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Palestinian Terrorism and Statehood

In law, one man's terrorist can never be another man's freedom fighter.
Louis Rene Beres

Louis Rene Beres

In law, the murderers of young children who take an unhidden delight in the blood of their victims can never be “freedom fighters.” If they should ever become entitled to such an exculpatory designation, we would then have to concede that international law itself had become little more than a nicely codified authorization for the commission of evil.

President Obama continues to presume that a Palestinian state will be part of a “two-state solution.” Here, it is falsely presumed, a 23rd Arab state will coexist obediently with the lone Jewish state. Oddly enough, this presumption is dismissed everywhere in the Arab/Islamic world itself.

Cartographically, the “Map of Palestine,” available at the official website of the Palestinian National Authority and of Hamas, still includes all of Israel.

Only one state is depicted on this map. That state is not Israel.

Terrorist crimes always mandate universal cooperation in apprehension and punishment. As punishers of “grave breaches” under international law, all states are expected to search out and prosecute, or extradite, individual terrorist perpetrators. In no circumstances are states permitted to characterize terrorists as “freedom fighters.”

This is especially true for the United States, which incorporates all international law as the “supreme law of the land” at Article 6 of the Constitution, and at assorted Supreme Court decisions, most notably the Paquete Habana (1900). Under natural law, which represents the canonic legal foundation of the U.S. Constitution, every nation-state has an overriding obligation of self-preservation. Wherever a government acts contrary to this core obligation, which is assuredly the case with Israel’s recurrent freeing of Palestinian terrorists, these actions, inter alia, demand far-reaching citizen opposition.

The theory of natural law, which has discernible roots in the Bible, is based on clarity, self-evidence, and coherence. Its validity cannot be shaken by the presumed imperatives of geopolitics, even when a misguided American president should feel that manifestly contrary policies are called for.

No matter how strenuously Obama should maintain that Palestinian statehood is needed to implement a wider Middle East peace, there is nothing about full sovereignty that would ever exempt the newest Arab state from its peremptory obligations under humanitarian international law.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


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2 Responses to “Palestinian Terrorism and Statehood”

  1. The roots of the Jewish People's sovereignty over all of Palestine west of the Jordan River are in International Law commencing in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that was adopted word for word in the San Remo Resolution and spelled out in the Palestine Mandate. Initially the Jews were recognized as having only a beneficial interest with Britain given legal dominion over the political rights to Palestine until such time as the Jews had attained a population majority so their government would not be antidemocratic. This was announced by the British Foreign Office in a Memorandum of September 19, 1917 written by Arnold Toynbee and Lewis Namier. See Roots of Israel's Sovereignty and Boundaries in International Law; In Defense of the Levy Report. http://www.think-israel.org/brand.allegedoccupation.html A second question arises on whether the right under natural law of a people to have self-determination has evolved into International Law. In part it has. International Law supports a people's right to self determination by decolonization, where the change does not affect the borders of a sovereign state. It does not support unilateral secession. The Jewish People now have sovereignty over Palestine from the River to the Sea, with the current exception of Gaza. This was gained in 1950 when the Jews attained a population majority in the area within the Green Line where they governed, and over the rest of that area when the IDF drove out the illegal Jordanian and Egyptian occupiers in 1967. If the Arabs were to secede from the Jewish State, they would impair the boundaries of a sovereign state that they are not permitted to do, unilaterally, under International Law. Under International Law, when there is a tension between the rights of a people to gain self-determination, and the right of a sovereign state to territorial integrity, the right of the state is inviolable. It is this inviolability that has been the mainstay of world order since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia .

  2. Deniz Karadeniz says:

    The real TERRORIST is israel….

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