About Us - CILR Participation

Canadians For Israel's Legal Rights has participated in many important events over the years. Here is a selection of some of the more impactful moments.

Friends of Israel Initiative Inauguration

September 14, 2010: CILR's Goldi Steiner and Salomon Benzimra attended the inauguration of Friends of Israel Initiative at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington D.C.  This recently formed organization is chaired by Jose Maria Aznar, former Spanish Prime Minister.  Among the attendees at the Washington event, were John Bolton, co-Founder of FII and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Tomas Sandell, Director of the European Coalition for Israel.

(L-R): Jose Maria Aznar, Goldi Steiner, Salomon Benzimra, Tomas Sandell

(L-R) Mrs. Gretchen Smith Bolton, John R. Bolton, Goldi Steiner, and Salomon Benzimra, at the 2010 inauguration of Friends of Israel Initiative-FII (www.friendsofisraelinitiative.org) in Washington, D.C., to which Goldi and Salomon were invited. Bolton served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006, and is the National Security Advisor-designate of the United States. He began his tenure as the National Security Advisor of the United States on April 9, 2018.

San Remo Commemoration

 

A commemoration event took place on April 24-25, 2010 in the Italian town of Sanremo: (The official spelling of Sanremo in Italian is in one word).  – See also article for the 94th anniversary, April 25, 2014.

What happened in San Remo?

 

Sanremo is a small resort town on the northern coast of Italy, near the French border.

 

At the end of World War One, the Ottoman Empire lost all its territories in the Middle East.  Together with the German and Austro-Hungarian empires, the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and the status of its former possessions was determined at the San Remo Conference on April 24-25, 1920.

 

The momentous decisions made at that Conference are crucial to understanding the present situation in the Middle East, hence the importance of reflecting on this event.

The San Remo Conference of 1920 was built upon a series of events which occurred before, during and immediately after World War One, and which are summarized below:

 

  • The birth of modern Zionism under Theodor Herzl in 1897,

  • The Balfour Declaration of 1917, where Britain “views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” (expression of British foreign policy).

  • The defeat of the Turks in Palestine, in 1917

  • The Fourteen Points of U.S. President Wilson (1918), which called for an end to secret treaties between nations; emphasized the interests of the populations concerned; and advocated for the creation of a “general association of nations.”

  • The Paris Peace Conference and the birth of the League of Nations, in 1919,

  • The adoption of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, instituting the Mandates System in the post-war period,

  • The adoption of a legal mechanism for the dispossession of Turkey of their formerly held lands in the Middle East.

 

This sequence of events led to the San Remo Conference (April, 1920) where the map of the Middle East was redrawn, and a major Resolution was adopted by the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers (Britain, France, Italy, Japan), with the United States acting as an observer:

 

  • For the first time in history, Palestine became a legal entity,

  • All prior agreements concerning the region were terminated, including the Sykes-Picot Agreement between France and Britain.

  • The Balfour Declaration was incorporated in the Resolution and its implementation was required; it became an act of international law,

  • Palestine was placed under a British Mandate, with Britain acting as a trustee, and required to put into force the provisions of the Balfour Declaration, 

  • The legal title to Palestine was transferred from the Allied Powers to the Jewish people.  The title on Palestine is non-revocable.

  • The Jewish people became the national beneficiary of the Mandate for Palestine, on the grounds of their historical connection to the land. The de jure sovereignty of Palestine was vested in the Jewish people.

  • The San Remo Resolution was adopted and later included in the Treaty of Sèvres (Art. 94-97).  These provisions remain in force, even though the Treaty of Sèvres was not ratified by the later Turkish government of Kemal Ataturk.

  • The Arabs received equivalent national rights in Syria/Lebanon, Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq).  For different reasons, Jordan became also an exclusively Arab country.

  • The San Remo Conference also marks the end of the longest period of foreign occupation/colonization in history (1,850 years of dispossession of the Jewish people in their ancestral Land of Israel).

The San Remo Resolution is enshrined in international law.

Its provisions were codified in the Mandate for Palestine (July, 1922).

 

These documents are essential to a proper understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the Legal Rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

(see the Minutes of Meeting of the San Remo Conference in the "Articles")

Commemorating the 90th anniversary of the San Remo Conference

Left photo - April 25, 1920
Ambassador K. Matsui, Japan; PM David Lloyd George, Britain; Foreign Secr. Earl Curzon, Britain (back); Premier Alexandre Millerand, France; Foreign Affairs Philippe Berthelot, France; Premier Francesco Nitti, Italy

Center photo - April 25,  2010
Salomon Benzimra, CILR, Canada; Goldi Steiner, CILR, Canada; Danny Danon, MK Knesset, Israel; Eli Hertz, MythsAndFacts.org, USA; Tomas Sandell, ECI, Finland; ??, ECI, France

Right photo - April 25,  2010
Danny Danon, MK Knesset, Israel; Tomas Sandell, ECI, Finland; Goldi Steiner, CILR, Canada

Background:

 

During a presentation organized by CILR on December 1, 2009, it was suggested that on April 24-25, 2010, we should commemorate the 90th anniversary of the San Remo Conference, given the importance this event had in enshrining the legal rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel under international law.

 

Independently, Dr. Jacques Gauthier – an international lawyer based in Toronto, and the author of a thesis on the rights of the Jewish people to Jerusalem – intended to participate in an event initiated by the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) – a pro-Israel Christian group based in Brussels – in Sanremo, Italy, at the Villa Devachan, the site where the Conference took place in 1920.  In March, 2010, CILR and ECI agreed to collaborate in the organization of this event.

 

 

The Commemoration: 

 

The event was held under the auspices of the Mayor of Sanremo, Mr. Maurizio Zoccarato.  Attendees (about 70) were mainly from Europe (U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Belgium), with a significant contingent of North American Jews assembled by CILR, and the noted presence of the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Danny Danon and his wife Talia.  Dr. Jacques Gauthier, unfortunately, was unable to attend for cause of force majeure.

 

On April 24, 2010, an information seminar took place at the auditorium of the Hotel Nazionale. The welcome address was delivered by Tomas Sandell, Director of ECI, followed by a statement from Claudia Lolli, Deputy Mayor, and an introduction of CILR by its Chair, Goldi Steiner.

 

Presentations were delivered by Salomon Benzimra, founding member of CILR (on the San Remo Resolution, as described above), by Eli Hertz, of MythsAndFacts.org (on the Mandate for Palestine) and by Attorney Howard Grief, through a video clip (on the legal aspects of the San Remo Conference under international law).

 

MK Danny Danon, in a 25 minute speech, stated the four foundational pillars on which Israel rests: the Biblical narrative which is at the very core of the State of Israel; the historical connection of the Jews to the Land and the resulting legal rights entrenched in international law since the San Remo Conference of 1920; the security requirements of the State which are vital to the survival of Israel; and the common sense issue, which more and more Israelis are getting aware of, whereby the many concessions and withdrawals from territories that Israel had carried out in the past several years are now seen as empirical proofs of the failure of such decisions.

On April 25, 2010, a ceremony was held at Villa Devachan, the castello where the 1920 Conference took place.  Several statements of support from various personalities were read:  MP Jason Kenny, Canadian Minister of Immigration and Citizenship; Amir Gissin, Israeli Consul in Toronto; and Robert Lloyd George, the grandson of David Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister who, in 1920, was the driving force at the San Remo Conference.

 

A congratulatory speech was delivered by Donna Bank, a member of the Canadian delegation, who graciously handed gifts to selected participants of this event.

 

The meeting was adjourned after a solemn singing a capella of the Hatikvah by Rebekah Nassanian, whose enchanting voice and emotional rendition stirred everyone in the audience.  A lavish reception followed.

The whole commemoration event was recorded by a team of CBN News, flown in from Jerusalem, including Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief, and Yoel Shoshani, Production Manager.

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