The Palestinian Authority’s Contradictory Claims about Jerusalem

Dec. 20 2018

Since 2011, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has been pursuing a status of “internationalization,” in which the PA seeks to join various international bodies as the “state of Palestine” and then file lawsuits against Israel. Currently, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—which, for technical reasons, is the body doing the suing—has one complaint before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and another before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Avi Bell notes that the claims it makes in the two courts regarding the status of Jerusalem contradict each other:

In the ICJ, the PLO claims that Jerusalem is an internationalized area called a “corpus separatum” [or “separate body”], over which no state can legally claim sovereignty. In the ICC, the PLO claims that just over half of Jerusalem (the part it calls “East Jerusalem”) is sovereign territory of what it calls the state of Palestine. Neither claim is meritorious. And more importantly, it’s impossible for both claims to be true simultaneously.

The PLO’s claim in the ICJ emerged in a lawsuit against the United States, in which the PLO claims that the U.S. violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by locating its embassy within Israel’s capital. [It] claims (incorrectly) that any state can invoke the court’s jurisdiction when an embassy is located in the wrong place. The PLO then claims (also incorrectly) that the Vienna Convention only permits embassies to be located within the territory of the “receiving state,” and (incorrectly) that none of Jerusalem is territory of the “receiving state” because all of Jerusalem is a “corpus separatum”—an internationalized territory to which no state can claim sovereignty. The grounds on which the PLO claims this unique status for Jerusalem are unclear but appear to be a mistaken belief that the failed UN General Assembly [partition] proposals of 1947 and 1949 altered the law of territorial sovereignty.

It is an unfortunate commentary on the politicization of both courts that meritless PLO claims have gone as far as they have in the ICJ and ICC. . . . But it is far more damning that international legal observers have remained silent about the irreconcilable contradiction between the PLO’s arguments to the two courts.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: ICC, International Law, Israel & Zionism, Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority

 

Understanding the Background of the White House Ruling on Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act

Dec. 13 2019

On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order allowing federal officials to extend the protections of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to Jews. (The order, promptly condemned for classifying Jews as a separate nationality, did nothing of the sort.) In 2010, Kenneth Marcus called for precisely such a ruling in the pages of Commentary, citing in particular the Department of Education’s lax response to a series of incidents at the University of California at Irvine, where, among much elase, Jewish property was vandalized and Jewish students were pelted with rocks, called “dirty Jew” and other epithets, and were told, “Jewish students are the plague of mankind.”

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, U.S. Politics