This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Reading Israel The Riot Act

"Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that Amona must be demolished because it is built on private Palestinian land."
"Hundreds of activists threw stones at police and resisted officers as they moved in to enforce the court order. Injuries were reported on both sides. The removals started on Wednesday and continued into the night."
"Hours earlier, the Israeli government approved plans to build 3,000 new homes at settlements in the West Bank. It is the third such announcement since the inauguration 12 days ago of US President Donald Trump, who has hinted he will be more sympathetic to settlement construction than his predecessor."
BBC News online
Protesters set furniture on fire during an operation to evacuate the unauthorised settlement outpost of Amona in the occupied West Bank (1 February 2017)
Protesters set fire to furniture and building materials as police officers moved in   AFP
It is certain to make headlines all over the world when Israel announces its intention to create more homes at settlements considered illegal by the world community, and censored unremittingly. The Palestinian Authority uses the supposedly 'illegal' status of new buildings in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank -- which Israelis refer to as Judea and Samaria using their biblical names to identify the geography that was Judean, historically Jewish geographic areas from ancient times to the present -- to heighten global indignation.

The legend that these settlements and their expansions represent an internationally illegal occupation promoted by the Arab and Muslim world and gravely emphasized by the United Nations, then slavishly echoed by the world community has little basis in actual legal terms. Palestinians aspire to claim the West Bank as their own, they now state, of an opportunity they spurned before Israel became a state in 1948 when the United Nations proffered their Partition Plan.

From that time forward the other nations of the Middle East have variously declared war on Israel and manipulated the United Nations to view the Israeli presence as illegal. All the more so as they feel they have a legal footing from the time that Israel successfully defended itself from extermination by the last assault conducted by combined Arab armies. The assaulting nations lost territory instead of gaining it; Egypt its Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, Syria the Golan Heights, and Jordan the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Jordan was an unauthorized occupying power. From the Golan Heights looking down upon Israel, Syria launched countless attacks against the tiny nation below. Egypt eventually agreed to a peace with Israel and recouped the Sinai, including the developments that Israel had made there. As long as Syria remains a threat to Israel, the Golan Heights will never be returned. And East Jerusalem and the West Bank were never Jordan's to claim, much less the Palestinians. Israel unilaterally returned the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority only to have Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two terrorist groups, launch incessant rocket attacks into Israeli towns and villages.

The Muslim Arab nations in which oriental Jews had lived for thousands of years in the Middle East and North Africa, expelled their Jews and confiscated their properties as soon as Israel declared its statehood. Those Jews were never compensated; indeed, most of those countries will not permit entry to any Jews, having made themselves Judenrein in response to having to live with a Jewish state in their midst, simply unthinkable in a geography dedicated only to the presence of Islam. Yet, those same countries can employ the trope of Israel as an apartheid state.

The UN Charter Article 1 sets out a key United Nations purpose: "To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights ... of peoples ..." Article 59 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Paragraph 6 states: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies", and in direct contravention to this declaration there was the Soviet settlement of Russians into Baltic territories post-WWII,. Even after their 1990 independence, the Baltics were discouraged from removing those settlers. And it is those nativist Russians whose presence Vladimir Putin now uses as an insinuating threat. Witness Ukraine.

Turkey invaded Northern Cyprus to settle Turkish farmers there, leading to conflict between Turkey and Greece, and continued and ongoing hostility in Cyprus between the Turks and the Greeks, after much blood had been shed. But no condemnation ensued against Turkey's hostile, violent act. And then there is China and its usurpation of Tibet's legitimacy as a sovereign nation. Tibet has been in an occupied status for many decades -- almost 70 years -- yet there is no UN condemnation of this permanent member of the UN Security Council. Double standard, needless to say.

More than that, it is an act of acute anti-Semitism when any body or anybody singles Israel out for condemnation as an occupying power of its ancient heritage. That 'occupation' occurred under great duress, after Palestinians refused to accept the portion of the shared geography that the UN offered, when it chose to wait out the destruction of the nascent Israel in favour of claiming the entire area for itself. When that did not succeed, the Palestinians, with neighbourly concurrence and aid, set about attacking Israel and its citizens through violent plane and ship hijackings and suicide bombings.

Article 49, meant to apply to Jews in the ancient Hebrew city of Hebron, the equally ancient Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem including population blocs around Jerusalem, belied the historical and current facts that Jews lived there for thousands of years and never stopped living in land sacred to them. The entire Jewish population was attacked, killed or scattered from the area in 1929. These Arab pogroms against Jews vastly pre-dated the creation of the State of Israel. Simply put, Muslims reacted in typical Arab tribal, religious response by resorting to lethal violence to alter the demographic.

When Jordan took the walled city of Jerusalem in 1948 after Israeli independence, the Jews who had lived there since Biblical times were slaughtered or displaced and the area cleared of any Jewish presence. And nor were Jews permitted to access their most sacred religious sites, which Jordan placed off limits to Jews, with access only to Muslims and limited access to Christians.  "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel", declared Egyptian President Nasser in 1967 when Egypt, Jordan, Syria and other Arab armies marched together on Israel.

Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967 spoke of a post-1967 peace settlement securing Israel an enlarged, " ... secure and recognized boundaries, free from threats or acts of force", a specific wording in an agreed framework meant to forestall any future attempts to destroy the Jewish state. Contemptuous descriptions of "occupied territory" versus "Palestinian territory" holds Israel to a standard that no other country is expected to respect. Conventionally, when a country is attacked and successfully defends itself by routing its attacker to safeguard its territory, additional territory is often claimed and made part of its own.

Unless it's Israel under discussion.

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