December 28, 2006

Israeli settlements are not a violation of international law

An Israeli plan to construct 30 new homes in Maskiot in the Jordan Valley for families evacuated from uprooted Gaza Strip settlements has been questioned by the U.S. State Department. But David Siegel, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said "the settlement is not a new one." It was legally established in 1982, housed an army unit and a school, and has had civilians living there for several years. The plan is to build within the confines of the existing settlement, he said.

Aha. "Settlements". A buzzword and part of the Palestinian terminology manufactured by the PLO to make you despise Israel.

What do you really know about "settlements" anyway?

Well, folks, contrary to what you have been spoonfed, settlements are not a violation of international law.

Settlements, Jewish communities that were established in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the territories were gained in the 1967 War, do not violate international law.

Israel’s administration of the territory in 1967 replaced Jordan’s control of the West Bank and Egypt’s of the Gaza Strip.

I repeat: Jordan and Egypt were the occupying nations of territories that never belonged to a sovereign nation.

Egypt and Jordan gained control of these areas during the 1948 War with the newly - established legitimate and soveregin nation of Israel, which according to the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan, were to be part of the independent Arab state to be established alongside an independent Jewish state (a plan rejected by Arab nations and Palestinian leadership).

Neither Jordan nor Egypt had legal sovereignty over these areas. (Note: there was never any Muslim outrage when Jordan and Egypt occupied those areas, from 1948 to 1967, a total of 19 years, but that's another story, to be filed under Muslims Who Hate Jews Politically Identify With Other Muslims Who Hate Jews.)

These areas can thus not be considered "occupied territories" under international law, since Israel did not "occupy" them from another sovereign nation, but are "disputed territories" over which there are competing claims, and whose future must be determined through negotiations. Since 1967, Israeli governments have maintained a willingness to withdraw from areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a peace agreement with the Arabs.

Critics of Israel frequently cite Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the forcible transfer of segments of a population of a state to the territory of another state which it has occupied through the use of armed force, as proof of the illegality of settlements.

The Geneva Convention, drafted after World War II, was intended to protect local populations from displacement, such as the forced population transfers experienced before and during the war in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary.

The situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is clearly different. Israel has not forcibly transferred Israelis to these areas. Rather, Israelis voluntarily are returning to areas where Jews have historically dwelled.

Jews have lived in the West Bank and Gaza Strip throughout recorded history, until 1948 when they were forced to flee the invading Arab armies.

Indeed, several of the current settlement communities existed prior to 1948 when they where overrun by invading Arab armies. Kfar Etzion and other villages in the Jerusalem-Bethlehem corridor, for example, fell to Arab forces in May 1948 and those captured were massacred.

Sons and daughters of those who lived there until 1948 were the first to return after the 1967 war.

Source(s):
No Previously-Recognized Sovereignty in the Territories;
Israeli Settlements;
The Gaza Strip: Myths and Facts - Part I