Another Banana Moment?
by Melanie Phillips
With his remarks about the Israeli settlements, Foreign Secretary David Miliband (pictured eating an ice-cream in Damascus) has signalled aÂ sharp deterioration in relationsÂ between Britain and Israel. Miliband has urged enforcement of an EU boycott of produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, settlements he has called ‘illegal’.
The Saudi Peace Initiative: “Auschwitz Borders”
First Introduced by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, March 28, 2002
November 18, 2008 | Eli E. Hertz
What Arab countries failed to achieve by use of force during the past 60 years, they hope to achieve by this renewed Saudi ‘Peace Initiative’:
Israel to withdraw to the non-secure borders that existed prior to the 1967 Six-Day War, borders that invited aggression – frontiers that the eloquent former Israeli diplomat, the late Abba Eban, branded “Auschwitz borders.”
Illegal Arab aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973 cannot and should not be rewarded. Arab attempts to ‘roll back the clock’ as if nothing happened, are a baseless ploy designed to use the ‘Peace Initiative’ as leverage to bring about a greater Israeli withdrawal from parts of Judie and Samaria [western Palestine] and to gain a broader base from which to continue to attack Israel.Â
Furthermore, Saudi Arabian King Saud ibn Abdul Aziz had stated in 1954 – before the 1967 Six-Day War and before the ‘Occupation’: “The Arab nations should sacrifice up to 10 million of their 50 million people, if necessary, to wipe out Israel … Israel to the Arab world is like a cancer to the human body, and the only way of remedy is to uproot it, just like a cancer.”
Saudi Arabia is one of the worst offenders of civil, religious, and political rights having a ‘judicial’ system that sanctions stoning individuals to death for adultery, beheading criminals with a sword, and amputation for theft, including cross-amputations of a right arm and a left leg that leave offenders horribly disabled for life.
Freedom House, a non-sectarian organization that was founded by Eleanor Roosevelt to monitor civil rights around the world, stated in its 2008 survey that Saudi Arabia is “Not [a] Free” country. Political rights and civil liberties are absent or virtually nonexistent, and people experience severely restricted rights of expression and association – all as a result of the extremely oppressive nature of the regime.
Professor, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, past President of the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) made it clear: “No legal right shall spring from a wrong” and this principle of law applies to Saudi Arabia as well.
Why would anyone make a deal with this kind of regime?
Milliband of Arabia continued:
I asked the Foreign Office for the legal basis of its opinion that the settlements were illegal. It replied that it was the Geneva Convention, which forbade the movement of a population into occupied territory. I asked whether it was basing this on a ruling by any particular body or whether this was merely its own reading of the Geneva Convention. Oh, everyone accepts this is what the Geneva Convention means, came the breezy reply. I then asked what was its legal definition of the ‘occupied territories’. ‘As defined by UN resolutions â€“ which everyone accepts’â€” came the even breezier reply.
No it is not. It is in fact a total misrepresentation of international law.
First, Article 2 of the Geneva Convention provides that the agreement applies ‘to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a high contracting party’, or sovereign territory. Thus the Convention cannot apply to the West Bank, nor to East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip for that matter, because these have never been recognized as sovereign territory. As part of Mandatory Palestine, they never belonged to any sovereign state but were occupied and administered illegally by Jordan and Egypt between 1948 and 1967 after the Arab war of aggression against Israel in 1948.
Second, Article 49 of the Geneva Convention provides that an occupying power ‘shall not deport or transfer part of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.’ This was designed to prohibit inhumane practices such as by the Nazis and the Soviets before and during the Second World War inÂ forciblytransferring or deporting people into or out of occupied territories. But the Israeli settlers in the West Bank went there voluntarily. They have not been ‘deported’ or ‘transferred’ by the government of Israel. The only force Israel has used is in getting themÂ outÂ of Gaza. Â So clearly the Geneva Convention does not apply in any sense to the West Bank settlements.
Third, Israel is ‘occupying’ the West Bank (which on a day-to-day basis is not ‘occupied’ but ruled by the Palestinians) entirely within its rights under international law, which recognises the right of a country that has been attacked to occupy and retain land that continues to be used for belligerent purposes against it. Â Which is why the UN’s famous Resolution 242 was deliberately drafted to refer to Israel withdrawing from ‘territories’ rather than all the territories â€“ and thenÂ onlyÂ when the Arabs end their war against Israel.
Fourth, the West Bank is not Palestinian land in any sense. As said before, it was originally part of the British Mandate and then illegally occupied by Jordan. Nor have the settlers occupied individual Palestinians’ land, but have mainly built on empty space. I do not condone the actions of some of these settlers against their Arab neighbours, nor their attitudes; and I would like them to leave most of these territories, in Israel’s own interests. But the claim that Israel has ‘stolen’ Palestinian land is simply a lie.
Fifth and most important of all is something that is almost totally overlooked. It is generally assumed that Israel’s claim to the West Bank originated in 1967. Not so. Jews lived in many parts of it for centuries â€“ some of these places amongst the holiest of Jewish sites â€“ and were ethnically cleansed from it in the last century by Arab pogroms in places like Hebron. It was in recognition of this, the historic and inalienable connection of the Jews to this land, that the original Mandate for Palestine â€“ which included what is now the West Bank and Gaza â€“ instructed Britain to facilitate ‘close settlement’ by the Jews in the whole of Mandate Palestine â€“ a commitment which the British proceeded systematically to betray â€“ because of
the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.
As the late Eugene Rostow, the former US Under -Secretary of State for Political Affairs who played a leading role in drafting Resolution 242, repeatedlyÂ said, that legal undertaking has never been rescinded. It is still legally binding. The UN charter explicitly stated that nothing in that charter should abrogate any pre-existing international instruments. Far from being illegally settled in the disputed territories, the Jews have every right to be there under international law –Â which says specifically they should settle in the West Bank.
…the Jews have the same right to settle there as they have to settle in Haifa. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip were never parts of Jordan, and Jordan’s attempt to annex the West Bank was not generally recognized and has now been abandoned. The two parcels of land are parts of the Mandate that have not yet been allocated to Jordan, to Israel, or to any other state, and are a legitimate subject for discussion.
TOVAH LAZAROFF and AP , THE JERUSALEM POST
Israel on Tuesday harshly condemned a call by the United Nation’s top human rights official to immediately end its blockade of the Gaza Strip, which she said breached international and humanitarian law.
“These statements she made were shocking, biased and misinformed,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, in a press statement he released to respond to the one issued by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
In that statement, issued from her Geneva-based office, Pillay urged Israel to allow the flow of aid – including food, medicines and fuel – to resume, and to restore electricity and water service in the Hamas-controlled territory.
“Some 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children have been forcibly deprived of their most basic human rights for months,” Pillay said. She also called for Israel to end air strikes and incursions into Gaza, and for Palestinians to stop firing rockets.
She issued the statement close to two weeks after the breakdown of the cease-fire. Israel has closed the borders to Gaza for most of that time in response to the renewed rocket attacks against its civilians.
Leshno-Yaar said that Pillay’s should have begun her statement with a condemnation of Hamas’ continued violence against Israel.
“Overall responsibility for the situation in the Gaza Strip lies with Hamas, which invests all of its resources in arms and terrorism instead of providing for the civilians that it brutally controls,” Leshno-Yaar said, adding that Palestinian groups had fired more 170 rockets and mortars at Israel during the past 10 days.
Leshno-Yaar also rejected Pillay’s claim that Israel has cut off essential supplies to Gaza.
“Electricity and water continue to flow from Israel to Gaza, and 33 trucks laden with supplies arrived in Gaza yesterday, with more waiting to enter as soon as Hamas ends its violent attacks,” he said.
“It is disappointing to see the high commissioner fall victim to Hamas’ cynical manipulation of the media,” said Leshno-Yaar.
“Most disturbing is the way she casually refers to Palestinian aggression in the last sentence of her statement, almost as an afterthought.
Unfortunately, Israel does not have the option of being so casual in its response to rocket attacks on its civilians, attacks which violate the most fundamental right of all, the right to life,” said Leshno-Yaar.
SHIMON PERES: “WE HAVE TO CLOSE OUR EYES”
This means totally ignoring the reality on the ground.Â He outright stated that delusion is necessary for ‘peace.’ Amazing.Â At least the old fool was honest. hat tip Raquel
Good luck with that.