No to Repeating Balfour Declaration .. Arab Civil Society Organizations and Coalitions Stress Palestinian Right to Jerusalem is An International Law that Cannot be Given away by Political Measures and Statements
In a flagrant challenge to the international law, on 06 December 2017, the United States President Donald Trump declared that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and signed an official decree to move the U.S. Embassy to it.
The undersigned Arab Civil Society Organizations and Coalitions believe that the irresponsible statements by the U.S. President would not change the legal status of the City but convict its issuer and make him a criminal at the international level. Jerusalem has been and will always be an integral part of Land of Palestine based on history, reality, the resolutions adopted by the United Nations and International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the recognition of an overwhelming majority of the world’s States.
This development came as part of the current U.S. Administration’s systematic policy of denying the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and attempting to close down the Palestinian cause. This policy started with supporting the settlement expansion and practicing huge pressures to deprive the Palestinians of resorting to the International Justice. And finally, it is now practically destroying the efforts for peace and two-state solution.
The U.S. President’s declaration and measures constitute complicity in two international crimes. The first crime is a crime of aggression against the Palestinian State as declaration supports and upholds the annexation of lands using force. The second crime is a war crime as the decision is considered as complicity in the Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.
Moreover, Trump’s statements and measures constitute a clear violation of more than 16 resolutions adopted by the Security Council; the most prominent of them are Resolutions No. (476) and (478) adopted in 1980. The U. S. President’s declaration also violates the General Assembly’s resolutions relevant to the Palestinian right to Jerusalem, including Resolution (303) adopted in 1949 and Resolution (2253) adopted in 1967. Furthermore, in its Advisory Opinion on the Annexation wall in 2004, the ICJ affirms that the territory seized by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem, is an occupied territory. This declaration also violates many resolutions adopted by the UNESCO relevant to the Palestinian right to Jerusalem and its holy places.
The official and popular reaction, which unanimously protested the U.S. President’s decision that undermines the peace process, affirms that the U.S. position is isolated from all the influential world countries, including the Permanent Member States of the Security Council and UN bodies.
The U.S. President’s decision recalls the crime of Balfour Declaration as after 100 years, those who do not own came gain to grant recognition to those who do not deserve in a flagrant violation of the international law and in disregard for the international peace, security and innocents, whose lives would be endangered due to stirring the feelings of millions of Muslims and Christians around the world.
The Arab Civil Society Organizations and Coalitions believe that this decision is an explicit call for imposing the rule of jungle and de facto policy in addition to completely flouting the international law. This declaration also gives political legitimacy for the Israeli crimes and affects the history, present and future of the Arab and Muslim peoples and their dignity. Thus, They:
- Call upon the Arab States and Muslim world to take decisive steps to force the US President’s administration to reverse the declaration and stop violating the status of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy places;
- Call upon the International Criminal Court to list the U.S. President Trump among those accused of committing a settlement activity crime in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in the files referred to the ICC regarding the settlement activity crime;
- Call upon the Palestinian leadership to stop dealing with the U.S. Administration as a mediator after the latter declared being partners in aggression and occupation.
- Call upon the Palestinian leadership as well to resort to the General Assembly and work with the peace-loving states of the world to use the Special Mechanism of “Union for Peace” to avoid the US Veto in the Security Council; condemn the U.S. declaration, rendering it null and void; and take necessary measures to confront it;
- Demand Switzerland, Arab and Islamic States, and European countries, which rejected Trump’s decision, to call for an urgent meeting for the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to condemn the American position and ensure the application of the Geneva Conventions in the occupied territory in 1967, including Jerusalem, and work on obliging the US to abide by these Conventions as the latter is one of the High Contracting Parties;
- Praised the European Union’s position that condemns the U.S. decision and call upon it to take serious steps in order to confront this decision, which violates the international law and directly threatens the international peace and security;
- Call the American Civil Society and free people of the world to move and pressurize the U.S. President to save the world peace and spare the world a religious war due to the irresponsible behaviors of the U.S. President; and
- Call upon all the states, which rejected the U.S. decision, to abstain from participating in any meeting with the U.S. officials in Jerusalem to prevent the decision becoming a fait accompli over time.
Signatory Arab Civil Society Organizations and Coalitions to this Statement:
- Palestinian Bar Association
- Arab Organization for Human Rights
- Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council
- Palestinian Journalists Syndicate
- Tunisian Association of Democratic Women
- Palestine National Institutes for NGOs
- Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights
- Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – AMAN
- Arab NGO Network for Development
- Human Rights and Democracy Media Center
- Palestinian NGOs Network
- Committees for Development and Heritage- France
- Social and Economic Policies Monitor (Al Marsad)
- Palestinian Consultative Staff for NGOs Development
- Arab Network for Tolerance
- Human Rights Information and Training Center
- Tammuz Organization for Social Development
- Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
- Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession
- Filastiniyat Organization
- Ein Iraq Elections Monitoring Network
- Rafe’a Bin ‘Ashour, Carthage University, Judge of the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights
- Palestinian Coalition for Enonmoic and Social Rights
- Palestinian NGOs in Lebanon Organization
- Arab Organization for Human Rights in Jordan
- Emirates Association for Human Rights
- Bahrain Human Rights Society
- The Tunisian Human Rights League
- Algerian League for Human Rights
- Sudan Human Rights Monitor
- Arab Organization for Human Rights in Syria
- National Organization for Human Rights in Syria
- Iraqi Network for Human Rights Culture and Development
- Kuwait Society for Human Rights
- Arab Organization for Human Rights in Libya
- Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
- Moroccan Organization for Human Rights
- Moroccan Association for Human Rights
- Yemen Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms
- Organization of Human Rights in the Arab States – Germany
- The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Austria
- Arab Organization for Human Rights in Mauritania
- Palestinian Human Rights Organization in Lebanon
- Human Line Organization in Kuwait
- Human Rights and Democracy Studies Center- Morocco
- Arab Organization for Human Rights in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland
- Arab Institute for Human Rights in Tunisia
- The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession- Musawa
- Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights