Déjà vu as continued illegal Jewish settlements undermine the peace talks


By ibrows
September 3, 2010
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It didn't take long... The US is pressurising Abbas to continue with the so-called 'peace talks' even though 80 illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank are just about to be expanded. The US and Israel, hand in hand, once again setting the agenda, and dictating terms they know are impossible for Abbas to accept. How can you believe Israel seriously wants peace, and to negotiate the creation of a viable two-state solution, whilst it continues simultaneously illegally expanding and seizing Palestinian land.

Israel is also reportedly pushing for Ariel, a large illegal Jewish settlement, to be annexed to Israel in any agreement, again, evidence that Israel is totally not interested in peace, but legitimizing territory it has illegally seized from the Palestinians.

Last time you may remember it was the expansion of 900 housing units in the Gilo settlement, in East Jerusalem during the 'peace talks'. Plus amongst others, in September 2009, Israel announced plans to build 486 flats in Pisgat Zeev, East Jerusalem, in defiance of US opposition, just days after sanctioning 455 new housing units to be constructed in the West Bank.

It seems as though history is repeating itself, and Israel will continue construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, yet seek to lay the blame squarely on Abbas for the complete failure of the peace talks. Israel does not have the right to dictate the terms of the peace talks and blatantly continue in defiance of International law, by building and expanding illegal settlements. A collapse of these talks could trigger a third intifada, therefore its in both the Palestinians and Israeli's interests to push for a genuine peace deal, a viable Palestinian state, and for Israel to withdraw to the legal pre-1967 borders

COMMENTS

Akiva

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 19:03

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"Too Long, Didn't Read" summary:

"Jews shouldn't be allowed to live on barren hilltops in Judea and Samaria. In fact, Jews shouldn't be allowed to live anywhere in the Middle East. In fact, Jews shouldn't be allowed to live."

Sound familiar?

Shabbat Shalom folks.


ibrows

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 19:12

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akiva

If your gonna disagree, at least challenge my points, rather than totally alter what i said, unless your unable too intellectually debate real issues


ibrows

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 19:13

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Akiva,

I will cut it down for you, as you probably can't read that much on a serious topic, i will edit it


Jon_i_Cohen

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 21:10

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ibrows
Perhaps it is your age and you are just simply too young to remember any of the recent history. Here is a brief resume of the real situation. So, once again, for your benefit:-
You accuse Israel of “occupying” Judea and Samaria, (the West Bank), and you describe the land as “ occupied Palestinian territories.”
The lands are NOT occupied in a legal sense, neither are they “Palestinian” lands in a sovereign sense.
The Guardianesque, quasi-academic, open-toed sandal wearing, lefty, de-legitimisers have succeeded in stigmatising Israel’s involvement in these areas and the building of new towns and villages,(you call them “settlements”).
Your friends in the The pro-Palestinian propaganda machine have succeeded in stigmatizing the Israeli 'occupation' and the 'settlements'. Time and again we hear about the brutal occupation” and the “illegal settlements”. Simply, these are lies.

Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is NOT illegal and the UN has never claimed it to be.

The TRUTH
Occupation
You accuse Israel of occupying the West Bank and formerly, Gaza, the territories are described as “the occupied Palestinian territories.” Not only are they not occupied in a legal sense, they are not “Palestinian” lands in a sovereign sense..
The Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC) is a treaty between signatory states that are called High Contracting Parties (HCP). It regulates the obligations of one HCP who occupies the land of another HCP. It defines the terms “Occupying Power” and “Occupied State” only. Thus this convention does not apply to the territories because they were not the land of any HCP. They have never been the land of an HCP.
Before 1967, Jordon was in control of these areas, just as Israel is currently in control. Jordanian sovereignty over these lands was never recognized and eventually Jordan gave up any claims over these lands. The FGC was never applied when Jordan ruled the land and it shouldn’t be applied now that Israel does, (double standards are not acceptable).
Yet the International Court of Justice, when it gave an advisory opinion on the Israeli security fence, “identified Jordan as the occupied power of the West Bank”. According to David Matas, an international lawyer of considerable repute, in his well argued book Aftershock http://www.amazon.com/Aftershock-David-Matas/dp/1550025538:
"The judgment moves on from this legal reasoning to labeling the West Bank as Palestinian occupied territory. But this labelling is based on the ethnic composition of the West Bank, not on its legal status...This assertion by the ICJ that the West Bank is occupied territory is a contortion the Court imposed on the law to get to its desired results of slapping the label “occupier” on Israel..shows that the primary concern of the court was to connect to pro-Palestinian rhetoric. As a result the Palestinians consider themselves the 'occupied power'”.
Matas notes “That the Geneva Conventions on the Laws of War do not recognize the legal possibility of the occupation of a people, only the occupation of the territory of a state.” A Protocol to these conventions does recognize such a possibility but Israel is not a signatory to it.
It must be clearly understood that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is not illegal and the UN has never claimed it to be. In fact Resolution 242 permits Israel to remain until an agreement on “secure and recognized borders” has been reached.
The Palestinians have no greater claim to a state than any minority group in any other state that wants a state of their own. The Basques and the Kurds come to mind. Despite their ethnic culture, majority populations in the areas they claim and rebellions, no one is demanding that they be given statehood. (Even this view is stretching the point as the “notion” of a Palestinian people did not exist before 1964 when it was dreamt up by that arch terrorist Yasser Arafat and his cohorts, including “our friend and Peace Partner” Abu Mazzen).
Matas also takes issue with Dore Gold and others for calling the land “disputed land”, because others argue that all of Israel is disputed land.
Israel has accepted the PA as the negotiating party. Nevertheless Israel knows the PA is currently an illegitimate government, having overstayed its mandate, and speaks for no one, much less Hamas.
Settlements
You and your trendy-lefty anti-Zionist friends argue the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal and rely solely on the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC) which provides that an occupying power is prohibited from transferring civilian populations to occupied territories. They say that the prohibition against transfer includes a prohibition against encouragement to settle. The matter has never been put to a court for interpretation or determination. But the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) explains “that this provision was intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War in which certain powers transferred portions of their populations to occupied territories for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed to colonize those territories.” Not for the movement and settlement of people of their own free will, as is the situation in Israel, Judea and Samaria..
Nazi Germany enforced two kinds of transfers but in both cases they were forced transfers. The victims were the persons being forced, not the people already there.
The anti-Zionists reject the notion that the proscription is against only forced transfers and argue that the FGC proscribes inducement to move as well. But how can there be a crime of inducement when the person committing the act and moving to the area, has done nothing wrong. How can you be guilty of a crime by inducing someone to do something which is not a crime?
Furthermore, this inducement is said to be be a War Crime on an equal footing with Genocide. The equation is ludicrous. And if the people relocate on their own volition and not due to inducements, what then? What
individuals would be held responsible?
Even if someone in Israel was convicted of offering inducements to relocate, the people themselves would not be affected and could remain in the communities they created if they wished.
Matas opines, “The interpretation defies the ordinary understanding of criminal responsibility where the person committing the act is the primary wrongdoer and the person inducing the act is only an accessory.”
Matas concludes. “There is all the difference in the world between forcible transfer, the offence of the Geneva Convention, and voluntary settlement, even where the settlement is encouraged (by providing inducements). Transfer is something that is done to people. Settlement is something people do.” – again, of their own free will.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court made it an offence to ”directly or indirectly” transfer populations. The ICRC has attempted to interpret “indirect transfers” as “inducements” thereby making them a crime. But the GC certainly does not do that and that currently is the prevailing opinion.
This did not prevent the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in its advisory opinion noted above, from finding that the 'settlements' violated international law. No reasons were given and no authority cited. But elsewhere it expressed the opinion that the combination of the settlements and the fence amounted to de facto annexation. It ignored Israel argument that the fence was not intended to be the border but was merely a security measure. While actual annexation may be a violation of the FGC, the communities and the fence certainly were not.an annexation or a violation of the FGC. After all, what about the 'settlements' left 'outside' on the west side of the fence? Are they an annexation too?
The ICJ did not conclude that someone in Israel was guilty of inducing 'settlements' or in any other way of transferring populations.
Matas expands on his dim view of the advisory opinion. He considers it an attempt to discredit Israel that actually discredited the ICJ. He prays that the ICC will be more judicious. The ICJ, after all, is an organ of the UN who requested it to provide the opinion. Similarly the UN requested Goldstone to investigate Cast Lead and produce a report. This report, like the advisory opinion, was just what the UN "ordered”, but the opinion of the ICJ was just that, an opinion, and is not legally binding on anyone.
The US has traditionally, with the Carter administration being the only exception, refrained from describing the Judea and Samaria Jewish communities as illegal and instead has called them 'obstacles to peace'.
In September 2009, Obama went before the United Nations and declared
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/23/obama-un-speech-text_n_296017.h...
“America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” This is closer to Carter’s position but falls short of declaring them illegal. Nevertheless, it prompted John Bolton http://www.aipnews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=8227&posts=2
to say “This is the most radical anti-Israel speech I can recall any president making.”
All this ignores the fact that the Palestine Mandate encouraged close settlement of the land by Jews. This right has never been rescinded and the UN has no right to rescind it. So Jews from anywhere actually have the right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the PA and UN have no right to say otherwise.
To demand that a future Palestinian state, (if it was ever to come into being), be Judenrein, free of Jews, is reprehensible and discriminatory. The West would not support this anywhere else or about anyone else, but it does here.
Why is that ibrows? You know the answer to that don’t you, shall I spell it out - anti-semitism.


happygoldfish

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 20:47

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ibrows, i think the point akiva is making is that a policy of having no jews on the west bank is simply racist (especially contrasted with the huge proportion of arabs in israel)

since racism is unacceptable in the the modern world, the issue is not whether there should be jews on the west bank, but how many

and that issue is one of many issues to be negotiated

in answer to your primary question …

ibrows: How can you believe Israel seriously wants peace, and to negotiate the creation of a viable two-state solution, whilst it continues simultaneously illegally expanding and seizing Palestinian land.

… ever since unsc resolution 242, international law has envisaged israeli retention of some of the west bank (possibly but not necessarily in exchange for an equal area of israel), and this was …

i] partly because the 1948 armistice line (the "green line" or the "pre-1967 border") has always needed adjusting, since it was simply where the fighting happened to stop, and was never a secure border, or a sensible national frontier in any sense
ii] partly because in any peace conference (following a war), it is normal for the winner to be compensated with territory (this is how we got gibraltar and new york, and of course how israel got the area between the 1947 partition line and the "green line" itself)

ibrows, a viable two-state solution is perfectly consistent with an adjusted border, and common-sense and the fight against racism both require any solution to incorporate a jewish presence on the west bank

(and while fairness suggests a figure of 20%, the same as for arabs in israel, i expect that israel will be willing to accept less than that in order to achieve concessions in other areas, eg demilitarisation)


stephenb

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 08:22

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I am a no borders kind of person and my instinct is that anyone should be able to live wherever they wish. However the reality is that we live in a world of nation states.....But Israel can't have it every which way.If Israelis want to live in a state of Palestine so be it.If they want to do so as of right then they obviously would have to give up their Israeli citizenship and become citizens of Palestine.

The claim that jews may not live on the west bank is ludicrous but much less so when they impose themselves on other peoples land at the point of IDF guns.

The West bank is no more a legitimate part of Israel then it is a legitimate part of France.Alternatively let Israel annexe the entire caboodle,take the whole of the land along with it's people.But of course it won't ( demographics dear boy demographics ).And as for opposition to the settlements being racist , this is a bit rich coming from the country with the most racist immigration laws in the world


stephenb

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 08:41

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......and no happygoldfish........the issue is not how many jews live on the west bank.For Israel apologists it is ALWAYS about race. How many jews how many arabs. The real point is which state will have sovereignty over the land.

The Israeli Arabs live in Israel as citizens of Israel and are even being required to swear allegiance to THE JEWISH STATE..

The United States government may permit me to live in the US but I don't have THE RIGHT to do so.Only US citizens have that right.Obviously only Palestinian citizens would have the right to live in Palestine. Or ar Arab citizens of the Palestinian state going to have the right to settle in Israel ? If so then fair enough.


ibrows

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 09:52

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happygoldfish

Its nothing to do with stopping Jews living in the West Bank, its about ending the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, they are seizing Palestinian territory, your crazy logic of this being racism doesn't hold up.

Palestinian land is being seized by Israeli settlers, illegally which they then seek to annex into Israeli borders, how is opposing this illegal land grab racist?

If you want to look at racist policies, try the fact that Jews from anywhere in the world can use the 1950 'right of return' law to settle in Israel, yet many Palestinians born in what is now Israel have been forced from their homes in 1948 and prevented from returning.

Or another example, being that Palestinians are not allowed to live in West Jerusalem, and Israel is increasing revoaking the Jerusalem residency status of many Palestinians in order to increase the Jewish presence in Jerusalem.


Akiva

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 10:13

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"palestinian territory"? More like "palestinian terror-tory".

You're all deluded, you've bought into the biggest lie in history. There IS NO SUCH THING AS "PALESTIANIAN TERRITORY". It can't be considered a "land grab" if the land is not owned by another Sovereign state.

Your virulent lies are about Jews who, if they decided to convert to Islam, you would have no problem having them live there. This is the farce of the whole argument, arabs are allowed and encouraged to live anywhere they want, including in the (now) 100,000+ illegal buildings (or settlements, if you will) they have constructed in Israel. But if you are a Jew, you may NOT live anywhere you want, period.

Your racism is disgusting and you should be ashamed.


Anonymous

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 10:50

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