Guest Article – Jewish Rights to Palestine: The Forgotten San-Remo Conference


Israel is being pushed lately to begin negotiations for a Palestinian state based on Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

These disturbing developments not only present a resounding victory for proponents of terrorism and violence over the forces of law and justice, but contravene the existing international law, an American joint resolution of both Houses of Congress signed by a U.S. president and an international convention signed by the UK and by another U.S. president stemming out of the decisions of a 91 year-old conference in San-Remo, Italy, now relegated to the dustbin of history.

The decisions emanating from that conference are worthy of re-examination and scrutiny.

The Middle East faced a unique and very rare situation in the aftermath of World War I. The defeated Ottoman Empire, following centuries of rule, was forced to surrender its sovereignty over the entire region, except for Turkey.

On April 19, 1920, the victorious Allied Powers convened in San-Remo to determine the fate of territories Turkey had surrendered.  The newly created League of Nations submitted a document to the conference,  “The Mandate onPalestine,” which was adopted with minor modifications.

The third paragraph of this document’s preamble read: “Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;”

The document protected the civil rights of all but granted no recognition of Arabs’ political rights; its primary objective was to grant political rights exclusively to the Jews.

Political right to self-determination as a polity for Arabs had already been guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates – in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].

On the second day of the San Remo conference the Arabs launched their first violent murderous attack on the Jews. They have stuck to this tactic until today and Obama’s speech has rewarded them.

However, despite the violence, the League of Nations unanimously adopted the document on July 24, 1922, with all 51 member nations voting in favor. It now constitutes international law. 

On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,” confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine – anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (U.S. Resolution 322 – Lodge-Fish joint resolution). President Warren G. Harding signed the joint resolution on September 21, 1922.

A convention between the United States and Great Britain in respect to British rights in Palestine was signed by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge on March 2, 1925, after being ratified by the U.S. Senate on February 20, 1925. The convention’s text incorporated the “Mandate for Palestine” text, including the preamble. By doing so, the U.S. and the British governments recognized and confirmed the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine – anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as is spelled out in the Mandate document.

Therefore, the partition of Palestine to Jordan and Palestine (from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River), unilaterally granted by the British in 1946, was illegal. This act gave 77% of the territory allocated for the Jews by the international community, including Britain itself, to the Arabs.

With the League of Nations’ dissolution in 1946 and subsequent establishment of the United Nations, this new body was empowered by –and confined to – its Charter.

In Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, the UN practically adopted all League of Nations’ decisions concerning Mandates it created. It prohibited any modification of decisions taken by the League of Nations pertaining to territories under Mandate regime except by unanimous consent of all parties involved.

Therefore, Resolution 181, which was adopted on November 29, 1947 in the General Assembly, a non-binding recommendation to partition Palestine, whose implementation hinged on acceptance by both parties, Arabs and Jews, contradicted article 80 of the U.N. Charter because the Arab nations, including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia denounced the plan on the General Assembly floor and voted as a bloc against it promising to defy its implementation by force.

Moreover, recognition of a Palestinian state by the General Assembly of the U.N. is not valid.

Furthermore, sovereignty can be recognized to countries, not organizations. No sovereign state today has any claim to any territory in the western part of Palestine, not even to Judea, Samaria or the Gaza strip. No sovereign state except Israel has the right to sovereignty in this territory, as previously explained.  Neither the U.N. nor anybody else has legal right to deprive the Jewish people of its legal rights to sovereignty over the whole of the western part of Palestine.

If the U.N. and other nations go along with the Palestinian Initiative they will be acting in contradiction to the international law and to the U.N. Charter. Therefore, such an act shall be overridden by the League of Nations’ decision legally and unanimously voted for on July 24, 1922.

The Arabs have defied the implementation of the international community’s decision to grant Palestine to the Jewish people. They have done so by provoking violence since 1920.

It is incumbent upon the international community to bring into renewed focus the prescient vision of the San-Remo Conference and prevent intractable, hostile enemies from plunging the State of Israel and its environs into irreversible anarchy.

Zéev Jabotinsky, a computer software engineer and member of Israel’s Likud party, is the grandson of Zéev Jabotinsky, the legendary Revisionist-Zionist leader.

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