Zion­ism, Pales­tin­ian Nation­al­ism and the Law: 1939 – 1948

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

Dur­ing the last decade of the British Man­date for Pales­tine (1939 – 1948), Arabs and Jews used the law as a resource to gain lever­age against each oth­er and to influ­ence inter­na­tion­al opin­ion. The par­ties invoked trans­for­ma­tion­al legal fram­ing to por­tray the essen­tial­ly polit­i­cal-reli­gious con­flict as a legal dis­pute involv­ing claims of jus­tice, injus­tice, and vic­tim­iza­tion, and giv­ing rise to legal/​equitable reme­dies. Employ­ing this form of nar­ra­tive and fram­ing in mul­ti­ple tri­als” dur­ing the first 15 years of the Man­date, the par­ties con­tin­ued the prac­tice dur­ing the last and most cru­cial decade of the Man­date. The term tri­al” pro­vides an appro­pri­ate typol­o­gy for under­stand­ing the adver­sar­i­al pro­ceed­ings dur­ing those years in which judges, lawyers, wit­ness­es, cross-exam­i­na­tion, and legal argu­men­ta­tion played a key role in the con­flict. The four tri­als between 1939 and 1947 pro­duced three dif­fer­ent out­comes: the one-state solu­tion in favor of the Pales­tin­ian Arabs, the no-state solu­tion, and the two-state solu­tion embod­ied in the Unit­ed Nations Novem­ber 1947 par­ti­tion res­o­lu­tion, cul­mi­nat­ing in Israel’s inde­pen­dence in May 1948. This study analy­ses the role of the law dur­ing the last decade of the British Man­date for Pales­tine, mak­ing an essen­tial con­tri­bu­tion to the lit­er­a­ture on law­fare, fram­ing and nar­ra­tive, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

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