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  • January 22, 2011

    Alan Baker and the Government of Israel concede too much

    By Ted Belman*

    Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is former Legal Adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Israel Ambassador to Canada.

    He recently wrote an excellent article on The Settlements Issue: Distorting the Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords which is a must read. But for me it opened up a can of worms.

    The international community considers the settlements illegal because of the sixth paragraph of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states: “ The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

    But, what does this mean?


    The International Committee of the Red Cross, in 1958, clarified this provision as follows:

      “It is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. “

    Baker interprets it thusly; “In other words, according to the ICRC commentary, Article 49 relates to deportations, meaning the forcible transfer of an occupying power’s population into an occupied territory.“

    He then quotes leading experts on international law who are in agreement with this understanding.

    Baker distinguishes Israel’s actions from what is proscribed.

      “It has consistently maintained a policy enabling people to reside voluntarily on land that is not privately owned. Their continued presence is subject to the outcome of the negotiation process on the status of the territory, and without necessarily prejudicing that outcome.

      In some cases Israel has permitted its citizens who have for many years owned property or tracts of land in the territory, and who had been previously dispossessed and displaced by Jordan, to return to their own properties. The presence in these areas of Jewish settlement from Ottoman and British Mandatory times is totally unrelated to the context of, or claims regarding, the Geneva Convention. “

    He’s right of course but he seems almost apologetic.

    And then comes the can of worms.

      “Israel has never expressed any intention to colonize the territories, to confiscate land, nor to displace the local population for political or racial reasons, nor to alter the demographic nature of the area.”

    In effect he is saying that Israel disavows ownership. But why? Israel should be asserting her right to keep all of the land.

    The proscription above is against forcible transfer in order to colonize among other things. There is no proscription against voluntary transfer in order to colonize or for whatever reason. Yet he makes it seem so by denying any intention to “colonize”. Is not the building of settlements, colonizing?

    He avoids the issue of why Israel built settlements in the first place. Originally, Israel began building settlements for security purposes. She continued to build them with the intention of keeping them, did she not? The rationale for security became less and less apparent.
    No where does he argue that Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention has absolutely no applicability to the territories whatsoever. This case is amply set out in The truth about the “occupation” and the “settlements”. The Government of Israel has always taken the position that it doesn’t apply, but nevertheless, said she would apply the humanitarian provisions contained in it. Is Israel now conceding that it does apply? Certainly Baker seems to be.

    This is a huge omission. The Convention is invoked only when lands on one High Contracting Party (HCP) are occupied by another High Contracting Party. The territories were never the lands of a HCP and thus the convention doesn’t apply at all. The international community prefers to ignore this requirement and so does Baker.

    Nor does he argue that the San Remo Resolution of 1920 awarded all of then Palestine to the Jewish people to reconstitute their homeland. Thus by international law, Israel is legally entitled to the territories and to settle there. For confirmation of this, one need only to listen the great lecture by Dr Jacques Gauthier in which he definitively makes the case. Or one can peruse this précis of same. Dr Gauthier wrote his doctoral thesis on the subject. In his law practice, he specializes in international law.

    Instead Baker cites the Oslo Accords of which he was one of the drafters.

      “The series of agreements signed with the Palestinian leadership has in fact placed the entire issue of the status of the territory, as well as Israel’s settlements, on the negotiating table – a factor that proves the lack of any intention to colonize or displace.”

    It is important to note that the Oslo Accords were negotiated and entered into by a Labour government anxious to rid Israel of the territories, It is also important to note that all Likud governments since have continued on its path. At least all governments supported the settlement enterprise. Seems schizophrenic to me.

    I argue that the Oslo Accords do not disprove Israel’s intention to colonize some of the land. While everything is on the table, Israel retains the right to argue her rights. These rights include the right of to all the land, the right to secure borders, the exclusive right to Jerusalem and the right to be recognized as a Jewish State. She also has the right to reject the return of any refugee to what is now Israel and for matter, even to Judea and Samaria.

    The aim of these agreements was to lead to “a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.”

    It is important to note that the Oslo Accords were negotiated and entered into by a Labour government anxious to rid Israel of the territories, It is also important to note that all Likud governments since have continued on its path. At least all governments supported the settlement enterprise. Seems schizophrenic to me.

    Normally with agreements such as these, pertinent facts are set out in recitals. It was a glaring omission not to have recited the San Remo Resolution and the Palestine Mandate as having awarded the land to the Jewish people. Such an omission is concrete evidence that the Labour Government didn’t intend to assert our ownership of the land.

    The Accords were approved by the Knesset by only a 51% majority. The support for the Accords has diminished considerably since then.

    Although “settlements” are identified as a “permanent status” issue, nothing was implied that meant their removable. Furthermore there was nothing in the Accords which implied that a sovereign state of Palestine would be the end result. The language is quite consistent with autonomy only. Nor do these resolutions in any way suggest the creation of another state. These are not foregone conclusions.

    Res 242 sets out two principles for settlement, namely, “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and “..[the] right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”.

    Much has been written to explain that the exclusion of the adjective “all” before “territories”, meant that not all the territories had to be evacuated. Otherwise there would be no need to negotiate borders. In this regard, Israel has evacuated the Sinai and Gaza which constituted 90% of the territories and thus, it may be argued, Israel has fulfilled her obligation to “withdraw from territories”. Furthermore, only by Israel retaining the Golan and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) can she have secure borders.

    The Israeli government from time to time argues that the lands are not “occupied” but “disputed”. I submit this concedes too much. She should be arguing that Israel has legal title to the land as the beginning point of negotiations.

    One of the reasons that Israel wanted to divest itself of the land with proper security safeguards after the ‘67 war, is that she didn’t have a large enough population to retain a Jewish majority after annexation. Now, if she were to abandon the Oslo Accords and annex Judea and Samaria, Jews would outnumber the Arabs in the combined territory, 2:1; sufficient to be democratic and Jewish

    The Arab claim to the land is predicated on the rejection of both the San Remo Resolution and the Palestine Mandate. In fact, they also reject the Partition Plan which was recommended by the UN General Assembly in ’47 and refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They also refuse to recognize Res 242 which calls for defensible borders. For Israel to call the lands “disputed” is to give legitimacy and credence to their illegal claims.

    As Gauthier says, the matter is res judicata, i.e., legally determined. Time, that the Government of Israel said so too.

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 10:28 pm | 39 Comments »
  • 39 Comments to Alan Baker and the Government of Israel concede too much

    1. yamit82 says:

      Alan Baker is a leftist ideologue and one of the legal architectures of Oslo and the Road map. Based on this essay in defense of Oslo and in opposition to unilateral Fayyad plan and his intentions to declare an independent Pali state. This fool is surprised and even bewildered when his legalisms count for crap and have not panned out according to this simpletons world view of Kum bay ya. This traitor is still a believer in Oslo and peace, a 2 state solution etc. He is still unrepentant!

      ALAN BAKER: A PARADOX OF PEACEMAKING: HOW FAYYAD’S UNILATERAL STATEHOOD PLAN UNDERMINES THE LEGAL FOUNDATIONS OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIPLOMACY
      By Alan Baker

      Why Ted gives him space and any credence is something Ted only knows.

      The Oslo Accords – The Only Valid Framework

      The only valid and legally binding framework that has governed, and continues to govern, the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians is still the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (1995), with its related documents, commonly termed the “Oslo Accords,” that envelopes all the other agreements and arrangements between the two sides and incorporates within its terms UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), which set the basic terms for comprehensive peace in the area

      State-Building Components of the Oslo Accords

      In this context, two important and often forgotten joint documents from 1993 already provide, to a large extent, a viable scenario for many elements of Fayyad’s plan. The Protocol on Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation in Economic and Development Programs and Protocol on Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation Concerning Regional Development Programs (September 1993)[11] established joint organs to enable cooperation in economic development including such spheres as water resources and equitable utilization, development of electricity and other fields of energy, exploitation of oil and gas for industrial purposes, and development of petrochemical industrial facilities.

      These protocols – much heralded by their authors Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat – set up programs for cooperation in finance, international investment, and establishment of a Palestinian Development Bank.

      The Roadmap

      The Roadmap[15] lays great stress on the need to build Palestinian governance as an integral part of its preparations for the statehood that is envisaged to result during the later stages set out in the Roadmap. Hence, in its opening paragraphs, this document predicates any two-state solution, inter alia, on the Palestinian people having:

      a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty.

      Conclusion

      In conclusion, when considering in a calculated manner the implications of the Fayyad plan, one can assume that the plan, if implemented unilaterally, could potentially threaten the very existence and legal basis upon which the Palestinian Authority is built and from which it draws its legality and constitutional rights. It is unlikely that the responsible members of the international community, who have placed their signatures on the Oslo system of agreements, will so glibly turn their backs on this system.

    2. Per says:

      Ted:
      I think your article to some degree, like the opinions of Mr. Baker, serves to increase the bewilderment around the issue of “occupation” and “settlements.” The part of international law which finally settles the matter is (i.a.) Article 6 in the Mandate for Palestine which reads:

      ART. 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

      No provision in international law has ever since been made which invalidates the literal meaning of this paragraph. The 19 years of Jordanian illegal occupation of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, including Jordanian ethnic cleansing of these areas, does not invalidate Jewish rights in that part of Palestine, as stated in the Mandate.

      The International Committee of the Red Cross is an irrelevant body in this respect. They may have their own political opinion, but they do not create international law. Someone out there with contacts in the JCPA ought to inform that institute of some basic historical and legal facts. There are even people in the JCPA who believe that Israel was established by the UN. Such propaganda is easily believed by ordinary and otherwise ignorant people, and it is detrimental to Israel’s security and international standing.

    3. Dr. Moshe Israel says:

      The so-called ‘palestinian authority’ NEVER had any great legality. The failed PLO leadership was brought( after arafat’s defeat in Lebanon) from Tunis and given territory by Peres and his cohorts without a referendum or input from the Jewish population. It was done in subterfuge and for the economic benefit of this same group of “peace-makers”. Abbas’ term ended over a year ago and the clown is still paraded as ‘president’. On the other hand, hamas and its Iranian backers rule over Gaza with an iron fist. Neither the plo nor hamas acknowledge the right of the Jewish people to a homeland. Furthermore, they will never give up the ‘right of return’ of the so-called refugees of 1948 which includes any arab who was in Eretz Israel for even a brief period and all their descendents. Their purpose is of course to take over ALL of Eretz Israel and NOT like the fools who propose the 2-state ‘solution’.

    4. robinfox2012 says:

      The borders of Israel are defined by TORAH BORDERS as GOD DEFINES Israeli statehood.

      Any man or government who breaks God’s Law is subjecting Israel to the same history is suffered for its 1,813 year exile.

      Any government that denies Torah borders will be uprooted and dethroned because NO MAN on earth can oppose God’s Law without suffering for it.

      Let the current global ‘climate change’ speak up for that reality. The whole world is destined to be destroyed if the community of nations continue to hurt Israel as they are doing today.

    5. Berel Dov Lerner says:

      I am troubled by yamit 82′s attitude. You can think that someone made a serious error of policy without branding him a “traitor”. As far as 99% of the world is concerned, Alan Baker (along with Binyamin Netanyahu, and even Ehud Barak)is a right-wing fanatic who views are indiscernible from those of Gush Emunim. While the internal debate among Zionists is certainly of crucial importance, let’s try to save the venom for those who really mean to do Israel harm.

    6. Ted Belman says:

      The central point I hoped to make is that the Government has turned its back on our legal rights. It simply asks for secure borders.

      Have you ever heard anyone from the government speak of our rights flowing from San Remo or the Mandate? I don’t think so.

    7. What it all comes down to is what to do with the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria. The reason that no government, left or right wing, has ever officially made a claim to the territory is that the moment they do then all the Arabs living there would have a legal claim on Israeli citizenship. At least that’s how I understand the dilemma. We already have a 17% Muslim minority, can we handle a 34% one? Unless the Israeli government is willing to take serious effective measures to change the ( Jewish + Others ) / Muslim ratio then there’s no point making a formal claim. As far as I see it we have to do one or all of the following to make a formal claim to our heartland:

      Switch to district based elections with heavy gerrymandering
      Significantly increase aliya
      Significantly increase secular Jewish fertility rates
      Reduce Muslim fertility rates ( free University education for all Muslim women anyone ? )
      Use economic incentives to encourage Muslim emigration
      Federate with Jordan giving all Arabs voting rights in Jordan

      Etc…

    8. Ted Belman says:

      I believe that Israel and most Israelis are fearful of adding another 1.5 million Arabs to Israel even if we get J & S in the bargain. (But it sure beats the Saudi Plan.) Almost 300,000 of these Arabs are in Jerusalem already. Thus we may be talking about an extra 1.2 million.

      What the government is trying to acheive is autonomy only for the Arabs leaving us sovereign over J & S. That is why we are not annexing it all. Perhaps annexing Area C is the answer.

      In Bibi’s Bar Elan speech although he accepted the two state solution, he never meant it to be fully sovereign. Thus it would have limited sovereignty which is similar to autonomy.

    9. The issue is that left wing “Jews” from America will destroy Israel.

      It is time for the indigenous & patriotic Israeli Jews to stand up to them and say;
      “If you dont like it here- LEAVE”

      Many of them only move to Israel to “CHANGE” things, the same way that Obama wants to “CHANGE” America into some Commie-NAZI rogue state.

    10. yamit82 says:

      A world used to popular contract, mutual accommodation, and peaceful resolution of disputes would be wonderful. No such thing exists, however, as America’s first European settlers learned from the natives. All nations were created in bloodshed and are sustained by power; anything on paper is irrelevant. Israel cannot be built on agreements with the Arabs. International agreements are the legal by-products of inhumane military victories.

      There is no such thing a either Historical or Legal National Rights

    11. Ted Belman says:

      BDL. I agree with you so I deleted the offensive remark.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to act on it. Yamit shouldn’t bandy about the charge of traitor. He doesn’t have a lock on what’s good for Israel.

    12. Shy Guy says:

      Ted Belman says:
      January 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to act on it. Yamit shouldn’t bandy about the charge of traitor. He doesn’t have a lock on what’s good for Israel.

      If Yamit doesn’t have a lock, then let him have his say. Personally, I disagree with the use of traitor for this individual but I truly believe it applies to many an Israeli politician to greater and lesser degrees.

    13. Ted Belman says:

      “Traitor” should not be used lightly. If he must use it on a particular person, he should explain why this person is so called. I’d like to hear what he considers a “traitor”.

      I have to tell you I am on a select mailing list of the top Israel bloggers in the world totalling well over 100.

      The article written by Baker that I linked towas sent out to this list and I don’t recall any negative comments. My article is the only one I know of that took him to task.

    14. yamit82 says:

      Berel Dov Lerner says:

      I am troubled by yamit 82?s attitude. You can think that someone made a serious error of policy without branding him a “traitor”.

      So sorry you are troubled Berel, I call them as I see them and by the way, I don’t care what the world thinks of BB, Barak etc. Anyway who is this world you are so concerned about?

      BDL. I agree with you so I deleted the offensive remark.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to act on it. Yamit shouldn’t bandy about the charge of traitor. He doesn’t have a lock on what’s good for Israel.

      A traitor under Israli Law states:
      Israeli law, which calls for life imprisonment or death for anyone who attempts to remove sovereign Israeli land from Israeli control. The Golan and Jerusalem were annexed to Israel in 1981 and thus falls under the land defended by law, Oslo cedes the annexed part of Jerusalem to a foreign sovereignty. Therefore anyone who had an active part in drafting Oslo under Israeli law may be considered traitorous. Anyone who tries to negotiate away those sovereign Israeli lands is a traitor. Under Israeli penal code sub titled “Traitor”, look it up!

      Oslo led directly to the murder of over 2300 Jews and over 10,000 wounded That’s the equivalent of over100,000 American deaths and a half million wounded proportionally. I might add for what it’s worth some of the dead and some of the wounded were family friends. I might add that in that game of roulette any of those dead or wounded could easily have been me.

      You and Bellman have the chutzpa to place the term I used out of bounds under the PC euphemism that “Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to act on it.” so there is no right or wrong truth or falsehood just rights to to be wrong, have thousands killed and be protected from criticism because it might offend some readers sensitivity? “Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to act on it” Is that

      why you censored and deleted my comments on Palin?

      Yamit shouldn’t bandy about the charge of traitor. He doesn’t have a lock on what’s good for Israel.

      No I don’t have a lock on what’s good for Israel unless we can agree to a common definition of what’s good for Israel. I think I can define what is good for Israel express myself accordingly. Our disagreement here is not over rights to opinions it is over how I express my opinions and not it’s substance.

    15. Catarin says:

      A little ancient history: In Circa 722 BCE, Sargon II, king of the Assyrians, captured Israel and deported thousands of Jews to his kingdom in present day Iraq and imported thousands of Arabs from Arabia into Israel, under the theory that the squabbles between Jews and Arabs would keep them occupied and thus easier to rule. It looks like he is to blame for a situation that endures to this day.

      I recently read an article that says present day Germans are descended from the Assyrians. Various historians over a number of centuries recorded that a group of white Assyrians living north of the Black Sea were crowded out and gradually made their way to Europe, became the Germanic tribes and staked their claim for what is now Germany. This helps to explain the German reputation for being fierce warriors. Germanic warriors, at the beginning of the Common Era, slaughtered a legion of Roman warriors, giving them one of their first real defeats. This site was recently discovered in a German forest and is being archaeologically researched.

    16. yamit82 says:

      I replied to both you and BDL but your bot/filter got it. Release it so all can see my reasoning and then agree or disagree.

      I know Baker up front and personal and he makes Yossi Sarid look like Jabotinski.

    17. Viiit says:

      The 2:1 majority is an illusion.
      When in comes to power, only the ration of young people counts.
      Old Russian ladies don’t help much when Arabs start rioting.

      The solution to the Jewish and democratic is to make Jewish synonymous with Israeli. A Jew is descendant of Jacob/Israel.
      We should also invite many Pal-Arabs to become Jews. Many of them indeed are descendants of of ancient Jews (and Samaritans who are also Jews).
      We should welcome back some Arabs as Jews. The other Arabs will hate their guts, and that will assure their total loyalty to Israel. After a generation, they indeed will be Jewish. It really does not matter if they are ethnically Jewish. The Yemenite Jews, are descendants of a mixture of Arabs and Jews, and they are among the best Jews today.
      Intelligent and good looking Arabs should be especially welcome as they will be a valuable genetic contribution to our nation.

    18. yamit82 says:

      Mad Jewess

      We don’t get too many left wing Jews from America moving to Israel. Our problem here is left wing Israeli Jews, and I for one would not be un happy if they joined their Jewish (sic) left wing brothers and sisters with you in America.

    19. yamit82 says:

      Viiit says:

      We should also invite many Pal-Arabs to become Jews. Many of them indeed are descendants of of ancient Jews (and Samaritans who are also Jews).

      We should also invite many Pal-Arabs to become Jews

    20. yamit82 says:

      Catarin says:

      This helps to explain the German reputation for being fierce warriors. Germanic warriors, at the beginning of the Common Era, slaughtered a legion of Roman warriors, giving them one of their first real defeats. This site was recently discovered in a German forest and is being archaeologically researched.

      Your history is not accurate. We kicked Rome’s ass first and better!

      Third Jewish revolt: Bar Kokhba’s revolt

      Bar Kochba Revolt coinage. These were inscribed “the first (or second) year of the redemption of Israel”. Bar Kokhba ruled with the title of “Nasi”. The Romans fared very poorly during the initial revolt facing a completely unified Jewish force (unlike during the First Jewish-Roman War, where Flavius Josephus records three separate Jewish armies fighting each other for control of the Temple Mount during the three weeks time after the Romans had breached Jerusalem’s walls and were fighting their way to the center).

      A complete Roman legion with auxiliaries was annihilated. The new state knew only one year of peace. The Romans committed no fewer than twelve legions, amounting to one third to one half of the entire Roman army, to reconquer this now independent state. Being outnumbered and taking heavy casualties, the Romans refused to engage in an open battle and instead adopted a scorched earth policy which reduced and demoralized the Judean populace, slowly grinding away at the will of the Judeans to sustain the war.

      Bar Kokhba took up refuge in the fortress of Betar. The Romans eventually captured it and killed all the defenders. According to Cassius Dio, 580,000 Jews were killed, 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed. Yet so costly was the Roman victory that the Emperor Hadrian, when reporting to the Roman Senate, did not see fit to begin with the customary greeting “If you and your children are well, all is well. For I and the army are all in good health.” He was the only Roman general known to have refused to celebrate his victory with a triumphal entrance into his capital.

    21. Ted Belman says:

      Yamit. I appreciate your detailed response. I have no problem with you saying you believe someone is a traitor because in your opinion he violated the law which defines it. But to just call him a traitor without explanation leaves us to wonder if you are just name calling. A person is also not a “murderer” if he enters a deal which leads to people being killed as a result. They only become murderers if they intended the deaths. Some people are trul;y traitors and I have no problem when you say so. But it only becomes a fact if they are convicted. In the absence of such conviction one should only say “in my opinion he is a traitor because he did such and such contrary to law which refines the crime of being a traitor.”

      My point was that people are entitled to act on their opinion providing such acts are not defined as treason by the penal code. That’s why I asked you to define on what basis you called him a traitor.

      As for deleting your remark about Palin I did so because every time I support her you bash her like clockwork. You seem to think it your duty to oppose anything positive about her. We know how you think so what is the purpose of telling us over and over again. I have an agenda to promote her. You have an agenda to undermine her. On my blog, its my agenda that rules. I allow contrary opinions but don’t want Israpundit to be dominated by their number. Capish. I just reduced by one the number of times that I allowed such comments in.

    22. Yonatan says:

      I didn’t live here at the time, but I recall reading that those responsible for the initiating the OSLO fiasco were actually breaking Israeli law – yet not prosecuted. The “elite” wanted it, the press looked the other way, the professors in the colleges drummed on and on about it, yet it was illegal according to the law. Yamit, does this sound like its correct?

    23. yamit82 says:

      Yamit, does this sound like its correct?

      Yes but there is more. They created the precedent that none of the territories belong to Israel. I admit they built upon Begin’s giving up Sinai and Jewish settlements but at lest Begin was under pressure from Carter to cave into that pressure. The Oslo Gang cameup with the plan all by themselves.

      What irritates me most about Baker and his fellow Osloians, is that despite the results and the harm they have wrought none are repentant none admit their mistake in judgment no ‘mea culpa’. To read Baker showing dismay over the Palis non compliance and non conformance to written agreement after all that has happened since is beyond my comprehension. He is typical of who and what represents Israel in all diplomatic forums. AE would be a better advocate for Israel than most of our in-house embedded ideologues in our diplomatic corps. They are picked and promoted much like our Judges and states prosecutors.

      Ted’s legal explanations re Traitors here may fit nicely Law texts and civics courses and it may even apply to Canada but not here. We live under a dictatorship and tyranny of old leftists and anti Zionist elements who are entrenched in the key positions of real institutional power in Israel and can even be traced to the Nazis but that’s too long to go into here. Just remember that most of our judges and our Judicial tradition in Israel is still the bailiwick of German Jews who fled Hitler came to Israel as anti Zionists, anti religious Judaism and anti nationalism. They still hold sway and are more powerful that the Knesset and even the PM.

    24. Yonatan says:

      They can stick their precedent where the sun don’t shine. What is precedent in this case anyway? A false weakness that must be manifested into the future forever?

    25. Isaac says:

      As Berel Dov says: As far as 99% of the world is concerned, Alan Baker (along with Binyamin Netanyahu, and even Ehud Barak)is a right-wing fanatic who(se) views are indiscernible from those of Gush Emunim. We need to now sit-back somewhat whilst keeping our-eye-on-the-ball.

      The US has entered into a cauldron, courtesy of an uncalled-for blood libel against Sarah Palin and other lies. Fortunately, it is back-firing and though Obama’s speech at the ‘memorial’ for those killed in Tucson was actually a campaign speech, it is not necessarily creating the effect intended. People have also become aware that in Philly 2008 Obama said ‘if they bring a knife, we will bring a gun’. Also in 2008, there was a mannaquin dressed as Sarah Palin shown with a noose around the neck. That report came out a few days ago.

      There are some independents in the US who will consider giving him another chance but the Tea Party and Sarah Palin will manage to swing it back most of the way. This may eventually come down to the wire.

      Netanyahu needs to come out with stronger language irrespective of the EU and the others, as CUFI and the Tea party group will back him. In fact, he should start to show some backing for the Tea party. Else, Lieberman will be the choice of Israelis. The hypothesis still is and will continue to be that “Muslims do not want Israel to exist(and never wanted)”. So, all bets are off until 2012 at least. If there is a UDI by Abbas or Fayyad, arrest the swines or just go into J&S and remove the jihadist leadership from Gaza as we can then justifiably claim that the PA violated the terms of Oslo.

      Post-Tunisia, the Brotherhood in Egypt is definitely going to make a move against Mubarak soon – remember King Hussein’s predicament in ’67? – else the Brotherhood will also be in the same situation. The Hiz may try to assassinate Hariri but may hold back if they see the IDF and the US on their doorstep. So, it will again turn-out to be a chess game for the next 2-3 months. Don’t know enough to say what Iran will do. Would appreciate feedback.

    26. Ted Belman says:

      I don’t see a war starting because no one wants to be beat up by Israel. That includes Hamas Hesbollah , Syuria and Iran. Better to keep moving along as they are. If war does come, i believe that Israel will order a major call up and will invade Gaza and Lebanon big time to destroy the rockets and the leadership if they can. Then she will go after Iran. In for a penny, in for a pound. My two pennies.

    27. despite the results and the harm they have wrought none are repentant none admit their mistake in judgment no ‘mea culpa’.

      In fact, my understanding is that in 95 prior to his assassination Rabin was was having serious doubts about Oslo. In addition I remember reading a few months back that Peres had recently expressed the opinion that Oslo had been a mistake. Wish I could provide a reference.

    28. yamit82 says:

      Robert S. Barnes says:
      In fact, my understanding is that in 95 prior to his assassination Rabin was was having serious doubts about Oslo. In addition I remember reading a few months back that Peres had recently expressed the opinion that Oslo had been a mistake. Wish I could provide a reference.

      I believe the story about Rabin and that’s why some believe Peres had him bumped off.

      Re: Peres regretting Oslo? He never said so publicly but I think you might be referring to a Wikileak saying what you state above.

    29. yamit82 says:

      Netanyahu needs to come out with stronger language irrespective of the EU and the others, as CUFI and the Tea party group will back him.

      That and 5 bucks will get you a coffee at Starbucks. They have no influence on Israeli policies or our political leaders.

      There are some independents in the US who will consider giving him another chance but the Tea Party and Sarah Palin will manage to swing it back most of the way. This may eventually come down to the wire.

      In America they can’t get more than 20-30% support on non America domestic considerations. According to this weeks polls Obama will win the next elections and the only conservative or Republican that polls say can beat Obama is Christi and he says he’s not in the running. What does that tell you about America, Americans and the minority conservative right and and even smaller Christian right in America. There active support for Israel can destroy whatever bipartisan support Israel still enjoys. Would force many independents to join the left in both anti Israel positions and an increase of antisemitism.

    30. You’re right, wikileaks is where I saw it.

    31. Paul Winter says:

      Ted’s very important point about “Palestine” not being a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Accords has not been given any real attention by various contributors. The point seems to me that the international community reified both a “Palestine” and the 1967 war as an act of Israeli aggression. If those conjured factoids are not repudiated in the strongest of terms by Israel, then is has no case to answer but abide by the claims based on Arab/mohammedan lies against it. Sadly, spineless Israeli diplomats fail to state Israel’s case clearly and truthfully and they fail to tell their enemy that they are malicous liars.

      Two Arab patterns of “negotiations” have emerged (and are not exposed by Israel or the international community): (1) Arabs reject a UN resolution, then pervert its meaning and demand that Israel comply with their misinterpretation of that resolution and when Israel doesn’t the UN labels Israel an international criminal; (2) Israeli proposals are treated as signed undertakings at the very same time as the Arabs ignore every clause of any treaty to which they have put their signatures.

    32. Viiit says:

      Ted makes excellent point here.
      I wish everyone would understand the significance of this point:

      “The central point I hoped to make is that the Government has turned its back on our legal rights. It simply asks for secure borders.”

    33. Isaac says:

      Yamit says

      According to this weeks polls Obama will win the next elections

      Can you post the actual numbers, which polls and not just the 20-30% support on non America domestic considerations?

    34. yamit82 says:

      Isaac says:

      Yamit says

      I didn’t save the item and forget where but eat your heart out with these!

      Nationwide opinion polling for the United States presidential election, 2012

    35. yamit82 says:

      Romney embarks on foreign trip

      Former Governor Mitt Romney is on a weeklong trip to the Middle East for a series of high-level meetings, a trip that could help bolster his foreign policy credentials as he weighs a presidential run.

      Romney left on Friday for Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, according to senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom. He is planning to meet with President Karzai of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

      Poll: Romney starts with big lead in New Hampshire

    36. Dov Bar-Leib says:

      A world used to popular contract, mutual accommodation, and peaceful resolution of disputes would be wonderful. No such thing exists, however, as America’s first European settlers learned from the natives. All nations were created in bloodshed and are sustained by power; anything on paper is irrelevant. Israel cannot be built on agreements with the Arabs. International agreements are the legal by-products of inhumane military victories.

      I loathe using international law as justification for almost anything since it is usually born from hypocrisy and corruption as described above. Yet, if Israel is a signator to this convention, it is bound by its rules.

      Yet, there really is no basis in arguing against our rights in Judea and Samaria because the territories are not occupied. The British Mandate vacated long ago, and the Jordanians in the 1990s released themselves from any claims on the territory that they occupied for 19 years. So which nation state’s land are we occupying? Which historical country now lays claim to this land? The Turks, the Mamluks, the Crusaders, and the Byzantines either no longer exist or no longer contest the ground here. Even the Arabs can’t get their pan-Arab act together without the creation of fanciful Lawrence of Arabias by the Western countries. So by definition there is no occupation. There is just a large co-inhabitant population that has only as of 1964 tried to create its own identity as a people. With them, we have been negotiating since the Madrid conference and Oslo with the result being a lot of our blood on their hands. Now they want to flood the pre- 1967 borders with their migrants and vagrants and in some cases their previous inhabitants, 2/3rds who left on their own in 1947- 1949 without even seeing an Israeli soldier. And the one-third that left in the heat of battle, left when they started shooting at the Palmach or the Hagganah who then returned fire. The one and a half million Arabs in pre- 67 Israel are testament to the fact that if one did not shoot at Israel between 1947-49, one could stay no matter whether they came from Jordan or Egypt after 1900 or after 1920 or have been here for a longer time than that.

      Now it really doesn’t matter because the entire world is coming to war against G-d over the status of Jerusalem either this summer or four summers hence, and there is very little we can do to delay this. Forget about stopping it. We live in a world of lies, and so few care about the Truth anyway. So why waste breath arguing? Oil is the name of the game and perceived oppression of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims because of an “occupation” of a land mass the size of Delaware is the claim on the breath of the nations of the world. Why bother with explanations. Maybe I should just erase this comment, but here it goes.

    37. BlandOatmeal says:

      It has been the policy of the de facto state Northern Cyprus to encourage non-Greek immigration into the country. This was decided upon shortly after the Declaration of Independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in order to increase their numbers vis-a-vis the population of the Greek-Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus. Most of the immigrants come from the Anatolia region of Turkey, though a few others from the United Kingdom do come to live in Northern Cyprus in order to take advantage of property sales. No immigration is permitted however that would threaten the demographic status of the ethnic Turkish majority.

      – Wikipedia

      Northern Cyprus is, the last I checked, OCCUPIED TERRITORY. Turkish armed forces invaded the area in the 1960s, when the British left. Sound familiar?

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