On Monday, speaking at the joint press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission in the Juncker Commission, made clear the EU’s disdain for President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying, “I want to, first of all, reassure President Abbas and his delegation of the firm commitment of the European Union to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as shared capital of the two states — the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.”
Of course, there is no “State of Palestine.”
Mogherini continued by attacking the building of Jewish settlements in the Land of Israel, stating, “We oppose the settlement activity that we consider illegal under international law.”
As Robert Stark has explained, the settlements are, in reality, completely legal under international law:
In order to find Israel’s settlements to be a violation of international law, first, Israel must be considered an occupier of foreign territory. Yet, Israel’s legal claim to the territory in question was recognized by the international community on several occasions. First, the land on both sides of the river Jordan were recognized as part of the Jewish National Home by the 1920 San Remo Conference. This was endorsed by the League of Nations (predecessor to the United Nations) in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate to Britain, and affirmed by article 80 of the United Nations charter in 1945. When Israel’s leaders declared sovereignty in all territory relinquished by England on May 15, 1948 (including the territory that anti-Israel people call the “West Bank”) it was recognized as the State of Israel by the General Assembly and Security Council by May1949.
Jordan invaded (along with four other Arab states) and conquered this specific territory in 1949, annexed it in 1950, and gave it a new name: “West Bank” (of the river Jordan). Only two countries in the entire world recognized Jordan’s annexation (England and Pakistan) and not a single Arab country recognized this annexation. Furthermore, article 2 of the UN charter forbids the acquisition of territory through war. Thus, Jordan’s acquisition and annexation of the territory was illegal under international law.
In 1967, Jordan again initiated war against Israel (along with two other Arab states) but Jordan was pushed out of the territory (back to Jordan’s recognized boundaries on the east bank of the Jordan river) by Israel. This re-acquisition of the territory by Israel was legal because article 51 of the U.N. charter permits a nation to defend itself from attack. It is understood that national self-defense often necessitates control of any territory from which the initial aggression was launched. If the territory would have been recognized as within the borders of the State of Jordan by either Israel or the international community between 1949 and 1967, then it would have meant Israel’s return to the territory was an occupation, regardless of previous title. But Jordan’s annexation was not recognized by the international community, nor did the Jordan-Israel ceasefire agreement represent acquiescence to new borders by either side.
Mogherini then endorsed the Israel-hating UNRWA:
The European Union and its Member States are collectively by far the largest donor, the largest supporter for the Palestinians. And our support will continue, including to UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] which is doing invaluable work, supporting the Palestinian refugees inside and outside Palestine, and ensuring their access to basic services such as education, health and jobs, pending resolution of their situation.