Call for Signatures on Letter to Ban Ki-moon re: Unilateral Action at the UN

Call for Signatures on Letter to Ban Ki-moon re: Unilateral Action at the UN


Dear friends of The Lawfare Project,

The United Nations is sworn to uphold and expand the rule of law across the world, and a critical component of the rule of law is that the law is developed and applied uniformly. For the UN, this necessarily includes adhering to the procedural rules under the Charter of the United Nations (“Charter”). It has come to our attention that the Palestinian delegation or an Arab League member may be submitting a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state “within 1967 borders.” This type of unilateral action is illegal and unprecedented from an international law perspective.

As a general rule, UNGA resolutions do not, in and of themselves, carry legislative effect and may not serve to unilaterally legitimize any Palestinian state.  Moreover, such manipulation of an international legal body to serve clearly political purposes and undermine the rule of law constitutes lawfare.

Under the Charter, membership “is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.” New members may be admitted “by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.” To date, the United States has insisted that Palestinian statehood must be conditioned on direct negotiations with Israel, thereby effectively precluding the necessary Security Council recommendation. There is no legal (and/or procedural) means by which the Security Council’s role in the membership admission process may be circumvented.

Therefore, we are helping to circulate a letter to be delivered to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, the full text of which is pasted below.

The letter has already been signed by about 100 ex-ambassadors, judges, lawyers, legal professors and scholars, etc.

If you are an attorney, academic, or otherwise an interested party and would like to sign on to this important letter, please email us immediately at with the following information:

Your Full Name
Email Address

Please also include the following language in your email:

“I agree to have my name listed on the letter to Ban Ki-moon.”


His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon,

Secretary-General of the United Nations,

1st Avenue & 44th St.New York, NY 10017

May 25, 2011


Re: The proposed General Assembly resolution to recognize a Palestinian State “within 1967 borders” – an illegal action

We, the undersigned, attorneys from across the world who are involved in general matters of international law, as well as being closely concerned with the Israeli- Palestinian dispute, appeal to you to use your influence and authority among the member states of the UN, with a view to preventing the adoption of the resolution that the Palestinian delegation intends to table at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly, to recognize a Palestinian state “within the 1967 borders”.

By all standards and criteria, such a resolution, if adopted, would be in stark violation of all the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as contravening UN Security Council resolutions 242(1967) and 338(1973) and those other resolutions based thereon. Our reasoning is as follows:

1.  The legal basis for the establishment of the State of Israel was the resolution unanimously adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, affirming the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the historical area of the Land of Israel. This included the areas of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, and close Jewish settlement throughout. This was subsequently affirmed by both houses of the US Congress.

2.   Article 80 of the UN Charter determines the continued validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments (including those adopted by the League of Nations). Accordingly the above-noted League resolution remains valid, and the 650,000 Jews presently resident in the areas of Judea, Samaria  and eastern Jerusalem, reside there legitimately.

3.   “The  1967  borders”  do  not  exist,  and  have  never  existed.  The 1949 Armistice Agreements entered into by Israel and its Arab neighbors, establishing the Armistice Demarcation Lines, clearly stated that these lines “are without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto”. Accordingly they cannot be accepted or declared to be the international boundaries of a Palestinian state.

4.   UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) called upon the parties to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and specifically stressed the need to negotiate in order to achieve “secure and recognized boundaries”.

5.   The Palestinian proposal, in attempting to unilaterally change the status of the territory and determine the “1967 borders” as its recognized borders, in addition to running squarely against resolutions 242 and 338, would be a fundamental breach of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in which the parties undertook to negotiate the issue of borders and not act to change the status of the territories pending outcome of the permanent status negotiations.

6.   The Palestinians entered into the various agreements constituting what is known as the “Oslo Accords” in the full knowledge that Israel’s settlements existed in the areas, and that settlements would be one of the issues to be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. Furthermore, the Oslo Accords impose no limitation on Israel’s settlement activity in those areas that the Palestinians agreed would continue to be under Israel’s jurisdiction and control pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations.

7.  While the Interim Agreement was signed by Israel and the PLO, it was witnessed by the UN together with the EU, the Russian Federation, the US, Egypt and Norway. It is thus inconceivable that such witnesses, including first and foremost the UN, would now give license to a measure in the UN aimed at violating this agreement and undermining major resolutions of the Security Council.

8.  While the UN has maintained a persistent policy of non-recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem pending a negotiated solution, despite Israel’s historic rights to the city, it is inconceivable that the UN would now recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, the borders of which would include eastern Jerusalem. This would represent the ultimate in hypocrisy, double standards and discrimination, as well as an utter disregard of the rights of Israel and the Jewish People.

9.  Such unilateral action by the Palestinians could give rise to reciprocal initiatives in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) which could include proposed legislation to declare Israel’s sovereignty over extensive parts of Judea and Samaria, if and when the Palestinians carry out their unilateral action. 


It appears to be patently clear to all that the Palestinian exercise, aimed at advancing their political claims, represents a cynical abuse of the UN Organization and of the members of the General Assembly. Its aim is to by- pass the negotiation process called-for by the Security Council.

Regrettably this abuse of the UN and its integrity, in addition to undermining international law, has the potential to derail the Middle-East peace process.

We trust that you will use your authority to protect the UN and its integrity from this abuse, and act to prevent any affirmation or recognition of this dangerous Palestinian initiative.


Ambassador (Ret) Attorney Baker Alan
Ambassador (Ret) Dr. Rosenne Meir
Dr. Arnon Harel. Adv.
Prof. Einhorn Talia
Prof. Shochetman Eliav
Abu Lior, Adv.
Asraf Shlomo, Adv. (LL.B, LL.M)
Baba-Nahary Merav, Adv.
Benjamin Aryeh N., Adv. LL.M
Ben-Shahar Meir, Adv. LL.B, LL.M
Bulshtein Ariel, Adv.
Burstyn Yitzhak .adv LL.M
Carmi Anat, Adv.
Cohen Elad, Adv.
Cohen Hila, Adv.
Daniely Mirit, Adv.
David Liat, Adv. (LL.B, LL.M)
Dermer Yossi, Adv.
Dworkin Sheryl, JD
Eagle Shira, Adv.
Eisenberg M., Adv
Elkalay Shimrit, Adv.
Friedman Shlomo, Adv.
Fuchs Yossi, Adv.
Ganan Yuval. Adv. Goelman
Avinoam, Adv. Goldman Ezra
Adv. Guggenheim Chanania U., Adv
Hacohen Itay, Adv. (LL.B, LL.M)
Harshoshanim Ariel, Adv.
Hershkovitz David, Adv. LL.M
Jarden Elon ,Adv.
Kanter Herbert, JD
Kavatz Gad, Adv. (LL.M)
Koslowe Avital Adv. (LL.B, LL.M)
Lapidot Harel, Adv.
Lapidot Ohad Ziv, Adv.
Levi Y. Adv. (LL.B, LL.M)
Levy Yechezkel, Adv. LL.M.
Magen Alon, Adv. LL.B
Meiri Eddy, Esq.
Meyer Nerya, Adv.
Miron Itzchak Adv.
Miron Malkit Adv.
Morginstin Philip B., Adv
Nadel Gill, Adv.
Naor Avi, (LL.B, M.A) Adv.
Nimni Eliyahu, Adv.
Nir-Tzvi Doron, Adv.
Orbach Nir, Adv.
Peretz Yitzhak, (LLB, Hons.) Adv.
Rotenberg Zvi E., Adv.
Semer Barry E., Adv. JD
Shaya Dotan, Adv.
Shimon Yehuda Arye, Adv.
Shmuelyan Eli, Adv.
Tamari Amir, Adv.
Tamari Ilana, Adv.
Teplow Michael I., J.D adv.
Vaknin Emanuel, Adv.
Waller Mark, JD
Weistuch Elad, Adv.
Wiseman Gabriel, Adv.
Yamin Uri, Adv.
Zell Mark, Adv.
Zerykier Aaron E., Esq.