Jewish state on the historic Jewish homeland, but to facilitate its development as well (see Article 6 of the still-binding Mandate for Palestine). Back then, the concept of a “Palestinian People” was unheard of and “Palestine” referred only to a Levantine region and never to an Arab nation or state. Believe it or not.
      This excerpt was taken from the “Legal Rights to Samaria” section of the Shomron Central blog (see: http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/p/jewish-rights-samaria.html ).
      See the whole blog here: http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/

      Reply to Comment
    25. sandra

      the mandate states that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine

      so if israel wants to go back to that and have that law implemented – fine

      just as soon as you allow full right of return to all palestinians and their children with full voting right

      at which point we can all have a nice cosy election

      oh what you really mean is you want to implement part of the mandate but would like to ignore the other part

      Reply to Comment
    26. Click here to load previous comments