Right to exist

Right to exist

The Right to exist is a bedrock principle of international law referring to the right of nations to exist. The classic phrasing is "Every nation has the right to exist, and to protect and to conserve its existence." [The Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Nations Adopted by the American Institute of International Law, by Elihu Root, Source: The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 10, No. 2, (Apr., 1916), pp. 211-221, American Society of International LawStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2187520] [James Brown Scott, American Society of International Law, George Grafton Wilson, The American Journal of International Law, 1916, p. 125] [The Law of Nations: Cases, Documents, and Notes, edited by Herbert Whittaker Briggs , 1949, p. 16] [International Law: A Treatise, by L. Oppenheim, Ronald Roxburgh, The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2005, ISBN 1584776099, 9781584776093 2005, p. 193.] The corralary is that "The right to exist naturally enough implies that each nation also has the right to its own language and culture." [Notes on Nationalism, by Ramon Masnou i Boixeda, 2002, p. 91] The phrase was in widespread use in this manner in the nineteenth century, and was incorporated in the form cited above into the basic principals of the League of Nations and of the United Nations. [The Law of Nations: Cases, Documents, and Notes, edited by Herbert Whittaker Briggs , 1949, p. 16International Law: A Treatise, by L. Oppenheim, Ronald Roxburgh, The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2005, ISBN 1584776099, 9781584776093 2005, p. 193.]

As applied to individual nations


In the Edinburgh Annual Register of 1823, Sir Walter Scott published a long essay in which he endorsed the "right to exist" of the Greek nation. [Edinburgh Annual Register of 1823, Th eGreek Revolution, by Sir Walter Scott, p. 249]


"The Lithuanian language would become a national languae, not a dialect; Lithuanian culture would become a national culture, not a peasant dialect. No one could ever again deny that Lithuania had a right to exist. [Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe, By Anne Applebaum, Pantheon Books, 1994, p. 54]

"The Poles deny Lithuania's right to exist as an independent state and claim that it should form part of Poland." [The World's Work: A History of Our Time, by Walter Hines Page and Arthur Wilson Page, 1919, p. 279]


In 2008 Patricia Flor, German ambassador to Georgia, told the Georgian Times newspaper that, "Abkhaz should feel they can voice their concerns and can be open about their identity... we also say of course that the Abkhaz nation has a right to exist and to decide for themselves how they are going to live and how they want to use the Abkhaz language. [Patricia Flor: “Abkhaz conflict is no longer frozen; The German ambassador says Abkhazs distrust the European Union,” by Ketevan Khachidze, Georgian Times, 2008.08.04 [http://www.geotimes.ge/index.php?m=home&newsid=11786] ]


Greek and Serbian intellectuals and politicians regularly challenge Macedonia’s right to exist, “Macedonia is a joke to the Serbs and the Greeks who believe it has no real right to exist.” [Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation, by John Shea , McFarland, 1997, p. 329 ]

“The Comintern ruled in April, 1934 that the Macedonians had a right to exist as a separate people with a separate language, thus aligning the communist party with Macedonian separatists.” [ The Earliest Stage of Language Planning: The "first Congress" Phenomenon, by Joshua A. Fishman, Walter de Gruyter 1993, p. 164] “From the very beginning Athens' position has been to accept Macedonia's right to exist as a sovereign nation, but objects to the use of the name "Macedonia. ...” [Crises In The Balkans: Views From The Participants, by Constantine Panos Danopoulos, Kostas G. Messas , 1997, p. 145]


“If Turkey has a right to exist — and the Powers are very prompt to assert that she has – she possesses an equally good right to defend herself against all attempts to imperil her political existence.” [ “The Reign of Terror in Macedonia, The Living Age ,by Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell, April-June 1903, p. 68]

"The aims of the Young Turks are to awaken national feeling in the Turkish nation, train their countrymen to work, free them from the Slav yoke, give them health and national expansion, increase the welfare and prosperity of Turkish countries. In a word, they want to make the Turkish race respected in the eyes of the world and secure its right to exist side by side with the other nations in the twentieth century." [Memories of a Turkish Statesman-1913-1919, By Cemal Paşa, Published by George H. Doran Company, 1922, p. 200]


In late 1967, after the Six Day War, official Egyptian government spokesman Mohammed H. el-Zayyat "stated that Cairo had accepted Israel's right to exist since the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli armistice in 1949, but added that this did not endorse the recognition of Israel (raising the distinction, frequently cited since then by Arab leaders, between acceptance of the de facto existence of a state and the establishment of diplomatic relations with it)." [cite book |author=Whetten, Lawrence L. |title=The Canal War: Four-Power Conflict in the Middle East |publisher=MIT Press |location=Cambridge, Mass |year=1974 |pages=51 |isbn=0-262-23069-0 |oclc= |doi=]

Upon assuming the premiership in 1977, Menachem Begin spoke as follows:

See also

* Zionism
* Anti-Zionism


*Yaacov Lozowick: "Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars". Doubleday, 2003. ISBN 0-385-50905-7
*Sholom Aleichem. " [http://www.sholom-aleichem.org/why_jews_need2.htm Why Do the Jews Need a Land of Their own?] ", 1898

External links

* [http://www.israelipalestinianprocon.org/bin/procon/procon.cgi?database=5-B-Sub-Q1.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=13 Does Israel have a right to exist?]
* [http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/middleeast/Israels_Right_to_the_Land.asp Israel's Right to the Land] , a presentation by U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma)
* [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=17584 Does Israel Have a Right to Exist?] by David Meir-Levi. April 6, 2005
* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/recogn.html Israel-PLO Recognition] Letter from Yasser Arafat to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, September 9, 1993
* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Quote/eban3q.html Abba Eban on Israel's "Right to Exist"]
* [http://tcrnews2.com/Israel06.html Israel's Birthright and Right to Exist Compels Justice for Palestinian Peoples] Catholic viewpoint
* [http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-pearl27mar27,0,1958098.story?coll=la-opinion-center From the father of Daniel Pearl]


Political theory

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