There is currently a worldwide onslaught against Israeli sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. It makes no difference how many concessions or how many peace offers Israel has made over the years, nor how many times the Palestinians have rejected these offers. It is never enough to slake the Palestinian blood-lust nor their land-lust, and never satisfies the European and leftist willingness to sell out Israel in order to appease their radical-chic consciences, not to mention their hugely growing Muslim populations.
The latest iteration of this diplomatic attack on Israel came from France who threatened that if the peace talks deadlock persists, they will go ahead and unilaterally recognize the “State” of “Palestine”.
France warned Friday that it will recognize a Palestinian state if its imminent efforts to end the deadlock in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians end without result.
“France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the solution of two states,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
France, Fabius said, has a responsibility as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to sustain efforts to reach a two-state solution.
Should efforts to breathe life into the moribund peace process fail, France would move to unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state, Fabius made clear. “And what will happen if this last-ditch attempt at reaching a negotiated solution hits a stumbling block?” he said. “In that case, we will have to live up to our responsibilities and recognize a Palestinian state.”
Firstly, I thought that France had already recognized this pseudo-state. It seems I was mistaken.
Secondly, way to go France in persuading Israel of your honest-broker credentials! Don’t go around threatening one side of an argument and dictating the outcome of the talks before they’ve even been scheduled if you want to be taken seriously and honestly.
I am gratified that Netanyahu lashed out at France, rejecting this ultimatum, saying “this is not the way to make peace”.
Israel rejected the approach. “This is not how one conducts negotiations and not how one makes peace,” an Israeli official was quoted by the Hebrew daily Haaretz as saying.
Another Israeli source said the French threat to recognize Palestine if negotiations failed was “an incentive” for the Palestinians to be obdurate.
An unnamed American official also cautiously rejected the French proposal, according to Reuters. “The US position on this issue has been clear. We continue to believe that the preferred path to resolve this conflict is for the parties to reach an agreement on final status issues directly,” the official said.
So what is Israel to do? Faced with constant Palestinian rejectionism, not to mention incitement to murder and terrorism, it’s surely beyond high time for Israel to take pro-active measures. One very important such measure would be to make it clear that Israel has innate indigenous rights to all the territory of the Land of Israel. I would remind you of Metis Indigenous Rights activist Ryan Bellerose’s stirring reminder to the Jews that they are the indigenous nation of the Land of Israel:
One way of sharply clarifying that would be to apply Israeli sovereignty to these areas instead of conceding that they are “disputed lands” or that they in any way belong to the Palestinians. Let the Palestinians sue for peace for a change, rather than the other way round.
The received wisdom when uninformed people talk about the West Bank is that there is discrimination between Israelis and Arabs in the area. Well, in fact any discrimination in Judea and Samaria is against Israelis not Arabs, as Likud MK Yoav Kisch, chairman of the Knesset’s Land of Israel caucus explains:
In a speech on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro claimed that Israel applies “two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians.” In fact, Israel uses a very heavy hand against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria who commit crimes. When it comes to acts of terrorism and murder, Israeli security forces exert great effort to catch the culprits, whether they be Arabs or Jews. Shapiro acknowledged this regarding the Duma arson case, but it also goes for the Muhammad Abu Khdeir murder case, as well as all other murder and terrorism cases.
Yet, in some realms, the law is not applied equally and this is done in a way that actually favors the Palestinians. Take, for example, illegal construction in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian have constructed thousands upon thousands of illegal buildings in Judea and Samaria, some funded by the European Union for the purpose of creating facts on the ground. Very few of these illegal buildings end up being demolished by Israel.
On the other hand, the Israeli legal system makes sure that Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria is conducted in strict accordance with the law. This is also true when it comes to traffic violations in Judea and Samaria. For Jews, there is strict police enforcement of traffic laws. Yet Israeli law enforcement officials are often helpless in the face of Palestinian violations of the same traffic laws. This has been detailed in reports issued by the state comptroller on law enforcement in Judea and Samaria.
A related idea is to invite the EU to see the reality of the settlements of Judea and Samaria:
Several years ago the Samaria Regional Council created a tourist project for visiting VIPs, through which we have hosted hundreds of journalists, politicians, media pundits, and diplomats — yes, diplomats — to show them the true reality of the area where we live. The project was not established as a means to pressure or quarrel with the visitors, but rather as an honest desire to present them with the figures, facts and landscape that they cannot see from their embassies in Tel Aviv and Herzliya, or from the EU headquarters in Brussels.
The visitors were astonished at the sight of thousands of Arabs and Jews working shoulder to shoulder on the assembly lines at the Barkan Industrial Park, without a hint of tension or discrimination. Visitors have also been stunned to learn that Israel, without Judea and Samaria, is a mere 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide — less than the length of one street in New York.
Many are also surprised by the fact that only 7% of Judea and Samaria is populated, by Jews or Arabs, and that essentially 93% of the “occupied territory” is completely empty. This figure delivers a significant impact.
Those who visit understand this is not occupied territory but the heart of the Jewish homeland. They see that most of the places mentioned in the bible are located in Judea and Samaria, and they understand the discourse of rights that we as a state have neglected for the 22 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. The visitors also understand that from a security standpoint, the State of Israel is not viable without the Samaria hills.
Here is a video from Arutz Sheva of some visiting European officials and journalists:
Unfortunately this visit did not persuade the EU to abandon its discriminatory settlement-labelling program but you never know what seeds were planted in the minds of those who visited and saw the reality for themselves.
When I talked about applying Israeli sovereignty, I did not mean that Israel should make grand announcements each time. Last week the Israel government announced the expropriation of land in the Jordan Valley. Of course an international hoo-ha ensued, regardless of the fact that the current use of the land will remain unchanged:
The Israeli government will announce the allocation of 370 acres of West Bank agricultural land near the Palestinian city of Jericho as state lands, the largest such land appropriation since August 2014.
The area, part of which has been worked in recent years by Israeli farmers, is situated north of the West Bank settlement of Almog, in the Jordan Valley, according to an Army Radio report on Tuesday. Additional details about the move were to be published Wednesday morning.
Israel has previously used an 1858 Ottoman law stating that land which lies fallow for several years could revert to government property as the legal basis for such moves.
The procedure was approved by Israeli government officials and was to receive final approval in the coming weeks, according to the report.
The anticipated appropriation was expected to garner negative responses from the European Union, United States and Palestinian Authority, Army Radio reported.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry body serving as the Civil Administration in the West Bank, confirmed the report saying that the move was awaiting final approval, having already received the green light from senior officials and professional experts.
My advice for what it’s worth: Don’t announce these land appropriations – just do it! Just like any other normal sovereign country. If it’s as legal as the government claims it is – and I believe them – then there ought to be no problem, whether the world likes it or doesn’t. (They don’t).
We have to be much more pro-active in proclaiming and asserting our right to the land:. The following was written in connection with the purchase of two houses in Hebron and the subsequent eviction of the new Jewish owners (and the ensuing re-permission of the purchasers to live on their own property):
The State of Israel’s existence is based on more than just military force and diplomatic realism. Most of all, it is rooted in the right of the Jewish people to live in this land with which we are so bonded. Nearly all of Hebron (97%) has already been handed over the Palestinians and if it was not for the Jewish community hanging on by its fingernails to the city’s historic core, the other 3% would also be in the hands of the Palestinians today.
David Ben-Gurion said in 1970, “We will make a great and awful mistake if we fail to settle Hebron, neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem, with a large Jewish settlement, constantly growing and expanding, very soon.” Yigal Allon supported Jewish settlement in Hebron and helped establish the community of Kiryat Arba. And the writer Shai Agnon was wise enough to ignore the evil criticism spewed by the Israeli media at the father of the renewed Jewish presence in Hebron — Rabbi Moshe Levinger. “It’s a fine thing you’ve done, and future generations will inscribe your deeds in a book, that you restored the children to the city of their fathers,” Agnon wrote to Levinger.
And finally, here is Arlene Kushner, who has been so active on the campaign to have the Levy Report on the legality of the settlements implemented by the Israeli government, reminding us of the basics of the Jewish right to the Land of Israel, and the utter absurdity of the “Palestinian” Arab claims to this land: (emphasis towards the end is mine):
Because of the astonishing degree to which the world has bought the Palestinian Arab fiction that all of the land beyond what is referred to as the “1967 border” belongs to them, it is important to return now and again for a basic look at the facts.
Those of my readers who know this information already will, I trust, understand the need to review it. Those who require further elucidation are welcome to contact me.
The Mandate for Palestine of 1922, passed unanimously by the League of Nations, and founded upon the San Remo Resolution of 1920, set as an article of international law the right of the Jewish people to dense settlement and establishment of a homeland in Palestine (which means, at a minimum, from the river to the sea, including Judaea and Samaria). This still stands.
Judaea and Samaria represent the heartland of the Jewish nation from ancient times – it is this region that Shilo (where the tabernacle rested) and Hevron (where the Machpela stands) and other ancient sites are located.
“Palestine” – a term coined by the Romans after the forced dispersal of Jews from Judea – for millennia was a geographical area that was in no way related to a state for Arabs. In point of fact, before the founding of the modern State of Israel, JEWS were referred to as Palestinians.
The “partition plan” of 1947, which spoke about dividing Palestine into a state for Jews and a state of Arabs, was a resolution of the General Assembly – Resolution 181. GA resolutions are only recommendations and have no weight in international law. It changed nothing with regard to the legal status of Palestine as a Jewish homeland, from the river to the sea. All the more so was this the case as the Arabs refused this plan.
Thus Israel’s presence in Judaea and Samaria cannot be a “belligerent occupation,” as a state cannot “occupy” land that belongs to her. Jordan’s control of Judea and Samaria from 1948 – 67 constituted an illegal occupation, as it was seized in an offensive war. Israel did not take Judea and Samaria from a sovereign state that had rightful control of the area.
What is more, Israel took control of Judaea and Samaria in a defensive war, which confers upon her rights in retaining it.
The so-called “1967 border” was not a border at all, but a 1949 armistice line. The armistice agreement stated explicitly that this line was temporary and did not prejudice future negotiations for a permanent border.
Note please: this agreement was with Jordan, not with the “Palestinian people” or a “Palestinian state.” There has NEVER been a Palestinian state, and there is no legitimacy whatsoever to the persistent claim that everything beyond the 1949 armistice line “belongs” to the Palestinian Arab people, such as they may be defined. This notion, which has been marketed so broadly, is nothing but the greatest humbuggery.
Security Council Resolution 242, passed after the Six Day War, declared that final borders would be resolved via negotiations. With regard to Judea and Samaria, this meant a final border between Israel and Jordan – again with no mention whatsoever of a Palestinian state. There was no requirement in this resolution that Israel return behind the 1949 armistice line. In fact, the resolution called for the right of all states “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force,” and it was broadly recognized that Israel’s prior situation – with its lack of strategic depth – made her too vulnerable.
Resolution 242 called for “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” As it did not say “all” territories or “the” territories,” it was understood that a full withdrawal was not required, that “some” withdrawal is all that was called for. There are lawyers who make the case that, as Israel has withdrawn from the Sinai, which was occupied in the war, and negotiated a peace with Egypt that defines the border, she has already fulfilled the stipulations of this resolution.
The Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the PLO in 1993 and subsequently, called for final status negotiations. No where in the Accords does it say the PLO will have a full and sovereign state. PM Rabin, in a speech in the Knesset, made it clear that he had in mind something in the nature of an autonomy that was less than a full sovereign state.
Yet – as the result of a vast and persistent disinformation campaign – the perception of what the Palestinian Arabs are entitled to has morphed into a full state. Much of the world accepts this as a given, believing that the Palestinian Arabs are being deprived of their rights. Either that – or like the 71 British doctors – they prefer to promote notions they do not fully believe because of hatred of Israel.
A particularly ugly example of the way in which the world has embraced the myths of Israeli “occupation,” and Palestinian “rights” to Judea and Samaria can be seen in a statement made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to the Security Council Monday. Addressing the issue of Palestinian Arab violence, he attributed it to “frustration” – “it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism…progress towards peace requires a freeze of Israel’s settlement enterprise.” He also objected to the demolition in Area C of illegally built Arab homes, often funded by the EU. (Although of course he didn’t acknowledge that they were illegally built.)
We should not, I suppose, have expected better of Ban Ki Moon. Blame Israel. Blame “the settlements.”
Ignore the frustration Palestinian Arabs feel because of the lack of human rights and the corruption they endure under the Palestinian Authority.
Ignore the blatant incitement by the PA, starting with Mahmoud Abbas. His praise of terrorists. His repeated fallacious charges that Jews are threatening al-Aksa mosque. Ignore the PLO salaries paid to terrorists in prison. Ignore the fact that just last week, on Ma’an TV, Fatah Central Committee Member Tawfiq Tirawi said:
“Let us talk logically. Hitler was not morally corrupt . He was daring.”
And one final reminder, for anyone who still harbors a distant hope for peace: Read Israellycool’s post “why peace is unreachable – in photos“, showing the joy of a Palestinian mother at the murder that her son committed and his subsequent death (oops, I mean “martyrdom”).
And then watch this video (via a Twitter friend):
You don’t need to watch more than the first few minutes to understand what Abbas is saying in Arabic to his own people. I challenge you to still think peace is possible, or that sharing this country with the Palestinians is in any way feasible.