Hard Talk: Dan Meridor


By mattpryor
August 19, 2010
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In "Hard Talk" on Radio 4 yesterday Stephen Sackur interviewed Israeli Deputy PM Dan Meridor. The interview is available on BBC iPlayer until 25th August:

iPlayer link

I haven't listened to any interviews with Dan Meridor before, but I thought he came across as very reasonable and handled Sackur's difficult questions well. His English is very good but I noticed that his accent became thicker as he became more passionate, particularly when discussing settlements. He made the very good point that the moratorium only applies to Jews - Arabs are still building where ever they like.

The subjects discussed were:

  • The Flotilla incident (Sackur was trying to get Meridor to express contrition)
  • The settlement moratorium (will it continue?)
  • Gaza (and Cameron's remarks in Turkey)
  • Peace negotiations

Overall I thought it was a very interesting and insightful interview, although it didn't really offer much new. Sackur was confrontational but I thought only in the way interviewers generally are with politicians. I'd be interested in other peoples' opinions.

PS note to the JC web developers: A preview function would be great on blog posts!

COMMENTS

mattpryor

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 18:32

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2 points

Also, on the subject of peace negotiations, here is an interesting blog post by Barry Rubin:

http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2010/08/west-thinks-palestinian-leaders...


DeborahMaccoby

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 19:46

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-1 points

Matt, you write: "He made the very good point that the moratorium only applies to Jews - Arabs are still building where ever they like."

How can you possibly call this a "very good point"?! The moratorium (which didn't apply to East Jerusalem and which probably won't be renewed when it expires next month)is on settlement building in occupied land, in contravention of international law, which says that an occupying power is forbidden to establish colonies of its own people in occupied land. And the settlements are an obstacle to peace, because they preclude the establishment of a viable Palestinian State.

And it's not true at all that "Arabs are still building where ever they like" - their homes are continually being demolished, particularly in East Jerusalem, where they are never given permits to build. In East Jerusalem the opposite is the case from Meridor's "very good point" - Arabs can't build without having their homes demolished, and Jews can build wherever they like.

Deborah


Jon_i_Cohen

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 21:27

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1 point

deborahmaccoby is WRONG, as usual.

The Geneva Conventions talk about "forced re settlement of an occupying powers populace, into areas occupied due to the result of war".
Not one single settler has been "forced" to move into Judea & Samaria, any one living there has done so out of a free choice.

Arab homes have been demolished where they have been built without permission -and will continue to be demolished if they contravene planning regulations, or harbour terrorists.


amber

Sat, 08/21/2010 - 22:34

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2 points

maccoby - well, what does one expect from someone who marches with ANTISEMITIC Hizbollah supporters?

Tell me Maccoby, why are Jews forbidden from the Temple Mount? Why are there no Jews left in Baghdad, when in living memory 40% of the city was Jewish? Why must every Jew leave any territory given to the Palestinian Arabs, (given for the first time), so that it is Judenrein? Why do you support a Holocaust denying Palestinian president, and where is your condemnation of the antisemitism and genocidal plans (expresed in respective charters) of Hamas and Hizbollah? Where is your condemnation? Go on, you have the opportunity now - let's hear it.

And answer this - from whom is Judea and Samaria occupied? Think carefully about that one.


Jonathan Hoffman

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 07:33

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0 points

Deborah

Please cite the clause in 'international law' which Israel has been found - by a court of law - to be violating.

(and just in case you cite the International Court, it is not a Court of Law. It is a creature of the United Nations and its decisions are non-binding unless the parties agree otherwise in advance).


DeborahMaccoby

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 12:02

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0 points

Jonathan, I've pointed out on a previous blog the international consensus on the illegality of the settlements. Here it is again on a BBC link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1682640.stm

Amber,in response to some of your many points: re the Temple Mount, I suggest you read this article from Haaretz about what has been said by a prominent Israeli rabbi on the subject. Apart from the danger of militant Jewish settlers - who want the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa to be overthrown and the Third Temple built in their place - provoking a religious war, the Jewish halacha actually forbids Jews to set foot there, in case they inadvertently enter the Holy of Holies:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/prominent-rabbi-to-peres-jews-forbidden-on-t...

I'd also like to point out that many West Bank Palestinians can't even get into Jerusalem at all, let alone the Temple Mount.

Re Iraqi Jews: they were actively enoouraged to leave by the Israeli governmetn and there is good evidence that the Israeli secret service planted bombs in Iraqi synagogues to create panic among Iraqi Jews, so they would leave for Israel.

As I've said above, the Israeli-Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and are an obstacle to peace.

And I have said on a previous blog that the Hamas Charter is indeed appallingly antisemitic - however, it played no part in Hamas'e election platform and if the Israeli government behaved with sanity Hamas would end up changing it. Hamas has already signed the Prisoners' Document, indicating that it recognises Israel's de facto existence, and has offered Israel a long term hudna or truce. Israel should build on all this to draw Hamas into a genuine peace process. Continuing with the blockade and killing hundreds of Gazan civilians is not likely to make Hamas any less antisemitic.

Deborah


DeborahMaccoby

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 12:12

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0 points

Jonathan and Amber: have a look at this link too on Wikipedia and all the Security Council resolutions on the settlements that it cites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law_and_Israeli_settlements

Deborah


Jon_i_Cohen

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 12:12

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2 points

Yet another Alice In Wonderland fantasy comment from deborahmaccoby
there is no point in responding.


DeborahMaccoby

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 12:21

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0 points

Jon, Matt's comment: "He made the very good point that the moratorium only applies to Jews - Arabs are still building where ever they like" seems to me to be pure Alice in Wonderland.....

Deborah


Jon_i_Cohen

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 12:27

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2 points

DeborahMaccoby and her type need to recognise that Israel is here to stay and whatever blog, postings demonstrations they support will not change the facts on the ground.
In my lifetime Hamas and Fatah will not be taking over Judea and Samaria.
The only possibility of Israel's demise is if the other 12 Nuclear plants that Iran has are allowed by America to come on song and a first strike on Tel Aviv being allowed to happen.
Again, in my lifetime I think it highly unlikely that any Israeli government would allow a second Jewish Holocaust within 2 generations.
With a thousand strong combat air force and three nuclear armed submarines on patrol 24/7 the intelligence reports lead us to believe that Israel will be able to deal with Iran at the appropriate time.
So, the point of this is to reinforce the earlier point that Israel is here to stay and is not going to be "negotiated away" to please the anti-semites that DeboraMaccoby and her ilk support so vociferously.
Perhaps it's time for them to stop flogging the "Palestinian State" dead-horse as it is never going to happen and for them to take up another cause.


DeborahMaccoby

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 12:34

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0 points

Jon, re your earlier point that Article 49 only applies to forced transfers, have a look at this from the Wikipedia link I posted above;

"David Kretzmer, Professor of International Law at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has argued:

'As paragraph 1 of Article 49 refers expressly to forcible transfers, it seems fair to conclude that the term "transfer" in paragraph 6 means both forcible and nonforcible transfers. This conclusion would seem to flow from the object of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is to protect civilians in the occupied territory, and not the population of the occupied power. From the point of view of the protected persons, whether the transfer of outsiders into their territory is forcible or not would seem to be irrelevant.'[76]

US State Department Legal Advisor, Herbert J. Hansell, in a letter dated 1 April 1978, has reached the same conclusion, noting that '[p]aragraph 1 of article 49 prohibits "forcible" transfers of protected persons out of the occupied territory; paragraph 6 is not so limited."[46]

He further argued that:

'The view has been advanced that a transfer is prohibited under paragraph 6 only to the extent that it involves the displacement of the local population. Although one respected authority, Lauterpacht, evidently took this view, it is otherwise unsupported in the literature, in the rules of international law or in the language and negotiating history of the Convention, and it seems clearly not correct. Displacement of protected persons is dealt with separately in the Convention and paragraph 6 would seem redundant if limited to cases of displacement. Another view of paragraph 6 is that it is directed against mass population transfers such as occurred in World War II for political, racial or colonization ends; but there is no apparent support or reason for limiting its application to such cases.'"

Deborah


ibrows

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 20:00

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0 points

In areas such as East Jerusalem its widely documented that Israel does not issue building permits to Palestinians, and then demolishes their homes as 'illegal constructions'

Here is a summary of one such report - http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/2F8FB6437DB17CA5852575A9004D7CB4

so the Palestinians are not really building where they like are they Matt?, Plus their homes are being demolished even when they have lived on the land for generations.

plus in West Jerusalem Palestinians are totally barred from building and living. Whereas Jewish settlers have moved beyond the Green line deep into Palestinian territories and with government financial support are seizing Palestinian territory.

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