The San Remo Conference Turned Jewish Historic Rights into Legal Rights

April 24 2020

This week marks the centennial of the San Remo conference, one of a series of international negotiations in which the victorious Allies resolved the various issues stemming from World War I. Dore Gold explains how it set the stage for the Jewish self-determination:

San Remo dealt with the disposition of territories that until 1920 were a part of the Ottoman empire, which had been defeated in the war. Formally, the Ottomans renounced their claim to sovereignty over these lands . . . in the Treaty of Sèvres, which was signed the same year as San Remo, on August 10, 1920. . . . What these postwar treaties enabled was the emergence of the system of Arab states, on the one hand, and the emergence of a “national home for the Jewish people,” on the other.

The Balfour Declaration from 1917 was in essence a declaration of British policy. But San Remo converted the Balfour Declaration into a binding international treaty, setting the stage for the League of Nations Mandate, which was approved in 1922. It has been noted that at San Remo, Jewish historic rights became Jewish legal rights.

Were these legal rights of the Jewish people superseded in subsequent years? At the time that the UN Charter was drafted in 1945, officials were cognizant that this argument might be raised. Therefore, they incorporated Article 80 into the UN Charter stating specifically that “nothing in this chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” Thus, the foundations of Jewish legal rights established through San Remo were preserved for the future.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Balfour Declaration, History of Zionism, International Law, Treaty of San Remo

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism