On May 14, 1948, eleven minutes after Israel's proclamation of independence, U.S. President Harry Truman signed an executive order granting de-facto recognition to the Jewish State. In an article published in the National Lawyers Guild Law Review shortly afterward,(8 Law. Guild Rev 441 1948) Phillip Baum writes urging full recognition of Israel, stating that governments with far less stability have been regularly given full recognition.
He concludes that the conditions necessary to recognize (either de facto or de jure) a nation state have been fulfilled, by considering both international law, as well as US precedent:
- The existence of a government factually independent of any other state
- The existence of a government competent to make its authority effective by securing the habitual obedience of the bulk of the population
- The existence of a government willing to discharge its international obligations
- The existence of a clearly defined territory
Baum concludes “The Israeli Government has established itself as a living organism… It is entitled to sit at the council of nations as a full fledged member. Its right to do so has been fully recognized by 15 countries”
Less than seven months later, President Truman extended full de-jure recognition to Israel.
Baum’s essay is interesting as an example of just how far off course the National lawyers Guild has strayed in the last 67 years- emerging from early advocacy of the Jewish state to complete denial of Israel's right to exist. Current Guild claims that the Palestinians are the indigenous victims of colonialist Europeans are completely negated by the early Guild writings that fails to mention even the existence of a "Palestinian" people.
Baum's criteria in the Guild law review provides an interesting and yet unmet framework for the recognition of a future Palestinian state. Could there possibly be anyone on either side of this issue that believes that Hamas or Fatah constitute an effective authority willing to meet their international obligations?