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.