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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are more than legitimate

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, CAMERA's Eric Rozenman defends the legitimacy of Jewish cities and towns in Judea and Samaria.
The basic relevant provision, the League of Nations' 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, Article 6, encourages "close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public use." Most Israeli settlements in the West Bank have been built on land that was state land under the Ottomans, British, Jordanians and, after the 1967 Six-Day War, under the Israelis, or on property that has been privately purchased.

The United States endorsed Article 6 by signing the 1924 Anglo-American Convention, a treaty stipulating acceptance of the mandate. The League of Nations is long gone, but Article 6 remains in force. The United Nations' 1945 Charter, Article 80 -- sometimes known as "the Palestine article" -- notes among other things that "nothing in the charter shall be construed to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or peoples or the terms of existing international instruments."

Eugene Rostow, U.S. undersecretary of State for President Lyndon Johnson -- who is an authority on international law and the coauthor of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which outlines requirements for Arab-Israeli peace -- reaffirmed this principle. In 1990, he said: "The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem before the state of Israel was created."

As for Resolution 242's call for "secure and recognized boundaries," according to Rostow in 1991 in another piece, a careful look at the wrangling over the resolution in 1967 makes it clear that it did not mandate Israeli withdrawal from all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai peninsula to the post-1948 armistice lines.

Many who allege that Jewish communities in the West Bank violate international law cite the 4th Geneva Convention, Article 49. It states that an occupying power "shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." But Julius Stone, like Rostow a leading legal theorist, wrote in his 1981 book, "Israel and Palestine: An Assault on the Law of Nations," that the effort to designate Israeli settlements as illegal was a "subversion . . . of basic international law principles."
While all of these arguments are correct, the problem is that they are very legalistic, and if you read the comments, you will see that there are a lot of people out there who just don't get it. I don't have an easy solution to that issue. But it's amazing to see how many people are totally incapable of understanding any kind of logic (you should only see some the comments that I delete here). My inclination these days is to go with the simplest argument of all: God gave it to us.


At 2:21 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I agree with the last argument. Its also the only one the Arabs will respect. The rest is just sophistry.

At 6:39 AM, Blogger Shtuey said...

"My inclination these days is to go with the simplest argument of all: God gave it to us."

It is the simplest argument, and the only one that matters, which is why it is so difficult for the rest of the world to accept.


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