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What’s the significance of a 'settlement-free Europe?'

The direct effects of official sanctions against Israeli settlements are limited. But the momentum created by such moves inspires and pushes private actors to take their own steps in the same direction.

France on Tuesday published a warning to its citizens against doing business in or with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. The UK issued a similar official warning to its citizens late last year, and according to Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, Italy and Spain are expected to make similar announcements soon.

There has been an open movement in the halls of European power in the past year or so to implement what EU officials insist has always been the union’s position: to ensure that the EU is settlement free.

There will be no more business as usual if peace talks fail, a senior bureaucrat in the EU’s External Action Service told me earlier this month. “There’s a new political perception and political will in the international community.”

In addition to the warning from the UK and similar moves in Germany, momentum has been moving in a direction hostile to Israeli settlement activities for over a year.

The EU issued its beefed up settlement guidelines. Labeling of settlement products is moving forward. The EU has said it will stop recognizing Israeli veterinary certifications of poultry raised in settlements and a revocation for organic produce certifications from settlements is around the corner. More forceful territorial clauses are being inserted into each and every bilateral agreement between the EU and Israel, and the reception in Jerusalem isn’t cheery.

Some of those agreements with territorial clauses, like one dealing with participation with European police agencies, have Israel fuming.

But what do such measures actually mean, both for settlement trade and Israel’s reception of sanctions against it? Do they stand a chance of pushing Israel to end its settlement policies?

Some products from settlements will simply cost more as enforcement of labeling and tariff agreements is made more stringent, ensuring settlement products do not benefit from free trade agreements. Other products, like organic produce and poultry, will likely be excluded from the Europe market entirely because of their lack of recognized certifications.

But the actual economic consequences for the minority of Israeli businesses that are located beyond the Green line are not Jerusalem’s biggest concern. Exports from settlements will not make or break Israel’s economy, nor will they ever create enough pressure on Jerusalem to seriously change its decades-long policy of settlement expansion and occupation.

The territorial clauses in bilateral agreements will also not affect much change in Israeli settlement policy. Firstly, the territorial clauses are nothing new; their language is simply more bold today. Secondly, the type of compromise that was reached in order to allow Israel to sign the Horizon 2020 agreement earlier this year is seen in both Brussels and Jerusalem as something that can be replicated and applied to most future agreements as well.

The direct effects of the sanctions and warnings being issued in Brussels and capitals across Europe are not all that significant on their own, but they do not exist in a vacuum and they are not the end of the story.

The momentum created by such moves inspires and pushes private actors to take their own steps in the same direction. It will not be surprising if more European pension and other funds begin to rethink their investments in Israeli companies that are not only located in, but also those that only partially operate in settlements beyond the Green Line.

There is no Green Line separating different parts of the Israeli economy. A great number of Israel’s largest companies have operations beyond the Green Line, whether they be petrol companies that operate gas stations in settlements, banks with local branches serving settlers, or construction, water and electricity companies that provide settlement infrastructure.

One day, such ties to the settlements could ostensibly lead to the further and further exclusion of many Israeli companies from the European economy. That’s not around the corner, however. What is taking place — albeit on a smaller scale — is that European companies who do business beyond the Green Line, like Veolia, are losing business in Europe because of their ties to settlement activity.

In other words, the immediate effect of Europe’s sanctions on Israeli settlements is not that the Israeli economy will be excluded from Europe, but that Europe is beginning to exclude itself from those parts of the Israeli economy that are inseparable from settlements. But once again, that’s only part of the story.

In order to fully understand the significance of the official sanctions, one need only look at the official Palestinian BDS call and the indirect effects it is having.

The official BDS call has very specific guidelines, sanctions and goals — ones that are not always palatable for much of the world. However, the momentum it has created and the tools it has presented to the world, have been adopted in piecemeal fashion that allows each individual group to decide which parts work for it, and to apply them toward their own goals. That is what happened with the Presbyterian Church USA’s divestment decision last week.

A similar effect will likely take place in Europe: official sanctions will remain limited, but they are already creating momentum that has the potential to go much further. France’s warning to its citizens against doing business in settlements has the same potential.

Addressing Israel’s addiction to settlements
Settlements as punishment prove Palestinian lives are bargaining chip
Peace talks: The perfect alibi for settlement expansion

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    1. Israel does not have to accept any French, EU or BDS Palestinian action without reciprocal sanctions. Israel can ban exports out of the West Bank or Judea and Samaria by Palestinian Arabs on all goods or the same goods which Israeli companies are prevented from exporting from Judea and Samaria. The state of Israel could also selectively target Palestinian exports into Israel with high tariffs or a outright ban. 81% of Palestinian exports go to Israel so the Palestinians better chose wisely if they want to get into an export war over the settlements.

      Israel could also refuse to collect clearance revenues at Israeli ports or refuse to allow the Palestinians to ship from or receive goods at Israeli ports.

      The Palestinians can chose if they want economic cooperation with Israel or BDS.

      Maan news reported a couple of weeks back that the Palestinians had banned Israeli watermelons from their market place. When Israel threaten to block Palestinian agricultural produce into Israel, the Palestinians backed down.

      Reply to Comment
      • berl

        centerleft, you forgot to mention that the palestinian territories are considered occupied by everybody except the occupier. you should be ashamed of yourself.

        Reply to Comment
        • David Matas,international lawyer and author, in his book After Shock states that Israel is not in occupation of the West Bank. He states that it is even wrong to refer to the West Bank or Gaza as disputed territories. He calls them unsettled territories since following the 1948 war the status of the territories has never been resolved by agreement.

          The land which makes up the West Bank was set aside for a Jewish home, for Jews to settle, build and develop. Jordan took the area away by force and ethnically cleansed the area of all Jews. In 1967 Israel ejected the Jordanian occupiers. Jordan had not obtained sovereign title to the West Bank, because it had no sovereign claim over the area. Israel had and has a sovereign claim on behalf of Jews since the Mandate for Palestine set aside the lands for a Jewish Home. Jordan gave up all claims to the West Bank in 1988 and the lands remained in trust for Jewish settlement, building and development.

          Israel chose to not annex these lands, except for the area in Jerusalem, and preferred to hold negotiations trying to resolve the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

          Israel does not accept that it is an occupier of its own lands.

          Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            CL: “David Matas,international lawyer and author, in his book After Shock states that Israel is not in occupation of the West Bank”

            Oh, how impressive…. err, sorry, no, it isn’t.

            Israel High Court of Justice: “Since 1967, Israel has been holding the areas of Judea and Samaria (hereinafter – the area) in belligerent occupation.”

            And again….

            Israel High Court of Justice: “The general point of departure of all parties – which is also our point of departure – is that Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation (occupatio bellica).”

            Oh, dear, apparently there are some who disagree with the opinions of “David Matas, international lawyer and author”

            a) The Israel High Court of Justice
            b) The Government of Israel
            c) The IDF Commander
            d) And, yes, indeed, even the Beit Sourik Village Council.

            They all agree with the premise that “David Matas, international lawyer and author” has no idea what he is talking about.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Foreign Ministry of Israel, sets out Israel’s position on the territories:

            “Politically, the West Bank and Gaza Strip is best regarded as territory over which there are competing claims which should be resolved in peace process negotiations. Israel has valid claims to title in this territory based not only on its historic and religious connection to the land, and its recognized security needs, but also on the fact that the territory was not under the sovereignty of any state and came under Israeli control in a war of self-defense, imposed upon Israel.”

            The Oslo Accords, an agreement with the Palestinians, does not describe Israel as an occupier. Under the agreement Israel is given specific authority to legally act in the territories. Under the Interim Accords Israel has jurisdiction to apply its laws in the territory.

            Appendix to the Interim Accord, Appendix IV deals with criminal law:

            Article 7.A. states that

            “Israel holds criminal jurisdictional authority in accordance with its domestic laws for offenses committed in the Area against Israel or an Israeli.”

            If Israel was an occupier, it could not apply its laws to the territory nor would there be an agreement by which the Palestinians agreed Israel could exercise its authority in such a fashion.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            CL quotes this: ““Politically, the West Bank and Gaza Strip is best regarded as”…..

            …. and I cut stop him right there and point out that the key word is “Politically”, which is a very, very, very different thing to “Legally”.

            CL further on makes this statement: “If Israel was an occupier, it could not apply its laws to the territory”

            Which is indeed true, and why Bennett et al., shout fire and brimstone about the need for Israel *to* *apply* *its* *law* to the West Bank.

            Because they – unlike CL – understand that Israel doesn’t currently apply its domestic law to the occupied territories.

            It is, without question, a very sore point indeed within the Netanyahu coalition.

            CL then concludes with: “nor would there be an agreement by which the Palestinians agreed Israel could exercise its authority in such a fashion”

            This is, again, a masterly statement of the obvious.

            After all, Geneva Convention IV very clearly says that protected persons can not sign away their rights nor the protections afforded to them under that convention.

            But, heh, Israel simply disregards int’l humanitarian law with a quick hand-wave and a brisk It Does Not Apply To Us.

            Apparently it has something to do with Zionism’s belief regarding untermensch.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnnieboy:

            “Because they – unlike CL – understand that Israel doesn’t currently apply its domestic law to the occupied territories.”

            In the case of terrorist Marwan Barghouti, Judge Finklestein specifically found that Israeli law applied to the territories both under the Israeli Penal Code and also according to the Oslo Accords, which is an agreement signed onto by the Palestinians.

            “Accordingly, the Defendant’s remarks concerning the legality of the operations undertaken by the State of Israel in the Judea and Samaria Area are irrelevant for our purpose, and moreover they are outrageous. The State of Israel is committed to protect its citizens, and, on the basis of this commitment, has acted to neutralize the terrorist infrastructures of which the Defendant is one of the heads and leaders.

            The Defendant attempts to justify the acts of murder and terror he has committed under the cloak and justification of the rules of international law. However, the rules of international law contain no protocol or convention enabling the murder of civilians by cruel terrorist actions. On the contrary – attacks on civilians constitute a gross violation of the rules of war.”

            “The Interim Accord imposes an obligation on the Palestinian Council and on the Palestinian police to fight terror and those who operate it, and to prevent terror attacks as part of an undertaking to engage in a decisive and systemic struggle against all manifestations of terror.

            Nevertheless, the State of Israel reserved exclusive responsibility and authority for the security of Israelis in all places. The Interim Accord anchors Israel’s right to act and take all steps necessary in any place and in any area, if this is vital in order to prevent acts of terror and to realize its responsibility to ensure the security of Israel and Israelis.

            Article 10 in Section 2 of the Interim Accords stipulates:

            “4. Israel shall continue to bear responsibility for external security, as well as responsibility for the overall security of Israelis in order to ensure their domestic security and public order.”

            Article 12 of the same section stipulates:

            “Israel shall bear responsibility for the overall security of Israelis and Israeli settlements, in order to ensure their domestic security and public order, and shall maintain all powers to take the steps necessary to meet this responsibility.”

            Article 13 adds and stipulates:

            “2.A. Israel shall hold decisive authority in order to protect Israelis and address the threat of terror.”

            From these articles, we learn that the State of Israel never waived its undertaking and responsibility for the security of Israel and of Israelis in the Area. This approach has been one of the most basic values of the State since its establishment.

            The State of Israel recognizes the necessity imposed upon it to protect the security of its citizens, and secured control of all matters relating to the responsibility for the security of citizens of the State.

            Criminal jurisdiction is also regulated in the legal appendix to the Interim Accord, Appendix IV:

            Article 7.A. states that “Israel holds criminal jurisdictional authority in accordance with its domestic laws for offenses committed in the Area against Israel or an Israeli.

            It emerges from the above that, at least in all matters relating to the security of Israel and Israelis and to addressing terror, Israel has responsibility and jurisdictional authority as explicitly stipulated in the Accords itself and in the legal appendix. This is in addition to Israel’s inherent right to self-defense as anchored in international law and in the UN Charter.

            It should also be noted that an accord between the State of Israel and another entity cannot negate Israel’s right to try a person in accordance with a principal law of the State, and, as noted, the Penal Code grants such authority.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            CL appears not to understand what a belligerent occupation actually is.

            There is no question that an occupying power has “authority” over an occupied territory, or that this authority obliges the occupier to maintain law and order inside that occupied territory.

            No question of that.

            The question is this: is that authority defined by – and limited by – the domestic laws of the occupier, or by international humanitarian law?

            It is the latter i.e. the occupier can not exceed what is permitted by int’l humanitarian law merely by passing domestic legislation that says it can.

            Nothing – precisely nothing – in your long quote says that Israel is applying its own DOMESTIC criminal law to the occupied territories.

            Those quotes say what they say, and all they say is this: Israel has the right and the authority to arrest and convict protected persons inside an occupied territory.

            Yeah….. and?

            Every occupying power has that right, but what an occupier is NOT allowed to do is to pass new legislation that applies its OWN criminal law to that territory.

            If doing *this* or *that* was a crime before the occupation then it is still a crime after the belligerent occupation has been established, and the occupying power has the authority to put on trial and to convict anyone for those crimes.

            Honestly, you do not know what you are talking about.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy:

            “…. and I cut stop him right there and point out that the key word is “Politically”, which is a very, very, very different thing to “Legally”.”

            Sovereignty implies legality does it not?

            Israeli Foreign Minister Ben Ami in a discussion with Charlie Rose and Egyptian Foreign Minister Arme Moussa in 2000 explained Israeli government position, Israel has sovereignty. The following was said in a discussion about Jerusalem.

            ” MIN. MOUSSA: What is the outer limits, sir? What is the outer limits then, to keep everything?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Waiving Israeli sovereignty for the sake of special regime. This is outer limits.

            MIN. MOUSSA: Waiving Israeli — do you have sovereignty?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Yes, we have.

            MIN. MOUSSA: You have occupation over the city.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: No, sir, we have sovereignty.”

            More of the discussion:

            ” MIN. BEN-AMI: We did our very best. … This where our people were born, our religion was born. This is history. This is reality. It is part of our identity. You claim in Egypt that you represent a 7,000 year history. Why should not I claim that I represent the history of the Jewish people?

            MIN. MOUSSA: You can claim that as you like, as you like, but I am not convinced. You are telling me that Jerusalem was your capital for 3,000 years?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Look in the books of history. Yes, it is in the

            books of history.

            MIN. MOUSSA: What books of history?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: It is in the Bible.

            MIN. MOUSSA: In 1967, East Jerusalem was not in your hands. In 1967, after military occupation, you occupied this city.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: The fact that it was not in our hands doesn’t mean
            it was not ours. It belongs to us by God, by history, by religion.

            MIN. MOUSSA: Exactly, but we are talking about East Jerusalem that has been occupied by you in 1967. We are not discussing West Jerusalem.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: In a war of self-defense and because Jerusalem was the intended capital of the Jewish people.

            MIN. MOUSSA: It was not a war of self-defense but anyway, let us not discuss it. But we are not discussing West Jerusalem, we are discussing East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is Palestinian. You want to share East Jerusalem while keeping West Jerusalem with you. This is the essence of injustice, unfairness, imbalance.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: Our compromise with the political constraints and reality is that we are negotiating the future of our capital, of the fact — can you conceive of the Americans negotiating the future of Washington? Or you the future of Cairo?

            MIN. MOUSSA: No, Washington was not under foreign occupation and Cairo is not under foreign occupation but Jerusalem is divided.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: No, Jerusalem was under foreign occupation for 2,000 years. It was always our capital. This is history.

            MIN. MOUSSA: What history?

            MIN. BEN-AMI: The history everybody knows.

            MIN. MOUSSA: You started 50 years ago.

            MIN. BEN-AMI: No, we started three millennia ago.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            CL: “Sovereignty implies legality does it not?”

            Indeed so, and that is a splendid issue for a Supreme Court to ponder.

            You know, like this one….
            “The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. The long arm of the state in the area is the military commander. He is not the sovereign in the territory held in belligerent occupation”

            Not. The. Sovereign.

            Annnnnnd, just to make this point again, the same court said this:
            “The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been “annexed” to Israel.”

            Israeli. Law. Does. Not. Apply.

            Now I can’t stress this enough: that is a SUPREME COURT ruling, it is not a politician’s sound-bite.

            And what does CL present in response?

            He quotes an Israeli politician responding to a American TV reporter on prime-time television.

            Well, gosh, I’ve never heard of a situation where a politician would tell a bald-faced lie to a reporter! Never! Have you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            CL: “If Israel was an occupier,”..

            I will now point CL to the 2005 Israel High Court of Justice ruling called “Alfei Menashe”:
            “The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. The long arm of the state in the area is the military commander. He is not the sovereign in the territory held in belligerent occupation”

            Still, there are some people who simply will not listen.

            CL: “it could not apply its laws to the territory”.

            Well, heck, questions regarding the “applicability of Israel law” are best dealt with by an Israeli High Court, correct?

            2005, the “Alfei Menashe” case:
            “The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been “annexed” to Israel. Second, the legal regime which applies in these areas is determined by public international law regarding belligerent occupation”

            All very straightforward and unremarkable: Israel is the occupier not the sovereign. Therefore Israeli law does not apply, meaning that the authority that Israel does posses derives from that possessed by any “occupying power”, not from any legislative rights it possesses as “the state of Israel”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            The WB is occupied by Israel no more than parts of Syria are occupied by Assad’s Alawites or no more than the opposing forces to Assad can be accused to be occupiers of parts of Syria as the fortunes of war shift there. In other words, neither side can occupy any Syrian territories because BOTH sides are Syrians fighting a civil war in Syria.

            In Palestine too, a civil war has been raging since 1947 between Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs.

            Like Assad, the Palestinian Arabs’s aim has been to win all of Palestine and make it a Jew free Arab country. The Palestinian Jews on the other hand have been fighting to carve out a Jewish state out of part of Palestine.

            Same situation in both places Johnboy.

            – Alawite Syrians cannot be accused of being occupiers in any part of Syria.

            – Sunni Syrians cannot be accused of being occupiers in any part of Syria.

            – Arab Palestinians cannot be accused of being occupiers in any part of Palestine.

            – Jewish Palestinians cannot be accused of being occupiers in any part of Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Samuel performs a sleight-of-hand so crudely transparent that he must have blushed when he attempted it.


            Samuel:”The WB is occupied by Israel no more than”….

            Got that? Samuel is talking about I.S.R.A.E.L.

            Samuel:”Jewish Palestinians cannot be accused of being occupiers”…

            Got that? Samuel is now talking about J.E.W.I.S.H. P.A.L.E.S.T.I.N.I.A.N.S

            Q: Is “Israel” the same thing as “Jewish Palestinians”?
            A: No, it isn’t.

            Q: So what has Samuel talking about?
            A: Why, he’s talking nonsense.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “Q: Is “Israel” the same thing as “Jewish Palestinians”?
            A: No, it isn’t.”

            Yes it is. Witness:

            A civil war ensued in Palestine in 1947. In 1949 it came to a temporary halt through an armistice agreement. The lines of that armistice agreement were the boundaries in 1967 when the next battle in the same civil war continued. After which Jewish Palestinians ended up controlling the West Bank too.

            Get it Johnboy? It does not matter what name Jewish Palestinians chose to call themselves. We could have called ourselves Palestine we had just as much right to that name as Arab Palestinians have to it since we were all Palestinians. Had we chose to continue to call ourselves Palestinians then the Arab Palestinians would have had to pick on a different name for themselves. The bottom line is that no recognised borders existed. There was only a line demarcating where the military conflict came to a temporary halt. The term for such a line is an armistice line.

            The same would apply in the Syrian civil war. If the Sunnis of Syria would suddenly decide to call themselves SunniCalifdom, they could not be accused of being occupiers of any part of Syria which may come under their control.

            Get it Johnboy? But if you don’t get it then please be so kind as to demonstrate the difference between the Syrian situation and the situation of historical Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Samuel: “Yes it is. Witness:”

            …. followed by nonsense. Witness.

            Q: Who seized the West Bank in June 1967?
            A: Well, it was not the Jewish Palestinian Defence Force, what’s for sure.

            Q: So who did?
            A: The Israel Defence Forces.

            Q: Meaning?
            A: The IDF is the long arm of The State Of Israel, it is not the long arm of “The Jewish Palestinians”.

            Q: So the IDF is the Army of Occupation?
            A: Correct.

            Q: Not the “the Jewish Palestinians”?
            A: Nope, those armed forces don’t exist any more. Ben Gurion made certain of that when he sank the Altalena.

            Q: And so what is the legal status of this territory?
            A: It is an occupied territory held under the belligerent occupation of the IDF.

            Honestly, you talk such nonsense.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “Q: So the IDF is the Army of Occupation?
            A: Correct.

            Q: Not the “the Jewish Palestinians”?”

            Not correct, Johnboy.

            Q:So what happened to the Jewish Palestinians, Johnboy?

            A:Johnboy says they just disappered in a puff of smoke.

            I say, we are still here. We just gave ourselves another name: Israel.

            And Johnboy is very shy about answering the question that I asked him before. Here it is again:

            “please be so kind as to demonstrate the difference between the Syrian situation and the situation of historical Palestine.”

            Nu, Johnboy, care to answer my question? Or the cat cut your tongue?

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Samuel: “Q:So what happened to the Jewish Palestinians, Johnboy?”

            They became “Israelis”.

            Meaning that they became Citizens Of The State Of Israel.

            And the long arm of the State Of Israel – and, therefore, of “the Israelis” – is the IDF.

            Q: So who seized this territory in June 1967?
            A: The IDF, in its role as the long arm of the State of Israel.

            Q: So who is the occupying power?
            A: The IDF.

            Q: Not “the Jewish Palestinians”?
            A: No, the “long arm of the Jewish Palestinians” went down the gurgler when Ben Gurion ordered the IDF to shell the Altalena.

            Samuel: “please be so kind as to demonstrate the difference between the Syrian situation and the situation of historical Palestine.”

            Oh, that’s easy: the Syrian army has not seized control of any territory that lies outside the boundaries of The Republic of Syria.

            By way of very marked contrast, the IDF (you know, the armed forces of The State of Israel) has seized control of territory that lies outside of the boundaries of The State of Israel.

            There is a legal term for that: belligerent occupation.

            Israel is an occupying power, while Syria is not.

            Pretty simple, really…..

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “Oh, that’s easy: the Syrian army has not seized control of any territory that lies outside the boundaries of The Republic of Syria.”

            The Israeli army which is the long arm of the Palestinian Jews who now call themselves (ourselves) Israelis has not seized control of any territory that lies outside of Palestine either. And guess what Johnboy, we the Palestinian Jews have just as much right to be in Palestine as the Palestinian Arabs. Or as much right as Syrians have to be right in Syria.

            “By way of very marked contrast, the IDF (you know, the armed forces of The State of Israel) has seized control of territory that lies outside of the boundaries of The State of Israel.”

            Aha Johnboy, I see why you are so confused now. You are thinking that Israel has recognised boundaries. But thanks to your Arab friends it has no such things. Here is a bit of history for you Johnboy:

            1. Around 1947, There were two main groups of people living in Palestine. The Jews and the Arabs.

            2. The sovereign power of Palestine was Great Britain.

            3. The Brits had a mandate from the League of Nations, of whom the UN became the successor, to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine but to also look after the interests of the Arab population of Palestine.

            4. Following World War II, hostilities escalated between Arabs and Jews over the fate of Palestine and between the Zionist militias and the British army. Britain decided to relinquish its mandate over Palestine and requested that the recently established United Nations determine the future of the country.

            5. The UN put forward a recommendation to partition Palestine into two states. One Jewish one Arab.

            6. Right from the outset, the Arabs rejected the plan. Both the Palestinian Arabs and their other assorted Arab allies. They threatened to strangle the Jewish state at birth and to slaughter and exile Jewish Palestinians if the majority UN members would vote for the partition.

            7. The Palestinian Jews on the other hand, accepted the idea of the partition of Palestine.

            8. On November 29, 1947 the UN did vote in favor of partitioning Palestine.

            9. On the same day, Palestinian Arabs kept their word and attacked Jewish Palestinians. A vicious civil war ensued in which Jewish Palestinians gained the upper hand and were whooping their Arab attackers. Mind you, the the British forces were still in Palestine but by and large they did not intervene in the civil war.

            10. On May 14 1948, when the British forces withdrew from Palestine, the Jews of Palestine declared their state which they chose to call Israel. HOWEVER, since the Arabs rejected the UN RECOMMENDATION to partition Palestine, and chose to make war on Jewish Palestinians, the Jews of Palestine did not define the borders of their new state (Israel). The thinking was, if the Arabs are going for broke against us, then we will go for broke against them too and if we win more territories we will keep those territories. In the same way that if Arabs would win new territories, they would keep their gains.

            11. At the same time, following the withdrawal of the Brits, seven Arab armies attacked the new state of Israel and as promised, they declared their intention to crush it and massacre the Jewish Palestinians (who hence forth became known as Israelis).

            12. The hostilities ceased with an armistice agreement in 1949. Overall, Israel gained some additional territories but it also lost some.

            At the end, NO BORDERS were defined. The demarcation line became known as the 1949 ARMISTICE boundaries which are also known as the 1967 boundaries. But those boundaries were definitely NOT borders. In fact, at the insistence of the Arabs, the armistice agreement contains a clause which says that those boundaries are NOT BORDERS! Both Arabs and Israel signed the armistice agreement.

            So tell me Johnboy, how on earth did suddenly those armistice lines become borders? By what magic trick are people like you ignoring the signed document by:

            1. The UN
            2. The Arabs
            3. Israel

            That the Armistice lines are NOT borders?!

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Samuel: “The Israeli army which is the long arm of the Palestinian Jews who now call themselves (ourselves) Israelis”…


            Wrong answer, but thanks for playing.

            The IDF is the long arm of the state of Israel. It says so in the title.

            It is not “the long arm of the Jewish Palestinians” because – du’oh! – that means that the IDF doesn’t claim to be the protector of ALL Israelis.

            And, so sorry Samuel, the IDF does indeed claim to be the protector of ALL Israelis.

            It says so, in its title.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            You can Bzzzt all you like Johnboy. But you cannot deny history.

            Israel was the name given to the part of Palestine which Jewish Palestinians ended up controlling in 1949. And it’s borders are yet to be negotiated because it never had recognized borders.

            That is not different to Sunnis in Syria controlling part of Syria. If a few years later they gain control of all of Syria, the Alawites cannot claim that Sunni Syrians are occupies.

            Correction: they can. But such complaints would not make them right because a people cannot be occupies of parts of a country in which they too were citizens. That is as true as Sunni Syrians as Jewish Palestinians who are now known as Israelis.

            Reply to Comment
          • David

            You and David Matas live in a fantasy world.

            To wit:

            (A) Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) “[Affirms] once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,
            “1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;..”
            (B) Security Council Resolution 465 (1 March 1980) “determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…”
            (C) In accordance with the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel, and further underscoring the illegality of the settlements, Part 2, Article 8, section B, paragraph viii of the Rome Statute of the International Court (1998) defines “the transfer directly or indirectly by the Occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” as a War Crime, indictable by the International Criminal Court.
            (D) On 24 February 2004, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed its earlier position in a report entitled Israel and the Occupied Territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: “Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War…. The international community does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over any part of the occupied territories.”
            (E) In its 2004 ruling, the International Court of Justice unanimously, the only international court with authority to do so, ruled that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” The World Court denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all member States of the United Nations.

            In the summer of 1967, “[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] whether international law allowed settlement in the newly conquered land. In a memo marked ‘Top Secret,’ Meron wrote unequivocally: ‘My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.’” (New York Times, 10 March 2006)

            Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478.

            Israel’s 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights was unanimously declared “null and void” by the UNSC in Resolution 497.

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            Ah David my boy are you talking about the same UN which the Arabs so pointedly ignored in 1948?

            But even if you do. How about talking about UN Security Council Resolution 242 as well?

            It talks about withdrawals to secure and recognized borders. Get it? Secure and Recognized borders? What does that imply to you? That no such things were in existence and therefore secure and recognized borders needed to be negotiated.

            Moreover, have you heard about the Road Map agreement? That document too talks about the need to negotiate recognized borders. It was signed by the Palestinians.

            So why are you arguing David? Borders are yet to be negotiated as Samuel explained.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “It talks about withdrawals to secure and recognized borders.”

            No, actually, it doesn’t.

            W.R.T. to “withdrawals” it talks only about withdrawal FROM “territory occupied in the recent conflict”, it most definitely does not mention anything about withdrawal TO any boundaries/borders/whatever.

            Because, of course, the UN understands perfectly well that “occupation” is something that happens to “territory”, it is not something that happens to “boundaries”.

            Sooo, in reality, UNSCR242 talks about “two principles”, not “one principle”, and those two are:
            a) Israel withdraws FROM the territory that it has just occupied, and
            b) everyone recognizes and respects everyone else’s “boundaries”

            But those are TWO principles, not one.

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            Prattle on Johny. I don’t think even you know what you are talking about there is so much BS in your words.

            What is it they say about the sum of the parts being greater in BS than the components? Or something like that anyway

            good night Johnny, sleep tight and don’t believe your own BS.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            I: “What is it they say about the sum of the parts being greater in BS than the components?”

            Hmmmm, well worth looking at that claim in a bit more depth….

            Ilon originally claimed that UNSCR242 “talks about withdrawals to secure and recognized borders”

            But this is what UNSCR242 actually say on the topic of “Israeli withdrawal”

            UNSCR242: Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict

            Note that it says “FROM TERRITORIES”, not “TO BOUNDARIES”.

            Hmmmm, OK, in that case it should be worthwhile seeing what it has to say about “boundaries”

            UNSCR242: …”acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”

            Q: So what was UNSCR242 trying to say?
            A: It said that “peace” will require that:
            a) The IDF withdraws from occupied territory,
            and also that:
            b) everyone recognizes and respects everyone’s “boundaries”.

            That’s the two “parts” that sum up to the “whole”.

            And UNSCR242 actually goes out of its way to tell us what that “whole” is supposed to be i.e. “a just and lasting peace”

            Not so in Ilon-world, where those “parts” are (apparently) meant to sum up to “Israeli territorial self-aggrandizement”.

            How very laudable, Ilon.

            How, ahem, self-evidently self-serving, Ilon.

            Reply to Comment
          • David

            How convenient of you to ignore the Preamble to Res. 242 (which governs all that follows in accordance with the UN Charter) “[Emphasizes]the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war…”
            Also, paragraph i, Clause 1 calls for “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories OCCUPIED IN THE RECENT CONFLICT; [my emphasis]”

            Indeed, As Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban revealed at the time, he understood full well that Resolution 242 calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal: “The words ‘in the recent conflict’ convert the principle of eliminating occupation into a mathematically precise formula for restoring the June 4 Map.” During negotiations to determine Resolution 242’s wording, Abba Eban failed in an attempt to delete the phrase “in the recent conflict.” (Comment by Foreign Minister of Israel and Telegram 3164, UK Mission in New York to Foreign Office, 12 Nov 1967. FO961/24)

            Moshe Dayan also realized that Resolution 242 calls for full withdrawal and urged the government to reject it as “it means withdrawal to the 4 June [1967] boundaries, and because we are in conflict with the SC [Security Council] on that resolution.” (Daniel Dishon (ed.), Middle East Record, v. 4, 1968 Jerusalem: 1973)

            BTW, regarding 1948:
            When Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the “Jewish State” of Israel effective 15 May 1948, Jewish forces had already dispossessed and expelled 400,000 Palestinians per the Jewish Agency’s Plan Dalet. Also, as requested by the Truman administration, the UNGA was in the process of shelving the recommendatory only Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship for Palestine. When war erupted due to the necessity of intervention by outnumbered and outgunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians (e.g., 60,000 driven out of Haifa in April’48; 75,000 driven out of Jaffa in early May and 60,000 expelled from West Jerusalem in March and early May), a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel.

            During the ensuing war Israel seized 78% of Palestine, expelled a further 400,000 Palestinians for a total of 800,00 and bulldozed nearly 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries.

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            Oh nooooo, I can feel another mind numbingly boring discussion coming up about UN resolutions and how we each interpret them.

            Thanks but no thanks. You know why? Because the UN is a useless, politicized, bureaucratic parasitic body. They put out resolutions dictated by the power brokers of the day who are in turn driven by their own self interests and biases.

            That’s what happened in 1947 when they put out Resolution 181 to partition Palestine. Many of the countries who voted for it had their arms twisted or were bribed.

            And thats what is happening today when the powerful Muslim/Arab block twists the arms of UN member states to vote their way. Oh and when the Soviet bloc existed, they too swayed the UN towards the Arab’s agenda.

            But you know what David? Let us assume that I am wrong and you are right about the UN. Then answer me this:

            Why do you expect Israel to abide by UN resolutions yet you could not give a flying f***k about the fact that the Arabs ignored the original UN Resolution (181) to partition Palestine?

            Huh? mmmmmm? David?

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            I do so love how a Zionist can waddle into the room and drop a stinking turd such as this:
            “It talks about withdrawals to secure and recognized borders. Get it? Secure and Recognized borders?”

            But then when it is pointed out that, no, UNSCR242 doesn’t say that at all that same Zionist will then waddle back into the room and dump this:
            “Oh nooooo, I can feel another mind numbingly boring discussion coming up about UN resolutions and how we each interpret them.”

            If that’s the case, Ilon, then why did you waddle into the room in the first place?

            Did you think you could just drop a big one and everyone would be too polite to complain about the smell?

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            Dude, yes you Johnny, stop complaining. You can point out what you think the UN says or doesn’t say, I don’t really care. You know why? Because I’ll say it again: the UN is a useless parasitic bureaucratic politicised body. So their word is worth as much as your word, nothing.

            You think I am wrong? Then be at least consistent and tell your Arab buddies that they are criminals for rejecting UN Resolution 181. Otherwise your opinion is worth as much as the turd that you keep on invoking.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “You can point out what you think the UN says or doesn’t say,”

            Ilon, only one of us is actually quoting what the UN says, and that’s me.

            By way of very marked contrast, there is someone in this thread who insists on paraphrasing the UN.

            And furthermore, that person insists that their paraphrasing trumps the words that were actually used by the UN.

            On one thing only we both agree: this is tedious beyond belief.

            But that is because one of us insists on deliberately misrepresenting the public record.

            And that person is you.

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            OK Johnny, you sucked me into what I consider a useless debate about UN resolutions, counter resolutions and endless interpretations of what they mean or don’t mean. Just this one last time, I’ll say what UN Resolution 242 does say. Then you can have the floor and espouse your BS or see reason. Here is the relevant text from UN Resolution 242.

            “(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”

            The word “FROM” implies that withdrawal is expected but not necessarily from ALL the territories.

            Had they wanted to say withdrawal from ALL the territories, they would have said:

            “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from THE territories occupied in the recent conflict”

            The word “THE territories” would have implied ALL the territories. But alas, the word “THE” was not used.

            Be honest now Johnny, admit your mistake and lets move on. Or don’t and we will still move on because I have no interest in quibbling with you about the UN. I almost regret posting even this post but perhaps it was worth it on the off chance that for once in your life you will admit the error of your ways.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      This is wonderful news. The first step is to cut off all profiteering from the settlements. The next step will be to punish Israel with sanctions if more settlements are built.

      The snowball gets bigger and bigger.

      Reply to Comment
    3. rose

      Settlers and their immoral and selective supporters cannot always win.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        We will always win, Rosie. Get used to it, or don’t we don’t care. Just eat your evil little heart out.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Bar

      Whatever else, all the Europeans are proving is their hypocrisy and the blinders they have on when it comes to the Jewish people.

      Otherwise, perhaps someone can point me to similar European actions directed against Turkey, Morocco and China, three countries with ongoing occupations?

      And just as a reminder to all of the writers on 972: “East Jerusalem” includes the entire Old City of Jerusalem. Unless you subscribe to the Abbas school of history, this is the heart of Jews’ historical presence in Jerusalem. It’s not surprising that the Europeans want to erase that link, but do you?

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Way to lump Israel with Turkey and China. You forgot to include Syria, Saudi Arabia and Sudan in that prestigious group.

        I, on the other hand, hold Israel to a higher standard. It’s precisely because I think Israel is a good country (that has been highjacked by a bunch of irresponsible fanatics) that I support it being singled-out. If I thought Israel was like Sudan and Saudi Arabia I wouldn’t even bother.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Isn’t it funny that underneath thin humanitarian skin, there is a racist liar, hidden inside nearly each leftist scumbag?

          Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            As always, Trespasser, you’re a real credit to humanity.

            Also, for anyone who can give me an answer, who the hell lifted his ban?

            Reply to Comment
        • Mike Panzone

          Very well said, Danny. Considering how persecuted The Jewish people have been, they should know better. It is shameful.

          Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          It doesn’t matter how you view these other countries. The fact is that whether you view them as worse than Israel, better than Israel or just the same, at the end of the day, it is only Israel that you and the others are targeting.

          Much to your shame.

          Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            I thought I was being clear, but I guess you rightists need it spelled out: I will single out Israel because it is a country I care about and would like to see change for the better. You don’t like that – tough.

            BTW, if you don’t like being singled-out, and would like to be treated the same as Syria and Sudan, then kindly cease and desists from accepting untold billions every year, and also renounce your claim to that handy U.S. UNSC veto that has kept you from being given the South Africa treatment you so rightfully deserve.

            Till then, shut the *f* up!

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Tsk, tsk, so angry.

            Listen, anybody who claims they are singling out Israel because they care clearly hasn’t thought through his own beliefs.

            Is it that you care more about Jews than other people?

            Is it that you care more about Palestinians than other people?

            Is it that because Israel is the Jewish state, it, and only it, should be held to different standards than the rest of the world? Or is that that because Israel is the only Western country and only democracy to be surrounded by authoritarian, brutal regimes whose backwards societies are riven by ethnic strife that you care so deeply that Israel should be held to such high standards while nobody else?

            Is it that you don’t care about millions of people who truly suffer but only about Palestinians who actually have better standards of living than half the world? Or is it that you do care about all the others, but you worry more about the Palestinians than anybody else?

            And if it the Palestinians about whom you care, why the ones living under Palestinians rule in Israeli-controlled territories and not the true suffering ones in Syria and Lebanon or those who have restricted rights in Jordan?

            All those tens of millions of refugees presently around the world, billions of people living under authoritarian rule, millions living under occupations…and you care about Israel, daring to compare it South Africa.

            You are not very clever, are you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            There is no argument method I find more annoying, misleading and manipulative than “Just Asking Questions.” It makes me want to reach through the screen and knock your front teeth out. Especially since you’re using it to defend abusive behavior.

            You and yours think Israel should be held to no standards. Like Tzutzik, who, on another board, all but admitted he thought Israel was entitled to engage in criminal behavior because “they did it first.” Danny explained his motivations; you have no rebuttal, except to question his motives and psychoanalyze him.

            “actually have better standards of living than half the world”

            I could be wrong, but is it possible we’re talking about abuse by a military regime, and not socioeconomic stagnation?

            I’m fairly sure no pro-Palestine activist alive is unaware of abuse of refugees taking place in other Arab countries. While we’re making assumptions about others’ “true” motivations, I say that you couldn’t give a hoot in hell as to what happens to Palestinians (or non-Jews for that matter) ANYWHERE. I say that you cite their plight as an emotionally manipulative ploy to deflect criticism of Israeli conduct.

            Yeah, I bet you’re a real internationalist humanitarian. Except when it comes to home team, of course.

            “and you care about Israel, daring to compare it South Africa.”

            No, caring about your country means never ever ever ever saying an unkind word about the policies of its leaders, and NEVER NEVER NEVER making uncomfortable but apt comparisons.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Blah, blah, blah. In the meantime, there are 50 million real refugees in the world and I’ll bet they’re just begging to be given a small portion of what the Palestinians get. And by that I include the self-rule they enjoy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            I’m sure those “50 million” (no source given) are grateful that, at least, they aren’t subject to military occupation.

            “Blah, blah, blah.”

            Well, I guess you’ve given up. Game, set and match.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Don’t you read the news? I thought you cared about people and their suffering? Apparently if it doesn’t involve Jews, it doesn’t involve you either.


            Regarding the rest of it, if you think you’ve actually won something, enjoy yourself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            You realize you’re not addressing the point, right?

            Reply to Comment
          • Liz

            I agree with Danny – and why? Because we, Jews, deserve our own homeland, because we Jews deserve to have a fitting legacy to the millions of our own who were killed in the holocaust. Sadly, the Israel of today is no longer fit for purpose. Zionism is a worthy concept, that there should be a Zionist state within the 1949 armistice line is also right and proper – that that state should behave as Israel does today is a tragedy for we, Jews.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Till then, shut the *f* up!”

            Make us shut up Danny. Here, swallow the following facts and choke on it, you little hater:

            1. Linda Machola Miss Israel Universe 2012. Half Arab half Russian Christian.

            2. Dr Aziz Darawashe, Director of Emergency Medicine, Hadassah Medical Center Ein Kerem, Arab Muslim.

            3. Dr Masad Barhoum, Director General of Western Galilee hospital, Arab.

            4. Linda Makhoul, chosen by Israeli viewers as 2013 winner of the voice, Arab.

            5. Naim Aradi, Israel’s ambassador to Norway, Druze.

            6. Yiytish Aynow, Miss Israel 2013, Israeli of African descent.

            7. IDF Major General, Yusef Mishleb, Druze.

            8. Professor Ashrab Brik, of Ben Gurion University, winner of Israel’s 2011 outstanding young chemist award, Arab.

            9. Jamal Zahalka, received his BA MA and PHD from Hebrew University. Three term member of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament). Leader of Balad political party. Has described himself as victim of Israeli Apartheid. He has no sense of irony …

            10. Waylaid Badir, Israeli football star. Captain of Hapoel Tel Aviv, Arab.

            11. Mira Awad, actress singer songwriter, represented Israel at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Arab.

            12. Rana Raslan former Miss Israel, Arab.

            13. Majali Wahabi, former deputy speaker of Knesset. Acting president of Israel in 2007. Druze

            14. Reda Mansour, Israeli historian, poet, and one time ambassador to Ecuador, Druze.

            15. Salmi Joubran, Israeli Supreme Court Justice. Arab.

            You want me to go on Danny? Have you choked on your comparison of us to South Africa?

            Reply to Comment
    5. ‎עיניים לראותEYES2C

      The settler dogs bark and bark, but Europe is sick and tired of lies, and will impose old U.N.S.C resolutions and International Law.

      Reply to Comment
      • IlonJ

        The only dog who is barking here is you, ‎עיניים לראותEYES2C, you fool.

        Reply to Comment
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