Unconscionable Israeli Occupation of the West Bank
This article is based on the intellectual property of Tzvi Fleischer, Dore Gold and Akus [courtesy CIF Watch]
Sydney Morning Herald: “….Israel has continued to gobble up Palestinian land and the postage stamp that might be Palestine gets smaller and smaller.”
Oslo Principles: “The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle Eastpeace process is to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority…leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338….Disputes which cannot be settled by negotiations may be resolved by a mechanism of conciliation to be agreed upon by the parties” (emphasis added).
Robert Barsocchini, July 2014: “In 1948, the people who wanted to form a Jewish state carried out a massive terror and ethnic cleansing campaign against the occupants of Palestine, expelling about half of them (750,000) from their land and into concentrated areas (Gaza and West Bank).”
It is an observable phenomenon that particularly those who gladly understand least about the Arab-Israeli conflict and territorial dispute, become the most strident about ‘Israeli transgressions’ in the most public forums possible.
Those who know better, simply stick to their guns/principles and weather the storm until right prevails.
This article seeks to rectify the misinformation and political propaganda and spin that the Arab nations have engaged in ever since they lost to Israel in 1948. And make no mistake, the Israel-Palestinian conflict as it is now euphemistically called, is none other than the Arab-Israeli conflict which began with the November 29 1947 British Partition Plan for Palestine.
The facts need to be repeated again and again because the facts will never change.
After their shock loss in 1948, the Arab League tried twice more, in 1967 and 1973, to destroy the democratic Jewish state. They lost again, and the current iteration of the conflict has its roots in the Jordanian occupation (and eventual annexation) of Judea and Samaria (the actual Hebrew-origin names by which modern day Israel’s hill country has been known throughout history and into the 21st century….) in defiance of international law in 1948.
In that war, Jordan, on behalf of its Muslim brethren, made a poor calculation and invaded Israeli sovereign territory granted it under international law. Jordanian sovereignty was recognised by Britain. And Pakistan. The rest of the world rejected Jordan’s invasion and land grab as illegal. Jordan kept this part of Israeli-designated territory until 1967.
In 1967, Jordan, on behalf of their Muslim brothers made another poor calculation.
Contrary to Geneva, Jordan had acquired territory through an act of aggression based on religious and ethnic hatred. As Egypt and Syria warmed up their respective borders, Jordan was asked by Israel to stay out of the fray. Israel specifically told King Hussein that if Jordan stayed out of the 1967 war, Israel would not fight against him. Hussein ignored the warning and attacked Israel. While fending off the assault and driving out the invading Jordanian troops, Israel came to control the West bank, territory in its original remit.
International law makes it necessary to distinguish the acquisition of territory in a war of conquest as opposed to a war of self-defense.
A nation that attacks another and then retains the territory it conquers is an occupier. In international law, that is a proscribed action.
A nation that gains territory in the course of defending itself is not in the same category.
And so, particularly since 1967, the Muslim Arab nations have worked hard to prosecute the Doctrine of Limited Liability.
Under the Doctrine of Limited Liability, an aggressor may reject a compromise settlement and gamble on war to win everything in the comfortable knowledge that, even if he fails, he may insist on reinstating the status quo ante.
This peculiarly Arab predilection, was further borne out by the 1973 war where Egypt lost large tracts of the Sinai, lost Gaza, lost the war in toto and then demanded in the international arena that Israel return what she had lost through a war of aggression. The same applied to Hafez Assad, Syria and the Golan Heights. And Jordan!
In response, precisely to make sure that the Arabs would not do as they had done so many times before, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, by rejecting Arab demands that Israel be required to withdraw from all the territories won in 1967, acknowledged that Israel was entitled to claim at least part of these lands for new defensible borders.
In essence, Israel-Arab relations, in general, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, in particular, have never revolved around the Palestinian axis, irrespective of Western conventional wisdom and political correctness, which have been shaped by Arab talk rather than Arab walk, by oversimplification and wishful thinking rather than Middle Eastern reality.
The 1948-49 war was launched by Arab countries, against the newly born Jewish state, at the expense — and not on behalf — of a Palestinian cause, exposing the myth of Palestinian homogeneity/rightful possession.
Thus, Iraq leveraged the war to advance its goal of intra-Arab hegemony and control the oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Haifa; Jordan joined the assault on Israel to expand all the way to the Mediterranean; Egypt was more interested in foiling Jordan’s expansionist plans than the annihilation of the Jewish state; and Syria aspired to advance its vision of Greater Syria.
In other words, the 1948 pan-Arab invasion of Israel was a classic scramble for territory and not a battle for Palestinian national rights. The “State of Palestine” is a fiction.
Abdul Rahman Azzam, the first secretary-general of the Arab League, admitted in 1948 that the goal of Jordan was to swallow up the central hill regions of Palestine. … The Egyptians would get the Negev. The Galilee would go to Syria, and the coastal part as far as Acre would be added to Lebanon (Syria’s satellite).”
Which brings us to the “occupation”.
In politics, words matter and, unfortunately, the misuse of words applying to the Arab-Israel conflict has shaped perceptions to Israel’s disadvantage.
As in the case of the term “West Bank” the word “occupation” has been hijacked by those who wish to paint Israel in the harshest possible light. It also gives apologists a way to try to explain away terrorism as “resistance to occupation,” as if the women and children killed by suicide bombers in buses, pizzerias, and shopping malls were responsible for the plight of the Palestinians.
The European Union, under pressure to safeguard its oil supply and to appease an increasingly numerous/significant voting demographic, has willingly fallen for the propaganda and accepted the fallacious terminology. If, under international law, the so-called “west bank” is disputed territory, then Arab oil money has convinced the EU to take a biased stance against Israel.
In fact, most other disputed territories around the world are not referred to as being occupied by the party that controls them. This is true, for example, of the hotly contested regions of Kashmir, Kurdistan, Armenia, Cyprus, Tibet and the Falklands. Yet rarely does the international community make a fuss over these territories.
Additionally, occupation typically refers to foreign control of an area that was under the previous sovereignty of another state.
In the case of the “West Bank” there was no legitimate sovereign because the territory had been, under international law, illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967. Only two countries — Britain and Pakistan — recognized Jordan’s action.
Even more tellingly, the “Palestinians” never demanded an end to Jordanian occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state until the Arabs lost the unlosable Six Day War.
However, those who would delegitimise Israel would argue that the creation of Israel in 1948 changed political and border arrangements between independent Arab Muslim states that had existed for centuries.
The truth remains that the boundaries of Middle East countries as we know them today were arbitrarily fixed by France and Britain after Turkey was defeated in World War I. The areas allotted to Israel under the UN Partition Plan had all been under the control of Muslim Ottomans, who had invaded and colonised the Levant from 1517 until 1917.
Britain installed the Emir Faisal, who had been deposed by the French in Syria, as ruler of the newly created kingdom of Iraq.
In 1922, the British then created the emirate of Transjordan, which incorporated all of Mandate Palestine east of the Jordan River. This was done so that the Emir Abdullah, whose family had been defeated in tribal warfare in the Arabian peninsula, would have a Kingdom to rule as acknowledgement of his support for Britain against the Turks. The area west of the Jordan River, the misnamed “west bank” was designated territory of the nascent Jewish state.
Israel does not illegally occupy any Arab nation or states land under international law.
Israel’s boundaries were determined by the United Nations when it adopted the partition resolution of 1947 as requested of both it and the Mandate Palestine Arabs under international law. In a series of defensive wars, Israel captured additional territory. Much as the Arab League would like to prosecute the Doctrine of Limited Liability, real life and international law do not work like that.
In Part II, I will discuss how the perjorative term of “Israeli Occupation” so beloved by EU journalists is a mix of falsehoods and malice merely cloaking anti-Israel/ anti-Jewish/anti-semitic bias euphemistically referred to in the popular European and Israeli left wing press as “anti-zionism”.