SIR – A few points in response to Professor Geoffrey Alderman’s concern for international law as it applies to Palestine: In 1917, Britain gifted Palestine to the Zionist Federation via banker Lord Rothschild, in return for their networking abilities (specifically to commit the US to WWI), breaching prior written agreements with the Arabs, who had helped them win the war in the Levant. How legal was this colonial clubhouse chicanery?
In 1947, when the Zionist lobby had threatened or bribed nations from Liberia to Latin America to France to, most significantly, the United States in order to secure a yes vote for the Partition Plan, the General Assembly approved it to widespread horror (the Arabs got 45.5% of their own land, and few thought that right or fair). You might call this a ‘legal’ victory for skullduggery. But the General Assembly resolution had next to no legal status, requiring implementation by the Security Council to become binding, and this never happened.
The State of Israel was not the legitimate outcome of a United Nations vote, but was instead accomplished by war, six months later, after half a million Palestinians had been dispossessed. Its de facto ‘legality’ was helped along by murder, massacre and terrorism – the UN peace negotiator Count Bernadotte, who had saved thousands of Jews during WWII, having been a prominent victim of Zionist assassination in 1948.
Is it any wonder then that Israel has progressed along this escalating trajectory to the illegal occupation of territory (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon as well as Palestine), an illegal nuclear stockpile, illegal settlement of the West Bank, illegal blockades, illegal support for terrorist organisations, illegal bombing of facilities in neighbouring states, etc. Israel does not give a fig for international law!