A boy in Gaza gathering rocks to defend against Israeli snipers.
Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, PC)
By Jeremy Salt
No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.
A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.
States exist because they have strong armies because their enemies are too weak to destroy them, because they have good relations with near and far neighbors whose respect they have earned and because they have the consent of the people they govern.
They do not exist because of an imagined ‘right’ to exist. Were that to be the case, no state would ever have risen and then fallen in history. They would all still be here.
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