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Panel appointed by Netanyahu concludes: There is no occupation

The Israeli right celebration of the legal opinion that there is no occupation – written by the Supreme Court Justice that opposed the disengagement – is evidence that public debate has clearly reached a delusional moment.

Justice Edmond Levy (Photo: Eyal Warshavsky)

A panel formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has concluded that Israel is entitled to settle the West Bank with Jews. The committee, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, claims that Israel’s control over the West Bank cannot be seen as “occupation” since no country has recognized sovereignty over the territory. Therefore, the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prevents the transfer of a civilian population by an occupying force into the occupied territory, does not apply to the West Bank. Justice Levy recommends that the Israeli government end the temporary status of the settlements and register the settlers’ control over the territory.

You can read the entire report here (Hebrew, PDF). A few quick takeaways:

This position is not new. Although the Israeli Supreme Court did cite the Fourth Geneva Convention in various rulings, Israeli legal scholars and some of their supporters have put forward this interpretation before, as part of an attempt to justify the ongoing colonization of the West Bank and the annexation of East Jerusalem and the surrounding areas (I addressed one such effort here). To the best of my knowledge, this position has never been accepted by the majority of the international legal community, or by major legal scholars.

Ceci n'est pas une occupation (by Yuval Ben Ami)

If anything, I see this verdict as additional evidence of the failure of the legal field’s to contest the occupation. The Israeli left has made a historic mistake by believing that courts can provide a platform for battling the occupation. For decades, human rights organizations have filed hundreds of petitions to the Supreme Court in an effort to stop the ongoing annexation, colonization and persecution of the Palestinian people. As a rule, the courts always approved the colonial practice while placing a few caveats. The Supreme Court allowed settlements, but not on privately owned land; it allowed targeted assassinations, but under certain conditions (which were not adhered to by the army); it allowed construction of the separation barrier on Palestinian land, but then moved it in a few places; recently, it also allowed Israel to use and sell Palestinian natural resources. The court even allowed torture under certain conditions, although this is the one aspect where it actually went a step further and ruled out most of the practices used by the Internal Security Service.

One of the last efforts in the legal battle against the occupation was The Outpost Report, produced a decade ago by attorney Talia Sasson (who later joined Meretz). The report concluded that Israel violated its own rules and its international commitments by allowing and aiding the establishment of new settlements in the West Bank and on private Palestinian land. The government approved the report, but in most cases action against the outposts was delayed. Finally, Israeli NGO’s – in most cases, Peace Now – started filing petitions demanding the return of the land to its owners.

After several court rulings in favor of the petitioners, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to tackle the root of the problem – the Sasson report. This is the reason he formed the new panel. By nominating justice Levy to lead it, the prime minister pretty much determined the outcome – Levy was the single minority justice that ruled against the disengagement from Gaza, declaring that it violates the rights of the settlers. To sum it up, it took the Israeli government a decade to do what most people do in the minute after getting an opinion they don’t like from a legal adviser: they go to another lawyer.

The fact that the Israeli media is taking this report seriously is another testimony to the complete failure of the public political debate here (to be honest, the Sasson report, which separated “legal” settlements from “illegal” ones was not much better. It could and should have served the Israeli bureaucracy, but turning it into a policy report was a bad joke). As any person in his right mind could note immediately, Justice Levy doesn’t address one tiny formality in his report – the Palestinians. The occupation was never (just) about land. It’s first and foremost about the people under military control for 45 years.

Read also on this issue:
> The profitable occupation, and why it is never discussed
> One or two states? The status quo is Israel’s rational choice

Now that we found out that there is no occupation and there never was, I wonder how the great minds of the Israeli legal community would justify the two separate legal systems Israel has in the West Bank – one for 20 percent of the population (Jews) and one for the other 80 percent. If it’s not occupation, how do we call a situation in which millions of people are deprived of freedom of movement, tried in military tribunals, and don’t even have a recognized nationality or a passport? And don’t say Apartheid, because you’ll be called an anti-Semite.

This absurdity is a good opportunity to give up on the notion that the internal process in Israel will end the occupation. “The internal process” has turned the Israeli legal system into a joke, and resulted in a political system in which all mainstream parties share the same denial of reality. Israelis truly believe that there is no occupation, or that Palestinians could be made citizens of Jordan, while Israel keeps holding the territory they live in (this is the popular idea the right is pushing). Why Jordan, I say? If we are going to make them citizens of another system which has no effect over their life, lets at least be generous and make them French!

The delusional state of the public debate is such that nobody even bothers to ask Justice Levy what is he planning for the Palestinians under his new legal vision (I hope that international journalists raise this point in their reports, but I wouldn’t hold my breath). Clearly, all the systems here – the legal, the academic, and on top of everything, the political – have long ago given up on dealing with the Palestinian issue, and are now putting all their resources in rationalizing the status quo. By playing along with those fantasies, Israel’s friends are pretty much making sure that the waking up will be arduous and painful.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. the other joe

      Great, presumably that means that all the occupants of the West Bank are entitled to exactly the same rights as those in (the rest of) Israel – including state funded facilities, building regulations, presumption of innocence, no child incarceration etc etc.

      Sounds to me like the honorable judge has just declared that there is a defacto single-state solution.

      Reply to Comment
      • ester

        What kind of a wonderful logic is that??? Hm, the justice system in Israel thinks like 5 year old who didn’t learn to respect that there are other people than him/her, that there are other people around too:)

        God bless us from Israel. Who shall taught them that it wasn’t right when the Europen counquer the Native Americans, the only reason they did, was because they had guns, and fire weapon. They didn’t have the right to that, and neighter has Israel the right to take more land than they already was given (even that was probably an injustice) The diffrence between Israel/Palestine today and the Wild West is that today, the whole world are watching. Even if Israelic militar arebombing media houses in Gaza, tv stations to avoid too much cover of what they actually are doing. Anothr difference from the wildwest are that we now has another thinking, human rights and the world will just not accept Israels strange view of themself and the rights they think they have. It is not only Israel fault that they have become this type of political and ethical shameles nation.

        Israel’s shameless behavior has been supported by the West for decades, and of course, partly because of that, Israel has grown in the wromg direction. Nobody were thinking of the need of teaching them respect for the people living in the area, respect for the people who were living in peace and in the houses that they took. Instead West supported them when they forced people out of their houses in areas where they had lived for generations, and that type of stealing are still happening today, even in Jerusalem. West didn’t stop that, didn’t even think of what was going on, and probably still don’t realice how these homes were taken away,they are just not aware of it.

        Israel was idealized, and put on a piedstal.
        And because of this unconditional support in whatever Israel claimed the west said yes. And see what we are today, they nurtured a monster.
        Its’ psycology.

        Parents that does the same mistake of saying yes to whatever they children wants and needs, and yes to everything, give them what they point at – something bad will come out of that.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ester

        It wasn’t right when the Europen counquer the Native Americans eighter. The only reason they suceeded with that, was because they had guns, and fire weapon. They didn’t have the right to take land, and neighter has Israel the right to take more land than they already were given by U N (even that was probably an injustice). The diffrence between Israel/Palestine today with the Wild West, is that today, the whole world are watching. Even if Israelic military are bombing media houses in Gaza, tv stations to avoid media to rapport about their killing and the disatser after their oversizied bombs. We also has another thinking compare to the Wild West and the ethincal cleansning of them American Indians, and that’s Human Rights, and also a totally different view on colonialims. We are aware of the problems colonialism caused for the natives in eah country that was occupied in Africa, India, China, etc. The occupying countrys like Great Britain and France came to a point when it wasn’t ok anylonger to occupy, and that the only solution was to give back the land to the native people who was there when it was colonized. I can’t imaging any country that would support Israels occupation, just because IT IS illegal and totally out of date to behave like that. Israel seem to have a strange view of themself, and the rights they think they have. It is not only Israel fault that they have become like thart

        Israel’s shameless behavior has been supported by the West for decades, and of course, partly because of that, Israel has grown in the wromg direction. Nobody were thinking of the need of teaching them respect for the people living in the area, respect for the people who were living in peace, in houses that they took. Instead West supported them when they forced people out of their houses in areas where they had lived for generations, and that type of stealing are still happening today, even in Jerusalem. West didn’t stop that, didn’t even think of what was going on, and probably still don’t realize how these homes were taken away,they just don’t seem to get it.

        Israel was idealized, and put on a piedstal.
        And because of this unconditional support in whatever Israel claimed, USA and the other western countrys said yes. And see what we are today, they nurtured a monster.
        Its’ psycology. Parents that does the same mistake of saying yes to whatever they children wants and needs, and yes to everything, give them what they point at, and dom’t learn them respect people with other religions, other styles, and groups – something bad will come out of that.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Jack

      There is no: Palestinians, Gaza, West bank, nuclear weapons in Israel, no shooting of civilians, no white phosphorus was dropped on palestinians, [put in any other topic Israel deny]

      Reply to Comment
    3. Sarah

      I find the fact that the illegal occupier putting together a judiciary panel to declare their occupation non existent absolutely preposterous. Even more so: hilarious!! Israel is such a rotten state in every meaning of the word. But what is the purpose of this new finding of ‘no occupation’? Is it the latest in Israeli propaganda and media spin? Or are they trying to find a way to appeal to internal Israeli opposition? The whole thing sounds like a joke either way.

      Reply to Comment
    4. sandra twang

      this has nothing to do with delusion, they are well aware of that which they gain, it has to do with policies that shut their needs. Please , do not think that they do not know what they do..

      Reply to Comment
    5. Anne O'Nimmus

      If there is no “Occupation” then there is absolutely no rational reason for applying military rule to the Palestinians. So one of the human rights orgs ought, in response, to launch a case against its application in the West Bank/East Jerusalem. They’ll obviously win!

      Reply to Comment
    6. Vadim

      People, have you even read the report?

      The report looks at the legal status of the territories. The word occupation has a meaning and legal implications and this report claims the term is wrong.

      Can any of you (and the author of this “article”) claim the report is wrong? Can you explain why you think it’s wrong?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Richard Witty

      That is equivalent to declaring apartheid.

      If there is an occupation, then the occupation can be temporary, with military administration justified.

      With no occupation, then there is only ethnically defined discrimmination.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Richard Witty

      The purpose of the ruling was to authorized the legality of title claims on the part of settlers.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Philos

      @ Vadim, we won’t need to. There’ll be about 100 papers written by far more scholarly people than ourselves about why this “ruling” is totally detached from reality and legal precedent.

      Reply to Comment
    10. rose

      Solipsism. Pure and simple

      Reply to Comment
    11. berl

      It is like if in a final between Italy and Brazil they would put Pelè as the referee.
      No criminal would convict himself.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Moschops

      If we’re playing this game then:
      There Was No Holocaust.

      Shock horror, cue folksy East European violin music.

      Hey this game is real easy. Anyone can play.

      Reply to Comment
    13. rose

      Vadim because it is irrelevant if “no country has recognized sovereignty over the territory”.
      There is a clear Palestinian nation that is waiting for its own state. The entire international community agrees with it. The fact that Egypt and Jordan occupied the Gaza Strip and West Bank in the past is just another reason in favour of all the persons, me included, that consider the Palestinians as the real victims of all the parts involved: Britain and the Western Powers, Arab “brothers” and Israel.

      But more than this, pay attention that it is not us that have to explain you why we think it is wrong. It is you that have to explain why Israel has a justification in doing that.
      Is it because that was “Judea of Samaria”? So please ask Israel to give up all the coastal plan between Ashkalan and Akka, that was never ever “Israelites”.
      Or is it for “security reasons”? is it this the “security” about which are u talking about? http://electronicintifada.net/blog/adri-nieuwhof/cemex-tries-reason-away-complicity-israeli-violations-international-law

      Reply to Comment
    14. AYLA

      Noam–I love this piece. 1) you write: “As any person in his right mind could note immediately, Justice Levy doesn’t address one tiny formality in his report – the Palestinians. The occupation was never (just) about land. It’s first and foremost about the people under military control for 45 years.” a) yes, where are the Palestinians in this report. If there’s only one response to this report, that should be it. b) yes, when american jewish liberals speak of the occupation, j-street style, they always say they’re against the settlements. You know what? I don’t even want us to evacuate the settlements. I don’t think that’s anyone’s answer. the occupation is how we are treating palestinians, and that one people have a country, a country with an army, a country with a court system that represents them and a striving democracy (if you will) that strives to represent them, and the other doesn’t, and is under military rule by the former. Who really gives a flying f*ck where we draw the offing lines anymore. seriously. if you ask me, one state is the only way to consider navigating out of this mess.
      *
      2) you wrote, “As any person in his right mind could note immediately, Justice Levy doesn’t address one tiny formality in his report – the Palestinians. The occupation was never (just) about land. It’s first and foremost about the people under military control for 45 years.” Sadly, I don’t’ know you personally (yet) Noam, so I don’t know if this will come as a surprise to you or not, but that’s a deeply spiritual analysis. and very true. thank you for it.

      Reply to Comment
    15. AYLA

      effing. not offing. but maybe the mistake will keep me cool with comment policy. ;)

      Reply to Comment
    16. AYLA

      3) I’ve finally begun to experience from Israelis what +972 is always talking about: the outright apathy. I live in the Negev, not Tel Aviv. My Leftie, political friends are either journalists or interestingly leftist, religious american immigrants in Jerusalem, or Arava Institute grads in the Negev. Until now, I always lumped everyone else into a category of people who would rather not talk about it. But last week, I got to talking to friends in my community about my favorite chocolate, and how I’d learned it was made in a hilltop outpost outside of Hebron, and how I feared I could no longer buy it. The response I received was, to me, horrifying. It ranged from “it’s all our land; they should all go to Jordan and Egypt”. (Egypt? Seriously? Dudes.), to “Why boycott settlement products”–(fyi, my choices are more nuanced than that :) )–and not everything made in America when the U.S. invaded Iraq?, to “if you’re going to care so much about what we do to Palestinians, you really should move. No, I don’t mean that we don’t want you here; I mean for your sake; the only way to be here is to not know.”
      *
      And the thing is, I like these people These are normal people. You’d like them, too. And that’s what’s scary.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Danny

      Incredible chutzpah by Israel! Something akin to a bunch of robbers breaking into my house, and unilaterally deciding that they broke no laws and that my house was in fact never my house, but was theirs all along. Israel is a criminal state with some very good defense lawyers. I guess when your biggest advocate in the U.S. is the same guy who got O.J. Simpson off on a double murder charge, you’re sitting pretty!

      Reply to Comment
    18. Jack

      Of course Edmond Levy, a former religious Likud member will deny the occupation.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Aaron

      I see all the eminent jurists have contributed their learned judicial opinions in the comments. There were a couple interesting comments, though. Example: “If there is no “Occupation” then there is absolutely no rational reason for applying military rule to the Palestinians.” Actually, I think the Israeli government has even said that it is following the Geneva Conventions for occupying states, even though it’s not legally an occupation. But the rational reason is that the Palestinians violently resist Israeli rule. States can apply military rule to their own citizens in extraordinary situations – there’s even a name for it, “martial law” – so all the more so to non-citizens under a state’s jurisdiction.
       
      Another interesting comment: “With no occupation, then there is only ethnically defined discrimination.” Actually, that’s not quite true, and the distinction is important. The (legal) discrimination in the territories is primarily based on citizenship, and citizenship in turn is of course based on ethnicity. That’s actually a huge difference. We discriminate at the entrance to the club, but once you’re in the club, you’re equal (in theory, anyway).

      Reply to Comment
    20. Aaron

      Noam asks an interesting question: “If it’s not occupation, how [sic! Israeli English!] do we call a situation in which millions of people are deprived of freedom of movement, tried in military tribunals, and don’t even have a recognized nationality or a passport?”
       
      Anybody know what the “it’s not an occupation” people call it? (I think I’m one of those people, and but I don’t know the answer.) As I understand the argument, Judea and Samaria are “res nullius” because Jordan’s annexation was never internationally recognized; if they had ever been legally part of Jordan, it would be an occupation plain and simple. Israeli government of the territories functions as an occupation, but that doesn’t mean it *is* an occupation. It’s argued to be a state’s government of the population of a territory classified as res nullius: what’s the juridical name for that kind of government?

      Reply to Comment
    21. max

      Isn’t it good to have 3 jurists come up with a legal view that is accepted by neither the Israeli supreme court majority nor by the political leaders?
      The pluralism in Israel is well and kicking!

      Reply to Comment
    22. NormanF

      There is no military occupation! The IDF neither occupies Areas A+B where the vast majority of the Arab population lives nor in Gaza. Israel will never annex those territories.

      Area C, which has a Jewish majority, will probably become part of Israel in the future. The Edmund Levy Report correctly points out that since peace with the Arabs is impossible, its time to send the illegal military occupation of the Jews (45 years too long) and to normalize their status as full Israeli citizens. This is both logical and just.

      Noam, you might have had the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that distinguished international authorities like Eli Lauterpacht and Julius Stone have written that Israel has valid legal title to Judea and Samaria. The fact most of the world differs has more to do with plain old-fashioned anti-Semitism than the background of the conflict.

      The point is Jews have rights, too and the significance of the Levy Report is that no future Israeli government can easily dismiss them. This all but precludes another Yamit-style Disengagement in the future. In upholding Zionist principles, this report is long overdue.

      Reply to Comment
    23. PAUL

      First we have the “lets draft them” Shinnui-Kadima North Tel Avian types – “unwittingly” – ushering in new definitions of Israeliness, now we have “lets annex them” right wing Supreme Court judges – “unknowingly” – ushering in a one-state solution… Meretz will soon be redundant! :)

      What the F*@k is happening? Its an upside down world…

      Reply to Comment
    24. AYLA

      whoops. I cut and pasted the same quotation twice. I meant: 2) you wrote, “…By playing along with those fantasies, Israel’s friends are pretty much making sure that the waking up will be arduous and painful.” *this* is spiritual analysis. And I appreciate it.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Chepsky

      If Israel has legal title to Judea and Sumeria because of a 3000 year history then the Mohawk Indians have a 10,000 year history with New York.
      How many Pro-Israeli Jews are going to leave New York for that Legal Title??? (Especially Wall Street.)

      I’m sure the God (Gods) of Mohawk Indians promised New York to them.

      Reply to Comment
    26. jjj

      It is natural for people who hate Israel, including born Israeli’s, would find the report, to say the least, wrong.
      Yet, there is no criticism. Just blatant statements about how bad Israel is, and how aweful as an occuppier.
      Regarding the legal status per-se, the report is not so far off. Palestinians totally rejected any international decision regarding the legal status of the land – they always assumed they have complete and uttermost liability on the entire territory, denying any claims from other nationalities.
      That’s why there’s no international agreed upon legal status for any Palestinian claims. In other words, Israel wins “by default”.
      However, most people here claim for “natural right” for Palestinians (and no rights for Jews…), which the report does not address, for obvious reasons.
      It then legalizes the settlements and rejects the notion of forced population transfer.
      Therefore, the 1967 territories are without any clear status, and should be agreed by the parties. In fact, the only standing agreement is the Oslo agreements and its descendents.
      Sounds absurd, yet, awkward as it may seem, legal.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Jack

      JJJ,
      Israel claim the whole of the land (Google the charter of Likud), palestinians accept Israel on their side, that is 1967 borders.

      Reply to Comment
    28. rose

      NormanF,
      Area C is the 61% of the total WB area. if u add to this also the bypass roads and east jerusalem, could please tell me where the palestinian nation should create its own state?
      PS btw, “Areas A and B are themselves divided among 227 separate areas (199 of which are smaller than 2 square kilometres (1 sq mi)) that are separated from one another by Israeli-controlled Area C.”

      do u live in this world or on the Zion planet?

      Reply to Comment
    29. Molested children are at risk to become child molesters. Sorry, but I think the logic applies here too.
      .
      This pannel, not a sitting Court, confirms the opinion you, Noam, have expressed for some time here: one must wait for the occupation to extend further, go deeper. And, as you say here:
      .
      “Now that we found out that there is no occupation and there never was, I wonder how the great minds of the Israeli legal community would justify the two separate legal systems Israel has in the West Bank – one for 20 percent of the population (Jews) and one for the other 80 percent. If it’s not occupation, how do we call a situation in which millions of people are deprived of freedom of movement, tried in military tribunals, and don’t even have a recognized nationality or a passport? And don’t say Apartheid, because you’ll be called an anti-Semite.”
      .
      and
      .
      “By playing along with those fantasies, Israel’s friends are pretty much making sure that the waking up will be arduous and painful.”
      .
      I believe it is equally delusional to expect your “friends” to intervene. You are on your own. So not give up on your Court, at least on Israeli citizen equal protection.
      .
      Your anger is as strong, and correct, as what abolutionists expressed about the antebellum South, and and uneasy feeling has begun in me that the settlements are creating, ideologically, an equally difficult impass within Israel. I have said on this site that the vanguard settlers clearly employ an ideology of Torah which the State is absorbing through its support of them. And I was immediately called anti-Semitic.
      .
      “We cannot defeat you; so we prepare the ground for after your defeat.” An alliance with Palestinian nonviolence is a way to do that, I think.
      .
      Your Courts will change. They are subject to sociological processes too. Read Dred Scott. Of course, there was Civil War about 3 years later.
      .
      You are not done. You are not alone. But you have to do it. No outsider can.

      Reply to Comment
    30. An afterthought from Noam:
      .
      “The Israeli left has made a historic mistake by believing that courts can provide a platform for battling the occupation. For decades, human rights organizations have filed hundreds of petitions to the Supreme Court in an effort to stop the ongoing annexation, colonization and persecution of the Palestinian people. As a rule, the courts always approved the colonial practice while placing a few caveats.”
      .
      And what would have been done instead? The no’s had to be pulled from their tongues. In doing so, you have articulated a new place to stand; that is the reason for pulling those no’s out; that, and to put their no’s public, for later. It makes no more sense to decry the legal activists than it does to decry the anarchists. Both are needed, and still will be.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Philos

      @ Aaron, “citizenship in turn is of course based on ethnicity” – really? So you’re an ethnic American? What is an ethnic American? British citizens of Indian ethnicity who fled from Kenya are actually British then because they’re not ethnically British? Wait, is there a British ethnicity? I think the Scottish and Welsh might disagree. So there’s an English ethnicity but what about people from Lancashire? I guess then that since there isn’t British ethnicity then British citizenship must not exist, which means Britain didn’t exist. That makes the Balfour Declaration null and void, which means we have a belligerent occupation of Ottoman Turkish lands and Empire’s don’t have citizens only subjects.
      .
      That is how attached to reality the Levy report is and your world view is. It is also exactly how convoluted it is.

      Reply to Comment
    32. The United States State Department’s response:

      “Obviously, we’ve seen the reports that an Israeli Government appointed panel has recommended legalizing dozens of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.”

      And further down in the article, there’s this little tidbit of information:

      ‘A large portion of the Levy Committee’s report deals with a 2005 report written by attorney Talia Sasson, and commissioned by the Ariel Sharon government, which concluded that Israeli state bodies had been discreetly diverting millions of shekels to build illegal West Bank settlements and outposts.’

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-opposes-report-recommending-legalization-of-west-bank-settlements-1.450127

      Reply to Comment
    33. Would anybody be able to translate the Levy Report?

      Reply to Comment
    34. Tal

      “Would anybody be able to translate the Levy Report?”

      Why bother?

      Reply to Comment
    35. Kolumn9

      @Philos, the acquisition of citizenship based on ethnicity isn’t isolated to Israel as you damn well know. Germany, Greece, Japan, Hungary, Ireland, etc. Who is denying reality?
      .

      @Rose, ‘could please tell me where the palestinian nation should create its own state’ Gaza?, area A, B? You asked, I answered. You don’t like my answer but let me run through your likely objectives. The position that states must have a certain minimum size is contradicted by the existence of some really tiny countries. The position that they must be ‘contiguous’ is likewise contradicted by existing cases. The idea that they must be ‘viable’ is not objectively definable and is in any case contradicted by the existence of numerous failed and nearly failed states with extremely rich lands and successful ones with no resources. More importantly, where the ‘palestinian nation’ creates its state isn’t an Israeli problem in the same way as it isn’t an Israeli problem where the Kurds or the Berbers create their own state.
      .

      @Greg, I hope the reference to antebellum America doesn’t mean you are expecting an Israeli civil war over the Palestinians. It isn’t going to happen. As for the faith in the eventual conversion of the Israeli Courts towards more left-friendly positions. This too is misguided. There is no predestination for ‘progress’. The sociological changes that are coming will see many more Edmund Levys on the way to the Supreme Court. If this isn’t entirely obvious then you aren’t paying attention. At the same time, I agree with you that the faith that Noam and many others on the left place on international intervention is misplaced. As Larry Derfner poignantly stated the Western countries “don’t give a shit”.
      .

      NormanF already answered Noam’s question about how Israeli legal minds will deal with the two systems in the West Bank. The government will declare the PA a state with borders and deal with Palestinians that cross those borders as infiltrators subject to Israeli law in the same way they deal with Sudanese. This legal fiction doesn’t particularly care whether the PA government survives in the same way that it doesn’t particularly matter if Somalia has a government at any specific time from the point of view of other states that have to deal with Somali citizens.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Kolumn9, Germany did make citizenship laws based on ethnicity once. Look how that turned out.
      .
      “Germany, Greece, Japan, Hungary, Ireland, etc…” Do you have to have at least one Catholic grandparent to qualify for citizenship in Ireland? Do the Japanese rules stipulate that applicants for Japanese citizenship must never have practised a religion other than Shinto by choice?
      .
      There is no mirror for Israel’s ethno-religious citizenship rules in any of the countries you’ve listed.

      Reply to Comment
    37. rosee

      Kolomn9
      “where the ‘palestinian nation’ creates its state isn’t an Israeli problem in the same way as it isn’t an Israeli problem where the Kurds or the Berbers create their own state”: to me this is enough. you answered to my question in the sense that you did confirm me that people like you live on the ‘Zion planet’ and that your illness is pure and simple solipsism.
      why exactly Israel has the right to keep ‘judea and samaria’ but is not bounded to give back the coastal plan between Ashdod and Ashkelon, which has never been part of any ancient Israelite kingdoms?

      Reply to Comment
    38. rose

      Kolomn9,
      “where the ‘palestinian nation’ creates its state isn’t an Israeli problem in the same way as it isn’t an Israeli problem where the Kurds or the Berbers create their own state”: to me this is enough. you answered to my question in the sense that you did confirm me that people like you live on the ‘Zion planet’ and that your illness is pure and simple solipsism.
      why exactly Israel has the right to keep ‘judea and samaria’ but is not bounded to give back the coastal plan between Ashdod and Ashkelon, which has never been part of any ancient Israelite kingdoms?

      Reply to Comment
    39. Aaron

      Philos, I meant *Israeli* citizenship is based on ethnicity. Maybe that wasn’t clear from the context. So smile, we agree on something.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Kolumn9

      @Vicki, Germany still gives out citizenship based on ethnicity. I know people that moved to Germany on the basis of being ethnic Germans or ethnic Jews from Russia. It seems to work out fine generally. The Jewish case is special in the the Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and not just an ethnic or a religious group, and the only group of this kind to have a state of their own, yet the policies for preferential immigration laws on the basis of being members of a country’s main ethnic group is quite common in the world and I have already provided you with examples to that effect.
      .

      @Rose, I can think of some diagnoses of illnesses for you as well. In any case, the point is that where the Palestinians establish a state is a Palestinian problem, not an Israeli one. If they are pleasant about it they might inspire some Israeli collaboration in the effort because otherwise they are stuck with a state in Gaza, which as I already pointed out can satisfy the need for a state for the ‘palestinian nation’.

      Reply to Comment
    41. K9,
      .
      I think, over time, the Torah ideology of the vanguard settlers will sit less well with much of the “mainland” Israeli populace, especially as they begin to realize that millions of Bank Palestinians are not going to be absorbed into Jordon nor go away on their own. I think the economic grievance of J14 is the first step in this direction–not to say there is any explicit linkage at all, but that when accounting comes due more people will begin to wonder why the vanguard movement is treated as precious children while they, in Israel proper, are not. I do not expect a civil war over Palestinians; I expect a breach in something clearly dear to you, for you have often repeated it herein: that we are all Jews, and naught else matters. I think eventually the vanguard movement will engender an anti movement. To stop this, settle the Bank quickly and completely.
      .
      As to more Levy’s on the Supreme Court–for now. Consider carefully the calls for equal duties applied to Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian citizens. If actualized, these will produce new dilemmas in society and Court. You may have more Levy’s now, but another Aaron Barak will follow, so to speak.
      .
      I have advocated your Declaration of Independence as a constitutional document on this site for some time; you are silent on it, for it is not adequately racially exculsive. I have no probelm with the free ingress of Jews, as insured by that document; but if you want to save the day, you must adhere to its provision of full equality of social and civil rights. If you do so, I believe you could save something of Zion. If you do not, what you laugh at on this site will return until it wins. There are too many Palestinians to expunge. Change now, beginning solely in Israel proper with respect to non Jewish Israeli citizens, and there is still hope. I know this will not happen now of course, and you see yourself in no weak state to capitualte to anything. But another Aaron will come. J14 is the first sign something is wrong. Listen now, pay less later.

      Reply to Comment
    42. rose

      Kolumn,
      if you think that Gaza “can satisfy the need for a state for the ‘palestinian nation’” is just because you know superficially the issues about which you are writing about.

      Moreover you still didn’t answer the question: why exactly Israel has the right to keep ‘judea and samaria’ but is not bounded to give back the coastal plan between Ashdod and Ashkelon, which has never been part of any ancient Israelite kingdoms?

      Reply to Comment
    43. Kolumn9

      @Greg, you take an interesting position and present it reasonably well, but I think you are misrepresenting the ideology of the main stream and overlooking the demographic shifts in the country. The main stream Israeli populace was brought up on stories of Zionist pioneers redeeming the land from the Arabs justified by biblical claims and an appeal for a need for a haven from persecution. An ideological conflict between the main stream Zionists and what you call the ‘vanguard’ is thus possible only if there is a credible possibility of a negotiated solution that will leave a secure Jewish state in Israel (the haven Zionist vs the settlement/redemption Zionist values). The Palestinian resort to violence in 2000 undermined the credibility of a negotiated solution in the eyes of Israelis probably for at least another 10 years. In the meantime the main stream is shrinking demographically in favor of the Haredim and the National Religious and politically in favor of the National Religious who, it is my opinion, will more and more be dominating the ideological discourse. The trend towards integrating the Haredim is only going to push this forward. Whether the Haredim become Hardalim doesn’t change their underlying outlook on Jewish claims on the land of Israel. Those Israelis that you are relying on for your ‘anti’ movement are on their way out, both figuratively and often literally. The presence of Palestinians in the West Bank isn’t going to change any of this since they have already been marginalized and sealed off. Out of sight…
      .

      As to more Levys on the Supreme Court. You seem to believe that the court is dominated by Levys. It isn’t. It is dominated by the ‘antis’ with Levy as the outlier. This balance will probably change with the demographics.
      .

      I don’t know what this ‘it’ is that will ‘return’ until ‘it wins’. Honestly, no clue. The rest of the paragraph reads like something out of a preacher’s sermon. Repent now for the fires of hell await. Only through repentance might you find salvation and if you do not may the lord have mercy on your soul. I am glad you have found religion, but your god is not my god. I don’t personally have any issues with full equality of rights and obligations for all individuals in Israeli society, but your fiery emphasis on this issue seems misguided. It will have minimal strategic impact either way and none on the problem with the Palestinians. As for J14 and Aharon Barak… Egh. Not impressed.
      .

      @Rose, you asked where the Palestinians can get a state you got your answer – Gaza. It could be the next Singapore! But more importantly the point is that I couldn’t care less, nor once again is it an Israeli problem where or whether the Palestinians get a state. I don’t even understand the premise of your question about Ashdod and Ashkelon. Ashkelon and Ashdod were part of the Hasmonean kingdom and for the biblical claim check out Joshua chapter 13. Not that any of that matters at this point.

      Reply to Comment
    44. rose

      Kolums,
      It matters a lot. Otherwise why do you justify the occupation of “judea and samaria”? The occupation of the Palestinian territory is justified with a selective use of the a book that is holy for you but not for the entire world.
      ..
      For your personal knowledge, The numerous archaeological expeditions carried out over decades in Ashkelon – one of five ancient Philistine cities, which today encompasses what was, until 1948, the Palestinian village of al-Majdal – have confirmed that it was never conquered by the ancient Israelites. One verse in the BOOK OF JUDGES seems to refute this, indicating that the area was conquered and subdued for a handful of years, but this verse itself – see the link below – is contradicted in the very same chapter of the Book.

      And even if one assumes that there was a conquest, the occupation of an area for a FEW years DOES NOT mean that it represented part of the “historic Jewish homeland.” Otherwise, the many Philistine raids and sometimes occupations of Israelite towns as far east as the Jordan River valley would also make these areas “LESS” Israelite.

      free yourselves from middle ages ideologies

      http://books.google.com.tr/books?id=7W4-RjlzWy4C&pg=PA132&lpg=PA132&dq=%2522contradict+what+has+just+been+reported%2522&source=bl&ots=2DnAJwAdTR&sig=oXV6jC3paYswStzVkysLgvrhhW0&hl=en&ei=W5e7Tub5PMPqObz1hMAI&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&sqi=2&q=%2522contradict%2520what%2520has%25&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%2522contradict%2520what%2520has%25&f=false

      Reply to Comment
    45. Arib

      When Israeli sovereignty is applied to Yehuda & Shomron we will be giving full citizenship to all the Arabs there. We may even have an Arab deputy Prime Minister as Jabotinsky dreamed and of which I would be very excited. Why should any of this be scary?

      Reply to Comment
    46. K9,
      .
      “your god is not my god.” Indeed. I don’t have one. I think the Torah ideology of the vanguard settlers, expunging others for the sake of Godly commandments, to be unacceptable and repugnant as applied. If you are of the chosen, let us know. I am of no chosen.
      .
      The “it” that will return until “it wins”: human rights, as applied. The recognition that where you are born you must be allowed to thrive. God shackled to equal protection.
      .
      I think you are right that the suicide bombings have not played out in effect yet; so I think only Palestinians can change that outcome by fighting back nonviolently.
      .
      Since you want the Bank called Judea and Samaria, you are ready to expunge millions if not totally at least in life development. That is monsterous. You have already won the security battle; expansion is not motivated by that. You are turning security into a monstrocity. And I think, if Israelis know how the expansion is proceeding, many will not like it.
      .
      Recall: Jacob wrestled, what, and angel, or was it God? Neither won. And while the divine would not give a name, it did rename Jacob to Israel. I think Israel and the divine have another wrestle to come; neither will win, and neither will be the same. Perhaps the cost of being devine.
      .
      Renounce your Declaration of Independence. Will not the growing religious certainty of your land embrace this? No. Better to be silent until the time is ripe.
      .
      For what it’s worth, I’m off line now. While we are on opposite sides of many wars, you do respect others thoughts and try to connect. Many don’t do that here.

      Reply to Comment
    47. Kolumn9

      @Rose, There is no occupation. It is disputed land, has never been owned by any state so the land’s ultimate sovereign is yet unknown, so it isn’t “Palestinian territory” and never has been. These are facts completely divorced from religion, so, get off your high horse.
      .

      @Greg, I am not religious, and belong more to the haven Zionists than the settlement/redemption Zionists, yet the claim that Muslim Arabs have some kind of superior absolute claim to Hebron or Jerusalem is repugnant to me on many levels.
      .

      The security battle will not be won until the Palestinians accept Israeli (read Jewish) long-term security considerations as the primary basis for a permanent settlement. So long as the Palestinians and Arabs perceive that they can achieve or demand a solution that undermines the long term security of the Israeli Jewish collective the security battle will go on.

      Reply to Comment
    48. rose

      Kolumn9,
      it is “disputed land” only for you and the other people that prefer to live on the “Zion planet”. For the rest of the human beings, the entire international community – included many Israelis (not to be confused with the inhabitants of the “Zion planet”) – they are “occupied territories”.
      Private property – mulk land – was a concept that the Arab majority of Palestine considered and applied in a total different way than in the Western world, from where most of the people of the ‘Zion planet’ came from.
      To write that “there is no occupation because has never been owned by any state” shows just a Westerncentric approach and, once again, a serious form of solipsism.

      Reply to Comment
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