An Israeli settler puts up an Israeli flag over a house in the old city of Hebron in the West Bank, Jan. 21, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma)
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Numerous Palestinian groups are condemning Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked‘s plan to to apply Israeli laws to Jews living in West Bank settlements, which the groups said would further divide Palestinians and Israelis and give Israel the chance to annex the settlements.
During the May 1 conference held by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Shaked announced her intention “to equalize conditions [for all Jews] within one year.”
At present, West Bank settlements are managed through administrative and legal decrees issued by the Israeli military commander of the southern region in the West Bank, Eyal Zamir, but Shaked wants all laws issued by the Israeli Knesset to be applied to Jews in the Israeli settlements.
The decision was immediately blasted from several directions.
“This step is considered a serious and unprecedented encroachment” that amounts to Israel annexing the land, Amin Maqboul, secretary-general of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, told Al-Monitor. “This will destroy what’s left of the peace process.”
Maqboul said, “Israel is seeking to reinforce settlements, although they are illegal according to international laws, namely UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980 calling for dismantling Israeli settlements.”
Israel’s objective, he said, is to eliminate the option of the two-state solution “and turn the Palestinian territories in the West Bank into cantons.” As long as Israeli settlements exist, settlers will continue to take over Palestinian natural resources such as water and soil, he added.
In a May 3 statement, Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Jarwan, the speaker of the Arab Parliament (affiliated with the Arab League), also condemned the plan to apply Israeli law to West Bank settlements.
“This [Israeli justice minister’s] draft resolution is designed to legitimize the occupation and annex large lands of the occupied West Bank, lands that are internationally recognized as occupied Palestinian territories according to the 1967 borders,” Jarwan said in his statement, stressing that the policies “will not succeed in legalizing the settlements.”
Abdul Hadi Hantash, the head of the General Committee for the Defense of Palestinian Land, told Al-Monitor, “There are about 255 settlements in the West Bank, built on an area that represents 9% of the entire West Bank territories. However, the expanded security zone allocated by Israel to protect the settlements — which includes the apartheid wall, the bypass roads and the military checkpoints — allowed these settlements to [expand and] occupy 40% of the West Bank.”
Hantash pointed out that the plan to apply Israeli laws to govern West Bank settlements is intended to legitimize settlements and reinforce the occupation. “This step serves as the final nail in the coffin of the two-state solution,” he said.
He added that the existence of settlements in the West Bank is a major cause for the raging Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “so the application of Israeli laws in these settlements would fuel tension and conflict.”
Lawyer Hanna Issa, who specializes in international and humanitarian law, said applying Israeli law to the West Bank settlements would contradict the rules of international law. “By virtue of Article 43 of the Hague Convention of 1907, Israel is not entitled to apply its laws on the occupied territories. The text stipulates: ‘The occupant [Israel] … shall respect the laws in force in the country [Palestine],'” Issa said.
He added that there are dozens of international resolutions issued by the Hague Convention, the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Security Council calling on Israel to end its occupation and dismantle its settlements in the West Bank.
“Israel did not abide by any of these resolutions,” he said.
Issa also accused the United States of protecting Israel and saving it from any UN resolution in favor of the Palestinians by using its veto power on the Security Council.
The Jordanian paper Doster published a report on Dec. 31, 2014, stating that of the 80 times the United States had used its veto power since the Security Council was founded in 1945, 42 of those vetoes were against condemning Israel’s practices in the Arab region, and 31 of them were against decisions that served the Palestinian cause.
Regarding the measures the Palestinian Authority (PA) might take in response to the Israeli plan, Maqboul said, “Our position in the Palestinian leadership is clear. We want diplomatic efforts in international forums, especially the United Nations, to continue in order to establish a Palestinian state without any Israeli settler.”
He explained that the Palestinian leadership’s ammunition in confronting the Israeli plan includes international resolutions stipulating the need to end the occupation and dismantle the settlements in the West Bank, in addition to the PA’s efforts to punish Israel for its crimes against the Palestinians in the International Criminal Court.
Meanwhile, Palestinians are waiting for the international community and institutions to make a serious contribution toward ending the Israeli occupation. Yet Hantash believes his will require “the international community to put real pressure on Israel, instead of issuing further recommendations.”
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.