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December 10, 2012 2:30 pm

Israeli Settlement Facts and Falsehoods

avatar by Yoram Ettinger

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A neighbourhood in Ariel, Israel.

1. Judea and Samaria (Jewish roots) or West Bank (Arab roots)?

“Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Its Hebrew spelling combines one of God’s names: Jehova (יהוה) and one of God’s acronyms: ד’. Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was “Judea and Samaria” from Biblical times until April 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it “West Bank,” as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the U.N.

2. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria an obstacle to peace?

Jewish settlements were established in Judea and Samaria after the 1967 War. However, it was pre-1967 Arab terrorism which annihilated the Jewish communities of Hebron, Gush Etzion and Gaza and raged in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s — Arab terrorism aimed at preventing the establishment of an “infidel” Jewish state in the “abode of Islam.” Several Arab armies, and Palestinian terrorists, raided Israel in 1948 and persisted in anti-Jewish terrorism before the 1967 establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

3. Is the strategic goal of Mahmoud Abbas to uproot the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria?

Mahmoud Abbas is the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which supersedes and oversees the Palestinian Authority. The PLO was established in 1964, three years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The 1964 Covenant of the PLO referred only to the pre-1967 area of Israel. The current PLO Covenant targets Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 area of Israel for “liberation.”

Abbas is, also, the leader of Fatah, which was established in 1959, eight years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The August 2009 Sixth Convention of Fatah called for the continued struggle “to eradicate the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” The strategic goal of Abbas is to uproot the Jewish state and not, merely, the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

4. Would the uprooting of Jewish settlements advance peaceful coexistence?

Peaceful coexistence on the one hand, and the uprooting of Jewish or Arab communities on the other, constitute an oxymoron. The 1.6 million Arabs, among 6 million Jews, within pre-1967 Israel do not constitute an obstacle to peace; nor do the 350,000 Jews, among 1.7 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The uprooting of Arab communities in pre-1967 Israel would be as immoral as would be the uprooting of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. “Judenrhein areas” contradict peaceful coexistence. In fact, the litmus test of Palestinian/Arab intent is the acceptance or rejection of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

5. Does Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria prejudge the outcome of negotiation?

Palestinian construction in Judea and Samaria — which is dramatically larger than Jewish construction there — presents facts on the ground, just as Jewish construction does. Western tendency to single out Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, while ignoring Palestinian construction, prejudges the outcome of negotiations! Opposition to Arab presence in pre-1967 Israel should not be tolerated; so, too, should the opposition to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. Israel’s government razes illegal Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Israel should, also, raze the 1,100 illegal Arab homes built annually in Jerusalem and the thousands of illegal Arab homes in Judea and Samaria.

6. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria legal?

Judge Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute “occupation.” Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School, former undersecretary of state and co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which sets out the criteria for Israel-Arab peacemaking said U.N. Resolution 242 does not call for withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries; Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai amounts to a 90 percent withdrawal from post-1967 areas; the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria “cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors, and perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, ‘the Palestine article,'” which upholds the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine. This 1922 international legal instrument considered Judea and Samaria part of the Jewish national homeland: “Jews have the same right to settle [in Judea and Samaria] as they have to settle in Haifa.” The 1993 Oslo Accord does not prohibit the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

The campaign against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is based on gross misrepresentations. It is not a peace-enhancer; it is an appeasement-enhancer, fueling terrorism and undermining the pursuit of peace.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • Israel must retain its historical ancestral territory.

    This Arab terror and violence throughout Israel is an opportunity for the Israeli government and its security forces, to crack down harshly on all those who commit terror and violence and those who incite to terror and violence.
    Israel needs to clean house once and for all. The world nations are silent while Jews are being killed, nothing has changed throughout history. It is up to Israel to take decisive action with zero tolerance, nobody else will do it for them.
    The world is watching to see if Israel has what it takes to quash this terror and violence. Please do not fail.
    Go and get them, quash them so they cannot get up.
    YJ Draiman

    Freedom – is when you stand up for yourself and fight for it, and not capitulate and stand idly by.

    Israel must retain its historical ancestral territory. The Jewish people are the remaining indigenous people of the land of Israel with a continuous habitation of over 3500 years.

  • UN Did Not Create Israel – 1920 International Law and Treaties Reconstituted it

    The UN and The ICJ Are Only Advisory Organizations

    The UN under its Charter has no authority and cannot establish a country; it cannot supersede or modify international law and treaties.

    The UN under its charter can only recommend its resolutions and if it is accepted by the parties and signed as an agreement by the parties, it is valid; otherwise said resolution has no validity and cannot be enforced.

    History proves the Arabs have rejected outright all pertinent UN resolutions, thus, rendering said resolutions as invalid and unenforceable. Even if the UN, other nations, or other entities and organizations put up flags and any other action for the fictitious Arab Palestinians, said flag-raising is meaningless.

    The 1917 Balfour Declaration recognized the Indigenous and Legal rights of the Jewish people to their historical ancestral land of Israel (aka Palestine). Thus, about 75,000 square miles was assigned to be the reconstituted Jewish National Home. It must be noted that said recognition of “Indigenous” rights was based upon the historical fact the Jewish people and had a continuous habitation of this land for over 4000 years.

    In furtherance of the 1917 Balfour Declaration the Faisal Weizmann Agreement was signed and executed in London on January 3, 1919 which recognized Palestine as a Jewish territory. This Agreement was the only time Arabs agreed to, and executed a legally binding document recognizing the land which belonged to the Jewish people. It must be noted since this “Agreement” was executed; no other legally binding agreement has ever been agreed to by the Arabs which supersedes this Agreement, or other treaties.

    In further support of the above facts and under International Law, treaties were signed and executed by the Supreme Allied Powers after WWI. At this time Arab states were created in Mesopotamia, Syria, and Lebanon, etc., totaling 5 million square miles. Most importantly, at the very same time Israel (aka Palestine) was assigned to the Jewish people as their Jewish National Home.

    After 1947 the Arab countries persecuted and expelled over a million Jewish families and confiscated all their assets including over 120,000 square km. of land, which is about 6 times the size of Israel. Most of the million expelled Jewish families were resettled in Israel and now comprise over half the population of Israel.
    Ironically, with the immigration of so many expelled Jewish families, the increase in the population of Israel satisfied one of the elements contained in the 1920 international treaty which incorporated the Balfour Declaration as international law (Israel’s Magna Carta): Israel Jewish population had to be substantial enough in order to become self-governing.

    The British as trustee for the Jewish people assumed the duty; obligation and responsibility to enhance and promote the Jewish immigration thus, substantially increase the Jewish population and implement the Jewish Sovereign government of the historical reconstituted Jewish National home in Palestine.

    After numerous Arab violent rioting incidents in Palestine, The British decided for their own economic interest to violate the trust, thus, violate the terms of International law and treaties and the Mandate for Jewish Palestine and instead of promoting Jewish immigration it restricted Jewish immigration and prohibited Jews from buying properties in Israel.

    Furthermore, The British under the auspices of the League of Nation and a Mandate for Jewish Palestine which violated international law and treaties reallocated 78% of Jewish territory all the lad east of the Jordan River, as the New Arab State of Transjordan now named Jordan. Moreover, it instituted an apartheid rule and prohibited Jews from purchasing land or residing in Jordan.

    When WWII was initially progressing many Jewish families were trying to escape Nazi Germany extermination camps. The British blocked their entry into Palestine and sent many of them back to Germany to be exterminated. These actions caused the deaths of millions of Jews.

    In 1947 after embarrassing military loses in Palestine. The British decided to abdicate and terminate their obligation to the terms of the Mandate and notified the UN which took over for the League of Nations in 1946.

    In view of the riots and violence in Palestine. The UN on its own and in violation of international law and treaties, voted and **recommended (I stress recommended only – non-binding, which must be accepted by all parties or it is meaningless, and the Arabs rejected it) to partition again the balance 22% of Jewish territory west of the Jordan River and reallocate the Western part west of the Jordan River, Judea and Samaria to the Arabs and the balance to the Jewish people up to the Mediterranean sea.

    The Jewish Committee in Palestine, upon the notice that the British were deserting their fiduciary obligation to the term of the Mandate in Palestine and were leaving Palestine, were forced to make a crucial decision, to declare Israel’s Independence with only about 600,000 Jews in Palestine.

    The Jewish committee in Palestine waited until the UN vote recognizing Israel and declared its official independence on May 14, 1948. The declaration of independence of Israel would have occurred even if the UN did not recognize Israel.
    The Jewish committee in Palestine-Israel adhering to international law and treaties post WWI by the Supreme Allied Powers allocating Palestine for the National Jewish State was legally instituted in 1920 and a year prior to that agreed to by the Faisal Weizmann agreement executed in London on January 3, 1919.
    YJ Draiman

  • Israel does not have to defend its’ legitimacy! R5

    Israel’s right to the land is ingrained in history, archeological findings, international law and possession. Just like the Arab States have not been required to defend their legitimacy, Israel should also not be required to defend its’ legitimacy.
    The 21 Arab States and the State of Israel were set up by the Allied Powers after WWI, when the Ottoman Empire relinquished its title to the territories to the Allied Powers. The British were assigned as trustee for the Jewish people to help reconstitute the Jewish State as Implemented by the San Remo Treaty of 1920 which incorporated the 1917 Balfour Declaration. The 1920 San Remo Treaty incorporated and adopted the Balfour Declaration of 1917, it was also approved by the 1920 treaty of Sevres and Lausanne and the 1919 Faisal Weitzman Agreement. Of importance is the fact that the treaty terms and documents prove that there was no state allocation of land to any other people or nation other than the Jewish people in Israel. It should also be noted the League of Nations set up the Mandate for Palestine as per international law and treaties as a State for the Jewish people with exclusive political rights.
    The Jewish people who are the remaining indigenous people who lived in Israel for over 4,000 had additional Jewish immigration in the mid 1800. The local Jewish people with the infusion of more Jewish immigration, resources, funding and with the explicit permission by the Ottoman government, started developing the land. Within a short time the Jewish people started turning the desert and desolation into green pastures, thus, building an economy, agriculture, housing and industry. Many Arabs from neighboring depressed Arab lands, who viewed this development as an opportunity for work and an improved standard of living, came to work in Palestine. When the Arab countries terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and confiscated all the assets including over 120,000 sq. km. of land. Most of those expelled Jewish family were resettled in Israel and today comprise over half of Israel’s population.
    Over the past 68 years Israel has become a thriving nation with exemplary innovation in education, technology, high tech industry and medicine. Many nations admire Israel’s outstanding development and innovation. Israel has always been extending a helping hand to any nation that wants to learn and advance in industry, technology and medicine.
    The Arab-Palestinians saw an opportunity to get land and a country that was developed and flourished by the Jewish people. They decided that through intimidation, deception harassment and violence to usurp the Jewish habitants into capitulating to their scheme of an Arab-Palestinian State on Land allocated exclusively to the Jewish people after the Arabs were allocated over 5 million sq. miles. The Arab-Palestinians live on charity from the nations of the world. They are unwilling to help themselves. After the 1967 war when Israel defeated the 5 Arab armies who tried to destroy it, Israel started employing many of the Arabs in the liberated Jewish territory, educating them in agriculture and water resources. In the following years the standard of living of the Arabs jumped 5 fold and more, and their economy and housing blossomed. When the terrorist organization entered the picture and instigated the Arab population to start terror and violence against the Israelis, the economic advancement was slowed down if not halted. The dire predicament of the Arab-Palestinians is of their own making.
    If you look at Arab land it is desolate and barren, with few exceptions. At the same time, the Jewish land is blooming and developing at an accelerated tempo. The Arabs, rather than follow the example set by Israel, the Arabs tried to take the Jewish land by force and lost 4 wars in a span of 25 years.
    The Arab-Palestinians current actions in the political and legal arena are a result of losing 4 wars and various battles with Israel. They not only could not win ground, but in fact have caused themselves a downward spiral toward economic desolation.
    The Arab-Palestinians have switched tactics and have now gained more ground and concessions by playing the peace game. The Arab-Palestinians deception, obfuscation and disinformation campaign along with various pleadings in front of the U.N. and other International bodies has gained the Arab-Palestinians more inroads than wars. The power of oil and the Arab Countries, who do not want the Arab-Palestinians to return to their countries, are helping them promote the false and deceptive information, and utilizing their numerical control in the U.N. to pass any resolution that they deem necessary to advance their cause, the UN resolutions are only a recommendation.
    Money, power and greed promoted hate and anti-Semitism by the Arabs in order to force Israel into surrendering territory to the Arab-Palestinians. The Arabs are trying to initiate land piracy camouflaged as legal rights to the land of Israel.
    Jewish resistance to the unjust persecution by the Arabs and the world at large: Any level headed individual would think that after WWII and the 6 million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust (plus another 5 million of other ethnic groups) would diminish, if not eliminate anti-Semitism and baseless hatred. It seems that no matter the amount of unwarranted persecution, and no matter the sacrifices the Jewish people have endured through the ages, Anti-Semitism continues to raise its ugly head.
    The Media is guilty of escalating hostilities and violence in Israel and elsewhere. The Media has a responsibility to deliver fair and unbiased reporting. They influence the information that people rely on. It is an awesome responsibility and it must be handled with factual un-slanted reporting. The Peoples lives depend on it; maybe yours or someone you love.
    I would like your comments and inputs
    The affects on the world at large: Has humanity lost its values and fairness? The answer is no. In order to lose something, one must first possess it and the truth is, the world has never had total control of values and fairness.
    In today’s world, where money and power is pursued at all costs (see Machiavelli), the core family unit is disintegrating and family values is deteriorating. Honesty, integrity and fair-play seem to be a thing of the past. Where are we as human beings of the 21st century heading? Obviously, downward.
    Take some time to reflect on the truth of what is stated here. Do you really want this kind of world for your children? Senseless hate and destruction must not be tolerated. I urge you to wake up, take the bull by the horn and pursue a path of correction, or we are doomed as a civilized people.
    YJ Draiman

  • Wallace Edward Brand

    The WWI Allied Principal War Powers, held talks in Paris in 1919 to decide what was to be done with the land they had conquered. Claims for territories in Europe were decided promptly but the claims of the Arab People and the Jewish People for the collective political rights to Syria, Mesopotamia and Palestine went unresolved until they reconvened in San Remo. On April 25, 1920 they decided to recognize the Jewish People as the owners of the collective political rights to Palestine. However as to the existing individual political rights of those in non Jewish communities, referred to as one of the civil rights, these were protected against any prejudice by those who would establish and administer the government of the territory in the savings clause of the Balfour Declaration. The same issue is currently under debate now in a bill to resolve the same issues under domestic Israeli law. These have been fixed under International Law since San Remo. At the meeting in San Remo, the French sought to add “political rights” to the savings clause that saved civil rights (including individual political rights) and religious rights but the proposed amendment was rejected. It appears that the Jewish People had been recognized as the owner of these national rights and the Arabs were rejected. Possibly it was because the Jewish People was the only people that had no other home, whereas the Arabs held exclusive national or collective political rights to 22 other states.

  • Michael D Perloff

    Judea and Samaria were illegally occupied by foreign Arab armies for 19 years until the invaders were expelled in 1967. In any similar situation anywhere in the world Judea and Samaria would be called “liberated territories.” Why a special definition just for the Jewish state? And why call it “disputed?”

    The Arabs claim these liberated territories still belong to them. They have made reference to “Israel occupied Palestinian territory” and “disputed land” their mantra so often that the general public believes it’s true.

    Using the Arab terminology of occupation undermines Israel’s position and lends credibility to the fallacious Palestinian Arab narrative of victimhood and disposession when none is warranted.

  • Claire Lanyado

    It is my understanding that Jordan never legally annexed Judea and Samaria. That is why Israel is now legally occupying it. According the International law, a country cannot occupy land won in war from another country. Since this land was not legally a part of Jordan, it was not land won in war from another country.

    • Torben Michael Kaae

      “As Jordan no longer makes any claim to the West Bank and Egypt makes no claim on Gaza the only remaining claimants are Israel and the Palestinians. As to who has the stronger claim, the Palestinians never had any title to these territories. Moreover, international law distinguishes clearly between “aggressive conquest” and territorial acquisition after a war of self-defense. Former US State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in the Hague, wrote in 1970 regarding Israel’s case: “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”

      It Means: If a state in lawful exercise of selfdefense conquers none state territory (terra nullius), it can´t be an unlawfull occupier.

      Another people – by the way – without legal claims to this territory – claims this territory anyway; thats at least, what they tell the World – and strange enough the World still listens !

      Jordan was until 1967 an illegal occupier in 1988 renounced it´s claim on this territory (Westbank.)

      The League Of Nations unannimously adopted (51 votes)
      the Jewish right to a National Homeland and by the establishment of The United Nations this decision became implemented in The Charter of The U.N. Article 80.

      Israel has a strong claim on The Westbank.

      Which all included make this territory a Disputed Territory.

      Only direct Peace talks between the parties involved with a supervisor included and in full respect of The Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 will do.

      It will be most unlawful to enforce a peacetreaty upon the parties involved.

      • Torben Michael Kaae

        Sorry folks – forgot to mention this:

        Professor in International Law and Justice, Hans Kelsen, wrote in 1952 a book, “Principles of International Law”, which became a bestseller – Worldwide.


        And to where does this lead us ?

        Did this territory belong to Egypt ? NO !
        Did this territory belong to Jordan ? NO !
        Did this territory belong to the Palestinians ? NO !

        This means that this territory was ‘none Sovereign territory’ for which we have a latin expression: *TERRA NULLIUS* means ‘land belongs to nobody’!

        Try to Google it.

    Looking foward to more facts.
    I gotta look back into your other writings.

    Brooklyn Chai.
    Whoops, I mean AM YISRAEL CHAI