Deconstructing the Israeli ‘Settlement’ Myth


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There are between 350,000 and 550,000 Jews who have been targeted for ethnic cleansing by the international community. Their crime is their race and religion.

In 1948, armies from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen and Lebanon invaded Israel, along with the Holy War Army, commanded by the nephew of Hitler’s Mufti, and the Arab Liberation Army, under Fawzi al-Qawuqji, freshly released by the Soviet Union after being captured with his Nazi allies in Berlin. Along with them came thousands of terrorists and thugs from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Driven by hate, they swarmed into Israel to destroy it. They seized half of Jerusalem, expelling its Jewish population, blowing up its synagogues and using tombstones from its cemeteries to pave their roads.

Villages such as Kfar Darom in Gaza were besieged, first by the Muslim Brotherhood, and then by the Egyptian Army. The village of 400 men, women and children had managed to throw back the forces of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had shelled the village and failed to break through its fence with tanks, and briefly held out against the Egyptian Army, before it was evacuated, captured and destroyed. Other villages, such as Kfar Etzion, which were not evacuated in time, witnessed massacres after their capture.

When after 1967, the Jordanian and Egyptian invaders had been expelled, and East Jerusalem, Kfar Darom and Kfar Etzion were rebuilt and resettled, the international community declared those Jews living there to be “settlers” and their towns and villages, even their homes in Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, to be “settlements.”

What is the mark of a “settlement”? It isn’t the age of the buildings or the number of inhabitants.  Jerusalem is ancient and Maaleh Adumim is about the size of Atlantic City. It is race that marks a settler as a target for persecution and ethnic cleansing.

An Arab Muslim with Israeli citizenship who buys a house in Jerusalem is not condemned by Vice President Biden, the United Nations and the media. But when a Jew demolishes the former home of Hitler’s Mufti, after legally purchasing it in order to build an apartment building on the spot, then Hillary Clinton issues a specific statement denouncing the construction of a 20-person apartment building, for no other reason than because Jews will likely live there.

Now the false narrative of settlement and occupation has been challenged by the Levy Report which restates many of the obvious points of law; most significantly that Israel is not an occupying power and did not seize any land from another state. Indeed much of the land that Israel is accused of occupying is actually land that was seized from it by invading Arab armies during its 1948 War of Independence.

The only difference between West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, between a village that is recognized by the international community and a “settlement” that is condemned by the international community, is that the so-called “settlements” are on territory that the invading Muslim armies captured and held for 17 years.

The only legal basis for denouncing the Jews who returned in 1967 to the homes that they had been expelled from in 1948 as “settlers” is by recognizing the Arab Muslim conquests of those territories. But those conquests were never recognized or accepted. Not even by the international community.

The rebuttals to the Levy Report invariably rely on emotional rhetoric and confused legal reasoning. Most of them lean on the 2004 International Court of Justice ruling, which Israel did not participate in, declaring that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the 1967 territories because they “lay to the east of the 1949 Armistice demarcation line.”

But as the Levy Report points out, the Armistice agreement that ended the war specifically disavowed the cease-fire lines as having any political or territorial significance, “being dictated exclusively by military considerations.”

Designating territory that Israel held and where its citizens resided until that territory was seized during an invasion by foreign states before then being liberated by Israel as “occupied territory” needs better legal reasoning than the simple fact of Arab military occupation. Otherwise the ICC has only chosen to recognize one military occupation and then use it to denounce military occupation.

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  • stern

    Outstanding analysis. As always!
    Thank you, Sir.

  • Guy

    Evict the illegal Arab occupiers of Jewish lands!

  • Gamaliel

    They are not targetting race they are targetting religion. Israelis are not a race, Jews are not a race. Hitler spread that propaganda but there are Jews of all races.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The "Bible" spread the "propaganda" that Jews are a specific people. It has nothing to do with Hitler.

      While people can convert to Judaism, Jews represent a single family. You can marry into that family.

    • Allen Z. Hertz

      The modern test for the existence of a distinct "people" is normally self-identification. It is not up to strangers to tell Jews whether or not they are "a people." If a particular group self-identifies as "a people," modern public international law generally accepts that self-identification. And, throughout history there is the phenomenon of the emergence and disappearance of "peoples." Roman Catholics or Protestants or Muslims today generally consider themselves to practitioners of a religion. In no significant respect do they today claim to be one "people" within the modern sociological and political understanding of what it means to be a "people" for the purposes of the contemporary legal doctrine of the self-determination of peoples. By contrast, the overwhelming majority of Jews around the world are genuinely to some extent genetically related (think DNA!) to each other. For this familial reason (and also for very significant cultural reasons), today most of the world's Jews clearly self-identify as members of "the Jewish People," which has also been an extremely well-known personality of world history. Around 26 centuries ago, a specific human population began calling themselves "yehudim" i.e. Jews. Since that time, the Jews have never been away the spotlight of history. From father to son, generations of Jews have recognized other as Jews. Moreover, they have frequently been hated "as Jews" by the numerous enemies of "the Jewish People," the enemies of which provide us with an enormous amount of evidence about the existence and continuity of the Jewish People. There are also other distinct "peoples" in the past and present of the world. For example, there is the great Arab People which self-identified as such around the end of the 6th century CE and more recently "the Palestinian People" which generally first self-identified as such around 1960 BCE.

      • Allen Z. Hertz

        Corrigendum: "and more recently 'the Palestinian People' which generally first self-identified as such around 1960 CE."

  • KKKK

    Israel has every right to the "west bank" (Judea/Samaria Hills) and "gaza strip" (south coastal strip of Israel) becuase they are part of the Land of Israel ans have been for thousands of years. the "west bank" is the cradle of Biblical Jewish history. theres no reason Israel should not have the land.

    • stern

      Even discounting biblical history (which, unfortunately, many people do), Israel has every right to Judea and Samaria by international law, as granted to her by the San Remo Conference of 1920. At the same conference, Arabs were given legal right and title to Mesopotamia (Saudi Arabia and Iraq), Syria and Lebanon. Denying the Jewish right to Judea and Samaria would, of necessity, result in denying the Arab rights to the rest of the Middle East. You simply cannot have one without the other.The decisions made at the San Remo Conference have never been abrogated and have, in fact, been perpetuated in UNSC resolution 80.

      (Incidentally, ALL of the Palestinian Mandate was intended for "close Jewish settlement". That includes Judea and Samaria, ALL of Jerusalem AND Jordan. So by slicing off 80% of the Mandate and giving it to the Hashemites, the British had already reduced the Jewish homeland by 80%. So much for complaints from pro-Palestinian bigots that the Jews "want 80% of (so-called) Palestine".)

      • deprogrammer

        Are you really sure you want to use the San Remo Conference as the basis for your claim? After all it has this:
        "The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. "

        I draw your attention in particular the the line: "…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…"

        Kind of screws things up vis-a-vis of Israel's "special" treatment of Palestinians.

        I will now sit back and wait for you to start screaming about how wonderful Israel is with democracy and elections and kegs and h@@kers and whatever.

        • stern

          Oh what brilliance. What scathing rhetoric. How shall I reply? I tremble in my boots.

          Deprogrammer, you are willfully ignoring history. so let's examine it.

          If the Arabs had accepted Israel, what would have happened? Would anyone have moved from their homes, Palestinian or Jew?

          Before you answer that, let's look at some facts.

          Before 1948, Jews and Arabs lived side by side throughout what was left of Mandatory Palestine (the bit Britain didn't give to the Hashemites.).

          After 1948, roughly 20% of the population of Israel was Arab.

          Can you guess the percentage of the "West Bank" and Gaza that was Jewish? Try, I mean really, really try.

          Let me help you. The answer is zero. Zilch. Not one. Not a single Jew remained outside the armistice lines. These are facts that anyone can ascertain.

          As for the Arabs who remained in Israel, they became citizens, with full democratic rights – and they STAYED IN THEIR HOMES!!!! Which kind of demonstrates that even though such a huge proportion of the population was non-Jewish, NOTHING WAS DONE TO PREJUDICE THEIR CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS RIGHTS.

          Those are facts. All you can do is speculate, with a very nasty sneer. So take your sneer and put it where the sun don't shine.

          • deprogrammer

            "…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…"

            You know as hissy fits go that wasn't very good.

          • stern

            Gee, I too know how to copy and paste.

            If you have anything else to say – for example, if you think you can prove definitively that anything was done to prejudicious etc etc anyone – prove it, or shut it.

          • deprogrammer

            "…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…"

            Let's see how about ethnic cleansing? You say 20% Arab population as though it were some kind of triumph. In reality that is all that was left after massive ethnic cleansing. As for Jews in the West Bank you tell me how many where there BEFORE that whole mess started.

            The Zionist movement was promised an outpost in the Middle East. They were not promised a right to do harm to the locals and that is exactly what they did.

          • Drakken

            Too bloody bad, your arab friends lost the wars they started so effem. To the victors go the spoils, your lucky that I am not in charge for Gaza would be given a healthy dose of Carthage. If the muslims keep throwing rockets at Israel proper they will get what those savages deserve.

          • deprogrammer

            Well, good thing the Germans didn't win or the holocaust would have been fantastic in your mind. You can't quote international law and diplomacy – your first post – and then go screaming about the right to murder people if your side wins.
            As for what you would do in Gaza I don't care. It would be like asking a white supremacist what he would do to Watts. Already know the answer and it's why we collectively try to limit what power genocidal psychopaths get.

          • jonathan sanders

            'The spoils' in this case mean land that got at stake when one country aggressively attacks another country. They of course don't mean the right of a population whether or not to live. Germany attacked the nations and the Arabs attacked Israël. Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, France and Belgium today comprise territories that were German before the world wars. Israël should by that standard or rationale have not only the 'Palestinian' territories and the Golan but the Sinaï and a part of South Libanon as well. And Jordan still gets away with murder but it seems to me that many of the 'Palestinians' living in the Arab territories of Israël, but also those living in concrete refugee camps in surrounding Arab countries with no rights, should be made to move to that side of the river and overthrow the Hashemite kingdom so they can finally have the Palestinian state they say they want so badly.

          • jonathan sanders

            Massive ethnic cleansing.. Wrong. Jews tried and tried to live together with the Arabs and they actually do that with the ones that stayed. However, when the six Arab armies attacked the newborn state of Israël in order to destroy it and kill all jews, finishing Hitlers job but merely continuing Mufti Al-Husseini's -your talk about genocidal psychopaths in your next post is unintentionally ironic or intentionally cynical- Arab political and religious leaders ordered the Arabs to temporarily move out of Israël until the job was done. Many acted upon this, some were just scared or fled the violence there own 'brothers' started. Very few were actually ethnically cleansed. Nothing in comparison with the nearly one million jews that actually were for the most part ethnically cleansed from all Arab countries, after a process of denationalisation, social and legal discrimination, oppression and pogroms that really started off after top-nazi and pusher for the Endlösung Haj-Amin Al-Husseini, father of the 'Palestinians', became president of the World Islamic Congress, predecessor of today's Organisation of the Islamic Conference. YOU LIE

  • ★FALCON★

    Everything Obama and the UN have touched over the last three plus years has become more destabilized. All by design. However, it's a good idea to repudiate any initiative from this treasonous administration.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      It's like Obama is another Dhimmi Carter.

    • Windtonlabrador

      Every schlong ★FALCON★ has touched in the last three years ended up in his mouth

  • WildJew

    The question is, will Prime Minister Netanyahu have the intestinal fortitude to embrace the Levy Report?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      He's embracing the report in public, but it doesn't mean he will act on it under pressure.

      • WildJew

        You know how the political process works in Israel. The report's findings should be adopted by the government as some kind of official policy within the Knesset. Netanyahu has stymied similar initiatives; most recently a bill that would have "retroactively legalized buildings built on contested land if the owner does not challenge the construction within four years." The prime minister threatened to fire cabinet ministers who supported it. I tire of the lies especially from this administration about Israel's "illegitimate" occupation without any response from the government.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          This is the game he always plays. He talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

  • trump

    "The question is, will Prime Minister Netanyahu have the intestinal fortitude to embrace the Levy Report?"

    I feel the same
    I d not think that Bibi has the guts to do it
    Too bad his grand father Z'L' is not the current PM……………..

  • Marty

    It all comes down to the basic issue that 8 million Israelis are adamant about remaining alive rather than enable genocidal and inter-bred muslims slaughter them (again). Not only do Judea and Samaria rightfully and legally belong to Israel, but the so-called palestinians living there are simply squatters who whine at every opportunity about how shabbily they are treated – not enough American taxpayer assistance and denied the chance to murder Jewish men, women, and children. No one sent for or wanted these parasites. They are the descendants of thugs and thieves who invaded 1350 years ago and destroyed the culture, economy, and technology. Jews have not only reclaimed the land – they have reclaimed the human desire to progress.

  • Atlas Collins

    At least Greenstein waited until the 2nd paragraph to whine about Hitler.

  • Ar'nun

    Israel should throw a middle finger in the air to the UN, West, and US Leftists morons and tear down the Mosque and rebuild the Holy Temple on the Temple Mount. If they are constantly being labelled the bad guy, why not at least have some good come from it.

  • Atlas_Collins

    I see my comment about Mr Greenschtein waiting until his second paragraph to issue his Godwin Violation whining about Hitler has been censored.

    I didn't realize Mr Greenschnable was such a pansy fascist.

    • stern

      So repost! Given the nastiness in this message, I would welcome the opportunity to deconstruct whatever other piggishness you decided to share with us earlier.

      • Atlas_Collins

        What "nastiness?" It's well known across the internets that any argument that has to resort to citations of Hitler and the Nazis is called a "Godwin Violation" and automatically invalidates the argument.

        Mr Greenschmlomo could have easily made his point without whining about Hitler and the "holocaust" designed to elicit sympathy for the Israeli (not-American) cause.

        • V_O

          The Godwin Violation doesn't exist. Godwin' LAW, however, doesnt automatically invalidate the argument. Godwin's premise for the rule rests on the logic that no matter what the topic or scope of the debate, an analogy to Hitler and Nazis will inevitable come up. In many cases, the analogy is inapproriate and would therefore be an example of this rule.

          So if we were discussing the price of tea in China, and Hitler came up in the discussion, that would be an example of Godwin's Law or Rule.

          Since the topic happens to concern the desire of the Middle East outside of Israel to eradicate the Jewish people, the rule does not really apply here, as the analogy is appropriate.

          • Atlas_Collins

            I disagree. Mr. Greenspline could easily have made his points without resorting to the standard Jewish whine about the Hitler boogyman. The incessant whining of of Jewish Americans (who put Israel first BEFORE the United States) about the events in Europe almost 70 years ago is as stale and ineffective as the constant carping by racialist liberal blacks about "white racissssssm."

          • Atlas_Collins

            … of course. Straightforward comparisons of hypocrisy cannot be tolerated should it violate the meme of the narrative, eh?

          • WildJew

            Wikipedia says: "The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate…..recisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact…."

            Maybe the Nazi analogy is overused but I do not agree with Godwin that it should be avoided simply because it is overused. Let the writer or speaker make his or her case. I have had several left-leaning folks use the Godwin law in an attempt to discredit what I wrote. My response has been that historic analogies are rarely perfect, though they can be useful. The "Bush is Hitler" analogy failed in many respects in my view, even though I lost confidence and respect for former President Bush.

            Unlike Obama and his supporters, Bush did not attempt to stifle or suppress his opposition, according to my recollection. There were plenty of outspoken critics of his war in Iraq. I do not recall Bush telling people to not read this or that newspaper or to not watch this or that television network, like Obama has. If Obama had the power I believe he would shut down this website along with Fox news, Drudge and other alternative media. Where is the fascism today?

        • stern

          Where's your repost? Too afraid to submit to some real criticism?

          • Atlas_Collins

            I posted it, stern — but your fascist jewish moderators here who will brook no deviation from the pro-Isreali (putting America second) narrative have scrubbed my non-approved comments.

            I guess for you censorship and heavy-handed liberty-hating fascism is OK as long as it's pro-hee brew, huh?

          • stern

            but did you repost? Although come to think of it, you're not serious about debating here, are you. Your only agenda is clearly a vicious anti-Semitic one. So that's okay, don't bother.

          • Atlas_Collins

            "anti-semite! anti-semite!"

            You sound just like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.

            I'm not "anti-semite", I just don't give a fig about Israel and think my tax dollars would be better spent elsewhere rather than trying to prop up the modern version of Outremer.

            If it makes you feel any better, I think muslims (semitic arabs, persians, paks, etc … ) are basically sub-human feral animals that should be put down like rabid dogs.

            But that's just me.

          • Atlas_Collins

            And I did repost my point, stern. Your "fair-minded" friends that moderate Frontpage would not allow a comparison between the hypocrisy of American blacks whining about racism and the hypocrisy of American j ews whining about anti-semitism.

          • stern

            Frontpage puts up with a heck of a lot (schlomotion, flipside, nakba etc.) so if your post was deleted more than once, I would hate to think what you had to say. And I stand by my remark about you being anti-Semitic. (And no, pointing out that Arabs are Semites too – and that you don't much like them either – doesn't change anything).
            And with that, I withdraw from any further discussion with you. You're clearly not worth my time.

    • Ar'nun

      We all so your bigotry, no one cares about your insignificant asinine post.

      • Atlas_Collins

        Hmmmmm …. on a site devoted to Jewish Supremacy you're whining about "bigotry?"

        Way to think things through, Ar'nun.

        • Zionista

          hey 'atlas', how are those other sick f*&$s that live in your demented brain – flip side and shmomoron? Did you kill off those losers?

          • Atlas_Collins

            Schlomotion does have what in the vernacular is known as a "h ardon" for zionists such as yourself — but his perspective seems to come from the hate-America hard left. Mine, on the other hand, is derived from a patriotic love of America that always puts America first and does not give the slightest pile of monkey dung for schithole foreign countries like Israel (or any other foreign place for that matter).

            I am not familiar with the other poster you speak of …

          • Drakken

            Atlas, let me put it this way, Israel like Europe and the US are the West and if one goes we all go period. If the muslim savages have their way we are all screwed so by standing up for Israel means standing up for the rest of us in the West, it is that simple.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          What's the matter Fatlas, You still upset that your side lost WW2?

    • Ar'nun

      Look Mommy, my post is on the internet! Oh wait, where did it go?

      • stern

        Smile!

        • stern

          Sorry – that's me smiling. Once I saw it, I realized it could be misinterpreted. Loved your response.

    • RonL

      Let me see if I understand this. You mangle Godwin's Rule in some assinine comment. It is taken down. And then you call Greenfield a "fascist". Of course this also violates Godwin's rule.
      Argument fail.

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,hopefully the international community will wake up and support Israel. I'm not afraid of Christians and Jews. They don't want to kill me. The Muslim terrorist…that's another story. They do want to kill me and those like me.

    • Drakken

      The rest of the so called international community gives a rats behind about us westerners because they cannot bend over fast and far enough to appease the muzzy savages, there will be war with the muslims soon enough.

  • Schlomotion

    Mr. Greenfield is now also trying to follow The Israel Project's outline for accusing the Palestinians and anyone critical of Israel of ethnically cleansing the Jews. This backfires because it is evidence of the Israel Lobby operating as a hive mind in a way like Scientology, or the Ku Klux Klan, with preset whitelisted talking points. If you can't write well to begin with, then writing according to a prescribed format just makes you look like you are cutting paper dolls with dull left-handed scissors.

  • Ghostwriter

    Funny,Schlockmotion. I think that YOUR posts are done in the same way like you are cutting paper dolls with dull left-handed scissors. Only,the paper dolls are done with some creativity. Your posts are mostly the same,blame Jewish people for all the problems on planet Earth. You don't appear to have much of an imagination,do you?

  • Allen Z. Hertz

    I applaud Greenfield's condemnation of the bias of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the 2004 advisory opinion on "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," which every international lawyer knows to be non-binding. The advisory opinion was merely the ICJ's response to a request from the highly politicized UN General Assembly where there is a permanent majority persistently working for the destruction of the State of Israel. The General Assembly presented the ICJ with a loaded question, the text of which already contained the poisoned premiss that Judea and Samaria are "occupied Palestinian territory." Accordingly, the ICJ's tainted opinion was sure to contain several references to "the Palestinian People," but egregiously omitted any reference to "the Jewish People," which for 26 centuries has maintained demographic and cultural ties to Eretz Israel! Moreover, the ICJ Advisory Opinion irrationally read the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate in a manner flying in the face of the clear stipulations of the text, the principal purpose of which was obviously creation of "a national home for the Jewish People" in Palestine. With a status akin to a multilateral treaty, the 1922 League of Nations Mandate explicitly recognized the Jewish People's historic connection to Palestine. Referring to the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate specifically called for "close settlement by Jews on the land." The Jewish's People's right to Eretz Israel was thus irrevocably "recognized" by the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate which, according to the ICJ, still has important legal effects today. But make no mistake! The Jewish People's right to Eretz Israel was not "created" by the League of Nations. Rather, the Jewish People's right to Eretz Israel rests on the moral, political and legal weight of the stubborn survival of the Jewish People and the continuity of its persistent claim to Eretz Israel, where some Jews have lived in each and every year since the Jewish People's ethnogenesis there in the 6th century BCE. Some of the dissenting opinions in "The Wall" case explain why the reasoning in the majority opinion is exceedingly unpersuasive. Moreover, the ICJ's record has earned the institution a growing reputation for decline and irrelevance. With each decade, fewer governments are willing to trust the ICJ. For sure, the ICJ is nothing like a supreme court of the world. Moreover, it is not clear whether the ICJ meets basic common law requirements touching independence of the judiciary. Far better to accept that international law is akin to a continuing discussion about rights. In that context, Greenfield and the Levy Commission Report are to be commended for taking the high road in contributing to a rational discussion of legal rights, where there is a lot to be said on behalf of Jews, Judaism, the Jewish People and Israel.

  • notfeelingyou

    Israel has behaved like a rabid dog, and must be destroyed as soon as possible. The Zionist/US state is an abomination against the jewish people and humanity as a whole.