One of the greatest humanitarian tragedies in modern human history has been repeated. Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip again heats up. Even on July 20, 2014, there was an armed contact called one of the most deadly weapons contacts since the Six Day War in 1967.
80 Palestinian civilians died in the Sheijaya region, east of Gaza. 18 Israeli soldiers reportedly killed. Until now, the 2014 conflict has resulted in casualties from Palestinian civilians that reached more than 400 people (data here).
In Indonesia, support for Palestine continues to increase. This is certainly natural; most Indonesian citizens have a proximity of faith with most Palestinians. Interestingly, the criticism of Israel's abominable acts has always been framed in terms of religion and crimes against humanity.
There is another perspective that is often overlooked in the media discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel's existence shows how the international political system remains fragile against the onslaught of the interests of the ruling party.
Is It Worthy to Call Israel a Country?
The debate over the fulfillment of conditions as a sovereign state by Israel has not been answered to date. United States on May 14, 1948 under the Truman government was the first to give recognition to the establishment of Israel.
Recognition of the United States is then continued with efforts to gain legitimacy as a sovereign state of the United Nations. Israel's journey is not as smooth as imagined.
On May 15, 1948, a day after the United States' recognition of Israel, the Jewish state's request to join the United Nations was rejected by the UN Security Council. Israel's second appeal on December 17, 1948 faced a strong denial from Syria. Five other countries in the UN Security Council: Britain, Belgium, France, China and Canada declared abstention. As long as it is not recognized as a member, Israel relies on America to fight for its interests in the United Nations.
Only after Israel held its first presidential and legislative elections in 1949, recognition by the United Nations was obtained. The recognition was adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution no. 273, dated May 11, 1949. But to date, 32 of the 192 UN member states have still not given their recognition of Israel.
Reflect From The Montevideo Convention
Looking at the journey of Israel, a simple question arises: what does a political entity need to make itself recognized as a state?The rules on what an entity needs to be recognized as a state have actually been agreed upon in the Montevideo Agreement, which was signed in Uruguay in 1933. In a meeting attended only by the two countries, four main requirements for the legitimacy of a country are determined:
Has a permanent population
Have a fixed territory (defined territory)
Has a sovereign government
Have the capacity to build diplomatic relations with other countries
(Article 1 of the Montevideo Agreement on the Legal Terms of a State)
Until today, only 4 simple points that are the guides of the world community to determine whether or not a new country. The establishment of a sovereign political entity in the 20th century is, funny, it still adheres to an agreement that has not been updated from 80 years ago.
Whereas the dynamics of international politics is no longer as simple as the period in which the Montevideo Agreement was born. Climate change and sea level rise have become unavoidable. Attempts to annex the territory of other countries often occur during the Cold War period. That is even still happening to this day proved, for example, with the mutual claims of the South China Sea region by Asian countries. While post-Cold War, horizontal and separatist conflicts shook the stability of many countries (Rwanda, Bosnia, and even Indonesia) and challenged the legitimacy of its government. Under these conditions, the four points in the Montevideo Agreement are no longer sufficient to provide an answer. A more detailed framework is needed to determine whether a country is valid or not.
On the other hand, the four points above are the most recognized standards of the international community as determinants of the validity of a country. So, has Israel fulfilled it?
1. Permanent Population
The definition of a permanent population is actually quite simple. Only a group of people who leave a region for a long time, so that will create a cultural equality among them. In this way civilization is formed. Ethnic and racial new countries are created from the interaction between the permanent residents in it.
If at a glance, Israel certainly meets the requirement of permanent population ownership. To this day the population of Israel has increased by 1000 per cent, from only 806,000 in 1948 to 8,180,000 in 2104 (data here).
But if examined more deeply, the definition of permanent population is not actually fully owned by Israel. Changes in numbers that are fantastic in the population is not obtained naturally. The growth of the population of Israel is mostly caused by migration and the still large number of Palestinian citizens who reside in the occupied territories.
In an article reported by Al-Jazeera explained that if calculated with the level of European fertility, reduced migration rates and the discharge of the Palestinian population from the newly occupied territory then the actual growth rate of Israel's demography will not be so much now.2. Fixed Territory (Defined Territory)
Israel does have a growing region. The occupation of the Gaza Strip by the Zionist army proved effective in paralyzing the Palestinian resistance. From the picture above, it can be seen that the territory of Israel (yellow color) developed into a wider area very rapidly.
However, the development of the region can not be separated from violations of International Humanitarian Law and the occurrence of humanitarian crises. The ownership of this region can also change again, and depends on the conditions between Israel and Palestine.
3. Sovereign Governance
Since it was first established, Israel has always been successful in holding elections. Its government is democratic in the sense that state officials are replaced periodically, supported by a stable multiparty system even though its members often move coalitions.
But keep in mind that the sovereignty of Israeli government can not be separated from the support of the superpower behind it. The concept of sovereignty also needs to be reviewed. Does the Israeli government really have a good fortune in every area they control? That is, does the citizen in every area that they control it can accept the power of Israel, or is it running resistance because of reluctance to be led?
4. Capacity to Build Diplomatic Relations
If diplomatic relations are defined only in recognition of the existence of a state and / or exchange of ambassadors and consulates, then Israel already has recognition and diplomatic relations with 160 world countries that join the UN.
But is not the joining of a country with the international community also must be in line with its efforts to respect the principle of international peace and humanity? From Israeli occupation to the Gaza Strip all this time, Israel's responsibility as an international actor who is obliged to maintain world peace is questionable.
Does Israel Have The Right To Defend Yourself? (Right of Self-Defense)
The United Nations and some countries behind Israel try to justify the attacks by the Zionist army with the right of the state to defend itself, listed in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations:Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defense of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the necessary measures to maintain international peace and security
In the article above, it is explained that a country has the right to defend itself if there is an attack that endangers its citizens until the UN Security Council declares its decision to mediate the conflict.
Unfortunately, there are two holes behind Israel's understanding and its supporters of this right to self-defense.
First is the effectiveness of the UN Security Council in question in the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On July 18, Palestinian representative for the UN Riyad Mansour expressed his request that the Security Council immediately issue a ceasefire resolution for Israel and the Palestinians. But to this day the official UN response is only shown through the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who criticized Israel's overwhelming response.
Second, state practice translates the right of self-defense as the right to defend the integrity of a state from the attack of another country. Of course this does not apply in the case of Israel and Gaza, because Gaza is not a country and Palestine sadly has not been recognized as a member state of the UN. Moreover, Israel occupies the Gaza Strip. Instead of the right of self-defense, which Israel possesses as a sovereign is an obligation to maintain the stability and security of citizens in its diocesan territory. This obligation is contained in the Hague Convention of 1907, an international legal instrument that has become part of customary international law so that every country in the world must adhere to it. Article 43 states:
The authority of the legitimate power having in fact the power of restore, and secured, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.
Do civilian casualties continue to fall on the Palestinian side because Israeli attacks show Israel's commitment to maintaining a normal life in the Gaza Strip? All parties who have a rationality will certainly firmly answer no.
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Magnifying Glass For The Degradation of Our International System
The long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine is no longer a matter of which religion or belief is more entitled to the promised land, but about the right to life of innocent civilians and has no political authority whatsoever to improve their lot.
After all this time our international system has been formed, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a test of the effectiveness of international law. Is it true that established international regimes are in favor of human values, or are they still dominated by the interests of the superpower? Decisions issued by the UN Security Council will jeopardize the integrity of this international organization.
Behind the ongoing criticism aimed at Israel, there are still others who also share the same sins: international organizations and other countries that allow this conflict to continue without doing anything.For years, the United Nations let Israel continue to launch attacks on the Gaza Strip. This is an act that castrites the basic rights of civilians and takes the lives of innocent children of Gaza.
The initial goal of the United Nations as an organization that seeks to unite the whole country in order to support each other to bring about world peace has ended in the Israeli-Palestinian case. Is it still appropriate that we give this international organization the confidence to mediate the growing Gaza conflict?
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict also shows that we need to review the convention on the conditions for the establishment of a state. The framework provided by the Montevideo Convention is no longer enough to answer the dynamics of sovereignty that often arise today. If not immediately determined a more appropriate framework, did not rule out conflict with the same background can re-appear in other parts of the world.
While the international community is still struggling to make peace in the territory of Israel and Palestine, there is certainly something we can do. As a nation that can still live peacefully without being haunted by rocket attacks, it is fitting that we as human beings seek to help brothers and sisters who are victims of the fragility of the international system towards the upholding of human rights.
What do you think? Sure the only party who should be responsible here is only the Israeli government? Let's try to open the eyes wider to observe the phenomena that occur around us.