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Settlements as punishment prove Palestinian lives are bargaining chip

By using settlements as a punitive response to Palestinian political actions, Israel proves they come at the direct expense of Palestinian statehood, and that it holds all the power in this conflict.

Here we go again. Palestinians do something Israel doesn’t approve of, and Israel retaliates by using its unchecked power and leverage to block the possibility of a Palestinian state ever becoming a reality.

By announcing the advancement of about 3,300 settlement units on Thursday, as a retaliatory measure that it unabashedly admits is punishment for the formation of the temporary Palestinian unity government, Israel is proving that settlements come at the direct expense of Palestinian livelihood – that they are the main obstacle to a two-state solution and a Palestinian state.

Illustrative photo: An activist puts a Palestinan flag on the Separation Wall facing the Modi'in Illit settlement (Photo: Anne Paq/ Activestills.org)

Illustrative photo: An activist puts a Palestinan flag on the Separation Wall facing the Modi’in Illit settlement (Photo: Anne Paq/ Activestills.org)

Settlements as a form of punishment also exhibit that Israel is the omnipotent power and that any form of negotiations within this reality is inherently imbalanced and ineffective. Israel controls the reality on the ground and does as it pleases, when it pleases, while laying blame on the Palestinians. Even though Israel is constantly taking unilateral actions, when Palestinians do so, it is suddenly out of bounds.

It is not the first time Israel has used settlement expansion as a direct response to Palestinian efforts to promote statehood in the international arena. It did so in 2012 after the UN recognized Palestine as a non-member state with observer status, and in 2011 when Palestine was successfully admitted to UNESCO.

In recent years, every time Palestinians take an independent political step in an effort to somehow alter their evergreen reality as a stateless, occupied nation, Israel punishes them for it – as if it were an abusive parent.

Can you imagine the Palestinians doing the same thing in response to their objection to the makeup of the Israeli government or its actions in the international community? Of course not, because the Palestinians do not hold that kind of power. They cannot affect direct and immediate changes on the ground the way Israel can, through demolishing homes, cutting off water or electricity, withholding tax revenues, intimidating people, arresting children, etc. All of these tools are of course very violent, but if Palestinians so much as throw rocks, they are immediately cast as the violent party and often at risk of death.

Palestinian daily lives are entirely subject to Israeli rule and systematic violence – and whether they respond with violence or  try through various long-term non-violent means to change the reality – i.e. through popular protests, applying to international bodies or boycott movements, they are punished. Israel puts a lot of energy and resources into delegitimizing and debilitating the non-violent efforts.

It is not just the fact that Israel is  expanding settlements on a future Palestinian state – something the entire international community agrees is a direct affront to Palestinian self-determination – as a form of punishment, but the cynical and cruel way in which it uses Palestinian lives, land and resources as a bargaining chip, a blackmailing tool, a pawn to promote its own agenda.

When you think about it, it is really quite astonishing that the world lets Israel get away with it, over and over again, and that so many people still seem to think this is a conflict with two equal sides and that Israel has any intention of facilitating the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Related:
Peace talks: The perfect alibi for settlement expansion
Bucking Israeli sanctions, Palestinians form unity gov’t

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    1. Gideon Gitai

      Also the tool of punishment serves to impose illegal settlements on Palestine. But it is not the only weapon in the Israeli occupation arsenal.

      Was Obama serious when he said that the age of imperialism is gone? And if so why does the U.S. send free weapons to the value of almost $ 4 Billion to support the Israeli attempt to create its mini empire on occupied Palestine?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Rab

      “Can you imagine the Palestinians doing the same thing in response to their objection to the makeup of the Israeli government or its actions in the international community?”

      The Palestinians build all the time, all over Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. They build at will, without announcements and on an ongoing and torrid pace. There isn’t a chance you don’t know this, so why claim they’re not doing it? Because they don’t put out press releases?

      Reply to Comment
      • rose

        Rab@
        Palestinians have all the right to build on their land. Neither Israel nor Palestine have agreed boundaries in the context of a peace agreement. Palestine, recognized as a non-member State by the UNGA on 29 November 2012, should start building settlements on Israeli soil.

        The “disputed territories” logic

        The Palestinian Territories represent a “sui generis case” among most of the “occupations” currently in place in different parts of the world. Not only in consideration of how long this occupation has been prolonged, but also because it represents one of the rare cases in which a military power “has established a distinct military government over occupied areas in accordance with the framework of the law of occupation.”
        In other somewhat similar contexts, such as, just to name a few, Abkhazia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and East Turkestan, the occupying powers of these areas have created in loco nominally independent states (TRNC-Turkey, Abkhazia-Russia and so on), and/or are not building settlements in their “occupied territories” (Chechnya is just an example), and/or have incorporated the local inhabitants as their citizens: with all the guarantees, rights and problems that this entails.
        Some scholars have stressed out that the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem have been (unofficially, in the case of East Jerusalem) annexed by the State of Israel and that despite this, the EU Guidelines (discussed in the previous post) are to be enforced in these territories as well. Therefore, according to them, the comparison with other “occupations” would show that the Palestinian case cannot be considered “sui generis” and that the EU approach on the issue is marred by incoherence. These claims deserve a short preliminary clarification.
        Contrary to several other occupying powers, Israel has made no attempts to set up a nominally independent state with the aim of preserving maximum flexibility. In this way it doesn’t have to renounce sovereignty over any specific part of its occupied territories. Furthermore, the status quo ensures the exploitation of the Palestinian territories – as well as control of an area considered of strategic importance for defense purpose – without requiring additional “inconvenient responsibilities” for its local majority. By annexing East Jerusalem and the Golan, but not the whole West Bank, the Israeli authorities fulfilled several policy goals as well as ideological purposes. The West Bank is mainly perceived in demographic terms: how much land can be taken by new and old settlers without giving the impression that Israel has to take on responsibility for too many Palestinians?
        The “disputed territories” logic
        According to a research paper recently published by the Kohelet Policy Forum, the EU Guidelines “explicitly and erroneously refer to the pre-1967 armistice lines as borders, and implicitly and incorrectly insist not only that the EU does not recognize potential Israeli claims to sovereignty in the disputed territories but that Israel is not entitled to assert those claims. ”
        The lack of clear-cut borders, however, cannot be considered a valid objection. Neither Israel nor Palestine have agreed boundaries in the context of a peace agreement. Based on the same reasoning as presented by some Israeli leaders, Palestine, recognized as a non-member State by the UNGA on 29 November 2012, could theoretically start building settlements on Israeli soil.
        It is sometimes claimed that Jordan, because of its “unlawful acquisition” of the West Bank, was entitled at most to claim the status of belligerent occupant. In its 2004’s Wall advisory opinion, the ICJ ruled that the regulations on the matter of occupation applied to any armed conflict between High Contracting Parties and that it was irrelevant whether territory occupied during that conflict was under their sovereignty. The Israeli High Court of Justice itself established that the application of the regulations depends on the effective military control exercised from outside the nation’s borders, and not from previous sovereignty over the territory of a specific state (HCJ 785/87). Therefore, the fact that the West Bank was occupied by Jordan until 1967 – an occupation which was opposed by the local population at the time, most of all by Fatah militants, to the point that King Hussein felt obliged to impose martial law – does not justify the use of the expression “disputed territories” in place of “occupied territories.” Even more so considering that Israel, in Allan Gerson’s words, “never challenged the lawfulness of Jordan’s control of the West Bank” and tried to reach a peace treaty after the Six-Day War which would have returned, with modified borders, the West Bank to Jordan.
        The “disputed territories” logic is based on a selective use of international consensus. A good example is provided by the Palestinian village of Umm Rashrash, present-day Eilat. It was taken by the Negev and Golani Brigades on March 10, 1949, eight months after the United Nations Security Council’s resolution No. 54 called for a ceasefire, forbidding any acquisition of territory from that date on.
        It is only thanks to an established international consensus – expressed by 160 countries – that Eilat is today legitimately part of the State of Israel. The same international consensus established the illegality of settlements as well as of the occupation of the Palestinian territories. UNSC’s resolution n. 476 (1980) pointed out for example that the “acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible” and reaffirmed “the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”. This was a simple call for withdrawal, without reference to any condition. It is not possible to invoke international consensus over Eilat (and other areas), while disregarding it for the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The tendency to overlook the selective use of international consensus, while reducing every discussion to security, doesn’t fully take into account the complexity of the issue.
        This is even more the case when considering that Israel’s admission to the United Nations was not unconditional, but bound to its compliance with its assurances regarding the implementation of the UN’s Charter and other resolutions (Israel’s original application for admission was, not by chance, rejected by the UNSC).
        Furthermore, before the establishment of the UN, the right granted to the Jewish people to settle in the mandated territories was neither exclusive nor unlimited, but explicitly subordinated to the protection of the “rights and position of other sections of the population”. Those very same rights are currently being violated by the continuous funding allotted to new settlements and through the exploitation of local natural resources, a policy specifically prohibited by the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907. About 94 percent of the materials produced nowadays in the Israeli quarries in the West Bank is transported to Israel.
        (Mis)using Oslo
        The Oslo Accords explicitly preserve the positions of the parties without resolving the question of territorial sovereignty. That’s the reason why the already mentioned research paper released by Kohelet pointed out that “none of the agreements empower a third party like the EU to override the negotiations and impose its own views of sovereignty over the disputed territory”. However, to invoke the Oslo Agreements in order to undermine the EU approach on the issue is problematic.
        The Oslo Agreements – considered by several international lawyers as a legal anomaly in as much as they were not treaties concluded between states – provided that the interim period was not supposed to exceed five years (Article 1). It is still a matter of debate if the application of the Oslo Accords beyond its five-year interim period – a period characterized by the construction of a huge number of new settlements, by Palestinian terrorism and Israeli military operations – is compatible with the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination.
        Furthermore, as recently noted by Vera Gowlland-Debbas, not only is the legal status of the Oslo Agreements far from clear in that, not having been registered with the UN, they cannot be invoked before any organ of the United Nations, but also Article 103 of the UN Charter ensures that in case of conflict, the obligations of Israel under the Charter would prevail over any other agreement.
        Israel’s behavior as an occupying power is subject to several international customary laws (the “persistent objector” claim often mentioned to undermine these issues is “rather scant”: no case was decided on the basis of it). The Oslo Agreements did not supercede these laws: “Neither Party shall be deemed, by virtue of having entered into this Agreement, to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions (Article 31(6), Interim Agreement).”
        Finally, Article 31 of the Oslo Agreements clarified that “neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”. This statement is subject to different possible interpretations. However, in each round of negotiations the Israeli authorities require to the interested parties to take into account the new local demography. This can hardly be considered as an unintentional result of their policies in the area.
        Conclusions
        A few weeks ago President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela saying that he “freed not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well”. We cannot rely on any Palestinian or Israeli Mandela. The only chance to overcome the current stalemate is through the direct intervention of the international community. The EU Guidelines barring loans to Israeli entities established or operating in the Palestinian Territories, although very limited in scope, represent one relevant step in that direction. The recent EU-Morocco Agreement, beside being wrong from a political and moral point of view, risks to undermine these efforts.
        There are only two bad alternatives to the multilateral approach underpinning the guidelines approach. The first one is the sadly well-known “aggressive unilateralism” that Israelis and Palestinians showed in so many occasions. The second is what the Austrian-born Jewish philosopher Martin Buber termed “monologue disguised as dialogue”, i.e. the dialogue “in which two or more men, meeting in space, speak each with himself in strangely tortuous and circuitous ways and yet imagine they have escaped the torment of being thrown back on their own resources”. Buber wrote these words in 1947. At the beginning of 2014 they look truer than ever.
        http://opiniojuris.org/2014/01/09/eu-adopting-double-standards-approach-toward-israel-palestinian-territories-part-2/

        Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          Did you really have to waste all my time with that long piece of nothing?

          This isn’t complicated. The land is certainly not Palestinian land. It is land under dispute and Israel can make an extremely strong legal case for having every right to this land, and certainly, at the very least, to building on it. And the case to be made isn’t just on the basis of San Remo and Article 80 of the UN Charter, it actually also stems from the Palestinians’ own agreement to use 242/338 as a foundation of the Oslo Accords. One could make a very strong case that Israel has already fulfilled the terms of 242.

          The international pressure isn’t stemming from illegality, although that is the claim used by the countries using the pressure, it is stemming from a simple political calculus that it’s better to piss off Israel than 57 Muslim Bloc countries and their allies.

          Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Like Rose said, the Palestinians get to build on their land because it is THEIR LAND!!! You don’t get to build on their land because it is NOT YOUR LAND!!!

        Get it?

        Reply to Comment
        • Vadim

          Danny, just because you use CAPITAL LETTERS does not make your claim true.

          Reply to Comment
      • kate

        Palestinians build at will, who do you think you’re kidding? Any at will is because Israel is because reticence in issuing building permits to Palestinian and with or without Israeli citizenship-what does go on at will is Israeli demolitions of anything built by Palestinians

        Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Rose, from the point of view of Israel, Judea & Samaria are NOT occupied territories, but integral parts of the Land Of Israel. Israel is willing to trade almost all of these territories in exchange for peace as demonstrated by PM Ehud Barak and the crook Ehud Olmert who almost brought a nightmare upon us by giving away the equivalent of contiguous 100% of the land including the Jordan valley! But our paradoxical best friend – the PLO – rejected that offer (thank you PLO!).

        Judea & Samaria are also NOT occupied under strict/correct interpretation of International law based on the following reasons: (a) NONE of the UN Resolutions re said territories is binding, (b) the totality of said Resolutions does NOT constitute Customary International law, because (c) Israel is a persistent objector so that the ‘persistent-objector-exception’ applies and (d) the subject matter of said Resolutions does NOT fall within the ambits of the so-called ‘Jus Cogens Norm’.

        Israel and the PA signed the Oslo Accord. Said Accord is an International Treaty that binds both parties and their Sponsor-cosignatories. Pursuant to said Treaty Israel retains Administrative, Security and Military control over Area C of Judea & Samaria. As such, the legal authority to build in said Area resides EXCLUSSIVELY with Israel, NOT the PA. Israel does in fact allow adequate housing for the Arab residents of Area C (those who moved from Area A and/or B into Area C are PA’s problems, not Israel’s).

        UNGA Res. 67/19 (a) is NOT binding on anyone, (b) NEITHER confers- NOR has the intrinsic power to confer any property rights on anyone, and as a result (c) amounts to a worthless piece of paper. Beyond that, there is NO provision in the UN Charter re who owns- or should own which land, neither does the UN Chatter confer any powers on any one to confer property rights on anyone. International property rights are governed by International Treaty laws and multi- or bilateral Treaties and is not a prerogative of the UNGA – except with the consent of the parties involved re the procedure and the outcome (a good example is Res. UNGA Res 181)!

        Accordingly, there is NO such thing as ‘the land of the State of Palestine’ as you suggest and a million UNGA Resolution won’t make it any different. Period! Your claim thus, that: “Palestinians have all the right to build on their land. Neither Israel nor Palestine have agreed boundaries in the context of a peace agreement. Palestine, recognized as a non-member State by the UNGA on 29 November 2012, should start building settlements on Israeli soil”, is (a) materially false, (b) incomprehensible and (c) lacks legal merit. The rest of your copied and pasted post is a mixture of stuff that may NOT be mixed together and ABOVE ALL convoluted in such a manner that it – from the point of view of legal science – amounts pure legal garbage. Unsurprisingly, the author is NOT even a Jurist! My goodness!

        Reply to Comment
        • rose

          Ginger,
          The “persistent objector” claim often mentioned to undermine these issues is “rather scant”: no case was decided on the basis of it.

          “NONE of the UN Resolutions re said territories is binding”: Wrong. For example, present-day Eilat was taken by the Negev and Golani Brigades on March 10, 1949, eight months after the United Nations Security Council’s resolution No. 54 called for a ceasefire, forbidding any acquisition of territory from that date on. Resolution 54 clarified that a threat to peace existed within the meaning of Article 39 of the UN Charter: until 1968 UNSC resolutions Never expressly invoked Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
          It is only thanks to an established international consensus – expressed by 160 countries – that Eilat is today legitimately part of the State of Israel.

          “From the point of view of Israel, Judea & Samaria are NOT occupied territories”: from the point of view of the occupier not, but from the point of view of the rest of the world yes.

          “integral parts of the Land Of Israel”:
          Why Israel want to keep “judea and Samaria”? If it is for historical reasons, why Netanyahu doesn’t give back the coast netween ashdod and ashkelon, never “israelite” for 1 single day in the history.

          “the crook Ehud Olmert who almost brought a nightmare upon us by giving away the equivalent of contiguous 100% of the land”_
          Olmert’s offer was much different than this. Go deeper: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/aug/15/what-future-israel/

          “Israel and the PA signed the Oslo Accord”:
          The Oslo Agreements – considered by several international lawyers as a legal anomaly in as much as they were not treaties concluded between states – provided that the interim period was not supposed to exceed five years (Article 1). It is still a matter of debate if the application of the Oslo Accords beyond its five-year interim period – a period characterized by the construction of a huge number of new settlements, by Palestinian terrorism and Israeli military operations – is compatible with the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination.
          Furthermore, as recently noted by Vera Gowlland-Debbas, not only is the legal status of the Oslo Agreements far from clear in that, not having been registered with the UN, they cannot be invoked before any organ of the United Nations, but also Article 103 of the UN Charter ensures that in case of conflict, the obligations of Israel under the Charter would prevail over any other agreement.
          Israel’s behavior as an occupying power is subject to several international customary laws (the “persistent objector” claim often mentioned to undermine these issues is “rather scant”: no case was decided on the basis of it). The Oslo Agreements did not supercede these laws: “Neither Party shall be deemed, by virtue of having entered into this Agreement, to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions (Article 31(6), Interim Agreement).”
          Finally, Article 31 of the Oslo Agreements clarified that “neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”. This statement is subject to different possible interpretations. However, in each round of negotiations the Israeli authorities require to the interested parties to take into account the new local demography. This can hardly be considered as an unintentional result of their policies in the area.

          “a million UNGA Resolution won’t make it any different”:
          It’s only international consensus that makes the difference.

          “lacks legal merit”: why? Israel has no agreed bournsadries. Why the non-member State of Palestine should not be entitled to establish settlements in ISrael?

          “the author is NOT even a Jurist! My goodness!”: My goodness, he is an historian, terrible!!! Thanks god you are a jurist and an historian.

          Reed it again because many of your points are already answered here:

          The Palestinian Territories represent a “sui generis case” among most of the “occupations” currently in place in different parts of the world. Not only in consideration of how long this occupation has been prolonged, but also because it represents one of the rare cases in which a military power “has established a distinct military government over occupied areas in accordance with the framework of the law of occupation.”
          In other somewhat similar contexts, such as, just to name a few, Abkhazia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and East Turkestan, the occupying powers of these areas have created in loco nominally independent states (TRNC-Turkey, Abkhazia-Russia and so on), and/or are not building settlements in their “occupied territories” (Chechnya is just an example), and/or have incorporated the local inhabitants as their citizens: with all the guarantees, rights and problems that this entails.
          Some scholars have stressed out that the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem have been (unofficially, in the case of East Jerusalem) annexed by the State of Israel and that despite this, the EU Guidelines (discussed in the previous post) are to be enforced in these territories as well. Therefore, according to them, the comparison with other “occupations” would show that the Palestinian case cannot be considered “sui generis” and that the EU approach on the issue is marred by incoherence. These claims deserve a short preliminary clarification.
          Contrary to several other occupying powers, Israel has made no attempts to set up a nominally independent state with the aim of preserving maximum flexibility. In this way it doesn’t have to renounce sovereignty over any specific part of its occupied territories. Furthermore, the status quo ensures the exploitation of the Palestinian territories – as well as control of an area considered of strategic importance for defense purpose – without requiring additional “inconvenient responsibilities” for its local majority. By annexing East Jerusalem and the Golan, but not the whole West Bank, the Israeli authorities fulfilled several policy goals as well as ideological purposes. The West Bank is mainly perceived in demographic terms: how much land can be taken by new and old settlers without giving the impression that Israel has to take on responsibility for too many Palestinians?
          The “disputed territories” logic
          According to a research paper recently published by the Kohelet Policy Forum, the EU Guidelines “explicitly and erroneously refer to the pre-1967 armistice lines as borders, and implicitly and incorrectly insist not only that the EU does not recognize potential Israeli claims to sovereignty in the disputed territories but that Israel is not entitled to assert those claims. ”
          The lack of clear-cut borders, however, cannot be considered a valid objection. Neither Israel nor Palestine have agreed boundaries in the context of a peace agreement. Based on the same reasoning as presented by some Israeli leaders, Palestine, recognized as a non-member State by the UNGA on 29 November 2012, could theoretically start building settlements on Israeli soil.
          It is sometimes claimed that Jordan, because of its “unlawful acquisition” of the West Bank, was entitled at most to claim the status of belligerent occupant. In its 2004’s Wall advisory opinion, the ICJ ruled that the regulations on the matter of occupation applied to any armed conflict between High Contracting Parties and that it was irrelevant whether territory occupied during that conflict was under their sovereignty. The Israeli High Court of Justice itself established that the application of the regulations depends on the effective military control exercised from outside the nation’s borders, and not from previous sovereignty over the territory of a specific state (HCJ 785/87). Therefore, the fact that the West Bank was occupied by Jordan until 1967 – an occupation which was opposed by the local population at the time, most of all by Fatah militants, to the point that King Hussein felt obliged to impose martial law – does not justify the use of the expression “disputed territories” in place of “occupied territories.” Even more so considering that Israel, in Allan Gerson’s words, “never challenged the lawfulness of Jordan’s control of the West Bank” and tried to reach a peace treaty after the Six-Day War which would have returned, with modified borders, the West Bank to Jordan.
          The “disputed territories” logic is based on a selective use of international consensus. A good example is provided by the Palestinian village of Umm Rashrash, present-day Eilat. It was taken by the Negev and Golani Brigades on March 10, 1949, eight months after the United Nations Security Council’s resolution No. 54 called for a ceasefire, forbidding any acquisition of territory from that date on.
          It is only thanks to an established international consensus – expressed by 160 countries – that Eilat is today legitimately part of the State of Israel. The same international consensus established the illegality of settlements as well as of the occupation of the Palestinian territories. UNSC’s resolution n. 476 (1980) pointed out for example that the “acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible” and reaffirmed “the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”. This was a simple call for withdrawal, without reference to any condition. It is not possible to invoke international consensus over Eilat (and other areas), while disregarding it for the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The tendency to overlook the selective use of international consensus, while reducing every discussion to security, doesn’t fully take into account the complexity of the issue.
          This is even more the case when considering that Israel’s admission to the United Nations was not unconditional, but bound to its compliance with its assurances regarding the implementation of the UN’s Charter and other resolutions (Israel’s original application for admission was, not by chance, rejected by the UNSC).
          Furthermore, before the establishment of the UN, the right granted to the Jewish people to settle in the mandated territories was neither exclusive nor unlimited, but explicitly subordinated to the protection of the “rights and position of other sections of the population”. Those very same rights are currently being violated by the continuous funding allotted to new settlements and through the exploitation of local natural resources, a policy specifically prohibited by the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907. About 94 percent of the materials produced nowadays in the Israeli quarries in the West Bank is transported to Israel.

          (Mis)using Oslo

          The Oslo Accords explicitly preserve the positions of the parties without resolving the question of territorial sovereignty. That’s the reason why the already mentioned research paper released by Kohelet pointed out that “none of the agreements empower a third party like the EU to override the negotiations and impose its own views of sovereignty over the disputed territory”. However, to invoke the Oslo Agreements in order to undermine the EU approach on the issue is problematic.
          The Oslo Agreements – considered by several international lawyers as a legal anomaly in as much as they were not treaties concluded between states – provided that the interim period was not supposed to exceed five years (Article 1). It is still a matter of debate if the application of the Oslo Accords beyond its five-year interim period – a period characterized by the construction of a huge number of new settlements, by Palestinian terrorism and Israeli military operations – is compatible with the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination.
          Furthermore, as recently noted by Vera Gowlland-Debbas, not only is the legal status of the Oslo Agreements far from clear in that, not having been registered with the UN, they cannot be invoked before any organ of the United Nations, but also Article 103 of the UN Charter ensures that in case of conflict, the obligations of Israel under the Charter would prevail over any other agreement.
          Israel’s behavior as an occupying power is subject to several international customary laws (the “persistent objector” claim often mentioned to undermine these issues is “rather scant”: no case was decided on the basis of it). The Oslo Agreements did not supercede these laws: “Neither Party shall be deemed, by virtue of having entered into this Agreement, to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions (Article 31(6), Interim Agreement).”
          Finally, Article 31 of the Oslo Agreements clarified that “neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”. This statement is subject to different possible interpretations. However, in each round of negotiations the Israeli authorities require to the interested parties to take into account the new local demography. This can hardly be considered as an unintentional result of their policies in the area.

          Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Pearls before swine.

            Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          1. Dear Rose, the ‘persistent-objector-exception’ and ‘jus cogens norms’ are inseparable parts of Customary International law. There is just no way to – from the point of view of legal science – separate them from one another. Period. No one is trying to “undermine” your “issue”. The law is what it is and you may NOT break it up and pick and chose the parts you like. Whether or not the ‘persistent-objector-excepttion’ has been applied before is totally irrelevant Your to it’s existence and it’s imperative- and normative character. Anyone who tells you otherwise is NOT a Jurist and as such lack the knowledge to speak on the matter.

          2. Your case re Eilat contains material falsehood and lacks legal merit. Under UN Res. 181, Eilat is Israel’s. Israel simply established de facto control over what was already de jure hers during the War Of Independence! The mere fact that most States recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s action is secondary and does not take away/replace the primary legitimacy which she already had and consequently exercised. Furthermore, Israel established said control on the 10th of March 1949, while the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Jordan was signed on the 3rd of April 1949. Thus, the date of UNSC Res. 54 (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/unres54.html) is irrelevant to the point you seek to make. Additionally, said Resolution only called for a cease-fire AFTER “the States members of the Arab League have rejected successive appeals of the United Nations” to observe a truce. Said cease-fire came into effect between Israel and Jordan as aforementioned, thereby making the 3rd of April 1949 the ONLY relevant date in this matter.

          3. Lastly, any UN Resolution NOT taken under Chapter VII of the UN Chatter (e.g. UNSC 54) is NOT binding. Such is the Leading Opinion in the Legal Science and the Legal Doctrine and is taught as such in ALL Western Universities and Law Schools.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Correction

            Wrong: “Whether or not the ‘persistent-objector-exception’ has been applied before is totally irrelevant Your to it’s existence and it’s imperative- and normative character” –

            Correct : “Whether or not the ‘persistent-objector-exception’ has been applied before is totally irrelevant to it’s existence and it’s imperative- and normative character”

            ( I deleted a part of my post that started with that word and failed to delete properly. Apologies. Also if you want cases where it has been decided on the “persistent objector exception” I will link them. Just let me know)

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,
            “Under UN Res. 181, Eilat is Israel’s”:
            great point.
            So if the partition plan is “your point”, we are forced to disregard that very same resolution (181) in relation to Ramle, Lydda, Ashkelon, Akka (mentioned as ‘Asqalana and ‘Akka in the XV cent. b.C.’s Amarna Letters) and many other cities that were not supposed to be part of the Jewish State envisioned by the UNGA. Either we decide to follow the partition plan, or we drop it. You cannot apply it in a selective way.

            “Israel simply established de facto control over what was already de jure hers”:
            No, it was taken after a binding UNSC resolution, while the partition plan, that you want to apply in a selective way, was a suggestion.

            “the legitimacy of Israel’s action is secondary”:
            No, it’s the main international legitimacy.

            “while the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Jordan was signed on the 3rd of April 1949”:
            Please, these are the bases. We are discussing Israel and Egypt, not Jordan and Israel. Egypt and Israel signed an armistice (that it’s not a peace treaty), 1 month befire the aggression against UmmReshResh. So beside violating a UNSC binding resolution, it also erased the value of this shaky armistice.
            Until 1956 the Straits of Tiran were closed. The state of war between Egypt and Israel dated back to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The two countries did not sign any peace agreement: Cairo, thus, was not required to afford to Israel peacetime rights. In many occasions Egypt denouned the illegality of Israel’s acquisition, despite the fact that, according to the UNGA’s 181 resolution, Eilat was supposed to be part of the State of Israel

            Again, you were inaccurate.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            1. The way you cut, copy and paste my post is rather strange and distorts the meaning of the post. There is no need for that.

            2. The Arab States rejected Res. 181 and, as such, may not derive any rights under said Resolution. Upon said rejection, that the Arab States went to war against Israel in 1948 at their own risk and to their own detriment and were able to retain 22% of the land. There is NO dispute that the extra territories conquered by Israel in said war are Israel’s under International law, (though there might be noises here and there). No one is being “selective” re anything on this issue.

            3. When you talk of Eilat within the meaning of your post, you are talking about Israel/Jordan Armistice agreement, not Israel/Egypt’s, because Jordan was the only State that laid claim to Eilat but gave up said claim during the negotiations leading up to the cease-fire agreement between it and Israel. The date of the Armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan is the only relevant date re Eilat, not the date of the agreement between Egypt and Israel and definitely not the date of UNSC 54 (as you suggested) which only calls for a cease fire that eventually was agreed upon- and came into force between the warring parties on different dates. You really need to keep all those agreements separate from each other because they were all signed between different parties, on different dates and are based on different rationale and calculations by the different parties. Said agreements are separate legal agreements under International law and have the force of Treaty (and I am not talking about peace Treaty here).

            Reply to Comment
          • Rose

            Ginger.
            “The way you cut, copy and paste my post”:
            You wrote 3 points and answered each of them point after point.

            1) “The Arab States rejected Res. 181 and, as such, may not derive any rights under said Resolution”:
            a) So you reject the validity of Res. 181, right? You cannot invoke Res. 181 for eilat and then claim that it is invalid because “the arab states attacked us”
            b) I always like to quote Uri Avnery, a protagonist of that days:
            “No one asked the Arab Palestinians whether to accept or reject anything. If they had been asked, they would probably have rejected partition, since – in their view – it gave a large part of their historical homeland to foreigners. The more so, since the Jews, who at the time constituted a third of the population, were allotted 55% of the territory – and even there the Arabs constituted 40% of the population.”

            “There is NO dispute that the extra territories conquered by Israel in said war are Israel’s under International law”:
            For you, perhaps, For the rest of the world, 1980 UNSC – res. 476: “acquisition of terriotry by force is inadmissible….reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”. This was a simple call for withdrawal, without reference to any condition.

            2I) “When you talk of Eilat within the meaning of your post, you are talking about Israel/Jordan Armistice agreement”:
            Wrong, Jordan was never involved. Egypt laid and continued to lay claims. Was Israel-Egypt: http://www.jcpa.org/art/knesset2.htm
            On top of this, UNSC 54 was a binding resolution. Armistices are not peace treaties and are only bilateral.

            “which only calls for a cease fire that eventually was agreed upon- and came into force between the warring parties on different dates”:
            Res. 54 was adopted on 15 July 1948, and ordered all governments and authorities concerned to desist from further military action. This is why Egypt (and others) protested.

            .

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,you made several mistakes: please consider them.

            3. “Lastly, any UN Resolution NOT taken under Chapter VII of the UN Chatter (e.g. UNSC 54) is NOT binding”:
            Wrong. If you are right,quote me 1 single UNSC resolution that, Before 1968, was taken under Chapter VII.
            The first occasion in which an explicit reference to Chapter VII was made was apparently a draft resolution in 1968 on measures against the Ian Smith regime in Southern Rhodesia.

            Resolution 54 (1948) determined that the situation in Palestine was a threat to international peace and security and ordered a cessation of hostilities—utilising articles 39 and 40 (provisional measures).

            Although the chapeau “Acting under Chapter VII” was never mentioned as a basis for the action then taken, the chapter’s authority was being used.
            Similarly, in resolution 83 (1950), the Council authorised the UN force to respond to the attack on South Korea by North Korea, after having determined the existence of a breach of the peace in resolution 82 (1950). Again, there was no explicit reference to Chapter VII—but it nevertheless seems that the Council was relying on it.

            So, what you claim is inaccurate.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            UNSC Resolution 54 was “taken Before 1968” and states, inter alia, as follows: “Determines that the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter (…)” and “Orders the Governments and authorities concerned, pursuant to Articles 40 of the Charter of the United Nations to (…)” and “Declares that failure by any of the Governments or authorities concerned to comply with the preceding paragraph of this resolution would demonstrate the existence of a breach of the peace within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter requiring immediate consideration by the Security Council with a view to such further action under Chapter VII of the Charter as may be decided upon by the Council (…)”.

            There you have your answer. You might want to read the text of the UN Chatter and tell me under which Chapter you found Article 39 and 40. Need I say more, Rose?

            (Sidebar: I corrected a typo! Don’t dig-in and get cocky and childish over a non-issue by telling me “Ginger you made several mistakes), because it might seem that you are getting rattled and looking for a cheap face saving way out. Lets debate the issue, ok?)

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,
            as for the “sidebar”, you are right. I didnt want out be patronizing.
            The sentence “the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter” implies without doubts that was binding.
            Again, if not, please provide me 1 example before 1968 of a UNSC taken under Chapter VII.
            You can study these topics here:
            http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/special-research-report/lookup-c-glKWLeMTIsG-b-4202671.php?print=true

            “Need I say more, Rose?” Sorry, I dont see the argument here.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            1. I am sure that you must have realized by now the confusion you created by pasting distorted versions of my statement. My statement was: “Judea & Samaria are also NOT occupied under strict/correct interpretation of International law based on the following reasons: (a) NONE of the UN Resolutions re said territories is binding, (b) the totality of said Resolutions does NOT constitute Customary International law, because (c) Israel is a persistent objector so that the ‘persistent-objector-exception’ applies and (d) the subject matter of said Resolutions does NOT fall within the ambits of the so-called ‘Jus Cogens Norm’”

            Your shot back stating, among others, as follows:.
            “(…) “NONE of the UN Resolutions re said territories is binding”: Wrong. For example, present-day Eilat was taken by the Negev and Golani Brigades on March 10, 1949, eight months after the United Nations Security Council’s resolution No. 54 called for a ceasefire, (…)”.
            But you see, Rose, we are talking about Judea & Samaria (1967-present), NOT Eilat (which is not in Judea & Samaria and became Israel’s with the Declaration Of Independence in 1948 and was recognized as such by the UN)! You just cut my sentence into pieces and out of context (and that’s just one of many examples), copied and pasted the pieces you like (thereby distorting the meaning of the sentence) and proceeded to jump all over the map objecting vehemently to something I did NOT say and confusing/convoluting the whole debate! That’s impressive, don’t you think? Anyways, my statement that Judea & Samaria aforementioned are NOT “occupied” territories stands based on the reasons I gave. That’s what you need to refute. You have NOT done that. PLEASE do that. I am waiting.

            2. My position is also that “any UN Resolution NOT taken under Chapter VII of the UN Chatter is NOT binding”. UNSC Res. 54 is an example of Chapter VII Res. I think (based on your last post on this matter) that we agree on this. If not, let me know and state your reasons.

            3. Regarding UNSC 54 and Eilat, my position is that said Resolution deals EXCLUSIVELY with cease-fire. The cease-fire agreement between Israel and Jordan was signed on the 3rd of April 1949 and settled the issue of Eilat between the parties. I understand that there they who want to rewrite history, but the archives of the Arab league, the UN, Israel and Western nations stand in their way. If you want to continue disputing well documented facts, be my quest. But I won’t run around circles with you on that issue.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,
            “I am sure that you must have realized by now the confusion you created by pasting distorted versions of my statement”:
            I simply tried to answer each and every of your arguments.

            “But you see, Rose, we are talking about Judea & Samaria (1967-present), NOT Eilat”:
            If you dont understand, it doesnt mean that I am confused. I know where Eilat is. I tried to show you that Eilat is today ligitamately part of Israel only thanks to international consensus (it was taken violating a binding resolution). The same international consensus established the illegality of settlements (something acknowledged also by the ICJ) and that “Judea and Samaria” are occupied territories (or, according to the High court of Israel, under “belligerant occupation”).
            Clearer now? Should I make a sketch?

            “UNSC Res. 54”: instead of continuining of not-answering, please provide ONE example of a resolution before 1967 that invoked Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Resolution 54 clarified that a threat to peace existed within the meaning of Article 39 of the UN Charter. Clear now??

            “Regarding UNSC 54 and Eilat, my position is that said Resolution deals EXCLUSIVELY with cease-fire”:
            UNSC forbade any military operation from that day on and added that “Declares that failure by any of the Governments or authorities concerned to comply with the preceding paragraph of this resolution would demonstrate the existence of a breach of the peace within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter”.

            “The cease-fire agreement between Israel and Jordan was signed on the 3rd of April 1949”: again? it was a matter between egypt and israel, not Jordan! http://www.jcpa.org/art/knesset2.htm

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger, as for the ‘persistent-objector-exception’, please provides examples. No case was decided on the basis of it.
            On this you can read on google books the “International Law and the Role of Domestic Legal Systems”:

            “Objection to a custom by only one State as opposed to a group of states is devoid of any effect”.

            You can find online the rest of the legal argument.

            I hope to have answered to your 3 claims.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Here are the cases:

            1. Case: Anglo Norwegian Fisheries Case (UK vs Norway). Year of Decision: 1951. Court: ICJ.

            2. Case: Asylum Case (Columbia/Peru); Year of the decision: 1950; and Court: ICJ.

            These are among the standard cases used during lectures. I am surprised that you are unaware of this cases (unless you have no formal education of the stuff you talk about, no?).

            3. Pls. provide the primary source(s) of the quote: “Objection to a custom by only one State as opposed to a group of states is devoid of any effect”. I need to know who said it (goes to knowledge and authority) and the context in which it was said – in order to reply intelligently to that quote.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “I hope to have answered to your 3 claims.” This is rather childish and perplexing. No lady, you have not answered anything. Judea & Samaria are also NOT occupied under strict/correct interpretation of International law based on the following reasons: (a) NONE of the UN Resolutions re said territories is binding, (b) the totality of said Resolutions does NOT constitute Customary International law, because (c) Israel is a persistent objector so that the ‘persistent-objector-exception’ applies and (d) the subject matter of said Resolutions does NOT fall within the ambits of the so-called ‘Jus Cogens Norm’. There is NO such thing as ‘the land of the State of Palestine’ as you claimed and a million UNGA Resolution won’t make it any different. As such, your primary post claiming: “Palestinians have all the right to build on their land. Neither Israel nor Palestine have agreed boundaries in the context of a peace agreement. Palestine, recognized as a non-member State by the UNGA on 29 November 2012, should start building settlements on Israeli soil”, REMAINS (e) materially false, (f) lacks legal merit and is (g) incomprehensible (to put it mildly!) . The article you cut, copied and pasted (h) does NOT support your post and (i) is neither a legal doc/brief nor (j) written by a Jurist/legal scholar or at least someone with formal education in (International) law! You have NOT refuted any of this (and I mean refuted as in making coherent LEGAL arguments and not speeches and/or just uttering any mumbo jumbo to appear to be saying something of any legal relevance).

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,
            Glad that at least you have understood that you cannot apply res.181 in a selective way, that res.54 was binding (btw,if you find 1 example before 1968 of a UNSC taken under Chapter VII I am still happy to receive it), and that Eilat was about Egypt-Isael: I consider these as starting points.

            “NONE of the UN Resolutions re said territories is binding”:
            I proved you with res. 54 that you are wrong. But again, if you find 1 example before 1968 of a UNSC taken under Chapter VII I am still happy to receive it.
            Furthermore, also the Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that Israel holds the West Bank under “belligerent occupation”.

            “the totality of said Resolutions does NOT constitute Customary International law”:
            The continuous funding allotted to new settlement, just an example, and the exploitation of local natural resources is a policy specifically prohibited by the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907. About 94 percent of the materials produced nowadays in the Israeli quarries in the West Bank is transported to Israel.

            “Israel is a persistent objector so that the ‘persistent-objector-exception’ applies”:
            The ILA customary law study states:
            “As a matter of policy, the persistent objector rule could be regarded as a useful compromise. It respects States’ sovereignty and protects them from having new law imposed on them against their will by a majority; but at the same time, if the support for the new rule is sufficiently widespread, the convoy of the law’s progressive development can move forward without having to wait for the slowest vessel.”

            “There is NO such thing as ‘the land of the State of Palestine’ as you claimed and a million UNGA Resolution won’t make it any different”:
            If we have a “State of Israel” is only thanks to international consensus, the same international consensus established that there is a non-member State of Palestine, and the fact that there is an occupier that tries to prevent it from developing is irrelevant.

            The article that I pasted and copied was written by an historian now in Harvard that published a bit more books and academic articles than you did. Furthermore, these topics are more linked to history than to international law, or, if you prefer, international law without its historical roots/frame is just a superfiacial exercise. Not by chance the article was accepted and published on Opinion Juris, a leading online journal in international law.

            ” You have NOT refuted any of this”:
            I dont pretend to change anything of your ideologic approach. But please don’t think that you have provided any deep legal or historical analysis: you would cheat yourselves.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            You are confused, Rose. Very confused and all over the map, confusing and convoluting everything with cut, copied and pasted stuff from others and really shamelessly sounding incoherent and idiotic!. What a mess!

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger, this is your best argument until now:-)

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,
            As I thought, please put on google books this sentence (i have problems with links on google books):
            “Objection to a custom by only one State as opposed to a group of states is devoid of any effect”.
            It is from the book “International Law and the Role of Domestic Legal Systems” and fully clarifies the aspects that you claim.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            1. Here is the complete quote:
            “As mentioned earlier, objection to a custom by only one State as opposed to a group of States is devoid of any effect. DESPITE the CONTRARY opinion PREVALENT AMONGST ACADEMICS (emphasis mine). I believe this to be true even in the case of the persistent objector which rejects the custom from the time of its formation, whenever that moment might be. ACCORDING TO THE PREVALENT POSITION (emphasis mine), a custom may be created despite the persistent object, but, once created, it does NOT (emphasis mine) bind the objector. (See. Benedetto Conforti: International law and the role of domestic legal systems; Kluwer, 1993, p. 60.).

            2. Benedetto Conforti (your own source), makes explicitly clear that he/she is running a one-man show against what he/she acknowledges to be “the prevalent opinion amongst academics” (and there are hundreds of such academics. I will post their info if there is a need for. Just let me know). Your own source does not even support your claim!

            3. The two cases I have provided to you show that your claim that the ‘persistent objector exception has never been applied before’ is actually false! Your source confirms this.

            4. The main rationale behind the ‘persistent objector exception’ is to protect a basic principle of International law, i.e., ‘no State may be bound against its Will except with respect to ‘Jus Cogens Norm’.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,
            Please read again what Benedetto Conforti wrote, Especially the parts about the Asylum Case (Columbia/Peru); Year of the decision: 1950 (yes 64 years ago); and Court: ICJ.

            The casebook International Law and Litigation in the U.S. (West, 3 ed. 2009) notes that the persistent objector claim lacks support in general patterns of practice and general patterns of opinio juris. Again, we know of no case that was decided on the basis of such a claim.

            Recall that allies of Germany had persistently refused to ratify HC No. IV but at the IMT at Nuremberg, their nationals were bound by the C.I.L. reflected in the treaty once it became C.I.L. by 1939. Persistent refusal did not create immunity from the reach of universal law.

            Finally, the issue of whether the Jewish settlements are contrary to Article 49(6) has already been(correctly) decided by the ICJ in its advisory opinion from 2004.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Pls. give it a rest, Rose. The more you talk, the more you show that you have no formal education on the issues you talk about. From what has emerged so far, a wise person would have changed course, but it appears that you do not even know when to count your losses, leak your wounds and move on. That’s a shame! Here I reiterate again the things you need to understand (but I am sure you won’t understand): (a) all academics recognize ‘the persistent objector exception’. The few with dissenting opinions will clearly tell you that they are in the minority, as did Benedetto Conforti.(b) In all academic field there are ALWAYS dissenting opinions – regardless of how unreasonable – from a minority and that the minority does not make the rules, (c) the ‘Persistent objector exception’ has its own exception, i.e. ‘jus cogens norm’ (some call it “universal law” and I doubt you know what that means)! Even your own sources do not support you and when you are caught, you jump to other sources and provide several new mumbo jumbo explanations pretending to be saying anything of legal relevance. You copy stuff out of context from the internet and paste here confusing the issues and convoluting the debate, while incoherently all over the map and making claims that are not supported by the sources you attribute them to, et cetera et cetera. You see, dearest Rose, you bore me. I am not impressed and won’t run around circles with you. Not at all! Find someone else to impress.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Ginger,

            “From what has emerged so far”:

            1) “all academics recognize ‘the persistent objector exception’”:
            this is your last remaining argument. That’s fine for me:

            A) Conforti (the part that you omitted):

            “[…] It lies in 2 passages in decisions of the ICJ, one in the asylum case of Nov 20 1950, and the other in the Fisheries case of Dec 18, 1951. It is usually not mentioned that Both of these passages were obiter dicta, given that the Court found that the custom did not exist before it went on to say that, even if it had existed, the customary rule would not have applied to one of the parties to the dispute because of that party’s objection to the rule. The ad abundatiam character of these passages reduces their impact. Further, in the Asylum case,the matter at hand was a local rather than a general custom and that distiction makes some difference.
            […] The persistent objector doctrine runs contrary to the communis opinio of states. Who could argue that, because of their steady opposition, south africa is not bound by the prohbition of apartheid not Israel by the right to self-determination of Palestinians int he occupied territories? of course, it is sometimes argued that persistent objection is only inapplicable against norms of jus cogens, such as those illustrated in the 2 examples above. Such a distiction is difficult to understand, given that the issue is related to the creation process of the norm, and more particularly to the possibility of contracting out, rather to its content”.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            B) “But you see, Rose, we are talking about Judea & Samaria (1967-present), NOT Eilat”:
            If you dont understand, it doesnt mean that I am confused. I know where Eilat is. I tried to show you that Eilat is today ligitamately part of Israel only thanks to international consensus (it was taken violating a binding resolution). The same international consensus established the illegality of settlements (something acknowledged also by the ICJ) and that “Judea and Samaria” are occupied territories (or, according to the High court of Israel, under “belligerant occupation”).
            Clearer now? Should I make a sketch?

            C) “UNSC Res. 54″: instead of continuining of not-answering, please provide ONE example of a resolution before 1967 that invoked Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Resolution 54 clarified that a threat to peace existed within the meaning of Article 39 of the UN Charter. Clear now??

            D) “Regarding UNSC 54 and Eilat, my position is that said Resolution deals EXCLUSIVELY with cease-fire”:
            UNSC forbade any military operation from that day on and added that “Declares that failure by any of the Governments or authorities concerned to comply with the preceding paragraph of this resolution would demonstrate the existence of a breach of the peace within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter”.

            D) “The cease-fire agreement between Israel and Jordan was signed on the 3rd of April 1949″: again? it was a matter between egypt and israel, not Jordan! http://www.jcpa.org/art/knesset2.htm

            Reply to Comment
    3. Jan

      How many large settlements have the Palestinians built? How many new roads to those settlements have the Palestinians built?

      Please name all those Palestinian settlements and tell where they are located. Please give the number of homes that the Palestinians have built on their own land and the locations of these homes. Show us this “torrid pace” if you will.

      If and when the Palestinians build or add on to their existing homes it is because they must. Israel rarely, if ever, gives a building permit to a Palestinian and when they build or add on to their home to accommodate their growing family their home often faces an Israeli bulldozer. Or to make matters worse, the homeowner has to either destroy the house himself or pay the Israeli thugs who destroy it.

      Perhaps you are unaware that since 1967 Israel has destroyed over 25,000 Palestinian homes and structures.

      How many of the homes in the large Jewish settlements have been destroyed by Israel. None is my guess and, in fact, the Netanyahu regime is planning to build many more.

      Peace? Hah. It is land that Israel wants and anyone with half a brain should have realized that long ago.

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    4. Danny

      The settlement-as-punishment policy proves one thing to me – that Israel is being run by a government whose ideology is the zero-sum game.

      Namely, when they do something we don’t like (like making a new government that is an actual improvement over the old one), we’ll do something they don’t like, like building settlements or withholding their tax monies.

      I have come to the conclusion that Netanyahu is intellectually incapable of something other than this sort of train of thought.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Vadim

      Oh, the brutality, the savagery.

      How bad can these Zionists be? Building homes as punishment! Building homes for Jews, in Judea! How evil!!!

      How lucky we are that other armies around the world don’t use such harsh measures. Only imagine if Assad had built a city or two instead of what he has done. How horrible would that be?!

      Now seriously – if Palestinians don’t wish for more settlements, they should strive for negotiations and peace. Their situation clearly does not improve with time, so maybe their priorities are a bit screwed up?

      Reply to Comment
    6. David Cannon

      You wrote there is no alternative to a 2 state solution. The fundamental problem is that both Muslims and Jews claim the same land. The answer to this problem is not for Israel to;
      illegally occupy land in defiance of UN resolutions,
      create an open prison in Gaza,
      illegally bomb Gaza,
      execute extra-judicial assassinations,
      institute Zionist apartheid,
      atomise the West Bank with walls and illegal settlements.
      Such unacceptable and violent injustices simply create more frustration and anger. The more that political solutions are frustrated, the more that, equally unacceptable, violence will be the response. The more the West supports these injustices, the more likely the West is to be targeted by violent attacks.

      I defend the right of Jews to exist peacefully but leaders on both sides have got to look to the future not to the past. A single, secular state is the sole sustainable solution. Roll on ‘New Jerusalem’; place of peace.

      Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        I understand that you probably mean well. But please understand that your perception of what’s going on is wrong. Every single sentence you wrote is wrong, on both the factual level and interpretation of events.

        To top everything, you claim that a single state is the sole sustainable solution. When in fact it’s a proven recipe for bloodshed and death. It’s probably the biggest source of violence in the Middle East. How can one ignore Syria or Iraq? How can one ignore the violence between Shia and Sunni?

        Such over-simplistic (and wrong) views only harm the attempts to improve the situation.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Average American

      I’m amazed that people don’t recognize what Israel is. What is Israel? Israel is a long term take-over project, created by Zionists, with specific goals, primarily
      Jewish Lebensraum. Yes just like Aryan Lebensraum. Israel, whatever person is Prime Minister, has and will pursue that goal no matter what’s required: blowing up hotels, ignoring international occupation laws, armed thug “settlers”, intimidating USA politicians, whatever it takes. How much territory planned long ago to be in this Jewish Lebensraum? The Land of Israel: Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, half of Iraq (to the Euphrates), a quarter of Saudi Arabia, and Sinai (to the River of Egypt). So Israel is a simple creature really, easy to understand. Harder to like.

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