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Palestine: A State in Embryo

  • G.W. Maas Geesteranus

Although states are no longer the sole subject of international law, they are in any event still its principal subject in (he current phase of development. And they will inevitably remain so for as long as the world community is organized in the form of a community of states.

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1. GA doc.1 A/43/872. The Declaration is too long to reproduce here. I have based my references on the text which the Permanent RcprcscnUilivc of Jordan in New York submitted to the United Nations in his letter of Nov. 18, 1988.

2. The GA transferred lo Gcncvn IxMwccn Dec. 13 and 15,1988, to debate the agenda item “Question of Palestine”, because the U.S.A. Government had refused to grant Mr. Arafat, the PLO leader, a visa to come to New York to address the General Assembly.

3. GA doc. A/43/L.54. The fourth mid last paragraph is of a procedural nature.

4. E.g., Jordan on Nov. 15, Saudi Arahia on Nov. 16 and Egypt on Nov. 20, “with retroactive effect” [sic].

5. The Palestine Liberation Oriymizaiion is a collective Icrm. The National Council acts as an organ of the PLO.

6. On Jan. 9,1989, Kuwait ‘upnnuli’ rilie local PLOollliTioanemliassy. According to the Arab Times of even that date Kuwait was Ilie I'iglii Minion in ihc 22-inrnilvr Arab Ixague to grant a PLO office em bassy status.

7. 16N.Y.I.L. 365–366(1985). I V Netherlands Government in 1983: “The decision by the Netherlands to recognise Vanuatu (...) was mil iiovernfd hy ilic I ml of membership or non-membership of the United Nations”. But see Dugurd, J., Recognition and ilic United Nations (1987), reviewed in 1 LJIL 102–108 (1988).

8. The Netherlands Minister Tor Foreign Affairs in 1973. in Ihe case of Guinea-Bissau, 6 N.Y.IX. 252 (1975). The Minister for Home Affairs used almost the same terms in 1978, in the case of the South Moluccas: see 10N.Y.I.L. 315 (1979).

9. Kuypcr, PJ., Recognition: Netherlands Theory and Stale Practice, in Panhuys, H. van, Heere, W., Jilta, J. Josephus, KoSwan Sikand, A. Suiyl(cds.), International Law in the Netherlands vol.1374–1375 (1978).

10. Francois, J., Handbook van del Volkcnrcchl [Manual of International Law] vol. 1146 (1949); B. Bot, Non-recognition and Treaty Relations 21 (1968); see also D.P. O'Connell, International Law vol. 1284 (1970), who adds a fourth condition: the government must lc “competent to deal with foreign states in the way accepted as normal hy the inioinalinnal community”. In my view, the phrase “in the way accepted as normal” introduces too subjective an clrnicnl into u doliniiion which is intended to offer an objective criterion.

11. Bot, B., supra note 10, 2325.

12. The Plan of Partition of Palestine, recommended by llic UNGA in its Res. 181 (II) of Nov. 29.1947, is likely to be a factor of some imporumce in the boundary negotiations. The existence of the plan does, however, not lessen the need for direct ngrccmcnl between the neighbouring states concerned.

13. See, e.g., the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1976, in the case of Transkei: “Their fulfillment [i.e. the ruinilmcni of the ilircc criteria Tor the recognition or a state] does not, however, entail for the Netherlands an obligation of recognition. It is a question of what is politically opportune”, 9 N.Y.IX. 192(1978).

* Until recently, the author wns the Ixsgal Advisor to the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
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