How delightfully impartial of them

The Zionists are firmly in control of American policies towards Palestine and Israel, and that the recent UN condemnation of the Tel Aviv regime will not be repeated during the Donald Trump presidency, according to American writer and political analyst James Petras.

Petras, a professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University in New York, and adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday.

Fortunately there is no anti-semitism at all in American academia.

62 comments on “How delightfully impartial of them

  1. Fortunately there is no anti-semitism at all in American academia.

    Is that anti-semitism? Surely it is just true. Does anyone doubt that pro-Israel feeling is extremely strong in the US? That Israeli interests are important to Americans – even though Israel’s interests are not America’s interests.[1] And that Trump does not have the mild anti-Zionist feelings that Obama does?

    It is not anti-Semitic just because some Jews don’t like to hear it. It is not anti-Semitic to say something that is true that makes other people feel uncomfortable. So where is the anti-Semitism?

    [1] The settlements are obviously important to Israel but there is no benefit to America defending Israel’s violation of international law. It is just not an American national interest at all. It alienates people. It gains America nothing. And in the end it is not going to help Israel make peace with its neighbours. Nor is much else, admittedly, but friends don’t let friends grossly violate international law in this way. It would cost America nothing to condemn them. It would gain them much. But America won’t because no politician can afford to be seen as even slightly anti-Israeli.

  2. Does anyone doubt that pro-Israel feeling is extremely strong in the US?

    That is not the same as “The Zionists are firmly in control of American policies.” That is anti-Semitic, not least because it is not true, as may be seen from Kerry and Obama’s anti-Semitic actions of recent days.

  3. but friends don’t let friends grossly violate international law in this way.

    Building houses in East Jerusalem is a gross violation of international law? Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t Jews doing th building, nobody would give a damn.

  4. Chris – “That is not the same as “The Zionists are firmly in control of American policies.” That is anti-Semitic, not least because it is not true, as may be seen from Kerry and Obama’s anti-Semitic actions of recent days.”

    Two points. One is that Obama waited for the last month of his eight years in power to even mildly offend America’s Zionist lobby (however you want to define that). There is no doubt he is not a Zionist. Yet he only did it when there was no chance of retaliation. If Obama runs scared of the Zionist lobby, it is an extremely powerful lobby.

    Second it would depend on how he defines Zionist. If he means someone who supports Israel and the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland, there is no anti-Semitism. If he is using it as a code word for Jews, well, he is verging on anti-Semitism. But does anyone really think that any American policy on Israel isn’t written after full consultation and agreement of groups like AIPAC? The pro-Israel lobby is a very mixed lobby that is made up of lots of different groups. But it is extremely powerful and no one much is going to cross it. The last time I can think of anyone who came close was George H. W. Bush. Who served one term.

    It ought to be possible to talk in a sensible way about the power of pro-Israel feeling in the US. It is absurd to describe it all as racism. Any sane discussion will start with the recognition that the pro-Israel lobby is very powerful in American politics and that America’s Israel policy is often not in America’s interest.

  5. Tim Newman – “Building houses in East Jerusalem is a gross violation of international law? Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t Jews doing th building, nobody would give a damn.”

    It is someone else’s country so yes it is a gross violation of international law.

    But also yes, if someone else was doing it, no one would care. Turkey is doing it in Cyprus. Has been for some time. I am sure this professor does not care. But then again no one is agreeing Turkey is allowed to do it either. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognised by no one but Turkey. Even their fellow Muslims refuse to accept it.

  6. David Jones – “It is not someone else’s country.”

    You mean it is all Palestine from the river to the sea?

  7. SMFS,

    One may argue that with a vague degree of certainty that settlements in the West Bank proper are on somebody else’s land. But in Jerusalem? Nah. That is very much up in the air, hence the outrage over this latest resolution.

  8. Tim Newman – “One may argue that with a vague degree of certainty that settlements in the West Bank proper are on somebody else’s land. But in Jerusalem? Nah. That is very much up in the air, hence the outrage over this latest resolution.”

    There is no dispute about East Jerusalem. It is Palestinian. Even the US does not recognise Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem. Although Trump has promised to change this. Another policy that is of no benefit to the US whatsoever and only benefits Israel.

  9. SMFS

    “There is a myth hanging over all discussion of the Palestinian problem: the myth that this land was “Arab” land taken from its native inhabitants by invading Jews. Whatever may be the correct solution to the problems of the Middle East, let’s get a few things straight:
    “As a strictly legal matter, the Jews didn’t take Palestine from the Arabs; they took it from the British, who exercised sovereign authority in Palestine under a League of Nations mandate for thirty years prior to Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. And the British don’t want it back.
    “If you consider the British illegitimate usurpers, fine. In that case, this territory is not Arab land but Turkish land, a province of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years until the British wrested it from them during the Great War in 1917. And the Turks don’t want it back.
    “If you look back earlier in history than the Ottoman Turks, who took over Palestine over in 1517, you find it under the sovereignty of the yet another empire not indigenous to Palestine: the Mamluks, who were Turkish and Circassian slave-soldiers headquartered in Egypt. And the Mamluks don’t even exist any more, so they can’t want it back.
    “So, going back 800 years, there’s no particularly clear chain of title that makes Israel’s title to the land inferior to that of any of the previous owners.”

    http://abuyehuda.com/2016/12/the-truth-is-a-minority-opinion/

  10. I resent the professor’s use of the word Zionist as a pejorative.

    Supporting a Jewish homeland in the historic Land of Israel, land deeded to them by the Brits, or acquired as a result of defensive wars, is normal. Being against it is creepy.

    ‘It is Palestinian.’

    Rather obviously it’s not.

  11. David Jones – “There is a myth hanging over all discussion of the Palestinian problem: the myth that this land was “Arab” land taken from its native inhabitants by invading Jews.”

    Yes, it is remarkable that people see Israelis ethnically cleansing peasants and taking their land and for some reason they think Israel is ethnically cleansing the land and taking the locals’ land. Bizarre.

    “As a strictly legal matter, the Jews didn’t take Palestine from the Arabs; they took it from the British, who exercised sovereign authority in Palestine under a League of Nations mandate for thirty years prior to Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. And the British don’t want it back.”

    The British gave up the mandate. They gave it to two powers. Israel and the Palestinians. The land we are talking about in this case is land taken in 1967. For which Britain had no involvement whatsoever. So this claim is both inaccurate and irrelevant.

    “So, going back 800 years, there’s no particularly clear chain of title that makes Israel’s title to the land inferior to that of any of the previous owners.”

    Except of course that the people of the land are there. They are the indigenous inhabitants to all intents and purposes. And they are not Israeli. Taking their land without compensation and giving it to Russian immigrants is not nice and most people do not like it.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of Israel’s creation, this land is land taken in 1967. So it is a separate matter. And even Israel’s strongest allies, like the US, does not recognise Israel’s right to do this. Still, if they want the land, they have to take the people too. Give passports to all the Palestinians between the river and the sea.

  12. Gamecock – “Supporting a Jewish homeland in the historic Land of Israel, land deeded to them by the Brits, or acquired as a result of defensive wars, is normal. Being against it is creepy.”

    Defensive is an odd word to apply to 1967 which was a short war because it was started by Israel without warning against Arab states which were clearly unprepared for it.

    And normal? Whatever else you can say, insisting that land that had been occupied by people from time immemorial, really ought to belong to a bunch of Europeans speaking European languages because they think that a God they do not believe in promised it to them, and because other Europeans had been so mean to them for so long, is not normal. It is baroque in its complications.

    But here we are and this is what we have.

    “Rather obviously it’s not.”

    Israel controls it but that doesn’t mean it is Israeli. Indeed Israel does not want it to be Israeli. That would mean Israeli law would apply.

  13. SMFS,

    Taking all your points at face value, such practices were not and are not unique to the Israelis. There were mass expulsions of whole ethnic groups all over Europe following WWII and borders changed and land seized with no concern given to the locals whatsoever. All of this was accepted and quickly became de facto and de jeur because people need to move on even if they have suffered massive injustices. The sole exception is the Palestiniens who have been forbidden from moving on because people don’t want a Jewish state to exist. And it is the actions of the Israelis that get criticised in perpetuity whereas everyone else saw their own and identical actions accepted with barely a murmur. It is this singling out of Israel that brings about charges of anti-semitism, and when you look deeper into who is doing the criticising and why, these charges are often fully justified.

  14. ” . . it was started by Israel without warning against Arab states which were clearly unprepared for it.”

    (In the SMFS version) Nasser’s blocking of the Gulf of Aqaba and removing UN peacekeepers from Sinai at the end of May 1967 were not aggressive but just a prelude to a diplomatic move to a 2-state solution. Obviously Nasser didn’t want war, just a quiet get-together with the Israelis to iron out a few minor disagreements.

    Unfortunately the Israelis misunderstood his peaceful intent and . . er . . overreacted.

  15. Tim Newman – “Taking all your points at face value, such practices were not and are not unique to the Israelis. There were mass expulsions of whole ethnic groups all over Europe following WWII and borders changed and land seized with no concern given to the locals whatsoever. All of this was accepted and quickly became de facto and de jeur because people need to move on even if they have suffered massive injustices.”

    And because the US and Soviet Armies were there to make sure people did not object. Also note that this was Soviet practice, it was not Western. France took Alsace back – which I think ought to be rightfully part of Germany – but they did not expel the population. They just all but banned the language.

    If you want to say that because slavery, oppression, and invasion have been with humanity since the beginning, we all ought to be free to do it, then I will have no objection. But we don’t say that. Most people say White people can’t do those things but Tinted people can. Everyone says Israel can’t. I am agnostic in general terms. But I see no reason to be dishonest about what is going on.

    “It is this singling out of Israel that brings about charges of anti-semitism, and when you look deeper into who is doing the criticising and why, these charges are often fully justified.”

    Indeed. Turkey does not get a thousandth of the criticism that Israel does. But that does not mean there is not a lot of truth in the criticism that this particular SJW made in this particular case.

    Umbongo – “(In the SMFS version) Nasser’s blocking of the Gulf of Aqaba and removing UN peacekeepers from Sinai at the end of May 1967 were not aggressive but just a prelude to a diplomatic move to a 2-state solution.”

    That is not my position. I made no comment on what Nasser intended to do. Most people would not call either of those a causus belli. Nor, I suspect, would Israel if it had not been looking for an excuse for war.

    “Obviously Nasser didn’t want war, just a quiet get-together with the Israelis to iron out a few minor disagreements.”

    Actually that is probably true. What he probably wanted was the West, the USSR and the UN to hold Israel back from actual war while he engaged in posturing that made him look good. I doubt he was interested in an actual settlement but I also doubt that he was dumb enough to think he could win. So confrontation but no war was probably the goal.

    Which still changes nothing. The Arabs were clearly unprepared. They were not about to invade anyone. They were caught by surprise with their planes all lined up and most of their tanks not even working. Defensive this war was not.

  16. Israel only pre-emptively attacked Egypt, with good reason. Jordan and Syria attacked Israel and suffered the consequences.

  17. SMFS:

    “Ethnically cleansing”? Evidence?

    “The land we are talking about in this case is land taken in 1967. For which Britain had no involvement whatsoever.”

    Wrong. It was part of the Palestinian Mandate administered by Britain (as indeed was the whole of what became Jordan) and it was first taken by Jordan in 1948. Israel merely recovered it in 1967.

    Whatever the position with Egypt, Jordan attacked Israel first; it was a defensive war. Land taken in a defensive war is not illegally occupied.

    Article 80 of the UN Charter preserves intact all the rights granted to Jews under the Mandate for Palestine, even after the Mandate’s expiry on May 14-15, 1948.

    Indigenous inhabitants have no claim to a state; as private individuals they may of course own and sell land to which they have title. This is what happens in the disputed territories.

  18. David Jones – “Evidence?”

    You are wasting my time. This is not the time or place to extend this argument but when Yitzak Rabin admits to driving out a tenth of the refugees in 1948, you cannot deny what took place. Not unless you can think of a good reason why he would lie.

    “Wrong. It was part of the Palestinian Mandate administered by Britain (as indeed was the whole of what became Jordan) and it was first taken by Jordan in 1948. Israel merely recovered it in 1967.”

    Israel cannot recover what was never theirs.

    “Whatever the position with Egypt, Jordan attacked Israel first; it was a defensive war. Land taken in a defensive war is not illegally occupied.”

    Jordan went to the aid of an ally when it was attacked by Israel. It is like saying New Zealand attacked Germany when it declared war following Britain. Land taken in a defensive war is no different from land taken in any other war. It does not belong to the invading state.

    Given you understand nothing of the history of this conflict nor the law that covers it, why are you so invested in your views? If you care so much why not do some research?

    “Article 80 of the UN Charter preserves intact all the rights granted to Jews under the Mandate for Palestine, even after the Mandate’s expiry on May 14-15, 1948.”

    As it does to Palestinians:

    “Article 80

    Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.
    Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or postponement of the negotiation and conclusion of agreements for placing mandated and other territories under the trusteeship system as provided for in Article 77.

    Israel has no right to the land and territories of the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories. The Palestinians of the Occupied Territories have a flatly indisputable and undeniable right to be left alone in possession of their historic lands and to exercise their right to self determination. That is, the occupation is illegal.

    “Indigenous inhabitants have no claim to a state; as private individuals they may of course own and sell land to which they have title. This is what happens in the disputed territories.”

    Yes they do. Actually. The Occupied Territories rarely involve the selling of land. These settlements are invariably built on land that is taken under one or other pretext. Made especially easy by the fact that Israel has decided not to recognise historic land titles.

  19. SMFS:

    “Israel has no right to the land and territories of the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories. The Palestinians of the Occupied Territories have a flatly indisputable and undeniable right to be left alone in possession of their historic lands and to exercise their right to self determination. That is, the occupation is illegal.”

    Invested? Moi? Not much legal argument there!

  20. The Israeli settlers are building houses on land that does not belong to them, whether or not you regard the Israeli occupation of “The West Bank” as legal. I doubt that this is breach of international law but theft is, I assume, a breach of Israeli law and is certainly contrary to the Torah. I fail to understand how an Orthodox Jew can acquiesce in this.
    [For pendants: some Orthodox Jews may claim that the land belongs to the descendant of the man to whom it was allotted by Joshua – has any of these settlers produced a family tree to support his claim to that piece of land?]

  21. Most people say White people can’t do those things but Tinted people can. Everyone says Israel can’t.

    Actually, everyone said after WWII this was okay under the very difficult and particular circumstances. Only the Jews in Israel were told that it wasn’t.

  22. “[For pendants: some Orthodox Jews may claim that the land belongs to the descendant of the man to whom it was allotted by Joshua – has any of these settlers produced a family tree to support his claim to that piece of land?]”

    The tale of Joshua’s conquest is a fairy tale if the archaeologists are right.

    I assume, until I see evidence to the contrary, that the Palestinians are proportionately more completely descended from the Jews of Palestine in the first century AD than are the Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants.

    I doubt that either of those two points will have the least influence on the parties to this imbroglio.

  23. P.S. I think it shameful that Petras can’t make his point, exaggerated or not, inaccurate or not, without being accused of anti-semitism. Maybe he is a Jew bater and a Jew hater, maybe he isn’t; I have no idea. But I have learnt that playing the race card is almost always just dishonest bullying, and I’m coming to suspect that playing the anti-semitic card is too.

    The fact that I haven’t the foggiest idea of what could usefully be done about Israel/Palestine doesn’t mean that I can’t spot disgusting debating tactics.

  24. Whatever the historical rights and wrongs, the remedy that the Palestinians insist now – complete and full right of return into Israel proper – would be tantamount to Israeli national suicide. So the status quo is going to hold for a while longer now.

  25. @ dearieme
    The archaeologists more frequently support the Old Testament narrative from Abraham onwards than contradict it but that is irrelevant to my point that Jewish settlememts built upon land owned by Arabs is theft.

  26. @SMFS, January 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    “[1] The settlements are obviously important to Israel but there is no benefit to America defending Israel’s violation of international law.”

    Israel won the territory in a war along with many other areas.

    Israel made peace with Egypt following the Camp David Accords of 1978 and completed a staged withdrawal from the Sinai in 1982.

    Jordan and Egypt eventually withdrew their claims to sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza, respectively. (The Sinai was returned to Egypt on the basis of the Camp David Accords of 1978.) Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994.

    Thus, if Jordan no longer claim sovereignty over the West Bank, it is no more disputed land than Normandy which Britain used to own.

  27. @SMFS: That Israeli interests are important to Americans – even though Israel’s interests are not America’s interests.

    The Palestinians are enemies of the United States. They have demonstrated this many times. The Israelis are allies of the United States. They have demonstrated this many times. The interests of the USA and Israel may not be congruent, but there is no reason at all to support the Palestinians.

    There will never be a “Two State” solution. The Palestinians will not accept the existence of Israel; most Palestinians won’t accept the existence of Jews. Peace is an illusion. The ‘problem’ will only be ‘solved’ when the Iranians nuke everybody.

  28. Why am I not surprised to find SMFS arguing on the side of the Jew-hating Palestinian Islamists?

    The entire Ottoman empire was broken up after they chose to fight for the losing side in the first world war, and all the Arab nations (including what is now Israel) therefore have exactly the same legal basis. The Palestinian Mandate territory was specifically set up to contain a Jewish homeland.

    The British, knowing that they’d be unlikely to integrate, set up a two-state solution by splitting it into an Arab section and a Jewish section – the Arab part becoming Jordan. So there is already a nation set up for those indigents who insist on living in an Arab-only country.

    After the second world war, where again the Arabs picked the wrong side to fight on, the UN assigned the Israeli side of the Jordan river to the Jews, but made that subject to change based on future peace negotiations between the two sides. Those negotiations have not concluded yet, so the last legal assignment of the land was to the Israelis.

    The Arabs then invaded – illegally – to try to annihilate the Jews. (Remember who they were fighting alongside just a few years previously.) On the assumption that territory taken by an illegal invasion is illegally occupied, Syria, Jordan and Egypt’s continued occupation of them after the war was illegal. As was their use of the occupied land as a sniper outpost for shooting civilian women and children. (Remember who they were fighting alongside just a few years previously.)

    All subsequent ceasefire agreements assigning control of territory have always included the caveat that they are subject to final settlement talks. They have nothing to say as far as the legality or otherwise of the occupation goes.

    Technically the territories are Israeli territory illegally occupied by the Arabs in 1948 and retaken. However, the Israelis don’t actually want them, given their hostile population (bearing in mind who they were fighting alongside during the war…), and want to give them up as part of the peace settlement. They’re therefore a bit reticent about pushing their legal claim to them, for fear they might win. The settlements were only built to put pressure on the Arabs to start peace talks: the longer they leave it, the worse their deal gets. (Some hardline Israelis have ambitions to keep them, but the Israeli mainstream has always had a more realistic view.)

    So, as far as I can determine, the settlements are not illegal, they’re technically Israeli territory that they wish to give up in a negotiated peace settlement; at worst they are “disputed territory”, with no clear owner. All arguments to the contrary are propaganda from a bunch of deranged Islamist ex-Nazis still bent on wiping the Jews of the map, aided and abetted by the usual leftist tools and ‘useful idiots’ in the UN, and the shameful cowardice of various western governments unwilling to piss off the Islamists to that degree, and perfectly content to hang the Jews out to dry in the process if that avoids more serious Arab unrest.

    Much as happened during and after the second world war, too. Claims that the occupation is illegal are a lie of the same order of magnitude as the “Religion of Peace”, and for much the same purpose.

    Still, if it means we get peace in our time, eh?

  29. I’ve recently come to realize the purpose of the settlements is to keep the subject away from what it would be without them, and will be if every settlement was dismantled: the very existence of Israel. Make no mistake, while everyone says the settlements are an “obstacle to peace”, if they were all removed tomorrow then suddenly Israel itself would be the “obstacle to peace”.

  30. “The archaeologists more frequently support the Old Testament narrative from Abraham onwards than contradict it”: not in my experience. Abraham and company are, of course, archaeologically invisible, Moses and Joshua are fairytales, the great empire of David and Solomon didn’t exist.

    “Jewish settlememts built upon land owned by Arabs is theft”: unless they’ve bought the land with both parties trading freely, yes.

  31. “After the second world war, where again the Arabs picked the wrong side to fight on”: be fair, you could just as well argue that the Jewish terrorists in Palestine also picked the wrong side to fight on, since they were ‘objectively’ (as the Marxists used to love saying) on the side of the Nazis.

    Trying to find “good guys” in that area is hopeless.

  32. “…‘objectively’ (as the Marxists used to love saying) …”

    The ‘Moral Equivalence’ argument?

  33. @ dearieme
    Who claims that David and Solomon had an empire? Not the Bible – maybe you should read it before you next claim to quote from it?

  34. What NiV said, in spades. There is not a single other nation that would have acted with such forbearance in the face of a hostile force that publicly stated its desire to commit genocide. Israel would have been fully within its rights and acting with millennia of precedent if it had expelled the “Palestinians” into Jordan in 1967 and fully annexed the West Bank. And if we’re going to get all archaeological, why the fuck are there Arabs in the Levant and Judea? Shouldn’t they be in Arabia? Who are the “occupiers”? Or could it be that custom and physical presence confer legitimacy? Funny that once again it’s only Jews who aren’t allowed to live according to everyone else’s norms. It’s almost, what’s the phrase? anti-Semitic.

  35. NiV – “Why am I not surprised to find SMFS arguing on the side of the Jew-hating Palestinian Islamists?”

    Because everything I said is true and so therefore, naturally, I support it. I am mildly surprised that the tranny-loving Leftist is such a strong supporter of long discredited Israeli lies – despite the Hebrew-ish name. But there you go.

    “The Palestinian Mandate territory was specifically set up to contain a Jewish homeland.”

    It was set up for many reasons. One of which was not prejudicing the rights of the indigenous population. Having your land taken and being expelled is sort of prejudicial. So the British don’t come out well of that – and it means that the creation of a Jewish state does not over-ride the rights of the Palestinians. The Mandate was and is not an excuse for what Israel is doing.

    “The British, knowing that they’d be unlikely to integrate, set up a two-state solution by splitting it into an Arab section and a Jewish section – the Arab part becoming Jordan. So there is already a nation set up for those indigents who insist on living in an Arab-only country.”

    This is spectacularly untrue and irrelevant. The British set up Jordan for many reasons but giving the West Bank to Israel was not one of them. Nice try though. If you think otherwise, quote a single document that would suggest this is so.

    “After the second world war, where again the Arabs picked the wrong side to fight on”

    I do like this racism. The Arab population supported many different things. You know, being a large, diverse, group of people with many different views. The Arabs of Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisa and Lebanon, for instance, gave tens of thousands of soldiers to the Allied side. Being very important in the Italian campaign and the Monte Cassino battle in particular. The Arab leaders on the British side were, I admit, notoriously pro-Hitler. But that is a monument to the poor choices of the Arabists in the British Foreign Office. Who seem to have had a liking for pro-Nazis. But, hey, why not smear an entire ethnic group because one Mufti, appointed by the British, collaborated? It is the cute form of racism after all.

    “the UN assigned the Israeli side of the Jordan river to the Jews”

    The UN did not assign the Western (I love the question begging in that “Israeli” by the way) side of the Jordan river to the Israelis. Resolution 181 called for a Palestinian state on the West side of the river. The Partition Plan gave the West Bank to the Palestinians. But keep up the outright lies. It could work for you.

    “but made that subject to change based on future peace negotiations between the two sides. Those negotiations have not concluded yet, so the last legal assignment of the land was to the Israelis.”

    That is an impressive bit of lying:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine

    “The Arabs then invaded – illegally – to try to annihilate the Jews.”

    The Deir Yassin massacre took place as part of the Haganah’s campaign to open a road to Jerusalem. It took place outside the territory awarded by the UN to the Jewish State. It took place before the end of the mandate – that is, the British Army was preventing the Arab states from invading while the soon-to-be Israeli Army was driving the Palestinians out of land they had been assigned to the UN. So no, the Arabs were not the first to “invade”. The Haganah was. I am not sure how you can claim illegality here but if you do, the Israeli side did it first.

    But keep on lying. It may work for you.

    “(Remember who they were fighting alongside just a few years previously.)”

    They being the Arab soldiers to fought their way through the Gothic line?

    “On the assumption that territory taken by an illegal invasion is illegally occupied, Syria, Jordan and Egypt’s continued occupation of them after the war was illegal.”

    It is interesting that you apply this to what Jordan and Egypt occupied in 1949 – and there is no denying the Golan is Syrian – but not to what Israel occupied in 67. I agree, territory taken in war is illegally occupied. Whether by Jordan in 1949 or by Israel in 1967.

    “As was their use of the occupied land as a sniper outpost for shooting civilian women and children. (Remember who they were fighting alongside just a few years previously.)”

    As was massacring villagers in the West Bank because some other Palestinians attacked Israel from Lebanon. But, hey, you only get elected Prime Minister of Israel for that.

    “All subsequent ceasefire agreements assigning control of territory have always included the caveat that they are subject to final settlement talks. They have nothing to say as far as the legality or otherwise of the occupation goes.”

    I agree. That is also irrelevant.

    “Technically the territories are Israeli territory illegally occupied by the Arabs in 1948 and retaken.”

    Not illegally occupied from Israel. And hence not retaken. Your take on this is amusing but it is not held by a single country or a single lawyer. The West Bank does not and never had belonged to the modern state of Israel.

    “However, the Israelis don’t actually want them, given their hostile population (bearing in mind who they were fighting alongside during the war…), and want to give them up as part of the peace settlement.”

    Actually Israel has consistently worked to make sure a peace settlement never happens because they want the land but not the people. As Netanyahu’s party still claims from the river to the sea. So even though there were provisions in the peace deal with Egypt to solve the West Bank problem, Israel made sure they did not work.

    “They’re therefore a bit reticent about pushing their legal claim to them, for fear they might win.”

    Sure. That is why Israel consistently refuses all deals or mediation or court decisions. Because they are afraid they will win. How asinine can you get?

    “The settlements were only built to put pressure on the Arabs to start peace talks: the longer they leave it, the worse their deal gets. (Some hardline Israelis have ambitions to keep them, but the Israeli mainstream has always had a more realistic view.)”

    So they are stealing the land in slow motion? It is odd you think this reflects well on Israel.

    “So, as far as I can determine, the settlements are not illegal, they’re technically Israeli territory that they wish to give up in a negotiated peace settlement”

    Which is merely a reflection on your stupidity. No one thinks the settlements are legal – not even the US. Not even the Israeli High Court. No one thinks they are on Israeli territory. They are illegal.

    “at worst they are “disputed territory”, with no clear owner.”

    Apart from those Palestinians. The fact that Israel disputes a lot of things does not mean the land is disputed or that it is part of Israel.

    “All arguments to the contrary are propaganda from a bunch of deranged Islamist ex-Nazis still bent on wiping the Jews of the map, aided and abetted by the usual leftist tools and ‘useful idiots’ in the UN, and the shameful cowardice of various western governments unwilling to piss off the Islamists to that degree, and perfectly content to hang the Jews out to dry in the process if that avoids more serious Arab unrest.”

    Actually that is more or less true. Except all the above groups do have some facts on their side. Facts you are ignoring.

    “Claims that the occupation is illegal are a lie of the same order of magnitude as the “Religion of Peace”, and for much the same purpose.”

    Except that is not true. The occupation is illegal.

    “Still, if it means we get peace in our time, eh?”

    Nice smear. Sterling effort.

    Just because you don’t like Arabs doesn’t make every stupid lie you wish were true actually true.

  36. David Jones – “Invested? Moi? Not much legal argument there!”

    I am perhaps the most noted Islamophobe here at Tim’s. I am hardly invested in either side. It just means I don’t have to support the lies of my team because I am not overly fond of anyone in the area.

    Tim Newman – “Actually, everyone said after WWII this was okay under the very difficult and particular circumstances. Only the Jews in Israel were told that it wasn’t.”

    No they did not. After Stalin tidied up the map of Eastern Europe, even he did not annex any part of his new colonies. Everyone agreed that force would not be used to change borders again and the rights of indigenous peoples would be more or less respected. Then everyone agreed to make an exception for Israel. But since then everyone has pretty much stuck to it. Indonesia was not allowed to annex East Timor. Even though it really really wanted to. Turkey has not been allowed to take part of Cyprus. Sure, enforcement has been hard, but the principle is still there – borders are not changed by tanks and ethnic cleansing is a war crime. No one is allowed to do it.

    JerryC – “Whatever the historical rights and wrongs, the remedy that the Palestinians insist now – complete and full right of return into Israel proper – would be tantamount to Israeli national suicide. So the status quo is going to hold for a while longer now.”

    Indeed. And if Israel made an honest case that human rights are not a suicide pact I would be willing to listen. I believe it myself. But at the moment, the UN demands that the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes is respected.

    Pcar – “Israel won the territory in a war along with many other areas.”

    You don’t “win” territory in war these days. You take it. You are not allowed to keep it.

    “Thus, if Jordan no longer claim sovereignty over the West Bank, it is no more disputed land than Normandy which Britain used to own.”

    No, because no one except Britain ever acknowledged Jordan’s claim to the West Bank. The UN gave it to the Palestinians. Jordan eventually agreed. The land belongs to them. Morally and legally. It is not disputed land, I agree. It belongs to the Palestinians. Not Israel. Not a single court in the world has ever said otherwise. Not even Israeli ones.

    ZT – “The Palestinians are enemies of the United States. They have demonstrated this many times. The Israelis are allies of the United States. They have demonstrated this many times. The interests of the USA and Israel may not be congruent, but there is no reason at all to support the Palestinians.”

    I agree the Palestinians are enemies of the US. This is why no American politician is willing to make an effort to help them. I am not so sure Israel is an ally of the US. Israel is grateful for all the money and is willing to talk nicely, but in the end Israel cares about Israel and doesn’t like the US much either. It certainly does nothing much to help the US.

    “There will never be a “Two State” solution. The Palestinians will not accept the existence of Israel; most Palestinians won’t accept the existence of Jews. Peace is an illusion. The ‘problem’ will only be ‘solved’ when the Iranians nuke everybody.”

    That is all probably true too.

  37. Tim Newman – “Make no mistake, while everyone says the settlements are an “obstacle to peace”, if they were all removed tomorrow then suddenly Israel itself would be the “obstacle to peace”.”

    Indeed. I have no doubt that it is just a step towards the longer term aim.

    dearieme – “unless they’ve bought the land with both parties trading freely, yes.”

    Israelis owned something like 4% of Israel proper before they ethnically cleansed it. Then they took the rest. There has never been a particularly significant amount of land being sold by Arabs to Israelis. It is all taken by force.

    dearieme – “be fair, you could just as well argue that the Jewish terrorists in Palestine also picked the wrong side to fight on, since they were ‘objectively’ (as the Marxists used to love saying) on the side of the Nazis”

    And the party in power now was actually on Hitler’s side. Not just “objectively”. They actually sought to negotiate for Hitler’s support.

    “Trying to find “good guys” in that area is hopeless.”

    Indeed.

    Bloke in Costa Rica – “There is not a single other nation that would have acted with such forbearance in the face of a hostile force that publicly stated its desire to commit genocide.”

    Armenia? All Communist countries openly support genocide in their neighbours. You have to live with it in most cases. Keeping in mind the Israeli ruling party is still openly calling for an Israel that includes all the land from the river to the sea – and used to call for Damascus too.

    “Israel would have been fully within its rights and acting with millennia of precedent if it had expelled the “Palestinians” into Jordan in 1967 and fully annexed the West Bank.”

    Sorry but in what sense would they have been within their rights? You mean if you really really want to commit war crimes you can? If some Palestinians, at some future date, commit some terrorist crimes, you can punish their children now? I am intrigued how this works.

    “And if we’re going to get all archaeological, why the fuck are there Arabs in the Levant and Judea? Shouldn’t they be in Arabia?”

    I am fully supportive of anyone who claims 1,400 years of occupancy is not enough to make you indigenous. Except the Christian Palestinians speak Arabic but did not move there. Assimilation accounts for a large part of the language. Immigration some other part.

    “Funny that once again it’s only Jews who aren’t allowed to live according to everyone else’s norms. It’s almost, what’s the phrase? anti-Semitic.”

    I am with dearieme. It ought to be possible to discuss this without routine accusations people you don’t like are Nazis. You and NiV are proving how hard that is. Israelis are generally not seen as indigenous because they are not indigenous by and large. They moved there from Europe in recent times. Well, most of their ruling class did. You know, very recent times. People are still alive who can remember it. That ain’t very indigenous.

  38. “why the fuck are there Arabs in the Levant and Judea? ” Are you really entirely fucking stupid? Because the word “Arab” is now applied to the Arabic-speaking people who have long inhabited Palestine.

  39. 78% of Mandatary Palestine was hived off to the Hashemite family, and is Judenrein by law.

    Hopefully this year’s 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration will awaken the general public to the fact that the Arabs got nearly four fifths of Palestine, but of course that’s not nearly enough for them.

  40. Bloke in Costa Rica – “Do you know what a rhetorical question is? Hint: that was one.”

    Seriously? You must be kidding.

    Snag – “78% of Mandatary Palestine was hived off to the Hashemite family, and is Judenrein by law.”

    Jordan was not ever part of the British Mandate for Palestine. It was never hived off because it was never intended to be part of the Mandate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_for_Palestine_%28legal_instrument%29#Transjordan

    “Hopefully this year’s 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration will awaken the general public to the fact that the Arabs got nearly four fifths of Palestine, but of course that’s not nearly enough for them.”

    I am curious – this is the Balfour Declaration:

    His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

    Where is there any mention of Jordan being part of Palestine? Where is there any mention of a Jewish state? Where is there any mention that ethnic cleansing and massive theft of land was just peachy?

    By all means, let’s focus on the Balfour Declaration. And how it has been comprehensively violated by Israel since the moment it was created. Through terrorism and the murder of innocents.

  41. After Stalin tidied up the map of Eastern Europe, even he did not annex any part of his new colonies.

    Sorry, what’s the difference between “tidying up the map” by shifting ethnic populations into new areas and land grabs in places like Karelia, Altai, and the Kuril Islands and what the Israelis did? And the wholesale expulsion of the Germans from the Sudetenland, where they’d been living for centuries?

    Everyone agreed that force would not be used to change borders again and the rights of indigenous peoples would be more or less respected.

    Okay, so once Europe had done its own spot of ethnic cleansing and boundary changes, they decided it should never be allowed again. What happened with the Palestinians also happened to millions of ethnic Finns, Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, Koreans, and God knows how many other peoples in the aftermath of WWII. None of it was right, and gross injustices were perpetrated en masse. But every other ethnic group was expected to accept it and get on with their lives – except those who were displaced by the Jews. So it’s fair to ask, why is it only the Israelis who are singled out? The answer is pretty obvious: it’s because they are Jewish.

  42. But at the moment, the UN demands that the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes is respected.

    That’s an anomaly as well: usually the right of return only applies to those who originally lived in the disputed/annexed areas, not their descendants. But the right of return was granted to the descendents of Palestinians precisely because it would mean, if enacted, Israel would be destroyed. It would be nice if such things were noted in discussions regarding their right to return.

  43. Tim Newman – “Sorry, what’s the difference between “tidying up the map” by shifting ethnic populations into new areas and land grabs in places like Karelia, Altai, and the Kuril Islands and what the Israelis did? And the wholesale expulsion of the Germans from the Sudetenland, where they’d been living for centuries?”

    If you think I am defending the expulsions at the end of WW2, I am not. I would undo them in a second if I could. Koenigsberg should be German.

    “Okay, so once Europe had done its own spot of ethnic cleansing and boundary changes, they decided it should never be allowed again.”

    More or less. Understandably at the end of WW2 people wanted to know why the League of Nations failed and how a repeat could be avoided. They came up with some new rules. That have actually generally worked. Everyone has more or less benefited from that. Except the Palestinians as an exception was allowed for them.

    “But every other ethnic group was expected to accept it and get on with their lives – except those who were displaced by the Jews. So it’s fair to ask, why is it only the Israelis who are singled out? The answer is pretty obvious: it’s because they are Jewish.”

    Well that is not exactly true. The East Timorese were not expected to get on with being Indonesian. The Greeks have not given up on Northern Cyprus. It has mainly been White populations that have been expelled and told to get over it.

    Tim Newman – “That’s an anomaly as well: usually the right of return only applies to those who originally lived in the disputed/annexed areas, not their descendants.”

    Well no. That would be insane. The Right of Return must apply to descendents too. The children of British citizens are, for right or wrong, British.

    “But the right of return was granted to the descendents of Palestinians precisely because it would mean, if enacted, Israel would be destroyed. It would be nice if such things were noted in discussions regarding their right to return.”

    Indeed it would. Israel is a state that can only exist based on the massive human rights violations of others. On going human rights violations. There are many conclusions one could draw from that.

  44. More or less. Understandably at the end of WW2 people wanted to know why the League of Nations failed and how a repeat could be avoided. They came up with some new rules. That have actually generally worked. Everyone has more or less benefited from that. Except the Palestinians as an exception was allowed for them.

    I don’t know why you think an exception was made for the Palestinians: during the period 1945-1948 millions of people were displaced and boundaries changed, to accommodate political realities, expansionist ambitions, returning refugees, displaced persons, and also to keep ethnicities separated to stop any more fighting. It was a fucking awful, miserable experience for all involved but it was done and it was accepted and the victims and their neighbours told to accept it and move on. Everybody did, with the sole exception of the Palestinians and their neighbours.

    Perhaps that is what you mean by an exception being made?

  45. The Right of Return must apply to descendents too.

    Well, that has never applied to anybody other than the Palestinians. It certainly applies to those who were actually displaced, and it might apply to their children (I don’t remember, but it’s some UN convention on refugees), but it never applies to the whole line of descendants and never has – but an exception was made for the Palestinians.

    For example, the original Koreans who were shipped to Sakhalin by the Japanese are allowed to return to Korea at the expense of the Japanese government (who buys them an apartment). Some chose to stay, a lot went to South Korea, one or two (for some unfathomable reason) chose to go to North Korea. But their children are not entitled to, although it is quite easy for them to do so. Their grandchildren have to apply like everybody else. And this is the convention which is applied to all refugees, with the sole exception of the Palestinians for whom the third and fourth and fifth generations of the original displaced persons are claiming a right of return.

  46. Tim Newman – “I don’t know why you think an exception was made for the Palestinians”

    Because Israel used force to change borders. It is the only case post-1945 where that was done.

    “Well, that has never applied to anybody other than the Palestinians. It certainly applies to those who were actually displaced, and it might apply to their children (I don’t remember, but it’s some UN convention on refugees), but it never applies to the whole line of descendants and never has – but an exception was made for the Palestinians.”

    It always has. There are people going back to Poland and other places and getting their houses back. There are Japanese demanding the right to go back to the Kuriles. It is just not common for people to do it post-1948. Or when they do it is still too dangerous for them to go back. Uganda’s government is made up of the children of exiles who did not accept that expulsion.

    “For example, the original Koreans who were shipped to Sakhalin by the Japanese are allowed to return to Korea at the expense of the Japanese government (who buys them an apartment).”

    So Koreans forcibly removed from their home are entitled to return. Isn’t that the same as the Palestinians?

    “And this is the convention which is applied to all refugees, with the sole exception of the Palestinians for whom the third and fourth and fifth generations of the original displaced persons are claiming a right of return.”

    I don’t think it is. There may be some weird Korean law making their lives miserable, but Germans who left their Homeland under Catherine the Great are allowed back with minimal paperwork.

    The law tends not to like stateless persons. If someone is the child of a Palestinian, they are obviously Palestinian too. Or Cambodian or whatever. There are Cambodians sitting in camps still when the Thais declined to let them settle. There are Sarawhis sitting in camps because the Moroccans expelled them. There are people from Diego Garcia demanding money because of their grandparents. And so it goes.

  47. The East Timorese were not expected to get on with being Indonesian. The Greeks have not given up on Northern Cyprus.

    This didn’t happen in 1945-48, it happened later. Yes, things changed later, as you correctly pointed out. But during that period, such forced movements were commonplace and seen by some as necessary.

    Interestingly, as this excellent book describes, the mass exodus of the European Jews to Israel didn’t happen in 1945, it happened in 1947-48. The Jews who returned from the camps found their property occupied by other people who were reluctant to give it back, and the Jews were told to get in line with the other refugees. Eventually animosity began to build against these pesky Jews who kept insisting on being allowed to live in their former homes again, and they found themselves on the receiving end of particularly callous treatment from the interim authorities one of whom said (in Holland) “Why are you complaining? At least you had food and accommodation in Auschwitz!”. Seeing which way the wind was blowing and finding themselves dispersed and fighting for survival in Europe mere months after they’d been herded into ovens, they unsurprisingly looked to Israel for protection.

  48. It always has.

    Wrong.

    There are people going back to Poland and other places and getting their houses back. There are Japanese demanding the right to go back to the Kuriles.

    Third generations? Nope.

  49. Israel is a state that can only exist based on the massive human rights violations of others.

    And we’re back where we started: the only country whose existence is in question just so happens to be the one that is Jewish. What a coincidence.

  50. So Koreans forcibly removed from their home are entitled to return. Isn’t that the same as the Palestinians?

    First generation yes, second generations, possibly. Subsequent generations, no.

  51. Tim Newman – “This didn’t happen in 1945-48, it happened later.”

    Somewhere someone drew a line. I think it was 1945-49. If you do not, when do you think it was?

    “The Jews who returned from the camps found their property occupied by other people who were reluctant to give it back, and the Jews were told to get in line with the other refugees. Eventually animosity began to build against these pesky Jews who kept insisting on being allowed to live in their former homes again, and they found themselves on the receiving end of particularly callous treatment from the interim authorities”

    I am inclined to think this is not true. I expect very few Jews wished to live among Germans again. And Israel made a very big case to help them move. But we still make huge efforts to track down property owned by Jews and others and give it back to them. More or less. Art work is being returned all the time. The Swiss banks were blatantly extorted by some American shysters.

    The only place where I can think of it happening was Poland where some Jews were lynched.

  52. Somewhere someone drew a line. I think it was 1945-49. If you do not, when do you think it was?

    Indeed, it was around then. I’ll be lazy and repeat myself:

    I don’t know why you think an exception was made for the Palestinians: during the period 1945-1948 millions of people were displaced and boundaries changed, to accommodate political realities, expansionist ambitions, returning refugees, displaced persons, and also to keep ethnicities separated to stop any more fighting. It was a fucking awful, miserable experience for all involved but it was done and it was accepted and the victims and their neighbours told to accept it and move on. Everybody did, with the sole exception of the Palestinians and their neighbours.

    Perhaps that is what you mean by an exception being made?

    I am inclined to think this is not true.

    You may think what you like, but what you think is of little consequence.

  53. Israel was attacked repeatedly and won repeatedly. It won some territory in so doing. And already gave most of it back (cynically of course – the uninhabitable bits now overrun with terrorists). It should have just occupied properly, annexed in fact, said “this patch is ours, if you don’t like it come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”, in 1967, as it has done with Golan. Syria will never get Golan back – if you ever bother to go there you will understand why.

    Anyone who claims the doctrine of conquest was abandoned in 1945, please explain Kosovo, please explain our acquiescence in the case of Ukraine (an even more blatant invasion/annexation).

    The Palestinians were invited to form a state in 1948, alongside the Jews. They still haven’t got round to it.

    The West Bank and East Jerusalem, earmarked for the Palestinian state that they never bothered to declare, was actually occupied – annexed – by Jordan. All the inhabitants were given Jordanian citizenship (since rescinded – a violation of international law that we do not hear much about). Today, Jordan does not want the West Bank back, and Egypt does not want Gaza back. Both have signed treaties to that effect That tells you all you need to know about those places.

    Israel is now building its wall (never had one before, even when surrounded by hostile states) and will use that to define its eastern border where it sees fit. What is left will be left to rot on the wrong side of the wall, and live with the economic damage the wall does as a consequence of the terrorism it is keeping out of Israel (the central belt is basically safe now, I think there were only two terror attacks in Tel Aviv last year).

    The Palestinians had better get on with it and form that functional state, on what is left after four failed Arab invasions. As long as they don’t, it is the right (and indeed obligation) of their neighbour(s) to come and secure some form of law and order.

  54. “Indeed it would. Israel is a state that can only exist based on the massive human rights violations of others. On going human rights violations. There are many conclusions one could draw from that.” – SMFS 08.09am.

    And there you have it. After endless words, numerous excursions into archeological irrelevance, many self-serving references to 20th century history and misunderstood international treaties and unfounded references to its principles we get to the kernel: SMFS is a vile little anti-semite who would see the state of Israel destroyed.

  55. “Because everything I said is true and so therefore, naturally, I support it.”

    Heh! Let’s see how long it takes to get to a false statement.

    ” I am mildly surprised that the tranny-loving Leftist …”

    So not very long at all! I’m not a leftist. I’m a right-wing libertarian.

    “One of which was not prejudicing the rights of the indigenous population. Having your land taken and being expelled is sort of prejudicial.”

    At the time of the mandate, there was no plan or intention to disposess the indigenous population. All they were to do was to allow immigration by Jews, who were to buy their own land in the normal way. The Jews were to be one of the several ethnic groups living peacefully alongside in the same British-run nation. It was to be a Jewish homeland, not necessarily a Jewish nation.

    The Arab equivalent of the National Front, led by Haj Amin al Husseini (who was unquestionably a Nazi-supporter) were not about to tolerate that, and rioted. They attacked the Jewish immigrants, and generally made a nuisance of themselves. So the British in their infinite wisdom decided to appoint al Husseini to be Grand Mufti and lead/represent the Arabs – presumably on the theory that he already had the respect of the troublemakers and if they put him in charge of keeping the peace he’d be forced to compromise. Instead it gave the Arab Nazis more power and influence, recruited even more to their cause, and multiplied the troubles.

    It would be as if during the BNP riots in the 1970s the British government had appointed the leader of the BNP as Mayor of London, to represent the interests of white Londoners.

    Over the next couple of decades the British tried throttling the immigration of Jews (even going so far as to try blocking their escape from Germany) to appease the Arab Nazis, but to no avail. The Palestinian Nationalists would not be satisied by anything short of complete expulsion. Eventually the British got fed up of al Husseini and chucked him out, so he went to Berlin to run his government-in-exile from the heart of the Nazi empire.

    It was only after the war when the British had had enough and decided to run away and abandon the Jews to the Arab Nazis that the Jews decided that if they were to survive they had to have an actual Jewish state, controlled by Jews. Under no other circumstances could they avoid being a persecuted minority, as they had been in every country they’d fled to during the past couple of millenia.

    “So the British don’t come out well of that”

    Agreed!

    “and it means that the creation of a Jewish state does not over-ride the rights of the Palestinians.”

    Nor do the Jews want to override anyone’s rights.

    “This is spectacularly untrue and irrelevant. The British set up Jordan for many reasons but giving the West Bank to Israel was not one of them. Nice try though. If you think otherwise, quote a single document that would suggest this is so.”

    Hmm. How about the one you yourself link to below?

    “Jordan was not ever part of the British Mandate for Palestine. It was never hived off because it was never intended to be part of the Mandate.”

    From your own wikipedia link:

    With the League of Nations’ consent on 16 September 1922, the Mandate territory was formalised by the UK with the creation of two administrative areas, Palestine, under direct British rule, and autonomous Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from the Kingdom of Hejaz in present-day Saudi Arabia, in accordance with the McMahon Correspondence of 1915.[2] Following the 1922 Transjordan memorandum, the area east of the Jordan river became exempt from the Mandate provisions concerning the Jewish National Home.

    “I do like this racism. The Arab population supported many different things. You know, being a large, diverse, group of people with many different views.”

    As do the Israelis. And yet you seem perfectly happy to refer to what “the Israelis” do in singular terms. This is just nit-picking to avoid the point that the Palestinians have consistently elected Palestinians leaders from the terrorist faction of their population. They’re free to do so, if that’s what they want, but that has consequences.

    “The UN did not assign the Western (I love the question begging in that “Israeli” by the way) side of the Jordan river to the Israelis. Resolution 181 called for a Palestinian state on the West side of the river. The Partition Plan gave the West Bank to the Palestinians.”

    And was rejected by the Arabs, who instead invaded with a five-nation army with the intention of taking it all. Not exactly compliant with the provision “Settling all international disputes in which the State may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered” is it?

    They were also required to “Guaranteeing to all persons equal and non-discriminatory rights in civil, political and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religious worship, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association” and “Freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, shall be ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion or language.” That’s not going to sit well with Islam’s dhimma laws, is it?

    You’re right, I oversimplified. The UN proposed assigning a large part of Palestine to the Jews.

    “That is an impressive bit of lying:”

    You’re right. I made a mistake about that. It was the later ceasefire provisions that had the caveat I was thinking about.

    “The Deir Yassin massacre took place as part of the Haganah’s campaign to open a road to Jerusalem.”

    Nope. First, the campaign to open the road was only required because the Arabs at Bal al-Wad had closed it, even though the partition plan made them extra-territorial crossroads open to both sides, so if you want to play that game, the Arabs “invaded” first. Of course, since the Arabs had already rejected the resolution (I’m not sure how you can be complaining about Israel’s non-compliance after that?), it’s questionable whether it counts as ‘illegal’. And second, it wasn’t part of the Haganah’s campaign, it was the Irgun in Deir Yassin, trying to clear out the last Arab village near Jerusalem that had not already been abandoned (i.e. nothing to do with the road), and was immediately condemned by the Haganah high command.

    That sort of terrorism and tit-for-tat reprisal was already common. On December 9th 1947 eighty two Jews were killed in Aden. In Beirut, Cairo, Alexandria, and Aleppo Jewish houses were looted and synagogues attacked. In Tripolitania more than 130 Jews were murdered by Arab mobs. On the day after the resolution, Arab riflemen opened fire on an ambulance on its way to the Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus, while on the same day a bus taking children from Netanya to Jerusalem was attacked by three Arabs with a machine gun and hand grenades. On the 2nd of December 200 Arabs broke into the Jewish commercial area and looted and burned Jewish shops. In southern Tel Aviv Arabs from Jaffa attacked the Hatikvah quarter and were only driven off by the Haganah after a prolonged and bloody battle. On December the 11th there was another attack on the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem, fought off during a 6 hour battle. On January the 10th 1948 the ‘Arab Liberation Army’ based in Syria crossed the border to attack the Jewish settlement at Kfar Szold – 900 Arab troops attacked less than 100 defenders, aided on that occasion by the British who drove them off. When the British ambassador in Damascus protested about the attack to the Syrian government, the Syrian Prime Minister replied “Pretty soon the Arab armies will teach the Jews a lesson they will never forget.”

    “It is interesting that you apply this to what Jordan and Egypt occupied in 1949 – and there is no denying the Golan is Syrian – but not to what Israel occupied in 67.”

    It’s interesting that everyone else seems to apply rules to what Israel took in 67 that they ignore when it comes to what Jordan and Egypt occupied in 48/49.

    ” I agree, territory taken in war is illegally occupied.”

    That’s not quite what I said.

    The Allied forces took over the Ottoman Empire after the first world war, taking control of the territory, and broke it up to form the Arab states. Was that illegal? And if so, are all those Arab states we created illegitimate? The Caliphists seem to think so, but that’s a minority view. What do you think?

    And do you think the Ottoman Empire was itself legal, given that it was conquered in a war? Was the Jihad that created the Islamic Empire an “illegal ocupation”? Where do you stop?

    “Your take on this is amusing but it is not held by a single country or a single lawyer.”

    Not even Israel?

    “Actually Israel has consistently worked to make sure a peace settlement never happens because they want the land but not the people.”

    Actually, Israel have consistently worked to try to get a peace settlement, because they want peace more than they want the land. As an experiment, they even withdrew the settlements from Gaza and handed it over to the control of the Palestinians. The Palestinians responded by electing Hamas and using hospitals and schools as a base for firing rockets at Israel.

    The Palestinians on the other hand have consistently worked to make sure a peace settlement never happens, because no outcome short of the complete elimination of Israel is acceptable to them. They’ll agree to a temporary hudna to allow their forces to build up, but they have never shown any sign of wanting a peace settlement. They don’t want peace, they want victory.

    “Sure. That is why Israel consistently refuses all deals or mediation or court decisions.”

    Israel want peace and international security first, and then they’ll talk about a peace settlement.

    If the Palestinians stopped shooting, it would be politically untenable for Israel not to come to an agreement. But they’re not going to make any concessions without getting peace in return, and the Palestinians are not about to give up their jihad.

    “So they are stealing the land in slow motion? It is odd you think this reflects well on Israel.”

    It doesn’t reflect well on Israel, and it was (and is) a horrible strategic mistake. Just as the Jordanian and Egyptian policy of not integrating the Palestinian refugees into their own populations but isolating them in camps on the border was a horrible strategic mistake. Both actions were intended to put pressure on the other side to surrender more quickly. But neither side could surrender, and neither side could subsequently abandon their mistaken policy without being seen to have surrendered themselves.

    The Israelis tried, with Gaza, but when that just enabled Hamas to shoot at their civilian population more easily, the political viability of extending that policy disappeared entirely.

    Oh, and Israel say that none of the land the settlements were built on was privately owned. So it’s not “stealing”. Private individuals simply buy land from the government and move there to live, like Muslims moving into Bradford. The Israelis allow the immigration, against the wishes of the local Palestinians, in much the same way that Westminster allows Muslims to immigrate to Bradford, despite the wishes of the local BNP. That’s not illegal. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, though.

    “Which is merely a reflection on your stupidity. No one thinks the settlements are legal”

    Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1 November 2007): Israel, the Conflict and Peace: Answers to frequently asked questions.

    “Furthermore, Israel had established its settlements in the West Bank in accordance with international law. Attempts have been made to claim that the settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which forbids a state from deporting or transferring “parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. However, this allegation has no validity in law as Israeli citizens were neither deported nor transferred to the territories. Although Israel has voluntarily taken upon itself the obligation to uphold the humanitarian provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel maintains that the Convention (which deals with occupied territories) was not applicable to the disputed territory. As there had been no internationally recognized legal sovereign in either the West Bank or Gaza prior to the 1967 Six Day War, they cannot be considered to have become “occupied territory” when control passed into the hands of Israel.”

    *Lots* of people think the settlements are legal. Lots of people think Hamas terrorism is illegal under international law, as well. So when the UN, lawyers, and nations you mention have passed a proportionate number of resolutions and decisions formally condemning the Palestinians’ multiple violations of the Geneva Conventions, the UN conventions, and other national and international laws with the same degree of devotion and persistence, maybe they’ll gain enough moral authority for their opinions on the matter to be respected.

    They’re basically apologists for Islamic terrorists, who they have handed control of an entire country to, and now are trying to support out of geopolitical expediency. If you want to get a US-backed condemnatory resolution through the UN every time the Palestinians do something illegal to Israelis, we might be more inclined to listen to you.

    “Just because you don’t like Arabs…”

    I don’t like Nazis and Islamic terrorists. That’s a bit different.

  56. @NiV

    “So not very long at all! I’m not a leftist. I’m a right-wing libertarian.”

    Little tip for the modern world. Whatever your political stance, most people you will come across are binary thinkers. That means, since there are none of them you agree with on everything, that to about half of them you are a nazi fascist racist xenophobic baby-eating capitalist bastard. To the other half of them you are a leftist nanny-statist open-border snowflake high-tax islamist-loving useless idiot.

  57. “Because Israel used force to change borders. It is the only case post-1945 where that was done.” I suppose that when the USSR nibbled off a bit of Czechoslovakia post-1945 it used coercion rather than violence.

    The USA (nominally as NATO?), however, altered the borders of Serbia by force, by removing Kosovo.

    Didn’t Morocco expand its borders southwards by force in 1975?

    And of course India altered its borders by force in Goa, and in the five little French territories. It also used force to alter Pakistan’s borders by setting up Bangladesh.

    Didn’t Sudan get split in two by force? How about the Horn of Africa, anything from there to add to the list?

  58. dearieme, I believe we have Russians in Crimea and parts of Ukraine, taken by force.

    Americans remember North Vietnam taking over South Vietnam.

    ISIS has taken parts of Syria and Iraq.

    The original assertion, “It is the only case post-1945 where that was done,” is simply bizarre.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.