Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The West Bank is disputed, not "occupied"

From YouTube, on Jul 12, 2011, by :
In this 3-minute video, Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon explains where the terms "West Bank", "occupied territories" and "67 Borders" originated and how they are incorrectly used.

Also see the excerpts from previous JIW postings below for further information (click on the title to go to the full posting, where you will find links to the original source material).



…The “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, a 10,000- square-miles area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The legally binding document was conferred on April 24, 1920 at the San Remo Conference, and its terms outlined in the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10, 1920. The Mandate’s terms were finalized and unanimously approved on July 24, 1922, by the Council of the League of Nations, which was comprised at that time of 51 countries, and became operational on September 29, 1923.

...On April 18, 1946, when the League of Nations was dissolved and its assets and duties transferred to the United Nations, the international community, in essence, reaffirmed the validity of this international accord and reconfirmed that the terms for a Jewish National Home were the will of the international community, a “sacred trust” – despite the fact that by then it was patently clear that the Arabs opposed a Jewish National Home, no matter what the form…

...The “Mandate for Palestine” is Valid to This Day
The Mandate survived the demise of the League of Nations. Article 80 of the UN Charter implicitly recognizes the “Mandate for Palestine” of the League of Nations.

This Mandate granted Jews the irrevocable right to settle anywhere in Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, a right unaltered in international law and valid to this day. Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), Gaza and the whole of Jerusalem are legal.

The International Court of Justice reaffirmed the meaning and validity of Article 80 in three separate cases...July 11, 1950...June 21, 1971...[and] July 9, 2004...neither the ICJ nor the UN General Assembly can arbitrarily change the status of Jewish settlement as set forth in the “Mandate for Palestine,” an international accord that has never been amended.

All of western Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including the West Bank and Gaza, remains open to Jewish settlement under international law.

Israel Has the Better Title to the Territory of What Was Palestine, Including the Whole of Jerusalem
International law makes it clear: All of Israel's wars with its Arab neighbors were in self-defence.
Professor, Judge Schwebel, wrote in What Weight to Conquest:
"(a) a state [Israel] acting in lawful exercise of its right of self-defense may seize and occupy foreign territory as long as such seizure and occupation are necessary to its self-defense;
"(b) as a condition of its withdrawal from such territory, that State may require the institution of security measures reasonably designed to ensure that that territory shall not again be used to mount a threat or use of force against it of such a nature as to justify exercise of self-defense;
"(c) Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.


"... as between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt."
"No legal Right Shall Spring from a Wrong"
Professor Schwebel explains that the principle of "acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible" must be read together with other principles:

"... namely, that no legal right shall spring from a wrong, and the Charter principle that the Members of the United Nations shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State."
Simply stated: Arab illegal aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, cannot and should not be rewarded.

Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, stated:

"Territorial Rights Under International Law.... By their [Arab countries] armed attacks against the State of Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and by various acts of belligerency throughout this period, these Arab states flouted their basic obligations as United Nations members to refrain from threat or use of force against Israel's territorial integrity and political independence. These acts were in flagrant violation inter alia of Article 2(4) and paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of the same article."

Thus, under international law Israel acted lawfully by exercising its right to self-defence when it redeemed and legally reoccupied Judea and Samaria, known also as the West Bank.

Legalities aside, before 1967 there were no Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and for the first ten years of so-called occupation there were almost no Jewish settlers in the West Bank. And still there was no peace with the Palestinians. The notion that Jewish communities pose an obstacle to peace is a red herring designed to blame Israel for lack of progress in the 'Peace Process' and enable Palestinian leadership to continue to reject any form of compromise and reconciliation with Israel as a Jewish state.

"Occupation" and "Settlements" have … become the buzzwords by which to denote, to decry and defame Israel's control of the territories across the 1967 armistices lines. This prevailing custom is wildly at odds with the realities that forced Israel to seize these territories in an unequivocal act of self defense against threats of annihilation, in classic preemptive exercise of the right of "anticipatory self defense."

A 2003 article "Jus ad Bellum: Law Regulating Resort to Force", published by the American Bar Association, sets out the rather stringent conditions for the legitimate exercise of "anticipatory self defense." It stipulates that the necessity for action must be "instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation." It goes on to quote a "recent edition of a leading treatise [which] states that [anticipatory] self-defense may justify use of force under the following conditions: an attack is immediately threatened; there is an urgent necessity for defensive action; there is no practicable alternative, particularly when another state or authority that legally could stop or prevent the infringement does not or cannot do so..."
There is clearly not doubt that these conditions were met in June 1967.

The declarations of Arab leaders, before Israel held a square inch of territory now claimed to be "occupied," show irrefutably that "an attack was immediately threatened" and that there was indeed "an urgent necessity for defensive action." Furthermore, there was clearly no practicable alternative, particularly when another state or authority that legally could stop or prevent the infringement did not do so..." (since the UN had, at Cairo's behest, removed its troops from the Israeli-Egyptian border; and the United States and other maritime powers refused to remove Egypt's blockade of the Straits of Tiran, and to honor their commitments to allow Israel the right of navigation in the Red Sea.)

On March 8th 1965, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser proclaimed: "We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand. We shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood."

On May 18, 1967 the Cairo-based radio station Voice of the Arabs blared stridently: "As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. .... The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence."
Two days later, on May 20, 1967, Gen. Hafez al-Assad, Syria's Minister of Defense, and later President, boasted: "Our forces are now entirely ready....to initiate the act of liberation itself and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland....the time has come to enter a battle of annihilation."

On May 27, Nasser declared: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight."


And four days before the outbreak of war, on June 1, 1967, Iraqi President Abdul Rahman Ali (later killed by Saddam Hussein) threatened: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map."
Therefore, it was not Israeli aggression but unequivocal Arab aggression that led to the events which precipitated Israel's takeover of territories across the 1967 frontiers, an act of clearly legitimate anticipatory preemption of that aggression….
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