Friday, June 13, 2008

Gaza Monopoly.

 

By Ami Isseroff

It should have been no surprise that the Israeli security cabinet, after much noise, decided against conducting a full scale operation of Gaza - "just yet." The same conditions that obtained in April, when I explained why no Gaza operation would probably be forthcoming, even after the Israel 60th anniversary carnival is over. The "near future" of last April is now. The carnival is over. The guests went home. But there is still no "exit plan" and there was no "massive provocation" that could justify a large scale attack, and therefore there could be no attack.

A few things did change. An additional reason for not carrying out an attack has crystallized around Egyptian efforts to broker a truce and reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. An Israeli invasion would embarrass and anger Egypt. Another factor that has entered the equation  is the inevitability of upcoming elections in Israel.

Elections always bring out the worst and silliest in political analysts. In Jerusalem Post, Yaakov Katz "analyzed" the reasons why no operation was undertaken at this time. He listed as secondary minor matters like those I discussed, such as the fact that the operation would be pointless and waste lives and anger the Egyptians. Other than that, it is a "good idea" it seems. But, argues Katz, "first and "foremost" Ehud Barak has put off the Gaza operation because he wants to devote himself to politics. Every poll shows that if elections were held today, the Labor and Kadima parties would be voted out of office in favor of the Likud party of Benjamin Netanyahu. An extended military operation in Gaza would at least quiet criticism for a while ("Silence while the guns are firing"). If it succeeds, even temporarily, Barak and Ehud Olmert would be viewed as heroes. That possibility is advanced by Nadav Shragai in Ha'aretz. The critics have it covered: Whatever the government does about Gaza will be done for political reasons.

Try to imagine a Gaza operation in concrete terms, and you will understand the actual dilemmas of the government and the IDF. A "small" operation may result in a dozen dead Israeli soldiers and a hundred Arab casualties. Since Israel has had "only" four fatalities this year, the battle cry of "proportionate response" would be raised. Israel would withdraw, and the Hamas would claim victory. No matter what "guarantees" would be given, and no matter what UN resolutions might be passed, the situation would be worse for Israel. Worst of all might be placement of a UN force in Gaza that would allow the Hamas to accumulate weapons and gather strength as the Hezbollah is doing in Lebanon. A large operation would end in Israeli reconquest of Gaza. It might cost a hundred Israeli dead and a couple of thousand Palestinian dead. Depending on whether or not it is your son who gets killed, "only" a hundred fatalities can be a reasonable price to pay. It also depends on what you get.

Perhaps the rest of the world would not pay attention, and Israel could recolonize Gaza. Nadav Shragai thinks this would be a Good Thing. We could go back to the "good old days" of Israeli settlements in Gaza and everything would be fine. By that, Shragai seems to mean that when Israelis were living in Gaza, as he points out, the Qassam rockets were fired at settlers and soldiers inside Gaza, rather than at Israelis living within the Green Line, and this situation would presumably be re-established. The danger would be moved farther away from the center. Shragai forgets to mention that the world would not allow recolonization of Gaza, and that his plan would probably bring about international recognition of the Hamas (or the Islamic Jihad or the Takfir wa al-Hijra or whatever group Iran invents to replace Hamas) as the "legitimate representatives of the Palestinian People." The alternatives are not that "appetizing" either. We can be certain that if Israel retakes Gaza, Iran and the Arab states will work to ensure that Israel is robbed of the fruits of victory unless we have an exit plan that is worked out in advance.

The alternative negotiated settlement that the Israeli government seems to favor may be as bad or worse. The Israelis may have in mind a plan to get Egypt installed again as administrators of Gaza as in the other "good old days." Then there would presumably be permanent quiet. However, the clock cannot be moved back to 1966 or 1955. Egypt wants Gaza like it wants a hole in the head. Our neighbors to the southwest are not stupid. An Egyptian brokered compromise would have some uses. It would be similar in many ways to the Doha compromise that enthroned Hezbollah in Lebanon. For the Americans, it means that the problem will be quiescent until after the elections at least, while Hezbollah digests its prey. A cease-fire with Hamas, and Fatah - Hamas reconciliation would mean that Hamas could govern unimpeded in Gaza and almost certainly in the West Bank. The "great powers" could bless this agreement as they blessed the Doha accord, and Israel would enjoy a few months of quiet while Hamas and its Iranian and Syrian masters digest the Palestinian authority.

Imagine that the Gaza situation is a board game - Gaza Monopoly. There is a square labeled "International recognition of Hamas or Hamas lookalikes." Of course, the square is colored green. If you land in this square, you lose the game. The game was manufactured in Tehran, and it may be that however you throw the dice and whatever choices you make, you will end in that square sooner or later. Perhaps the best thing is to do nothing, and hope that the company that made the game will go out of business somehow eventually. It is the sort of game that won't operate after the company is out of business.

However, Israel cannot do nothing forever. The Hamas increases the range of its missiles and the audacity of its attacks a little bit each time. Today there was a "nonfatal" but massive attack on Ashkelon Beach. Tomorrow, there may be Grad or Katyusha rockets in Ashkelon again. In a few years, there will be Khaibar missiles on Ashdod and maybe on Tel Aviv. After all, as we know from experience, Khaibar missiles don't kill many people, and the world would still yell "disproportionate response" if Israel attacked Gaza and killed a large number of people (all of whom would be labeled civilians of course). Clearly, whatever the world thinks, Israeli citizens cannot be expected to go about leading their lives in a perpetual mini-blitz.

 

The other problem with doing nothing is that every day that Hamas continues to rule in Gaza, it is gaining legitimacy. If you do nothing in this game, then by default you find that eventually there is a timeout and you lose by forfeit - you have landed in the fatal "international recognition of Hamas" square.  


Ami Isseroff

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back to the Jordanian option.

 

 

Four reasons why final-status agreement with Palestinians is unfeasible

 

By Giora Eiland Ynet News04.16.08,

 

The prime minister continues to meet with Mahmoud Abbas often, high-ranking American guests visit here constantly in order to advance an agreement with the Palestinians, and Foreign Minister Livni explains that the only obstacle to a final-status agreement is the existence of the radicals opposed to it.

Seemingly everything is clear about the deal being discussed – two stations between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, with the border being more or less the 1967 lines. Anyone who goes into detail will reach more or less what President Clinton proposed seven and a half years ago.

Back then, conditions were better than they are today. The US president threw his full weight, personally, behind the process' success, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak was determined to succeed, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as problematic as he was, was at least recognized by its people as a leader. In addition, at the time, before the second Intifada, greater trust prevailed between the sides.

 

So why should we believe that what failed back then will succeed now? There are four reasons why such final-status agreement is unfeasible in the foreseeable future.

 

1. The most an Israeli government can offer to the Palestinians and still survive politically is much less than the minimum that any Palestinian government can accept and survive politically. The gap between the sides is large and is growing with the passage of time, rather than the other way around.

 

2. There is no trust in the desire for a deal or in the ability to implement it. When an agreement is signed, the assumption is that the other side intends to implement it and would be able to do so. This is not the reality when it comes to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The absence of Palestinian desire (to get a small and split state and view it as the end of the conflict) is the bothersome aspect. Let's assume that a referendum was held among the Palestinians regarding the nature of the solution to the conflict, with two possible answers: First, two states to the two peoples on the basis of the Clinton plan. Second, no Palestinian state, but also no State of Israel, with the entire Land of Israel area being divided among Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. What would be the result of such imaginary referendum? I estimate that more than 50% would vote without hesitation for the second option. A Palestinian state was never the Palestinian ethos. The Palestinian ethos is based on other aspirations such as "justice," "revenge," recognition of their victimization, etc.

 

3. Hamas. It will continue to be strong enough to torpedo any diplomatic agreement that puts an end to the conflict.

4. Even if a miracle happens and a final-status agreement is reached, and even if it is successfully implemented, it will not achieve stability, but rather, the opposite. There is no chance that the small, split, and resource-poor Palestinian state will constitute the homeland of satisfied people.

 

So what should we do? We should reshuffle the cards and try to think about other solutions as well. One of them is a return to the Jordanian option. The Jordanians won't admit this publicly, yet a Palestinian state in the West Bank is the worst solution for them. They too know that within a short period of time such state would be ruled by Hamas. The moment Jordan – which features a Palestinian majority as well as powerful Muslim Brotherhood opposition – will share a border with a Hamas state, the Hashemite regime will face immediate danger.

 

Other options are regional solutions whereby both Egypt and Jordan will contribute territory to the Palestinian state. As opposed to common perceptions as if this has no chance of materializing, we can prove that the great winners in such arrangement could in fact be Egypt and Jordan.

 

What is clear is that continued negotiations that cannot bring about any positive result are a waste of time at best and could lead to a third Intifada at worst.

 

Giora Eiland

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

About Islam.

 

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In it's fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life.

Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.
 
Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious rights.
 
When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious rights, some of the other components tend to creep in as well. Here's how it works.
 
As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:
 
United States -- Muslim 0.6%
Australia -- Muslim 1.5%
Canada -- Muslim 1.9%
China -- Muslim 1.8%
Italy -- Muslim 1.5%
Norway -- Muslim 1.8%
 
At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:
 
Denmark -- Muslim 2%
Germany -- Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%
Spain -- Muslim 4%
Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%
 
From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves -- along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:
 
France -- Muslim 8%
Philippines -- Muslim 5%
Sweden -- Muslim 5%
Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%
 
At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.
 
When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:
 
Guyana -- Muslim 10%
India -- Muslim 13.4%
Israel -- Muslim 16%
Kenya -- Muslim 10%
Russia -- Muslim 15%
 
After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:
 
Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%
 
At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:
 
Bosnia -- Muslim 40%
Chad -- Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%
 
From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:
 
Albania -- Muslim 70%
Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%
Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%
Sudan -- Muslim 70%
 
After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:
 
Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%
Egypt -- Muslim 90%
Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%
Iran -- Muslim 98%
Iraq -- Muslim 97%
Jordan -- Muslim 92%
Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan -- Muslim 97%
Palestine -- Muslim 99%
Syria -- Muslim 90%
Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%
Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%
 
100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' -- the Islamic House of Peace. Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:
 
Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 100%
 
Unfortunately, peace in never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.
 
'Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel. -- Leon Uris, 'The Haj'
 
It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts nor schools nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrasses. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.
 
Today's 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world's population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddists, and Jews, and all other believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of the world's population by the end of this century.
 
Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond's book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Israel’s Major Wars Part I

The legal aspects of coming into possession of the territories  1st Part of 2

By Eli E. Hertz

 

About six months before the War of Independence in 1948, Palestinian Arabs launched a series of riots, pillaging, and bloodletting. Then came the invasion of seven Arab armies from neighboring states attempting to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in accordance with the UN's 1947 recommendation to Partition Palestine, a plan the Arab rejected.1

 

The Jewish state not only survived: It came into possession of territories – land from which its adversaries launched their first attempt to destroy the newly created State of Israel.

 

In the first critical weeks after the British left the region and Israel declared its independence, the combined Arab armies of: Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, and contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen2 aimed at a small Jewish militia with three tanks and five artillery pieces. Israel had no air force, and until arms were rushed in from abroad3 and a regular army could be organized, it relied on the only strength it had: 70 years worth of social solidarity inspired by the Zionist endeavor.

Israel's citizens understood that defeat meant the end of their Jewish state before it could even get off the ground. In the first critical weeks of battle, and against all odds, Israel prevailed on several fronts.

 

The metaphor of Israel having her back to the sea reflected the image crafted by Arab political and religious leaders' rhetoric and incitement. Already in 1948 several car bombs had killed Jews and massacres of Jewish civilians underscored Arab determination to wipe out the Jews and their state.

 

There were 6,000 Israeli dead as a result of that war, in a population of 600,000. One percent of the Jewish population was gone. In American terms, the equivalent is 3 million American civilians and soldiers killed over an 18-month period.4

Under the pressure of war, Palestinian society collapsed in disarray.5 Both sides were left to cope with hundreds of thousands of refugees – Jewish and Arab. Yet the way the Arab world dealt with their refugees was as different from the Jews, as the way Jews and Arabs approach the notion of compromise over the past 100 years.

Israel War of Independence in 1948 was considered lawful and in self-defence as may be reflected in UN resolutions naming Israel a "peace loving State"6 when it applied for membership at the United Nations. Both, the Security Council (4 March, 1949, S/RES/69) and the UN General Assembly (11 May, 1949, (A/RES/273 (III)) declared:

 

"[Security Council] Decides in its judgment that Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter …"

 

Arab losses caused by unlawful acts of aggression in 1967

In June 1967, the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attacked Israel with the clear purpose expressed by Egypt's President: "Destruction of Israel." At the end of what is now known as the Six-Day War, Israel, against all odds, was victorious and in possession of the territories of the West Bank, Sinai and the Golan Heights.

International law makes a clear distinction between defensive wars and wars of aggression. More than half a century after the 1948 War and four decades since the 1967 Six-Day War, it is hard to imagine the dire circumstances Israel faced and the price it paid to fend off its neighbors' attacks.

 

Core issues leading to those wars are the borders, and one of the key questions is whether borders can be established that do not invite aggression.

In 1967, the combined Arab armies had approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft,7 preparing to attack Israel at once. Israel, faced with the imminent threat of obliteration, was forced to invoke its right of self-defence, a basic tenet of international law, enshrined in Article 518 of the United Nations Charter. Israel launched a surprised pre-emptive air strike against Egypt on June 5, 1967.

 

Israel's wars with her neighbors are zero-sum games

The Arab objective in the 1948 War of Independence, the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War was to overrun and eradicate the Jewish state.

That objective is very much in the minds of the majority of Palestinian Arabs – in the leadership and the general population, as well as in the minds of their brethren in other Arab countries - though their tactics may have changed.9

 

1948: Arab League Secretary-General Azzam Pasha exulted: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."

1954: Saudi Arabian King Saud ibn Abdul Aziz: "The Arab nations should sacrifice up to 10 million of their 50 million people, if necessary, to wipe out Israel ... Israel to the Arab world is like a cancer to the human body, and the only way of remedy is to uproot it, just like a cancer."

1967: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel." (May 27, 1967, nine days before the start of the Six-Day War.)

2007 © Eli E. Hertz Israel's major wars 2

1973: Libyan President Mohammar Qadaffi: "The battle with Israel must be such that, after it, Israel will cease to exist." (al-Usbu al-Arrabi, Beirut. Quoted by Algiers Radio, Nov. 12, 1973.)

1980: PLO representative in Saudi Arabia Rafiq Najshah: "There has been no change whatsoever in the fundamental strategy of the PLO, which is based on the total liberation of Palestine and the destruction of the occupying country.... On no accounts will the Palestinians accept part of Palestine and call it the Palestinian state, while forfeiting the remaining areas which are called the State of Israel."

1996: Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat: "[Our aim is] to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian one." (In a closed meeting with Arab diplomats in Europe, quoted in the Middle East Digest, March 7, 1996.)

1996: PLO spokesperson Bassam abu-Sharif: "The struggle against the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders but relates to the mere existence of the Zionist entity." (In an interview with the Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1996).

2001: PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Faisal al-Husseini: "The strategic goal is the liberation of Palestine from the Jordanian [sic] River to the Mediterranean Sea, even if this means that the conflict will last for another thousand years or for many generations." (In an interview with the Egyptian paper al-Arabi, June 24, 2001.)

2003: The late Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the key leader of Hamas: "By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews." (In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera television. Reported in the Jerusalem Times, June 10, 2003.)

2007: Hamas statement in response to criticism by Al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahri, March 12, 2007: "We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine …"

Who starts wars does matter

 

UN Charter Article 51 clearly recognizes "the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations" by anyone.

 

The suggestion that a small country such as Israel should be expected to absorb the shock of a first strike against horrendous odds or be branded an aggressor abridges both the spirit and intention of Article 51. It also is untenable in practice, as demonstrated in the existential threat and horrific cost in human life that Israel suffered in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

 

Recall that Israel decided against a preemptive air strike just hours before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, choosing not to jeopardize her support from Washington, after the Nixon Administration warned Israel to allow the Arabs to fire the first shot10 and not make "provocative moves." The results for Israel's "good" behavior: 2,222 Israeli dead and 5,596 wounded.11

 

Arabs would like the world to believe that in 1967, Israel simply woke-up one morning and invaded them, and therefore Israel's control of the Golan Heights, West Bank and Sinai is the illicit fruit of an illegal act - like Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1991

Arab leaders 'bundle' the countries who fought Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War into one 'entity' in order to cloud the issues. They point to Israel's surprise pre-emptive attack on Egypt as an act of unlawful aggression, and add that this "unlawful aggression" prevents Israel from claiming the Territories under international law.

Professor, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, past President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)12 states the following facts:

"The facts of the June 1967 'Six Day War' demonstrate that Israel reacted defensively against the threat and use of force against her by her Arab neighbors. This is indicated by the fact that Israel responded to Egypt's prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, its proclamation of a blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat, and the manifest threat of the UAR's use of force inherent in its massing of troops in Sinai, coupled with its ejection of UNEF. It is indicated by the fact that, upon Israeli responsive action against the UAR, Jordan initiated hostilities against Israel. It is suggested as well by the fact that, despite the most intense efforts by the Arab States and their supporters, led by the Premier of the Soviet Union, to gain condemnation of Israel as an aggressor by the hospitable organs of the United Nations, those efforts were decisively defeated. The conclusion to which these facts lead is that the Israeli conquest of Arab and Arab-held territory was defensive rather than aggressive conquest."

 

Egypt in 1956 and 1967

Before Israel's pre-emptive and surprised attack on the Egyptian air force, a series of belligerent acts by the Arab state justified Israel's resort to arms in self-defence in accordance with the Law of Nations.

The Egyptians were responsible for:

• The expulsion of UN peacekeepers from Sinai – stationed there since 1956 to act as a buffer when Israel withdrew from Sinai;

• The closure of Israel's outlet from the Red Sea in defiance of the Geneva Conference of 1958 on free navigation "through straits used for international navigation between one part of the high seas and … the territorial sea of a foreign nation" (For 16 years Egypt illegally blocked Israeli use of the Suez Canal);

• The failure of the international community to break the blockade; and

• The massing of Egyptian forces in Sinai and moving them toward Israel's border.13

 

In 1956, when Egypt provoked Israel by blockading the Red Sea - crippling her ability to conduct sea trade with Africa and the Far East - the major Western powers negotiated Israel's withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, and agreed that Israel's rights would be reserved under Article 51 of the UN Charter if Egypt staged future raids and blockades against Israel. .14

 

In 1967, Egypt's closing of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships before June 5, was an unlawful act of aggression. The Israeli response was a lawful act of self-defence under Article 51 and UN General Assembly Resolution 3314.

Israel's enemies and critics ignore or conveniently forget the facts, as Arabs and their sympathizers continue to blame Israel for 'starting' the 1967 war.

Were the acts by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1967 against Israel aggressive enough to warrant Israel's exercise of her right to self-defence?

The answer can be found on the official website of the Jordanian Government 15under the heading 'The Disaster of 1967.' It describes the events of the days prior to June 5, 1967 and clearly indicates that Jordan, at least, expected Egypt to launch the offensive war against Israel:

"On May 16, Nasser shocked the world by asking the United Nations to withdraw its forces from Sinai. To the surprise of many, his request was honored two days later. Moreover, the Egyptian president closed the Straits of Tiran on May 22. Sensing that war was now likely. … In response to the Israeli attack [on Egypt], Jordanian forces launched an offensive into Israel, but were soon driven back as the Israeli forces counterattacked into the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem." (italic by author)

Israel did not entered the West Bank until it was first attacked by Jordan. This fact is stated on the official Website of the Jordanian Government under the heading "The Disaster of 1967":16

"Sensing that war was now likely, King Hussein aligned Jordan firmly with Egypt, suggesting an Egyptian-Jordanian Mutual Defense Treaty … [The treaty] stipulated that Jordan's forces were to be placed under the command of Egyptian General Abdul Moneim Riad … In response to the Israeli attack [on the Egyptian air force], Jordanian forces launched an offensive into Israel, but were soon driven back as the Israeli forces counterattacked into the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem."

In fact, Jordan was an illegally occupier of the West Bank from 1948 to 1967 , and the undisputable aggressor in the Six-Day-War of 1967. Thus, Israel acted lawfully by exercising its right of self-defence when it redeemed and legally occupied Judea and Samaria, known also as the West Bank.

 

Israel had clarified to Jordan through UN diplomatic channels that it should stay out of the war. It stated simply: "We shall not attack any country unless it opens war on us."17 King Hussein of Jordan sent a reply via the UN envoy that "since Israel had attacked Egypt, [Israel] would receive his reply by air"18 – a 'message' that came in the form of Jordanian air raids on civilian and military targets, shelling Jerusalem with mortars and long-range artillery on Ben-Gurion Airport, then extending the front to shelling Israel's 'narrow hips' under the mistaken belief that the Arabs were winning. Had Jordan heeded Israel's message of peace instead of Egypt's lies that the Arabs were winning the war, the Hashemite Kingdom could have remained neutral in the conflict, and Eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank would have remained in Jordan's possession. Jordan was far from a 'minor player' in the Arabs' war of aggression as their narrative implies: Israel lost 183 soldiers in battle with Jordanian forces.

 

Judge Sir Elihu Lauterpacht wrote in 1968, just one year after the 1967 Six-Day War:

"On 5th June, 1967, Jordan deliberately overthrew the Armistice Agreement by attacking the Israeli-held part of Jerusalem. There was no question of this Jordanian action being a reaction to any Israeli attack. It took place notwith-standing explicit Israeli assurances, conveyed to King Hussein through the U.N. Commander, that if Jordan did not attack Israel, Israel would not attack Jordan. Although the charge of aggression is freely made against Israel in relation to the Six-Days War the fact remains that the two attempts made in the General Assembly in June-July 1967 to secure the condemnation of Israel as an aggressor failed. A clear and striking majority of the members of the U.N. voted against the proposition that Israel was an aggressor."

Professor, Judge Schwebel writing lead to the conclusion that under international law, Israel is permitted to stay in the West Bank as long as it is necessary to her self-defence.

 

Defensive wars and wars of aggression

International law makes a clear distinction between defensive wars and wars of aggression. All of Israel's wars with its Arab neighbors were in self-defence

Professor, Judge Schwebel, wrote in What Weight to Conquest:19

"(a) a state [Israel] acting in lawful exercise of its right of self-defense may seize and occupy foreign territory as long as such seizure and occupation are necessary to its self-defense;

"(b) as a condition of its withdrawal from such territory, that State may require the institution of security measures reasonably designed to ensure that that territory shall not again be used to mount a threat or use of force against it of such a nature as to justify exercise of self-defense;

"(c) Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.

"… as between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt."

 

Israel's Major Wars

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

Israel’s Major Wars Part II

The legal aspects of coming into possession of the territories2nd Part of 2

By Eli E. Hertz

UN "Inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force"

Most UN General Assembly Resolutions regarding Israel read at the start:

"Aware of the established principle of international law on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force."

Professor, Judge Schwebel, a former President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), explains that the principle of "acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible" must be read together with other principles:20

"… namely, that no legal right shall spring from a wrong, and the Charter principle that the Members of the United Nations shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State."

Simply stated: Arab illegal aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, can not and should not be reworded.

Judge Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice, argued in 1968 that:21

"… territorial change cannot properly take place as a result of the 'unlawful' use of force. But to omit the word 'unlawful' is to change the substantive content of the rule and to turn an important safeguard of legal principle into an aggressor's charter. For if force can never be used to effect lawful territory change, then, if territory has once changed hands as a result of the unlawful use of force, the illegitimacy of the position thus established is sterilized by the prohibition upon the use of force to restore the lawful sovereign. This cannot be regarded as reasonable or correct."

Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, stated:22

"Territorial Rights Under International Law. ... By their [Arab countries] armed attacks against the State of Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and by various acts of belligerency throughout this period, these Arab states flouted their basic obligations as United Nations members to refrain from threat or use of force against Israel's territorial integrity and political independence. These acts were in flagrant violation inter alia of Article 2(4) and paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of the same article."

Columbia University Law Professor George Fletcher further clarified those points, after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Israel's occupation of lands acquired in the 1967 Six-Day War "illegal."23

"Annan, Fletcher suggested, is trying to redefine the Middle East conflict by calling "Israel's occupation of lands acquired in the 1967 Six-Day War 'illegal.'24 A new and provocative label of 'illegality' is now out of the chute and running loose, ready to wreak damage. The worst prospect is that Palestinians will dig in with a new feeling of righteousness and believe that the international community will force Israel to withdraw from its 'illegal occupation.'… Israel's presence in the occupied territories is consistent with international law. In this context, the choice of the words 'illegal occupation' is a perilous threat to the diplomatic search for peace."

2007 © Eli E. Hertz Israel's major wars 7

Kofi Annan became victim to the 'Occupation' mantra his own organization has repeated over and over in its propaganda campaign to legitimize the Arab position.

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 or 338

Because the Arabs were clearly the aggressors, nowhere in UN Security Council Resolutions 242 or 338 – the cornerstones of a peace settlement – is Israel branded as an invader or unlawful occupier of the Territories and there is no call for Israel to withdraw from all the Territories. Palestinians allegations that the wording of 242 was 'deliberately ambiguous' or misconstrued are unfounded.

Resolutions 242 and 338 both rest on the concept of lawful occupations and acknowledge the current legal status of western Palestine as one unit by its reference to the lack of "recognized and secure boundaries."

Strategically, the West Bank juts into Israel's densely populated coastal plain, invites Arab's aggression. Consequently, the Palestinians' guerilla war on Israel is not an isolated case. Palestinian forces repeatedly attacked Jews from Arab-dominated areas of the West Bank before Israel 'occupied' the West Bank in 1967: Jenin and Nablus on the West Bank were the heart of the 1936-39 Arab Revolt that targeted both British authorities and Zionist settlements.

West Bank villagers played a key role in this first stage of the 1948 war, when organized armed gangs based on geographic and familial affinity cut off or overran isolated Jewish settlements and laid siege to Jerusalem by attacking Jewish convoys with food, medical supplies and other essentials. This stage of the war was also marked by several horrific war crimes,25 including the April 1948 massacre of a convoy of 78 doctors, nurses, patients, and their guards on their way to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus and the murder of 127 men and women from the beleaguered village of Kfar Etzion near Bethlehem in May 1948 by a lynch mob of thousands of local Palestinian Arabs after the defenders surrendered to the Jordanian Arab Legion.26 And during the early 1950s the West Bank served a safe haven for Palestinian infiltrators in a series of cross-border terrorist attacks.

Nearly all of the above legal commentary regarding 'wars of aggression' were written long before the Palestinian Authority, a semi-autonomous political entity, launched a vicious guerilla war against Israel in October 2000, but the insights and opinions voiced, beg the question - whether Palestinians as well should not be considered accountable for their repeated aggression when it comes to setting "secure and recognized borders"?

1 "From Mandate to Partition, Lessons Learned or Mistakes Repeated – The United Nations and Palestine," al majdal, December 2000, at:

http://www.badil.org/Publications/Bulletins/B_3.html. In this critique, the magazine justifies rejection of the Partition Plan in 1947, then blames the UN for not stepping in to

2007 © Eli E. Hertz Israel's major wars 8

enforce it in 1948 when Palestinians began to lose the war, charging that the refugee problem was "the consequences of inaction by the UN."

2 "Back to the Future: NPR Rewrites Israel's War of Independence" citing A. J. Barker, The Arab Israeli Wars, October 9, 2002, at:

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=4&x_outlet=28&x_article=291.

3 For a study of the struggle to obtain arms for the state in the making, see Leonard Slater, "The Pledge," Simon and Schuster, 1970.

4 Between November 30, 1947 – July 20, 1949.

5 For an overview of this, see Yoav Gelber, "Why Did the Palestinians Run Away in 1948?" December 10, 2002, History News Network, at: http://hnn.us/articles/782.html.

6 UN Security Council 69 (S/RES/69, 4 March 1949. See: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/ccf3096aa8f1bb8d852560c2005da665?OpenDocument.

UN General Assembly 273 (III) A/RES/273, 11 May 1949. See: http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/83e8c29db812a4e9852560e50067a5ac?OpenDocument.

7 Cited in "Occupied Territories: Forgotten Facts About the West Bank and Gaza Strip," Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 2003, at:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/2/DISPUTED TERRITORIES- Forgotten Facts About the We.htm.

8 See: http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapter7.htm.

9 In 1999, at the height of optimism regarding an impending settlement, 80 percent of the public in neighboring countries supported continuing the conflict and 54 percent wanted Israel to 'disappear.' See data cited in conclusion of Antisemitism Worldwide 1999/2000, Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, Tel Aviv University, http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw99-2000/arab.htm. More indirect tactics include the 'phase strategy' to gain the West Bank, then attack Israel, and use demography as a weapon – Palestinians have the highest birthrate in the world, twice as high as the overall Arab world's high birthrate. Another tactic is to use the Right of Return and demand that Israel accept Arab refugees.

10 Moshe Dayan, Milestones, 1976, Yediot Ahronot Publishers, p. 578.

11 Carta's Atlas of Israel: The Third Decade 1971-1981, p.130. By comparison, in the Six-Day War – a three-front war, not a two-front war, Israel sustained 759 fatalities.

12 Professor, Judge Schwebel has served on the International Court since 15 January 1981. He was Vice-President of the Court from 1994 to 1997 and has been President from 1997 to 2000. A former Deputy Legal Adviser of the United States Department of State and Burling Professor of International Law at the School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University (Washington), Judge Schwebel is the author of three books and some 150 articles on problems of international law and organization, including the notable "Justice in International Law," Cambridge University Press, 1994. Opinions quoted are not derived from his position as a judge of the ICJ.

13 See UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 in the chapter "Definition of Aggression".

For a recent reexamination of the Six-Day War and how it came to be, see Michael Oren, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, Oxford University Press, 2002, at: http://www.shalem.org.il/oren/index.htm. For a 50-page excerpt, see: http://www.shalem.org.il/oren/book.doc. For an in-depth article by Michael Oren – "Did Israel Want the Six-Day War?" Azure, Spring 1999, at: http://www.azure.org.il/7-Oren.html. For a vivid picture of conditions prior to the Six-Day War, see "Disputed Territories: Forgotten Facts About the West Bank and Gaza Strip," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 2003, at:

2007 © Eli E. Hertz Israel's major wars 9

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/SearchResults.htm?strSearch=disputed%20territories. Troop concentrations cited by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abba Eban in the Security Council in the aftermath of the war.

14 See Cato Policy Analysis No. 159; The Suez Crisis, 1956, "Ancient History": U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention, by senior editor Sheldon L. Richman. See: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html. In Time.com, see the section titled "Time 100" and dedicated to the most important people of the 20th century, including the section devoted to David Ben-Gurion and describing UN deliberation over the war of 1956 – The Sinai Campaign, states: "At this point, France's Premier Guy MoDd and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau arrived in Washington.… Pineau submitted to Dulles a draft resolution whereby 1) Israel would withdraw unconditionally, and 2) Israel's rights would be reserved under the Charter's self-defence clause if Egypt should go back to raids and blockades against her." See:

http://www.time.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/bengurion_related5.html.

15 See Jordan official Website: "The Disaster of 1967" at:

http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/his_periods3.html.

16 See Jordan official Web site: "The Disaster of 1967" at:

http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/his_periods3.html.

17 See "Disputed Territories: Forgotten Facts About the West Bank and Gaza Strip," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 2003, at: http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0n1m0.

18 Moshe Dayan, ibid, p. 439.

19 Professor, Judge Schwebel, "Justice in International Law," Cambridge University Press, 1994. Opinions quoted are not derived from his position as a judge of the ICJ.

20 Ibid. Professor, Judge Schwebel in What Weight to Conquest?

21 See "Jerusalem and the Holy Places," The Anglo-Israel Association, October 1968, page 52. Sir Elihu Lauterpacht - Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice. Published also "Aspects of the Administration of International Justice," 1991. Director, Research Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge Member, Arbitration Panel, World Bank Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

22 "Israel and Palestine, Assault on the Law of Nations" The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981, p. 127. The late Professor Julius Stone was recognised as one of the twentieth century's leading authorities on the Law of Nations. His short work represents a detailed analysis of the central principles of international law governing the issues raised by the Arab-Israel conflict. He was one of a few scholars to gain outstanding recognition in more than one field. Professor Stone was one of the world's best-known authorities in both Jurisprudence and International Law.

23 George P. Fletcher is a professor at Columbia University School of Law and author of Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism. See "Annan's Careless Language," The New York Times, March 21, 2002, at: http://www.uscj.org/neweng/worcester/Link_Fletcher020321.htm.

24 See "Annan's Careless Language," The New York Times, March 21, 2002, at: http://www.uscj.org/neweng/worcester/Link_Fletcher020321.htm.

25 The massacre of innocent Arabs at Dir Yassin is discussed in the chapter on refugees.

26 The History of Gush Etzion, see: http://www.jafi.org.il/education/festivls/zkatz/atz/etzion9.html.

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