Sunday, October 18, 2009

a rebutal that would not post

Note to self: I am tempted to retreive the entire debate. I found a really neat bit of sophistry at talknic, but I will wait and see if she wishes to move the discussion here or fix the problem there. I tried 5 times to make my post smaller and smaller on her site to no avail. Had the same trouble to the point of critical melt down at Realistic Dove, there was no response at my offer to move the debate off site...I am not passing judgment, the person I was debating is not someone I feel deserves the full weight of ridicule like the dim bulbs groveling at the feet of Phillip Weiss over at Mondweiss, for example. Of course I should actually be happy when someone at least responds to me without throwing me off the site like IndyMedia, Tayyar, ScottishFriendsofPalestine, and dozens of Islamic sites have. Such as it is, here is my quick response without breaking out the books to her.

Thank you for responding, most run from me, I have a feeling I will enjoy this...

"The Israeli Government is building the settlements, yes?"

No. Individual Jews are building on land that has no sovereign, because they have the right to do so. Further they are not building on "occupied land", the Geneva Convention does not apply, every legal settlement was established with proximity to existing Arab communities taken into effect. Since the land has no title, the empty places are not considered as being occupied under precise and accepted terms. An entity can not claim a portion of land based on a desire for it only, there are acceptable criteria for recognizing de jure or de facto control over an area and the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians have not done so. For political purposes only, you and others have filled in the blanks and awarded the Arabs all land in between the places they reside as having some de jure legal status, this recognition is unfounded in international law and flies in the face of the fact that the border has not been fixed. I can claim the moon, but if I do not live on the moon and can not exert political authority over the moon my claim has no relevance to anyone else's claim to the moon. Further, even proximity to the moon, say I was orbiting in a space ship and had been doing so for a century before anyone else arrived would not strengthen my claim on the moon.

As I tried to explain above, the termination of a treaty does not terminate a right granted by a treaty upon its closure. Another binding treaty or document must remove the acquired right and it must survive the test of legality and of a day in court. None has.

Further, though you point out that the Mandate for Palestine ended 14th May 1948, property has two characteristics, possession and title, the lands that the Jewish communities were built on had neither where the Arabs are concerned. In addition, where the Mandate ended on the 14th, Israeli law as the only High Contracting Party began on the 15th. Jurisdiction was not confined to the defunct boundaries as outlined in the non binding resolution 181, jurisdiction was applied anywhere within the boundary of the Mandate, including property illegally stripped from the Jewish people and given to the Arabs east of the Jordan against the dictates of the Mandate...."No Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed
under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power,
"... Further the termination was in breach of the treaty in as much as..."The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home"... A Jewish National Home was to be established. The chaos and war, the impending doom of well armed Arab armies on the march with genocide as their stated goal, and the abandonment and naval blockade of the Jewish people on the 14th was a clear breach of treaty obligation in establishing a Jewish National Home.

Further, you site the Geneva Conventions as proof that the settlements are illegal. This is problematic on several levels. First the Geneva Conventions apply to "High Contracting Parties", which the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians are not. The Geneva Conventions are an agreement between countries, not between a country and an illegal militia. In fact, in as much as the Geneva Convention applies to non state actors..."Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it."

Article 4 describes non state actors as...."4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:

* that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
* that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);
* that of carrying arms openly;
* that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

On all accounts the Arabs fail even if we pervert the meaning of the Convention and apply it to them.

Also, if we were to apply Article 49 you site, you left out a relevant portion of it that would allow Israel to depopulate the entire region..."Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased." I would say with the genocidal rhetoric used in schools, mosques, and in legal documents Israel is more than justified in removing all of the Arab population for its own security. However, the Convention does not apply, so I am not supporting this action.

Further, upon the breach of contract that terminated the Mandate, the Geneva Convention of 1949 was not in effect and can not be applied retroactively. The last binding document before the Mandate was the San Remo Resolution, which established that all of Palestine territory was to become a Jewish National home.

Further, the residents of Judea and Samaria that remained after the total ethnic cleansing of all Jews after 1948 accepted de facto that they were a part of Transjordan, which became simply the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan hence. Though Arab Palestine (Jordan) annexed the land, it was not accepted by the world community. The land was legally in dispute and technically available for Jewish settlement. So complete was the take over I would like to draw your attention to the PLO Observer to the UN website where the Palestine National Charter is kept as a founding document of the Arabs suddenly calling themselves Palestinians..."Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area."... In their own words they did not want Judea and Samaria.

Further if you accept as the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians did that Jordan was the legal sovereign over the disputed land, Jordan has signed a peace treaty with Israel and the legal border between the two High Contracting Parties is set to the center of the Jordan River. Peace Treaties are an accepted and long recognized way of establishing borders. In the case of Jordan and Israel establishing a border, it is only complicated by Arab intransigence and the question of Jordan's previous 19 year occupation. The political wiggling now, long after the fact, has no merit or place in fair conduct and initial PLO declarations are substantive to the final disposition of the land in future negotiations.

As to occupation, there are multiple complications there as well. According to Hersch Lauterpacht, Oppenheim's International Law (7th Ed. 1952) Vol.2 §263, pp.598-599..."The majority of writers correctly maintain that the status which exists at the time of cessation of hostilities becomes the basis of the future relations of the parties. This question is one of the greatest importance, regarding enemy territory militarily occupied by a belligerent at the time hostilities cease. According to the correct opinion it can be annexed by the occupier, on the ground that his adversary, through the cessation of hostilities, has abandoned all rights he possessed over it."... I would like to reaffirm that Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty establishing the recognized border between the two countries as being the center of the Jordan, the PLO stated that they had no claim to the land in 1964, the Arab people accepted Jordanian rule de jure and de facto for the 19 years Arab Palestine occupied the land, and the right to settle anywhere in the previous territory of Palestine did not cease between the brief time of the end of the Mandate and the establishment of the state of Israel with its unsettled borders.

In order to define an occupation you must be able to define where it starts and stops. Since the the demarcation line is not a legal border and the resolution 181 you continually site is not a legal document or the basis for anything to do with the conflict it is not possible to claim with certainty where an alleged occupation exists outside of the fanciful imagination of Jew hating bigots.

As to Ottomans calling the Sanjuk of Jerusalem "Palestine", can you source this? I couldn't find it in the Cambridge Palestine Boundaries 1833–1947, instead it said..."In Ottoman times, no political entity called Palestine existed."

"Who prior to the Ottomans, who had legal right to name it?"

It was renamed Palestina by the Romans in an attempt to destroy the Jewish connection to the land (ethnic cleansing). Obviously Hadrian failed. It was called the Kingdom of Jerusalem at one point as well. It has not been called Palestine in centuries, so a Brit had to chose what to label it. he resurrected the ethnic cleansing term of 'Palestine' instead of correctly labeling it Israel or Judea. This ambiguity allowed the Arabs to hijack a name they couldn't even pronounce. Even so, no Arab used the term until propagandists adopted it. A Palestinian in 1930 was assumed to be Jewish. Even as late as the UN 242 language there is no mention of the so called "Palestinians". A search was done a number of years ago and it was discovered that the first public usage of the term "Palestinian" as we know it today was in a New York Times article in 1963. Hardly a term that trumps almost four thousand years of the use of Eretz Israel, yes?

As to your maps, what are you showing? A few dots to represent where the Jews owned private property? Are you aware that the vast majority of Arabs lived as tenants on miri (state owned) land? Would it be more accurate to show that Arabs owned precious little mulk (private) land? Wouldn't it tell the whole story if you represent this sparse land ownership instead of deceiving your readers with sophistry over what land Jews owned? You don't fill in the dots between all Arab land and make a nebulous claim that Jews stole it from them. And who is concerned about a racial make up except racists anyway? Several American states are being changed demographically with the influx of illegal Mexican immigration. If the millions were arriving legally as the Jews did would you point to this as something sinister? Further, I am part Kiowa, if my people were banned from the US and had a chance to return to our homeland after a long absence would you oppose our return if we built our homes on empty state lands or bought them from Americans willing to sell them to us? Say not on the entirety of America but on just a small defined portion of Western Texas? (This is all hypothetical, of course, we ranged from Montana to Mexico and in our case land tenure would be a bit problematic, unlike in the case of the Jews who are not asking for vast swathes of Arab land, are not asking to usurp the whole of an existing unique people, and who have a very narrowly defined geographic location with an ancient Jewish character fixed to it).

"Perhaps you can tell me where Israel's declared and internationally recognized sovereignty legally exists. Yes?"

The fact is there is no internationally accepted border, so the question is invalid sophistry. Israel does not have to annex its own land, so until those borders are set no such annexation is possible. The extension of the administrative boundary of Jerusalem is another matter. In my opinion it was redundant, premature, and predicated on the false logic that Israel has a defined border to start with or that it needs to do anything at all from this point forward. None in the international community have recognized it anyway.

"A declaration of Sovereignty IS binding. UNGA resolution 181 gave the conditions under which either party could, if they wished, declare sovereignty."

Your point? A non binding agreement is just that. Resolution 181 has no legal standing in any court in the world. It did not "give" any condition to anyone, it had no legal authority to do so. Contrary it violated the Charter of the UN under the doctrine of estoppal, which stated clearly that all states were bound by treaties under the League of Nations. The General Assembly had legal right to change the Mandate for Palestine, nor is there any mechanism to enforce the application of only a portion of UN 181 even if this were not true. Nor would it be admissible to bind Israel to UN 181 since it was adopted before Israel even became a nation. Your reliance on it as a cornerstone to your fragile narrative may support your anti-Israel biased stance, but it is nothing more than a grasp for straws.

As to your quoting of Balfour, I presume it is valid? You are reinforcing my argument and undermining your own. A Palestinian was a Jew back then. There was no Arab nationalist movement to refer to. Anti Jewish violence manifested from cultural bigotry and Arab racism. There was no people to compete with at the time, because they did not exist until the arrival of Jews. Hardly a legitimate cause to support. Any division of the territory was in breach of the terms of the treaty, just as termination of it before a functioning Jewish government was a violation.

The White Paper you site also contains language that offers the Arabs a state of their own, but they rejected that as well. It also offers a mechanism to deport all the Arabs to the east bank, but the Jews rejected that.

"The Arab States did not make up the majority of the International Community of States at the time. Their objections were over ridden. If as you claim, there was no International recognition, what did the US do? the USSR? The UK? Australia? Even Iran! If there was no International recognition, how was Israel accepted into the UN?"

I am not referring to the Arab rejection of Israel. I am referring to your false claim that the world recognized a border, let alone one based on the toilet tissue of the defunct UN 181. Much of the fallacy of what you present is predicated on this nonsense, which is why we need to start here to knock your house of cards down. That said, you may have a case of the legality of recognizing a nation without borders, but that is not what you chose to present and the fact remains that the recognition of Israel was de jure and is today awaiting Arab intransigence to finalize.

Maybe you think you are clever or have an iron clad argument. Yes? Something tells me you are in for frustration in the coming days.