Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 December 2021
The issue of legality in relation to Palestine and Israel is controversial, not only from the standpoint of rights to territory, but in relation to whether legality is relevant at all. With most countries, no one bothers to ask if they are legal. They simply exist. Israel is different. It was formed under circumstances of the exodus of most of its population. That population clamors for return. It claims a right of self-determination that is not being respected. On Israel’s side, a right of self-determination is raised for its people. Backers of the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state look to the 1920s as a time when an international commitment was made to the Jewish people for a Jewish state. That view is opposed as a false portrayal of the history of the period.