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Monday, January 01, 2007


Last week, the government surprised us with an announcement that it would be 'resettling' a group of refugees from Gush Katif in Maskiot, a town in the Jordan Valley that has been approved for 'settlement' since the early 1980's, and that has housed both soldiers and civilians ever since. There are three important messages that could be sent by the government by going ahead with the plan:
1. That if Israel gives territory to the 'Palestinians' it will be part of a compromise and not a simple return to the Auschwitz borders (not my definition - Abba Eban's) of June 4, 1967.

2. That Israel will not wait forever for the 'Palestinians' to get their act together, and that unilateral actions can cut both ways.

3. That the Jordan Valley, with its mountain passes that are vital to Israel's security needs, and that have been recognized as such going back to the Allon Plan, is not up for 'negotiation' and is part of the 'national consensus.'
The government had the chance to send all those messages at once, while finally giving some of the Gush Katif refugees a place to live. Unfortunately, it seems to be suffering yet another attack of spinelessness.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting this morning that because of US and European claims that using Maskiot violates the road trap - of which the 'Palestinians' have yet to fulfill a single obligation - the Olmert-Peretz-Livni government may back off the first correct thing they almost did since taking office. We're talking about a grand total of thirty houses, which are now becoming an 'obstacle to 'peace' piece by piece.
The government and the Defense Ministry initially downplayed last week's decision to allow the construction of 30 homes for Gaza evacuees in Maskiot.

A government source told the Post then that the decision was merely "adjusting" the status of a plot of state land where settlement has been authorized since 1981.

The small community, which is located off an isolated road in the Jordan Valley, has been populated on and off since 1982. Currently, it is home to a few permanent residents and a small pre-army academy that houses 50 Orthodox men in fewer than a dozen small white buildings.

The new homes would be constructed adjacent to the existing structures and would more than triple the number of structures on the site.

But after the EU and the US said the initiative violated Israel's international commitments with respect to the West Bank, Defense Minister Amir Peretz decided to reconsider the decision, according to sources in the Defense Ministry.

Discussions within the government are also taking place considering whether to go ahead with the project.
Even Ariel Sharon recognized that permanently settling Jews in Maskiot ought to go ahead:
[Jordan Valley Regional Council head Dubi] Tal said then-prime minister Ariel Sharon and then-defense minister Shaul Mofaz first approved the move a few months after the Gaza disengagement in 2005.

Sitting in his living room looking out at the rain sweeping across the brown hills of the Jordan Valley, he recalled when he turned to Sharon.

"I thought, 'Here is an opportunity. If he [Sharon] says yes, it would have political implications for the Jordan Valley.' And that is how it was.

"I asked him for permission to bring evacuees. He said, 'We will authorize it.'"

Tal said he saw Sharon's decision as tacit approval for the continuation of Jewish settlement in the Jordan Valley.

Sharon, according to Tal, placed a number of conditions on his approval. The families could only be moved to a lightly-populated, authorized settlement, Tal said.

Sharon also asked that the move be kept quiet to avoid attention.

"We spoke very specifically about Maskiot," Tal said.
But Olmert totally lacks Sharon's strength of character (and is unable to do anything quietly), and the US and the EU know that they are dealing with weakness:
State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said on Wednesday: "The establishment of a new settlement or the expansion of an existing settlement would violate Israel's obligations under the road map."

Gallegos said the US called on Israel "to meet its road map obligations and avoid taking steps that could be viewed as pre-determining the outcome of final-status negotiations."

The EU issued a similar statement last week, adding that "such unilateral actions are also illegal under international law and threaten to render the two-state solution physically impossible to implement."

The EU statement also said "this development would also mean the relocation of some of the Gaza settlers in the West Bank, something that the EU said was not acceptable when it gave its support to the Gaza disengagement."
Sorry guys but:
1. Sharon made his consent to the road map contingent on fourteen conditions that no one else ever accepted. That ought to make his consent (and Israel's) void.

2. Given how long it has been since the road map was adopted, and that the 'Palestinians' have yet to fulfill a single obligation, the road map, like the Oslo accords, ought to be declared dead.

3. It's not 'illegal under international law' (assuming there is any such thing as international law without the consent of the sovereign states), because Judea and Samaria are not 'occupied' and among the states in the region, Israel has the best claim to them (memo to my regular reader in Europe who asked - yes I remember that I'm supposed to write a post explaining this. When I can find the time...).

4. Who asked for the euroweenies consent to the disengagement surrender of Gaza and expulsion of its Jews?
If the right plays this correctly, it can be used to build support. Many Israelis theoretically favor giving the 'Palestinians' territory and a state. But the pollsters never ask specifics. If you ask Israelis how many of them are willing to cede the Jordan Valley to Hamastan, most of the Jewish Israelis will say no. The question is whether there are any politicians on the right side of the political spectrum who can capitalize on that. Let's pray that there are. Otherwise, Olmert, Peretz and Livni will continue to fiddle and Israel will continue to burn.


At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3. It's not 'illegal under international law' (assuming there is any such thing as international law without the consent of the sovereign states), because Judea and Samaria are not 'occupied' and among the states in the region, Israel has the best claim to them (memo to my regular reader in Europe who asked - yes I remember that I'm supposed to write a post explaining this. When I can find the time...).

I'll save you a bit of time on this

However I'm lazy so I shall only go through the main points.

I shall start more towards the modern time.

We begin with the conference of San Remo. This was conference within the League of Nations which granted the Mandate to the British. Under this mandate the British were required to do as so.


"Article 4.

An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.

The Zionist Organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate shall be recognized as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home."

While it goes on and on, article 4 is the main point, and consistently repeated throughout the statement of the conference.

As the Arab violence grew, the Brits wanted to find a way to partition the left overs. Please note that this was after the illegal partition and creation of the current state of Jordan. Which was created by the British as a Refuge for the current Hashemite monarchy in control after being ousted by the Saudi's from what is now KSA.

The original area was this

So please also note that in the San Remo Conference the mandate they were talking about was this territory that stretched from the sea to Iraq. So in reality the Jewish National Home should have actually been far larger.

Now to continue, after the first illegal partition, the British decided to partition once more.

The idea was summarized in the Peel commission report.


I recommend reading it because I just don't feel like looking through everything. But it does make another important point about land.

The shortage of land is due less to purchase by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population. The Arab claims that the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamps and uncultivated when it was bought."

Note that only NOW is there an increase of Arab population in 1937, while many might claim this is because of increased birthrates this doesn't hold water. For two simple reasons

1. As more Jews came and created better economic opportunities, it also increased the standard of living therefore decreases birthrates.

2. Unless every Arab woman has 10 kids and those 10 kids each have 10 kids of there own right at puberty is the only way to increase a population rapidly. Which as this statement sounds is ridiculous. So a lot of this population also had to come from foreign sources.

Now lets look at the aftermath of the 1948 war. Specifically the cease-fire agreements of Jordan & Egypt.

Jordanian Agreement:

Article VI

1. It is agreed that the forces of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom shall replace the forces of Iraq in the sector now held by the latter forces, the intention of the Government of Iraq in this regard having been communicated to the Acting Mediator in the message of 20 March from the Foreign Minister of Iraq authorizing the delegation of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom to negotiate for the Iraqi forces and stating that those forces would be withdrawn.

2. The Armistice Demarcation Line for the sector now held by Iraqi forces shall be as delineated on map 1 in annex I to this Agreement and marked A

3. The Armistice Demarcation Line provided for in paragraph 2 of this article shall be established in stages as follows, pending which the existing military lines may be maintained:

(a) In the area west of the road from Baqa to Jaljulia, and thence to the east of Kafr Qasim: within five weeks of the date on which this Armistice Agreement is signed;

(I) In the area of Wadi Ara north of the line from Baqa to Zubeiba: within seven weeks of the date on which this Armistice Agreement is signed;

(c) In all other areas of the Iraqi sector: within fifteen weeks of the date on which this Armistice Agreement is signed.

4. The Armistice Demarcation Line in the Hebron-Dead Sea sector, referred to in paragraph (c) of article V of this Agreement and marked B on map 1 in annex I, which involves substantial deviation from the existing military lines in favour of the forces of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom, is designated to offset the modifications of the existing military lines in the Iraqi sector set forth in paragraph 3 of this article.

5. In compensation for the road acquired between Tulkarem and Qalqiliya, the Government of Israel agrees to pay to the (government of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom the cost of constructing twenty kilometres of first-class new road.

6. Wherever villages may be affected by the establishment of the Armistice Demarcation Line provided for in paragraph 2 of this article, the inhabitants of such villages shall be entitled to maintain, and shall be protected in, their full rights of residence, property and freedom. In the event any of the inhabitants should decide to leave their villages, they shall be entitled to take with them their livestock and other movable property, and to receive without delay full compensation for the land which they have left. It shall be prohibited for Israeli forces to enter or to be stationed in such villages, in which locally recruited Arab police shall be organized and stationed for internal security purposes.

7. The Hashemite Jordan Kingdom accepts responsibility for all Iraqi forces in Palestine.

8. The provisions of this article shall not be interpreted as prejudicing, in any sense, an ultimate political settlement between the Parties to this Agreement.

9. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.

10. Except where otherwise provided, the Armistice Demarcation Lines shall be established, including such withdrawal of forces as may be necessary for this purpose, within ten days from the date on which this Agreement is signed.

11. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in this article and in article V shall be subject to such rectification as may be agreed upon by the Parties to this Agreement, and all such rectifications shall have the same force and effect as if they had been incorporated in full in this General Agreement.

Egyptian agreement:

Article V

1. The line described in Article VI of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Line and is delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolutions of the Security Council of 4 and 16 November 1948.

2. The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question.

3. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Line is to delineate the line beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move except as provided in Article III of this Agreement.

4. Rules and regulations of the armed forces of the Parties, which prohibit civilians from crossing the fighting lines or entering the area between the lines, shall remain in effect after the signing of this Agreement with application to the Armistice Demarcation Line defined in Article VI.

Both cease-fire agreements make it clear. That the borders agreed upon 1948 are not binding (Note this the famed and commonly mis-perceived 67' border which many claim is the 'de-facto' border). While in the Arab sense they viewed it as the max size Israel could be, IT WORKS BOTH WAYS, you can't have your bullets and shoot them too. So Israel's claim on these territories is just as good.

Then we finally reach 1967, which was a defensive war.

While I could go on, I'm lazy, so I'll leave it to Carl to fix and shine and write a true piece that goes through all of it to show Israeli claims.


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