Upholding San Remo 1922

In a very clear and precise opinion piece, Ze’ev Jabotinsky lays out the historic facts with regard to today’s settlements. He reminds readers that following the 1917 Balfour Declaration which supported Jewish rights to a homeland in Palestine, that Declaration was upheld by the League of Nations, predecessor to the United Nations, at an international conference in San Remo in 1922.

At that history-making conference, the League of Nations declared that all of Palestine west of the Jordan River and Judea, Samaria and Gaza were to be the lands given to the Jews for the rebuilding of their ancient homeland on the biblical territories.

Great Britain, which had been given the Mandate for Palestine, violated that international agreement by severing 77 percent of biblical Palestine and giving it to the Emir Abdullah of Trans-Jordan.

The Jews, who were forced to accept the remaining 23 percent of Palestine to be shared with the Arab population there, were furious at Britain’s betrayal of the 1917 Balfour Declaration and its violation of the 1922 San Remo Conference of the League of Nations.

The Revisionist Zionist group, under the leadership of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s namesake, demanded both banks of the Jordan River as their rightful future state. That was not to be and the Jews ultimately accepted the east bank of the river.

Mr. Jabotinsky makes reference to an official document issued by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and which was distributed to all Israeli embassies world-wide which supports Israel’s position that “settlement beyond the Green Line is completely legal and does not violate international law”.

According to her document, Israel has the legal right to claim what was unanimously voted and agreed upon by the League of Nations, meeting in San Remo on July 24, 1922. That conference ratified the British Mandate over all the land of Israel and it established in international law “the right of the Jewish people to revive its homeland in all of the land of Israel”.

As successor to the League of Nations, the United Nations must be obligated to uphold laws and decisions made by its predecessor.

All arguments to the contrary regarding Jewish settlements in the territory of Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) are completely invalid.

Therefore, Jews are entitled to build settlements on lands conquered after the 1967 war. In the opinion of many legal scholars, Israel has the right to legally annex those territories and incorporate them into the body of the Jewish State of Israel.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s well-written response to the Hotovely document is classic. The earlier Ze’ev Jabotinsky would be exceedingly proud of him. He makes a clear case for all the legal arguments concerning settlements. “The U.N. invoked Article 80 of its charter to limit any changes to the national rights granted to the Jewish people and so the decision of the General Assembly on November 29 violated a clear article of the charter. So it has no legal validity”.

In essence, Mr. Jabotinsky puts all the cards on the table in his summation statement. “The U.N. Security Council contradicted the sovereign rights granted to the Jewish people in 1922”.

I hope the Hotovely document will be disseminated among all the members of the United Nations, awakening their dulled memories of an international agreement of 93 years ago. Whether or not member states agree with the 1922 decision, they are legally bound to uphold it in principle.

Let there be no more discussion concerning the legality of our settlements. They are established facts on the ground and will increase in numbers and in Jewish population.

The decision of the 1922 League of Nations Conference in San Remo is lawful and must be upheld.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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