An International Celebration Of The 101st Anniversary Of The San Remo Conference
By Doris Strub Epstein
Far away in the sleepy little town of San Remo, Italy, the most momentous event in modern Jewish history took place. For the first time in the history of the Jewish people — who were indigenous to the land — the Balfour Declaration of 1917 became a legal document, which until then has been only an expression of British policy – and gave it international recognition. The San Remo Resolution gave the Jewish people a Sovereign title on Palestine, and the Arabs equivalent rights in Syria, Lebanon, and Mesopotamia (Iraq).
On April 25, 1920, following WW1 and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire who then occupied Palestine and many other counties, it was here that the League of Nations was created, and its Covenant, reflected the principle of “self-determination” advocated in President Wilson’s Fourteen Points.
Two years after the San Remo Resolution, the Mandate for Palestine was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, and later unanimously approved by the 52 members of the League, which entered into force in 1923. It thus fulfilled its purpose of reconstituting the national home of the Jewish people, based on the historical connection of the Jews to the Land of Israel (Palestine).
The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, unanimously approved by the world community, was allocated to the British, by the League to oversee and facilitate Jewish immigration and development. But to placate the Arabs, Britain, in violation of their mandate gave away the land east of the Jordan River to the Hashemites which later became Jordan.
Later, in further violation of their Mandate, the British blocked Jewish immigration – even to those fleeing the Holocaust who had nowhere else to run to. They turned a blind eye to the Arab illegal immigrants who flooded into Palestine when Jewish resettlement drained the swamps, restored the barren lands and improved the standard of living. The Arabs in Israel and those who claim to be refugees, are for the most part, the descendants of these illegal immigrants.
For decades, the legal and historical rights of the Jewish people to the State of Israel have been ignored or challenged. The prevailing narrative holds the occupation lie as its centrepiece, even though to quote Mark Vandermaas, founder of Israel Truth Week, “Owners can’t be occupiers”.
There is a shocking lack of awareness and information on the topic of Israel’s inarguable rights under international law — even in Israel. Over the years, not enough attention was paid to the emerging anti-Israel narrative. The Arabs took advantage of this vacuum and mounted a huge propaganda machine, fueled with false data, distorted versions of history and out and out lies.
“The deafening silence on this topic (Israel’s sovereignty) is what has allowed the BDS movement to thrive; it is the very life blood of the charge of Israeli occupation,” writes Naomi Kahn of the Israeli organization, Regavim. “The message of Israel’s legal rights must be at the centre of public discourse.”
“Twelve years ago, in 2009, when we started, nobody in the world was talking about Israel’s Rights” said Goldi Steiner, Co-Founder with the late Salomon Benzimra of Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights-CILR. “Today there is a lot of talk but little action.”
No other nation in the world has its very existence disputed and escaped international censure and economic reprisals. “Legal objections are consistently not raised”, says Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich, noting the takeover of Tibet by China and Russian annexations in Georgia and Ukraine.
Israel’s treatment is exceptional, clearly political and motivated by hostility to the Jewish State.
“Education is more important today than ever,” says Steiner. “Students are being indoctrinated, not educated, by anti-Zionists.” CILR has given out thousands of Benzimra’s extraordinary, clear and comprehensive book, The Jewish People’ Rights to the Land of Israel. It was published in Hebrew and distributed to thousands of university students in Israel.
MK Danny Damon, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, is enthusiastic about the long overdue public knowledge of the San Remo Resolution. “We want to put it on the table and make it public knowledge,” he stated. “Israel’s rights have been challenged by Arab myths that have been embraced by the world.”
At the initiative of Goldi Steiner of CILR, the idea of celebrating an annual commemoration day, Yom San Remo, was brought to the Knesset by MK Uzi Dayan. It is already in the form of a bill to be reviewed and voted on.
A stellar international panel has been invited to participate in the Zoom event, organized by CILR, in partnership with Im Tirtzu and in collaboration with the Zionist Organization of America-ZOA.
Sunday April 25, 10 -12 am EDT, 5-7 pm IDT Israel, with:
Mort Klein, President of the ZOA, named by many as the most important Zionist organization in America
Avi Bell, Israeli Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and at Bar Ilan University, and senior member of the Kohelet Policy Forum
Doug Altabef, Chairman of the Board of Im Tirtzu in Israel
Eugene Kontorovich, Professor at George Mason Universy Scalia Law School, director of its Center for the Middle East and International Law, and Head of the Kohelet Policy Forum.
CILR’s Agnes Imani — Chief Administrative Officer — will host the program, titled, Why Is Educating About Israel’s Rights To The Land More Important Now Than Ever.