Equality is a basic norm of the law of nations. Arising from this are the principles of self-determination, self-defence and the right to form defensive alliances. A supplementary principle is that treaties must be kept. Collectively, these rules define when a nation has a just cause in war, its, “jus ad bellum”. But there are other doctrines regulating the way a state may conduct a war, its, “jus in bello”. In “a just war”, certain forms of violence are disallowed. And where a country’s right to war is questionable, the restrictions on the means it can use are severe. This made the Blair-Bush invasion of Iraq- “just a war”. Acts permissible in a war of legitimate self-defence are flatly excluded in doubtful situations. Occupation is an unconvinced condition.
Occupation is a form of armed conflict that arises when a territory, or parts thereof, come under the authority of foreign hostile armed forces, even if it is not met with armed resistance. The IRA resisted British rule in Ireland. Since 1967, Israeli armed forces have had authority over the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. This control is an amalgam of treaties whereby some authority over the territory has been delegated while some territories have been annexed, like Crimea by Russia. However, once control is being exercised, neither delegation nor annexation changes the application of the law of occupation.
So, do Palestinians have a right to self-determination, self-defence and the right to counterattack an occupying force? The 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 1998 Rome Statute of the ICC define apartheid as an institutionally entrenched domination and repression by one racial group over another through “inhumane acts”. Amongst such acts are: “arbitrary arrests and illegal imprisonment of members of a racial group”, processes “designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettoes for members of a racial group or groups”; “forcibly transfer”, “expropriation of landed property”; and denial of “the right to leave and return to their country, [and] the right to a nationality”.
UN Resolution 3379 established Zionism as a form of Apartheid and made connections to Zimbabwe and South Africa, which had organically aimed its policy at repression of human dignity and integrity as stated in resolution 3151. Mr. Netanyahu is clear: “Israel is not a state of all its citizens…Israel is a nation-state of the Jewish people alone.” Israel compelled the UN to rescind 3379. After the Aqsa offensive, Rashida Tlaib tweeted Blinken: @SecBlinken: “When will the US condemn racist violence against Palestinians? Is it your policy to support settlers stealing Palestinian homes & burning their lands? Billions of US taxpayers $ support the racist Netanyahu government & the apartheid state they enforce every year.”
Much of the world treats Israel’s half-century occupation as a provisional condition that a decades-long “peace process” will soon cure. But what Jimmy Carter labels a “peace process” others brand “apartheid”. Moshe Sharett, Israel’s second Prime Minister, warned: “We have forgotten that we have not come to an empty land to inherit it, but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it, that governs it by the virtue of its language and savage culture”. The Al-Aqsa Nakbah (catastrophe) left hundreds wounded and was live streamed like the Capitol Riots in Washington to a globally entombed world in COVID-19 lockdowns.
The shrine screamed and the Gaza answered. Mao Zedong said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” so Israel pummelled Gaza. Biden restated “Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself,” but made no mention of Palestinians “unable to breathe” under the knees of legionaries. Ocasio-Cortez walloped Biden’s blanket avowal as an unmasking of his helplessness to acknowledge the dehumanization of Palestinians and his resolve to look the other way through a Rose Garden window pane that will not allow him to turn a blind eye to Uyghur “re-education” camps in Xinjian.
Palestinian statehood is not elusive. It will not happen. A threshold has been crossed and a permanence has been achieved. The solution-path to push the soul out of every Palestinian and every Arab out of their homes remains half-finished; and this incompleteness creates an inconvenient problem – A Two State Solution. Israel’s occupation of Palestine has one aim- A Single State Solution.
Oslo was the greatest idea Israel ever had. After Oslo, the Intifada came and subsequently Palestinians accepted UN Resolutions 242 and 338 which gave Israel “secure and recognised boundaries”, and permission to continue the occupation of strategic parts of the West Bank. Each new resolution and accord buying a stairway to heaven with a rosary of genuflections that has created a fractured space under Palestinian control that is bereft of the natural resources indispensable for a functioning economy.
Aqsa is lost. A two state solution can only offer Palestinians discontinuous blots of unusable earth while Jerusalem thrives as the new capital of Israel where old-world powers who created Israel have already decided to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Truth has left the earth. Lies have triumphed. A garden of Gethsemane, plump with whispers and deceitfully soft kisses in the dark.