Today is the 97th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration…

Here it is –>

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We’ve written about this earlier, see here

The Balfour Declaration was incorporated, word for word, into the Palestine Mandate, under the jurisdiction of the League of Nations, created by the Allied victors, as a forum for the international community at the end of World War One, to “to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security”…

The Palestine Mandate, significantly, gave international recognition to the Jewish people … as a people.

    The Balfour Declaration [and the Palestine Mandate] also said: “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”…

The Balfour Declaration and the subsequent Palestine Mandate led, 25 years later, to the Declaration of Independence, made on May 15 1948 in Tel Aviv, of the state which announced its name as Israel.

It took another 26 years after that for the Palestinian people to obtain international recognition [in the United Nations, created as successor of the defunct League of Nations] of their right, as a people, to self-determination…in UN General Assembly resolution 3236 of 22 November 1974, which

    Recalled its relevant resolutions which affirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,
    Recognized “that the Palestinian people is entitled to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”, and
    Expressed “its grave concern that the Palestinian people has been prevented from enjoying its inalienable rights, in particular its right to self-determination”
    1. Reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including:
    (a) The right to self-determination without external interference;
    (b) The right to national independence and sovereignty;
    2. Reaffirmed also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;
    3. Emphasized that full respect for and the realization of these inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine;
    4. Recognized that the Palestinian people is a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
    5. Further recognized the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;
    6. Appealed to all States and international organizations to extend their support to the Palestinian people in its struggle to restore its rights, in accordance with the Charter;
    7. Requested the Secretary-General to establish contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization on all matters concerning the question of Palestine;
    8. Requested the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its thirtieth session on the implementation of the present resolution;
    9. Decided to include the item entitled “Question of Palestine” in the provisional agenda of its thirtieth session.

The Palestine Mandate, awarded by a decision of the Council of the League of Nations [predecessor of the United Nations] to Britain [which had administered Palestine after defeating the Ottoman army there at the end of 1917], did not actually go into effect, formally, until Turkey finalized [in Lausanne in 1923] the Ottoman surrender after its defeat in the First World War…

The Palestine Mandate can be read in full here, among other places…

The Council of the League of Nations [institutionally equivalent to the Security Council of today’s United Nations, said that in awarding the Mandate, they were “giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations” [which is institutionally equivalent to the United Nations Charter]

    And this Article 22 says the following:
    To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.

    The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage of such peoples should be entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical position can best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to accept it, and that this tutelage should be exercised by them as Mandatories on behalf of the League.

    The character of the mandate must differ according to the stage of the development of the people, the geographical situation of the territory, its economic conditions and other similar circumstances.

    Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.

    In every case of mandate, the Mandatory shall render to the Council an annual report in reference to the territory committed to its charge.

    The degree of authority, control, or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory shall, if not previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, be explicitly defined in each case by the Council.

    A permanent Commission shall be constituted to receive and examine the annual reports of the Mandatories and to advise the Council on all matters relating to the observance of the mandates.

    See here

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