Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Rashid Khalidi


In this speech delivered at the Fourth Annual Rudolf B. Schlesinger Memorial Lecture on October 25, 2006, Rashid Khalidi discussed aspects of the history of how international law and the growing 20th century framework of international legitimacy emerging from the League of Nations and the United Nations have intersected with the issue of Palestine over the past century or so. Indeed, in some measure, the treatment of the Palestine issue by these two bodies has shown the limits of international law, and of an international order founded on it. In making policy on Palestine over most of the past century, leaders in both Britain and the United States were driven primarily by powerful strategic and domestic political considerations, rather than by principle. The result of such attitudes, which necessarily ignored or downplayed vital realities on the ground in Palestine, has been an enduring tragedy.