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Palestine’s Application for UN Membership

The official application submitted by Palestine for UN membership is now available here, UN Doc. S/2011/592 (h/t Diane Marie Amann). It is of interest not the least because it has been carefully drafted and with the benefit of substantial legal advice. Note, first, how Mahmoud Abbas is not titled President of the Palestinian National Authority, but as President of the State of Palestine (he was appointed as such some years ago by the PLO). Note also how for good reason the letter does not say when exactly Palestine became a state, nor does it declare Palestine’s independence anew; rather, it refers to the 15 November 1988 DoI.

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The Birth of Israel and Palestine – The Ifs of History, Then and Now

Given the promised September UN move by the Palestinian Authority it is of interest to recall some of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Israel. There are some interesting historical parallels and some differences. In public opinion and Hollywood movies, Israel was born with a UN midwife: UNGA Resolution 181, the famous Partition Resolution of 29 November 1947…

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Ronen and Pellet on the ICC and Gaza

I’d like to commend to our readers’ attention an excellent article by Yael Ronen in the most recent issue of the JICJ on the declaration lodged by Palestine accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC with respect to Gaza, raising the issue whether Palestine qualifies as a state in the sense of the Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute –…

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Goldstone Report on Gaza: A Question of Trust

I have just skimmed through the Goldstone Fact-Finding Mission’s Report on Gaza that was released yesterday. It is a beast at almost 600 pages, so I was necessarily more quick than thorough. All in all, my impression of the Report is that it is balanced, corroborated and credible. But this is, mind you, no more than an impression. I…

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