New West Bank settlement casts light on clandestine role of international support for settlers

Israel/Palestine

Driving south from Bethlehem to Hebron on Route 60, a main settler road in the Occupied West Bank, is Beit al-Baraka, an old church compound made up of eight buildings built from Jerusalem yellow stone. It sits just to the north of Al Arroub refugee camp and for many years it existed as the site of a Presbyterian mission, first as a hospital and later as a hostel. But now its ownership is being questioned, following allegations that it has been sold to right-wing settlers.

Haaretz published last Friday that the site had been sold to Aryeh King, who was renovating the site in anticipation of moving settlers into it. When we visited Beit al-Baraka we found this consistently denied in the area, however investigations show the extent to which the settler enterprise can go to ensure the real identity and intentions of property purchase are hidden.

Strategic Importance

The site proves an important strategic acquisition for the settler movement. One of the primary purposes of settlement building is to enable the annexation of Palestinian land, beyond the internationally recognised ‘border’ of the Green Line between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel. Central to this is the carving up of Palestinian land through an extensive network of settler-only roads, which take previously disparate settlements and link them into contiguous blocs. The radical changes Israel has made to the map of the West Bank preclude any real possibility of establishing an independent, viable Palestinian state – the accepted Western paradigm for a solution. This changes Israel’s role in the West Bank from custodian of the land (following the Oslo Accords which envisioned a period of gradual transferal of power to the Palestinians) to one of de facto sovereign power.

Currently only one settlement – Tzar Karmei – exists (amongst many Palestinian towns and villages) between the Etzion Bloc, a collection of settlements south of Jerusalem, and Hebron in the southern West Bank, where settlers are present inside the city. Acquisition of the Beit al-Baraka site would enable the further connection of settlements between the Etzion Bloc and Hebron, extending settler control over the southern part of the West Bank.

A visit to Beit al-Baraka

A Palestinian worker is seen behind the newly built perimeter fence. (Photo: Sara Anna)

A Palestinian worker is seen behind the newly built perimeter fence. (Photo: Sara Anna)

As we approached the newly built perimeter fence which now encircles the compound, we were met by a resident worker, whose family has lived and worked on the compound for generations. Our visit was short lived: it took less than five minutes for the IDF to arrive in order to escort us away from the property, citing the area as a military zone. Prior to our removal the worker told us the compound was in the hands of a Scandinavian church; his son later named this as the Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Church. The lawyer and spokesperson we were directed to told us it was a ‘Swedish Church’ who owned the property, and that the reports of a sale to Aryeh King were ‘not true’.

Israeli soldiers arrive on site to escort Sterling and Anna from the premises. (Photo: Sara Anna)

Israeli soldiers arrive on site to escort Sterling and Anna from the premises. (Photo: Sara Anna)

Until 2008, a Presbyterian church, The Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions, owned the compound, where it operated first as a hospital and then as a pilgrim hostel from 1995. When this proved to be unsustainable, the property was sold. Pastor Keith Coleman, told us on the phone from Philadelphia that the church had sold the property to Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Enterprises, rather than a church, which appears to have been set up as a company with the sole purpose of covertly purchasing this land. First established in 2007 and fully registered as a company in Sweden in 2008, it existed in that form until 2011, and no annual reports or information are available for it from the Swedish Company Registration Office after that year. It appears to have been dissolved in 2012 following the registration of the purchase of Beit al-Baraka with the Civil Administration in Israel.

International Support for Settlements

The ex-board members of Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Enterprises (who resigned in 2011) are listed as Gro Faye-Hansen Wenske and her husband Bruno Wenske. Faye-Hansen Wenske is the daughter of Norwegian Per Faye-Hansen, whose name appears among the Righteous Among The Nations in Yad Vashem.  He also set up the Karmel Institute, which states that it is working for “the fulfillment of biblical prophecy in Israel” while building links between Israel and the Nordic countries, and that “anti-Zionism should be counteracted.”

For her part, Gro Faye-Hansen Wenske has made no secret of her desire to ethnically cleanse Israel and the Occupied Territories of ‘Arabs’, saying in an opinion article published by Norwegian news site Dagen, that “the only solution is to throw out the Palestinians” and that Israel’s first mistake in 1948 was when they “gave the minority group [the Palestinians, after the mass expulsion of 1948] who lived in their country too much power.” Speaking of her father’s views she said “I am now convinced that… my father was right, the Arabs must get out of Israel.”

A Haaretz investigation has found that, in 2012, Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Enterprises was acquired by American Friends of Everest Foundation, run by Irving Moskowitz. Moskowitz, an United States citizen, is part of an extensive industry of US non-profits using their tax-exempt status to fund the settlement enterprise. The funnelling of tax-exempt funds to organisations, which then purchase property for the purpose of turning them into settler homes, has been extensively reported on in the media. According to Haaretz, Moskowitz is the main funder behind Aryeh King’s activities and his purchase of properties in East Jerusalem. The Everest Foundation owns a number of properties in East Jerusalem, valued at $12 million, and now also owns the Swedish company that controls the church compound. Moskowitz is also responsible for the Irving Moskowitz Foundation, a tax-exempt organization that transmits money to other ostensibly charitable groups such as Friends of Ir David, which then subsidize organizations which purchase Arab-owned property and land for the purpose of settlement. One example of an organization indirectly funded by the Irving Moskowitz foundation is Elad – the group responsible for the purchase of 25 housing units in Silwan, East Jerusalem, and the subsequent take-over by settlers in September 2014 – to whom Friends of Ir David donated almost its entire revenue in 2011 and 2012.

Israeli Policy

Despite the fact that this acquisition of the Beit al-Baraka land by settler groups took place in secret, without the knowledge of the IDF or the Israeli government, it is highly likely that pro-settlement politicians will exert pressure to enable the new residents to stay. There is a strong historical precedent of the Israeli state legalising outposts that have initially been marked as unauthorised, resulting in a de facto policy of support.

In the case of Beit al-Baraka, the true identity of the owner and the intended plans for the site had, until now, been kept well hidden. The Palestinian family from Arroub camp who live and work on the compound were unaware of the developments. Some residents of the surrounding area did express concerns regarding Israeli intentions in the area, however, these mostly focussed on the area south east of Arroub camp, where last year two homes were demolished, ostensibly due to their failure to acquire the necessary building permits, and where residents of the camp say the Israelis are planning for a settlement.

New Foreign Ministry Head Dore Gold recently rejected Israel’s obligation to withdraw to the Green Line in a statement that said although “many continue to demand that Israel retreat to the lines that existed on the eve of the war. Let us say clearly: Israel cannot, should not, and will not withdraw to indefensible borders.” This comes along with a recent speech by Israel’s new Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely in which she signaled her intention to gain global legal recognition of the West Bank settlements and asserted “this land is ours. All of it is ours.” Following the Israeli election in March 2015 and subsequent formation of the most right-wing government Israel has ever seen, the case of Beit al-Baraka seems part of the inevitable settlement expansion for the purpose of establishing new border realities, as well as casting further light on the clandestine role of individual settler advocates.

About Hannah Sterling and Sara Anna

Hannah Sterling is an activist and writer currently living and writing in the West Bank. Sara Anna is a documentary filmmaker currently working from the West Bank.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

59 Responses

  1. Boomer
    May 29, 2015, 1:57 pm

    Thanks for reporting this.

  2. Bornajoo
    May 29, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Hannah and Sara and thanks for everything that you do

    Reading through some of Hostage’s recent comments, this channelling of funds for these illegal settlements is just as illegal as the actual settlements themselves. It is after all funding for extremist and illegal activities with the intention of ethnically cleansing a native population under a brutal occupation and against international law which these people break regularly with impunity

    I hope I live to see the day these criminals are brought to account.

    • Hostage
      June 8, 2015, 1:53 am

      Reading through some of Hostage’s recent comments, this channelling of funds for these illegal settlements is just as illegal as the actual settlements themselves. It is after all funding for extremist and illegal activities with the intention of ethnically cleansing a native population under a brutal occupation and against international law which these people break regularly with impunity.

      If that turns out to be the case, then it will certainly be illegal according to the terms of the applicable international and US laws. In the meantime, the US State Department advises businesses and banks that purchases of land by foreigners in the occupied Palestinian territory requires the approval of the PA Council of Ministers, based upon the 1998 PA Investment Promotion Law, as amended in 2011. That means the Church in question, acting only on its own initiative, can’t convey a valid title to the property to either Moskowitz or King .

      • Jackdaw
        June 8, 2015, 6:20 am

        @Hostage

        Apropos of EU v RJR Nabisco, isn’t the EU also in violation of RICO through it’s funding of Turkish settlements in Northern Cyprus?

        http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/How-the-EU-directly-funds-settlements-in-occupied-territory-327329

      • Hostage
        June 8, 2015, 12:45 pm

        @Hostage

        Apropos of EU v RJR Nabisco, isn’t the EU also in violation of RICO through it’s funding of Turkish settlements in Northern Cyprus?

        http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/How-the-EU-directly-funds-settlements-in-occupied-territory-327329

        LoL! No, not unless you are an ignoramus who doesn’t know that Cyprus was bi-communal and that there actually were indigenous Turkish citizens there prior to Turkey’s invasion and occupation of the state in 1974. I used to routinely visit an operating location on “Fantasy Island”. So I can attest to that fact from first-hand experience.

        The author of the JPost agit-prop article doesn’t really cite any examples of the EU directly funding any illegal settlements – and Israeli tourists among his readers surely know that:

        the ban on crossing to and from the south has been lifted on 23 April 2003 for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots. In the first eight days thereafter approximately 90.000 Greek Cypriots and 30.000 Turkish Cypriots took advantage of this situation crossing the line between the north and the south in a general sentiment of joy. No incidents were reported, on the contrary a warm welcome was given to the visiting Greek Cypriots by Turkish Cypriots and to the visiting Turkish Cypriots by the Greek Cypriots.

        http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/archives/enlargement_process/past_enlargements/eu10/cyprus_en.htm

        FYI, I’ve commented here in the past that, unlike the situation of the Israeli invasion and occupation of the Palestinian territories, the European Court of Human Rights has already adopted a judgment against Turkey on 12 May 2014, ordering it to pay 90,000,000 euros in non-pecuniary damages to the victims of the blatant human rights violations in Cyprus without prejudice to any final settlement. http://cjicl.org.uk/2014/05/23/cant-get-just-satisfaction-cyprus-v-turkey-judgment-european-court-human-rights/

      • talknic
        June 8, 2015, 10:35 am

        Jackdaw

        ” Apropos of EU v RJR Nabisco, isn’t the EU also in violation of RICO through it’s funding of Turkish settlements in Northern Cyprus?

        link to jpost.com

        Read the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, it’s obvious Eugene Kontorovich didn’t

      • Jackdaw
        June 8, 2015, 11:53 am

        @talknic

        The Turks declared that Northern Cyprus is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
        Now even I know that that is a violation of the Treaty.

        Talknic. Take a step back and ask yourself. Do I really want to shill for the Turks?

      • Jackdaw
        June 8, 2015, 1:54 pm

        @Hostage

        ‘The author of the JPost agit-prop article doesn’t really cite any examples of the EU directly funding any illegal settlements.’

        Okay. Here.

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32006R0389

      • Hostage
        June 8, 2015, 4:09 pm

        @Hostage

        ‘The author of the JPost agit-prop article doesn’t really cite any examples of the EU directly funding any illegal settlements.’

        Okay. Here.

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32006R0389

        Look, in the case of the State of Israel, we have coalition agreements between the governing parties that explicitly funnel millions in appropriations directly to the illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories, without any regard whatsoever as to whether or not any of the inhabitants there are indigenous “Sons” or “Peope” of the East. It doesn’t matter if you adopt “specific direction” or simple “knowledge” that the recipients of the money are engaged in unlawful activities as the necessary element of the offense, since the Knesset has earmarked funds for the illegal JNF and WZO settlement programs too. There’s nothing analogous to that in the EC Regulation you just cited.

        Once again, I don’t see how either you or Eugene Kontorovich passed a bar exam with those sort of impaired abilities. There isn’t anything in that Regulation that provides EC funding of illegal settlements (even by the farthest stretch of the imagination). It simply allows the EC to provide the same sort of financial assistance to the indigenous Turkish Cypriot community on a non-discriminatory basis that it has already been providing to the indigenous Greek Cypriot community – all while stipulating that, in the implementation of actions financed under the Regulation, “the rights of natural or legal persons including the rights to possessions and property shall be respected and that, when actions financed under this Regulation are implemented, the financial interests of the Community are protected against fraud, corruption and any other irregularities in accordance with Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995.”

        The Regulation explicitly states that nothing in it is intended to imply recognition of any public authority in the areas other than those under the control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. FYI, following its ratification of the instrument of accession, the application of the acquis was suspended in areas beyond its de facto effective control in the North. But those have never been entirely composed of illegal settlements by any means. Among other things, the Regulations stipulates that assistance is being provided to help prepare or facilitate as appropriate the indigenous Turkish Cypriot community in those areas outside the control of the legitimate government for the full and immediate application of the acquis communautaire following a solution to the Cyprus problem. Long story short, that means they will have to be ready to defend their actions in cases before the European Court of Human Rights.

        It seems pretty obvious that neither you nor Eugene Kontorovich are willing or able to simply cite and quote a portion of the EC Regulation, the proposed Cyprus settlement, or the acquis communautaire that could conceivably be employed to prosecute an EC member for war crimes or racketeering in connection with the assistance provided to the Turkish community of Cyprus. Unlike the Jewish settler communities, they are actually being readied to accept full and immediate implementation of public international law, aka the acquis, including respect for the property rights of both natural and legal persons.

      • talknic
        June 8, 2015, 7:03 pm

        @ Jackdaw ” Take a step back and ask yourself. Do I really want to shill for the Turks?”

        Save it pal. Pointing out your ignorance and stupidity isn’t being a shill for anyone

      • Jackdaw
        June 9, 2015, 3:47 am

        @Hostage

        ” And the EC Regulation doesn’t even grant one euro to enable or facilitate any immigrant or Turkish settler community”.

        Nowhere in the EU brochure (below), nor in the 2006 EU resolution to help the Turkish Cypriots, is any distincton made between the natives and the illegal settlers – all of them benefit equally from the EU programs to help the environment, farming, education, road and electrical infrastructure, telecom infrastructue, water supply and sanitation and so forth.

        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5fyhqTq0mVQ/Ukjc3nAfn3I/AAAAAAAAZzM/FRBd9utmBEw/s1600/turk1.png

        Assuming, arguendo, that the EU really does vet the receipients of grant and contracts, do you honestly believe that a Turkish Cypriot (whatever that means) contractor is going to refuse to subcontract with, or hire, Turkish settlers, who now make up half the population on TRNC?

        BTW Hostage, to date, some 5,000 British citizens have purchased homes in Northern Cyprus despite it being a clear-cut case of an “occupied territory.” According to a BBC report, as many as 10,000 foreigners have bought up former Greek Cypriot properties in Northern Cyprus.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4538960.stm

      • Hostage
        June 9, 2015, 10:25 am

        Nowhere in the EU brochure (below), nor in the 2006 EU resolution to help the Turkish Cypriots, is any distincton made between the natives and the illegal settlers – all of them benefit equally from the EU programs to help the environment, farming, education, road and electrical infrastructure, telecom infrastructue, water supply and sanitation and so forth.

        Why are you still trying to peddle this rubbish, when I’ve already pointed out that the Regulation explicitly stipulates that the assistance comes with strings attached, including the requirement that property rights must be respected and the normal EC oversight directives employed to guard against fraud and waste, and the areas be prepared for full immediate implementation of the EC aquis under the final settlement? http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/policy/conditions-membership/chapters-of-the-acquis/index_en.htm

        There is absolutely NO parallel to any of those fundamental guarantees in any Israeli government program for the Jewish communal settlement blocs or their status under the final agreement, because it’s programs are predicated on establishing legal inequality; abrogating the Palestinian’s property rights; permanently displacing the Palestinian population, and restricting their alternative choices for residences or domiciles to a few small ethnic enclaves.

        But this whole EC program is predicated on the recognition of the fact that it can’t legally continue to discriminate and isolate the indigenous Turkish Cypriot communities, while granting financial assistance to the others. In the end, the populations of Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, and Great Britain have all recognized and accepted the EC aquis, except for these areas in the North of Cyprus that will be subject to the acquis under the final settlement. Unlike the Israeli settlements, which spread like a racist blight, the aquis requires equal protection under the law; respect for minority and property rights; free movement of goods; freedom of movement for workers, etc. In short, everything that Zionism eschews, no matter how hard you try to polish that turd.

      • Hostage
        June 9, 2015, 11:54 am

        @ Jackdaw Re: BTW Hostage, to date, some 5,000 British citizens have purchased homes in Northern Cyprus despite it being a clear-cut case of an “occupied territory.” According to a BBC report, as many as 10,000 foreigners have bought up former Greek Cypriot properties in Northern Cyprus.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4538960.stm

        LoL! That 2005 BBC article was really only of interest because (then) Prime Minister Blair’s wife was representing the British couple who had purchased the plundered property in an appeal against a default Cypriot judgment that had restored the legal title to the original Greek owner and awarded him damages in a landmark case. Please note that this is a perfect example of what the EC Regulation meant when it said that property rights had to be respected, regardless of the fact that the acquis had been suspended in areas that were not under the recognized government’s control and that nothing in the Regulation was supposed to be construed as recognition of the TRNC.

        Here is an article which explained that the British couple were being ordered by the regular Courts in Cyprus to demolish their home, return the land to the rightful owner, and pay rent until they settled the matter. They were arguing that the Cypriot Court had no jurisdiction in the northern area. So, the original Greek owner had gone to the UK Courts to have the judgment enforced and put a lien on their assets:
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1176943/Theyve-branded-thieves-suffered-death-threats–hell-Britons-dreamed-retiring-Northern-Cyprus.html

        Here is the Opinion and Judgment from Grand Chamber of the European Court instructing the British Court of Appeals that it must respect the default judgment of the Court in Cyprus in favor of Meletis Apostolides in the matter of Meletis Apostolides v David Charles Orams and Linda Elizabeth Orams.
        http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?language=en&num=C-420/07

        Here is the final ruling from the UK Court of Appeals in favor of Mr. Apostolides http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2010/9.html

        Since you claim to be “a trial lawyer” I’ll dumb this down for you. That is an example of a hasbara failure that I’ve been pointing out here all along. Neither you nor Eugene Kontorovich has been willing or able to cite a single example to illustrate how this EC Regulation is providing any financial assistance to any illegal settlers in northern Cyprus.

    • Jackdaw
      June 8, 2015, 1:42 pm

      @Hostage

      I’m not feeling like an ignoramus today, because you said, ‘the ban on crossing to and from the south has been lifted on 23 April 2003 for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots. In the first eight days thereafter approximately 90.000 Greek Cypriots and 30.000 Turkish Cypriots…”

      Truth be told, Hostage, the (Greek) south allows Turkish Cypriots to cross but not Turkish settlers/immigrants. Turkish Cypriots are now a minority in their homeland, outnumbered by mainland (Turkish) settlers.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/20

      • Hostage
        June 8, 2015, 4:20 pm

        I’m not feeling like an ignoramus today, because you said, …

        Sorry, but you were already an ignoramus today, before I even brought up the subject.

        Truth be told, Hostage, the (Greek) south allows Turkish Cypriots to cross but not Turkish settlers/immigrants. Turkish Cypriots are now a minority in their homeland, outnumbered by mainland (Turkish) settlers.

        And the EC Regulation doesn’t even grant one euro to enable or facilitate any immigrant or Turkish settler community.

      • just
        June 8, 2015, 4:26 pm

        Thank you, Hostage, for sharing your vast knowledge with patience here at MW.

        (I so admire your quick wit with this last post of yours!)

      • Bornajoo
        June 8, 2015, 5:11 pm

        Ditto Just!

        Thanks Hostage. Great stuff

      • Hostage
        June 8, 2015, 8:46 pm

        Not to change the subject, but I’ve just seen the Reuters report that the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down the constitutionality of a law that would have allowed American citizens born in Jerusalem to have “Israel” listed as their birthplace on US passports.

        I’ve commented here at great length on the case and its lack of merit. So I’ll probably take the rest of the day off and celebrate US Independence Day a little early this year;-)

      • just
        June 8, 2015, 9:03 pm

        “I’ve commented here at great length on the case and its lack of merit. So I’ll probably take the rest of the day off and celebrate US Independence Day a little early this year;-)”

        It’s so awesome, Hostage! Have fun, and thanks for all that you did to inform us on that case, and all that you do whenever you comment here @ MW!

        Annie and Phil have a good article up:

        “Supreme Court slam dunks the Israel lobby on Jerusalem, 6-3 (and Rubio, Oren, and Engel are angry)” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/supreme-israel-jerusalem#sthash.B9DfKBo3.dpuf

  3. talknic
    May 29, 2015, 9:02 pm

    Thanks for a revealing article. However, it appears to have been dipped in the Hasbara cesspool, completely purged of the most important word “illegal” … Why?

    One cannot afford for one moment to water down the emphasis on the illegality of the settler movement or to propagate misinformation, especially Israeli misinformation. If you don’t say they’re illegal settlers, Israel’s apologist pukemeisters will claim you infer they aren’t illegal settlers.
    ‘.. a main[illegal] settler road in the Occupied West Bank’
    ‘.. it has been sold to [illegal] right-wing settlers’
    ‘.. etc etc etc etc ‘

    “One of the primary purposes of” [illegal] “settlement building is to enable the “[illegal] “annexation of Palestinian land, beyond the internationally recognized ‘border’ of the Green Line between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.”

    A) The ownership of real estate does not confer a right to legally annex unless the inhabitants owning real estate are legitimate citizens of the territory to be annexed who have agreed to be annexed. Illegal settlers are not the legal inhabitants in Occupied Territories

    B) It is not an internationally recognized border. Israel agreed in the Armistice Agreements it was an Armistice Demarcation Line which was specifically not to be construed in any sense as a territorial boundary

    The Egypt/Israeli agreement Article V
    2. The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question.

    The Lebanese/Israeli agreement Article V
    1. The Armistice Demarcation Line shall follow the international boundary between the Lebanon and- Palestine

    ” The radical changes Israel has made to the map of the West Bank preclude any real possibility of establishing an independent, viable Palestinian state – the accepted Western paradigm for a solution”

    Defeatist. See East Timor/Indonesia.

    ” This changes Israel’s role in the West Bank from custodian of the land (following the Oslo Accords which envisioned a period of gradual transferal of power to the Palestinians) to one of de facto sovereign power.

    It doesn’t change anything. Israel remains the Occupying Power. The expression de facto sovereignty is an oxymoron. An Occupying Power does not have any ‘sovereign’ rights over Occupied Territories.

    • VisaIssues
      May 30, 2015, 8:26 am

      “One of the primary purposes of” [illegal] “settlement building is to enable the “[illegal] “annexation of Palestinian land…”

      You do realize that your insertions of ‘illegal’ in the above sentence could also be interpreted as inferring that some settlement building and annexation of Palestinian land elsewhere is, in fact, legal? Thus, you could also – technically speaking – be accused of assisting the ‘watering down’ of the illegality of Israeli actions.

      I understand (and sympathize with) the point you are trying to make, but to suggest that an article which exposes previously unknown methods of extending Israel’s settlement project (and in doing so directly references an underlying Zionist motivation to ethnically cleanse the oPt) has “been dipped in the Hasbara cesspool” is bizarre.

      “The expression de facto sovereignty is an oxymoron”

      This is demonstrably untrue. The notion of ‘sovereignty’ consists of two separate elements: de jure, and de facto sovereignty. The former pertains to the legal grounding of an entity’s ‘right’ to rule over a given territory, whilst the latter reflects the reality on the ground. The two may or – as in the present case – may not be one and the same. As you have identified, as an occupying power, Israel possesses no legal mandate to act as sovereign ruler over occupied Palestinian territory (de jure sovereignty), and yet it cannot be reasonably denied that through – inter alia – the implantation of settlers, widespread changes to existing legislation and the introduction of new legislation, etc etc – Israel acts precisely as if it does (de facto sovereignty).

      “Defeatist. See East Timor/Indonesia.”

      Defeatist, or reflecting a commonly-held view among Palestinians and a wide range of respected commentators alike?

      Also, to label the death of a two-state solution as a ‘defeat’ is to elevate your own view/preference above many of those who live here. Many Palestinians I know have zero interest in 2 states, and instead feel this is something that has been forced upon them by the international community and a Palestinian Authority with no mandate to represent them. To them, confirmation of the death of the two-state path would be seen as a positive, and a step towards the realization of their inalienable right to return to the lands from which they were forcibly displaced during the Nakba.

      • talknic
        May 30, 2015, 11:42 pm

        @ VisaIssues May 30, 2015, 8:26 am

        “You do realize that your insertions of ‘illegal’ in the above sentence could also be interpreted as inferring that some settlement building and annexation of Palestinian land elsewhere is, in fact, legal?”

        Interesting theory … care to elaborate.

        ” to suggest that an article which exposes previously unknown methods of extending Israel’s settlement project (and in doing so directly references an underlying Zionist motivation to ethnically cleanse the oPt) has “been dipped in the Hasbara cesspool” is bizarre”

        There’s no mention at all of the illegality of Israel’s settlement policies in non-Israeli territories.

        “Israel acts precisely as if it does (de facto sovereignty).”

        Try telling a judge you’re the de facto owner of stolen goods because you act as if they’re yours, they’ll tell you you’re delusional. “Possession is 9/10ths of the law”, de facto possession is the evidence by which criminals in possession of stolen goods find themselves prosecuted.

        “Defeatist, or reflecting a commonly-held view among Palestinians and a wide range of respected commentators alike?:”

        It’s defeatist in that it cites the, illegal, facts on the ground as reason for not pursuing a two state solution, exactly as successive Israeli Governments have planned.

        ” Many Palestinians I know have zero interest in 2 states, and instead feel this is something that has been forced upon them by the international community and a Palestinian Authority with no mandate to represent them. To them, confirmation of the death of the two-state path would be seen as a positive, and a step towards the realization of their inalienable right to return to the lands from which they were forcibly displaced during the Nakba. “

        They have no idea of what they’re really up against

      • oldgeezer
        May 31, 2015, 1:12 am

        @talknic

        I somewhat agree with VisaIssues. Using illegal as you point out does leave the door open to the possibility that some settlements are legal. What is required is single unambiguous statement that all settlements are illegal (or all settlements outside of xx border/lines… whatever)

      • echinococcus
        May 31, 2015, 1:43 am

        Talknic,
        to

        …your insertions of ‘illegal’ in the above sentence could also be interpreted as inferring that some settlement building and annexation of Palestinian land elsewhere is, in fact, legal?

        you answer:
        “Interesting theory … care to elaborate.”

        No need to elaborate; as the other poster says when you call some settlements “illegal” you obviously infer that others are legal. That isn’t a problem of interpretation either.

        So, even though it would be presumptuous to ask you to finally come out with it, can we finally know which ones you consider legitimate and which you don’t?

      • Bornajoo
        May 31, 2015, 10:19 am

        ” as the other poster says when you call some settlements “illegal” you obviously infer that others are legal”

        I agree that by calling some settlements illegal it can be interpreted that others are legal. For me, however, the problematic word is “some”

        My own interpretation of Talknic’s comment is that the word “settlement” should ALWAYS be qualified with “illegal”. The two words must be always used together and they must be inseparable. Otherwise a reader not so informed of the facts could construe that settlements might actually be legal.

        I think we always have to remember that the aim is to inform as many of the uninformed/ignorant as possible. We cannot assume that someone just familiarising themselves with this subject knows very much about the facts on the ground.

        I for one believe that the two words need to be conjoined like siamese twins (and I’m sure I’ve been guilty in the past of not doing it consistently either)

      • David Gerald Fincham
        May 31, 2015, 5:38 am

        The two states already exist as legal entities, recognized by other states. The only possible way that they could become a single state is by means of a voluntary union. The first step towards that would be an end to the occupation. That could be achieved if the Security Council were willing to apply enough pressure on Israel.

        Those Palestinians who think that if they allowed themselves to be absorbed into Israel it would become a non-Zionist state are living in a dream world. See the website of the Israel Initiative, http://www.israelinitiative.org/Index.aspx, to understand the nature of Israel’s one-state solution – Palestine would be wiped off the map, and the Palestinian people would vanish from the pages of time.

      • echinococcus
        May 31, 2015, 3:22 pm

        David Gerald Fincham

        The two states already exist as legal entities, recognized by other states. The only possible way that they could become a single state is by means of a voluntary union.

        Not the only way, especially in our times of increasingly violent upheavals.
        Also, the fiction of two existing states is too ridiculous even for lawyers’ fictions, even though it may be useful in making red tape, nothing more.

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/settlement-clandestine-international#comment-771281

      • David Gerald Fincham
        May 31, 2015, 6:11 pm

        @echinococcus

        Can you suggest any other possible political, legal, diplomatic or military process that could lead to a single stable non-zionist state?

      • RoHa
        May 31, 2015, 7:42 pm

        “No need to elaborate; as the other poster says when you call some settlements “illegal” you obviously infer that others are legal. ”

        He does not “infer*” it. He does not even imply it. Others might infer it, but that is their failing. Applying an adjective to a class of things does not in any way logically imply that there are member of the class to which the adjective does not apply. Saying “He trudged through the cold snow” does not suggest that, with forethought, he could have picked a patch of warm snow to trudge through. When I say “the abominable French” you surely cannot imagine that I imply there are some French who are not abominable.

        In strict logic (as distinct from common usage) “some X are Y” does not imply “some X are not Y”. “Some” means “one or more”, and may include “all”. We only say “all” when we know that all are included.

        (*”Infer” means “draws a particular meaning from what is said”. The speaker or writer implies, the hearer or reader infers.)

      • David Gerald Fincham
        June 1, 2015, 2:24 am

        “He trudged through THE cold snow”, “THE abominable French”

        talknic missed out the ‘the’. He should have said ‘[the illegal] settlements’ etc.

      • echinococcus
        May 31, 2015, 8:32 pm

        David Gerald Fincham

        Who am I to suggest anything? I just see the accelerating pace of dismemberment and destruction of countries, war and mayhem –an instability absolutely unthinkable as long as the USSR was there as a balance. So a lot can happen and there is no way of predicting what. A regional conflagration in the ME may well lead to occupation and liquidation of the Zionist state and the establishment of an equal-rights Palestine, as also to the full-fledged Iron Wall, or to the Wild West solution, with total genocide of the Palestinians. It all will depend on how long the US can hold against all competing forces, of course, but also on the populations of the Near East and Europe, as major changes have been seen there and more are on their way. Expecting that either the European Community or the US will change policy significantly without force being applied is in fact the most utopian plan. Which means no two states but perhaps a Vichy Bantustan, not a solution in any case.

      • David Gerald Fincham
        June 1, 2015, 10:29 am

        @echinococcus

        “Who am I to suggest anything?”

        You are an autonomous human being with a brain and a conscience. If people like you are unable to make suggestions, the Zionists will fill the gap. If we give up hope, we will certainly achieve nothing: if we have hope, there is a possibility of progress.

        You are right that the policies of the US and the EU are key, but I see many hopeful signs. The conversation in the US started to change with Walt and Mearsheimers’ “Israel Lobby”. Now there is growing support on US campuses for the Palestinian cause and for BDS. Obama has stood up to Netanyahu on the Iran nuclear ‘issue’. The UK and other European parliaments have voted to recognize Palestine.

        Everything that Israel has done in the last few years has been losing it support: a million cluster bombs in Lebanon; Cast Lead and Protective Edge in Gaza; more and more settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; cartoons and standing ovations in the US Congress; and now a government of racist nutjobs in Jerusalem.

        There is still a long way to go, but the momentum is now against Israel and towards an independent Palestinian state. Let’s add our own force to that momentum.

      • Sibiriak
        June 1, 2015, 12:55 am

        VisaIssues: “to label the death of a two-state solution as a ‘defeat’ is to elevate your own view/preference above many of those who live here.”
        ——————–

        Likewise, to welcome a supposed “death of a two-state solution” and espouse the goal of a single state would be to elevate a personal preference above many of those who live there.

        (Philip Weiss wrote: “… when I attended the Third National BDS Conference in Hebron this past December one attendee asked Omar Barghouti why the movement doesn’t explicitly endorse one state? He responded by saying it’s because the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations that endorsed the BDS call support two states.”)

      • Sibiriak
        June 1, 2015, 1:08 am

        David Gerald Fincham: “The two states already exist as legal entities, recognized by other states. ”

        True.

        “The only possible way that they could become a single state is by means of a voluntary union. ”

        A single state would have to include Gaza–a fact many commenters ignore–and Israel will not voluntarily unite with Gaza, let alone be forced into such a union.

      • David Gerald Fincham
        June 1, 2015, 11:01 am

        @sibiriak

        To clarify: there has to be a viable two-state solution on the way to a one-state solution. That means that the occupation must end first, and then Israel and Palestine can determine where their final border is, I suggest with the help of a Boundary Commission under independent Chairmanship. I expect Palestine to include more territory than just the West Bank and Gaza, gaining territory mainly from the Negev.

        Then the two states can consider whether to unite, and what form that union might take. I think there are very good reasons why they should unite, and I propose a single sovereign state consisting of two largely autonomous nations, with a defined and open border between them, along the lines of the England-Scotland model. http://www.religion-science-peace.org/2015/04/03/israel-palestine-the-one-state-two-nations-solution/

      • RoHa
        June 1, 2015, 7:44 am

        I can’t see that the presence or absence of “the” changes the implications.

        “He trudged, through cold snow, seven miles to school, and fourteen back. Uphill both ways, of course.”

        No implication of possible warm snow that I can see.

        “Abominable Frenchmen littered the streets with half-eaten snails.”

        No suggestion that there is any other kind of Frenchman.

        “Illegal settlers burnt another hundred olive trees.”

        The set of legal settlers remains stubbornly empty.

      • echinococcus
        June 1, 2015, 11:53 am

        David Gerald Fincham

        The developments in the US are real but they don’t amount to a hill of beans as long as the 2-party system remains in place, for the purposes of forcing a solution in Palestine. The destruction of Syria and Iraq and the renewed puppet dictatorship in Egypt are long-term developments; the Zionist plan to restore the military dictatorship in Turkey ( as opposed to total devastation of independent-minded Arab countries) is also proceeding. As for Europe, it is almost entirely in the hands of US-led reactionary parties now, the French SP at the vanguard. So a peaceful or even violent but locally limited solution looks very much like a pipe dream for the moment.
        The only hope these days looks like US incompetence, as with Ukraine, or Zionist suicidal paranoia, as with Iran, and their unintended consequences.

      • catalan
        June 1, 2015, 12:18 pm

        “The only hope these days looks like US incompetence, – ” echinococcus
        Whenever I descend into utter gloom, it is always refreshing to find out that there are many more as hopeless or even more so.

      • Sibiriak
        June 1, 2015, 12:27 pm

        David Gerald Fincham: @sibiriak To clarify: there has to be a viable two-state solution on the way to a one-state solution. That means that the occupation must end first, and then Israel and Palestine can determine where their final border is, I suggest with the help of a Boundary Commission under independent Chairmanship. I expect Palestine to include more territory than just the West Bank and Gaza, gaining territory mainly from the Negev.”

        ——-

        While that rosy scenario is certainly a possibility, I believe the more likely outcome will be a much-truncated Palestinian mini-state leading to a permanent separation of Palestine and Israel.

        ——————–
        David Gerald Fincham: “Then the two states can consider whether to unite, and what form that union might take. I think there are very good reasons why they should unite, and I propose a single sovereign state consisting of two largely autonomous nations, with a defined and open border between them, along the lines of the England-Scotland model. ”

        Again, a rosy scenario. More likely, imho: the truncated Palestinian mini-state eventually enters into some kind of confederation with Jordan and/or other Arab states.

      • echinococcus
        June 1, 2015, 2:03 pm

        There’s a poster calling himself Catalan who doesn’t seem to understand much. Can’t even understand that betting on US incompetence is like money in the bank.
        It’s like betting on Zionist nastiness.

    • talknic
      May 31, 2015, 11:25 pm

      Weird … I’ve not inferred ‘some’ settlements. In fact I warned of what Israel’s apologists would claim one inferred if one did leave a loose end.

      One cannot afford for one moment to water down the emphasis on the illegality of the settler movement or to propagate misinformation, especially Israeli misinformation. If you don’t say they’re illegal settlers, Israel’s apologist pukemeisters will claim you infer they aren’t illegal settlers.
      ‘.. a main[illegal] settler road in the Occupied West Bank’
      ‘.. it has been sold to [illegal] right-wing settlers’
      ‘.. etc etc etc etc ‘

      • bintbiba
        June 1, 2015, 10:59 am

        @ David Gerald Fincham at 8:32

        Many thanks for your support and motivation. It is sometimes very difficult to remain positive due to the ongoing events. Your comments are greatly appreciated .

    • catalan
      June 1, 2015, 11:28 am

      “I propose a single sovereign state consisting of two largely autonomous nations, with a defined and open border between them, along the lines of the England-Scotland model. – ” DGF
      This is a very realistic plan. While we are it, I propose the abolition of money. What will bean counters like me do then, you might ask. Well, why not go back to counting beans?

    • Mooser
      June 6, 2015, 11:29 am

      Once again, we are getting all famisht over the difference between what is right, what is just, what is legal, and what Zionism may get away with. Yup, all of that is involved, but there’s no point in mixing them up, or pretending one thing is the other.

    • Hostage
      June 8, 2015, 2:33 am

      It is not an internationally recognized border. Israel agreed in the Armistice Agreements it was an Armistice Demarcation Line which was specifically not to be construed in any sense as a territorial boundary

      That’s not quite the case with respect to the agreement with Jordan or to international lines of demarcation established under the auspices and provisions of the UN Charter. The Agreement with Jordan was simply “without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.” In the meantime, the rules of customary law still apply. The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations says:

      Every State likewise has the duty to refrain from the threat or use of force to violate international lines of demarcation, such as armistice lines, established by or pursuant to an international agreement to which it is a party or which it is otherwise bound to respect.

      The armistice lines were indeed approved by a written agreement between the parties, but they were also bound to respect them because they were formally adopted under the terms of two UN Security Council Chapter 7 resolutions (62 and 73).

      The Security Council ordered the establishment of “permanent armistice demarcation lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective parties shall not move” in order to “ensure the maintenance of the armistice during the transition to permanent peace in Palestine” and subsequently directed the parties concerned “to observe and implement” the resulting agreements “pending the final settlement”.

      Accordingly, the agreement with Jordan specifically stipulated that “Rules and regulations of the armed forces of the Parties, which prohibit civilians from crossing the fighting lines or entering the area between the lines, shall remain in effect after the signing of this Agreement with application to the Armistice Demarcation Lines” and said that “This Agreement, having been negotiated and concluded in pursuance of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948 calling for the establishment of an armistice in order to eliminate the threat to the peace in Palestine and to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, shall remain in force until a peaceful settlement between the Parties is achieved.”

      So in the meantime, it’s a legal international boundary in the sense that no Israeli national (either military or civilian) can cross the permanent armistice demarcation line, much less take-up permanent residency there.

      • Jackdaw
        June 8, 2015, 6:35 am

        @Hostage

        “Rules and regulations of the armed forces of the Parties, which prohibit civilians from crossing the fighting lines or entering the area between the lines, shall remain in effect after the signing of this Agreement with application to the Armistice Demarcation Lines”

        It is far to say that the Kingdom of Jordan had violated UN Security Council Chapter 7 resolutions (62 and 73) when it allowed armed fedayeen to use Jordanian territory to launch hundreds of attacks against Israel between 1951 and 1956?

      • Hostage
        June 8, 2015, 12:06 pm

        It is far to say that the Kingdom of Jordan had violated UN Security Council Chapter 7 resolutions (62 and 73) when it allowed armed fedayeen to use Jordanian territory to launch hundreds of attacks against Israel between 1951 and 1956?

        No, not without some evidence that the government of Jordan actually allowed “hundreds” of armed attacks. I think there is pretty good evidence in Sharrett’s Diaries that Israel launched a few major raids in Jordan that violated both the intent and content of the agreements and resolutions. I also think that, when Israel shot returning fedayeen refugees as “infiltrators”, it deliberately chose to violate the content and intent of those resolutions and the terms of S/RES/89(1950) and S/RES/95(1951). But the infiltrators who were trying to return to their homes in Israel were indigenous and can’t be attributed to an international armed conflict with Jordan.

      • talknic
        June 8, 2015, 8:26 am

        @ Hostage

        Thanks for clarification. (I specifically used the word “borders”)

        I am aware there are subtle differences in each of the Armistice Agreements. That with Jordan being A) a non-UN Member at the time and B) having annexed the West Bank, is unlike all the others.

        That between Israel and Lebanon saying “The Armistice Demarcation Line shall follow the international boundary between the Lebanon and- Palestine”

        “pending the final settlement” Meaning the final settlement will be between Israel and whatever remained of Palestine. Not between Israel and the Arab Regional Powers. Correct?

      • Hostage
        June 8, 2015, 11:44 am

        @ Hostage

        Thanks for clarification. (I specifically used the word “borders”)

        Yes, but that is a tautology. Among other things, a border is a legally recognized and enforceable international line of demarcation. By way of corollary, the permanent armistice lines of demarcation are just provisional borders that are internationally recognized and legally enforceable. See for example the “Tripartite Declaration Regarding the Armistice Borders : Statement by the Governments of the United States, The United Kingdom, and France, May 25, 1950 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mid001.asp or the discussion in the verbatim record regarding the last sentence of the draft of resolution A/RES/58/292, 17 May 2004 on the status of the Occupied Palestinian territory pending the final settlement. The General Assembly deliberately voted to adopt the words “pre-1967 borders” to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”:
        * A/58/PV.87 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/58/PV.87
        * A/RES/58/292 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/58/292

        “pending the final settlement” Meaning the final settlement will be between Israel and whatever becomes of Palestine. Not be between Israel and the Arab Regional Powers. Correct?

        Well, neither armistice agreements nor a final peace treaty can be used to excuse violations of the jus cogens prohibitions regarding the plunder of public and private property or the requirement to respect the family rights and honor, including the private property rights and the right of displaced persons to return.

        I think you are “missing the forest for the trees” a little bit with respect to the immediate legal consequences of the armistice agreements for all of these states under the terms of customary and conventional IHL. By the end of WWII, an armistice occupation regime signaled the end of “hostilities”. It wasn’t considered exactly the same thing as a belligerent occupation with respect to the treatment of prisoners and refugees. For example, the ICRC analysis of IHL Rule 128 Release and Return of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty explains that the Hague Regulations once required that POWs be released as soon as possible after the conclusion of peace, but that the Third Geneva Convention of 1949 required that “Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities” (article 118). https://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule128

        UN Security Council resolutions S/RES/89(1950) and S/RES/95(1951) reminded the parties that Security Council resolution 73 (1949) drew attention to “the pledges in the agreements against any further acts of hostility” and called on the parties to give effect to any finding of the Armistice Commission regarding repatriation of any Arab, which in the Commission’s opinion, is entitled to return. It also noted that “since the armistice regime which had already been in effect for two and a half years was of a permanent character, neither party could reasonably assert that it is actively a belligerent or requires to exercise the right of visit, search and seizure for the purposes of self-defense.” It also requested that the parties begin to permit nomadic Arabs and other civilians to cross the international lines by mutual consent.
        * http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/89%281950%29
        * http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/95%281951%29

        That cessation of hostilities triggered the related obligation under Article 6 of the 4th Geneva Convention to begin the repatriation of “prisoners and refugees”. By 1977, Article 85 of the 1st Additional Protocol declared “unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilians a grave breach and a war crime – which constitutes an on-going offense. https://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=73D05A98B6CEB566C12563CD0051E1A0

        FYI, Article 25 of the UN Charter is located in Chapter V. During the dispute on the passage of Israeli shipping through the Suez Canal, Abba Eban actually cited S/Res/95 (1951) and maintained for the record (I kid you not):

        that the Security Council’s resolution
        of 1 September 1951 possessed, within the meaning of Article 25, a compelling force beyond that pertaining to any resolution of any other organ of the United Nations, in his view the importance of the resolution had to be envisaged in the light of Article 25, under which the decisions of the Council on matters affecting international peace and security assumed an obligatory character for all Member States.

        — See Paragraph 7 of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs relating to Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”
        * http://legal.un.org/repertory/art25/english/rep_supp1_vol1-art25_e.pdf

      • talknic
        June 8, 2015, 10:11 am

        @ jackdaw June 8, 2015, 6:35 am

        “It is far to say that the Kingdom of Jordan had violated UN Security Council Chapter 7 resolutions (62 and 73) “

        Violations of security council resolutions are recorded at the security council and be condemned by the security council. Start citing …. thx I’ll wait

      • David Gerald Fincham
        June 8, 2015, 12:46 pm

        What the Security Council did say (Resolution 229, 25 November 1966) about the “Samu Incident” was this: “The Security Council,

        Having heard the statements of the representatives of Jordan and Israel concerning the grave Israel military action which took place in the southern Hebron area on 13 November 1966,

        Observing that this incident constituted a large-scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel,

        Reaffirming the previous resolutions of the Security Council condemning past incidents of reprisal in breach of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan and of the United Nations Charter,

        Recalling the repeated resolutions of the Security Council asking for the cessation of violent incidents across the demarcation line, and not overlooking past incidents of this nature,

        Reaffirming the necessity for strict adherence to the General Armistice Agreement,

        1. Deplores the loss of life and heavy damage to property resulting from the action of the Government of Israel on 13 November 1966;

        2. Censures Israel for this large-scale military action in violation of the United Nations Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan;

        3. Emphasizes to Israel that actions of military reprisal cannot be tolerated and that, if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts”

      • Walid
        June 8, 2015, 10:26 am

        “That between Israel and Lebanon saying “The Armistice Demarcation Line shall follow the international boundary between the Lebanon and- Palestine” (talknic)

        Talknic, you often mention the borders between Lebanon and Israel being the actual borders that existed back in the early 1920s between Lebanon and Palestine, which is right with exception to a couple of minor glitches created back then in the redistribution of territories and actual horse-trading between England and France with the Sykes-Picot, such as the small screw up that occurred at Chebaa Farms that’s still creating problems today. The 1926 Constitution was amended since 1943 before there was an Israel around with no change to the 1926 declared borders. Too bad Israel doesn’t want to have a constitution maybe it has something to with defining borders that goes against Israel’s grain.

        Lebanon’s borders have been set in its constitution of 1926 and defined as follows in the first article:

        “CHAPTER ONE
        THE STATE AND ITS TERRITORY
        Article 1
        (As amended by the constitutional law of November 9, 1943)

        Lebanon is an independent, indivisible, and sovereign state. Its frontiers are those which now bound it:

        On the North: From the mouth of Nahr Al-Kabir along a line following the course of this river to its point of junction with Wadi Khalid opposite Jisr Al-Qamar.

        On the East: The summit line separating the Wadi Khalid and Nahr Al-Asi, passing by the villages of Mu’aysarah, Harbanah, Hayt, Ibish, Faysan to the height of the two villages of Brifa and Matraba.This line follows the northern boundary of the Ba`albak District at the northeastern and south eastern directions, thence the eastern boundaries of the districts of Ba`albak, Biqa’, Hasbayya, and Rashayya.

        On the South: The present southern boundaries of the districts of Sûr (Tyre) and Marji`yun.

        On the West: The Mediterranean.”

        http://www.presidency.gov.lb/English/LebaneseSystem/Documents/Lebanese%20Constitution.pdf

      • talknic
        June 8, 2015, 11:16 am

        @ Walid June 8, 2015, 10:26 am

        “Talknic, you often mention the borders between Lebanon and Israel being the actual borders that existed back in the early 1920s between Lebanon and Palestine…”

        No. The only actual borders of any state are those territories proclaimed as sovereign and recognized as such. MAP

        There may be additional territories legally annexed to a state by some agreeable mechanism, treaty or referendum (see the US annexation of Texas, Hawaii, Alaska), which do not require recognition because there is an agreement.

        Like the agreed annexation of the West Bank was legally annexed at the request of the Palestinians Jordan’s annexation was as a trustee only (Session: 12-II Date: May 1950). So when the Hasbarristers say the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank was only recognized by two states, they’re A) talking out of their rrrrrses and B) Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem wasn’t recognized by anyone so their ignorant argument fails on all accounts

        Israel has never legally annexed any territories. It’s actual borders are as they were proclaimed and recognized. There has never been a “final settlement” (per the Armistice Agreements) between Israel and Palestine.

        Millions of Israelis live in territories that have never been legally acquired by Israel. See the MAP (ibid) Successive Israeli Governments have purposefully created 67 yrs of illegal facts on the ground in non-Israeli territories knowing full well the state was simply incapable of paying the astronomical costs involved in adhering to the laws it 1st broke at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) by having forces in non-Israeli territories.

        “Too bad Israel doesn’t want to have a constitution maybe it has something to with defining borders that goes against Israel’s grain”

        Being a majority Jewish state and a democracy have been obviously irreconcilable from the outset

        Furthermore without a constitution, Israel has never had a legally elected Government, under the promised and legally required constitution. The Zionist Movement‘s state has spent the last 67 years duping the majority of Israelis of their rights, selling them land in non-Israeli territories, endangering their lives by encouraging them to illegally settle in Occupied Territories.

      • Mooser
        June 10, 2015, 3:16 pm

        “The Zionist Movement‘s state has spent the last 67 years duping the majority of Israelis of their rights, selling them land in non-Israeli territories, endangering their lives by encouraging them to illegally settle in Occupied Territories.”

        “Talknic”, you have got to stop saying stuff like that. How could something like that actually happen? Jewish Tribal Unity forbids one Jew duping another, defrauding or taking advantage of another Jew. It’s simply unthinkable. Zionism is based on Jewish tribal unity, and trust among us.

  4. russgreen
    May 30, 2015, 9:12 am

    Thanks for a very informative, factual, and important article.

  5. italian ex-pat
    May 30, 2015, 6:25 pm

    I’m not sure my comment is relevant to the issue presented in this article, but I find a disturbing similarity to another story I read yesterday. It was an op-ed practically buried in the ‘Opinion’ section of the NYT, titled ‘Selling off Apache Holy Land’, and it’s about a sneaky, disgraceful deal being negotiated to sell some Arizona land to an Australian mining company, which has its eyes on this land for the purpose of – guess what – mining it for copper.
    Aside from the ecological and environmental disaster that would cause, this is public land protected against such use by a Presidential decree (D. Eisenhower), and has also been revered as sacred ground by an Apache tribe who has been holding religious events there since time immemorial. Like they haven’t already been dispossessed enough.
    What makes this proposed deal especially nauseating is that it was sneaked in as a ‘rider’ on a military defense bill sure to pass Congress, at the very last minute so as to avoid scrutiny. And the sponsors are . . . Arizona Senators McCain and Flake, those two models of decency and patriotism.
    This happened 3 months ago, and apparently it went unnoticed by most of the good folks in Washington, D.C., which makes one wonder what we are paying them a handsome salary for.
    As I said at the beginning, the two stories are quite different, except for the fact that in both cases underhanded tactics are being used to dump more injustice on people already over-abused. I hope you guys will look up the article and the excellent readers’ comments.

  6. italian ex-pat
    May 30, 2015, 7:37 pm

    Sorry for the double posting.

    But I wanted to add that, as I wrote in a previous post a few days ago, the ethnic cleansing of the Native Americans by the US in the 19th century is often brought up by Israel’s apologists as an example and legitimate excuse for her expansionist policies and dispossession of the Palestinian people.
    As the NYT op-ed I’ve referenced above shows, the abuse and indifference to the suffering of our Native Americans still exists today. So it should come as no surprise that the Israelis are not too concerned about our government’s tepid expressions of disapproval regarding their illegal settlements continuing expansion, and dismiss them as hypocritical.

Leave a Reply