The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan is demonstrating a great deal of uncertainty because the plan is unfinished and raw. That explains why the White House always finds an opportunity to postpone its release. Although the administration could have made the plan’s main ideas known a long time ago, it is not worth speculating on rumors about its content.
So what should we pay attention to when the project eventually comes to life?
We have to pay attention to the compliance of the proposed peace plan with established international law.
The inability to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict for almost a century is largely explained by abuses and blunt illegality of the earlier attempts. In other words, if the new peace plan is not based on international law, it will fail, like all the previous ones.
Obviously, the new peace plan must comply with the Old Testament. It is written that the Almighty God gave the Land of Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, making the Covenant with them and their descendants. Such (or similar) interpretation of events also exists in Christianity and Islam.
In 1917, against the backdrop of the imminent defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the Zionists and Conservatives, who ruled Britain at that time, relying on Bible verses, agreed to restore Israel on the territory of the Roman province Palestine. Originally, Romans called it the Province of Judea after defeating and occupying ancient Israel. Palestine was always a name for a geographical area, not for a country or a state. (In contrast, Judea was the name of one of the two Jewish kingdoms.) Romans renamed Judea “Palaestina” in the second century A.D.
That was reflected in the declaration of the British government, named after the foreign minister of Arthur Balfour. However, the Balfour Declaration was a “protocol of intent” and legally was unenforceable. The Balfour Declaration obtained proper legal status years later. The legal process took place right after World War I, within the framework of the Treaty of Versailles. It was the beginning of the development of documents of international law for the appropriate legal restoration of the modern State of Israel.
It took about three years filled with amazing historical events, such as the communist revolution in Russia and the Turkish War of Independence. Russia went its own way. She self-expelled from the traditional international relations of the Russian Empire and ignored the League of Nations. It is indeed a paradox that the United States also did not become a member of the League of Nations for the same reason as Russia — the change of government. In Russia, the Bolsheviks staged a coup d’état, and in the United States, the isolationists won the elections and decided that it was better if the country dealt with internal problems first.
By the summer of 1922, after a series of previous agreements (San Remo Conference and Treaty of Sevres), the League of Nations had established the Mandate for Palestine. The League authorized the United Kingdom to prepare the foundation for the creation of an independent Jewish state on the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River in historic Israel, occupied by Britain since 1918. The League of Nations made the decision on July 24, 1922.
However, the territory of modern Israel, thanks to this decision, was to be three or four times smaller than the territories of the biblical Jewish kingdoms that existed in the area between three and two millennia ago. (By the way, the original project, which was introduced in 1919–1920, almost corresponded to the biblical area under Jewish control, capturing both banks of the Jordan River.)
The leading international document — the decision of San Remo — was signed and approved as follows: the territory from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River was allocated to the Jewish state. Israel should be established in this area and nothing else. In other words, no other state between the sea and the river.
The procedures of the League of Nations were such that it was difficult or almost impossible to change its documents. Indeed, the decision of the League of Nations remains still in force, even after a century, and still has the same legal power, the same meaning, and the same value.
This critical document of international law was subsequently reproduced in two additional relevant documents.
The decision of League of Nations was approved in July 1922, but before its introduction, international lawyers demanded extra coordination with the United States. The United States had never been a member of the League, despite being the initiator of the creation of the League of Nations. However, at an early stage, the United States took part in establishing the post–World War I order, including the British Mandate.
Therefore, a convention between the United States and the United Kingdom was formed, providing U.S. guarantees to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Mandate from the United Kingdom. Then this document, the content of which fully repeats the text of the British Mandate, was transformed in the manner prescribed by the United States into a law that is still in force.
In 1945, a special Article 80 was added to the U.N. Charter. The article is related to the continuity of the League of Nations mandate. Subsequently, the U.N. replaced the League of Nations. From Article 80, it follows that the U.N. could not transfer ownership and rights to any part of Palestine, but was obliged to grant rights exclusively to the Jewish people and not to other non-Jewish entities.
In other words, the British Mandate eventually was more or less implemented, albeit not completely. An independent Jewish state appeared on the world map just in time, in May 1948. However, Britain, from the very beginning of the Mandate, which required preparation for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, was interested in creating obstacles and sabotage in favor of the Arabs. As in the case of the United States, this shift in policy followed the transition of power from the conservatives to the left-wing party.
The British left-leaning administration had a clear policy bias in favor of the Arabs at the expense of the Jews for decades. It put sticks in the wheels to the best of its ability under the guise of the administration. It was a time when British authorities executed rebels, both Jewish and Arab. However, all their actions were in accordance with British colonial laws. Also, Great Britain, defending its imperial and colonial interests, fought bravely to prevent Germany to invade Palestine, where hundreds of thousands of Jews lived. For similar reasons, the British declined the Arab idea of a second (Muslim) state between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan.
The international laws that govern the creation of Israel have not been canceled or negated in any way. They are still in full force. Those are the decisions of San Remo and the British Mandate and, subsequently, the American Law of December 1924 on Guarantees of the Mandate with the full support of the United States. In other words, President Trump, like all presidents before him, has no right to transfer Jewish lands to anyone else (although we do know that some of his predecessors tried to do just that).
President Trump certainly does not have the intent to violate established international law. The narrative about the latest peace initiative is already dubbed the “Deal of a Century,” and it well could be. The only problem is that Trump is practically alone on the world stage on this issue.
The world of the international diplomatic mafia (diplomafia, if you will) is still under the heavy hand of Soviet (now Russian) diplomacy and the wild imagination of Islamic diplomacy. Both of them joined forces with the left-wing diplomafia, which, by its nature, is anti-Israel and anti-Semitic (for example, the Democratic Party in the United States and the Labor Party in the United Kingdom).
This trinity operates under a tale straight from “1001 Arabian Nights” about how Uncle Joe and Uncle Sam on November 29, 1947 gave orders to establish the State of Israel by partitioning Western Palestine once again.
Come on — everyone knows that this is a bunch of parables. Israel’s existence is based on rock-solid historical and judicial foundations, and Trump’s “Deal of the Century” must affirm just that.
Reuven Miller and Gary Gindler
Reuven Miller is a citizen journalist and blogger. He is retired from the field of Nuclear Electronics and currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel.
[Originally published at American Thinker]