RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Cole writes: "It has been the position of the US presidents for decades that the status of Jerusalem in international law is unsettled. That is why the US embassy is in Tel Aviv, and why US passports showing the place of birth as Jerusalem just list the name of the city without indicating a country."

Menachem Zivotofsky and his father, Ari Zivotofsky, speak to media outside the Supreme Court in Washington on November 3, 2014. (photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Menachem Zivotofsky and his father, Ari Zivotofsky, speak to media outside the Supreme Court in Washington on November 3, 2014. (photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)


Supreme Court's Jerusalem Decision Shows Limits of Israeli Lobby

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

10 June 15

 

t has been the position of the US presidents for decades that the status of Jerusalem in international law is unsettled. That is why the US embassy is in Tel Aviv, and why US passports showing the place of birth as Jerusalem just list the name of the city without indicating a country. The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the president’s right to make this determination, in a 6-3 decision. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, found that Congress was not given by the constitution any role in recognizing other countries (or parts of other countries), and that in contrast the constitution gives the president this prerogative.

The issue began with a 2002 law passed by Congress instructing the executive to let Americans born in Jerusalem list Israel as their birthplace. The State Department refused to comply, denying Menachem Zivotofsky a passport that listed his birthplace as Jerusalem, Israel. His family sued under the 2002 law. The Supreme Court just struck down that law as unconstitutional.

No one is bringing up that a lot of Palestinian-Americans born in Jerusalem would like their passports to read “Jerusalem, Palestine”.

The law was pushed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful umbrella group for thousands of pro-Israel lobbies. These lobbies in turn play a major role in funding political campaigns, so that AIPAC has gained outsized influence on Congress. Jewish-Americans are less than two percent of the population, but those who strenuously support Israel on a “my country right or wrong” basis can usually get their way on congressional votes. They are aided, often, by evangelical Christians and also by old-time liberals who grew up before Israel entered its current Apartheid phase. Prominent right-Zionist congressional representatives have attempted to use Congress to push the US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The Israel lobbies have never been as strong with regard to the presidency or the courts as they are with regard to Congress, however. The Supreme Court decision showed the limits of their power. The reason this point is important is that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is increasingly being litigated not in national legislatures, where a lobby can sway votes, but in courtrooms. If the occupation and its Apartheid policies ever go to the International Criminal Court, the ICC will certainly rule against Israel. It already has, in a 2004 advisory opinion. Since the ICC is respected by signatories of the 2002 Rome Statue, in turn, that bodies ruling would be widely influential, including in Europe.

SCOTUS just showed what happens to such political campaigns for support of colonialism when they go to a court in a country with a rule of law.

The United Nations General Assembly in 1947 put forward a partition plan for the British Mandate of Palestine, giving the one-third of the population that was Jewish far more of the territory than the 6% it actually owned. The UN Security Council never signed off on the plan, so its status in international law is unclear. It was in any case overtaken by the 1948 war in which Israel took even more territory and consolidated borders far beyond what the General Assembly stipulated. But the UNGA envisaged that Jerusalem would be an international city not dominated by either Israelis or Palestinians.

In 1967 Israel unilaterally overturned the UN partition plan entirely, grabbing the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem and thereafter settling them and integrating them into Israel, while keeping millions of subject Palestinians stateless and without rights.

The rest of the world sees the status of Jerusalem as unsettled and as something that will be determined by final status peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. In the meantime, Israel has illegally annexed all of Jerusalem, surrounded it with squatter settlments built on stolen Palestinian land, and found pretexts for expelling large numbers of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem. The UN Security Council passed several resolutions on Jerusalem roundly condemning Israeli annexation. It should be remembered that one of the justifications given by the Neocons for attacking Iraq was that it had ignored UNSC resolutions. UNSC on Jerusalem:

Adopted by the Security Council at its 2245th meeting, on 20 August 1980 (14-0, US abstention)

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 476 (1980),

Reaffirming again that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible,

Deeply concerned over the enactment of a “basic law” in the Israeli Knesset proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, with its implications for peace and security,

Noting that Israel has not complied with resolution 476 (1980),

Reaffirming its determination to examine practical ways and means, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, to secure the full implementation of its resolution 476 (1980), in the event of non-compliance by Israel,

  1. Censures in the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the “basic law” on Jerusalem and the refusal to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions;

  2. Affirms that the enactment of the “basic law” by Israel constitutes a violation of international law and does not affect the continued application of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem;

  3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent “basic law” on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith;

  4. Affirms also that this action constitutes a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

  5. Decides not to recognize the “basic law” and such other actions by Israel that, as a result of this law, seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem and calls upon:

    (a) All Member States to accept this decision;

    (b) Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City;

  6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of the present resolution before 15 November 1980;

  7. Decides to remain seized of this serious situation.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
-61 # stannadel 2015-06-10 09:21
Except that the Jews born in Jerusalem were born in hospitals in West Jerusalem --which has been Israel since 1948. the policy of denying that this is in Israel is just plan stupid--the 1947 plan that would have placed it outside Israel never went into effect and has nothing to do with the post 1967 occupied territories. I like the way Cole mentions the result of the 1948 war without talking about who started it giving the ignorant the impression that it was greedy Israelis who did so.
 
 
+41 # loraine 2015-06-10 09:36
It was!
 
 
+36 # Radscal 2015-06-10 11:10
The 1948 war was a weak and non-coordinated response to more than two years of non-stop Jewish terrorism against the indigenous people of Palestine.

Even Israeli Zionist historians like Ilan Pappé acknowledge that (though he claims the brutal ethnic-cleansin g/genocide was "worth it").
 
 
+20 # Misterioso 2015-06-10 11:40
1.

A brief summation of what took place in historic Palestine between passage of the UNGA Partition Plan (Res. 181, 29 November 1947) and the end of l948:

Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan for entirely justified reasons based on international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% were of foreign origin, only 30% had become citizens, thousands were illegal immigrants) and owned less that 7% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, contrary to the British Class A Mandate, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously proposed they receive 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine's Jewish population consisted of native anti-Zionist Palestinian/Ara b Jews.)

Although Palestinian Arab citizens made up at least 69% of the population and owned about 94% of the land, including state land (see below*), the Partition Plan recommended they receive only 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem and Bethlehem was to be placed under international control, i.e., a Corpus Separatum.)

cont'd
 
 
+23 # Misterioso 2015-06-10 11:45
2.

No wonder Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the state of Israel effective 15 May 1948 (after Jewish forces had already expelled 400,000 Palestinian Arabs per the Jewish Agency's Plan Dalet through armed might, mass rape, several massacres and intimidation, e.g., 30,000 were expelled from West Jerusalem in March, 60,000 from Haifa in April, 75,000 from Jaffa in late April and early May and Jewish forces also captured large portions of the Partition Plan's recommended Palestinian state, e.g. Jaffa), the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship.

When war erupted due to necessary intervention by reluctant outnumbered/out gunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians, a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel. The Arab forces were defeated by Israel.

By the end of the war Israel had seized 78% of Palestine, expelled 400,000 more Palestinians for a total of about 800,000 and bulldozed over 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries. It was only the beginning.
 
 
+15 # Misterioso 2015-06-10 11:50
3.
* Land ownership in all of mandated Palestine in 1947:

By Sub district - Acre: 87% Palestinian owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisnan: 44% Palestinian owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% PalestinIan owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba: 15% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned.
 
 
+14 # bmiluski 2015-06-10 12:38
You realize Misterioso that Standdal will never read your summation. Those people believe what they believe and facts be damned.
 
 
+15 # Misterioso 2015-06-10 13:16
We are now at the point that whether or not Standdal and his ilk finally admit they have been duped by Zionist/Hasbara lies and misrepresentati ons/omissions of the documented historical record, their misguided views are entirely irrelevant. Israel is a rogue/pariah/cr iminal entity,* America and the West's number one geopolitical liability, a millstone around our necks. The handwriting is on the wall. Except for those Israeli Jews now emigrating en masse (ironically, more and more to Germany/Berlin) and increasing numbers of informed Jews everywhere, most Israeli Jews and their leaders still refuse to read it.
It's only a matter of time.

*Israel is neither a state nor a country, i.e., it has yet to officially declare its borders and have them accepted by the world community.
 
 
+16 # Radscal 2015-06-10 12:45
And most of that Jewish owned land in Palestine had been bought up in the decades leading up to 1948, principally by Rothschild financial interests, and often in illegal purchases.

Prior to those purchases, Jews owned less than 3% of the land of Palestine. Today, Israel claims ownership of vast tracts of land they confiscated from the legal owners.
 
 
+10 # Misterioso 2015-06-10 13:03
Correct.
 
 
+1 # Eternal Paradigm 2015-06-12 08:45
Thanks, Misterioso, for your excellent recap. For those who don't have the attention span to stay with you (unfortunately that's way too many of our citizens) you might consider this shorter version:

Zionists to Palestinians: Such a deal we have for you.
 
 
+25 # reiverpacific 2015-06-10 10:20
Quoting stannadel:
Except that the Jews born in Jerusalem were born in hospitals in West Jerusalem --which has been Israel since 1948. the policy of denying that this is in Israel is just plan stupid--the 1947 plan that would have placed it outside Israel never went into effect and has nothing to do with the post 1967 occupied territories. I like the way Cole mentions the result of the 1948 war without talking about who started it giving the ignorant the impression that it was greedy Israelis who did so.

How selective of you.
You weren't by any chance born in Apartheid era S. Africa, were you?
Or are you one of the outdated, wantonly "ignorant" (to paraphrase y'r own statement), "---evangelical Christians and also by old-time liberals who grew up before Israel entered its current Apartheid phase. Prominent right-Zionist congressional representatives have attempted to use Congress to push the US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
The Israel lobbies have never been as strong with regard to the presidency or the courts as they are with regard to Congress, however" (quote from article).
Or just another blinkered bigot who refuses to recognize blatant human rights violations, murder, kidnapping and mass corralling of an entire ancient people in the "World's biggest outdoor prison"?!
You're avoiding the main point of forceful occupation and "Colonialism" as expressed in the article, really struggling for ANYTHING to justify it by cherry-picking.
 
 
+9 # Activista 2015-06-10 11:17
finance.yahoo.com/news/complete-takeover-israel-unleashed-one-155200503.html?bcmt=comments-postbox
..Israel/USA cybercrime - also used by hackers to steal - this is number one threat to the Internet/free communication - we live in the society censored by cyber criminals
 
 
-16 # captlee 2015-06-10 11:18
Nothing like a little editorializing to make it obvious what a little shit your are!
 
 
+6 # bmiluski 2015-06-10 12:39
To captlee.....huh ???
 
 
+5 # Misterioso 2015-06-10 13:18
I assume you are responding to Stannadel
 
 
+13 # Misterioso 2015-06-10 11:47
By now, it should be abundantly clear to any reasonably informed observer that Israel's "star" is setting all over the world, including the US and within Jewish communities everywhere.

It could only be thus. And it is only the beginning.
 
 
+6 # cymricmorty 2015-06-10 11:58
Oh, no! SCOTUS is anti-Semite!

Onward to the ICC.
 
 
+12 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-06-10 16:36
Give Netanyahu his day in court, the International Criminal Court.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN