The International Conference on Question of Jerusalem was held in Rabat, Morocco, this week, with an assortment of the usual anti-Israel speakers and Palestinian apologists.
A talk about the legal status of Jerusalem by Ziad AbuZayyad, a former PA minister, highlights the absurdity and bias that passes for scholarship at the UN.
After slyly saying that Jerusalem was founded by Canaanites and then “occupied” by King David, he jumps through legal hoops to pretend that “Palestine” has a legal claim to Jerusalem and Israel has none:
To conclude, the status of Jerusalem under the international law is still defined and ruled by the UNGA Resolution 181 as an area of non-sovereignty, under international supervision.
…All Israeli measures in city are null and void.
Palestine has a valid claim to sovereignty over the city based on the fact that under the Ottomans and during the British Mandate, Jerusalem was an integral part of the territory of Palestine and was
its administrative capital. Palestinian Arabs were the overwhelming majority of the population until the Jewish immigration altered the demographic structure of the city.
On the other hand, the Israeli claim to sovereignty over Jerusalem has no basis in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 since the resolution never envisaged that Jerusalem would form part of the proposed Jewish state, but a corpus separatum subject to international regime.
UNGA 181 is not international law, and to say that Jerusalem is legally under the rule of the UN when the UN never ruled Jerusalem is completely absurd.
His claim that Palestinians have a claim to Jerusalem because Jerusalem was in the “territory of Palestine” (a meaningless phrase) is 180 degrees wrong. His argument is that Palestine was controlled by the Ottomans and British and therefore the Palestinians should control it now. But Israel is the legal successor to the British Mandate – Israel took over all the institutions in Palestine. Therefore, according to his own logic, Israel is the rightful owner of Jerusalem.
The “Jewish immigration” that gave Jews the majority of Jerusalem since the 1860s or so was pre-Zionist. It showed which group of people cared about the city. That argument is twisted and ahistorical.
Saying that the Israeli claim to sovereignty has no basis in UNGA 181 is correct. Neither do any Arabs. And UNGA 181 is not international law. And the Arabs rejected it anyway!
But if the Palestinians do now pretend to accept UNGA 181, it means that they lose Bethlehem as well. And it also means that they accept that Israel is the Jewish state, since that is how it was referred to in 181.
Now they are using an irrelevant resolution that they oppose on principle as a legal basis of taking Jerusalem away from Jews.
And that is the point. It isn’t to fight Israeli claims on the holy city, but Jewish claims.
This is the quality of “scholarship” one can hear at a prestigious international conference under the auspices of the UN.
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