Only In Israel

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Another response to ISMer

I've came back from the army to discover that, as usual ISMer bothered to publish a flud of lies, logical fallacies and misleading articles on this blog. As I previously stated, I believe in two things. First, I believe in free speech, which is why I do not erase posts written by people with opposing, even racist views, unless they contain vile racism or are outright flooding of the blog. And second, I believe that lies should not go unchallenged and must be responded to (which obviously isn't the approach of the Israeli government or we wouldn't have the PR crap we're having in Europe).

The ICJ, holds no authority on Israel or the international law. It was established half a century after the Geneva convention was written and is not mentioned in the original convention. It has no authority whatsoever over Israel, as Israel hasn't ratified it, and that's part of its charter.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are groups which have no authority in imposing or enforcing international law. They're independent NGOs whose self-acclaimed job is to monitor Human Rights worldwide, not enforce, and certainly not make decisions on what's legal and what isn't.
B'tselem is a communist organization, founded by the Israeli communist party (Hadash). It's a political organization, and doesn't try to distance itself from its political stance, so it has even less credibility than HRW or AI have.
Now let's go over ISMers claims one by one:

Wrong. People buy land according to US law and terms regulated by the US government, as in all sovereign countries. Sovereign countries generally establish laws that prevent foreign countries or other groups from taking control of their citizens' land and property. In any case, as sovereign governments they establish laws based on the perceived interest of their citizens.

Palestinians have not been allowed to establish such laws regarding land purchase or to regulate land purchase. Instead, as B'Tselem explains, Israel imposes a hodge-podge of past laws and military laws, and exploits them to Israel's advantage.
Palestinians don't have a country, or do I have to remind you that? They therefore have no right to make laws which regulate land sell, and even so, it would still be legal to buy land there, because if you're suggesting that the Palestinians would modify their laws to prohibit foreigners from owning land, that means many Jordanians, Iraqis, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Israeli arabs and American arabs would lose their lands which they rightfully bought, just like settlers did.
You can buy land in the West Bank and Gaza just like you can buy land in France, or Canada, or Russia. It has the same degree of private ownership and it's equally your property whether you're a Jew, or not. Establishing closed, fenced communities is also perfectly legal, which makes settlement a completely legal form of privately owned land used as a closed community.

Additionally, however, I personally know many, many Palestinians whose land was taken from them by force by the Israeli military or settlers, not bought, and many others who says that land sale documents are false, forged, etc.. In fact, Israeli settlers have a whole industry and well-established practices for forging land sale documents for Palestinian land.
Right... Amazing how these people who "never sold their land" live in fancy houses in nice neighborhoods all of a sudden. There's clear proof that that land was bought. There are money transfers, signatures, land registry records which document that sell.
I'm not even discussing settlements who have in fact existed on that land long before many of the people now calling themselves "Palestinians" established their villages. Like the Jewish community in Hebron, Gush Etsion, Ramat Rahel and even the now evacuated Kfar Darom in Gaza. These communities existed there prior to Israel's independence was, and therefore have complete and legal ownership of that land and a right to settle there once it's made possible by ending the state of war.
And as for land taken by military or settlers, well, you see, one is legal, the other isn't. The military taking land for its use is completely legal by the Hague Regulations. Using it for civilian use, isn't. So, what you're trying to do here, is take the military needs of Israel, which are perfectly within the International law, and connect them with settlements. It's a nice try but that won't work. The occupying power's military (even if that would apply to the West Bank and Gaza) has a complete right to appropriate private property as long as its for security use according to the Hague regulations. Not to mention Israeli military generally uses to pay rent for the houses it uses as military positions even though it isn't obligated to.

the Israeli government has had a clear policy of encouraging settlers to move into the Occupied Territories, a government policy of transferring its population. Subsidies, support and assistance were given by the Israeli government that encouraged and supported Israeli settlers to move to the Occupied Territories.
So? The Israeli government has the right to encourage its citizens to live where it sees fit. It has no relation to the Geneva Convention's section which says:
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
The article deals with transferring population, not people voluntarily moving to land they privately bought. Giving subsidies isn't "transfer". As long as no Jews were mounted on busses and thrown on the eastern side of the Green line, it's not a transfer, and is perfectly legal.
Trying to claim that settlements are what this article refers to would be a lie, as it was written before settlements existed, of any kind and in any country, and was written to refer to acts taken during WW2, such as transferring Jewish population out of Germany or acts taken shortly after it, like the mass deportation of Germans out of Sudetland into Germany.
You know it was written for that cause, and you're using it for your own goals, eliminating the context it was written in and deliberately not using the exact quote of the article. This is why your complaints of Israel using British mandatory laws in the West Bank are hypocrisy.
The settlements are perfectly legal, and it would take enormous efforts of lies, twisting international documents and misquoting the international law to get anyone to believe otherwise.


  • I wrote previously that Manker would reject the opinions of the ICJ, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem re the Occupied Territories being occupied under international law. But I asked, what about all of the governments in the world, with the exception of Israel and Micronesia, who claim that that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are occupied by Israel according to international law.

    Unsurprisingly, Only In Israel has adopted a similar argument related to the settlements. Using the word "transfer" in a disingenuous manner, our soldier/blogger claims that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to Israeli settlements. He/she then argues that we cannot rely on the viewpoints on international law of the ICJ, the UN, Amnesty, HR Watch or B'Tselem.

    So in this case also I must return to the question of why virtually every government in the world also regards Israel's settlements as illegal under international law? Surely the legal experts of some government somewhere in the world (besides Micronesia) would agree with our soldier/blogger if there was any legal basis for his/her views that the settlements are legal?

    Have the whole world and all the world's legal experts been brainwashed on this?

    "U.S. Policy toward the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is unequivocal and has long been a matter of public record. We consider it to be contrary to international law and an impediment to the successful conclusion of the Middle East peace process’s Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention is, in my judgment, and has been in judgment of each of the legal advisors of the State Department for many, many years, to be. . .that [settlements] are illegal and that [the Convention] applies to the territories.” Secretary of State Cyrus Vance before House Committee on Foreign Affairs -- March 21, 1980
    “Substantial resettlement of the Israeli civilian population in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under the convention and cannot be considered to have prejudged the outcome of future negotiations between the parties on the locations of the borders of states by the Middle East. Indeed, the presence of these settlements is seen by my government as an obstacle to the success of the negotiations for a just and final peace between Israel and its neighbors.” William Scranton, US Ambassador to the United Nations, UN Security Council -- March 23, 1976

    Gee, even the US government realizes that the settlements are illegal under international law...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:58 AM, September 19, 2005  

  • There was quite some debate over the inclusion of two words in the International Criminal Court Statute.
    ICC Statute; Article 8(2)(b)(viii) "The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of it's own civilian population into the territory..."
    The Arab states refused to sign unless the words "directly or indirectly" were included. This forced Israel into a position that, even thought it had been one of the major proponents of the ICC, it could not sign the ICC Statute. Agreeing to such a clause would have made it "guilty" of a crime.

    It is worth noting, this addition resulted from the efforts of the Arab states to make it clear that an Occupying Power is to be responsible for a transfer crime if it deliberately organizes the transfer of its populace, but also where it takes no effective steps to prevent its population from moving by themselves. The clear purpose was to indite Israel, and they threatened to walk off if the ICC did not include these words. I think they did themselves a disservice. By insisting these words needed to be included in the 1998 ICC Statute, in effect they admitted it was not implicit in Article 49 of the Geneva Convention that they so often claimed Israel was in violation of.

    In conclusion: The Arab nations insisted on including the words "directly or indirectly" in the ICC, a document which Israel did (could) not sign, implicitly admitting the lack of culpability of Israel under the Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signator.

    By Blogger YS, at 3:25 AM, October 27, 2005  

  • The Palestinian Arabs will produce the documents that specify the land ownership. The documents will be approved by the banks where Yasser Arafat was laundering his millions. Wait and see!

    Also, if you reject the Palestinian forgeries them they will physically attack you. After all they have Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the rest of them to support their claims and demands.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 PM, October 28, 2005  

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