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Traveling through the occupied West Bank on an Israelis-only road

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I took this video last week from the back seat of a cab traveling from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv on a highway through the occupied West Bank. I was struck by the architecture of apartheid: the complete separation of one group — the Israelis allowed on the Israelis-only road — from Palestinians, the villages we pass through whose residents are not allowed access to a road on their own lands.

The extent of the barrier was staggering to me. The video culminates at 3:15 with views of Ofer Prison. I’ve been to several demonstrations at Ofer, but never seen it from the apartheid road.

You will notice that the cabdriver goes in for a lot of racist characterizations of Palestinians as ill-educated and incapable of work. I wish I could say his attitudes are atypical.

Here is a B’Tselem report on Route 443 that describes much of the architecture you see in this video.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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71 Responses

  1. giladg on August 12, 2012, 11:18 am

    Philip, I suggest you retract this article and issue an apology for misleading your readers. A large section of the Road 443 is open to West Bank Palestinians. The Israeli Supreme Court decided this a while back. Your report from B’Tselem is out of date and wrong.
    By the way, you are coming across in your interviews like a fish out of water. You really do not understand the region.

    • annie on August 12, 2012, 11:39 am

      gilad, this is from b’tselem july 15th 2012 http://www.btselem.org/freedom_of_movement

      In addition, according to data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between January and May 2012 there were also 450 unmanned physical barriers – mounds of dirt, concrete blocks, gates, and road segments closed to Palestinian traffic. There are also, in May 2012 some 256 temporary checkpoints erected in the West Bank for a few hours at a time, without permanent infrastructure at those locations. In March 2012, 340 such checkpoint were counted.

      Along the route of the Separation Barrier there are, as of the end of 2011, 60 agricultural gates allowing Palestinians very limited access to areas west of the barrier, defined as closed military zones. Twelve of the gates are opened daily for a few hours, and the others are opened only during certain agricultural seasons.

      These restrictions reflect Israel’s approach over the years that freedom of movement is not a right, but a privilege that Israel may grant or deny as it sees fit.

      The restrictions still in place in the West Bank impede Palestinian access to areas where Israel is interested in retaining control, such as East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, enclaves west of the Separation Barrier and settlements in the heart of Hebron. These restrictions prevent Palestinians from using some of the main roads and highways in the West Bank – including parts of Route 60 and Route 443. Settlers travel freely along these roads, while Palestinians are shunted to longer routes using side roads.

      In the areas where Israel still maintains restrictions on Palestinian movement, the restrictions create a situation of constant uncertainty for Palestinians regarding their ability to carry out everyday activities, such as going to work or school in the nearby town, marketing farm produce, obtaining medical treatment, or visiting relatives. Many actions also require complex bureaucratic processes, at the end of which the Civil Administration often denies the request.

      from the report phil cited

      Route 443 is the main road linking Jerusalem and the West Bank settlements with the bloc of Modi’in communities and the Tel Aviv area in central Israel . The route serves some 40,000 vehicles daily and is an alternate route to the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Road (Highway No. 1), which is generally crowded. Israel paved the road in the 1980s, using 14 kilometers of an existing route in the West Bank as part of it. This 14-kilometer stretch, which is about half the length of the entire road, served for decades as the main Palestinian traffic artery in the southern Ramallah District, dating back to Mandatory times. As it passes through the centers of villages lying southwest of Ramallah, it served tens of thousands of Palestinians on their way between the city and the villages.

      To pave this part of the road, Israel expanded the existing route by expropriating thousands of dunams of public and private land belonging to Palestinian residents of villages in the area. The landowners filed a petition against the action to the High Court of Justice, which approved the expropriations. The court accepted the army’s contention that the road was intended to meet Palestinian needs, since the roads in the West Bank were outdated and no longer sufficient, given the sharp increase in the number of motor vehicles and laborers who travelled on these roads to work in Israel .

      Forbidding Palestinians from using the road

      In 2002, following several cases of Palestinian gunfire at Israeli vehicles on the road, in which six Israeli citizens and one resident of East Jerusalem were killed, Israel prohibited Palestinians from using the road, by vehicle or on foot, for whatever purpose, including transport of goods or for medical emergencies. Local Palestinians travelling to Ramallah and between the villages had to return to using the same roads that Israel had claimed, 20 years earlier, were unfit for the growing volume of traffic. The alternative route is a worn and winding road that passes through a tunnel under Route 443 and through the villages themselves. It is much longer than the original road and is supposed to serve all the 35,000 villagers in the area.

      The prohibition on Palestinian travel on Route 443 was implemented first by placing physical obstructions – iron gates, concrete blocks, checkpoints, or a combination of these – and later by army patrols, which punished Palestinians who violated the prohibition. Subsequently, the Israel Police also began to enforce the prohibition, issuing tickets, on one pretext or another, to Palestinians using the road. Checkpoints were erected at either end of the road – (Maccabim Checkpoint where it enters Israeli territory and Atarot Checkpoint where it enters Jerusalem ‘s jurisdictional area.

      you:”Your report from B’Tselem is out of date and wrong”

      which part is wrong? use supporting links. when you say A large section of the Road 443 is open to West Bank Palestinians you know it does not include the 14-kilometer main Palestinian traffic artery in the southern Ramallah District, dating back to Mandatory times, don’t you?

      furthermore, while you are sourcing your allegations/accusations ( phil is ‘misleading’ readers) please providing supporting evidence palestinians can travel unimpeded on the road phil references: traveling from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv on a highway through the occupied West Bank.

      • jewishgoyim on August 12, 2012, 12:05 pm

        Facts are annoying to your average hasbaraist. So why link to them when mere assertions can do some of the work?

      • Krauss on August 12, 2012, 8:56 pm

        The vast majority of Israeli-only roads are de facto Jewish only roads. When was the last time you saw major Arab settlers within the West bank?

        A sliver of Arab drivers on 5 % of the roads doesn’t mean it’s an equal burden.
        And even beyond that, the Israeli-only roads are often highways while the Palestinian-only roads are often built very small and usually going around pretty much nowhere(don’t want them to get to places too quickly, if at all).

        Finally, my question is why the mods even allow an obvious paid hasbara troll like giladg and others?

      • Kathleen on August 13, 2012, 9:10 am

        Annie you are so obsessed with facts. What is up with that? Thanks for all you do

      • annie on August 13, 2012, 9:50 am

        thank you for all you do kathleen. i don’t really think of myself as obsessed but when someone says we mislead readers here ..well! i can’t let that go unchallenged. ;)

    • tree on August 12, 2012, 11:56 am

      Giladg,

      As usual in Israel, a country without a constitution and thus without an enforceable mechanism for Supreme Court decisions to be implemented, the problem has been that the IDF has not obeyed the decision and the decision itself was limited in scope. The BTselem link, written in 2011, discusses the 2009 SC decision and the IDF reactions, which have changed little for Palestinians.

      Implementation of the High Court’s decision

      Despite Justice Fogelman’s important principled determination, the decision did not clearly instruct the army how to implement the judgment. Also, the court rejected the villagers’ demand that it order the army to open the route leading to Bitunya, which links the villages with Ramallah.

      The army proposed new traffic arrangements that still exclude Palestinians from the road, rendering the judgment meaningless. These include establishment of two new checkpoints – next to the Ofer army base and next to Maccabim – where, according to the army’s announcement , a careful check will be made of Palestinian vehicles wanting to use the road. In addition, the army will remove the physical obstructions from four access roads linking Palestinian villages with the road. The arrangements do enable Palestinians to travel between the villages in the area, but still prevent them from using Route 443 as the main artery to Ramallah . In this way, the army continues to improperly discriminate against Palestinians, whose use of the road is greatly limited, while Israelis are permitted to travel along it freely .

      From the BTselem link above.

      You really do not understand the region.

      Spoken like a white South African during apartheid, giladg.

      Let us guess. It’s complicated, right?

      • giladg on August 12, 2012, 1:07 pm

        What do you know about South Africa in the apartheid days? Where were you in those days?

      • justicewillprevail on August 12, 2012, 2:33 pm

        I was in S Africa after apartheid, but many of the white S Africans retained the same views they had during apartheid. On later going to Israel I found exactly the same paranoid group-thinking, superstitious prejudiced bunk about other ‘races’, and absurd self-justifying constructed histories and myths. And complete denial about what was blindingly obvious to the visitor.

      • Kathleen on August 13, 2012, 9:12 am

        Organizing on college campuses. Where were you? Creating the apartheid state of Israel?

    • Mooser on August 12, 2012, 12:02 pm

      “Philip, I suggest you retract this article and issue an apology for misleading your readers.”

      Ah, good ol’ “giladg”! Always glad to help a tribal bro’ out. What a guy.

      • Kathleen on August 13, 2012, 9:13 am

        giladg might want to start holding his breath. Why would Phil apologize for stating facts?

    • Hostage on August 12, 2012, 12:13 pm

      Philip, I suggest you retract this article and issue an apology for misleading your readers. A large section of the Road 443 is open to West Bank Palestinians.

      Limor Yehuda, the lawyer who argued the case for the civil rights group, said that the verdict had been rendered moot by the IDF’s actions to implement the Court’s decision. See Limor Yehuda, Route 443: The Legal Illusion, Jewish Quarterly; Summer 2010, Issue 215, page 38

      The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has a page on “The lllusion of Rule of Law on Route 443:

      While the Court’s 2009 decision to open the road was originally perceived as a victory for the rule of law and human rights, the IDF’s implementation plan amounts to a blatant mockery of these values. The plan also demonstrates how problematic and insufficient the Court’s ruling is. The new arrangement, which calls for only two entry ramps and four exit points, creates the false impression of new regulations, genuine freedom of movement, and adherence to the rule of law, though in fact no real change will occur; the Palestinians’ situation will actually only worsen.

      ACRI holds both the IDF and the High Court responsible for what will become a human rights travesty. While the IDF is taking care to adhere to the letter of the law in the Court’s decision, it is acting in utter disregard of the spirit of the ruling which deemed the closing of Route 443 illegal and unacceptable. Rather than redressing the gross injustice committed over the past decade, the IDF continues to exploit every possible loophole to maintain the status quo.

      The High Court of Justice, unfortunately, supplied the IDF with a number of such loopholes. The ruling contains an untenable gap between lofty principles and concrete instructions for the military. While the justices underscored the need to protect the Palestinians’ human rights, they chose not to state which roadblocks must be removed, or what steps the army must take in order to fulfill its legal obligations to the local population. Moreover, the Court did not call for the opening of the Beituniya crossing, which connects the Palestinian villages to the metropolitan center of Ramallah. This renders the opening of the road almost meaningless and negates the central principle of the Court’s ruling; without the opening of the Beituniya crossing, Route 443 effectively cannot be used by the very population for which it was built.

      Through the 443 ruling and implementation plan, the Israeli authorities are creating an illusion of justice while continuing to violate the Palestinians’ rights and mock the principle of rule of law.

      –http://www.acri.org.il/en/2010/05/25/the-lllusion-of-rule-of-law-on-route-443/

    • Blake on August 12, 2012, 12:38 pm

      @giladg: Lol. “A large section”. Do enlighten us “fish out of the water”.

      • giladg on August 12, 2012, 1:10 pm

        The entire width of Israel is on average 60 miles wide. When I say “large”, it should be understood in relative terms.

      • Blake on August 12, 2012, 2:10 pm

        I could walk it in 15 hours then. Pity the Palestinians cannot. They are imprisoned on their own land. Freedom is a right, not a privilege.

      • Kathleen on August 13, 2012, 9:13 am

        good one

  2. Merk on August 12, 2012, 11:53 am
    • tree on August 12, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Several problems with your reasoning, Merk (and dimadok).

      First, since 443 was originally built, according to the Israeli government, to facilitate travel by West Bank Palestinians, then one solution to the terrorist attacks by Palestinians on Israelis using the road would be to ban Israelis from using a road built in the West Bank on land taken from Palestinian land holders. The fact that such a solution was never contemplated simply shows the unjust treatment of West Bank Palestinians. Their land can be taken to create a road to make it easier for Israelis and Israeli settlers to get around, and they can be denied and limited access to the same road.

      Second, as your Jpost link shows, banning Palestinian cars from the road has not prevented attacks, which continued, although in less lethal form, during the time that Palestinian cars were completely prohibited from driving on the roads.

      Third, the action was a form of collective punishment, punishing all West Bank Palestinians from using the road because of the actions of a very few. Collective punishment is wrong, but if Israel thinks that it is justified in punishing a whole population because of the acts of a few, then why didn’t Israel prohibit all Israeli Jews from entering or living in Hebron when Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 praying Palestinians? Why didn’t Israel prohibit all Israeli Jews from using route 443 when Jewish extremists rigged bombs under the cars of 3 Palestinian city mayors in the ’80?
      http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/settler-car-bomb-near-ramallah-redoubles-price-tag-attacks.html
      Why didn’t Israel demolish houses in Rishon LeZion after Ami Popper killed 7 Palestinians there? Why didn’t Israel erect checkpoints for Israelis after Eden Natan-Zada went on a killing spree on a bus in Shfar’am? There are numerous instances up to today, of small groups of Israeli Jews committing violent acts but Israel has NEVER considered collective punishment as a “remedy” in those cases.

      Israel clearly doesn’t think collective punishment is effective in preventing terror. If it did, it would have done all those things I mentioned above. It simply believes that it has the right to treat Palestinians unjustly, and privilege Jews, whatever the excuse may be. That is morally wrong. If the tables were reversed, I’m sure you would see how morally wrong it is. But it favors “us” over “them”, and so you are fine with it. Shame on you.

  3. dimadok on August 12, 2012, 11:58 am

    Again my comment from the previous post (http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/the-world-according-to-sheldon-adelson.html#comment-483877) )stands- Apartheid my a..!!!!
    The wall, barrier and the rest were erected because of shooting, blowing-up people, buses and constant flow of attacks. Also in the post itself, apartheid argument is failing since the roads are PARTIALLY closed to Palestinians and are open for Israelis (Jews and non-Jews alike).
    @Gilad. Phil dose look completely out of touch.

    • justicewillprevail on August 12, 2012, 1:33 pm

      In that case the Palestinians should build walls, road blocks and Palestinian only roads to protect themselves from the brutal terrorism and daily harassment from Israeli militias and thugs.

    • The Hasbara Buster on August 12, 2012, 1:52 pm

      @dimadok: The small detail you fail to mention is that a large section of the road was built on private Palestinian property. As usual, the aggression (in this case, land-stealing) came from the Israeli Jews in the first place, and the Palestinians only reacted to that abuse. What do you suggest they do to get their land back?

    • Blake on August 12, 2012, 1:55 pm

      Those walls do nothing but blight an otherwise beautiful Palestinian countryside. Who or what was protecting the native people from the zionist invasion and plunder of their land? You ignore the root cause completely.

      • philweiss on August 12, 2012, 2:23 pm

        well put, and logical too. and traveling there, one becomes so inured to it.

      • dimadok on August 12, 2012, 3:11 pm

        Am I ignoring a root cause here? Let’s break your response in two :
        First, does Israel as the sole sovereign power in Judea and Samaria has the right to build and expand the pre-exsiting road, while expropriating the land, whether it is owned by private person or any other entity- I believe it does. It also has the obligation to grant the access for anyone who wishes to use it- and it did so since 1967 until the last year of second intifada. What has occurred since- two major checkpoints has been established, one near Modiin and another at Atarot, and the part of the road in between is open for the movement of both Israelis and Palestinians alike. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Route_443_(Israel)
        As for the walls and security barriers- yes they are ugly as hell, I do agree, but they look fantastic when compared to the every day/night chance of being shot at or blown. I traveled this road at night before the walls and I was scared as hell. Also some of the roadblocks ar for Israelis only, for those who forgot the lynch in Ramallah that occurred one mile from the wrong turn on the road to Ofer prison.
        So the root cause for the barrier is saving human lives and I can live with them blocking my view on the beautiful hills of Jerusalem.

      • annie on August 12, 2012, 3:18 pm

        Israel as the sole sovereign power in Judea and Samaria

        source?

      • dimadok on August 12, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Do you know another sovereign power there?

      • Blake on August 12, 2012, 3:47 pm

        What is scary as hell is your psyche. It beggars belief human beings think like you do. Zionists have no legal, moral and ethical right to any part of Palestine at the expense of the Palestinian people.

      • annie on August 12, 2012, 4:08 pm

        dim, i asked you to a question. do not play word games or answer me with another question. do you or do you not have a source link that alleges israeli sovereignty over the west bank. don’t be shy.

        i’m sure the gov of israel has one somewhere on it’s website, if this were in fact true, which it isn’t.

        somebody’s sounding completely out of touch but it’s not phil.

      • justicewillprevail on August 12, 2012, 4:08 pm

        It is Palestinian territory.

      • dimadok on August 12, 2012, 5:03 pm

        There is sovereignty de jure and de facto- in case of the road 443 both apply to Israel ( Area C under Oslo agreements and military administration in most of West Bank ).

      • lyn117 on August 12, 2012, 7:35 pm

        If Israel is the sovereign, then all the inhabitants are citizens who should be accorded equal rights. That Israel denies some of the citizens the right to vote for representatives in the government that rules them means it is a racist, apartheid country.

      • lyn117 on August 12, 2012, 7:42 pm

        @dimmy, Military administration isn’t sovereignty.

      • dimadok on August 12, 2012, 9:35 pm

        Sovereignity is the supreme authority within the territory- therefore Israel is de facto the sovereign there.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sovereignty/#1

      • annie on August 13, 2012, 12:29 am

        There is sovereignty de jure

        lol, classic

        Sovereignity is the supreme authority within the territory…Israel is de facto the sovereign

        oh really. would you kindly blockquote the segment of that text you linked to, the segment the pertains to the logic supporting your theory. i presume it’s not

        1. A Definition of Sovereignty

        In his classic, The King’s Two Bodies (1957), medievalist Ernst Kantorowicz describes a profound transformation in the concept of political authority over the course of the Middle Ages. The change began when the concept of the body of Christ evolved into a notion of two bodies — one, the corpus naturale, the consecrated host on the altar, the other, the corpus mysticum, the social body of the church with its attendant administrative structure. This latter notion — of a collective social organization having an enduring, mystical essence —

        but please, do tell.

      • talknic on August 13, 2012, 1:37 am

        dimadok August 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        “Am I ignoring a root cause here?””

        Of course. You HAVE TO to raise a pathetic, drivel laden, argument.

        Palestine was and still is a non-self-governing territory protected under the UN Charter Chapt XI. Why do you think there are so many UNSC resolutions against Israel’s illegal activities?

        dimadok August 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

        “Sovereignity is the supreme authority within the territory- therefore Israel is de facto the sovereign there. “

        Big deal. de facto = facts on the ground // de jure = LEGAL

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 3:52 am

        Sovereignty is the supreme authority within the territory- therefore Israel is de facto the sovereign there.

        As part of the UN process of decolonization, the permanent sovereignty of indigenous peoples was established as a norm of international law. Every year the UN goes through the motion of adopting a resolution which recognizes the de jure sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their occupied territory and its natural resources. Last year those opposed were Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and the United States of America.

        Even those countries agree that Israel’s jurisdiction is limited to that of an Occupying Power in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. See Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/66/449

        Dr. James R. Crawford’s PhD thesis dealt with the Creation of States in International Law. Here’s a blurb from the Preface to the 2nd Edition:

        The first edition of this book was based on a thesis, supervised by Ian Brownlie, which was submitted in 1976 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Oxford. At around 180,000 words the thesis was almost too long to be examined; it was also too long to be published in full. An abbreviated version, updated as far as possible to 31 December 1977, was published by Oxford University Press in 1979. It was awarded the American Society of International Law’s Certificate of Merit in 1981.

        The Second Edition of his magnum opus was revised and significantly expanded. So let me save you a lot of time and effort. Territories are self-determination units. Sovereignty resides in the lawful inhabitants. You can’t obtain sovereignty through military conquest or colonization. Palestine, and any other territory, can acquire the status of a state despite any limitation on the so-called sovereignty of the people living there. Here is the first item in Crawford’s last chapter, “Conclusions”:

        “In the first place, the concept of “sovereignty” as a criterion for plenary competence has been rejected. Although that view gained a certain degree of acceptance among nineteenth-century writers and was accepted in the twentieth century in Soviet and in some western doctrine, the notion of “sovereignty” has been seen to be both unhelpful and misleading as a criterion. It is unhelpful since both the legal and the effective capacities, rights, immunities and so on of States may vary widely, within the limits established by the criteria for separate independence. It is misleading since it implies a necessary and overriding omnipotence which States do not possess in law or in fact. Rejection of “sovereignty” as a criterion involves rejection of the old notion of the “semi-sovereign” State. Those dependent, devolving or sui generis entities that qualify as States under the general criteria do so despite specific limitations as to capacity and the like;

      • dimadok on August 13, 2012, 7:47 am

        Direct quote from the SAME link:
        “Supreme authority within a territory — this is the general definition of sovereignty”
        How is your reading comperhesion, Annie?
        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sovereignty/#1

      • dimadok on August 13, 2012, 7:51 am

        So based on someone else PhD thesis the definition of sovereign country and it’s territory is changed? Do you how much crap people write in their thesises? I have PhD- does it mean that everything I’ve written there is absolute true? Surely it is not, since these are only assertions that may or may not be true if proven and accepted by the majority of the peers. And the will be “truthful” until something else is proposed.

      • amigo on August 13, 2012, 8:23 am

        Dimadok,,The Israeli High Court ruled The West Bank as being held under Belligerent Occupation by Israel.

        Ergo, Israel cannot be the Occupier and the Sovereign.

        If as you claim Israel is the sovereign , when will you be demanding equality for all citizens of this sovereign Israel???.

      • justicewillprevail on August 13, 2012, 10:17 am

        So you’re just making assertions now, which you make up as you go along. Very funny that you quote the Oslo accords as some kind of statute – would this be the accord which Sharon boasted of torpedoing, and which Israel considers dead and buried, and one anyway which they comprehensively ignored?

      • Mooser on August 13, 2012, 10:26 am

        “How is your reading comperhesion, Annie?” (sic)

        If she can decipher your misspellings, pretty good. What happened to the broad “edacuational” (sick) experience?

      • MHughes976 on August 13, 2012, 11:02 am

        Israel does wield sovereign power from river to sea though it does not meet the criteria for legitimate sovereignty. The basis of legitimate sovereignty is a social contract among people in a territory, historically including contracts made in the aftermath of war when a conqueror is legitimated by some sort of bargain with former enemies. If a legitimate social contract must in all circumstances include enfranchisement for all who are subject to the sovereign power (which is what most of us think) then the conqueror must enfranchise the new subjects along with the old ones, otherwise the new regime is merely a form of slavery, not of legitimate government. An occupier who does not intend conquest must show this intention in the only possible way that it can sincerely be shown, that is by restoring sovereignty, perhaps by stages with an end in sight, to the people under occupation either as a distinct group or as members of a larger state, should a larger state be willing to receive and enfranchise them. On this showing Israel is neither a legitimate sovereign nor a legitimate occupier.

      • annie on August 13, 2012, 11:51 am

        you’ve got a lot of nerve asking me about my reading comprehension. if i didn’t make it abundantly clear in this comment http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/traveling-through-the-occupied-west-bank-on-an-israelis-only-road.html/comment-page-1#comment-486152 i have no intention of wading thru a bunch of text just because you linked to it. do your own homework if you plan on using something as a source document.

        so blockquote the segment, not one sentence from a disertation that claims authority means sovereignty. where’s your reading comprehension?

        ” blockquote the segment of that text you linked to, the segment the pertains to the logic supporting your theory. ”

        there is no logic supporting your claim. grab the entire paragraph at least and then explain why medieval political theology should be used as a basis for israels alleged sovereignty today.i’m not reading the whole thing, i have better things to do. state your case lazyboy.

      • dimadok on August 13, 2012, 12:50 pm

        @mooser. Thank god for the Grammar Cavalry-when in need, they arrive and save the debate.

      • dimadok on August 13, 2012, 1:00 pm

        I’ll try again, slowly- :
        ” In international law, sovereignty means that a government possesses full control over affairs within a territorial or geographical area or limit. It also often a matter of diplomatic dispute”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty
        Does PA has the full authority and do Palestinians have the state? I don’t believe so, since it is still a matter for the negotiations.
        http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40313&Cr=palestin&Cr1=
        I quote : “4 November 2011 – The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, today said that the United Nations body should continue working for a “just and comprehensive negotiated peace settlement” in the Middle East that will result in two viable sovereign States – Israel and Palestine – coexisting peacefully.”.
        And another thing-name calling such as “lazyboy” or “nut”, like in another reply of yours, doesn’t give add to your opinion anything, rather diminish your argumentation.

      • annie on August 13, 2012, 2:05 pm

        so, i guess that means you are declining to offer any jewels of wisdom from your other supporting(allegedly) link eh. moving on to wiki. how impressive/not. let’s note you avoided this from your own source:

        The current notion of state sovereignty is often traced back to the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which, in relation to states, codified the basic principles:

        territorial integrity
        border inviolability
        supremacy of the state (rather than the Church)
        a sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.[citation needed]

        for your edification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_integrity

        Territorial integrity is the principle under international law that nation-states should not attempt to promote secessionist movements or to promote border changes in other nation-states.[citation needed] Conversely it states that imposition by force of a border change is an act of aggression.

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 2:58 pm

        So based on someone else PhD thesis the definition of sovereign country and it’s territory is changed? Do you how much crap people write in their thesises?

        Yes I do. That’s why I cited the proper authorities on the subject in the first place, i.e. the US State Department Digest of International Law; Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention, the Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law, and the final decisions of the World Court and a League of Nations Arbital Court appointed to decide whether mandate Palestine was a State. Your tag team partner Bing Bong was wanting to know if we’re going to let “historians” like James Crawford have their say”? FYI, he actually agreed with the sources that I cited in the first place – and nobody would care if he didn’t, since the question is res judicata.

      • Mooser on August 13, 2012, 3:49 pm

        “@mooser. Thank god for the Grammar Cavalry-when in need, they arrive and save the debate.”

        Spelling as correctly as possible, and making sentences clear if possible is simply a matter of respect for your reader. It also, BTW, shows you may have thought about what you are saying, and believe it yourself, enough to want to make it clear.

      • dimadok on August 13, 2012, 4:08 pm

        @Annie. Slowly and patiently again:
        What are the borders of Palestinian State, when it was established, where its body of government is located,what is it currency, anthem-you know those “simple” things that define it’s sovereignty.

      • dimadok on August 13, 2012, 4:17 pm

        @Hostage.
        Let’s break it down;
        Montevideo article 1: Does Palestinian authority answers all the criteria-it doesn’t, since it does not have a defined territory where it can apply it’s rule of law.
        Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law-why exactly it applies to Israel, did I missed the part when it became a part of US?
        The World Court and a League of Nations Arbital Court appointed to decide whether mandate Palestine was a State- it applied to MANDATE Palestine ( in Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions Case) and not to the modern definition of Palestinian Authority.
        Anything else I forgot?
        See you in the library.

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 8:20 pm

        you’ve got a lot of nerve asking me about my reading comprehension.

        You’d waste a lot less time if you’d simply abandon irrelevant philosophical discussions about the doctrines of omnipotent sovereignty from the Middle Ages or the 19th century. Israel never exercised sovereignty over Europe, but it none the less exercised jurisdiction over crimes committed there before it came into existence during the Eichmann trial.

        There is no longer any such thing as “sole” criminal jurisdiction under the jus cogens norms of customary international law. Any treaty that violates such norms is null and void. The doctrine of “sovereign equality” reflected in the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States and the UN Charter holds that 1) the only tangible manifestation of sovereignty is jurisdiction; and 2) every state has equal legal capacity to exercise universal jurisdiction over “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions; and Crimes Against Humanity, including eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed. No statutory limitations are applicable.

        The numerical majority of UN member states have already recognized Palestine’s first act of state, i.e. the 1988 Unilateral Declaration of Independence cited as the basis for its UN and UNESCO applications for membership. So remember, Palestine doesn’t have to be recognized as a “sovereign” State, it simply has to be recognized as “a State” with territorial jurisdiction for the purposes of Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. Even the Protocols on Legal Matters in the Jericho-Gaza Agreement recognized that the Palestinian Authority had criminal jurisdiction and territorial jurisdiction.

      • Blake on August 13, 2012, 8:49 pm

        dimadok: You are very patronizing.

        Miko Peled, The Generals son: “Now, although Palestine was not a state yet, it would have become one had it not been so thoroughly destroyed. Palestine had bustling cities where commerce & trade were taking place, they had a middle class, they had judges, scholars, a rich political life, they had culture & a unique identity that set them apart from the rest of Arab world. What Palestinians did not have was a military. While they constituted vast majority of population, when Jewish militias attacked, they were helpless.”

        It’s all kind of common sense like all the many nations under colonial rule at the time – and there were many. Pray tell what on earth are the borders of “israel”?

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 9:55 pm

        I’ll try again, slowly- :
        ” In international law, sovereignty means that a government possesses full control over affairs within a territorial or geographical area or limit. It also often a matter of diplomatic dispute”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        You’re citing a Wikipedia article that has been tagged with the Original Research banner. So it’s no surprise to find that the statement you quoted does not appear in the cited Encyclopædia Britannica article:

        sovereignty, in political theory, the ultimate overseer, or authority, in the decision-making process of the state and in the maintenance of order. The concept of sovereignty—one of the most controversial ideas in political science and international law—is closely related to the difficult concepts of state and government and of independence and democracy. Derived from the Latin term superanus through the French term souveraineté, >sovereignty was originally meant to be the equivalent of supreme power. However, in practice it often has departed from this traditional meaning.

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/557065/sovereignty

        If you want to discuss the definition of a state in international law, then please cite one of the recognized authorities or cite some customary or conventional law on the subject, like the International Law Commission, International Law Report, Digest of International Law, Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, or the legally binding criteria found in Article 1 of the Montevideo convention sans the usual embellishments. Original research posted to Wikipedia is not a relevant.

        There is no full authority or sovereignty criteria in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention. In “The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic – Case No. IT-02-54-T (Rule 98 bis test – Deportation, forcible transfer and cross border transfer – Definition of a State)”, the Amici Curiae motion argued that all “grave breaches” counts in the Croatia Indictment before January 15, 1992, had to be dismissed because the Prosecution failed to establish that Croatia was a state before that time, making the conflict one of a non-international nature. So, there was a genuine disagreement regarding the existence of statehood that could have effected the result of the case under governing law. “The Trial Chamber noted that the best known definition of a state is provided by the Montevideo Convention, Art.1 which reads: “The State as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a) a permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with other States.” The most decisive of these is the last. Based upon negotiations with other international actors the Trial Chamber concluded there was sufficient evidence that Croatia was a State.

        Israel and the UN have been negotiating with Palestine ever since the 1988 UDI. The State of Palestine has embassies and has signed treaties with dozens of other states. More importantly only states can negotiate borders. So the negotiations that you mention establish that Palestine is a state.

        Does PA has the full authority and do Palestinians have the state? I don’t believe so, since it is still a matter for the negotiations.

        The correct question is does Palestine have the full authority? The answer is yes. Member states of UN specialized agencies, like UNESCO are a “category of states” that have been formally recognized under the rules of customary international law codified in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. In accordance with articles 6, 81, and 83 of that convention:
        Article 6
        Capacity of States to conclude treaties
        Every State possesses capacity to conclude treaties.
        Article 81
        Signature
        The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States Members of the United Nations or of any of the specialized agencies . . .
        Article 83
        Accession
        The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State belonging to any of the categories mentioned in article 81.
        link to untreaty.un.org
        Article 48 and 50 of The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations also contain identical invitations for State members of UN specialized agencies to deposit signatures or accessions to that treaty. link to untreaty.un.org

        So Palestine has full authority to sign treaties and carry on diplomatic relations with other states.

      • Hostage on August 14, 2012, 12:30 am

        @Hostage. Let’s break it down; Montevideo article 1: Does Palestinian authority answers all the criteria-it doesn’t, since it does not have a defined territory where it can apply it’s rule of law. Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law-why exactly it applies to Israel, did I missed the part when it became a part of US?

        Let’s break it down for you. People reflexively turn to arguments based on the Montevideo Convention and forget that it is actually a treaty instrument between 19 signatories – that is still in full legal force.

        There is no compromissory clause that would allow any party to challenge a determination made by one of the signatories to recognize the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders. 12 of the 19 have already done that: Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Honduras, and Dominican Republic. So the Article 1 criteria is no obstacle to Palestine’s statehood.

        Regarding borders. The General Assembly:
        *Acknowledged the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine in line with “the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people” to self-determination. See resolution 43/177;
        *It said that Palestinian statehood is not subject to the peace process or to any veto. See operative paragraphs 1 & 2 of resolution 55/87
        *It adopted UN reports and resolutions on credentials that mention “their State, Palestine”. Those resolutions describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as “their territory” and say that “the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory”. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly 58/292, 17 May 2004.
        *The verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of resolution 58/292 indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. See A/58/PV.87
        Permanent international armistice lines of demarcation imposed under the terms of a Chapter VII UN Security Council resolution are legal boundaries that the parties are required to observe and respect in accordance with the Charter and the UN General Assembly, Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, 24 October 1970, available at: link to unhcr.org [accessed 1 July 2012] .

        The armistice lines were adopted as a provisional measure under Article 40, Chapter VII of the UN Charter in accordance with Security Council resolutions 62 and 73. The ICJ cited those resolutions in its legal analysis of the status of the territory in the Wall case.

        During the Security Council’s 433rd meeting, the Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban, stated that the armistices were “a provisional settlement which can only be replaced by a peace agreement” and:

        The armistice lines do not merely separate armed forces. They mark the clearly defined areas of full civil jurisdiction. The Government, the courts, the legislatures, the security authorities of each respective State operate smoothly and unchallenged up to the appropriate armistice line. These lines thus have the normal characteristics of provisional frontiers until such time as a new process of negotiation and agreement determines the final territorial settlement. They are also stabilized by the mutual undertakings of the parties and by the fullest international sanction for as long as the Armistice Agreements are valid.

        The Armistice Agreements are not peace treaties. They do not prejudice the final territorial settlements. On the other hand, the provisional settlement established by the Armistice Agreements is unchallengeable until a new process of negotiation and agreement has been successfully consummated.

        link to un.org

        The Albanians joined the League of Nations without defined land frontiers, and when Israel joined the UN without any it became “the new normal”.
        Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands could not reach “a negotiated settlement” to their territorial disputes. The International Court of Justice noted in their contentious “North Sea Continental Shelf case (1968) that:

        “There is no rule that the land frontiers of a State must be fully delimited and defined, and often in various places and for long periods they are not, as is shown by the case of the entry of Albania into the League of Nations (Monastery of Saint Naoum, Advisor): Opinion, 1924, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 9, at p. 10).” See pdf file page 60 of 109) link to icj-cij.org

        Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law-why exactly it applies to Israel, did I missed the part when it became a part of US?

        In fulfillment of the prohibition against the acquisition of territory by war, The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 201 Reporters Note 3 says “The United States will treat States the territory of which is under foreign military occupation as continuing to exist.”

        In 1995 the State Department published a Memorandum of Conversation between William Crawford Jr. and Mr. Shaul Bar-Haim from the Israeli Embassy (February 7, 1963) regarding Jerusalem. Bar-Haim said “The use of the term “Palestine” is historical fiction; it encourages the Palestine entity concept; its “revived usage enrages” individual Israelis”. Crawford said “It is difficult to see how it “enrages” Israeli opinion. The practice is consistent with the fact that, ”in a de jure sense”, Jerusalem was part of Palestine and has not since become part of any other sovereignty, i.e. jurisdiction.

        FYI, Israel isn’t a signatory of the Montevideo Convention either, but you still tried to cite that. The Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States and Montevideo reflect customary international laws and state practice on the rights and duties of States. See for example the use of the Montevideo criteria in “The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic – Case No. IT-02-54-T (Rule 98 bis test – Deportation, forcible transfer and cross border transfer – Definition of a State)”

        The World Court and a League of Nations Arbital Court appointed to decide whether mandate Palestine was a State- it applied to MANDATE Palestine ( in Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions Case) and not to the modern definition of Palestinian Authority. Anything else I forgot?
        See you in the library.

        Surely, I’ve already shown that the US didn’t recognize the annexation of Jerusalem.

        At a conference in 1949, Israel rejected the terms for the transfer of jurisdiction contained in UN resolution 181(II). There was not, it alleged, an organized substitution of one State for another to which rules of international law should apply. It claimed as a result that it did not automatically inherit Palestine’s citizens or refugees, treaty obligations, or public debts. It also claimed that it was created by its own act of secession and was in no sense a successor of the former government of Palestine. See D.P. O’Connell author “The Law of State Succession”, Volume V of the Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, 1956, Hersh Lauterpacht editor, pages 10-11, and 178; and CApp 41/49 Simshon Palestine Portland Cement Factory LTD. v. Attorney-General (1950)
        link to elyon1.court.gov.il

        The Palestinians and the Arab League of States took the position that the state of Palestine did not cease exist. Transjordan and Arab Palestine observed the normal laws of succession when they formed and dissolved their provisional union. Many countries and the Security Council recognized the union with the exception of Jerusalem. See the sources here: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/07/if-palestinians-press-for-statehood-israelis-threaten-loss-of-food-fuel-water-everything.html#comment-344294

        The PA is a creation of the PLO. The PLO Executive and Central Committees still retain the power, under the terms of the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine to form and establish provisional governments; to conduct votes of confidence regarding provisional governments; to conduct foreign relations on behalf of the provisional government; and to act as sole representative of the Palestinian people until such time as the occupation comes to an end.

        122 countries have recognized the PLO/PA entity as the State of Palestine. Prof Ruth Lapidot has explained that recognition of statehood is a political act, and every state has the right to decide for itself whether to recognize another entity as a State. link to jpost.com See also PLO Negotiations Office Recognizing the Palestinian State on the 1967 border http://www.nad-plo.org/userfiles/file/fact%20sheet/who%20and%20why%20recognize%20Palestine%20Factsheet%20-%20english%20July%202011_pdf.pdf

      • Hostage on August 14, 2012, 9:45 am

        @Annie. Slowly and patiently again: What are the borders of Palestinian State

        @ dime-a-dozen 122 countries have formally recognized Palestine. The UN Credentials Committee and the General Assembly have adopted the 4 June 1967 borders for the purposes of defining the jurisdiction for Israel’s credentials.
        *The UN has adopted reports and resolutions on credentials that mention “their State, Palestine”. Those resolutions describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as “their territory” and say that “the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory”. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly 58/292, 17 May 2004.
        *The verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of resolution 58/292 indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. See A/58/PV.87
        *See also the PLO Negotiations Office “Recognizing the Palestinian State on the 1967 border” http://www.nad-plo.org/userfiles/file/fact%20sheet/who%20and%20why%20recognize%20Palestine%20Factsheet%20-%20english%20July%202011_pdf.pdf

        when it was established
        The application of Palestine for membership in UNESCO and the UN last year were both based upon the first act of state or succession that took place on November 15th, 1988 – a unilateral declaration of independence.

        122 countries and UNESCO have formally recognized the State of Palestine on that basis. Membership in the UN and its agencies is on the basis of “sovereign equality” under international law. The Act of State Doctrine says that a nation is sovereign within its own borders, and its acts may not be questioned in the courts of another nation. So under the principles of customary international law dating back to the 19th Century, recognition is always retroactive in effect and validates all the actions and conduct of the government so recognized from the commencement of its existence. See for example:
        *Ti-chiang Chen, “The international law of recognition, with special reference to practice in Great Britain and the United States”, Praeger, 1951, “Introduction” page 4 and “the doctrine of the
        retroactive effect of recognition” on page 34 “Recognition of States”: link to archive.org
        *The decision in Tinoco Arbitration (Great Britain v Costa Rica), 18 October 1923, (1924) 2 ILR 34-39 (1934) 18 AJIL. 147–74; (1922) 116 BFSP 438–43;. 1 UNRIIA 369
        *The decision and authorities cited in Oetjen V. Central Leather Co. , 246 U.S. 297 (1918) 246 U.S. 297 http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=246&invol=297

        where its body of government is located

        The 1988 UDI identified the PLO as the provisional government of the State of Palestine. The UN accordingly re-designated it as Palestine. It has headquarters in Ramallah where it has received ambassadors from countries throughout the world. UN General Assembly resolution 52/250 (1998) established Palestine’s current level of participation in the UN. It recalled the 1988 Declaration of Statehood; the fact that the Palestinian Authority was established in 1996 on part of the occupied Palestinian territory as a result of democratic elections; and the fact that Palestine is a full member State of several international organizations and a UN regional group.

        what is it currency, anthem-you know those “simple” things that define it’s sovereignty.

        You need to go back school. Anthems and currency do not define statehood or jurisdiction. Some countries do have their own currency and laws regulating its use as legal tender, but there are UN member states that do not follw that pattern. For example, Montenegro simply opts to use the Euro, but does not belong to the Eurozone economic and monetary union. San Marino, Monaco, and the Vatican City also use the euro, while Liechtenstein uses the Swiss franc. The Palestinian Authority, IMF, and Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) members employ several currencies.

        *FWIW The Palestinian national anthem is Fida’i http://www.mofa.gov.ps/arabic/Palestine/anthem.php

      • Mooser on August 14, 2012, 1:19 pm

        “Am I ignoring a root cause here?” Dimadok

        ROTFLMSJAO! Oh, no, Dimadok, not at all! No sir, you see the entire situation with laser like clarity. Ignore a root cause? You? WHy the very thought is ludicrous.
        Ah, another day, another belly laugh at Mondo.

      • tree on August 14, 2012, 2:15 pm

        @Annie. Slowly and patiently again:
        What are the borders of Palestinian State….-you know those “simple” things that define it’s sovereignty.

        Quite hilarious from someone defending Israel, which hasn’t managed to define its own borders for over 60 years!

      • Blake on August 14, 2012, 2:56 pm

        Hostage you are a Godsend.

      • dimadok on August 19, 2012, 9:16 pm

        @Hostage. Awesome reading for me- thanks. Back to the facts- PLO has declared its independence within the 1967 lines, which weren’t borders to start with, or you would say that they were? Then I’ll ask about whom they belonged to -Jordan, Egypt or the Palestine? See it is a judicial Pandora’s box you get yourself into. Back to 1988 declaration- part of the territory it claims for the new state already was under Israel control, sort of me saying that I proclaim a new state within my house. I can claim whatever I want but it wouldnt mean anything. As for the UN GA recognition – it doesnt mean anything as well since it was highly politicized and skewed by political rivalry. Don’t you think that if the case would be so “clear” for the legality and rights of both Israel and PA- everyone would see it ? Lots of words- not so many change.

      • Hostage on August 20, 2012, 2:13 am

        Don’t you think that if the case would be so “clear” for the legality and rights of both Israel and PA- everyone would see it ? Lots of words- not so many change.

        @dimadok permanent international lines of demarcation are legally enforceable borders. See 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

        The ICJ only used a few words to declare Israel’s settlements and the portions of the Wall constructed on the territory of Palestine illegal under international law – and it wasn’t too difficult. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

        The Court noted that, by resolution 62 (1948) of 16 November 1948, the Security Council decided that “an armistice shall be established in all sectors of Palestine” and called upon the parties that were occupying Palestine at that time to conclude agreements to that end. So the borders were established in Palestine.

        In conformity with that decision, general armistice agreements were concluded in 1949 between the State of Israel and the neighboring states through mediation by the United Nations. Israel remains bound to respect the armistice lines under the terms of customary international law, the UN Charter, the applicable resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly, by the terms of its own acceptance of the armistice agreements, and a safeguarding clause in the final settlement between Israel and Jordan. There is no requirement for the Palestinians to agree to any revision of the “permanent armistice lines of demarcation”.

        The Charter of the United Nations codified many principles of customary international law which are reflected in General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) “Declaration On Principles Of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations And Co-Operation Among States In Accordance With The Charter Of The United Nations”. It stipulates that: Every State 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.

        For example, in the case of Iraq and Kuwait, the Security Council enforced an existing memorandum of agreement between the two parties. It authorized coercive measures to enforce the terms of the boundary agreement contained in The Agreed Minutes Between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq Regarding the Restoration of Friendly Relations, Recognition and Related Matters, 4 October 1963. The Security Council held that the parties were still bound by the terms of their acceptance of that agreement.

        Regarding Palestine’s borders. The General Assembly:
        *Acknowledged the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine in line with “the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people” to self-determination. See resolution 43/177;
        *It said that Palestinian statehood is not subject to the peace process or to any veto. See operative paragraphs 1 & 2 of resolution 55/87
        *It adopted UN reports and resolutions on credentials that mention “their State, Palestine”. Those resolutions describe the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 as “their territory” and say that “the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover that territory”. See A/58/L.48, 15 December 2003; General Assembly 58/292, 17 May 2004.
        *The verbatim record of the General Assembly discussion of resolution 58/292 indicates the words “pre-1967 borders” had intentionally been adopted to replace the words “Armistice Line of 1949”. See A/58/PV.87

      • dimadok on August 20, 2012, 10:40 am

        All these resolutions can be summarized by Israel response:

        The designation “Palestine” used within the United Nations system has no territorial connotation. General Assembly resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988, which provided that the designation “Palestine” should be used in place of the designation “Palestine Liberation Organization”, emphasized that this was without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system. Not only does the Palestinian proposal violate Palestinian undertakings and General Assembly resolutions; it also violates the fundamental principle of universality in the United Nations. No such draft resolution has been proposed in relation to any other State in the United Nations, even though more than 80 of the States Members of the United Nations have territorial disputes.

        Countenancing political objections to Israel’s credentials would represent a conspicuous act of discrimination against a Member State and would represent a dangerous precedent. Abuse of the credentials process could open a Pandora’s box with regard to the many countries involved in territorial disputes throughout the world. Already, a disproportionate amount of United Nations time and resources is devoted to Palestinian initiatives. The attempt to transform every possible aspect of the General Assembly’s work into a platform for scoring political points is a practice that should be strongly discouraged.

      • Hostage on August 20, 2012, 6:06 pm

        All these resolutions can be summarized by Israel response:

        The designation “Palestine” used within the United Nations system has no territorial connotation.

        Sure it does. I just gave you the link to the Credentials Committee resolution above which said that Israel’s credentials do not apply to the Palestinian territories.

        If Israel didn’t have territory of its own somewhere else on the other side of the Green Line, its ambassadors wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the business of the United Nations at all. You can ask Taiwan, Rhodesia, and the government of the former Union of South Africa how that process works when this particular Committee declines to accept a country’s credentials at the opening of a Session.

        Not only does the Palestinian proposal violate Palestinian undertakings and General Assembly resolutions; it also violates the fundamental principle of universality in the United Nations.

        Correction: It only violates Israel’s interpretation. Member states have no standing to bring disputes against an interpretation to the ICJ, unless the resolution contains a compromissory clause, like the one on minority rights in resolution 181(II).

        The Interim Agreement of 1995, which is the major post-Oslo agreement, specified that neither party shall be deemed “to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions” (Art. 31-6). Israel claims that Palestinian statehood violates its undertakings, but no international court has ever been asked to confirm that claim. The Oslo Accords didn’t even mention statehood, UN membership, or observer status among the issues reserved for a final status agreement. Treaties obvious cannot create binding legal obligations on the basis of arguments made from silence in the absence of any explicit provisions. States are only bound by the explicit terms and customs that are applicable to the agreements they’ve accepted.

        Palestine was a declared state that had membership applications pending with UNESCO and the WHO long before it signed the Oslo Accords. The ICJ has ruled that every UN member state has an erga omnes obligation to remove any impediment to the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Palestinians, including the option of a state. The Quartet Road Map has contained an obligation for its members to promote Palestinian statehood and possible UN membership ever since 2003, without the need for a final status agreement.

        No such draft resolution has been proposed in relation to any other State in the United Nations, even though more than 80 of the States Members of the United Nations have territorial disputes.

        No the General Assembly did the same thing for SWAPO and even created a subsidiary UN organ to act as the government of the State of Namibia in exile; sign multilateral agreements on its behalf; & etc. The suspect the Israeli Ambassador was familiar with the fact that the first General Assembly “Uniting for Peace” resolution dealt with a dispute over an international demarcation line in Korea and that the second one dealt with a dispute over an international line of demarcation in the Sinai.

        In short, if the UN can enforce an old third party bilateral agreement on boundaries between Iraq and Kuwait using coercive force, it can certainly enforce its own Chapter VII resolutions on permanent armistice lines of demarcation.

        The Summary of Practice of the Secretary‐General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev. 1, contains an entire section on the historical usage of General Assembly resolutions to determine statehood in disputed cases. The Cook Islands is a graphic example mentioned there under the “all states formula”. It recently became a state party to the Rome Statute, despite the fact that it’is not a UN member state or non-member observer. It was allowed to join because General Assembly resolutions acknowledge it as a “state”.

        The attempt to transform every possible aspect of the General Assembly’s work into a platform for scoring political points is a practice that should be strongly discouraged.

        The General Assembly is the primary political organ of the United Nations. Unlike the judicial organs, its members aren’t required to adopt a presumption of innocence when dealing with Israel.

    • lyn117 on August 12, 2012, 7:40 pm

      The “barrier” didn’t prevent 90% of attacks, which were committed by Israel. In fact, using settlers to achieve military aims, conquest of territory by war being one of those aims, means that Israel is using its “civilians” for military purpose. Deliberately employing them as military tools. So if any of the Israelis who were attacked on the road were settlers, they were legitimate military targets.

  4. giladg on August 12, 2012, 12:28 pm

    There is a roadblock, thankfully, near Modi’in. There is another roadblock on the outskirts of Jerusalem and again, thankfully. All of the road in between is open to Palestinians. Now go back and read Philips headline. Don’t worry, I’ll post it here again..
    “Traveling through the occupied West Bank on an Israelis-only road”.
    IT IS NOT AN ISRAELIS-ONLY ROAD (sol). Do you want me to post photographs of Palestinian cars on this road with blue number plates? How many do you want.
    The B’Tsalem report was posted over one and a half years ago. B’Tsalem has been found out to distort the situation on many occasions. Just because it says B’Tsalem does not give the article automatic credibility.

    • justicewillprevail on August 12, 2012, 1:31 pm

      One of the characteristics of Israelis that visitors notice quickly is their furious denial of what is transparently obvious to the visitor – the institutionalised apartheid and the everyday racism that is so taken for granted that Israelis don’t even notice it, which is why no doubt they launch into delusional defences of the indefensible. What is also readily apparent, and quite disturbing, is how little they know of their own country (the occupation, the settlements, the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza), all of which are immediately obvious to anyone without the zio-goggles on. ‘Out of touch’ doesn’t come close. Delusional is more apt. I would be a lot more inclined to give B’Tselem some credibility than ziobots on the internet.

  5. Nevada Ned on August 12, 2012, 1:02 pm

    Question: is this an “Israelis-only road” or a “Jews-only road”?
    20% of Israeli citizens are non-Jews (ethnic Palestinians). Can they drive on this road?
    If the answer is no, then the highway should be called “Jews-only” instead of “Israelis-only”.

    • The Hasbara Buster on August 12, 2012, 1:46 pm

      It is an Israelis-only road, so it is not racist against non-Jews, just against the non-Jews who live in the territory it is built on. Zionists are very fond of making an accurate distinction between “Israeli” and “Jew” as regards these roads. Sadly, they don’t make the same distinction regarding the Palestinian laws that impose the death penalty on those who sell land to Israelis, which the Zionists irresponsibly describe as antisemitic.

  6. DICKERSON3870 on August 12, 2012, 1:18 pm

    RE: “You will notice that the cabdriver goes in for a lot of racist characterizations of Palestinians as ill-educated and incapable of work. I wish I could say his attitudes are atypical.” ~ Weiss

    MY SNARK: I wonder where in the world the Israelis learn such bigotry!

    SEE: “Academic claims Israeli school textbooks contain bias” ~ By Harriet Sherwood, guardian.co.uk, 8/07/11
    Nurit Peled-Elhanan of Hebrew University says textbooks depict Palestinians as “terrorists, refugees and primitive farmers”

    [EXCERPT] Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli academic, mother and political radical, summons up an image of rows of Jewish schoolchildren, bent over their books, learning about their neighbours, the Palestinians. But, she says, they are never referred to as Palestinians unless the context is terrorism.
    They are called Arabs. “The Arab with a camel, in an Ali Baba dress. They describe them as vile and deviant and criminal, people who don’t pay taxes, people who live off the state, people who don’t want to develop,” she says. “The only representation is as refugees, primitive farmers and terrorists. You never see a Palestinian child or doctor or teacher or engineer or modern farmer.”
    Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has studied the content of Israeli school books for the past five years, and her account, “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education”, is to be published in the UK this month. She describes what she found as racism– but, more than that, a racism that prepares young Israelis for their compulsory military service. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/07/israeli-school-racism-claim

    VIDEO of interview with Peled-Elhanan (08:48) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t91McXHxiXY

    P.S. ALSO SEE: Is Change possible in Israel? (VIDEO, 07:49) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIj0l6C5VqE
    Prof. Haim Bresheeth tries to answer this question – why can some Israelis change, and support the Palestinian cause, but change seems elusive in Israel? Should we wait and hope for such change?

    • DICKERSON3870 on August 14, 2012, 4:42 am

      P.P.S. RE: “You will notice that the cabdriver goes in for a lot of racist characterizations of Palestinians as ill-educated and incapable of work. I wish I could say his attitudes are atypical.” ~ Weiss

      ALSO SEE: “Sami Michael: ‘Israel – Most racist state in the industrialized world’”, by Lisa Goldman, +972 Magazine, 8/09/12
      The following is the translation of a speech delivered by prominent Israeli author Sami Michael at a conference in Haifa in June 2012. It is a ‘cri de coeur’ that is full of love and grief. . .

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Now, with the collapse of the phony left in Israel and the rise to power of the right in general, and of the Haredi right in particular, the racist divide has become an almost acceptable fact. Racism is gradually becoming entrenched in Israeli society with the political strengthening of the religious right. Racism is directed at Jews from Arab and Islamic countries, immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia, Arab citizens of Israel, Palestinians in the occupied territories, refugees and working migrants, gays, and the list goes on. The rising tide of racism continues to mount with the encouragement of Knesset and government members, both through infamous public statements and by legislating draconian anti-democratic laws against outsiders, foreigners, and against human rights organizations. In any case, Israel can pride itself on having the dubious title – the most racist state in the developed world. . .
      . . . Quite a few people have condemned the appalling declarations of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Israel and outside it. But Lieberman is right in claiming that he is expressing aloud what others really think. Let us not deceive ourselves, the culture in Israel has already become no less poisoned than the extreme trends in Islam. From kindergarten until old age we have saddled the souls of our children with the heavy load of hatred, suspicion and aversion towards the alien and the dissimilar, especially towards the Arabs. The sane voice of culture is fading away. The authors of the fascist book “Torat HaMelech” (“The King’s Torah”), which advocates the murder of Arabs, were spared criminal charges for incitement to racism and violence. The Attorney General closed the file against them and thus allowed for the sale of this odious book. In the Israel of today the early buds of spiritual and cultural fascism are gradually sprouting. A vociferous writer recruited by the establishment demands that in the study of literature only those books that promote the Zionist ethos will be chosen. Ironically, there are humorous episodes even while we plunge into the depths. In a small town near Haifa, the head of the religious council instructed the public library to lock up all the secular works in a closed room that would not be accessible to the curious reader, but only by previous arrangement and for a limited period of time. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE/SPEECH – http://972mag.com/author-sami-michael-israel-is-the-most-racist-state-in-the-industrialized-world/52602/

  7. MHughes976 on August 12, 2012, 1:19 pm

    It’s not much of a defence, if you’re accused of keeping another group of people in humiliating separation by an action that continues over a lot of time and space, to say (falsely or truly) that you do it only over a short time and for a short space. The point is that you claim the right to do it and act on your claim when there is no right to act like that.

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