Op-Ed Columns

Whose Land is Palestine?

International law expert Professor Eugene V. Rostow, a key draftee of the 1967 U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, examining the claim for Arab Palestinian self-determination on the basis of law, concluded:
“The Mandate [for Palestine] implicitly denies Arab claims to national political rights in the area in favor of the Jews; the mandated territory was in effect reserved to the Jewish people for their self-determination and political development, in acknowledgment of the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land. Lord Curzon, who was then the British Foreign Minister, made this reading of the mandate explicit. There remains simply the theory that the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have an inherent ‘natural law’ claim to the area. Neither customary international law nor the United Nations Charter acknowledges that every group of people claiming to be a nation has the right to a state of its own.”
Political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs, were guaranteed by the League of Nations in four other mandates – in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].

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