In my blog post on an opinion piece published in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, I criticized an interpretation by Yonatan Gher of international law in his "Nobody should buy this occupation" (February 9).

I have now heard that the relevant part of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention he resourced was not the opening sentence


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Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited

but the last, which reads:


The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civil population into the territory it occupies.

Of course, this makes no difference to what I wrote.

Why?

Because, as someone senior in the Amnesty organization should know, there is something called the Travaux Préparatoires and as Elder of Ziyon has written, what is quite clear is

that the entire Article is concerned with forced transfer of populations against their wills, and the last paragraph is no exception, 

Gher could have also done a search and found, for example, the opinion of Howard Grief, which I published.

In any case, the only forcible deportations and/or transfers Israel has done involving Jews and the region of Judea, Samaria and Gaza have been in the other direction, that is, out of the areas as with the Gaza Disengagement, for example. Jews have quite voluntarily, and in the early years, against the governments' policies, moved back into areas that, as I stressed, were properly by international law guaranteed to be available for "close settlement" by Jews on state and waste lands.  Not to mention there was not country existing in 1967 in those areas - Jordan illegally occupied and annexed those areas to its kingdom (remind me, did Amnesty oppose that? it was founded in 1961).

That Jews were, by Arabs, forcibly subjected to transfer from Hebron, Gaza, Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and ethnically cleansed, seems not to factor into Gher's passionately expressed opinions.

And again, there is no 'war crime' of "settling". Jewish communities constructed in the area of the Jewish national home cannot be illegal.  

I am not an "illegal settler".

^

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