Oct. 14, 2016
- Myths about the “Conquest” of Jerusalem – Dore Gold
Israel’s right to sovereignty in Jerusalem is well-based in history and international law. There has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem continuously since the 1860s. UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947 recommended that Jerusalem remain under international sovereignty and that after ten years a referendum would be held to decide the question of sovereignty. After the invading Arab armies laid siege to the Jewish areas of Jerusalem in 1948 and the UN failed to react, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared that the idea of an internationalized city had been cancelled.
In 1967, the Jordanians opened fire on Israel from the east, invited the Egyptian army into the West Bank and allowed the Iraqi army to cross into Jordan on its way to the West Bank. Israel responded in self-defense. After the Six-Day War, the USSR sought to label Israel as the attacker, but failed. The Soviet proposal was defeated in the UN General Assembly in an 80 to 36 vote, reflecting the understanding in the international community that Israel acted in self-defense.
The American legal scholar Stephen Schwebel, who would become President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, wrote in 1970 in the American Journal of International Law: “Israel has better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt….When the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against the prior holder, better title.”
The writer served as Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs-Hebrew, 14 May 2015)
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)