Sunday, July 22, 2012

What Occupation?

A lie told a million times is still a lie. We're heard the anti-Israel memes so often. Apartheid state. Ethnic Cleansing. Illegal occupation. According to the Levy report, they're simply not true.

From Dore Gold in Israel Hayom: The Levy Report and the 'occupation' narrative

Looking back over the last two weeks, what appeared to hit a raw nerve with critics of the report of Justice Edmond Levy's committee was not what it had to say about the specific issues for which it was appointed, like zoning and planning in the West Bank, but rather with how it dealt with the broader narrative for describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This became evident in how the reaction focused on the report's conclusion that "the classical laws of 'occupation' as set out in the relevant international conventions cannot be considered applicable to … Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria."

How did Justice Levy, who recently retired from Israel's Supreme Court, reach this conclusion along with his two colleagues? They argued that the Israeli presence in the West Bank was unique, sui generis, because there was no previously recognized sovereign there when it was captured by the Israel Defense Forces during the Six-Day War in 1967. The Jordanian declaration of sovereignty in 1950 had been rejected by the Arab states and the international community, as a whole, except for Britain and Pakistan.

Moreover, as the Levy Report points out, the Jewish people still had residual historical and legal rights in the West Bank emanating from the British Mandate that were never cancelled, but rather were preserved by the U.N. Charter, under Article 80 — the famous “Palestine Clause” that was drafted, in part, to guarantee continuity with respect to Jewish rights from the League of Nations.

There were other issues that made the Israeli presence in the West Bank unique. With the advent of the Oslo Agreements in the 1990s, there was no longer an Israeli military government over the Palestinian population. Indeed, the famous 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention on occupied territories stipulates that an Occupying Power is bound to its terms “to the extent that such a Power exercises the function of government in such territory (Article 6).”

Yet the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, in accordance with the Oslo Accords, also made the situation complex: as a result, some functions of government were retained by the IDF, other functions were exercised by the Palestinians, and there were also shared powers. In other words, the situation on the ground in the West Bank was not black and white, which allowed moral judgments to be easily made about a continuing Israeli occupation. True, the Palestinians did not have an independent state, but they could not be considered to be under "occupation" when at the same time they were being ruled first by Yasser Arafat and then by his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

Read it all here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hide behind technicalities all you want, if the state Israel is placed where Palestine used to be, forcing Palestinians to live in refugee camps in Gaza and West Bank, regularly bombing them with illegal weapons such as lantern bombs, and and justifying their war crimes by labelling the Palestinian people as terrorists, it's an occupation.