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Richard Falk: ‘International law clearly on the side of Palestinians’

Former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk is seen at the launch of his new book at an event hosted by MEMO in London, UK, on 20 March 2017 [Jehan AlFarra/Middle East Monitor]
Former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk is seen at the launch of his new book at an event hosted by MEMO in London, UK, on 20 March 2017 [Jehan AlFarra/Middle East Monitor]

A former United Nations human rights investigator and emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University in the US said it was “clear that [on] all the major issues international law is strongly on the side of Palestinians”.

“Looking at Israel-Palestine from the perspective of international law is interesting on its own independent of how one views the substantive issues,” Richard A. Falk said during a conference titled “Palestine, Apartheid and Future” at Istanbul Sebahattin Zaim University on Wednesday.

“It is interesting because on the one side it is clear that [on] all the major issues international law is strongly on the side of Palestinians whether it is a matter of the illegal settlement, the blockade of Gaza, the annexation of Jerusalem, the diversion of water, the use of excessive force, very important issue, the right of return of refugees,” Falk told a crowd of mostly students in Istanbul.

Israel occupied the Palestinian territories, along with Syria’s Golan Heights, after defeating Egypt, Jordan and Syria during the 1967 six-day war, later annexing East Jerusalem, claiming the entire city as its “eternal and undivided” capital.

Israel has since made peace with Jordan and Egypt – returning the captured Sinai Peninsula to the latter — and now boasts of improved ties with other Arab states, which have offered to recognize Israel in return for a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.

Read More: Dismissing Israel apartheid report is abuse of power, writes author

This proposal for a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, has long been demanded by the Palestinians and is generally accepted by the international community.

Numerous rounds of peace talks, however, have so far failed to make it a reality. Falk went on to say;

Every important issue is rather clearly and decisively in favor of the Palestinian position. And that’s has been true for decades now for at least the 70 years that Israel has existed as a state and a member of the United Nations,

And yet nothing has happened to implement the international law as it should be implemented if it is to be in force against the strong and weak equally,

According to the former UN human rights investigator this is a “precondition of any kind of real legal system “Law is not really a law if it is not applied to all that are subject to its authority. So you have this sense that this international law favors the Palestinians but it does not make any difference,” he added.

“Their situation has gotten worse and worse over the years,” he said.

Falk added international law still remained “extremely important” for the Palestinians as an instrument for achieving their goals of self-determination and sustainable peace.

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  • Cg Ally

    All this tlak means very little to the Palestines who have seen their lives destroyed on a daily basis for the past 50 years at least. ‘International Law’ may be clearly on the Palestinians’ side alas it is a lwa that’s not worth the paper it is written on. It has become rather delusional to expect anything positive from the UN where the Palesitinians are concerned. The UN is just a toothless spineless organisation that has become ‘unfit for purpose’.

  • charliematerne

    It is interesting that he never names a specific “International Law” that is “clearly on the side of the “Palestinians”, but he ignores the UN Charter (that’s the people who pay him to spread his lies)

    • TomasRowan

      “The United Nations does not automatically fall heir to the responsibilities either of the League of Nations or of the Mandatory Power in respect of the Palestine Mandate. The record seems to us entirely clear that the United Nations did not take over the League of Nations Mandate system.” Article One, resolution 24, a full year before Israel was admitted to the UN. Future UN resolutions have ruled the settlements are illegal..

      • charliematerne

        Would you like to try again?
        “Resolution 24
        Admission of new Members to the UN: Hungary
        24 (1947). Resolution of 30 April 1947

        The Security Council,

        Resolves that the application of Hungary for admission to membership in the United Nations dated 22 April
        1947 should be referred to the Committee on the Admission of New Members for study and report to the
        Security Council at the appropriate time.

        Adopted at the 132nd meeting by 10 votes to 1 (Australia).”

        • TomasRowan

          Wrong, from Article one those are the founding Articles of the UN. It was from March 1948 a full year before Israel was admitted. If Israel held the cards withInternational Law they would be more arrogant than they already are which is hard to believe.

    • joe2.5

      The UN Charter authorizes ignoring the self-determination rights of indigenous peoples and the attribution of their territory to colonial invaders?
      That’s a new one, Perfessor.

      • charliematerne

        Jewish communities existed in Jerusalem dating back 2500 years (until they were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian occupation). The Arab Crusaders invaded and conquered the area in the mid-600’s AD. Somehow I think the 2500 year history of the Jewish communities gives them the superior right to be called “indigenous peoples”
        From the Preamble of the Mandate:
        “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; and …”

        • sailorbill

          102 & country’s & still cant live with any one , that’s got to tell you some thing.

          • charliematerne

            Got to hand it to those Muslims, as is evidenced this week in Spain and Finland