Sunday, 31 July 2016

Turkey to close military schools following coup bid

My appearance on Press TV (30 July 2016) talking about the post-coup situation in Turkey, from 2:02min in.

Press TV - Palestine to sue UK over Balfour Declaration


My appearance on Press TV's ON THE NEWS LINE program (30 July 2016) to talk about the strengths of the Palestinian Authority's case against the British government over the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Why the Palestinian Authority has a valid legal case against the UK government for the Balfour Declaration

1. The British foreign secretary (Arthur James Balfour) made an undertaking to a British national (Walter Rothschild) regarding the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine at a time (November 1917) when Britain neither had territorial possession of Palestine or when the outcome of the war against Ottoman Turkey was even known, let alone realized;

2. At the time the Balfour Declaration was made (2 November 1917) Palestine was still technically Ottoman Turkish territory and so Britain had no legal jurisdiction to be making promissory declarations in the first place;

3. The undertaking to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine within the text of the Balfour Declaration was made with the explicit provision "...that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine..." This did not happen;

4. The British Mandate for Palestine was officially established in 22 July 1922 when the League of Nations conferred it, well over four and a half years after the Balfour Declaration was made, thus any legal authority the British government may have claimed over Palestinian territory is only valid under international law as of the commencement date of this mandate, and not before it;

5. The British Mandate Authority, its senior administration, bureaucracy, military personnel, etc., were under the direct aegis of the British government in London from its commencement in 1922 to its termination in 1948;

6. From the establishment of the British Palestinian Mandate in 1922 to May 1948 with Ben Gurion's unilateral declaration of Israeli statehood, the British Mandate Authority undermined any possibility for the emergence of Palestinian statehood, and instead in word and action -- even when it claimed to oppose the Zionists -- facilitated the emergence of a Jewish state, whereby it acted as a transition body to that end, thus by word and deed negating its undertaking in the cited passage of the Balfour Declaration above and opening itself to liability under international law for its failure in the explicit undertaking;

7. The British government of 1917 had no right of jurisdiction under international law to be making any undertaking for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine;

8. At no time in 1947 when the UN partition plan for Palestine took place (29 November 1947), did the British government attempt to assert any rights under the Balfour Declaration against the creation of a Jewish state when the Balfour Declaration had only called for the creation of a "Jewish homeland" and *not* a Jewish state. This vote at the United Nations took place at a time when the British Mandate for Palestine was still legally in place;

Given the above, the British government holds liability under international law and cannot claim any indemnity from a suit brought by the Palestinian Authority against it. It also cannot claim any statute of limitations either with regard to the Balfour Declaration since there are clear precedents in other areas of international law where such liability may be imposed retroactively, such as crimes against humanity/war crimes, etc (per the Nuremberg precedent and others).

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Hasan Ershad (Nasere Nasereddin) challenges Baha'i UHJ to literacy test in Arabic live via skype

SUBTITLED

Iranian scholar and critic of Bahaism Hasan Ershad challenges the Baha'i Universal House of Justice in Haifa, occupied Palestine to a live public literacy test in Arabic via skype to prove its competency in the legal and jurisprudential matters it is theoretically tasked with.

Text of Subtitles (by N. Wahid Azal).

At the beginning I indicated the following point; in summary...

...at the beginning of this discussion I indicated this point...

...that the [Baha’i] Universal House of Justice...

...has no expertise in creating a legal or jurisprudential order...

...outside of [very narrowly] defined [existing] textual issues.

Why?

Because these “dear ones” have no competent literacy [in Arabic].

One of the reasons negating…

…any entry into this area of discussion…

…is the illiteracy [in Arabic] of these “dear ones”…

…inasmuch I claimed …

….that one of the legal sources of the Baha’is…

… are the books of the Bab.

Because there are rules governing these laws [and regulations]....

…and it has been written by Mr. Baha’u’llah…

…that regarding those issues where…

…what he has clearly abrogated...

…all the remaining laws and ordinances of the Bab…

…still hold legal authority…

…and remain topical…

…and the Baha’is are meant to act according to them.

What does this mean?

This means that one of the [primary] sources…

…for legislation on issues outside of the Baha’i texts…

…are the works of the Bab.

And the works of the Bab are generally in Arabic…

…and the Persian is even worse than the Arabic…

I said to Mr. Sorbi, recommending to him…

…that for one program, for five minutes…

…broadcast a live program…

…from 1 to 9, write down [on pieces of paper] the names of the UHJ members…

…put it in a raffle cup…

…and pick one out…

Out comes Mr. X.

Via Skype I will make contact…

From my end, I will then take just one page…

…from [Baha’i] legal texts…

…relating to one of the legislations of Mr. Bab…

…and I will display it…

This “dear one” in the UHJ, or wherever he may be, should then read it out loud…

…and then translate it [out loud]…

…give a brief explanation…

…as to what it is about…

Forget about its textual exposition.

Forget about its legislative particulars.

They cannot do it!

So when they [the UHJ] don’t have the required expertise…

…this is in itself is a reason for the negation of entry into the very arena…

….of [proper] legislating [by them, and law making]…

And I keep saying…

…why hasn’t the UHJ discussed this matter and that matter etc…

One of the reasons is because they don’t possess literacy…

…and this area is closed off to them…

…and so they do not possess the expert competency [to act in that regard].