By Michael Calvo, Gatestone Institute—-
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007, by a majority of 144 states in favor, 4 votes against, and 11 abstentions, recognized that indigenous people (also known as first people, aboriginal people or native people) have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired (Art. 26.1) and that the exercise of these rights shall be free from discrimination of any kind (Art. 2).
With domestic state practice, the legal status and rights of indigenous peoples has evolved and crystallized into international customary law. For example, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights declared that “there is an international customary law norm which affirms the rights of indigenous peoples to their traditional lands”. The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights affirmed that land rights of indigenous people are protected and that these rights are “general principles of law”.
Among others, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Israel and Luxembourg voted in favor of the Declaration. Since 2007, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, who voted against, formally endorsed the Declaration in 2010. In their relations with Israel, these states cannot claim that the Declaration does not apply to Israeli Jews, since such position would amount to blatant racial discrimination.
According to international law, the Jews are the indigenous people of the lands referred to as Judea, Samaria, Palestine, Israel and the Holy Land, and therefore fulfill the criteria required by international law. The Jews are the ethnic group that was the original settler of Judea and Samaria 3,500 years ago, when the land was bestowed upon the Jews by the Almighty. Leaders of this world, who chose to make abstraction of history, misleadingly refer to Judea and Samaria as the “West Bank” of the Jordan River (which includes Israel) or the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”.
After the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), British Mandate for Palestine (1922), San Remo Resolution (1920), and Treaty of Sevres (1920) created international law, and recognized and re-established the historical indigenous rights of the Jews to their land. The signatories of these treaties and the Mandate (Britain, France, Turkey, Japan, Italy, etc.), are bound by them.
With the Mandate for Palestine, accorded to Great Britain in August 1922, the League of Nations recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country”. The Jewish people’s right to settle in the Land of Palestine, their historic homeland and to establish their state there, is thus a legal right anchored in international law.
UNDRIP reaffirms the right of the Jewish people as the indigenous people, and “especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources.”
Recent UN General Assembly Resolutions stating that the settlement of Jews in Judea Samaria is contrary to international law are no more than recommendations and have never led to amendments of existing binding treaties. UN Security Council Resolutions, stating that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal, are not binding. Only resolutions taken under Chapter VII of the UN Charter are binding on all UN member states. For example, Security Council Resolution 2334 was adopted on December 23, 2016 by a 14–0 vote. Four permanent members of the Security Council — China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom — voted in favor; the US abstained. This resolution was not adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter. It is not binding. That resolution states that Israel’s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law. It has “no legal validity”. This resolution violates the UNDRIP, the British Mandate and the other treaties.
The right of the Jewish people to “settle” in the so-called West Bank, and Israel’s right to annex parts of Judea and Samaria (part of Palestine) derive from the Mandate (Levy Report of July 9, 2012). Pursuant to the Mandate, the right to annex some parts of Judea and Samaria is a direct consequence of the right of the Jews to settle in all Palestine i.e. the territory of the 1936 Mandate.
Article 80 of the United Nations Charter (1945) recognized the validity of existing rights that states and peoples acquired under the various mandates, including the British Mandate for Palestine (1922), and the rights of Jews to settle in the land (Judea and Samaria) by virtue of these instruments. (Pr. E. Rostow). These rights cannot be altered by the UN. Continue Reading….