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PHOTOS: Palestinian homes come down as settlements expand

Twelve homes in a West Bank village are handed demolition orders. Meanwhile, construction continues unabated in West Bank settlements.

Photos and text by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Israeli authorities construct a new fence around the Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz, near Tulkarem, West Bank, January 31, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Israeli authorities construct a new fence around the Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz, near Tulkarem, West Bank, January 31, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Twelve Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank village of Shufa are currently under the threat of demolition, after Israeli authorities handed out seven demolition orders on January 29. The orders previous come on the heels of five demolition orders handed out in the village earlier this month.

The orders were given under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C, which is under full Israeli military and civil control. Residents of the village said they still have 15 days to challenge the orders in Israeli courts.

Palestinians walk beside a bulldozer that is forbidden by Israeli authorities to pave streets on private property, Shufa, West Bank, January 31, 2017. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinians walk beside a bulldozer that is forbidden by Israeli authorities to pave streets on private property, Shufa, West Bank, January 31, 2017. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Thaer Doroubi, whose new two-floor house is slated for demolition, said he is currently submitting documents to try to halt the order. “This is occupation,” he told +972, “I don’t expect to solve the case by courts, but I will try.”

Thaer Doroubi looks over a home demolition order issued by Israeli authorities for "building without a permit" in Area C, Shufa, near Tulkarem, West Bank, January 31, 2017. There are currently 12 Palestinian homes under the threat of demolition in the village. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Thaer Doroubi looks over a home demolition order issued by Israeli authorities for “building without a permit” in Area C, Shufa, near Tulkarem, West Bank, January 31, 2017. There are currently 12 Palestinian homes under the threat of demolition in the village. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Doroubi says that he decided to start a life for himself by building his own house in the Area C in his village where he owns a piece of land. “Thereis no more space in the Area B section of the village, that’s why we build in our homes in Area C.” Area B remains under full Israeli military control, although the Palestinian Authority is in charge of civil and administrative matters there.

It is almost impossible for Palestinians in Area C to obtain building permits. As Natasha Roth pointed out, between 2010 and 2014 the Civil Administration granted just 1.5 percent of requests.

On the adjacent hill, Israeli bulldozers continued their construction in the Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz. A new path cleared for the settlement’s fence could be clearly seen from Shufa, where residents say they are losing more and more land to the settlement.

Israeli authorities construct a new fence around the Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz, near Tulkarem, West Bank, January 31, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Israeli authorities construct a new fence around the Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz, near Tulkarem, West Bank, January 31, 2017. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Despite the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which demands Israel stop its settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel continues construction efforts in a number of Israeli settlements.

Last Tuesday, Israel approved the construction of approximately 2,500 new housing units in West Bank. On Wednesday morning it announced the construction of another 3,000 units in the occupied territories.

Related:
West Bank demolitions: Building up and tearing down on the way to annexation
Israel issuing Palestinian building permits to further West Bank land grab

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    1. R5

      It is almost like Israel signed an agreement recognized by the PLO and international law that gives them the right to do these things in Area C. Or wait, do you guyz not believe in international law?

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Lightbown

        Think you need to explain that one sunshine. And DON’T tell me to Google it. Precisely which agreement, and what does it say? And which part of international law “gives them the right to do these things in Area C”?

        Reply to Comment
        • R5

          @Richard Lightbown: if you need to look this up to understand my comment you’re at least 40 hours of reading behind having an informed opinion about this conflict.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            R5 evidently chickens out. He can’t answer the question.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Bruce Gould

      According to the Wikipedia article, the legal status of Area C is fuzzy. But since we’re dealing at the most moral people in the world, perhaps we should skip the legalese and talk about the morality of putting an entire population on reservations? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_C_%28West_Bank%29

      Area C (Hebrew: שטח C‎‎) is an administrative division of the West Bank, set out in the Oslo II Accord. Area C constitutes about 61 percent of the West Bank territory.[1]:vii

      As of 2015, it is home to 150,000 Palestinians[2] in 532 residential areas. It also is home to 389,250 Israelis,[3] in 135 settlements, as well as 100 “outposts”. The international community considers the settlements in occupied territory to be illegal,[4] and the United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel’s construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[5][6] Israel disputes the position of the international community and the legal arguments that were used to declare the settlements illegal.[7] The “outposts” are in contravention of Israeli law as well.[8]

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Yes Bruce, the international community is not a court of law. It is a set of politicised voting blocks each driven by self interest. Moreover, the so called international legal bodies are not that much different.

        Wanna know how any sane person knows this fact? Just look at the recent UNESCO vote. According to that vote, Jerusalem is a holy Muslim city, not a Jewish one nor a Christian one. Just a Muslim holy city. Does that sound credible to you?

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        These questions are covered clearly and well here by Daniel Steiman in the Jerusalem Post:

        The settlements are illegal under international law
        By DANIEL STEIMAN
        Sun, 29 Dec 2013, 01:13 PM
        It is abundantly clear to most observers that settlements built in the territories were always intended to eventually be permanent parts of the State of Israel.
        http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-settlements-are-illegal-under-international-law-336507

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          Opinions and counter opinions. Benny’s link happens to quote someone who has an opinion with which many other scholars disagree. Here is a quote from Benny’s link which to me suggests that his opinion is flawecd because it does not consider all pertinent facts.

          “By the fact that Israel conquered a territory that was inhabited by civilians who are not Israeli citizens (i.e. Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank), this makes the Fourth Geneva Convention applicable, and de jure, makes Israel’s control of the West Bank a military occupation.”

          The fact which Benny’s author does not consider is that before 1948, Jews too lived in the West Bank. In the 1948 war, the Arabs ethnically cleansed the entire West Bank of Jews. They illegally created facts on the ground of a Jew free West Bank.

          So by what stretch of the imagination does the international community exects Israel to respect “those facts on the ground” of a Jew free West Bank? After Israel defeated the war of aggression carried out by the previous occupier (Jordan) after it in 1967 and it came in posession of the West Bank?

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            If I legally live in a house with a co-tenant. The co-tenant kicks me out illegally. Later he tries to attack me again in the next house but this time I over-power him, I have no right to make use of the first house out of which he kicked me out of illegally?

            Go pull the other leg!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I’ve noticed that when confronted with an authoritative argument that you really can’t get around–whether it’s Theodore Meron, or the vast majority of legal scholars, or your “gatekeepers” or your Mossad Chief–or Steiman’s cogent summation here of the reasons why the arguments against the applicability of GC IV simply fail–you tend to fall back on mumbling about “it’s just one opinion, opinions come and go,” as if it were what the local green grocer down the street happens to think.

            I think you spectacularly misread Steiman, miss the main point and deploy a specious analogy in the process. (Israel is not “making use of a house.” It is shoving people out of a house and raiding their bedrooms every night and blocking the hallways and doors with brutal checkpoints.) Your nationalistic rights pleading is captured in your phrase “a Jew free West Bank.” As if, post-1945, when GC IV applies, we are talking about stocking land with certain races and that is the governing principle. It is not. One can as easily say:

            “In the 1948 war, the Jews ethnically cleansed entire villages of Arabs in what is now Israel. They illegally created facts on the ground of Arab-free villages all over Israel and with great haste covered them over with pine forests and new construction to cover up this fact. So by what stretch of the imagination does the international community expect the Palestinians to respect “those facts on the ground” of Arab-free villages in Israel inside the 67 lines? After Palestinians fought to an armistice line their war of defense imposed on them by the unfair partition plan blah blah blah….”

            It is all nationalistic special pleading. That is, special pleading about nationalistic rights and it was the express purpose of the Geneva Conventions to protect persons belligerently occupied from just the kind of nationalistic special rights arrogation you are entitling yourself to. In other words, you fail to grasp the whole point about the Fourth Geneva Convention.

            Theodor Meron’s top secret opinion given to the Israeli leadership in 1967 on the illegality of the settlements understood this: “The [4th Geneva] convention can’t be interpreted by splitting hairs and forgetting real human beings. Its point isn’t to protect states. It is to protect people from a state whose army has conquered the land where they live and before whose power they are otherwise defenseless. If it is ignored, their basic rights will be trampled.” And so they have been. This trampling continues at an ever accelerating pace 50 years after his country’s leadershipreceived Meron’s expert, authoritative and unambiguous opinion that they were wrong:
            https://www.soas.ac.uk/lawpeacemideast/resources/file48485.pdf

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            And I have noticed that you always avoid responding to actual logical arguments that I present (read my second last post before this one). Your arguments always rely on what so and so someone says. Well, I have very respectable legal scholars who say what I say (more like I say what they say). For instance, Google Eugene Rostow and Professor Julius Stone.

            As for Meron, you keep on quoting him but in fact his advice wasn’t what you claim. He just foresaw what those who would want to criticise would say and warned Eshkol about it. He himself did not hold those opinions . You only “quote him” because you think that his supposed opinion carries extra weight. You don’t believe me? Well then just read your very own favorite publication: Mondoweiss. They say so too.

            Now, Benny, please don’t be so mentally lazy. Try to argue your own case. By all means, read what the “experts” say but instead of just quoting them parrot fashion, try to understand them and try to think for yourself by reading both sides of the story instead of just those who say things which support your preconceived notions.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            ““In the 1948 war, the Jews ethnically cleansed entire villages of Arabs in what is now Israel. They illegally created facts on the ground”

            Let me just go along with this simplistic account of yours for the sake of argument.

            Let’s just say that we too sorta did what the Arabs did in response to the Arab war of aggression against us. Even then though, unlike the Arabs who got rid of ALL the Jews, we did not get rid of ALL the Arabs. Evidence: we have 1.3 million Arab citizens who have better lives than most ordinary Arabs who live in Arab countries.

            But here comes the crunch. The crunch which Benny and his cronies always ignore (deliberately):

            In 1967, after defeating the Arabs in another war of aggression, we regained the West Bank. So the Bennies of this world expect us to respect the “facts on the ground” which the Arabs created in the West Bank after 1948, to keep the West Bank Jew free.

            This begs the question: what would the Arabs have done if they would have won the 1967 war? Would they have kept the Arab refugees away from Israel proper? Would they have even allowed Jewish Israelis to live in Israel? I will let intelligent readers assess and answer that question for themselves. But the answer is obvious. Moreover, as usual, the world would have looked the other way as Jews once again would have faced another holocaust. The Arabs would have done to us much worse things than we have ever been guilty of doing to them and nobody would have even raised an eye brow. How do I know? I know because our history is full of such outcomes. The last time it happened to us wasn’t much mor than 70 years ago.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “He himself did not hold those opinions.”

            False. Gershom Gorenburg:

            Israel knew all along that settlements were illegal.
            …As the government’s authority on international law, Meron was responding to questions put to him about the legality of demolishing the homes of terror suspects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of deporting residents on security grounds. His answer: Both measures violated the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in war. The government’s justifications of the measures – that they were permitted under British emergency regulations still in force, or that the West Bank wasn’t occupied territory – might have value for hasbara, public diplomacy, but were legally unconvincing. The legal adviser’s stance in 1968 is important today precisely because it is unexceptional. It’s the view of nearly all scholars of international law, including prominent Israeli experts.…
            The memo is not the first evidence of Meron’s warnings, though. In 2006, I published another of his legal opinions, which I found in the late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s declassified office files. Written in mid-September of 1967, about three months after the Six-Day War, it responds to a query from Eshkol’s bureau about the legality of establishing settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. He answered, “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
            http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657167

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            The paragraph below is straight out of Mondoweiss. I am not supplying a link to it because it is an ardent anti Israel site but you can google it yourself.

            “Meron merely warned the higher-ups that the international community would probably object to settlement of Gush Etzion on the grounds of the Geneva Convention.”

            And previously, I also supplied you a link which showed that Meron offered advice to Rabin how to argue his case about the settlements. I will look for that link and present it again when I find it.

            PS
            I notice that you are still unable to refute the argument which I presented in my first post of the 2d of February. Nu, Benny? You gonna try? Or is the task just beyond you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​”A senior legal official who secretly warned the government of Israel after the Six Day War of 1967 that it would be illegal to build Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories has said, for the first time, that he still believes that he was right.…Judge Meron, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia until 2005, said that, after 40 years of Jewish settlement growth in the West Bank – one of the main problems to be solved in any peace deal: “I believe that I would have given the same opinion today.” …
            Judge Meron, 76, is now an appeal judge at the Tribunal. Speaking about his 1967 opinion for the first time, he also tells tomorrow’s Independent Magazine: “It’s obvious to me that the fact that settlements were established and the pace of the establishment of the settlements made peacemaking much more difficult.” …”
            https://web.archive.org/web/20080611213726/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/secret-memo-shows-israel-knew-six-day-war-was-illegal-450410.html

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Here is an article which clearly says that there is nothing illegal about Israeli settlements.

            http://articles.latimes.com/2009/dec/11/opinion/la-oe-rozenman11-2009dec11

            It includes the opinion of Eugene Rostow. Who was Eugene Rostow?

            “Eugene Rostow, U.S. undersecretary of State for President Lyndon Johnson — who is an authority on international law and the coauthor of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which outlines requirements for Arab-Israeli peace — reaffirmed this principle. In 1990, he said: “The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem before the state of Israel was created.”

            It also includes the opinion of Professor Julius Stone. The both said:

            “Julius Stone, like Rostow a leading legal theorist, wrote in his 1981 book, “Israel and Palestine: An Assault on the Law of Nations,” that the effort to designate Israeli settlements as illegal was a “subversion . . . of basic international law principles.”

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Again, Benny produces links of claims by individuals about Meron’s opinion. But here is a link in which Meron speaks for himself when he gave advice to Rabin:

            http://www.jwire.com.au/palestine-bob-carrs-mistakes-need-correcting/

            “to tell the Americans that there are unique aspects to the status of the territories and to our status in the territories. Before the Six-Day War, the Gaza Strip wasn’t Egyptian territory, and the West Bank, too, was territory that had been occupied and annexed by Jordan without international recognition. Given this ambiguous, indeterminate territorial situation, the question of the convention’s applicability is complex and unclear prior to a peace agreement that includes setting secure and recognized borders.”

            And it does not stack up with Benny’s (and his cronies) claims about Meron’s true opinions.

            Oh and Benny, what about what Mondoweiss says about Meron’s opinion? Why are you ignoring Mondoweiss which is an ardent anti Israel site? Even they admit that Meron does not profess an anti settlement legal opinion. Why are you ignoring them, Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            ““In the 1948 war, the Jews ethnically cleansed entire villages of Arabs in what is now Israel. They illegally created facts on the ground”

            Let me just go along with this simplistic account of yours for the sake of argument.

            Let’s just say that we too sorta did what the Arabs did in response to the Arab war of aggression against us. Even then though, unlike the Arabs who got rid of ALL the Jews, we did not get rid of ALL the Arabs. Evidence: we have 1.3 million Arab citizens who have better lives than most ordinary Arabs who live in Arab countries.

            But here comes the crunch. The crunch which Benny and his cronies always ignore (deliberately):

            In 1967, after defeating the Arabs in another war of aggression, we regained the West Bank. So the Bennies of this world expect us to respect the “facts on the ground” which the Arabs created in the West Bank after 1948, to keep the West Bank Jew free.

            This begs the question: what would the Arabs have done if they would have won the 1967 war? Would they have kept the Arab refugees away from Israel proper? Would they have even allowed Jewish Israelis to live in Israel? I will let intelligent readers assess and answer that question for themselves. But the answer is obvious. Moreover, as usual, the world would have looked the other way as Jews once again would have faced another holocaust. The Arabs would have done to us much worse things than we have ever been guilty of doing to them and nobody would have even raised an eye brow. How do I know? I know because our history is full of such outcomes. The last time it happened to us wasn’t much mor than 70 years ago.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Notice the switcheroo? Meron’s actual opinion was what he stated it was at several points as I quote him, and as the archival material attests. Across his lifespan. You tried to pass that off as not what he really thought but just advice he gave Eshkol as to what legal scholars would be expected to say.

            Then you take somebody’s (Singer’s) unattributed quotation of advice supposedly given to Rabin on “what to tell the Americans” that Meron is said to have “cosigned” and try to pass this off as Meron’s true legal opinion. This is not a serious account of Meron’s legal opinion. The evidence in the archival material Gorenburg unearthed, and the statement Meron made to the Independent later in life as to his true opinion, are far more substantial and persuasive.

            Then, the person you quote, David Singer, writes that “Carr claims Meron is alive today, an eminent international jurist. He says he was right then and is right now. No evidence is supplied by Carr to substantiate that claim – which is obviously rebutted by Meron’s revised 1968 opinion to Rabin.” But Meron is indeed alive today and he is published saying, in 2007, that “I believe that I would have given the same opinion today” [as he gave in 1967 several times in top secret documents in his capacity as legal advisor to the Israeli government]. And what this person Singer quotes as “Meron’s revised 1968 opinion to Rabin” is not that at all, but ostensibly some cosigned piece of advice on “what to tell the Americans.”

            The bland blurb that you say comes from Mondoweiss in no way contradicts what I quote Meron doing and saying at several points. It counters nothing at all. It puzzles me why you think it would.

            Finally, every point Rozenman makes is demolished by Steiman. Indeed, it is almost as if Steiman’s piece were written in direct rebuttal of Rozenman’s argument.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “You tried to pass that off as not what he really thought”

            I didn’t just try. I made my point more effectively than you did Benny.

            I supplied two sources to prove my point. One of them an ardent anti Israel site which says the opposite to what you claim. The other is a direct quote of Meron. As to your claim that it is unattributed, it is no more unattributed than your source. But if you mean the Mondoweiss site, then just put in the words from the quote, add the word mondoweiss and google it. You and anyone else will find it. I refuse to supply a direct link to such an ardent anti Israel site. Go on Benny, I dare you to come back and tell me that you can’t find it. You will just prove yourself to be a liar. I dare you to deny it!

            As usual, Bennyleh, you are flailing and you are just pounding your chest while yelling: “I am right and you are wrong” …”I am right but you are wrong” … laughable 😂

            Reply to Comment
    3. AJew

      “You tried to pass that off as not what he really thought”

      I didn’t just try. I made my point more effectively than you did Benny.

      I supplied two sources to prove my point. One of them an ardent anti Israel site which says the opposite to what you claim. The other is a direct quote of Meron. As to your claim that it is unattributed, it is no more unattributed than your source. But if you mean the Mondoweiss site, then just put in the words from the quote, add the word mondoweiss and google it. You and anyone else will find it. I refuse to supply a direct link to such an ardent anti Israel site. Go on Benny, I dare you to come back and tell me that you can’t find it. You will just prove yourself to be a liar. I dare you to deny it!

      As usual, Bennyleh, you are flailing and you are just pounding your chest while yelling: “I am right and you are wrong” …”I am right but you are wrong” … laughable 😂

      Reply to Comment
    4. AJew

      “Meron merely warned the higher-ups that the international community would probably object to settlement of Gush Etzion on the grounds of the Geneva Convention.”

      The above is “the bland” mondoweiss blurb which Benny just tries to brush off. It most certainly contradicts Benny’s claim about Meron. Here is how:

      It clearly puts a lie to Benny’s (and his cohorts) claims about what they attribute to Meron as HIS legal opinion.

      Eshkol asked Meron about the legality of the “settlements”. Meron then issued a warning to Eshkol about what opponents of settlements would claim. But clearly according to Mondoweiss too, it wasn’t Meron’s own opinion.

      Go on Benny, pretend that you are still puzzled and try to just laugh off your own co-ideologues contradiction of your assertions. Go on, Benny-leh, I just know you will still pretend to be puzzled. You are a sad case.

      Reply to Comment
    5. AJew

      Now, Benny, want to talk about bland quotes as proof? Here is the 2007 statement of Meron to which you alluded.

      “In 2007, Judge Meron stated that “I believe that I would have given the same opinion today.”

      Now tell me. How does this contradict what Mondoweiss said about Meron? Again, according to Mondoweiss, Meron just warned Eshkol, how opponents of “settlements” would argue their case. He did not present it as his own legal opinion.

      Wanna know why Mondoweiss say so? Because they are critical of Meron. They want to undermine his credibility as a legal expert and they want to undermine his standing amongst his fellow judges:

      He was elected President of the ICTY by his fellow judges on 19 October 2011,

      Mondoweiss say that because of Meron’s REAL opinions about the “settlements” he is not fit to hold his position. Go on Benny, just google my Mondoweiss quote. It is all there…

      Reply to Comment
    6. AJew

      Consider the scenario which Benny paints and wants us to believe:

      In 1967, the prime minister of Israel, Levi Eshkol, seeked advice from Meron about the settlements. According to Benny, Meron’s opinion was that “settlements” would be illegal. Eshkol then goes and ignores Meron’s advice.

      How credible is such a scenario? Why would Eshkol ask for Meron’s advice and then ignore that advice? Why not just do what he obviously intended to do in the first place? Why seek Meron’s advice in the first place if he wants to ignore it?

      Now consider the scenario which Mondoweiss paints. Eshkol seeked advice and Meron warned him about the type of criticism that he would face from those who oppose settlements. His own legal advice however is that settlements would not be illegal (see Meron’s quote about his advice to Rabin later). Eshkol then weighed up Meron’s warning about the critics and on balance, he decided to go ahead with the settlements. How much more plausible is the second scenario than the first one? The first one which Benny and his less informed fellow propagandists are trying to peddle?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        ​I feel like I’m arguing with a crazy man. Gustav, what part of this evidentiary slam dunk do you not understand? ==>

        ‘A senior legal official who secretly warned the government of Israel after the Six Day War of 1967 that it would be illegal to build Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories has said, for the first time, that he still believes that he was right.
        The declaration by Theodor Meron, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser at the time and today one of the world’s leading international jurists, is a serious blow to Israel’s persistent argument that the settlements do not violate international law, particularly as Israel prepares to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the war in June 1967.
        The legal opinion, a copy of which has been obtained by The Independent, was marked “Top Secret” and “Extremely Urgent” and reached the unequivocal conclusion, in the words of its author’s summary, “that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
        Judge Meron, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia until 2005, said that, after 40 years of Jewish settlement growth in the West Bank – one of the main problems to be solved in any peace deal: “I believe that I would have given the same opinion today.” …
        Speaking about his 1967 opinion for the first time, he also tells tomorrow’s Independent Magazine: “It’s obvious to me that the fact that settlements were established and the pace of the establishment of the settlements made peacemaking much more difficult.”‘
        https://web.archive.org/web/20080611213726/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/secret-memo-shows-israel-knew-six-day-war-was-illegal-450410.html

        Reply to Comment
    7. AJew

      Nothing in your latest new link negates what I said in my previous posts Benny. Read my posts and the links that I supplied again. My posts fully explain the obviously mistaken misinformation that another one of your favorite authors is trying to create.

      As for me being crazy? You are laughable. I’ll tell you what IS crazy:

      You are ignoring what one of your own favorite site says about Meron’s opinion. So what do we have as a result?

      On the one hand, an extremist leftist site (Mondoweiss) is going out of it’s way to try to discredit Meron because they claim that Meron aided and abetted the establishment of settlements and therefore in THEIR opinion he does not deserve the respect of fellow judges.

      As against that, extremist leftists like you, Benny, swear solemnly that Meron is on your sides with his opinion about Israeli settlements and you guys deliberately misrepresent old documents or quote them in isolation without considering other relevant documents and facts which clearly show that your interpretation of Meron’s opinion cannot possibly be right.

      So, what do we have? We have one lot of lefties trying to use Meron as proof that even Israeli legal experts consider ALL “settlements” illegal (BLANKET, ALL, no ifs but or maybes) and you ignore all documents to the contrary. While at the same time, another group of lefties (Mondoweiss) are doing everything in their power to discredit Meron (and advocate dismissing him from his position) for being pro “settlements”.

      Want crazy, Benny? THAT IS CRAZY! 😝

      And another thing which is crazy is you ignoring issues which I raised in other posts which demonstrate how one sided is the expectation against Israel to respect the facts on ground which the Arabs created and maintained after 1948. You are avoiding that issue like the plague. All you want to argue is about Meron. Ok, argue about Meron but I’ll ask you again:

      What do you think the Arabs would have done if they would have been victorious in 1967?

      Do you think they would have said: “no! We can’t allow the return of Arabs to live in Israel proper because it would be against the Geneva conventions”. Do you think they would have said that Benny? If you think they would have, then YOU are crazy. But if you agree with me that they wouldn’t have said that, then I must ask you to tell us why do you expect Israel to act differently to what the Arabs would have done?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Gustav, how is it possible for you to pretend to miss this? The archival documents from 1968 don’t lie. Meron’s statements in 2007 about those archival documents from 1968 don’t lie. These are smoking guns. The statement of personal opinion about Meron, by some individual on the internet at Mondoweiss, that you quote, *intrinsically* does not contradict these 1968 and 2007 statements, and, extrinsically, the fact that it happens to appear on the Mondoweiss site is utterly meaningless. Your argument truly, obviously, has no logic to it.

        Here is another piece of muddling and illogic you engage in, not untypically: “On the one hand…Meron aided and abetted the establishment of settlements…[on the other hand] Meron is on your sides with his opinion about Israeli settlements.” Gustav, there is no mutual exclusion here. Meron could have BOTH told his superiors in top secret memos—they were top secret for a reason—that the settlements were illegal AND at the same time worked to passively aid and abet or at least not stop the establishment of settlements. It is not either/or. It is overly concrete and simplistic to say something like “Meron was either on your side or he was on my side, which is it?” Don’t you get that?

        Reply to Comment
    8. AJew

      Gustav, how is it possible for you to pretend to miss this?

      I am not missing anything. In the secret memo, Meron told his superiors what he thought would be the objections of those who oppose settlements. He outlined THEIR legal arguments NOT HIS OWN.

      He then went on to detail his own legal opinion about the settlements and it wasn’t a blanket opinion about ALL the settlements. About Gush Etzion, he said that Israel has a case. About the Jordan valley he said that it is a bit more problematic but Israel still has a case because the Jordanians occupied it illegally and the Jordan valley was part of the British Mandate. About the Golan Heights, Meron said that Israel had no case because it was not part of the old British Mandate of Palestine.

      Last but not least, Meron went on and detailed strategies of how Israel could make it hard for those who oppose the “settlements” to challenge their legality. As it turned out Israel did not fully follow that bit of his advice in the long term. But that is another argument. But our argument is settled as far as I am concerned, Benny.

      You say that Meron called ALL Israeli settlements illegal. You quote others who say so too. But those others too, like you, don’t know what they are talking about. Meron did not and does not say that ALL settlements are illegal. You say yes, I say no. You say yes, I say no. On and on it goes. But it has become a pointless argument. You ain’t gonna win it. And neither will I as far as you are concerned, even though I saw the ACTUAL memo. Get it Benny?

      Now how about responding to my question about what the Arabs would have done if they would have been victorious in 1967? Would they have stopped Arabs returning to Israel because of the Geneva Conventions? Why are you avoiding this question like the plague Benny? Too uncomfortable to answer?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        You’re doggedly ignoring both the unmistakable personal confirmation Meron issued in 2007, and the basic fact, established by Gorenburg, that Meron confirmed:

        ‘The memo is not the first evidence of Meron’s warnings, though. In 2006, I published another of his legal opinions, which I found in the late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s declassified office files. Written in mid-September of 1967, about three months after the Six-Day War, it responds to a query from Eshkol’s bureau about the legality of establishing settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
        He answered, “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”‘
        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657167

        But look, it doesn’t matter. This issue does not hang on what Theodore Meron said, no matter how obvious, which I am gathering you will argue about endlessly in any case, but on the argument Steiman makes, and which makes clear to me what was clear to the whole world when they passed Resolution 2334 in the Security Council 14-0-1. It has always been the position even of the United States. Enough said.

        Your last question about “the Arabs” I had not avoided, I hadn’t even noticed it. It is a meaningless “what if” and my conclusion is that the transfer of civilian populations into territories occupied in war contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention whether that population is Arab, Chinese, Jewish, or Polynesian.

        Reply to Comment
    9. AJew

      “You’re doggedly ignoring…”

      I am ignoring nothing Benny. Which bit of “I read Meron’s top secret memo myself” don’t you understand Benny? Read my previous post which tells you what it said.

      Yes, Benny, since starting this conversation with you, I read Meron’s memo. And for once, I agree with Mondoweiss. Meron warned Eshkol about other people’s legal opinion. His own opinion was more nuanced and he did not agree with them. That is why Eshkol allowed the settlement of Gush Etzion to proceed.

      Again: which bit of “I read Meron’s memo myself” don’t you understand Benny? And it does not line up with your cronies claims. Moreover, I already explained what Meron’s 2007 statement meant. It did not mean what you claim it to mean. It means what it clearly sounds like. It reiterates his 1967 opinions which was not what you and your cronies claims. Get it Benny? Must I repeat myself again?!

      As for your response to me that the Arabs would not have had the right to return refugees to Israel had they won the 1967 war, you still did not answer my question. I asked you what do you think they would have ACTUALLY done?!

      The answer is obvious but I won’t pursue it with you anymore. No use, you have a one track my mind.

      PS
      I don’t agree with you that they would not have had the right to return their refugees had the Arabs won the war in 1967. So there!

      The only wrongs that were done, by both sides, were the expulsions. But the difference was that Israel did not expel all the Arabs from the territories that it ended up controlling in 1948. The Arabs on the other hand expelled ALL Jews. Want evidence? We have 1.6 million Arab citizens in Israel who represent 20% of the total population of Israel. On the other hand, how many Jews lived in the West Bank between 1948 and 1967? ANSWER: None! Nil! Zip! Nada!

      Moreover, of the Arab refugees who became refugees, only a subset of them were actually expelled. The rest fled from a war zone, same as civilians flee from all war zones (see Syria).

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Gustav, you cannot wish away the documents. You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. On the 18.9.67 cover page, written and signed by Meron, accompanying the top secret memo, Meron wrote:

        “At your and Mr Raviv’s request, I am enclosing herewith a copy of my memorandum of 14.9.67 on the above subject, which I submitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

        https://www.soas.ac.uk/lawpeacemideast/resources/file48485.pdf

        In the memo itself Meron makes explicitly clear the basis for his conclusion:

        “From the point of view of international law, the key provision is the one that appears in the last paragraph of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel, of course, is a party to this Convention. The paragraph stipulates as follows:
        “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.
        The Commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1958 states:
        This clause was adopted after some hesitation, by the XVIIth International Red Cross Conference. It is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. Such transfers worsened the economic situation of the native population and endangered their separate existence as a race.
        The paragraph provides protected persons with a valuable safeguard. It should be noted, however, that in this paragraph the meaning of the words “transfer” and “deport” is rather different from that in which they are used in the other paragraphs of Article 49, since they do not refer to the movement of protected persons but to that of nationals of the occupying Power.
        The prohibition therefore is categorical and not conditional upon the motives for the transfer or its objectives. Its purpose is to prevent settlement in occupied territory of citizens of the occupying state. If it is decided to go ahead with Jewish settlement in the administered territories, it seems to me vital, therefore, that settlement is carried out by military and not civilian entities. It is also important, in my view, that such settlement is in the framework of camps and is, on the face of it, of a temporary rather than permanent nature.”

        Gustav, this could not be clearer. Meron made this legal judgment in 1967. There is no getting around this.

        And Meron reaffirmed it in 2007 to the Independent. And he is also recorded as saying, in 2015, to the Huffington Post, that this legal opinion “still represents my best reading of international law.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        ​Moreover, the legal implications for Israel today are not good:

        http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6472398

        “If and when a case against settlements is initiated at the ICC, I would be very surprised if the Meron report were not introduced into evidence,” Duss wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “It’s one thing to argue that the settlements are a violation of international law, which is how most of the world already sees them. It’s quite another to show that the Israeli government knew they were illegal before they began building them. Since 1967, successive Israeli governments have attempted various legal defenses of the settlements, but the Meron report shows that the Israeli government was advised of their illegality at the outset.”
        “That seems like a pretty devastating piece of evidence for the case against them,” Duss added.
        Meron told HuffPost that the legal opinion “still represents my best reading of international law.” The lawyer added that he wouldn’t be surprised if his memo counted as evidence in any investigation of settlement construction. (Meron, who now serves as the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, told the BBC in 2013 that he believes the settlements “make no contribution to peace.”)

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          If you bother reading everything in Meron’s memo, Benny, rather than only the selective bits in isolation, you will find that everything that I said in my earlier posts was correct.

          Start with the fact that Meron talks about what the critics of “settlements” say.

          Then move onto what he himself actually says. Which is not a blanket judgement about ALL “settlements” but his more nuanced anslysis.

          Hint: he treats Gush Etzion differently. He treats the Jordan valley differently. He treats the Golan heights differently.

          I’ll stop there. Because I am sick of repeating myself. You can say whatever you want about Meron’s opinions Benny and I’ll just dissgree with you ok?

          Now. The thought of the day:

          It is curious to see how Benny parrots the opinions of people who evidently ignore expulsions. But who get scandalised by the idea of allowing a people to return to places from which they were expelled when the opportunity presents itself. How fu….ed up is that sort of thinking?!

          Reply to Comment
    10. AJew

      Ah Benny, but you forgot to highlight the following which are Meron’s actual opinions. From your document, Benny:

      “With regard to Gush Etzion, settlement there could to a certain extent be helped by claiming that this is a return to the settlers’ homes. I assume that there are no difficulties here with the question of property although the matter requires close examination. With regard to Gush Etzion too, we have to expect, in my view, negative international reaction on the basis of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. Furthermore, in our settlement in Gush Etzion, evidence of intent to annex the [West] Bank to Israel can be seen. ”

      And this:

      “On the possibility of settlement in the Jordan Valley, the legal situation is even more complicated because we cannot claim to be dealing with people returning to their homes and we have to consider that problems of property will arise in the context of the Hague Regulations. I cannot go further into this question without having a lot more detail.

      “We go on to say that the agreements themselves were achieved as a temporary measure according to Security Council action based on Article 40 of the United Nations Charter. We also argue that Jordan itself unilaterally annexed the West Bank to the Kingdom of Jordan in 1950 and that the Armistice Lines no longer exist because the agreements expired due to the war and Arab aggression.”
      Which is in line exactly with what I told you in my previous two posts.

      And the paragraph below was his opening remark:

      “… I am afraid there is in the world very great sensitivity to the whole question of Jewish settlement in the administered territories and any legal arguments that we shall try to find will not counteract the heavy international pressure that will be exerted upon us even by friendly countries which will base themselves on the Fourth Geneva Convention. These countries may claim that, while they expect for Israel to settle Arab refugees, Israel is busy settling the administered territories with its citizens.”

      So, clearly as I said before, Meron mentions the “settlements” critics opinions at the start. Then, he put his own opinions. The ones that I highlighted above. He also mentioned strategies that Israel should follow in order to be able to minimise criticisms. But as I said, Israel did not heed those.

      PS

      Still no response to the issues that I raised in the previous posts huh Benny? Meron is your only obsession. But you are still not convincing. Even Mondoweiss has the same take on Meron as I do. Why do you think that is?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        [Chuckle.] Gustav, I can see that you just will never admit to the glaringly obvious. But you know this is the perpetual style of the Israeli occupationist. Caught red-handed, they always have some excuse, making it up as they go along.

        Far from quoting “only the selective bits in isolation” I quoted Meron’s plain, signed statement, on the cover page of the memo, stating not a “selective bit” but this thing known in the English language as “a conclusion” summing up the entire memo. I’m so sorry, Gustav, but that does not qualify as a “selective bit in isolation.” It qualifies in fact as it’s logical opposite:

        “At your and Mr Raviv’s request, I am enclosing herewith a copy of my memorandum of 14.9.67 on the above subject, which I submitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

        Nor do Meron’s clear statements in 2007 and yet again in 2015 ratifying that same conclusion qualify as “selective bits in isolation.” Absolutely nothing about Meron’s internal political advice in the details you reproduce counter his crystal clear statement on the cover page as to what his memo’s conclusion was. And the main bulk of the memo (which I quoted above: “From the point of view of international law, the key provision is…”) nails this down. You cannot get around this. You are trying, in your predictable way, but no one reading this who is even minimally objective is going to buy it. What you are instead displaying is the Israeli occupationist’s contempt for the truth.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          Chuckle Benny. Which bit of the following don’t you understand?

          1. As Mondoweiss too says. Meron in his memo explained why those who blanket reject Israeli settlements reject Israel’s position.

          2. Although he too agreed with some of their reasoning, he did not accept their position in a blanket fashion. Meron was more nuanced.

          3. For instance, Meron felt that the settlements of Gush Etzion are justifiable. He felt that although the settlements at the Jordan valley may be more problematic but they too may be justifiable.

          4. He felt that any settlements at the Golan are not justifiable at all.

          Now, Benny, for a boastful little fellow about your “superior” English language comprehension, you are doing a very poor job. A laughably poor job in fact 😋

          Reply to Comment
          • ANew

            The summary in fact does seem to confirm Benny’s contention that in Meron’s opinion the settlements contravene the Geneva conventions. But in the report itself, Meron seems to conclude that the Gush Etzion Settlements may be justifiable and although he claims that the Jordan valley settlements are more problematic, he seems to feel that even those are potentially justifiable. Here are the relevant paragraphs:

            1. “With regard to Gush Etzion, settlement there could to a certain extent be helped by claiming that this is a return to the settlers’ homes. I assume that there are no difficulties here with the question of property although the matter requires close examination. With regard to Gush Etzion too, we have to expect, in my view, negative international reaction on the basis of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. Furthermore, in our settlement in Gush Etzion, evidence of intent to annex the [West] Bank to Israel can be seen.”

            2. “On the possibility of settlement in the Jordan Valley, the legal situation is even more complicated because we cannot claim to be dealing with people returning to their homes and we have to consider that problems of property will arise in the context of the Hague Regulations. I cannot go further into this question without having a lot more detail.
            Then there is the matter of Mondoweiss. Here is a link to it (I changed my mind I decided to supply it now) and some relevant quotes:

            https://www.google.com.au/amp/mondoweiss.net/2013/06/provided-rationale-settlements/amp/

            Mondoweisse’s conclusion is similar to mine. I guess according to Benny, their comprehension is as poor as mine (sarcasm)

            FROM MONDOWEISS:

            “Although many people are understandably still under the impression, based on main stream media reports, that Meron was a hero who opposed them, the available evidence indicates that he was a co-perpetrator of the scheme to knowingly and intentionally establish the illegal settlements in the territories captured during the 1967 war.

            So history has burnished Judge Theodor Meron’s image on the basis of the cover letter to his advisory opinion, while ignoring the rest of its contents.”

            NOTE: Mondoweiss is a known anti Israel site so the term “illegal settlements” naturally roll off their tongue. But their conclusion is the same as mine about Meron’s true position!

            Reply to Comment
    11. AJew

      Then there is the matter of Mondoweiss. Here is a link to it (I changed my mind I decided to supply it now) and some relevant quotes:

      https://www.google.com.au/amp/mondoweiss.net/2013/06/provided-rationale-settlements/amp/

      Mondoweisse’s conclusion is similar to mine. I guess according to Benny, their comprehension is as poor as mine (sarcasm)

      FROM MONDOWEISS:

      “Although many people are understandably still under the impression, based on main stream media reports, that Meron was a hero who opposed them, the available evidence indicates that he was a co-perpetrator of the scheme to knowingly and intentionally establish the illegal settlements in the territories captured during the 1967 war.

      So history has burnished Judge Theodor Meron’s image on the basis of the cover letter to his advisory opinion, while ignoring the rest of its contents.”

      NOTE: Mondoweiss is a known anti Israel site so the term “illegal settlements” naturally roll off their tongue. But their conclusion is the same as mine about Meron’s true position!

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        First of all, what one person called “Hostage” said on Mondoweiss is just that, what one person called “Hostage” said on Mondoweiss. It is not some “evidence” as you seem to strangely imply.

        But that fact is I find it puzzling you would provide reference to “Hostage” since “Hostage” crucially supports something I pointed out earlier to you:

        Meron BOTH told his superiors in top secret memos—they were top secret for a reason—that the settlements were illegal AND at the same time worked to passively abet or at least not stop the establishment of settlements, all the while knowing he had, as a legal expert, judged them illegal. It is not either/or. There is no contradiction. It is overly concrete and simplistic to say something like “Meron was either on your side or he was on my side, which is it?”

        In fact, as “Hostage of Mondoweiss” points out, “the memo is full of qualified language and advice on how to skirt the law and settle portions of that territory anyway.”

        Now, I differ with “Hostage” in this nuance: I think the memo is not all that “full of” this kind of advice on how to skirt the law, it is at least as full, really much more full, of airtight convincing language as to why the settlements, or at least almost all of them, are illegal (I quote some four paragraphs of these passages above: “From the point of view of international law, the key provision is the one that appears in the last paragraph of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention….”)

        Meron in the memo advises on questions he has apparently been asked regarding arguments for carving out possible exceptions to his general conclusion. (“Returning to the settlers’ homes” in regards to Gush Etzion; and the Jordan Valley advice—which is cryptic and “even more complicated” and is on the face of it not any indication he opined that there was indeed a viable exception to be carved out.) But advice offered on questions about carving out narrow possible exceptions to his general conclusion only underscores the obvious point that Meron concluded that the vast majority of settlements were simply illegal. There is no way Meron would have written what he did about the summary conclusion of his memo on that cover page of the memo if he thought otherwise. Unless Meron were a nitwit. Which he was and is not.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          Poor old Benny, he always finds a way to sidetrack the discussion.

          Reminder: you have decided to focus on what Meron says or does not say. I showed you that Meron seems to give one hell of a mixed message. But you refuse to acknowledge that even though you claim to have superior English comprehension skills.

          Mondoweiss too seems to give credence to what I say about Meron. Otherwise presumably they would not have published what “hostage” said. And they do seem to have some esteem towards this “hostage” fellow. They say he is one of their regular posters.

          But I guess, according to you, Benny, this hostage fellow is like me. He is either misguided or blind. Of course, it couldn’t possibly be you who is wilfully blind, eh Benny-leh?

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            The best thing one can say about this Meron guy, based on that memo and his subsequent record. Is that he is a wishy washy character with no firm opinions of his own. He seems to be a character who swims with the tide and who says what he thinks people want to hear or what he thinks the majority opinion is.

            Opinions of his own? Real opinions based on legal and common sense facts? I don’t think he really cares about. He is/was too career minded to worry about such minor details.

            Oh and Benny, Gush Etzion and East Jerusalem (which he should have mentioned too) were not just a minor part of the topic, as you seem to imply. Those are crucial details on which peace negotiations can and have failed in the past. Moreover, despite your pretence, Meron was wishy washy about the Jordan valley too in the body of his report. For starters, he said he needed more information. But then instead of reflecting that in his summary, he gave a firm conclusion. A conclusion which seems to be based on what he perceived to be the legal opinion of others rather than his own (read the entire report which reflects that approach). One has no other choice but to see Meron for what he is Benny, he is a wishy washy character who has no opinions of his own. How can conclude anything else from reading his report? You cannot analyse the guy just be looking at the summary page. I’ll say it again, you gotta read the entire report!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            It’s not a “mixed message.” It is misleading to say that. It is a clear conclusion backed by the main force of the memo, plus some answers to questions about carving out possible narrow exclusions to the conclusion. It is the kind of thing from which arises the expression “the exception that proves the rule.” You’ve been trying for 25 posts now to make hay out of the possible narrow exceptions but we have now showed how that is not tenable. This discussion has been helpful to me in clarifying for myself this whole top secret Meron memo business.

            What is mixed is not Meron’s MESSAGE, but Meron’s EFFORT. Meron BOTH told his superiors in top secret memos—they were top secret for a reason—that the settlements were illegal AND the same time worked to passively abet or at least not stop the establishment of settlements, all the while knowing he had, as the Israelis’ chief legal expert, judged them illegal.

            I see now that in the light of all this you’ve resorted to attacking Meron! Attacking the messenger (both “wishy washy” and “firm”!—oh I see) since you can’t attack the message. The message of 1968. Of 2007. Of 2015. The same guy you championed two minutes ago.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Good try Benny.

            Essentially Meron only told his superiors what he perceived as “even our allies” opinions. The summary page in isolation makes it appear as if that is also his opinion. But anyone who is even slightly objective (not you of course Benny) can see for themselves that in the report, Meron is wishy washy. I won’t labor the point again, it is a waste of time with you Benny. But the one point that I will reiterate is this: how can he mention the entire Jordan valley and say that he needs more information about that, then go in the summary page and come up with a conclusive opinion? Clearly, the summary page should have said something about the need to get further information instead of presenting a definitive conclusion.

            I have people working for me who report to me. If anyone would come to me with such a sloppy report, he/she would be rapped over their knuckle for being sloppy.

            I am not surprised that Eshkol ignored Meron’s advice because clearly the man had no opinion of his own. All he said in that report is that “we need to be careful because the forces out there are out to get us”. “But if we must, then we must do things … this way… or that way…etc”

            Meron did not come up with a single opinion of his own. And what’s more, he presented contradictory opinions as well. For instance, his opinion about Gush Etzion contradicted his conclusion in the summary. Moreover, his opinion about East Jerusalem was missing. Had it been present, it should have been the same as his opinion about Gush Etzion if he would be consistent.

            Sloppy is too mild a word for that report, Benny-leh. No wonder Eshkol ignored it. Any self respecting manager, let alone the prime minister of a country would have been reduced to shaking their head if they would have to make life shattering dacisions based on such a wishy washy report.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “since you can’t attack the message. The message of 1968. Of 2007. Of 2015. The same guy you championed two minutes ago.”

            This is a typical Benny lie. I never championed Meron. Go back and look at every post of mine on this thread. I disputed Meron’s message all along. I said that Meron never came up with such an opinion.

            I do admit that initially I thought that he actually did not. I was wrong about that. But now that I have seen the report, I am not wrong about the fact that Meron did not in fact have an opinion. He just parroted other people’s opinions and inconsistently at that. Read my previous posts which explain why.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Gustav, you really are shameless. Unfortunately for you, Meron’s language is the opposite of wishy washy:

            “From the point of view of international law, the key provision is the one that appears in the last paragraph of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel, of course, is a party to this Convention. … The prohibition therefore is categorical and not conditional upon the motives for the transfer or its objectives. Its purpose is to prevent settlement in occupied territory of citizens of the occupying state. If it is decided to go ahead with Jewish settlement in the administered territories, it seems to me vital, therefore, that settlement is carried out by military and not civilian entities. It is also important, in my view, that such settlement is in the framework of camps and is, on the face of it, of a temporary rather than permanent nature.”

            “Categorical…not conditional…its purpose…it seems to me vital…important….on the face of it…”

            This is so not wishy washy that you are all washed up my friend. Washed up on the shore of the island reserved for those shipwrecked sailors who will say anything at all rather than concede defeat.

            Reply to Comment
    12. AJew

      You are the one who is shameless Benny. You are now just resorting to repetition and you think that by repeating yourself you offer proof.

      But you are wrong. And I showed you why you are wrong. Meron’s conclusion did not tally with his own report which was wishy washy and inconsistent. Moreover, it clearly proves that instead of having a clear consistent opinion, he just parroted the opinions of others. And in an ignorant way at that.

      Again: how can you say in the report that you need more information then in the summary, ignore that very pertinent lack of information? How Benny? Tell me how Benny? You are just persistently ignoring that “minor hitch” (sarcasm), aren’t you, Benny?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        You can say in the report that you need more information because you are talking about carving out a narrow exclusion from the general conclusion. Last time I checked the vast majority of the settlements were neither in Gush Etzion nor the Jordan Valley. This plain fact of geography highlights the absurd lengths you will go to avoid conceding.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          You can wiggle, you can juggle and you can assert Benny. But you can’t ignore the glaring fact that the report itself contradicts his own, ‘no ifs’, ‘no buts’ categoric conclusion. Here are just two qutes from the report:

          1. “With regard to Gush Etzion, settlement there could to a certain extent be helped by claiming that this is a return to the settlers’ homes. I assume that there are no difficulties here with the question of property although the matter requires close examination. With regard to Gush Etzion too, we have to expect, in my view, negative international reaction on the basis of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention.”

          2. “On the possibility of settlement in the Jordan Valley, the legal situation is even more complicated because we cannot claim to be dealing with people returning to their homes and we have to consider that problems of property will arise in the context of the Hague Regulations. I cannot go further into this question without having a lot more detail.”

          The guy was driven by what the international reaction would be. Not by the need to offer a well reasoned legal opinion of his own.

          He tried to buy time by saying he needs more information.

          His opinion about Gush Etzion contradicted his conclusion in the summary.

          Wishy washy Benny. And contradictory and trying to be all things to all people. That is in the body of the report. Yet in the summary, he suddenly out of the blue ignored all his own qualifications and contradictory statements and the need for more information.

          It’s like he said, who cares. I’ll just say what other parties have said for their own political reasons and I can’t go wrong with that. I’ll be able to warn them that “I told you so” when the proverbial s….t will hit the fan, “which I know it will” because right from day one, international politics (not legality) was the major factor at play. The powers to be were more worried by Arab oil embargoes and the large Muslim bloc in the UN than the interests of Israel.

          Again: the Arabs expelled Jews from Gush Etzion and East Jerusalem. That was ok, huh? But Jews reversing that expulsion after 1967 (only after 19 years of absence), is a crime? How does that stack up with reality?

          Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          The entire Jordan valley and Gush Etzion is not a narrow exclusion.

          Moreover, he should have also included East Jerusalem in the same way as Gush Etzion.

          Entire peace negotiations have faltered in the past because of those so called minor exclusions which you seem to want to consider as minor details.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Don’t confuse things. I am not saying the Jordan Valley is a minor detail. Or a minor exclusion in reality. I am saying that Meron was advising on a possible narrow conceptual or theoretical legal exclusion to the main force of his memo. He did not support such an exclusion in his top secret memo, and wisely said, in response to what apparently was a question put to him about the Jordan Valley, that he needed more information. To say the least. That is not wishy washy. It is intelligent.

            Meanwhile…back to reality…readings from the annals of organized crime. Jordan Valley chapter:
            http://www.alternet.org/world/inside-blooming-israeli-settlements-jordan-valley

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “I am not saying the Jordan Valley is a minor detail”

            Actually, you said exactly that.

            “You can say in the report that you need more information because you are talking about carving out a narrow exclusion from the general conclusion.”

            So again, if you need more information, as Meron said that he did, then you must reflect that in the summary. But Meron didn’t. He just seemed to say, ah, this is all too hard, I’ll just look around what people out there say and I’ll say the same thing.

            The problem with that approach is that “people out there” were politicised people. They wanted to stomp on and intimidate little Israel from doing what they did not want Israel to do. Which is to complicate the peace process. The problem is that those people were not motivated to look at the reality of the Middle East, Arab intransigance and sheer bloody mindedness. It was just Easier to try to try to force the hands of Israel than to take on the entire Arab bloc with their Muslim allies. It was much easier to try to bully Israel by inventing the Geneva convention trope and hitting Israel over the head with it. And Meron, the littlle career minded aparatchick played right into their hands because it was easier for him to do that than actually giving a well thought out legal opinion which is what he really was asked to do. It was much easier to say, everyone out there yells at us: Geneva Conventions! Geneva Conventions! Geneva Conventions! So I’ll just jump to that conclusion too.

            It is obvious that it was Meron’s approach. You can see it all over his report. He asked for time, he contradicted his own conclusion with his Gush Etzion musings but he never showed that in his summary ruling. Sloppy and inconsistent. I am not the only one who is saying it. Your very own Mondoweiss says it too. Of course they say it for different reasons but that does not really matter.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “And Meron, the little career minded aparatchick played right into their hands because it was easier for him to do that than actually giving a well thought out legal opinion which is what he really was asked to do.”

            Hilarious. You are such a tireless obfuscator and such a tireless mudslinger both. Truly marvelous.

            Meron:
            My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
            “From the point of view of international law, the key provision is the one that appears in the last paragraph of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel, of course, is a party to this Convention. … The prohibition therefore is categorical and not conditional upon the motives for the transfer or its objectives. Its purpose is to prevent settlement in occupied territory of citizens of the occupying state. If it is decided to go ahead with Jewish settlement in the administered territories, it seems to me vital, therefore, that settlement is carried out by military and not civilian entities. It is also important, in my view, that such settlement is in the framework of camps and is, on the face of it, of a temporary rather than permanent nature.”

            Matar:
            “There is a simple logic to forbidding an occupying power from transferring its own citizens into the territory it’s occupying: firstly, to allow for a solution to the conflict by preventing a state from developing long-term interests through military rule; secondly, to guard against the theft of resources from the group under occupation; and thirdly, to prevent a situation in which two separate groups live on the same land under separate legal systems.”

            Meron & Matar. No bullshit straight shooters. So refreshing.

            Really Gustav, this has been most clarifying and enlightening. Helpful to me in clarifying for myself this whole top secret Meron memo business and this whole Geneva Convention violation business and settlement illegality business. I owe it to you!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            The reality is that Meron had two choices.

            Either not to equivocate in the body of the report about Gush Etzion being different and about his need for more information about the Jordan valley. Then it would have been perfectly consistent for him to present his concusion that he did in his summary.

            Or, he should have done what he did in the body of the report. Mention Gush Etzion and his need for extra information in relation to the Jordan valley, but then his conclusion in the summary page should have mentioned those facts too. He could have easily done that with one or two extra lines.

            But Meron did neither. He simply did not think it through. And because of that, he handed a present to polemicists like you, Benny, who can gleefully point ONLY at the summary page, while ignoring the report itself, and claim that even Israel’s legal expert said right at the beginning that ALL settlements are illegal. Which of course ignores reality, if one considers the report too.

            The best that I can say about Meron, therefore is that he lacked foresight and he was sloppy with his presentation. The worst that I can say is that he did not even have a consistent legal opinion himself. He just parrotted the loud voices of the politicised pundits out there because he felt that to be the safest path for himself down the track.

            Either way, that report does not reflect well on Mr Meron. On that, Mondoweiss and I are in full agreement. And believe me, that is not a usual event. Me agreeing with Mondoweiss that is.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “The best that I can say about Meron, therefore is that he lacked foresight and he was sloppy with his presentation. The worst that I can say is that he did not even have a consistent legal opinion himself. He just parrotted the loud voices of the politicised pundits out there because he felt that to be the safest path for himself down the track.”

            Again, just hilariously phony and desperate.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Again, just hilariously phony and desperate”

            Only an ignorant or self serving person like you, Benny, would make such a comment.

            A good report includes a summary which reflects what is in the body of the report. It does not skip over and ignores pertinent facts.

            Meron’s report does not keep to that standard.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​Only you could say I ignore the report itself immediately following my quoting four paragraphs of its core text. Only you could construe a top secret 1968 memo as a present given to me in 2017.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            ​”Only you could say I ignore the report itself immediately following my quoting four paragraphs of its core text.”

            I am not the one who has ignored the main report. You are the one.

            You ignore the additional bits which are in the report (additional to the summary which I already acknowledged). And by doing what hou do (ignoring) you falsely claim that ALL, I’ll say it again for emphasis: ALL settlements are illegal according to Meron.

            But if you, wouldn’t ignore other things in the core of the report, you’d have to admit that in the core report (not the summary), Meron said:

            1. That Gush Etzion may not be illegal because Israelis were RETURNING to where they lived before.

            2. The Jordan valley may also not be illegal depending on additional information that he needed.

            Neither of these two points were reflected in the summary. That is what YOU are ignoring and I am complaining about.

            “Only you could construe a top secret 1968 memo as a present given to me in 2017.”

            It was. Not specifically to you. But to people like you. How do I know? Because you already were triumphant. You pointed at the summary and you claimed that it is an open and shut case. That it vindicates your claim. But it only vindicates your claim if you ignore additional things which Meron said in the report itself.

            So, yes, at the least, Meron was sloppy. And his sloppiness helps people like you to promote your simplistic conclusion. And yes, in a way it is a present to the likes of you.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Here Benny, here are the two quotes from within the core of the report which you studiously ignore:

            1. “With regard to Gush Etzion, settlement there could to a certain extent be helped by claiming that this is a return to the settlers’ homes.”

            2. “On the possibility of settlement in the Jordan Valley, the legal situation is even more complicated because we cannot claim to be dealing with people returning to their homes and we have to consider that problems of property will arise in the context of the Hague Regulations.

            I cannot go further into this question without having a lot more detail.”

            Note the last two lines of item 2. I deliberately inserted a ‘new line’ in order to highlight it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Really I’m grateful to you for clarifying both these issues specific to Meron and the illegality of the settlements and for showing us all to what lengths hasbarists will go to twist matters and refuse to admit the obvious.

            Quoting four central paragraphs of the main report is ignoring it?

            The language of the “isolated bits” that you want to claim nullify the conclusion (this is *inherently* illogical) is strikingly poor, stony soil for your argument.

            But let’s just, for argument’s sake, say that, miraculously, Meron’s possible narrow exclusions that prove the rule turned out to be arguable and convincing in a court of law. That means then that (1) those exceptions prove the rule and (2) you are willing to grant that the vast majority of the settlements, not located in Gush Etzion or the Jordan Valley, are illegal.

            OK. We’ll just leave it there. I am sure that swaps for Gush Etzion and parts of the Jordan Valley can be arranged. If your heart is in the right place. That’s what the API and other peace seeking overtures are all about. As you know. You might want to get out your maps and start looking for choice comparable arable land inside Israel proper for those swaps. Go to it tiger.

            Again, thanks!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “But let’s just, for argument’s sake, say that, miraculously, Meron’s possible narrow exclusions that prove the rule turned out to be arguable and convincing in a court of law.”

            You mean they would not be? Ok then thanks for clarifying your position. You accept Meron’s opinion when it agrees with yours. But you question it when he disagrees with you. Thanks Benny. You made yourself perfectly clear.

            Oh, and don’t forget East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is in the same category as Gush Etzion. So Meron’s “narrow” opinion applies to East Jerusalem too.

            “That means then that (1) those exceptions prove the rule and (2) you are willing to grant that the vast majority of the settlements, not located in Gush Etzion or the Jordan Valley, are illegal.”

            Only in your fairy land does it mean that Benny. Unlike you I don’t defer to Meron’s opinion, narrow or wide. My argument with you about Meron is about what his ACTUAL opinion was. Not your selective interpretation of it!

            I don’t defer to his opinion or anyone else’s who wants to tie Israel’s hands while letting Arabs get away with murder, purely because it is just easier to push little Israel around and it is hard to take on the Arab Muslim block. It is just easier to use lawfare (that is make believe laws) to try to badger Israel into submission.

            I do however defer to the opinions of other legal experts like Eugene Rostow and Professor Julius Stone who said that Jews have the right to live in the entire territory of the historic British Mandate of Palestine as per the original resolution of the League of Nations in 1922. What will happen to Jewish settlements after a peace deal? That depends on the peace deal. It is possible that ALL the Jewish settlements may end up within Israel’s new recognised borders. It is also possible that some may not. What is true however is that settlements that were built on CROWN lands in the West Bank are NOT illegal. Only the one’s built on private lands are illegal. I am willing to defer to the Israeli high court to decide which ones are those Benny. I have the confidence ONLY in them to decide when the opportunity for peace really comes. Of course we are nowhere near that time now. So the whole discussion is moot. It is moot because I firmly believe that for now at least, we should not try to behave better than our enemies insist that they have the right to behave towards us. On the other hand, when they’ll show willingness to change, we should change too for the better.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            …blah blah blah. Thanks! Oh, and don’t forget your logic about East Jerusalem and Gush Etzion then applies to all the destroyed ethnically cleansed Arab villages and neigborhoods in Israel (including all of Jerusalem). Let’s open up the discussion as per your wish to all the “return to their homes” justifications and “depending on additional information” justifications and those “persons of this ethnicity have a right to live here” justifications. Those miraculous international legal conclusion-nullifying “exceptions” you are fascinated with. You’re coming around to agreeing to the full right of return. I follow your logic. Even if you don’t. Thanks. But most of all thanks for helping me to so nicely clarify how Theodore Meron got it right in 1968 (and 2007 and 2015) in the text of his memo and in his conclusion* that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

            *CONCLUSION
            NOUN
            1.1 The summing-up of an argument or text:
            ‘in the conclusion we highlight these and other important issues’
            1.2 The formal and final arrangement of an agreement:
            ‘the conclusion of a free-trade accord’
            2 A judgement or decision reached by reasoning:
            ‘each research group came to a similar conclusion’
            2.1 Logic A proposition that is reached from given premises.
            – Oxford English Dictionary

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Oh, and don’t forget your logic about East Jerusalem and Gush Etzion then applies to all the destroyed ethnically cleansed Arab villages and neigborhoods in Israel (including all of Jerusalem)”

            You are right. It actually does. But the Arabs chose this way of resolving things. Through VIOLENCE. Right from the word go, they chose VIOLENCE to try to get ALL the lands to be Arab lands.

            So now, we too are playing by their rules and it means that whichever side is stronger will get whatever that side chooses to get. They are still going for it all. We are still willing to give them some. It won’t last forever. In the meanwhile, we will take back what was ours: East Jerusalem and Gush Etzion as well as whatever else we feel we need for our security. Hey, them’s the rules the Arabs chose to play by, we too now play by their rules. So if they want to get back what they feel is theirs, they either have to say pretty please and do what we ask of them too, or they’ll just have to try kill us all. Right now, they are still opting for the latter. So they have to accept the consequences of their choice.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “You’re coming around to agreeing to the full right of return. I follow your logic.”

            You don’t follow my logic at all Benny-leh. Read my previous post. Here is some homework for you. Study up on CAUSE and EFFECT. The Arabs chose to play by their rules. Now they want us to ignore history and go back to square one when things did not work out for them the way they were hoping? With our total demise? No, the world does not work that way. Now they get what we are willing to give them, in exchange for what we ask of then, or they just have to be more successful at killing us all. But again, let them be warned, if they opt for their second option, they may not end up liking the consequences of that either!

            Reply to Comment
    13. AJew

      “Thanks. But most of all thanks for helping me to so nicely clarify how Theodore Meron got it right in 1968 (and 2007 and 2015) in the text of his memo and in his conclusion* that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

      The Geneva conventions in relation to “OCCUPIED TERRITORIES” apply to conflicts fought between two separate sovereign nations each with defined borders. Otherwise ridiculous situations and claims may arise.

      Take Syria for example. A CIVIL war has been raging there for the last few years between mostly Sunnis on the one side and mostly Alawites on the other side.

      The battle ebbs and flows with one side or the other alternately gaining or losing territories. Take Aleppo for example. At one stage it was under the control of the Sunnis and now it is controlled again by the Alawites. No sane person would claim that Aleppo is now considered to be an OCCUPIED territory. Nor was it considered OCCUPIED when the Sunnis controlled Aleppo. Why? Because in a civil war, there is no such thing as occupied territory as defined by the Geneva conventions. The treatment of the population is different. The population must still be treated humanely.

      Now take Palestine. The conflict between Jews and the Arabs of Palestine culminated into a civil war in 1947. Like in Syria, the battle ebbed and flowed with the Arabs initially gaining control of the West Bank and cleansing it of ALL Jews. In 1967 the tide shifted and the Jews gained control of the West Bank. So, being a civil war, like Syria, the West Bank cannot be considered to be occupied territories either when Arabs controlled it or when Jews control it. Get it Benny?

      When will this stop being a civil war? When borders will be agreed upon and two separate states will be created. One Arab and one Jewish nation (Israel). After that, if a war breaks out and one side or another gains control of some or all of the other side’s territories, then those territories will be considered occupied territories and the Geneva conventions will apply. But not before!

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        I stopped reading after “But the Arabs chose this way of resolving things.” After which you give up all pretense to logic and legalities and out comes the gangster. Never far from the surface. Good luck with that. Meron: still right after all these years. And the Israeli government knew it from the start.

        “If and when a case against settlements is initiated at the ICC, I would be very surprised if the Meron report were not introduced into evidence,” Duss wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “It’s one thing to argue that the settlements are a violation of international law, which is how most of the world already sees them. It’s quite another to show that the Israeli government knew they were illegal before they began building them. Since 1967, successive Israeli governments have attempted various legal defenses of the settlements, but the Meron report shows that the Israeli government was advised of their illegality at the outset.” “That seems like a pretty devastating piece of evidence for the case against them,” Duss added.
        http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6472398

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          You have stopped reading it Benny? Ok that just shows what a closed mind you have. And how one sided you are.

          You expect the Arabs to get away with anything. For instance, clearing the West Bank of the Jewish population when they controlled the West Bank. But as soon as we regain the West Bank after another war of aggression by the Arabs in 1967, we must scrupulously observe the “rights” of the Arabs who did not bother observing Jewish rights. Moreover, as part of those so called Arab rights, we cannot even restore Jewish rights which were trampled upon by the very same Arabs for 19 years between 1948 and 1967.

          Ok Benny, I got your drift. It smells to high heaven.

          Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        ​”The Geneva conventions in relation to “OCCUPIED TERRITORIES” apply to conflicts fought between two separate sovereign nations each with defined borders”

        Wrong. It is not about states. It is about people. The point of the convention is not to protect or serve states. (How many times must we go over this?) No where do the Conventions delimit themselves this way. In fact, it was the purpose of the Geneva Conventions to protect persons belligerently occupied from just this kind of “special case” maneuver a more powerful belligerent would try to entitle itself to.

        Theodor Meron’s top secret opinion given to the Israeli leadership in 1967 on the illegality of the settlements understood this:

        “The convention can’t be interpreted by splitting hairs and forgetting real human beings. Its point isn’t to protect states. It is to protect people from a state whose army has conquered the land where they live and before whose power they are otherwise defenseless. If it is ignored, their basic rights will be trampled.”

        And so they have been. This trampling continues at an ever accelerating pace 50 years after his country’s leadership received Meron’s expert, authoritative and unambiguous opinion that they were wrong:
        https://www.soas.ac.uk/lawpeacemideast/resources/file48485.pdf

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “Wrong. It is not about states. It is about people. The point of the convention is not to protect or serve states. (How many times must we go over this?) No where do the Conventions delimit themselves this way. In fact, it was the purpose of the Geneva Conventions to protect persons belligerently occupied from just this kind of “special case” maneuver a more powerful belligerent would try to entitle itself to.”

          BS Benny. Your definition of us trampling on Palestinian Arab people’s rights is that we moved our people, Jews across what you pretend are our borders, into the West Bank. Even though we too lived in the West Bank before your Arabs kicked us out from there.

          You can’t have it both ways Benny-leh. You can’t claim that we transgress the Geneva conventions when we move back to where we used to live and we hurt your Arabs by doing that, but that it was ok for them to kick us out in the first place.

          What you are advocating is that it is ok for Arabs to hurt our people but we cannot reverse that wrong because it hurts their people.

          Do you realise how ridiculous your claim is, Benny? Ridiculous, one sided and inconsistent.

          Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        ​” The conflict between Jews and the Arabs of Palestine culminated into a civil war in 1947.”

        You really are something. In the very same post you want to argue both that the Geneva Conventions do not apply because these are not “separate sovereign nations each with defined borders” ( a fallacious argument) and at the same time argue that this was “a civil war” inside a sovereign nation with defined borders! Your right wing colleagues are going to be absolutely scandalized. All along they have been shouting that Palestine has never existed and have attached enormous (pseudo)significance to this. Now you want to say it was “a civil war.” What follows from this is that, just as in the American Civil War, reunification into one state of all its citizens is in the cards. Believe me, the Confederates and the Yankees felt at least as bad about each other as you all do and shed far more blood and they got over it. You just need a Jewish or an Arab Abraham Lincoln to make it happen. I’ll tell you that Ayman Odeh is the figure over there at this point who most rises above the pygmies to even begin to shine the tip of Lincoln’s boots. But you all can do it. One state. Of the people, by the people, for the people. I mean, it all makes sense. You are America’s “no daylight” ally, the “only democracy in the Middle East.” So wonderful. Here is your chance to show that that alliance is worth the paper it’s printed on.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “you want to argue both that the Geneva Conventions do not apply because these are not “separate sovereign nations each with defined borders” ( a fallacious argument)”

          Really? Then tell us where are our borders. And please don’t fabricate stories about armistice lines being borders.

          While you are at it, please tell us the borders of the Palestinian Arab state which has never existed by the way.

          You might also want to look at UN security council resolution 242 which says that Israel must move back to SECURE and RECOGNISED borders. But it did not define those borders because the intention behind the resolution was to get the Arabs and Israelis to negotiate the borders. Here read about it:

          http://maurice-ostroff.tripod.com/id45.html

          “Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until “a just and lasting peace in the Middle East” is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces “from territories” it occupied during the Six-Day War–not from “the” territories nor from “all” the territories, but from some of the territories, which included the Sinai Desert, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “and at the same time argue that this was “a civil war” inside a sovereign nation with defined borders!”

            You are completely mixed up, Bennyleh. You are just uttering random sentiments. Whatever jumps into your mind. This is what I argued:

            1. Before 1948, there was the British Mandate of Palestine which had defined borders. It had both an Arab and a Jewish population.

            2. At the end of the mandate, after the Arabs rejected UN resolution 181 to partition Palestine, a civil war broke out after the Arabs rioted and attacked the Jews of Palestine because they did not want to see a Jewish state to come into existence. They wanted the entire territory of the British Mandate to become an Arab state.

            3. The 1948 civil war came to a temprary halt in 1949 after which armistice lines were drawn up. But borders were not defined because the Arabs refused to recognise a Jewish state within ANY BORDERS!

            Get it Benny? That is the very definition of a civil war. At the end of the British rule, two factions of the local population, Arabs and Jews, fought each other to grab lands for the state that they each hoped to establish. And that war has been continuing to this date even though we Jews managed to function as a state within first the armistice lines and subsequently after 1967, we ended up controlling the West Bank too which we said that we are willing to relinquish at least partially so that the Arabs too can establish THEIR state there. But we are only willing to do that in exchange for a permanent peace deal in which the Arabs will agree to recognise our Jewish nation state within agreed borders.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Your right wing colleagues are going to be absolutely scandalized”

            No they won’t. Unlike you, they know history. Why do you assume that they are as wilfully blind as you, Benny?

            “All along they have been shouting that Palestine has never existed”

            Arab Palestine never existed. They are right about that. The British mandate of Palestine which had both a Jewish and an Arab population certainly did exist. Don’t you know anything, Benny?

            “What follows from this is that, just as in the American Civil War, reunification into one state of all its citizens is in the cards.”

            And this is where you lost me. I won’t bother with your nonsense. The American civil war has nothing to do with the Arab Israeli (Jewish state) conflict. I an not even wasting my time responding to your nonsense.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            On second thought, I will respond to your American civil war analogy but only briefly.

            Indeed. One outcome could be a single state. That is what the Arabs want because they don’t want to see a Jewish majority state in the Middle East.

            We on the other hand DO WANT a Jewish majority state.

            Because of that difference in objectives, the war still continues. But your Arabs are not winning so they cannot force our hand and make us do what they want. Get it, Benny?

            In the American civil war on the other hand the North DID WIN, so they forced the hand of the southerners who wanted to secede but the Northerners didn’t let them.

            You might want to see the same thing happen to us too, Benny. But we don’t. So I guess you will continue to fight your lonely one man psy-war and spew your anti Jewish anti Israel propaganda, hoping to contribute to the efforts of your Arab friends to subsume our state and turn it into the 23rd Arab state. But trust me Benny-leh, your life’s work won’t succeed. We won’t let it happen. You will die a disappointed and frustrated old man.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Here Benny, read about the civil war and who started it Benny:

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947–48_Civil_War_in_Mandatory_Palestine#

            “Despite the fact that skirmishes and battles have begun, the Jews at this stage are still trying to contain the fighting to as narrow a sphere as possible in the hope that partition will be implemented and a Jewish government formed; they hope that if the fighting remains limited, the Arabs will acquiesce in the fait accompli. This can be seen from the fact that the Jews have not so far attacked Arab villages unless the inhabitants of those villages attacked them or provoked them first.[31]”

            Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Actually, the west Bank territories were considered to be under occupation under the Geneva conventions, by Jordan, between 1948 and 1967.

        Why by Jordan and not by Israel? Because Jordan was a foreign invader with it’s own sovereign territory. It had no sovereign rights in the West Bank. Nor did it have the right to ethnically cleanse the Jewish population from the West Bank, according to the Geneva convention.

        The Jews of Israel (ex Palestinian Jews) on the other hand were involved in a civil war with the Arab population of Palestine. As such, they had just as much right to be in any part of historic Palestine as the Arabs of Palestine. The only territorial restrictions which each side faced were the territorial restrictions which they were able to impose on each other. The Geneva conventions do not apply to territories on which both sides have the right to live.

        However, the Geneva conventions relating to human rights do apply. See my previous posts which explain why the movement of population particularly the return of people to where they always had the right to live is permissible in a civil war situation.

        Reply to Comment
    14. Ben

      “another war of aggression…clearing Jews but we never cleared Arabs…occupation = restoring Jewish rights….smells of anti-Semitism”

      You are a never ending fountain of cheap, hard right propaganda

      “The occupation is just moving our people and we don’t trample rights doing this…the occupation is reversing a wrong…”

      An offensively blithe lie

      “Then tell us where are our borders.”

      Another spectacular example of your missing the point about the GC.

      The “very definition of a civil war” …

      ….is a war between citizens of the same country. If you want to stretch the circumstances to say you were/are all citizens of the same country then by all means work on making your de facto one state a de jure one state. Go to it. Equal rights for all or apartheid?

      “who started it”

      More right wing arbitrary starting point choosing…again you are a fount of propaganda, a walking catalogue of it, which is why answering you is so tedious because propaganda is like that, slippery and you don’t know where to begin with its myriad embedded false assumptions.

      “the return of people to where they always had the right to live”

      More manipulation and shocking racial entitlement. The GC is about protected persons not protected races!!! It is not about a right (accept to deny that right) of a belligerent to transfer people someplace because they see themselves as a particular race or ethnicity and at the expense of all who fall outside that ethnicity!!!

      You are a fount of propaganda. A never ending tenacious, stubborn fount. You think you are having “arguments” but you are simply spouting propaganda. This “conversation” is done. I’m tired of it and am rather embarrassed I engaged you for as long as I did. It always becomes an interminable and pointless go around with you and we always end up back where we started. Bye bye.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Is the Wikipedia a fountain of propaganda too, Benny-leh. And other main stream history books?

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947–48_Civil_War_in_Mandatory_Palestine#

        “Despite the fact that skirmishes and battles have begun, the Jews at this stage are still trying to contain the fighting to as narrow a sphere as possible in the hope that partition will be implemented and a Jewish government formed; they hope that if the fighting remains limited, the Arabs will acquiesce in the fait accompli. This can be seen from the fact that the Jews have not so far attacked Arab villages unless the inhabitants of those villages attacked them or provoked them first.[31]”

        You are in denial again Benny-leh. Full flight denial. You are petrified of reality. You live in your own little bubble universe where the only thing that you feed on is how Israel is the root of all eeeeeeevil and the Palestinian Arabs are just poor victims who want nothing more to live and let live peacefully. For you, Benny the earth is flat. And it always will be flat.

        And you throw a tantrum every time someone tries to wake you from your stupor (see your above post). It is full of wall to wall denial and anger.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “More manipulation and shocking racial entitlement. The GC is about protected persons not protected races!!!”

          I can’t let this nonsense go unchallenged.

          So in your opinion, returning Jews to areas from which Arabs expelled them hurts Arabs, right Benny?

          How? By hurting Arab feelings? And what about the Jews hurt feelings for being expelled?

          Now Benny will bring up the facts that Jews expelled Arabs too. That is actually true. Even though most Arabs fled from a war zone as civilians always do. But let’s put that aside. Does anyone doubt that the Arabs too would have brought back THEIR civilians to areas from which THEY fled if THEY would have been victorious? Would anyone have raised even an eye brow about that? Would the Bennys of this world have raised hell about that in the same way that they kick and scream about Jews who were expelled returning to those places after the tide of war turned in favor of the Jewish state? Anyone who believes that, believes in flying pigs and pink elephants. They are off with the pixies or more likely they are just lying through their teeth!

          Reply to Comment
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