Sticking to your guns, literally, pays off

The lesson to be learned from Iran is: it is possible to overturn int'l law if you are the forceful partner and loudly repeat your case.

Hassan Rohani 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi RH/CJF/AA)
Hassan Rohani 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi RH/CJF/AA)
Let's take Iran as an example. Despite six United Nations Security Council resolutions to the contrary, Iran stubbornly stuck to the mantra that they have rights to enrich uranium and, ignoring all the fears that this is the road to a nuclear weapon, it eventually paid off with the new deal it struck with the appeasing Europeans, America, and a smiling Russia.
The lesson to be learned from this is: it is possible to overturn international law if you are the forceful partner and loudly repeat your case.
Look at another example. International law professor, Eugene Kantorovich, has written that the European Union is in default of its own policies fostering and funding the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. He reminds us that the EU provisionally approved a fisheries agreement in November that extends into territory that Morocco is occupying in breach of international law. Furthermore, Kantorovich has exposed the glaring fact that the EU is actually paying Morocco for access to resources in the Western Sahara.
That’s pretty amazing stuff when compared to the European punishing stance over Israel’s building, and offering employment to Arabs and Jews in Judea and Samaria. Unless the EU retracts its resolutions, Israel is due to be clobbered with European sanctions come January 1, 2014.
How is it possible to come to terms with this level of hypocrisy and double standards? Perhaps Israel should adopt the stance of the Iranians and Moroccans?  Both aggressively pursued their “rights” even when they had none under international law, and the international community folded.
Compared with them, Israel’s rights are considerably more legitimate in international law, no matter how much US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the European Union wiggle.
Israel has far more legitimacy to the “disputed” territories of Judea and Samaria. Instead of capitulating weakly to the false charges of “occupied Palestinian land” it should boldly, affirmatively, and repeatedly declare that Israel has full legitimate rights to the territories written large in international law.
If Israeli politicians are weak on the justice of our cause, they should allow international law experts, such as Professor Eugene Kantorovich, champion the case. As he said at a lecture, which is freely available online, it doesn’t matter in international law if you are pro or anti Israel or the Palestinians. It matters what has been approved and sanctioned in internationally binding treaties. On this score, Israel can firmly claim legitimacy over the territories dating back to the League of Nations Mandate of 1922 that was further enshrined in Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, as well as other rulings. These still stand today.
This need not cancel out the necessity of solving the problem of Palestinian Arabs, but it does prove title, the absence of which leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the issue of whose land it is.
Barry Shaw is the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative. ( He is also the special consultant on delegitimization issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.