Israel has legal rights, not just historical claims

By Ted Belman (Mar 16, 2016)

When Times of Israel published West Bank settlements are legal, Foreign Ministry asserts in Dec/15, I was generally pleased, thinking that the document the Foreign Ministry was publishing, supported the legality of the settlements. I assumed that it also asserted our rights to the land. I shouldn’t have assumed anything and I should have read the article.

[The document] states that Israel has “valid property claims” to West Bank territory, as “Jewish affinity” with the region and in cities such as Hebron is thousands of years old.

When reading this, I failed to notice that it didn’t support our “valid property claims” based on San Remo Resolution, The Palestine Mandate, and Article 80 of the UN Charter, which specifically preserves these rights. To my mind this was a huge omission and must have been intended.

In addition, the case for legality was weakly made thereby diminishing its effectiveness. The Levy Report did a much better job of it. For instance, the Levy Report states that “Israel has every right to claim sovereignty over these territories” which the new document does not.

The document was drafted at Hotovely’s behest after she discovered that the Foreign Ministry’s directives on the country’s official stance on the West Bank had not been updated in 14 years, Channel 2 reported.

A little research on these past directives discovers one, not 14 years but 17 years ago, namely in 1996, titled “Israel’s Settlements – Conformity with International law”

Both documents are very similar in making the case for the legality of the settlements, in that they both use the same headings and quotations and language. So what was the need to produce a new document? The answer may be found in the fact that the second document went on to include a section on territorial “completing claims” between Israel and the Palestinians which the first document did not.

In fact both the first and the second documents leave out reference to our legal rights and instead reduces them to claims based on history. The second document goes further and acknowledges Palestinian claims to the same territory. Thus the notion of “disputed territories”.

In other words, the government chose to avoid the contest between our rights that their claims and instead presented it as one of completing claims. But why even mention the Arab claims at all?

PM Netanyahu plays the same tune. He always refers to our historical claims rather than to our legal rights.

This document, by invoked Art 31(7) of the Interim Agreement of 1995 which precludes “annexation”, also by implication excluded the possibility of alternative solutions as presented by Glick, Kedar, Sherman or Bennett.

This document may have hamstrung future governments from embracing our legal rights or suggesting alternate solutions.

December 31, 2022 | 5 Comments »

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  1. Finally, the first principle of this government is, “The Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel.”
    That’s what I have been waiting for. Thus the lands are no longer “disputed lands”.

  2. Those who are leading the international war with Israel know full well the legal side of the problem.And they don’t care. But biomass does not read long texts. They only need to have a short narrative.
    It must be admitted that the struggle for the narrative acceptable to the Jews Israel lost.(We must not forget that ideas become a force when they take hold of the masses.) And I don’t see any real opportunity to change that.
    I believe that the only way for Israel to recover its lands and displace the Arab occupiers remains war.
    This does not mean that I propose to start a war tomorrow.
    We all understand that war is always a tragedy, and Jews are the most peace-loving people.
    But the situation inside and around Israel is developing in such a way that a major war looks inevitable in the foreseeable future.

  3. @ Bear Klein:
    I haven’t compared it with the one a month later or the one 17 years earlier but I did notice reference to “competing claims”. That’s what I am pointing out.Our legal rights trump their fabricated claims.


    For the uninformed, or misinformed by Arab propaganda.

    No other nation in the World has more right to their land than Jews have to the Land of Israel. These are: historical rights of more than 3000 years living on this Land; the Land of Israel is the G-d’s promised Land; League of Nations and UN with the support of most Nations confirmed the right of the Jewish people to their Land; also a big portion of this Land was bought by Jews as a formal act of ownership; Israel defended and freed her historical Land – Judea and Samaria against homicidal enemies in defensive wars. Following is the argument proving the above points.
    1. It is the Land where the Jewish Nation was born and where Jews lived continuously for more than 3000 years.
    2. This land was promised by G-d to the Jewish people, forever. You can believe it or not, but this is acknowledged by all three monotheistic religions. The people, who deny this, deny their own holy books and interpret them the way it is politically convenient for them.
    3. The Land of Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, is the core and heart of the Jewish Nation. Torah mentioned Jerusalem 667 times. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran even once and the story that Muhammad “traveled” to Jerusalem in his “sleep” was invented later for political reasons. Muhammad, in his verse, has talked about a furthest (uttermost) Mosque and did not mention Jerusalem at all. There was no and could not have been a Mosque in Jerusalem at that time, because there were no Muslims there at the time. Jerusalem was [then] a Christian-occupied city. Muhammad verse was revealed about 622, Muhammad died in 632. Jerusalem was conquered by Muslims in 637 and the mosque was built in 672-691.
    4. Ask yourself: if the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount is so sacred to Muslims, why do they play soccer near it, or collect stones there to attack Jews. Let them try to play soccer at the Mecca and Medina holly places. We would see what happens then. From 1948 to 1967 Jordan controlled the so called West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Al-Aqsa Mosque. During this time King Hussein never visited this holiest Mosque. It looks that its holiness in reality is only a tool to deny Jewish rights. They even deny Jews the right to pray there.
    5. The Koran clearly says that this Land belongs to the Jewish People. Anybody who contradicts this teaching, contradicts Koran and Islam. The Children of Israel: “Dwell securely in the Promised Land…” (The Koran, The Night Journey 17:104). Koran clearly states (Sura 5:21) that God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle there.
    6. Israel respects all religions, historical and cultural heritage (Arabs do not respect any religions and cultures and try to destroy them or claim it is theirs).
    7. Israel developed this land as a true owner (Arabs not only did not develop it in the past, but also on many occasions tried to destroy it, like destructive excavations on Temple Mount, like arsons of forests, which were planted by Jews instead of desserts and swamps. Arabs behave this way because subconsciously they know – this Land is not theirs. It was a waste Land before Jews started to rebuild it. The real indication of true ownership of the Land is the one who turned it from waste land to today’s modern Israel.
    8. The Land of Israel is very small and possession of it by Arabs will not change or improve one-bit the situation of Arabs, but for Jews it is the only place. (Jews have only one small country and the Arabs have 22 countries with vast territory and resources). Is this justice: to deny the Jews their tiny homeland, and to give it to Arabs who already have tremendous territory? Supporters of this in Europe and other places – where is your decency, moral and common sense?
    9. Arabs have same religion, culture and language in all of these 22 Arab countries. Arab countries can easily absorb Arab refugees that were the result of Arab aggression. “Palestinian refugees were created by Arab countries when they proclaimed genocidal war against the Jewish State and have asked the Arabs of Palestine to leave for convenience to accomplish the genocide. (All these are documented facts).
    10. Where is justice for “Palestinian” Arabs who have been kept in refugee camps for more
    than 60 years, who were denied citizenship by their Arabs brothers, and kept as second class citizens, and incited against Israel? Why did the State of Israel absorb all Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Arabs don’t absorb “their” refugees? Arab countries should admit their deeds and grant the civil rights to their brothers and help them with what Arab countries stole from Jews.
    11. Arabs expelled more than 800,000 Jews from Arab countries, who lived there long before Arabs captured these lands from indigenous people, and brutally destroyed their religions and cultures. All Jewish properties in Arab Countries were confiscated. Give these properties to Palestinian refugees (hundreds of billions of dollars) and their problems will be solved.
    12. Palestinian Arabs have the right to live on the Jewish land as loyal, peaceful citizens but if they choose to deny the Jewish rights and declare the goal to destroy the State of Israel, they lose the right to live on this Land.
    13. Palestinians are invented people, and invented with only one goal — to destroy the State of Israel. They would never call themselves “Palestinians” otherwise. The Arab language does not even use a sound “P”. They started to call themselves “Palestinians” not earlier than late 1960s and actively started to propagate this idea after the 1967 war. Prior to that, they vigorously rejected this name, because in their mind it belonged to Jews. By adopting this name, they try to prove they are indigenous people of this Land. They are not. Most of “Palestinians” migrated here from multiple Arab countries at the end of the 19th century and later, when Jews started to rebuild their Land. Therefore, their claims of being native people are false. They try to rewrite the history and already changed their identity a few times from ancestor of ancient Philistines to ancestors of ancient Canaanites. Everybody have rights to call themselves whatever they want, but not to use this as a goal and means to terrorize and destroy others. Many of these so called original “Palestinian refugees” and their descendants never lived in Palestine but call themselves “Palestinians” to get financial help which they continue to receive for almost 70 years.

  5. Ted, have you seen this which I believe is more complete? Again both are foreign policy documents and not detailed legal assertions to a legal body.

    Jewish settlement in the territory of ancient Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is often presented as merely a modern phenomenon. In fact, Jewish presence in this territory has existed for thousands of years and was recognized as legitimate in the Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, which provided for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Jewish people’s ancient homeland.

    After recognizing “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and “the grounds for reconstituting their national home”, the Mandate specifically stipulated in Article 6 as follows:

    “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 cooperation with the Jewish Agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use”.

    Some Jewish settlements, such as in Hebron, existed throughout the centuries of Ottoman rule, while settlements such as Neve Ya’acov, north of Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion bloc in southern Judea, and the communities north of the Dead Sea, were established under British Mandatory administration prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, and in accordance with the League of Nations Mandate.