Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Jews building settlements in Judea and Samaria is legal

Salomon Benzimra, author of the book: The Jewish People's Rights to the Land of Israel (
First and foremost, the first five pages of the Levy Report ("Legal Argument") clearly summarizes why Israel is not an occupying power in Judea and Samaria – and East Jerusalem - and, therefore, why the settlements are not illegal. You can find the English version of these 5 pages here:
The following are the points on which this claim rests:
1. The legality of the "settlements" cannot be dissociated from the notion of "occupation." As long as Israel is viewed as an "occupying power," not only the "settlements" can be construed as illegal but the whole of Israel becomes "occupied territory" since there is no difference between land acquired or repossessed - a better term would be "liberated" - in 1967 and 1948-49 respectively.

2. The Fourth Hague Regulation of 1907 defines "occupation" in Article 43: it presupposes that "the authority of the legitimate power ...passed into the hands of the occupant." The annexation of Judea & Samaria (renamed in 1950 "The West Bank') by Jordan has never been recognized as "legitimate."
3. The San Remo Resolution (April 1920) integrated the Balfour Declaration (November 1917) to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (June 1919) and resulted in the following:
3a: The provisions of the Balfour Declaration (i.e. the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine) became binding upon Britain, which the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers selected as the Mandatory Power in the land.
3b. The establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine was no longer a mere a British foreign policy decision, but became an act of international law.
3c. Pursuant to the San Remo Resolution, in July 1922, the Mandate for Palestine was confirmed, approved by the 52 members of the League of Nations and entered into force in September 1923.
3d. No "special rights" were conferred to the Jewish people. The Supreme Council recognized a pre-existing right by calling for the "reconstitution" of the Jewish National Home in Palestine – and not the "creation" – it being clearly understood that it would turn, in time, into a sovereign Jewish State, pending on an expected Jewish population majority.
4. Following the Churchill White Paper decree of June 1922, Britain separated the Transjordan part of Palestine – the land east of the Jordan River - and made it an exclusively Arab land where no organized Jewish settlement was allowed, as per the inserted Article 25 of the Mandate. However, in "western Palestine" - from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea - all the provisions of the Jewish National Home were upheld, including the encouragement of Jewish settlement of all lands (as per Article 6).
5. When the League of Nations ceased to exist, in 1946, following the creation of its heir, the United Nations, the acquired rights of the Jewish people remained enshrined in the UN Charter (Article 80).
6. The UN General Assembly Resolution 181 recommended a further partition of the remaining "western Palestine" into a Jewish State and an Arab State. Had this recommendation been accepted by both parties, the terms of the Mandate would have been superseded. But that was not the case, due to the Arabs' rejection of the Resolution. Besides, the recommendation formulated in UNGA Res. 181 violated the UN Charter (Article 80) and the terms of the Mandate, still in force in 1947, especially Article 5 which prohibited the cession of any territory of Palestine to a foreign power.
7. Since no agreement occurred in 1947 pertaining to a further partition of Palestine, and no other binding agreement has been entered into between Israel and the Arabs ever since, which might affect the Jewish sovereignty over western Palestine, the provisions of the Mandate still hold, and especially the title to the land, vested in the Jewish people and that includes Judea and Samaria.
8. Point #7 therefore refutes the notion of Israel being an "occupying power" in any part of western Palestine –From the River to the Sea - since one cannot occupy land on which it has legal title.
9. Since the State of Israel, not being an "occupying power" in any part of western Palestine, them the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply. This is especially true for Article 49 which deals with transfer and deportation of populations to and from occupied territories, in addition to other legal aspects (the nature of the Contracting Parties, the non-forcible transfers, etc.), and the preposterous situation of ethnic cleansing, which the Arabs demand that would result in making Judea and Samaria judenrein.
Conclusion: The claim that it is illegal for Jews to build in Judea and Samaria and that Israel "occupies" the land is an utter lie, arises from deliberate ignorance, or anti-Semitism or both.

Tuesday January 1, 2013
Continued settlement construction could result in EU punishment
Foreign Ministry assessment: If measures against settlement goods are not seen as enough, European nations could impose sanctions on residents who live beyond the Green Line, banning "troublemakers" from entering the continent.
Shlomo Cesana
If Israel continues to build beyond the Green Line, the European Union may begin to take punitive measures against it, according to a Foreign Ministry assessment for 2013. Israel's ambassadors from around the world convened in Jerusalem this week to discuss and plan for the obstacles ahead in 2013.
The Foreign Ministry believes that if the Israeli-Palestinian peace process remains at a standstill and construction beyond the Green Line continues, the EU and its members would spring to action. The Foreign Ministry believes that to Europe it would appear that Israel is undermining the notion of two states for two peoples.
Europe has in fact already taken measures against Israel, starting in 2005 when it began discriminating against Israeli products made beyond the Green Line by excluding them from reduced tariffs. In 2009, Britain began removing the "Made in Israel" label from products made in Israeli settlements, for the purpose of "protecting the consumer" and to clarify that those products were, in its view, not made in Israeli territory.
In 2012, that critical view of Israeli settlement products was adopted by additional countries in Europe. The attention taken to label Israeli settlement goods is not extended to other areas of conflict in the world.
If Israel continues its current policy, European nations may go from labeling settlement products to boycotting them outright. Calls for boycotts have already been heard in Ireland, which will hold the rotating EU presidency for the first half of 2013.
If taking measures against settlement goods is seen as not enough, European nations could impose sanctions on residents who live beyond the Green Line, for example banning "troublemakers" from entering the continent.
According to a state official, the topic of settlements has become "an increasingly central item of debate for the Europeans. Currently we are at cordial diplomatic talks, but the EU can also take punitive measures."
Despite the seemingly negative outlook Europe has on Israel's settlement policy, a Foreign Ministry official said, "Europe has a deep understanding of the complex challenges Israel faces — Iran, terrorism and regional instability."

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