RECOGNITION OF SETTLEMENTS IS BASED ON JUSTICE
For the past two years, I seek to explain to readers the simple truth that, by creating Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Israel did not violate any international or local laws (see my article “Jewish settlements are legal” on this blog).
How actually, are based the allegations of anti-Semites about supposed illegality of Jewish settlements, the demands to destroy these settlements, and the sanctions imposed by the European Union against the state of Israel and the Jewish population of the West Bank?
The only legal “justification” for this anti-Semitic policy is a reference to paragraph 159 of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949. This paragraph says that during the war between the two «Powers», the occupying «Power» has no right to resettle its civilian population in the territory that this «Power» occupied from another «Power».
In 1949, when liberal lawyers formulated the Geneva Convention, “Power” referred to an empire, a power that usually had colonies. By the way, the UN Charter, formulated two years earlier, considered colonies, protectorates, and mandated territories as legal. A third of the UN Charter, which plays the role of the main international law, is devoted exclusively to colonies and protectorates.
Subsequently, jurists agreed that the term “Power” should be understood as any state. Let us agree with this definition and try to apply the Geneva Convention to our case, that is, to the West Bank.
First, let’s see how this piece of the mandated Palestine / Land of Israel was separated from other parts of our small country, and which states occupied it.
Until May 15, 1948, it was part of the British Mandate Territory of Palestine. In 1947, according to the Partition Plan for Palestine, the UN General Assembly decided to allocate this part of our common with the Palestinians land to the proposed Arab state.
The name Palestine was not used at all for this supposed state, at the request of Palestinian leader Amin al Husseini, who considered himself an All-Arab leader and claimed power at least over all of Syria-Palestine.
In fact, in 1948, the territory of the West Bank was occupied by the armies of Jordan and (briefly) Iraq. Then there were the Arab states, and not Israel, that prevented the creation of a separate, independent state of Palestine.
In 1949, Israel and Jordan signed a ceasefire agreement, according to which the West Bank remained under the occupation of Jordan. King of Jordan Abdullah considered himself the king of all Arabs of Palestine and Trans-Jordan. He announced the incorporation of the West Bank into his united kingdom of Jordan.
Jews who lived in the West Bank and in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem were expelled by Jordan to Israel, while Arab citizens received Jordanian citizenship.
Palestinian leader Amin al Husseini, the initiator of Nakba, did not want to submit himself to King Abdullah. He created his own government in Gaza (which was occupied by Egypt), and even managed to kill his rival Abdullah in 1951, when the last visited the Al Aqsa Mosque. However, the government of Amin al Husseini failed to establish its authority over the territory of the never-created Arab State (Palestine) and self-dissolved.
The annexation of the West Bank by Jordan has not been recognized by any state in the world. In 1967, during the defensive war provoked by the Arabs with the instigation and direct support of the USSR, Israel occupied the West Bank. A ceasefire line was established along the Jordan River. The West Bank has remained under Israeli military and civilian control to this day.
The right of Israel to establish defensible and recognized borders was recognized by the UN Security Council in its resolution No. 242, adopted in November 1967. This resolution gave the green light to the creation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, with the goal of enhancing the security of Israel.
Here, according to the plan presented by Yiga’el Alon (Labor), dozens of Jewish settlements were created. The purpose of the plan was to provide the state of Israel with secure borders, and especially with the border along the Jordan River.
In 1992, Jordan adopted the law of «Disengagement», that is, withdrew its claim to the West Bank. In 1994, a peace treaty was signed between Israel and Jordan. This treaty transformed the ceasefire line of 1967 (along the Jordan River) into a border between the two states recognized by both parties that fully complies with international law.
Meanwhile, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed a peace treaty (Oslo, 1993). In accordance with that treaty was created the Palestinian Authority. Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza received Palestinian citizenship for the first time. From a legal point of view, the definition of Power, which is used in the Geneva Convention, can be extended to the Palestinian Authority.
From the foregoing follows that until 1993, when, with the consent of Israel, was created the legal «Power», called the Palestinian Authority, Israel did not occupy the territory of another «Power», or territory of another state.
Thus, the case of the West Bank does not fall under the definition of the Geneva Convention, which speaks of the occupation by one «Power» of the territory of another «Power». Accordingly, Israel had the legal right to settle its citizens in this territory, until the moment that we established the Palestinian Authority in 1993, or the second “Power” in this territory.
The Oslo Accords do not mention Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, at all. Consequently, by default, the Palestinian Power recognized these settlements as legal. The demand of the Palestinians and those who support them to evict Jews from their cities and villages on the West Bank is illegal.
After 1993, Israel did not create a single new settlement. Moreover, on our own initiative, our “Power” liquidated three settlements in the West Bank, and more than a dozen Jewish settlements in Gaza (“Jewish Disengagement”).
Further, according to the Oslo peace treaty, half of the West Bank, where all Jewish settlements are located (zone “C”), should remain under Israeli jurisdiction until the signing of a new agreement between the parties.
As Palestinians withdrew from the Oslo Accords and refuse to sign a new agreement even on the most favorable terms, Israel has a legal right to fulfill the requirements of the Oslo Accords unilaterally and annex Zone C, as proposed Ayelet Shaked.
Today, “Zone C,” where live both Israeli and Palestinian citizens, has an indefinite status, which should be ended as soon as possible. Moreover, the Palestinian «Power» abuses this uncertain status and relocates its citizens to this territory. Today, just the Palestinian Authority violates the Geneva Convention, while blaming Israel for this.
If all this is not enough, then Europe, and in the past the Obama administration, put pressure on Israel, prohibiting new construction in the existing Jewish settlements of the West Bank. The construction ban is actually a way to force some of the fast-growing Jewish population to get out of their homes due to lack of housing. This is racial discrimination in its purest form.
If Israel annexes zone “C”, then Palestinian citizens residing in this territory must be eligible to acquire Israeli citizenship, or dual citizenship. If a peace treaty will be signed and Jewish settlements end up in Palestine, then the state of Palestine will be required to grant Palestinian citizenship (or dual citizenship) to the Jews living there.
Trump’s decision to recognize the legitimacy of Jewish settlements, ending discrimination against Jews living in the West Bank is legally grounded, humane and fair, but more importantly, it restores the rule of law in international relations on a global scale.
The European Union’s policy on the Jewish population of the West Bank is, from legal point of view a violation of the UN Charter on two counts. Firstly, the economic sanctions imposed on Israel under the pretext of “illegal settlements”, by definition, are an act of war, or rather, this is the unprovoked aggression of Europe against the Jewish state.
Secondly, sanctions and discrimination against the Jewish population of zone “C” are carried out on ethnic / racial grounds. This discrimination violates a paragraph of the UN Charter prohibiting racial discrimination and anti-Semitism.
I don’t think Trump puts us in an exclusive, privileged position. In fact, this distinguished president of the United States defends law throughout the world, and makes no exception to the Jews, contrary to all anti-Semites. He is trying to enforce the very UN Charter, which the UN itself is grossly violating.
And finally, Trump is the first of the American presidents who really wants to achieve peace in the Middle East. In order to establish peace between Jews and Palestinians, it is necessary to restrain the aggression of the Palestinians and all anti-Semites against Israel, and this is what Trump does. This person has a consistent logic.
Trump is knocking out the accusations that became the pretext for anti-Semitic aggression. Only in this way can peace be established: on the basis of mutual justice, and not on the basis of the unilateral “painful concessions” of the Jews.
It was precisely these “painful concessions” that led to a new inflammation of the conflict and revived the hope of the Palestinians to arrange a blood bath for the Jews, to accomplish what the great leader of the Palestinian people, Amin al Husseini, had not been able to do at one time.
Strengthening Israel, Trump strengthens peace. Those Israelis who really want peace with our neighbors must support Trump against his opponents from the Democratic and his own party. As much as we can.
When our Israeli politicians (like Benny Ganz) want to transfer Israel to the other side of the barricade, they undermine our security and destroy the prospect of peace with our «cousins» who are so eager to kill us that they are ready to sacrifice their children in order to kill Jewish children. Cain is next to us.