Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 2 May 2014

Settlements: "A propagandistic red-herring of monumental proportions"

Robert Harris is an Irish supporter of Israel who blogs here.

In the current issue of the online New English Review he has a hard-hitting article entitled Jewish "Settlements Do Not Impede Peace" that begins:
"Many Western narratives on the Israel-Arab/Palestinian conflict, assert that Arab-Palestinian grievances are fundamentally based upon a supposed dispossession of territory, and so peace would be obtained by returning lands gained by Israel in the defensive Six Day War.
Today this argument relates principally to Judea and Samaria, more widely known as the ‘West Bank’, a recent moniker the Jordanians applied to the area, after the Arab State’s invasion of Israel in 1948.
The existence of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and formerly Gaza prior to the unilateral 2005 Israeli withdrawal, are central to the claim that the Jewish State has instituted a 'land grab' since 1967. Settlements are the focal point of boycott campaigns, and other efforts to delegitimise Israel.
However, commentators less hostile to Israel also assert Jewish settlements are a deeply problematic phenomenon. Whilst accepting Israel is surrounded, in a hostile Arab-Islamic neighbourhood, they nonetheless advance a somewhat similar stance to anti-Israel critics, by portraying the settlement issue as one of the great obstacles of the peace process. Indeed, some act as if it is the greatest challenge, as per John Kerry’s intensive criticism of Israeli settlement policy, suggesting it will undermine a two-state solution.
Whilst Jewish settlements are seen across the world as the bottleneck that stops any peace process in its tracks, a cursory glance at some fundamental facts will suggest that that this claim is a propagandistic red-herring of monumental proportions.
Israel is regularly demonised, with the very worst of motives ascribed to its behaviour. For example, many in the Arab world suggest the Jewish State seeks to territorially dominate the Middle East. Thus, one might ask to what extent has Israel held onto the territory it gained during the Six-Day War, which constitutes the Nation’s greatest victory? Startlingly, 90% of these gains have been returned to Israel’s Arab neighbours: the Sinai, and part of the Golan Heights, with Gaza becoming a de facto independent state...."
Read the entire article here


  1. Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) belong to Israel. These areas are Jewish areas of the State of Israel.
    The San Remo Resolution of 1920 “recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine. The outcome of this declaration gave birth to the ‘Mandate for Palestine,’ an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.” (This document clearly establishes that Israeli settlements are completely legal.)
    The world must understand that our people are called Jews because we come from Judea. The fact remains that these territories are an integral part of the State of Israel, and have always been connected to the Jewish people.