Israelis Have a Legal Right to Settle All Judea and Samaria

Dear ZOA members,
As the following UCI Media Alert indicates, an extremely significant landmark report has been issued by a special committee appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The findings of the committee leave no doubt that Jews have a right under international law to settle anywhere within Judea and Samaria. This right flows from the League of Nations “Palestine Mandate” as well as from decisions made at the 1920 San Remo Conference. Of course, we also know that this fundamental right has even firmer roots in the Torah which states that the Jewish people have, not only a right, but an obligation to settle this land.
Note that the committee report refers to this vital region as Judea and Samaria, not the “West Bank”. Also note that the committee found that, under international law, the concept of “occupation” does not apply to the Jewish state’s possession of this region. In addition, the committee’s report infers that Israel has a fundamental right to authorize construction of new Jewish communities in the area as well as having the right to authorize expansion of existing Jewish communities.
Of course, whether the Israeli government has the courage and moral fortitude to forthrightly exercise its lawful sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, in accordance with the committee’s findings, is another matter. At the least, we can hope its backbone has been strengthened so that it will make no more territorial concessions to those intent on denying the Jewish people their right to settle anywhere within the Land of Israel, and especially in Judea and Samaria.
Marc Caroff

For Immediate Release – July 4, 2012

Contact:
Esther Levens – 913 648 0022 – www.UC4i.org – voices@unitycoalitionforisrael.org

 Prime Minister Committee Report:

Israelis Have a Legal Right to Settle All Judea and Samaria

A Committee appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu to examine the legality of Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria has issued a statement today, Tuesday, July 4, 2012 – Israelis have a legal right to settle that region. Retired Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, who heads that Committee, declared:

    “According to international law, Israelis have a legal right to settle all of Judea and Samaria, at the very least the lands that Israel controls under agreements with the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the establishment of Jewish settlements [in Judea and Samaria] is, in itself, not illegal.”

The committee was established by the Prime Minister to determine and cement the legal status of the outposts in Judea and Samaria, with an emphasis on communities that were not built on privately owned Palestinian land but their status was still in doubt due to legal bureaucracy.

The committee issued its report that was subsequently handed over to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. In the report, Levy wrote:

      “upon completing the committee’s tasks, and considering the testimonies heard, the basic conclusion is that from an international law perspective,

the laws of ‘occupation’ do not apply

    to the unique historic and legal circumstances surrounding Israel’s decades-long presence in Judea and Samaria.”
    Quoting the report: “Likewise, the Fourth Geneva Convention [relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War] on the transfer of populations does not apply, and wasn’t intended to apply to communities such as those established by Israel in Judea and Samaria.”
    “…dozens of new neighborhoods have been erected, without government authorization and at times without a contiguous link to the mother community. Several were built outside the legal jurisdiction allotted to the community. This prevalent phenomenon has required large amounts of funding therefore the committee finds it hard to believe that it was done without the government’s knowledge.”

In conclusion, the report said:

    “we have discovered a phenomenon within the Israeli settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria that does not befit a country that upholds the rule of law. From now on, it must be made very clear to the proponents of the settlement enterprise and to the political echelon that they are to operate only within the confines of the law, and the various law enforcement institutions must decisively enforce the law in the future.”

The committee’s recommendations include the following:

The government must clarify its position on the issue of Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria           to prevent varying interpretations of its policy; a new community will only be built after the                   government or an authorized ministerial committee has approved it; the expansion of a                       community outside the bounds of its authorized jurisdiction must first be approved by the                   defense minister or a ministerial committee on settlements, in coordination with the prime                  minister.

On the other hand, the committee declared that the encouragement provided by the government to the settlement enterprise constituted authorization. According to the committee, communities that were built on land owned by the state, or privately owned Israeli land, with the help of government bodies could not be classified as “unauthorized” due to the absence of an official government decision to authorize them. The very assistance provided by the government in their establishment constitutes implicit authorization.

Under these circumstances, the report concluded, the evacuation of such communities would be impractical and another solution, such as compensation or land swap, should be implemented. Therefore, the committee recommends in its report, the government should avoid issuing demolition orders for these communities because it is the government itself that created this situation in the first place.

It was also recommended that the government should speed up the examination of the communities whose status isn’t defined. They suggested that the government define these disputed communities’ status in terms of evacuations or demolitions only after a thorough investigation and a full legal proceeding. In order to ease the lives of the residents, the committee suggested the establishment of special courts in Judea and Samaria specifically to settle land disputes.

To prevent uncertainty and to promote stability, the committee encouraged Israelis and Palestinians to record their land purchases within an agreed upon time frame of between four and five years, after which anyone who did not complete the process would lose rights to property. The committee further proposed that Israelis would only be allowed to purchase land in Judea and Samaria under the auspices of an authorized body.

Americans who support Israeli sovereignty over all of the land designated to  “reconstitute the ancient Jewish homeland” (quoted from the landmark decision at San Remo, Italy, April 25, 1920) rejoice at the definitive findings of this committee.  Israel has finally cast off the bonds of false accusations and is no longer accepting the false designation of “occupation”. That terminology is finally put to rest by the findings of PM Netanyahu’s  Committee.

It is truly a “landmark” decision handed down by this authoritative source. The UCI Campaign to move the United States Embassy is substantiated by this edict which validates the granting of rights by the Supreme Council of Allied Powersinternational law. This ruling adds credence to the Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI) campaign to promote the United States becoming the first nation to accept the legality of International Jewish claims to Jerusalem as the eternal Capital of Israel. The Congressional purchase of the land on which to build the Embassy was completed after passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was approved overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress.

The original Embassy Act reflects the will of the American people. Therefore in our campaign we urge Congress to finally pass House Resolution 1006 and companion  Senate bill 1622; together they will eliminate the Presidential waiver granting the President the right to defer implementation of the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem every 6 months for “security reasons”. All presidents since 1995 have used this waiver to delay the move, thus repeatedly thwarting the public outcry for action.

–“NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM”– is the prayer repeated by Jews all over the world for more than 3000 years.

We hope to gather in Jerusalem in 2013 for the U.S. Embassy ground-breaking that can soon become reality!

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