Monday, July 27, 2020

FP's Faux Pas on Boycotts, Israel, and 'Annexation' - by Sean Durns

Foreign Policy claims to “draw on the world’s leading journalists, thinkers, and professionals” in order to “analyze the most significant international trends and events of our times, without regard to ideology or political bias.” That, however, is up for debate.

Sean Durns..
24 July '20..

Foreign Policy claims that its mission is “to explain how the world works.” But when it comes to Israel, the magazine frequently allows misleading commentary. Take, for example, several recent op-eds on “annexation.”

For several weeks it seemed that—in keeping with the parameters of a peace plan that Israelis accepted and Palestinians rejected—Israel would apply legal sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, often referred to as the West Bank, and the Jordan Valley. Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that such a move would occur by July 1, 2020. It never did. But this hasn’t stopped numerous media outlets from inaccurately reporting on the possibility.

Indeed, publications like Foreign Policy have repeatedly referred to the application of sovereignty as “annexation.” But this is inaccurate.

As the international law scholar Eugene Kontorovich has noted: “Annexation in international law specifically means taking the territory of a foreign sovereign country.” And neither the Jordan Valley nor the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) belongs to a “foreign sovereign country.” Further, as Dore Gold, Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.N., has highlighted: one can’t “annex territory that has already been designated as yours.” The League of Nations Palestine Mandate, adopted later by the United Nations, calls for “close Jewish settlement on the land” west of the Jordan River in Article 6. The UN Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80, upholds the Mandate’s provisions. The 1920 San Remo Resolution and the 1924 Anglo-American Convention also enshrined Jewish territorial claims into international law.

Unsurprisingly, this historical and legal context has been omitted in numerous media reports, including those by Foreign Policy. Instead the magazine has run several op-eds that misinform as much as they omit.

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