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October 20, 2015 6:19 am

The Occupation Is at the Root of Current Israeli-Palestinian Violence

avatar by Alon Ben-Meir

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IDF soldiers. Photo: Instagram.

IDF soldiers. Photo: Instagram.

It was always a question of when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would violently erupt once again, which only proves that — contrary to the prevailing views among a multitude of Israelis — no Israeli government can manage the occupation indefinitely. The current replay of past violent flare-ups points to the dismal failure of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policy.

That said, I do not suggest for a moment that all Palestinians are innocent bystanders; Palestinian leaders, including Abbas, have their share of responsibility in provoking the unrest. But those Israelis who call on their government to use harsher measures to prevent further escalation should answer a simple question: what happens the day after a successful Israeli crackdown, and where will all this lead to?

These Israelis all seem to conveniently forget or ignore that what is fundamentally wrong here is the continuing occupation, which by its own very nature cannot be sustained without paying an increasingly heavier toll on both sides.

The stabbing and killing of innocent Israelis is most reprehensible, and the perpetrators should be brought to justice if they survive the aftermath of their atrocious acts. The Israeli government has the responsibility to take security measures to prevent such criminal acts.

The use of excessive force, however, only provokes more intense violent resistance and fuels the already-existing Palestinian extremism, which is not likely to abate — however brutal and forceful Israel’s counter-measures might be.

Whether or not the violence was instigated by the Palestinian Authority’s unfounded accusation that Israel is changing the status quo at the Temple Mount/Haram el-Sharif is hardly relevant, even if it were true.

If the conflict over the Temple Mount did not instigate the current flare-up, any other incident would have ignited it because the conditions on the ground were ripe for such a violent uprising.

A multitude of Palestinian youths live in abject poverty, are despondent, and have no hope for the future. They feel completely abandoned by their own government on the one hand, and are choked by the Israeli occupation on the other.

The fact, however, that Jerusalem was the flash point is especially worrisome as the city houses the largest number of Israelis and Palestinians living side-by-side. If Jerusalem cannot provide the microcosm of Israeli-Palestinian peaceful coexistence, there will never be peace between the two sides.

When it comes to the use of force, Israel will sooner than later prevail, which may calm the situation, but only temporarily. The general shifting of the Israeli population to the right-of-center and the enormous power the settlement movement wields make matters considerably worse.

Extremists on both sides will continue to provoke each other, which will only set the stage for the next bloody confrontation if the political status quo and conditions on the ground remain unchanged.

Israel, rather than the Palestinians, will end up licking its wounds, because irrespective of how many Palestinians are killed and how much destruction they sustain, it is a small sacrifice they happily make in their march toward statehood.

The fact is, a handful of knife-wielding Palestinians can cause havoc among the Israelis, rob them of their personal safety, and make them psychologically vulnerable.

Meanwhile, Israel’s image is further tarnished as friends and foes alike view Israel, rather than the Palestinians, as the culprit behind this new wave of violence. The persisting occupation and the expansion of the settlements provide a constant flame, and it takes little fuel to make it a raging fire that leaves terrible destruction in its wake.

Those extremists among the Israelis who really believe that the use of force is the only way to deal with Palestinian violence are living in self-denial, and the complacent among Israelis in general do not want to know the truth, preferring to live the life of false comfort that complacency provides.

Moreover, there is no way to take this Palestinian ‘uprising’ out of the regional context. The Arab Spring and the resulting regional turmoil reminds every Palestinian that fighting and dying for a cause is better than living a life of servitude and hopelessness.

Wisdom dictates that Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition should rethink their position and devise a long-term strategy not limited to only stem the current bloodshed, but to prevent the vicious cycle of violence by changing the status quo.

Some Israelis and Palestinians might think that time is on their side. They are dead wrong. Time works on the side of those who know how to seize the moment and are committed to finding solutions to endemic problems, instead of waiting and falsely hoping that they can ride the wave of uncertainty and improve their position over time.

Every intelligent Israeli and Palestinian, and there are many, should speak up loud and clear that there will be no winners in this conflict — only losers.

The losses will transcend material, territorial, or physical control, but inflict far more acute damage: the loss of the moral tenet that frees the individual of the responsibility to do what is right. It a dreadful curse because it is self-propelling and allows for ever more latitude to kill and destroy without any sense of remorse.

The mutual acrimonious charges and counter-charges by Israeli and Palestinian leaders do nothing but instigate ever more violence. If Netanyahu and Abbas really want to end the bloodshed, they must appeal to their respective publics, preferably together, and unambiguously state that they are both determined to end the violence.

The question is, do they have the courage, vision, conviction, or will to do what must be done, as neither side can have it their way or wish the other away.

Israel has every right to exist as a Jewish and a democratic state and should protect that with all of its might. However, being that Israel is by far the more powerful party, it should use that might to change the reality on the ground, because its survival as a true Jewish and democratic country depends on the creation of a Palestinian state.

Given past experiences with Netanyahu and Abbas, I seriously doubt that either can rise to the occasion on their own. But for the visit of Secretary of State John Kerry to the region to have any positive effect, Abbas should accept Netanyahu’s invitation to meet during Kerry’s visit. They must promise that the status quo ante will change and that together they will chart a new road to peace before it is too late.

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Mike Kerem

    What a willfully blind, ignorant, suicidal idiot the writer of this article is. It’s absolutely mindboggling!

  • judorebbe

    The root cause of this current incarnation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the same as all previous ones – jihad !!!
    What part of that (politically incorrect) history do you not understand?

  • Michael Pielet

    Reality, the issue is not excessive force against, aran-islamic hatred, terror and murder
    but insufficient force.

    • Ali Haris

      Perhaps a “final solution” for the Palestinians can be developed by the Israeli Government? have you considered this idea Michael?

  • Text of Law drafted by Political Committee of Arab League

    Beginning with November 28, 1947, all Jewish citizens of (Name of Arab Country) will be considered as members of the Jewish minority State of Palestine and will have to register with the authorities of the region wherein they reside, giving their names, the exact number of members in their families, their addresses, the names of their banks and the amounts of their deposits in these banks. This formality is to be accomplished within seven days.
    Beginning with (November 28, 1947), bank accounts of Jews will be frozen. These funds will be utilized in part or in full to finance the movement of resistance to Zionist ambitions in Palestine.
    Beginning with (November 28, 1947), only Jews who are subjects of foreign countries will be considered as “neutrals”. These will be compelled either to return to their countries, with a minimum of delay, or be considered as Arabs and obliged to accept active service with the Arab army.
    Jews who accept active service in Arab armies or place themselves at the disposal of those armies, will be considered as “Arabs”.
    Every Jew whose activities reveal that he is an active Zionist will be considered as a political prisoner and will be interned in places specifically designated for that purpose by police authorities or by the Government. His financial resources, instead of being frozen, will be confiscated.
    Any Jew who will be able to prove that his activities are anti-Zionist will be free to act as he likes, provided that he declares his readiness to join the Arab armies.
    The foregoing (para.6) does not mean that those Jews will not be submitted to paragraphs 1 and 2 of this law.
    It is time to balance and remedy the tragedies of the Jews and the Arab-Palestinians and stop the hostilities.
    YJ Draiman

  • Before Israel’s government forfeit Israel’s rights to the land and any other rights it must be put to a national vote.
    The Israeli government must not have the authority to relinquish Jewish land or other rights without a national vote by the people; this must be the law of the land. This also applies to any agreements or treaties that compromises and or promises that surrender Israel rights in any shape or form.

    According to International law and treaties of post WWI, which allocated over 5 million square miles of territory to the Arabs and the 75,000 square miles of Palestine to the Jewish people, Jordan and Gaza is part of Israel, since they were part of Palestine. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt stated that he would give land in the Sinai with ocean front for the Arab Palestinians. Whether Jordan likes it or not over 70% of its population is Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.
    (The UN has violated the law and the Charter of the UN by allocating Jewish territory under international law and treaties to Jordan. The UN Partition of Israel was also a violation of the UN Charter. Israel accepted, but the Arabs rejected the partition, that makes the UN partition recommendation of 1947 mute and meaningless.
    Israel was reconstituted in 1920 by International law and treaties, including the 1919 Faisal Weizmann Agreement. Israel took over sovereign control on May 14, 1947 after the British abandoned their obligation and the Jewish people became a majority in the land).
    People must remember that the Arab countries have terrorized, persecuted and expelled over a million Jewish families and confiscated all their assets, including over 120,000 square km. of land valued in the trillions of dollars, and most of those expelled Jewish families were resettled in Greater Israel. The Arabs expelled the million Jewish families from their Arab countries (after living there for over 2400 years, a thousand years before Islam was created), the million expelled Jewish families from Arab countries were resettled in Israel and now they want to expel them again from their own historical ancestral land.
    Let the Arabs from Israel relocate to the Jewish homes and land confiscated by the Arab countries.

    YJ Draiman

    • Tomm Friend

      Israel must state as a precondition, that religious tolerance, as defined in the Mandate for Palestine must be a tenet for any Peace partner.

      Israel is at war, not because of occupation, but because it refused to continue the education of children in all of Palestine. Now our enemies have educated them.

      They are despondent because they have no future. They have no future because their rulers have robbed them of it, and lied to them about Israel.

  • Treaty of Peace Between The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
    And The State of Israel October 26, 1994

    Status Quo – Jews and non-Jews can pray on Temple Mount

    Article 9 – Places of Historical and Religious Significance and Interfaith Relations

    1. Each Party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.
    2. In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.
    3. The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.
    YJ Draiman

    The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court reaffirmed earlier this month that it is legal for Jews (and, therefore, Christians) to pray atop the Temple Mount, despite violent Muslim opposition.

  • dante

    excessive force? excuse me, where have seen the govt use excessive force.

    I have bad news for Alon, the writer: ANYTHING THE JEWS DO TO DEFEND THEMSELVES WILL BE DEEMED TO BE EXCESSIVE, UNACCEPTABLE. it does not matter what you do, the Jew-haters of the e.u., the u.n., the ngos, norway, sweden, germany, france, suisse, spain, greece, etc., etc. don’t believe that the Jews have any rights. 75 years ago, their grandfathers participated in anti-Jewish riots or watched appreciatively or passively as Jews were attacked; they carried signs demanding “Jews to Palestine.” now, their swinish grandchildren support the plo and/or hamas and/or bds and they viciously proclaim that the Jews have no place in the ancient Jewish Homeland, the land that they occupied thousands of years before the Muslim conquest.

  • Michael Jaffe

    All you have to do to arrive at Ben-Meir’s argument is to ignore history, common sense, survey data (including that of the Pew Foundation – a decidedly left-leaning body), and the repeated pronunciations (thank you, MEMRI and CAMERA) of Palestinian Arab thug leaders, including the PA’s Abbas and Hamas’s Meshaal. The occupation is not the reason for the violence, and the pronunciations of a leftist hack apologist won’t make it so.

  • Legal and Historical Rights of the Jewish People and the State of Israel

    Before examining the all-important international legal decisions by the Supreme Allied Powers, made at San Remo in 1920 which was confirmed by the Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne which incorporated the 1917 Balfour Declaration, including the Faisal Weizmann Agreement, it is useful to trace back a few years to get a sense of the legal and political environment that followed in the wake of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, leading up to these significant legal and diplomatic events that both emerged from historical roots and went on to shape Jewish contemporary history.

    The Jewish people as the indigenous people of Palestine
    For Israel, rooted in the Jewish people, as an Abrahamic people, is a prototypical First Nation or aboriginal people, just as the Jewish religion is a prototypical aboriginal religion, the first of the Abrahamic religions.
    In a WORD, the Jewish people is the only people that still inhabits the same land, embraces the same religion, studies the same Torah, hearkens to the same prophets, speaks the same aboriginal language – Hebrew – and bears the same aboriginal name, Israel, as it did 3,500 years ago.
    Israel, then, is the aboriginal homeland of the Jewish people across space and time. It is not just a homeland for the Jewish people, a place of refuge, asylum and protection. It is the homeland of the Jewish people, wherever and whenever it may be; and its birth certificate originates in its inception as a First Nation, and not simply, however important, in its United Nations international birth certificate.
    The State of Israel, then, as a political and juridical entity, overlaps with the “aboriginal Jewish homeland”; it is, in international legal terms, a successor state to the biblical, or aboriginal, Jewish kingdoms.
    Jews – Historical Roots
    Aboriginal Rights to Israel, Aboriginal Native Jews to Israel “Palestine”
    There is an enormous body of archaeological and historical evidence demonstrating that the Jewish People — like the Greek People or the Han Chinese People — is among the oldest of the world’s Peoples. Thus, it is well known that the Jewish People has more than 3,500 years of continuous history, with a subjective-objective national identity that, in each century, has kept a link to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. For example, the Jewish Bible, the Christian Gospels and the Koran all specifically testify to the connection between the Jewish People and its historic homeland. Like other Peoples, the Jewish People has a right to self-determination. Though the self-determination of the Arab People is expressed via twenty-one Arab countries, Israel is the sole expression of the self-determination of the Jewish People, which of all extant Peoples, has the strongest claim to be considered aboriginal to the territory west of the Jordan River.
    Thus, the Jewish People is aboriginal to Israel in the same way that, in Canada, certain First Nations are deemed aboriginal to their ancestral lands. And, it is noteworthy that the Supreme Court of Canada has decided that, where aboriginals maintain their historical connection with the land, aboriginal title can survive both sovereignty changes and influx of new populations resulting from foreign conquest. Yet, (bigotry by) Arabs, Muslims have denied that the Jews are a People within the context of the modern political and legal doctrine of the self-determination of Peoples. Keeping in mind that the Middle East has always had a significant Jewish population, including some Jews who, in each century, continued to live west of the Jordan River. Today, many of the sons and daughters of these Middle Eastern Jews are citizens of Israel, where they have been joined by Jews from many other countries. When In October 1917, the British Cabinet adopted, as a declared war aim, the creation of an entirely new country called “Palestine” to serve as “a national home for the Jewish People,” it was done to help realize the Jewish People’s self-determination on its ancestral lands… so was the announcement to the world of Jewish-National-Home Palestine in the November 1917 Balfour Declaration. As the international decision to establish “a national home for the Jewish People” was the sole rationale for the 1922 creation of Jewish-National-Home Palestine which, under the aegis of the League of Nations. While deep into the 20th century, Arab leaders themselves failed to recognize the right to self-determination of a distinct Palestinian Arab People. For example, as principal Arab leader at the 1919-1920 Paris Peace Conference, Prince Feisal specifically accepted the plan to create Palestine as “a national home for the Jewish People” and his father, the Hashemite King of the Hedjaz (later part of Saudi Arabia) was party to the 1920 Sevres Treaty that explicitly stipulated that the newly-created Palestine would be “a national home for the Jewish People.”
    One has described a “remarkable synergy” between the Australian aboriginals and the Jews: “The Jewish community is an ancient and oppressed people, as the Aborigines are; we were the indigenous people of the land of Israel who were kicked out of our land 2000 years ago.”
    Jews – Ancient Indigenous Natives in the area
    There’s extensive research on The Dhimmi: (Indigenous) Jews & Christians Under Islam, 990,000 Jewish families had to flee Arab Muslim lands where they had lived for centuries – often longer than the Arabs who now claim to be its indigenous national people.

    JIMENA stands for: ‘Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa’, it is a human rights organization seeking to educate and advocate for the plight of Jewish refugees from the Middle East. Prior to 1948, approximately 950,000 Jewish family lived in Muslim countries of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. Today, 99 percent of these ancient Jewish communities no longer exist due to Arab and Islamic government actions that directly led to their displacement.
    Jews are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic people. For about 50 years, the majority of the Jewish population of Israel has been Mizrahim – Jews indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa. Moreover, this community of Jews has lived in the Middle East and North Africa since time immemorial. Until the mid-twentieth century, in the 4,000-year history of the Jewish people, Mizrahim never left the region. (When Arab Muslims conquered the Middle East and North Africa, Jews were one of the few indigenous peoples that resisted conversion to Islam),
    Arabs are occupiers who recently came to Israel from neighboring countries

  • Fundamentals of the International Legal and Historical Rights of the Jewish People and the State of Israel aka Palestine aka Greater Israel


    There is perhaps no area in the world more sensitive or strategic to world security and peace than the Middle East, and arguably no country or city more central to this sensitivity than The Jewish State of Israel its capital and most revered Holy City “Jerusalem”.
    There are as many opinions on the corresponding issues—even legally speaking—as there are proposed solutions. This is not only true of Israel itself and the territories it liberated and administers, but it extends to the city of Jerusalem and the many different views concerning its legal status. Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular represent unique circumstances and, in many ways, do not fit into the normal legal parameters.
    Taking Jerusalem, for example, there is no city anywhere in the world that holds such deep-seated roots of religious and spiritual heritage and emotional and cultural passionate bonds. These deep roots and the potential threats to their sanctity play an extraordinarily vital role in that city’s significance and can seem to “trump” even national and international law norms in terms of relevance.

    Why is this so vitally significant?
    The Jewish heritage reaches back more than three thousand years, Jerusalem itself having been established perhaps more than 2,000 years before it was captured from the Jebusites by King David about 1,000 BC. The Temple Mount in the Old City (in now so-called “East Jerusalem”) is the site of the First and Second Jewish sacred Temples, containing the “Holy of Holies”— the most hallowed of all spiritual sites for the Jews. As regards the whole of the Land, expressed in their own words:
    The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. After majority of Jews being forcibly exiled from their land numerous times, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion (Diaspora) and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political and religious freedom.
    Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient ancestral homeland.

    Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible by name more than six hundred times in the Old Testament alone, as well as throughout the New Testament, and has always been considered the “capital” for the Jewish people.
    The Muslim connection dates back to the oral tradition of Mohammed’s “miraculous night journey” (“Miraj”), in AD. 621, on a “winged creature” from Mecca to the Temple Mount, accompanied by the Angel Gabriel, thus making it—with today’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock—for many (though not all ) Muslims, the third holiest site of Islam, after Mecca and Medina (which were formerly developed and occupied by the Jews and expelled by the Muslims). At the same time, even this “night ride”, as referenced in verse 1 of Sura 17 of the Koran, does not mention Jerusalem at all, only “the farthest [al-Aqsa] mosque”. Since there was no mosque in Jerusalem at that time, the “farthest” mosque cannot have been the one now bearing that name on the Temple Mount in the Old City of (“East”) Jerusalem. Still, Islamic tradition holds fast to this claim. In actual fact, early commentators interpreted the further place of worship as heaven. The city of Jerusalem is not once mentioned in the Koran, nor has Jerusalem ever served as the capital of Islam or of Arab-controlled Palestine, under that or any other name.
    The Christians date their heritage from the time of Christ, the Jewish “Founder” of their faith, as well as reaching back to take in the entire history of the Jewish people, which was Christ’s own heritage and which Christians regard as their own, mutually with the Jews. For Christians, the Holy Land is “holy” because that is where Jesus Christ was born, grew up, performed His ministry, was crucified, resurrected and ascended from the Mount of Olives, to which He promised to return.
    But while the Christians are “at home” in every land in which they choose to dwell, and while the Arabs enjoy jurisdiction over vast areas of territory (twenty-one sovereign Arab States consisting over 5,000 sq. miles), the Jewish people have only one area of territorial “homeland”: the small State of Israel, which is less than one percent of the Arab territories of 5 million square miles.
    For the Jewish people, Israel is their only national home and Jerusalem their only Holy City and proclaimed “indivisible” capital. The very term Wailing Wall —- as the Western Wall of the Temple was commonly called prior to the 1967. Jewish recapture of the Temple Mount, under Arab control since 1949—indicates the depth of the emotionally charged significance of this most sacred place for the Jewish people. As regards the whole of the Land, in the words of Dr. Chaim Weizmann (later president of the World Zionist Organization):

    As to the land that is to be the Jewish land there can be no question. Palestine aka Greater Israel alone, of all the countries in which the Jew has set foot throughout its long history, has an abiding place in his national tradition and a long historical connection.

    The recognition of the Jewish people’s singularly ancient historic, religious, political, and cultural link with an ancestral home has more legal significance than it may at first appear, and is easily bypassed in the current heated and polarized debate. These religious and spiritual claims are what have thus far made attempted solutions to territorial and other questions of international law in this area particularly delicate. The real issues are often lacking in clear definition and consensual interpretation of the relevant “law”, at times even attributing to it a kind of sui generis (one of a kind, unique or “peculiar”) character.

    International law, in itself, does not rely on religious or cultural ties but rather on accepted international law norms and standards, which is why the legal recognition of these historical aspects, in a binding international legal instrument, is so highly significant. It is precisely these age-old historic ties that remain the most compelling reason for maintaining sovereignty over all the territory the Jewish people are legally entitled to under international law and treaties, confirmed by the International Court of Justice.

    The particular sacredness of this Land to such differing faiths is clearly demonstrated by the ongoing dispute over the governance of the Holy City of Jerusalem, from the Vatican to the United Nations, including periodic initiatives to give it violating International law a separate international legal status as a so-called corpus separatum. Indeed, because of the delicate and sensitive nature of these “spiritual” connections, Jerusalem is frequently left out altogether from discussions over other so-called disputed territories such as the “West Bank aka Judea and Samaria” and (earlier) Gaza.

    The legal arguments will go on and on, with differing interpretations often even on the same side of the arguments. But the fundamental fact that the historical claims of the Jewish Zionist Organization, based on centuries-old continuous connections between the Jewish people and “Palestine aka Greater Israel”, were given recognition in a small town on the Italian Riviera named San Remo, in 1920 which incorporated the 1917 Balfour Declaration and confirmed by the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne, thus, adopted and confirmed unequivocally by the terms of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine aka Greater Israel in 1922, takes on enormous significance when questions of territorial rights persist.
    The ongoing and never-ending legal arguments and political posturing on both sides of the question of the “Palestine aka Greater Israel” statehood issue will not be resolved in these pages. Yet if the above basic truths with regard to ancestral territory are ignored, all the legal arguments in the world will not bring about an equitable solution. Thus it is important to see in what way(s) this most significant factor of historical ties has been endowed with a legal character and status that undermine Israel’s legitimate rights in its Land as it confronts today’s territorial conflicts.
    While there is no way that the complex current political issues, a culmination of centuries of conflict and legal ambiguities, can be adequately dealt with in one brief exposé, one thing is certain: laws may change, perceptions may vary, but historical fact is immutable. Therefore, for the special case of Israel and Arab-Palestine, we need to look at fact rather than opinion or emotions and seek to avoid the promulgation of law that can result from persistent pressures of often misguided, misinformed, fabricated and/or skillfully manipulated public opinion.
    Thus our mission here is not to attempt to pronounce legal judgments or to offer legal opinions, where even the best legal minds have not been able to achieve consensus, but rather to proclaim international legal truths in a largely political environment that is too frequently polluted with distortions of the truth and outright untruths and fabrications.
    A correlated intent here is to show where Israel’s age-old historic links with the land intersect with legal parameters to give effect to its international legal status in the face of current and often misguided political initiatives.
    Accordingly it should be understood from the outset that the following is in no way intended to present itself as an exhaustive coverage of the many-faceted and age-long disputed issues relating to this territory. It is meant primarily as a wakeup call and/or reminder of the fundamental international legal rights of the Jewish people that were conferred beginning at the San Remo Conference in 1920 which incorporated the 1917 Balfour Declaration and that had threatened to all but slip into obscurity in the current debate, despite the fact that these rights have never been rescinded and the UN has no authority to supersede or modify them. There was also an Arab Jewish agreement executed and signed by King Faisal for the Arabs and Chaim Weizmann for the Jews in London on January 3, 1919 and this agreement has not been annulled.

    Furthermore, The 1920 San Remo International Conference of The Supreme Allied Powers confirmed the Jewish peoples rights to its historical ancestral land of Israel going back over 3700 years and recognized it and incorporated it as part of current International law and treaty.

    To accomplish these aims, we have only to revert back to the milestone international legal instrument, the Mandate for Palestine of 1922, which emerged from the 1920 San Remo sessions of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and in effect transformed the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (the “Magna Carta” of the Jewish people) into a legally binding international agreement that changed the course of history forever for the Jewish people worldwide.

  • Gerry Ramos

    The promised land. The god of Israel had a quarrel with the god of the Arabs. The Arabian god happened to occupy more real estate than the Israeli god. the Israeli god promised to secure a portion of the Land occupied by the Arabs for his own pet people. Then the time for the two god to leave Earth stations. These two sets of people were left to quarrel over real estates until today

    • Tomm Friend

      The god of submission versus the God of Tolerance.

      Violence is the Common Enemy. They hate Israel because it means God Prevails, and they worship fear.

      “Your sacrifices are an abomination to me. I am is the Creator of Justice and Mercy.”

  • Jonathan Helfand

    Enough of the “abject poverty” alibi, professor . A murderous employee of Bezek and a law student are not living below the poverty line. Pity the NYU students who are being brainwashed by this left-wing drivel. With professors like this who needs the Rashid Khalidis of academe!

    • Alan-Merida

      Point well taken.

  • Gnomercy9

    One either supports Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, or one does not. To reject it in Hevron and Shechem is to reject it in Jerusalem and the coastal plain.

  • Julian Clovelley

    The BDS campaign – which I do not personally support – is entirely based on the belief that the Israeli Government will never give credibility to the views embedded in the content of articles such as the present one

    The posts that have appeared in this comment column so far rather confirm that BDS campaign motivating view

    My own lack of support for BDS is itself motivated by the existence of the alternate view within Jewish and Israeli society and the belief that reason whether chosen or forced by the power of reality will prevail.

    But I fear that the time available for that to happen is running out and that the road block is an implacable Zionist misconception of reality itself.

    • Tal

      What a long winded load of nonsensical drivel. You have done no research.

      The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people because they are its indigenous inhabitants.

      I find it interesting that you hold such anti Jewish views yet seem to frequent Jewish media outlets. One does not have to provide credibility where there is none. The Arabs nations can accept the land of Israel or they can refuse it. Either way the nation will remain and people of your kind can deal with it.

  • Tal

    The only occupation is the Arab occupation of historic Jewish lands.

    So Israel weakens itself yet again to create the second “Palestinian” state?

  • Michoel

    I must admit was sorely unimpressed to see a piece like this on the Algemeiner. No need to publish articles like this that bespeak clueless leftist dogma. It does not befit your publication at all.

    It’s simply not newsworthy. Nothing new about an NYU professor at who professes belief in the ubiquitous “Emperor’s new clothes” of our times, the egregious lie of so-called Palestinian Statehood.

  • shloime

    this author is delusional. or a leftist. or both.

    the “occupation” ended 20 years ago with the oslo agreements; today over 90% of arab palestinians live in areas under the control of the palestinian authority. and if that weren’t enough, the idea that the arabs will trade land for peace was thoroughly debunked by the gaza “disengagement”, which has resulted in worse, not better, relations. if the arabs were interested in peace, there would peace, and no need for checkpoints, fences and iron domes.

    “The truth is that if the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war. If Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel.”

  • Lee

    I’m sure that all the families of the people who have been murdered are comforted by your rationalizing of the terrorist violence. (Yes, I’m being sarcastic.) When will we Jews ever stop our naval gazing and stand together against those who want to kill us.

  • Maz Genghis Cohen

    Dr. Alon Ben-Meir cannot rewrite the facts of history despite his repetitive attempts to declare the legitimacy of a Palestinian state which has never existed. Roman legions drove the Israelis from their lands, not the palestinians. Israelis constructed the Temple on the Mount of Jerusalem more than a thousand years before Muhammad heard of it, and there is no historic record that he ever visited the site–not even sub-atomically. Israel has paid the price of return to their land from the diaspora many times over, and then brought great value to the region. Let the so-called Palestinians venture out and create a nation in the wilderness that awaits them. There they may find justice and peace.

  • David Simpson

    Why on earth would Algemeiner publish the dribble of a far left capitulator who also maintains a steady flow of anti-Israel screeds through the radical leftist digital detritus, The Huffington Post is beyond me.
    Despite a glorious name, Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, suggesting a proud Jewish lineage this “useful idiot” is a glaring example of cognitive dissonance coupled with a radical, anti-Israeli agenda driven by far left ideology. Perpetuating the mendacious myth of “occupation” Ben-Meir might as well be writing an editorial for Al-Jazeera or Iranian controlled Press TV. Shame on you David Efune for providing your prestigious platform to an enemy of the state lending credence to a moral equivalency the occupying Arabs are always seeking.

    • mhloutsidebeltway

      I agree with you entirely and I am only left wondering why he was granted space in Algemeiner.


    How can this author miss the obvious: antisemitism is at the core, and total destruction of Israel is the goal. The attacks are not about occupation but drummed up hatred, based on denial of Jewish rights and Jewish history, and won’t end under Abbas. It’s not about Netanyahu, but Abbas and his poisoned regime. He’s egged on by every Islamist regime around him. His education in Russia where his doctoral dissertation was about holocaust denial, set him up to deny just about everything about Jewish history, and now he’s denying the western wall is Jewish. Hitter began the same way, eradicating personhood from Jewish identity and Abbas is no better.

  • Liz Wagner

    “Meanwhile, Israel’s image is further tarnished as friends and foes alike view Israel, rather than the Palestinians, as the culprit behind this new wave of violence.” – Talk about living in denial. Since 1967, the world has done all it can to lend credence and support to every cockamamie libel and slander that Israel’s Arab and Muslim tormentors can conceive.

    But Professor Ben-Amir is right, military force has its limits; especially, in a world that withholds condemnation of Palestinian violence, and can’t berate Israel enough for responding to it and trying to protect its people. Sadly, the professor and others like him insist on embracing those lies. It’s as if the choice to fight the lies does not exist to them! Yet, even if the world has its way with Israel, isn’t it better to go down reminding the schemers that they have, again, resorted to lies and thievery to justify their bullying and shaking down of Jews?

    Israel doesn’t “occupy” anything. It stepped in to provide basic needs to Palestinians who became refugees as a result of multiple wars of aggression that Arab and Muslim nations prosecuted against Israel. We live in a world that brazenly accepts as truth the psychotic distortions of reality offered up by Israel’s enemies so it can claim the conflict is complicated. In truth, it is simple: No matter how righteous our cause; no matter what lengths Israel goes to satisfy the world’s inhuman demands of it, and no matter how much good Israel contributes to this world, the powers that be remain devoted to the ancient hatred of Jews. It endorses Palestinian lies over truth, and then has the chutzpah to claim it is serving the noble causes of “social justice” and “human rights.” Apparently, these noble causes don’t apply when Jewish rights are in question.

    Perhaps 3,000 years as the world’s scapegoats has left Jews entrapped in a cycle, not of violence, but of the self-fulfilling prophecy of victimhood? If so, by now, Jews like Professor Ben-Meir must realize there will be little, if any, sympathy for us after the coming genocide of Israelis, because the world will know how actively Jews contributed to enabling the rise of its enemies by embracing lies about Israel, instead of exposing and fighting them.

  • Shimon Tesler

    Very interesting observation of someone who lives on the Moon and absolutely detached from the Global and for sure from our regional reality. The lack of Oxygen probably affected the thoughts and the writings.