Pal-watch: Â all your cities are belong to us ….
Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs threatens war over Jerusalem
Speaker: Mahmoud Al-Habbash, PA Minister of Religious Affairs
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is in the audience.
“Jerusalem is not just a city. Al-Aqsa is not just a mosque. Jerusalem is the key to peace, and Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars. Unless the issue of Jerusalem is solved, so that it returns to its owners; unless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is like that way, there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem. If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war. The term ‘war’ cannot be erased from the lexicon of this region as long as Jerusalem is occupied, as long as Jerusalem is dishonored, as long as the residents of Jerusalem are being targeted. It’s not possible; Jerusalem has to return to its owners. And we are its owners.”
Official Palestinian Authority TV continues to teach children that all of Israel is “occupied Palestine.” A repeating message on the children’s showÂ The Best Home, currently broadcast three times a week during the month of Ramadan, is that all Israeli cities are “occupied” Palestinian cities.
Continued below the fold….
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The PA TV host refers to cities in Israel alternately as “1948 occupied cities,” “occupied cities” or “occupied territories.” The Israeli cities described as Palestinian cities include Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle and Acre.
The following are examples from three of the TV programs in which the PA TV host refers to Israeli cities as “occupied Palestinian cities.”
PA TV host to girl: “You live in Jerusalem. Do you visit the 1948 occupied cities (Israeli cities)?”
Girl: “I’ve been to Hebron.”
TV host: “No, Hebron is a city [in the Palestinian Authority] that we all can enter. The occupied cities – such as Lod, Ramle, Haifa, Jaffa, Acre (all Israeli cities) – have you visited them?”
Girl: “I’ve been to Haifa and Jaffa.”
TV host: “Tell us, are they beautiful?”
TV host: “We hope all children of Palestine will be able to go to the occupied territories, which we don’t know and have never been able to see. Personally, I have never been there.”
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 25, 2010]
PA TV host to children in studio:
“No doubt you’ve all been waiting to know lots of things about Ramadan in those days, in some of the occupied areas, in the occupied territories. Today we’ll find out lots about Jaffa in those days of Ramadan.”
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 22, 2010]
PA TV host to children in studio:
“Don’t you want to see Ramadan from those days in an occupied Palestinian city, to which we hope to return?”
The children are told a story of Ramadan in Ramle.
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 24, 2010]
PA TV is controlled by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s office.
See more examples on PMW’s website of how the PA presents Israel as “occupied Palestine.”
The truth about “the occupation” and “the settlements”
By Ted Belman
The pro-Palestinian propaganda machine has succeeded in stigmatizing Â the Israeli occupation and the settlements. Time and again we hear about Â the “brutal occupation” and the “illegal settlements”. Â We rarely hear Â the truth in opposition to these lies.
Israel is accused of occupying the West Bank and Gaza. Â In fact these Â territories are described as “The occupied Palestinian territories.” Â Not only are they not occupied in a legal sense, but also they are not Â “Palestinian” lands in a sovereign sense..
The Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC) is a treaty between signatory Â states that are called High Contracting Parties (HCP). It regulates the Â obligations of one HCP who occupies the land of another HCP. Â It defines Â the terms “Occupying Power” and “Occupied State”. Â Thus this convention Â does not apply to the territories because they were not the land of any Â HCP. They have never been the land of an HCP. Â Prior to 1967, Jordon Â was in occupation of these territories, just as Israel is currently in Â occupation. Â Jordanian sovereignty over these lands was never recognized Â and ultimately Jordan relinquished any claims she claimed to have over Â these lands. The FGC was never applied when Jordan occupied the land and Â it shouldn’t be applied now that Israel does.
Yet the International Court of Justice, when it gave an advisory opinion Â on the Israeli security fence, “identified Jordan as the occupied power Â of the West Bank”. According to David Matas, an international lawyer of Â considerable repute, in his well argued book Aftershock <http://www.amazon.com/Aftershock-David-Matas/dp/1550025538> ,”The judgment moves on from this legal reasoning to labeling the West Â Bank as Palestinian occupied territory. But this labelling is based on Â the ethnic composition of the West Bank, not on its legal status.” Â Â “This assertion by the ICJ that the West Bank is occupied territory is a Â contortion the Court imposed on the law to get to its desired results Â of slapping the label “occupier” on Israel.”. “ shows that the Â primary concern of the court was to connect to pro-Palestinian Â rhetoric”. As a result the Palestinians consider themselves the Â “occupied power”.
Matas notes “That the Geneva Conventions on the Laws of War do not Â recognize the legal possibility of the occupation of a people, only the Â occupation of the territory of a state.” A Protocol to these conventions Â does recognize such a possibility but Israel is not a signatory to it Â and is thus not bound by it.
It must be clearly understood that Israel’s occupation is not illegal Â and the UN has never claimed it to be. In fact Resolution 242 permits Â Israel to remain in occupation until they have an agreement on “secure Â and recognized borders”.
The Palestinians have no greater claim to a state than any minority Â group in any other state that wants a state of their own. The Basques Â and the Kurds come to mind. No one is demanding that they be given Â statehood.
When Israel’s counsel acknowledged to Israel’s High Court when it was Â deliberating on the fence, that Israel held the land in “belligerent Â occupation”, he did so to enable the Court to use the law of occupation Â in its deliberations. It was not an admission that the lands were Â Palestinian land or that the FGC applied.
Matas also takes issue with Dore Gold and others for calling the land Â “disputed land”, because others argue all of Israel is disputed land.
UNSC Res 242 sanctioned Israel’s right to remain in occupation until Â such time as the parties reached an agreement on secure and recognized Â borders. This resolution makes no mention of the FGC. Â Israel has Â accepted the PA as the negotiating party. Nevertheless she knows the PA Â is currently an illegitimate government, having overstayed its mandate, Â and speaks for no one much less Hamas.
The anti-Zionists argue the settlements are illegal and rely solely Â on the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention which provides that Â the Occupying power is prohibited from transferring civilian populations Â to occupied territories. They say that the prohibition against transfer Â includes a prohibition against encouragement to settle. Â The matter has Â never been put to a court for interpretation or determination. But the Â International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) advises “that this Â provision was intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second Â World War in which certain powers transferred portions of their Â populations to occupied territories for political and racial reasons or Â in order, as they claimed to colonize those territories.”
Nazi Germany enforced two kinds of transfers but in both cases they Â were forced transfers. The victims were the persons being forced.
Transferring populations is not a grave breach of the Geneva Â Conventions. Â However a Protocol to the GC makes it so but Israel is not Â a party to the protocol and is not bound by it.
The anti-Zionists reject the notion that the proscription is against Â only forced transfers and argue that the FGC proscribes inducement to Â move as well. But how can there be a crime of inducement when the person Â committing the act, the settler, has done nothing wrong. How can you be Â guilty of a crime by inducing someone to do something which is not a Â crime? Furthermore, this inducement would be a War Crime on an equal Â footing with Genocide. The equation is ludicrous. And if the settlers Â settle on their own volition and not due to inducements, what then? Â Â Also it is impossible to prosecute an occupying power. Â So what Â individuals would be held responsible?
Even if someone in Israel was convicted of offering inducements to Â settle, the settlers would not be affected and could remain in the Â settlements if they wished.
Matas opines, “The interpretation defies the ordinary understanding Â of criminal responsibility where the person committing the act is the Â primary wrongdoer and the person inducing the act is only an accessory.”
Matas concludes. “There is all the difference in the world between Â forcible transfer, the offence of the Geneva Convention, and voluntary Â settlement, even where the settlement is encouraged” (by are merely Â providing inducements). Â “Transfer is something that is done to Â people. Settlement is something people do.”
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court made it an Â offence to ”directly or indirectly” transfer populations. Â The ICRC has Â attempted to interpret “indirect transfers” as “inducements” thereby Â making them a crime. But the GC certainly does not and that currently is Â the prevailing opinion.
But that didn’t prevent the ICJ, in its advisory opinion above noted, Â from finding that the settlements violated international law. No Â reasons were given and no authority cited. But elsewhere it expressed Â the opinion that the combination of the settlements and the fence Â amounted to de facto annexation. It ignored the fact that Israel took Â the position that the fence was not intended to be the border but was Â merely a security measure. While actual annexation may be a violation of Â the FGC, the settlements and the fence certainly were not.an annexation Â or a violation of the FGC. Â What a legal stretch! And what about the Â settlements on the west side of the fence? Are they an annexation too?
Thus the ICJ did not conclude that someone in Israel was guilty of Â inducing settlements or in any other way of transferring populations
Matas expands on his dim view of the advisory opinion. He considers Â it an attempt to discredit Israel. Â In the end it discredited the ICJ. Â He prays that the ICC will be more judicious. Â The ICJ, after all, is an Â organ of the UN who requested it to provide the opinion. Similarly the Â UN requested Goldstone to investigate Cast Lead and produce a report. Â This report, like the advisory opinion, was just what the UN ”ordered”.
But keep in mind that the opinion of the ICJ was just that, an opinion, and is not legally binding on anyone.
The US has traditionally, with the Carter administration being the Â only exception, refrained from describing the settlements as illegal and Â instead called them obstacles to peace. Â In September 2009, Obama went Â before the United Nations and declared <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/23/obama-un-speech-text_n_296017.html> “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli Â settlements.” This is closer to Carter’s position but falls short of Â declaring them illegal. Nevertheless, it prompted John Bolton <http://www.aipnews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=8227&posts=2> to say “This is the most radical anti-Israel speech I can recall any president making.”
All this ignores the fact that the Palestine Mandate encouraged close Â settlement of the land by Jews. This right has never been rescinded and Â the UN has no right to rescind it. . So Jews from anywhere have the Â right to settle on the West Bank and the PA and the UN has no right to Â say otherwise.
To demand that the future Palestinian state be Judenrein, free of Â Jews, is reprehensible and discriminatory. The West should not condone Â it, but it does.
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