David M. Phillips: The Illegal-Settlements Myth, Commentary

The conviction that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal is now so commonly accepted, it hardly seems as though the matter is even open for discussion. But it is. Decades of argument about the issue have obscured the complex nature of the specific legal question about which a supposedly overwhelming verdict of guilty has been rendered against settlement policy. There can be no doubt that this avalanche of negative opinion has been deeply influenced by the settlements’ unpopularity around the world and even within Israel itself. Yet, while one may debate the wisdom of Israeli settlements, the idea that they are imprudent is quite different from branding them as illegal. Indeed, the analysis underlying the conclusion that the settlements violate international law depends entirely on an acceptance of the Palestinian narrative that the West Bank is “Arab” land. Followed to its logical conclusion—as some have done—this narrative precludes the legitimacy of Israel itself.

via The Illegal-Settlements Myth.

  • Robert Bernier

    Settlements in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the whole of Jerusalem are legal.
    The “Mandate for Palestine” granted Jews the IRREVOCABLE right to settle anywhere in Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, a right unaltered in international law and valid to this day. Settlements in Judea, Samaria (i.e., the West Bank), Gaza and the whole of Jerusalem are legal. The international community and the arabs should respect the original legitimity as described at : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2007/12

  • Robert Bernier

    There is nothing illegitimate about Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
    The right of Jews to settle in the Land of Israel, and not only on one side of the Green Line, is not only based on the Bible and the history of the Jewish people, but has received international recognition in the League of Nations mandate for Palestine and U.S. approval in the Anglo-American Convention of 1924. This international recognition and the subsequent American approval have never been revoked. Insistence that certain areas in the Land of Israel be closed to Jews stands in opposition to these rights and the accepted values common to all Western societies.” (Moshe Arens, “Great expectations and pious hopes” June 2009) . As to facts and authenticity : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2009/08

  • Robert Bernier

    The USA and legitimacy.
    On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,” confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine — anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. [21]. Thus it lies ill in the mouth for the U.S. to now deny Jews the right to settle the lands. It is the settlement freeze that's illegal, not the settlements. More at : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2009/05

  • On the Balcony

    This author's attempt to argue that Israel's settlements are legal under international law is based upon the same, at best, mis-interpretation, at worse, misrepresentation of the Balfour Declaration, San Remo Conference and Mandate for Palestine, none of which contemplated the creation of a single Jewish state comprising all of the mandated territories. This was explicitly confirmed by the "infamous" white paper of 1922, issued even before the Mandate became effective and by the UN's endorsement of the British plan calling for the creation of separate Arab-Palestinian and Jewish-Palestinian states. Mr. Phillips rehash and restating of these arguments does little to forward an undertanding of the real issues and complexities involved –in fact, it largly ignores them.