1,000 Jurists to EU: Settlements are Legal – Mammoth petition delivered to Catherine Ashton states: ’1967 lines’ don’t exist.August 6, 2013
|(So sorry we can not cooperate with your attempt to create the demise of Jews by building Muslim homes in a predominently Jewish area, but you said you didn’t recognize Jews living here… so just keep on pretending the people living in Judea don’t exist)|
(Carl) Europe is whining The Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had decided to suspend contacts with the EU in the West Bank.Ya’alon has “frozen projects, canceled meetings, curtailed coordination and permits for Europe’s operations” for Palestinians living in what is known as Area C, a West Bank area fully administered by Israel, he said.In Brussels, Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said: “The EU is concerned by reports in the Israeli media that the Israeli Minister of Defense has announced a number of restrictions affecting EU activities supporting the Palestinian people.”“We have not received any official communication from the Israeli authorities. Our delegations on the spot are seeking urgent clarifications,” Kocijancic added. A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that due to the Israeli measures, several European humanitarian aid staff had failed to receive permits to enter the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip.
Excerpt from… Arutz 7 Op-Ed: NY Federation has Its Own Boycott of Judea and Samaria Ron Jager, July 23, 2013 …The New York Federation does not cross the ‘green line’ (known as the pre-1967 borders) unless of course it’s to assist Palestinian Arabs, meaning that Jews who could benefit from the many programs that are funded and provided by the New York Federation for the citizens of Israel are effectively barred if they reside in Judea and Samaria. Jews living beyond the green line have been voluntarily boycotted by the New York Federation despite the fact that there is no legal prohibition to support organizations or communities located in these areas, not only according to Israeli law, but also in accordance with American tax law. Any American dollar donated is fully tax deductible to the extent provided by law. This has not stopped the New York Federation from voluntarily boycotting 700,000 Jews along with the Europeans and the many enemies of Israel who have been behind the boycott movements throughout the world. (MORE)
(Carl) Rick Richman reminds us that Sunday is the 9th anniversary of the famous Bush letter that effectively promised Israel the ‘settlement blocs.’ At the time, the letter was overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses of Congress, but in 2009, President Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, tried to pretend that it didn’t exist, and Obama has continued to behave as if the letter did not exist.
US Secretary of State John FN Kerry is unable to pretend the letter didn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to back Israel’s position. Rick Richman explains.
At an April 9 press conference in Tel Aviv, Bow Shapira from Israeli TV (Channel 1) told Kerry he wanted to ask about “a guarantee from the past”–the 2004 Bush letter, which he described as “telling that blocs of settlements can stay, cannot [be] removed from the territory.” His question about the guarantee was straightforward: “well, does it exist?” Kerry responded in part as follows:
I remember that commitment very well because I was running for president then, and I personally have supported the notion that the situation on the ground has changed, and obviously, we’re talking about blocs that are in a very different status. I’m not going to get into telling you what ought to happen with respect to any particular piece of geography today because that’s for the parties to decide in their negotiation. But I have certainly supported the notion publicly myself that we need to deal with the ’67 lines, plus the swaps that reflect some of the changes that have taken place since then.
It is not surprising that Kerry remembered the commitment so well. He appeared on “Meet the Press” on April 18, 2004–four days after the Bush letter was issued–and was asked directly about it by Tim Russert:
MR. RUSSERT: On Thursday, President Bush … said that Israel can keep part of the land seized in the 1967 Middle East War and asserted the Palestinian refugees cannot go back to their particular homes. Do you support President Bush?
SEN. KERRY: Yes.
MR. RUSSERT: Completely?
SEN. KERRY: Yes.
Kerry’s response to the Israeli reporter last week is significant, because he recognized: (1) that the Bush letter was in fact a commitment, subsequently endorsed by both the Senate (95-3) and the House (407-9) in concurrent resolutions; and (2) that he supported it at the time, in unambiguous terms.
But it is indicative of the continuing problem President Obama created with his refusal in 2009 to endorse the Bush letter that an Israeli reporter felt it necessary to ask whether the U.S. commitment exists. The president has been attempting to assure Israelis with his have-your-back, all-options-on-the-table rhetorical commitments, but they remember that in the past he did not feel constrained to respect even a written commitment to Israel.
Given that Obama doesn’t live up to his commitments, why should Israel give up real assets to appease him?
Justice Edmond Levy, who was appointed by PM Netanyahu to head a committee to review the legal status of the settlements, has issued an extremely important statement (my emphases):
Israel must legalize the majority of illegal West Bank outposts, a committee appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to review the legal status of such communities recommended, Ynet learned Monday.
The panel, headed by Supreme Court Justice (Ret.) Edmond Levy, also ruled that the State must devise ways to “ease land acquisition and zoning protocols for Jews residing in Judea and Samaria.”
The Levy Committee, formed in January and comprised of Levy, Tel Aviv District Court Judge (Ret.) Tehiya Shapira and Dr. Alan Baker an international law expert, who was part of the team that devised the Oslo Accords, met harsh criticism from the Left, which claimed it was biased.That’s rich coming from the Left, since the esteemed Talia Sasson joined the extreme-left Meretz party at the time she issued her damning report. It seems that what is sauce for the goose is not saucy enough for the gander – as we see below.
The committee’s findings stand to significantly change the legal reality in the West Bank, especially when compared to the 2005 Sasson Report on construction in the West Bank, which deemed 120 outposts as illegal.
Tackling the issue of sovereignty, the Levy Committee ruled that in its operations in the West Bank, “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law.”
The ruling is based on the fact that “no other legal entity has ever had its sovereignty over the area cemented under international law,” the committee said, adding that the latter included Jordan, which ruled the area prior to the Six Day War.
West Bank settlements are legal since that is no provision in the international law that deems that having Jewish population in the area is illegal, the report added.
As for the matter of Israeli construction in the West Bank – and especially the question of illegal outpost – the committee ruled that the State must find a way to legalize and regulate the construction.
West Bank settlements and outposts were created as the State’s bidding, the report said, and the settlement movement was encouraged to continue its mission.
The report further urges the government to regulate the outposts’ municipal status, enable natural growth, accelerate the regulation of zoning and planning and refrain from executing any demolition orders pending further legal review.
Justice Levy criticized the “lack of clear government direction and policy” in regards to West Bank settlements.
“The conduct we discovered vis-à-vis the Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria is unbecoming of a nation that has made the rule of law one of its primary objectives,” he wrote.Sadly there is a fly in this ointment:
Still, the committee’s recommendations are not mandating. Netanyahu is likely to ask the Ministerial Committee on Settlements to review the report.I don’t trust Netanyahu and his advisers as far as I can throw them. I suspect these findings will end up buried in committee.In complete contradiction to the findings of the Levy Committee, James Crawford, an”international law expert”, has provided his legal opinion that a trade ban on Israeli settlements is fully permissible.
European governments, including Britain’s, have received legal opinion from a leading international counsel who argues they would be fully within their rights to ban trade with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The formal opinion from James Crawford, professor of international law at Cambridge University, is likely to inject fresh momentum into campaigns in the United Kingdom and elsewhere for a ban, at a time when some EU member states are examining ways of hardening their position on the imports of settlement produce.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal under international law, a position upheld by all EU member states.These EU members states need to read Justice Edmond Levy’s opinion above, read the San Remo Conference resolutions and take a look at the maps of Palestine from the San Remo conference rather urgently. They are talking out of their hat. Further, they need to read Judge Eugene Rostow’s opinion (he helped to formulate UN resolution 242) of the legality of Israel’s capture of the territories in 1967.Back to the Independent article:
In particular the opinion will be seen as challenging received wisdom in official circles that for a state such as Britain to ban imports of settlement produce, or prohibit banks from financing settlement activity, would contravene European or global trade law. Professor Crawford says in his 60-page opinion, shown to senior officials of EU member states in the past few months and seen by The Independent, that “there do not appear to be any EC laws which could be breached by a member state taking the decision to ban the import of settlement produce on public policy grounds.”
He argues that member states wishing to block the import of produce from settlements could “have recourse” to the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel, which stipulates that the agreement “shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles.” He argues that, by executing such a ban on trade with settlements, the EU would not be in breach of its World Trade Organisation obligations since, “as a matter of international law, the West Bank and Gaza cannot be considered to be Israel’s territory”.
The opinion will be published this week by the Trades Union Congress, which has mounted a sustained campaign for a ban on settlement trade – as distinct from a boycott of Israel itself, which the TUC does not support.Read it all if your blood pressure will allow it.You might be interested, however, in the background of this international law expert James Crawford.In the 2004 International Court of Justice ruling about Israel’s defensive separation wall, dubbed the “apartheid wall” by Israel’s opponents, Crawford was one of the lawyers for “Palestine”.He is as neutral as Talia Sasson and even more prejudiced against Israel. Watch the British media lionise him
It does not seem like all the ass kissing by Obama and Clinton is paying off. They are getting poo pooed by the Arabs and the E.U. is getting all the respect. I almost feel bad for the Obama administration, but then they made their own bed and Obama was warned by many.
Obama won’t get re-elected for sure if he supports Palestine. All the chips are on the table. My bet is that the Palestinians will go with the statehood bid, the Israelis will then end the Oslo agreements and annex Judea and Samaria and the Arab countries just recuperating from the Arab Spring will not have the ability to do anything about it. Turkey will huff and puff and then go backrupt
The Israelis have nothing to gain by stopping house building. The left is complaining they have no place to live and are pitching tents all over Tel Aviv with European cheering in the media. I have no doubt the E.U. (considering their HITLEResque history) will continue to cater to the Palestinians,,, especially since most have now rejected Durban III and feel they are wearing their Zionist hats again. Those Euros don’t mind throwing the Jews to the ovens as long as they can do it in a way that doesn’t hurt their fragile egos.
In an editorial that says that ‘all share the blame’ for the Middle East impasse – and then conveniently forgets Barack Hussein Obama’s role in the impasse – the New York Times concludes that the United States ‘and its partners’ must impose a ‘solution.’
Let’s look at what Israel’s Prime Minister has done since he took office in March 2009. He accepted the ‘two-state solution,’ the first time any Likud Prime Minister had ever openly done so. He imposed a ten-month ‘settlement freeze’ in Judea and Samaria. That ‘settlement freeze’ has continued de facto beyond that ten-month deadline and has included ‘east’ Jerusalem. Netanyahu has continuously repeated the mantra that he will meet with Abu Bluff anytime and anywhere without preconditions – but Abu Bluff won’t meet unless he is first assured of the outcome. And now, despite the fact that most Israelis are opposed, Netanyahu is apparently on the verge of accepting a negotiating framework in which the default position would be going back to the ‘