Territorial disputes: the Israel-Palestine difference (Part 15) [Post 55]

The Israel-Palestine difference and the egalitarian shared sovereignty applied to people

With the previous cases covered by the series TERRITORIAL DISPUTES (Kashmir, the Falkland/Malvinas islands, and Gibraltar) we explored an ideal solution called EGALITARIAN SHARED SOVEREIGNTY in what has to do with population, territory, government and law. 

The Israel-Palestine difference did not follow that approach. Why? Because before going into any negotiations we had to determine who may be a legitimate party. That issue maintains the Israel-Palestine difference in a status quo. The claiming parties do not recognise reciprocally complete legitimacy to go into any negotiations about the disputed territories. Moreover, as yesterday’s post (post 54) showed, there are many “peoples” involved (people living in Israel, people living in Palestine, diaspora, refugees and settlers).

We introduced the concept of “colorable claim” and explored three different grounds (posts 45 to 49): historical entitlement, legal basis and moral standing. For one reason or another, both Israelis and Palestinians have grounds to introduce a claim (this is different from saying they have the right to be sovereign over these territories). 

It only means both Israelis and Palestinians ought to be part of any negotiation concerning the sovereignty (de jureand de facto) over the disputes territories.

We discussed (post 48) whether some external populations might be seen as a third party (diaspora, refugees, settlers). We concluded they are not a third party as that would be a misconception. Rather, they would be part of any of the claiming parties (Israel or Palestine).

With all this in mind, and assuming that Israel and Palestine have finally decided to settle the difference by applying the EGALITARIAN SHARED SOVEREIGNTY it means:
The allocation of sovereignty will be given by: 

  1. equal right to participate (egalitarian consensus principle); 
  2. the nature and degree of participation depends on efficiency of accomplishing the particular objective/area/activity at issue (principle of efficiency); 
  3. each party receives a benefit (in terms of rights and opportunities) that depends on what that party cooperates with (input-to-output ratio principle); and 
  4. provided the party with greater ability and therefore greater initial participation rights has the obligation to bring the other two parties towards equilibrium (equilibrium proviso). 

I call this way of dealing with sovereignty conflicts or disputes the EGALITARIAN SHARED SOVEREIGNTY.

In terms of PEOPLE, many questions need an answer. Amongst them: How does it apply to Israel and Palestine, the disputed territories, and their population? The answer has two parts: a) the qualitative differences amongst the parties; b) the real concerns of the inhabitants. The next posts on this blog series about TERRITORIAL DISPUTES will cover these questions.

NOTE: This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, “Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty: International Law and Politics,” London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2020 (forthcoming)Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, “Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue,” London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

NEXT POST: The Israel-Palestine difference and how the egalitarian shared sovereignty may work.

Friday 17th January 2020

Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez

Twitter: @London1701


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