A fascinating development this week in Israel was the release of the report of a
governmental commission whose assignment had been to define the legal status of
the “occupied territories” for purposes of government policy. The commission was
headed by Edmond Levy, an interesting former Supreme Court justice and one of
the only ones who is not a judicial activist leftist.
The Obama people
are upset with the report (an indication of how good it is) and Israel’s moonbat
Left is positively wetting itself in anguish.
Basically the report says
that the West Bank – Judea and Samaria – are not occupied territories at all
but, at most, disputed territories, something like the US-Canadian border areas
were during parts of North American history.
As such, there is no reason
why Israel cannot build there and even seize land there under eminent
There is nothing in international law that would make settlements
“illegal.” And they should thus be proclaimed by Israel to be completely legal.
Whether or not Israel builds settlements then becomes a matter of Israeli
interests and policy, not legal obstacles.
Here in brief is the case for
Jewish settlements in the West Bank:
• It is in Israel’s acute national interest
to prevent the West Bank from serving as a terrorist base, from which rockets,
mortars and possibly weapons of mass destruction would be launched at Israel.
Life in Israel would be impossible with the West Bank serving as a “Palestinian
state,” basically a clone of Hamastan in Gaza. It is thus critical to do
everything to prevent that from happening.
• Every accord or “deal” that
provides for any sort of “Palestinian” state or sovereignty or entity operating
outside Israeli control in the West Bank will produce the scenario of the
previous point, mass terrorist aggression from “Palestine,” making life in
It does not matter what would be written in any accord
• Israel would be prevented from taking serious action against
terrorist aggression from this “Palestine” by international pressures and
sanctions, and the Israeli Left would rally the world against Israeli
“aggression” in all such cases.
• The only way effectively to prevent the
conversion of the West Bank into a Hamastan terror base is by maintaining a
significant Jewish population there. This effectively prevents international
pressure from producing the conversion of the West Bank into the second
Hamastan, and effectively prevents endlessly- appeasing and cowardly Israeli
governments from capitulating to those pressures.
(Imagine what Olmert
would have done without the settlements. Since most of the settlers are actually
living in Jerusalem suburbs, their presence there also prevents any
capitulations by Israel to pressures regarding relinquishing Jerusalem.) • While
there are other moral and historic arguments for why Israel and Jews have the
right to live in the West Bank, the only real purpose of “settlements” is to
prevent the emergence of any “Palestinian state.” No other rationalization or
justification is needed.
There are no alternative effective ways to
prevent the conversion of the West Bank into Hamastan.
• West Bank
settlements are no obstacle at all for the economic development of the
Palestinian population centers there, nor to forms of limited autonomy, which
should be the most that Israel is willing to concede to the Palestinians. (And
even they are not an entitlement.) There’s a more fundamental problem with the
word “occupation.” The anti-Israel lobby, including Israel’s Left, adopted the
nonsense word “occupation” originally after 1967 because at the time it still
conjured up associations with the Nazi occupation of Europe and the Japanese
occupation of East Asia before and during the War.
As in everything else,
Israeli leaders decided that semantics do not matter and refused to fight that
battle, forfeiting more than 40 years ago.
The analogous Hebrew word,
“kibush,” is even stupider – it means “conquest.” It is like claiming that the
Belgian and Dutch territories liberated from the Nazis by the Allies are now
As a matter of general policy, I would suggest
that any time an Israeli uses the nonsense word “kibush,” and that includes half
the articles in Haaretz, you should regard absolutely everything else that
person says about everything and anything in the world to be absolute
The writer teaches in the Graduate School of Management at the
University of Haifa.