In­ter­na­tional or­der

National Post (Latest Edition) - - ISSUES & IDEAS -

John Rob­son’s re­cent col­umn asks whether there ex­ists an­other coun­try whose de­clared cap­i­tal we do not rec­og­nize. There does not. Why Is­rael then, he posits.

Be­cause Is­rael is the only na­tion who has de­clared its cap­i­tal par­tially on ter­ri­tory that — con­trary to the UN Char­ter and in­ter­na­tional law — has been force­fully an­nexed. It alone lays claim to a city whose east­ern sec­tor falls be­yond its sov­er­eign ter­ri­tory. The global con­sen­sus op­pos­ing Is­rael’s claim to Jerusalem is not a “lie” told by “tyran­ni­cal cor­rupt anti- Semitic regimes.” It is an af­fir­ma­tion of the doc­trine that ter­ri­tory ac­quired through force would not re­ceive in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion. It serves to dis­in­cen­tivize the force­ful ac­qui­si­tion of ter­ri­tory by en­sur­ing that con­quest does not le­git­imize through recog­ni­tion.

Fol­low­ing the Knes­set’s for­mal an­nex­a­tion of Jerusalem in 1980, the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil called upon states to with­hold recog­ni­tion of Is­rael’s claim. States with diplo­matic mis­sions were re­quired to with­draw from the City. This be­gan the process of col­lec­tive non-recog­ni­tion that con­tin­ues to this day. It is an ex­pres­sion of foun­da­tional in­ter­na­tional prin­ci­ples that are in­tended to en­sure ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, pro­mote the self- de­ter­mi­na­tion of peo­ples, and dis­in­cen­tivize the threat or use of force.

If Mr. Rob­son en­deav­ours to see and hear the global re­ac­tion that has long ac­com­pa­nied Jerusalem’s con­tested sta­tus he will find a pref­er­ence for ne­go­ti­a­tion not dec­la­ra­tion, a con­sen­sus that the city must be shared be­tween two peo­ples who both pos­sess a vested claim to Jerusalem and whose con­trast­ing de­vo­tions must be rec­on­ciled. And he will find that the col­lec­tive fail­ure to rec­og­nize the Is­raeli claim to the united city is not forged in an­i­mus but is dic­tated by the prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional or­der.

David Hughes, Grotius Re­search Scholar at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan Law School Re: Moral clar­ity com­pels ac­tion on Jerusalem. John Rob­son, March

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