Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
Adopted in 1945, the UN Charter (Article 80) states: “… nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”
This means that the designation of “Palestine” as a “Jewish National Home,” incorporated in the British Mandate and established by international agreements adopted by the League of Nations and the U.S. Congress guarantee Israel’s sovereign rights in this area. All Jewish settlement, therefore, was and is legal.
Two years later, amid growing civil war, the UN proposed a division of Palestine between Jews and Arabs, changing the terms of the Mandate. The Jews accepted; the Arabs launched a war of extermination.
When Britain ended the Mandate and left, the State of Israel was proclaimed and local mobs that had been attacking Jews for years were joined by five Arab armies. The armistice in 1949 – for Jews, independence, for Arabs, nakba (tragedy or catastrophe) – did not result in a Palestinian state because the Arabs did not want it. Arab leaders never accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and most still refuse to do so today.
In 1967, Israel, facing the threat of all-out war, conquered the Golan Heights (from Syria), the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip (from Egypt), and Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem (from Jordan). Few questioned Israel’s actions. No one spoke of a Palestinian state; there was no “Palestinian people.”
Pressured by the Soviet Union and the Arab states, the UN adopted Resolution 242, which spoke of Israel’s military withdrawal from some – not all – of these conquered territories in the context of a final peace agreement. The question of sovereignty remained elusive and problematic.
Israel’s political echelon and Supreme Court refrained from asserting full sovereignty over the newly acquired areas, but, in the absence of any reciprocal gestures, agreed to allow Jews to return to Jerusalem’s Old City and Gush Etzion, where a flourishing group of settlements had been wiped out in 1947; and, striking a compromise, to build Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, where the Jewish community had been wiped out in Arab riots of 1929. Jews were permitted to pray at Me’arat HaMachpelah, an ancient building containing the tombs of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs, for the first time in 700 years.
Although free to leave UNRWA refugee camps, with new opportunities and challenges, Palestinians did not call for statehood, or for peace with Israel. The PLO, which claimed to represent Palestinians, was dedicated to terrorism, not nation building.
Many legal experts accepted Israel’s right to “occupy” and settle its historic homeland. The International Committee of the Red Cross, however, did not. Meeting secretly in the early 1970s in Geneva, the ICRC determined that Israel was in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Based on The Hague Convention, GC IV was drawn up after World War II to protect innocent civilians and restrict brutal occupations. Unilaterally, the ICRC turned it into a weapon to delegitimize and demonize Israel.
All decisions and protocols of the ICRC in this matter are closed. Even the identities of the people involved are secret. And there is no appeal. Without transparency or due process, ICRC rulings became “international law.” Its condemnations of Israel provide the basis for accusing Israel of “illegal occupation” of all territory conquered in 1967.
That most of the international community accepts the ICRC and institutions such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as sole arbiters of what is legal or not, while condemning Israel, is understandable; that Israeli politicians and jurists cannot defend Israel’s legal claim to Judea and Samaria is not.
Were it not for biased ICRC and ICJ rulings, there would be no legal basis for condemning Jewish communities as illegal settlements.
For some, this is not a legal issue but a moral one: Jews should not rule over (“occupy”) others. So Israel withdrew unilaterally from nearly all of Judea and Samaria’s cities, towns and villages and turned over vast tracts of land to the PA/PLO as part of the Oslo accords a few years later in the Wye and Hebron agreements.
When Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it became a bastion of Hamas. “Land for Peace” in reality means “Land for Terrorism.”
Others contend that Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature will be threatened if it continues to include large numbers of Arabs who are not loyal and do not identify with the state. But nearly all Palestinian Arabs live under PA, not Israeli rule. The dispute now, therefore, is over territory, not people.
That a second (or third) Arab Palestinian state would be an existential threat to Israel seems obvious. “Land for peace” has failed. Why then promote it?
About the Author: Moshe Dann is a writer living in Jerusalem.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.
I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”
His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.
At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel
“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”
Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning
Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.
He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.
Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.
Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.
Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed
Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.
Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.
The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.
The expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes five years ago was not a localized event in the Gaza Strip. It was a national implosion, a national disgrace. It caused enormous physical, psychological, social, cultural, military and strategic damage to the entire nation – and it still does. Like an ecological disaster, its foulness still seeps through our foundations, and continues to poison us.
Readers of Clayton’s short stories know that he is not only a master craftsman, but that his stories are inquires into the purpose of life; he is a moral philosopher.
In case you didn’t notice, olive trees in Judea and Samaria are under attack. The alleged culprits are Jews living there. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry called it “terrorism.”
Supporters of the planned mosque and Islamic center near Manhattan’s Ground Zero have focused on the issue of religious freedom. But as thousands of mosques have already been built throughout America, this is false – a straw man if ever there was one.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/how-israeli-settlements-became-illegal/2009/07/01/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: