Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law

Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law

Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law

Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law


"Palestine, Palestinians and International Law provides a comprehensive survey of the international legal principles related to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination - from the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine awarded to Britain after WWI, through the partition of the Palestine Mandate by the United Nations after WWII, the Palestinian Declaration of an Independent State in 1988, the diplomatic recognition of the Palestinian state by nearly 130 other states, to the United Nations granting the State of Palestine all rights of a UN member state but the right to vote." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


I am not Arab. I am not Jewish. I am not Palestinian. I am not Israeli. I am Irish American. Our people have no proverbial “horse in this race.” The viewpoints expressed here are solely my own. What follows is to the best of my immediate recollection:

The Big Lie

Even though I grew up in the United States during the late 1950s and early 1960s in a family that strongly supported the just struggle of African Americans for civil rights, I was nonetheless brainwashed at school as well as by the mainstream news media and popular culture to be just as pro-Israel as everyone else in America. Then came the 1967 Middle East War. At that time, I recognized that Israel had attacked these Arab countries first, stolen their lands, and then driven out their respective peoples from their homes. I then realized that everything I had been told about Israel was “The Big Lie”. Israel was Goliath, not David. I resolved to study the Middle East in more detail in order to figure out where the truth in the Middle East conflict really lay.

By then I had figured out that the pie-in-the-sky “Camelot” peddled by the Kennedy administration after the Bay of Pigs invasion/fiasco and its self-induced Cuban Missile Crisis that was a near-miss for nuclear Armageddon were also part of The Big Lie. The same soon became apparent in relation to U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America after the Johnson administration's gratuitous invasion of the Dominican Republic. Everything I was being told about the Vietnam War was clearly part of The Big Lie. So I just added the Middle East to the list of international subjects that I needed to pay more attention to in my life.


I entered the University of Chicago as an undergraduate in September of 1968 after having just attended the tumultuous Chicago Democratic National Convention. Because of the heavy common-core requirements there, I could not take a course on the Middle East until the next academic year. Then I signed up for a course on “Middle East Politics” taught by Professor Leonard Binder.

To his great credit, Professor Binder was most fair and balanced in his presentation of the Palestinian and other Arab claims against Israel during the course of his classroom lectures. In addition, his massive reading list forced me to go through almost everything then written in English that was favorable to the Palestinian people, as well as reading the standard pro-Israel sources. By the end of Professor Binder's course in the Winter of 1970, I had become convinced of three basic propositions: (1) that the world had inflicted a terrible injustice upon . . .

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