Jewish Legal Right to the Land Celebrates 95 Years

Jul 24, 2017

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Today is the 95th anniversary of the “Mandate for Palestine” (Mandate), issued by the League of Nations, which granted Jews the legal right to establish citizenship in what was then called “Palestine.” Effective July 24, 1922, the Mandate recognized the 1917 Balfour Declaration from Great Britain, which promised a Jewish state in the land (Preamble), established a “Jewish national home” (Arts. 2 & 4) provided that no part of Palestine (which territory was larger than the borders of Israel today) “be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power” (Art. 5), provided for Jewish citizenship (Arts. 6-7), and otherwise provided legal right of Jews to the land along with legal protections.

The “Big Four” of the League of Nations included England, France, Italy and the United States.  Between 1920 and 1939, a total of 63 countries were members of the League of Nations. It was dissolved on April 16, 1946, following WWII, and was replaced by the United Nations. In the 1920s, France and England began creating nation state borders in the Middle East. For example, France once exercised control over the region that is modern day Syria and England exercised control over modern day Israel and Jordan (among other modern nation state creations in the Middle East). The Mandate specifically addressed the right of the Jews to the region then called Palestine. Following the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 132 AD, the Roman Empire changed the name of Israel to Palestine in an effort to disconnect the Jews from the land. Jewish presence in Israel and beyond extends as far back as Abraham. Three thousand years ago, King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. There has always been a Jewish presence in the land that waxed and waned in size during periods calm and persecution.

“The timing of the 95th anniversary of the Mandate recognizing the legal right of Jews to the land comes at a critical time,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and President of Christians in Defense of Israel. “Recently tensions have arisen in Jerusalem after three Palestinians shot and killed two security officers and injured a third at the Lion’s Gate in the Old City. Israel has now taken steps to install metal detectors for anyone who goes on the Temple Mount. While this is a reasonable security measure, some have used this as a flash point to question Israel’s right to the land. Israel and the Jewish people not only have a biblical and historic connection to the land, but the League of Nations provided an undisputed legal right to the land,” said Staver.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. According to the Mandate, Jordan never had any legal right to any portion of Jerusalem. When it was created in 1946, Jordan was named ‘Trans Jordan’ to signify its borders were located on the East side of the Jordan River. Not until the 1948 War against Israel did Jordan begin occupying part of Jerusalem on the West side of the Jordan River. In 1967, when Jordan tried to wipe the Jews off the map, the occupiers were pushed back across the Jordan and Jerusalem was unified under Israel.

“In addition to the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem, 2017 is the 95th anniversary of the Mandate, and the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration recognizing the legal and historic right of the Jews to the land. This is an historic year for Israel and the Jewish people,” concluded Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international litigation, education, and policy organization. Liberty Counsel has a number of affiliated ministries, including Christians in Defense of Israel and Covenant Journey, a program that provides a life-changing experience in Israel for Christian college-age students who have leadership potential. Find out more at www.LC.org and www.CovenantJourney.org.