An Article that Changed the Course of History?

22 Mar 2018

Yehuda Blum's article, ostensibly devoted to an examination of the lawfulness of a military order under the law of occupation, actually explored a preliminary question – whether Jordan had valid title to the West Bank (referred to as ‘Judea and Samaria’). Concluding that Jordan had no title, Blum concluded that the law of occupation did not apply. This reflection revisits Blum's thesis. It suggests that Blum's argument failed to elucidate the relevant legal questions and therefore his conclusion was hasty. It would be distressing to think that it was Blum's article that convinced Israeli decision-makers to deny the formal applicability of the law of occupation to the West Bank and Gaza.