Self-determination & the PLO

The right to self-determination does not include ‘the right to secede’ from an established state. Those who do adhere to the principle, however, recognize that it applies only to people who have originally made a choice to be included in a state. Once they have made that initial selection, the nation is defined and not even the right to self-determination justifies secession from the political entity.

In light of this principal (political allegiance), since the Arabs of Palestinian (Eretz Yisrael) extraction voted by delegates for Abdullah I to be their sovereign at the Jericho Conference (December 1948), the Arabs (e.g. Hamas and the PLO) cannot now claim a right to secede from the Hashemite Crown.

Emerson, Self-Determination, 65 Am. J. INT’L L. 459, 465 (1971).

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