In the midst of recent debates on the question of the statehood of Palestine and its recognition by the United Nations, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Professor John B. Quigley turned to international law to argue Palestine is a country – and has been since 1924 – in his most recent book, The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.
Quigley, the President’s Club Professor of Law, traces the Palestine state back to 1924 when the Treaty of Lausanne finalized the demise of the Ottoman Empire and established three of the former territories – Iraq, Syria, and Palestine – as states. By arrangement with the League of Nations, Syria was administered by France and Great Britain administered both Iraq and Palestine. Quigley reviews the language of the treaty and supporting documents with great detail. In the 1930s and 1940s, courts in Great Britain and Egypt both found Palestine to be a state in cases questioning nationality.
Between 1924 and 1948, several international institutions recognized Palestine as a state, Quigley said. So too did the United States.“In this insightful work, John Quigley begins by acknowledging that Palestine’s identity and culture have long been an enigma, but that the ambiguity of its status in the international community of nations is unacceptable,” said Cheryl A. Rubenberg, Editor, Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, in a review. “‘Palestine became and remains a state’ and he demonstrates that it should enjoy all the privileges, responsibilities and obligations of every other state. Through assiduous research and astute analysis Quigley peels back the dark encrusted layers of misinformation that have shrouded the question of Palestine and statehood for more than 100 years…
“The view that Palestine is not a state suffers from four errors, It disregards historical facts that show Palestine statehood dating from the mandate period [the Lausanne Treaty]. It applies criteria for Palestine statehood that are more stringent than those actually followed in the international community. It fails to account for the fact that Palestine’s territory is under belligerent occupation. It fails to account for facts showing the implied recognition of Palestine.”
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