7. ICJ Attempts to Brand Israel the Aggressor
In 1974, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a definition of “aggression” in the context of establishing international peace when it approved Resolution 3314.1 The resolution reaffirms the principles of the UN Charter and the Declaration on Principles of International Law, which states that “… war of aggression constitutes a crime against the peace, for which there is responsibility under international law.”
Using provocative words such as “belligerents,” “belligerency,” and “hostile,” the ICJ’s opinion attempts to convey the impression that Israel is an “aggressor” who deserves no rights.2
When applying Resolution 3314 to major battles between Israel and the Arab states in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and the continuing fight of self-defence against Palestinian Arab terrorism, the UN’s 1974 definition of aggression clearly and unequivocally would label the Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs as the aggressors in both their direct and indirect acts of hostility against Israel.3
The following demonstrates just who is the aggressor in the Arab-Israeli conflict under international laws:
1. Article 1 defines “aggression” as the use of armed force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of a State. An “Explanatory note:” follows to explains that “In this Definition the term ‘State’”:
“(a) is used without prejudice to questions of recognition or to whether a State is a member of the United Nations;” which means to say that acts of aggression applies [apply] also to “people,” State [refers ]not [only to] members of the UN, or other non-recognized States. This note is given to understand that aggression can apply to any aggressor, whether an acknowledged state or an organization.
2. Article 2, 25 years after the fact, establishes that the Arab states that attacked the newly declared State of Israel in 1948 (known as Israel’s War of Independence) were all aggressors.
Furthermore, during the 1967 Six-Day War, Jordan, who joined Egypt and initiated ‘the first use of armed forces’ against Israel, was clearly an aggressor.4
3. Article 3 (c) – In both 1956 and 1967, Egypt blockaded the Strait of Tiran, preventing access to Israel’s southern port of Eilat, a hostile action that led to the Sinai Campaign in 19565 and to the 1967 Six-Day War. As defined by the UN’s 1974 resolution, Egypt indisputably committed an act of aggression.
Article 3 (f) – Lebanon’s acquiescence in allowing Syrian armed forces to use Lebanon as a platform to wage war against Israel by supporting Hezbollah’s terrorist attacks, clearly puts Lebanon in the category of aggressor.
Article 3 (g) – Under this Article, Lebanon, Syria and Iran are clearly aggressors. By allowing Hezbollah to freely launch attacks from its territory, Lebanon permits armed aggression against Israel. Syria and Iran are aggressors as they are clearly Hezbollah’s greatest supporters in the region.
Article 6 – Applies when use of force is exercised under the UN Charter’s definition of self-defence and in cases in which the use of force is lawful.6
Israel’s enemies unsuccessful in branding Israel the aggressor.
All UN Draft Resolutions attempting to brand Israel as aggressor or illegal occupier as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War, were all defeated by either the UN General Assembly or the Security Council:
A/L.519,7 19 June 1967, submitted by: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, “Israel, in gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the universally accepted principles of international law, has committed a premeditated and previously prepared aggression against the United Arab Republic, Syria and Jordan.”
A/L.521,8 26 June 1967, submitted by: Albania “Resolutely condemns the Government of Israel for its armed aggression against the United Arab Republic, the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan, and for the continuance of the aggression by keeping under its occupation parts of the territory of these countries.”
A/L.522/REV.3*,9 3 July 1967, submitted by: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cambodia, Ceylon, Congo (Brazzaville), Cyprus, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia and Zambia. “Calls upon Israel to withdraw immediately all its forces to the positions they held prior to 5 June 1967.”
A/L.523/Rev.1,10 4 July 1967, submitted by: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. “Israel to withdraw all its forces from all the territories occupied by it as a result of the recent conflict.”
In short, Israel did not violate the provisions of the UN Charter, is not an aggressor, and is not required to withdraw from all territories.
- See Appendix E. UN Resolution 3314 – Defining Aggression. ↑
- See Appendix I. ICJ Advisory Opinion, 9 July 2004. ↑
- Professor, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, What Weight to Conquest? in Justice in International Law, Cambridge University Press, 1994. “As between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem.” ↑
- “In response to the Israeli attack [on Egypt], Jordanian forces launched an offensive into Israel, but were soon driven back as the Israeli forces counterattacked into the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem.” From the official website of Jordan at: http://www.mefacts.com/cache/html/jordan/10364.htm. (10364) ↑
- The “Time 100” historical review of the Sinai Campaign, describes the principle by which Israel will agree to withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula: “France’s Premier Guy MoDd and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau arrived in Washington … Pineau submitted to Dulles a draft resolution whereby 1) Israel would withdraw unconditionally, and 2) Israel’s rights would be reserved under the Charter’s self-defence clause if Egypt should go back to raids and blockages against her.” See: http://www.time.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/bengurion_related5.html. (11541) ↑
- “Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall be construed as enlarging or diminishing in any way the scope of the provisions of the Charter concerning cases in which the use of force is lawful.” [italics by author]. See Appendix D. UN Resolution 2625. ↑
- Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: draft resolution, A/L.519, June 19 1967, DOCUMENT A/L.519 at: http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/2795fff6b58b212c052566cd006e0900?OpenDocument. (10919) ↑
- Draft Resolution A/L. 521, by Albania at the Emergency Session of the General Assembly- June 26 1967, see: http://www.mefacts.com/cache/html/un-resolutions/10921.htm. (10921) ↑
- Document A/L.522/REV.3*, July 3 1967, Afghanistan, Burundi, Cambodia, Ceylon, Congo (Brazzaville), Cyprus, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia and Zambia: Revised draft resolution. (10918) ↑
- A/L.523/Rev.1, July 4 1967, Fifth emergency special session Agenda item 5. Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela: revised draft resolution. See: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/510ef41fac855100052566cd00750ca4?OpenDocument. (10920) ↑