More On Seth’s “Settler Derangement Syndrome”, and the calumny of “illegal settlements”

Our old friend, Seth Freedman, is at it again, and just to drive the point home, the sub-caption, says it all:–

“No Israeli words can speak as loudly as the action of a large-scale pull-out from illegal West bank settlements”.

The crux of he matter for Seth, the lie repeated ad nauseam, again and again—-

“…the settlements are deemed illegal under international law…”

NO, Seth, they are not. There are volumes and tomes written which disprove this calumny, and so, to assist you I’ve summarized the essence of the matter.

Governments famously have “interests”, in this case those being the markets and oil of 1.2 billion Muslims, as opposed to the influence of just 13 million Jews world-wide, and so it is unsurprising that their interpretation of international law is somewhat elastic.

International law is crystal clear as to the status of the territories, which belong to Israel, and the reasons can be neatly summarised as follows:–

1) The “Mandate for Palestine” document, ratified  unanimously by all 51 members of the League of Nations in 1922, designated all land west of the Jordan river, Gaza, the Golan (23% of historic Palestine) to the future Jewish state, and called for “its close settlement by Jews” there. (This was after Churchill gave away the other 77% originally intended for the Jews, to the Saudi Hashemite family to create Trans Jordan, as a reward for its allegiance to Great Britain in defeating the Turks in WWI.)

This was incorporated into Article 80 of the UN Charter, and in the absence of any agreement since then, remains the legal status to the present day.

Israel is the only country to have its legitimacy confirmed by both the League of Nations, and the UN.

2) In 1970 Judge Stephen Schwebel, who headed  the International Court of Justice in the Hague, ruled that Israel had the better title to the West Bank than had Jordan, which had illegally annexed it in 1950, and then lost it in an aggressive war it waged against Israel.

Jordans’s illegal occupation of the West Bank was only recognised by Great Britain and Pakistan, but MINUS its occupation of Jerusalem.

3) Many of the “settlements” are on land  legally owned by Jews from whence they were driven in Arab riots, such as the Gush Etzion block and the Jewish Quarter in the Old city of Jerusalem. They were reclaimed by their rightful owners.

In any event, all the other settlements are on “state land” not privately owned land, on accordance with Ottoman, Mandate and Israeli law, determined by legal process.

The last point is important, and directly challenges Seth’s :–

“One fifth of built up settlement areas are constructed on privately owned Palestinian land, giving the lie to the assertion of settler leaders that their actions are entirely above-board”.

He then goes on to quote that bastion of truth, B’Tselem, giving “facts and figures” to “prove” the theft of Palestinian land. If Seth were to consult the government archives, instead of swallowing B’Tselem’s lies, he would learn of the role Plia Albeck, the distinguished lawyer, played in this. No government of whatever stripe  allowed  the construction of any settlement without her say so. She was a lawyer (with pro-Palestinian sympathies), who was an expert on what constituted “state land”, based on Mandate law, Ottoman law and Israeli law. In any event, the notion of “Palestinian land” is a nonsense, because there never has been a sovereign Palestinian entity there, ever.

The only people to have had dominion in the land are the Jews.

This is the inconvenient truth.

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