Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Myths of the Arab-Israeli Conflict - #2

"Israel is building illegal settlements in the West Bank in defiance of international law"

The claim that Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank are illegal is based on faulty premises, as has been definitively demonstrated by Professor Julius Stone, one of the world's foremost experts on international law. Firstly, these lands were not considered the legal territories of any High Contracting Party when Israel won control of them; their occupation after 1948 by Jordan and Egypt was illegal and neither country ever had lawful or recognised sovereignty. The last legal sovereignty over the territories was that of the original Palestine Mandate, which actually encouraged Jewish settlement of the land. Second, since Israel captured these lands in lawful self-defense during the Six-Day War, which was a pre-emptive strike against Egyptian forces massing on the border, settlement on these lands is therefore not illegal under international law.

The irony is that there IS an illegal settlement program going on...in Israel. In recent years, over 100,000 illegally constructed housing units have been built in Jerusalem by Arabs. When moral idiots such as Obama (whose “non-interventionist” policy in the Middle East is mysteriously repealed in the case of Israel) begin to focus on issues like this, and not just on imaginary Israeli “apartheid” (dealt with in the next instalment), then there can be real progress in this conflict.

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