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)

Wednesday 12 February 2014

"I Think I Recognise A Killer Argument When I See One": Former Aussie Foreign Minister Bob Carr

In today's issue of The Australian newspaper former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr insists that Israel's settlements are illegal and that Israel has known they're illegal since 1967.

Carr writes that in 1967 Israel's then prime minister, Levi Eshkol, sought advice from Israel's leading authority in international law, Theodor Meron, as to whether Israel could settle civilians in the territories that the country found itself occupying as a result of the Six Day War.  Meron's advice, according to Carr,
'was unequivocal, and today he sticks to it. He said: “Civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”...'
Carr continues, inter alia:
'Indeed, the Fourth Geneva Convention would appear to leave no room for argument. It states: “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
Apologists for settlements try to argue that Article 49 bars the occupier only from “forced transfer” (my emphasis) of its civilians. This is not the interpretation accepted by the International Court of Justice or anyone else. The adjective “forced” does not appear in the convention.
I think I recognise a killer argument when I see one. The killer argument here is that Israel’s own legal authority, at the very start, told its government that settlements were illegal under international law.'
Citing the statement of frum Israeli settler leader Daniella Weiss in this week's "Four Corners" hatchet job on Israel that religious settlements are intended to thwart the creation of a Palestinian state since “this land was promised to the Jewish nation by God” Carr also cites a BBC documentary by Louis Theroux called "The Ultra Zionists":
'religious settlers declared Palestinians an inferior race. “This is the Jewish homeland and there’s never been a Palestinian people,” declared one, standing on a property formerly occupied by Palestinians. In one blast they defied centuries of priceless Jewish liberal and humanitarian instinct.'
And he warns:
"No one from the centre-Left of European politics is going to do anything other than repudiate this ultra-religious vision...."

The entire article, "West Bank settlements always illegal" (try googling that ;) ), is behind a paywall here

For arguments that settlements are in fact legal see here


  1. Also from Down Under:

  2. In 1967 it was arguable that the West Bank was Jordanian territory, in which it might have been illegal for Israel to transfer its population there. There are a lot of reasons why I believe that isn't the case, but they're moot: it is 2014, not 1967, and Jordan has renounced its right to the territory (which wasn't generally recognised, in any case). Furthermore, many of the so-called settlements (e.g., Atarot) are built on Jewish-owned land whose inhabitants were expelled by Jordan and its allies. Jordan acted illegally in expelling them; can Israel be acting illegally in letting them return?

  3. Carr should try reading the Red Cross Commentary on Geneva 4 Art 49(6)
    "This clause was adopted after some hesitation, by the XVIIth International Red Cross Conference (13). It is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. Such transfers worsened the economic situation of the native population and endangered their separate existence as a race.
    The paragraph provides protected persons with a valuable safeguard. It should be noted, however, that in this paragraph the meaning of the words "transfer" and "deport" is rather different from that in which they are used in the other paragraphs of Article 49, since they do not refer to the movement of protected persons but to that of nationals of the occupying Power.
    It would therefore appear to have been more logical -- and this was pointed out at the Diplomatic Conference (14) -- to have made the clause in question into a separate provision distinct from Article 49, so that the concepts of "deportations" and "transfers" in that Article could have kept throughout the meaning given them in paragraph 1, i.e. the compulsory movement of protected persons from occupied territory."

  4. Also US Generals were against a pullout
    US Military Chiefs Advised Against Judea-Samaria Pullout in '67
    "The heads of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were of the opinion, shortly after the 1967 Six Day War, that Israel cannot afford to give up Judea and Samaria, for strategic reasons.
    A declassified document obtained by Mark Langfan for Arutz Sheva reveals that the military opinion of the US military leadership after the war is in line with that of present-day nationalist Israelis who say that Israel must not, under any circumstances, relinquish control of Judea and Samaria. The map drawn by the Joint Chiefs shows Israel keeping a swathe of land that stretches from the so-called "Green Line" in the west, all the way up to the center of the mountainous ridge in Judea and Samaria in the west."

  5. What a creepy little man.

    I've bought and installed automatic swimming pool cleaners with more personalty and a better moral compass than this bloke.


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