A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

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A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by sassy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:16 am

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,

I write this letter to you with a heavy heart as it pains me deeply to see the beautiful dream of a strong and proud Israel, the country that was expected to embrace what is virtuous, moral, and just, now losing its reason for being—as a free and secure Jewish state living in peace and harmony with its neighbors.

The state’s social fabric is being torn apart by political divisiveness and economic injustice. The country is increasingly isolated, degenerating into a garrison state surrounding itself with walls and fences, vilified by friends and reviled by enemies.

As the Prime Minister who served longest in this position, the country is virtually crumbling under your watch. The question is, where are you leading the people, and what will be in store for them tomorrow as Israel is now at a fateful cross-road and facing an uncertain future?

Certainly you and those who follow you in good faith will disagree with my analysis, but I urge you to look carefully into the dire issues I am raising here as they unfold, for which you are now more responsible than any of your predecessors.

You conveniently surround yourself with a corrupt political elite—ministers with no morals, no compunction, and nothing but an insatiable lust for power. They are consumed by their personal political agendas and absorbed in domestic corruption and intrigues.

You have several such ministers—among them a Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, who endorsed the idea that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” which is nothing short of a call for indiscriminate killing that will include “its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its properties and its infrastructure”; an Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, who wants to annex most of the West Bank without giving a single thought to the ominous danger that such an ill-fated scheme would inflict on Israel; and a Cultural Minister, Miri Regev, who is out to stifle freedom of the arts and expression—who make a mockery of Israel’s democratic foundation and institutions.

You backed three draconian bills: one would suspend Knesset members who deny Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; the second would withdraw funding from cultural institutions deemed “not loyal” to Israel; and the third would require leftwing NGOs who receive foreign funding to label themselves as such in any publication (while exempting privately-funded right-wing NGOs). You are enveloped in an ideological siege with a ghetto mentality and selective religious precepts, supported by a blind chorus of parliamentarians that only echoes your distorted tune.

You manipulate the public with national security concerns and falsely connect security to borders, only to usurp more Palestinian land and defend the ruinous settlement policy.

You delight in facing an inept political opposition—relegated to a permanent state of suspension—and are thrilled to see them decaying with no political plans to challenge you to find a solution to the endemic Palestinian conflict on which you politically thrive. With these lame opposition parties sitting on the fringes of political despair, they have now become easy to co-opt in support of your misguided domestic, foreign, and Palestinian-targeted policies, all in the name of national unity.


You still boast about Israel’s economic prowess, when in fact the economy as a whole is in a state of stagnation and labor productivity is the lowest among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and a handful of billionaires control the financial heart of the state while tens of thousands of families are scrambling to survive.

More than 1.7 million Israelis are living in poverty—775,000 of whom are children—while hundreds of millions of dollars are siphoned off to spend on illegal settlements and hundreds of millions more are spent to protect the settlers, leaving Arab villages and towns with mostly Middle Eastern Jews to rot.

The gulf between the rich and poor is widening. The top 10 percent of the population earns 15 times that of the bottom 10 percent, making Israel one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. Tourism is diving, foreign investments are plunging, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is gaining momentum.

The corruption and criminality among top officials is staggering; more than 10 ministers and at least 12 members of the Knesset have been convicted of crimes over the past 20 years alone. Former President Moshe Katsav and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were sentenced to seven years and 19 months in prison, respectively. Scores more were indicted, but escaped punishment through various legal loopholes often accorded to top officials.

You discriminate against Israeli Arabs (who constitute 20 percent of the population) with your government’s policy of unequal treatment, and then question their loyalty to the state.

Radical Zionists like you claim that a multi-culturist Israel cannot survive – that apartheid, or something like it, is the only viable alternative – essentially repeating the argument which was used in earlier European history against the Jews themselves.

I might add with deep sorrow that discrimination is not confined to the Israeli Arabs, but extends to Middle Eastern and Ethiopian Jews four generations after the establishment of the State of Israel. The May 2015 violent clashes between police and Jews of Ethiopian origin only reveal the depth of Israel’s social disparity.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, from your own Likud Party, could not have made the reality more painfully clear than when he stated, “Protesters in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv revealed an open and bloody wound in the heart of Israeli society. This is a wound of a community sounding the alarm at what they feel is discrimination, racism and disregard of their needs. We must take a good hard look at this wound.”

Demographically, the country is facing a grave danger. The number of Israelis emigrating from Israel is roughly equal to the number of those who immigrate to Israel. Nearly one million Israelis, representing 13 percent of the population, emigrated from Israel in the past 20 years. Several polls consistently show that given the opportunity, 30 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country, mainly for economic reasons and the lack of a prospect of ending the debilitating conflict with the Palestinians.

In particular, the immigration of young American and European Jews to Israel is consistently trending downward. Many of them have lost the sense of pioneering spirit and excitement that gripped their earlier counterparts who wanted to be a part of a historic enterprise unmatched by any in contemporary human experience.

The Palestinians
You treat the Palestinians in the territories like objects, to be used and abused contingent on the call of the hour. You violate their human rights with brazen impunity and never came to grips with the debilitating and dreadful impact of nearly 50 years of occupation.

You scornfully claim, “The Jewish people are not foreign occupiers.” You never wanted to understand the meaning of being utterly overpowered by another, of having one’s house raided in the middle of the night, terrifying women and children, one’s village arbitrarily divided by the building of fences, one’s home destroyed, and of losing the sense of having any control over one’s life.

Invoking memories of the Holocaust as if to justify the mistreatment of the Palestinians only debases the historical relevance of this unprecedented human tragedy. One would think that those who suffered as much as the Jews would treat others with care and sensitivity. That the victim can become a victimizer is painful to face, but it is a reality nonetheless. Having suffered so much does not give you the license to oppress and persecute others.

US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, no less, put it succinctly when he said, “…too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response by Israeli authorities…Too much vigilantism [in the West Bank] goes unchecked, and at times there seems to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law, one for Israelis, and another for Palestinians.”

Not that I exempt Palestinians of their role, but by you and your ministers’ own actions and policy toward the Palestinians, you are inciting hostility and ultimately fostering violent extremism. You use national security to justify your prejudicial policies, including the mistreatment of the Palestinians and the expansion of settlements that became the mantra of Israel’s domestic policy, using old and tired talking points about national security which are dismissed as empty, self-convincing gospel.

You speak in support of a two-state solution, but you have never lifted a finger to advance it; your actions only point to the opposite direction. Yes, although the Palestinians have made scores of mistakes and are likely to make many others that will severely undermine their own national interests, they are here to stay.

Israel must determine its own destiny and not leave it to the Palestinians’ whims. You claim that the Palestinians do not want peace, but by being the far more powerful party, you can take a calculated risk, and assume the responsibility to pave the way for eventually reaching a peace agreement instead of further entrenching Israel in the occupied territories. This will make the conflict ever more intractable when coexistence is inevitable under any circumstance.

Time is not on Israel’s side, and even though they are suffering, the Palestinians can wait. You cannot freeze the status quo, and given the regional turmoil, violent extremism targeting Israel will only increase.

Without a carefully thought-out plan to gradually disengage from the occupied territories, there will likely be a million settlers within a few years. This will amount to a de facto annexation of the West Bank, from which Israel will be unable to extract itself without perpetual violent confrontations with the Palestinians and risking a civil war, should a decision be made to evacuate a substantial number of settlers.

Ending the occupation is not a charitable gift to the Palestinians. Only by accepting their right to a state of their own will Israel remain a Jewish and democratic state enjoying peace and security, instead of being drawn toward an abyss from which there is no salvation.

Israel is the only country in the modern era that has maintained, in defiance of the international community, a military occupation for nearly five decades. The Israelis’ complacency about the occupation is adversely affecting Jews all over the world, and as long as the occupation lingers, anti-Semitism will continue to rise.


What has added potency to the substantial rise in anti-Semitism in recent years is your disregard of the international consensus about the illegality of the settlements, the policy of the continuing occupation, and your disregard of the Palestinians’ suffering and right to self-determination.

Did you consider what would be the ramifications of what you said during the last election, which I believe reflects your true position, that there would be no Palestinian state under your watch? There will be no peace with the Arab states, Jordan and Egypt (regardless of how they feel toward the Palestinians) may well abrogate their peace treaties with Israel under mounting regional and public pressure, the wrath of the EU will be immeasurable, the US will lose patience (if it hasn’t already) and no longer provide Israel with automatic political cover, and the world will blame Israel for feeding into the region’s instability; much of this is already happening.

Israel will constantly live in a state of violence and insecurity, but perhaps this is precisely what you want—to spread fear and use scare tactics to foment public anxiety by painting every Palestinian as a terrorist, as if the occupation has nothing to do with Palestinian extremism.

On foreign policy
A sound and constructive foreign policy is foreign to you, which is consequently alienating Israel’s allies and bewildering its friends.

You wantonly discard diplomatic conventions and protocol; you willfully undercut President Obama by addressing a joint session of US Congress, challenging him on the Iran deal only to fail miserably, baffling Democratic and Republican leaders alike.

You clashed with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro for criticizing Israel’s policy in the West Bank, and condescendingly [url=http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-to-brazil-settler-leader-only-ambassador-well-offer/>refuse to offer another Ambassador to Brazil after it rejected your nominee, Dani Dayan, who personifies the worst of the settler movement.

You berated Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who stated “…it is human nature to react to occupation”.

You antagonized Secretary of State Kerry, who highlighted “the injustice of settlement building”, prompting various US officials to call you “myopic, entitled, untrustworthy, routinely disrespectful and focused solely on short-term political tactics to keep [your] right-wing constituency in line.”

As the US and EU are wholly convinced that the settlements represent the main obstacle to peace, you are now not only inviting criticism but forcing both to take measures to awaken the Israelis to the harsh reality of the settlements and your perilous ideology.

Due to your imprudent policies, Israel has few friends left. Anti-Israel sentiment is on the rise not only in Europe but in the US as well, which provides the last bastion of public support for Israel.

Starting with the EU’s demand to label settlement products, you remain typically dismissive, shaming the EU and blaming them for applying double standards. You revert to the old narrative of accusing any critics of your policy as being anti-Semitic in order to deflect from your ill-advised actions which are bound to backfire.

EU members are growing increasingly skeptical that you will ever seek peace based on a two-state solution, and they will more than likely over time become less restrained to impose sanctions. The EU could potentially expand the sanctions on goods manufactured in Israel proper as well and ratchet up its political pressure on Israel to end the oppressive occupation.

The French government is now preparing to convene an international conference to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because they see no hope that you would enter into serious bilateral negotiations if left to your own devices. Your reaction was as always dismissive, using again the worn-out argument that a solution can be found only through direct negotiation. You offer to resume peace talks unconditionally but then refuse to discuss borders first, and still insist that the Palestinians must first recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

And here is the irony of it all—while Iran’s President Rouhani received red carpet treatment in Italy and France, you are being cast as a loathsome leader blinded by a defunct ideology decades past its time.


Israel’s destiny
Israel’s achievements in science, technology, medicine, agriculture, and many other fields in less than seven decades is nothing short of a miracle. This miracle became a reality due to the incredible resourcefulness, creativity, and dedication of men and women who committed to building a powerful and proud nation that offers a safe haven in perpetuity for the Jews. These unprecedented accomplishments, however, mean little unless Israel can live in peace and all of its citizens can enjoy equality and freedom, which are the pillars on which Israel’s very future rests.
What is your vision of Israel’s future? Do you know where the country will be in a decade or even less? I challenge you to provide a clear answer. If you truly take to heart Israel’s security and wellbeing, then you must save it from the very self-destructive path that you have paved with fear, anxiety, and bloodshed.

You must focus on reforming Israel’s dysfunctional political system instead of capitalizing on it to promote your narrow political agenda.

You must make a supreme effort to bridge the alarming gap between rich and poor, and provide job opportunities for the tens of thousands of young men and women who want financial stability and growth so that they can build a promising future in Israel rather than seek employment abroad.

You must focus on rebuilding the run-down neighborhoods mostly occupied by Israeli Arabs and Jews of Middle Eastern origin, instead of channeling each year surpluses of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to the settlements.

You must provide adequate funding for hospitals, and health care to the poor whose social security assistance has cruelly and shamelessly been cut in recent years, especially for Holocaust survivors and others who are forced to choose between feeding their families and paying their electric bills, and who can’t afford to buy lifesaving medicine they desperately need.

You must allocate more funding for schools that would allow thousands of young men and women to attend colleges, instead of cutting budgets for secular and Christian schools while diverting funds to orthodox students, who enjoy free tuition.

You must now choose to live with the Palestinians in peace and prosper together, or live by the sword and violently consume one another. You must never forget that Israeli and Palestinian destinies are irreversibly intertwined.
You must restore Israel’s stature among the community of nations as a true democracy that treats all of its citizens, regardless of sect, ethnicity, or religion, equitably rather than engage in discriminatory policies that will only erode Israel’s standing.

You must reach out to the international community, strengthen Israel’s alliances, and mitigate differences with its enemies. Remember, Israel will always need the political support of the international community and military and political assistance from the US in particular, not the other way around.

You must recommit to the moral principles that gave birth to Israel, starting with an honest public narrative based on Israel’s reality on all fronts instead of engaging in a fictional, self-indulgent narrative that distorts the truth the country and its people are facing.

Having said all this, nothing will make me happier should by some miracle you rise to the historic occasion and heed the call of the hour and answer the plea of the people to end the conflict with the Palestinians, and make Israel proud again for its unsurpassed achievements in all spheres of life.

You have demonstrated tremendous political and leadership skills to reach the pinnacle you currently enjoy, but sadly, you have chosen misguided policies that undermine Israel’s security and prospects for peace.

You should use those same qualities to lead the country and realize its destiny as a Jewish, democratic, and secure state on friendly terms with its neighbors. This will not be an aberration; many leaders before you have demonstrated the courage, vision, and capacity to drastically change course that time and circumstances have dictated. You can too if you only will it.

Yitzhak Rabin, Anwar Sadat, Mikhail Gorbachev, F.W. de Klerk, and many others came to recognize the new realities, and decided to take the risks and change course out of conviction that the country and the people need a revolutionary change of direction and deserve a trusted leadership that will guide them to a better and more promising tomorrow.

This is the legacy I would want to leave behind if I were you.

Respectfully yours,
Alon Ben-Meir


http://www.alonben-meir.com/article/a-plea-for-reason-an-open-letter-to-prime-minister-netanyahu/








Always the optimist.  Netanyahu and 'peace maker' simply cannot be put in the same sentence unfortunately.

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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by nicko on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:20 am

Neither can Hamas!
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by sassy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:25 am

That's where you are wrong:


Israeli Peace Activist: Hamas Leader Jabari Killed Amid Talks on Long-term Truce

Gershon Baskin, who helped mediate between Israel and Hamas in the deal to release Gilad Shalit, says Israel made a mistake that will cost the lives of 'innocent people on both sides.'

Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the cease-fire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip. This, according to Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped mediate between Israel and Hamas in the deal to release Gilad Shalit and has since then maintained a relationship with Hamas leaders.

Baskin told Haaretz on Thursday that senior officials in Israel knew about his contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating the permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination.

“I think that they have made a strategic mistake," Baskin said, an error "which will cost the lives of quite a number of innocent people on both sides."

"This blood could have been spared. Those who made the decision must be judged by the voters, but to my regret they will get more votes because of this,” he added.

Baskin made Jabari’s acquaintance when he served as a mediator between David Meidin, Israel’s representative to the Shalit negotiations, and Jabari. “Jabari was the all-powerful man in charge. He always received the messages via a third party, Razi Hamad of Hamas, who called him Mister J.”

For months, Baskin sent daily messages in advance of the formulation of the deal. He kept the channel of communication with Gaza open even after the Shalit deal was completed.

According to Baskin, during the past two years Jabari internalized the realization that the rounds of hostilities with Israel were beneficial neither to Hamas nor to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip and only caused suffering, and several times he acted to prevent firing by Hamas into Israel.

He said that even when Hamas was pulled into participating in the launching of rockets, its rockets would always land in open spaces. “And that was intentional,” clarified Baskin.

In recent months Baskin was continuously in touch with Hamas officials and with Egyptian intelligence as well as with officials in Israel, whose names he refused to divulge. A few months ago Baskin showed Defense Minister Ehud Barak a draft of the agreement and on the basis of that draft an inter-ministry committee on the issue was established. The agreement was to have constituted a basis for a permanent truce between Israel and Hamas, which would prevent the repeated rounds of shooting.

“In Israel,” Baskin said, “they decided not to decide, and in recent months I took the initiative to push it again.” In recent weeks he renewed contact with Hamas and with Egypt and just this week he was in Egypt and met with top people in the intelligence system and with a Hamas representative. He says he formed the impression that the pressure the Egyptians applied to the Palestinians to stop shooting was serious and sincere.

“He was in line to die, not an angel and not a righteous man of peace,” Baskin said of Jabari and of his feelings in the wake of the killing, “but his assassination also killed the possibility of achieving a truce and also the Egyptian mediators’ ability to function. After the assassination I spoke to the people in Israel angrily and they said to me: We’ve heard you and we are calling to ask if you have heard anything form the Egyptians or from Gaza.”

Since the assassination, Baskin has been in touch with the Egyptians but not with the Palestinians. According to him, the Egyptians are very cool-headed. They said it is necessary to let the fresh blood calm down. "The Egyptian intelligence people are doing what they are doing with the permission and authorization of the regime and apparently they very much believe in this work,” he says.

“I am mainly sad. This is sad for me. I am seeing people getting killed and that is what is making me sad. I tell myself that with every person who is killed we are engendering the next generation of haters and terrorists,” adds Baskin.

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-peace-activist-hamas-leader-jabari-killed-amid-talks-on-long-term-truce.premium-1.478085


Since then Sisi has taken over in Egypt and hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered and Netanyahu continues with his policy of occupation via the settlements.
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by nicko on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:29 am

It takes two to Tango.
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:31 am

Hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered?

For fuck sake, I think I just going to call sassy from now on Pinocchio.

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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by sassy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:33 am

nicko wrote:It takes two to Tango.


It certainly does, and by expending the settlements day after day, Netanyahu shows that he has no intention of doing so, in fact he has said so 'there will never be a two state solution on my watch'.
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by nicko on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:35 am

Your mind is closed, I can,t argue against it.
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by sassy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:35 am

Nope, your's is.
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:37 am

Even though I am against the settlements, they are not illegal based on the Oslo accords, which is a binding treaty. The UN can make as many resolutions as it likes, legally they are not binding as treaties are. At the end of the day this is not the issue.

As stated earlier, what Pinocchio neglects the fact it was the Arabs who rejected to partition plans, in 1937 and 1947, started a civil war, which had then other Arab nations enter the fray, with the sole intent of the destruction of Israel. Then both Jordan and Egypt illegally occupied areas of the former British mandate. To further conflicts that saw israel free these areas of occupation which has for the first time in history brought about the chance of a Palestinian state and nation, even if the Palestinian Arabs are nothing more than an invention from the 1960's. Israel has gained peace with former enemies, because both wanted peace, yet throughout its turbulent history the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza have continually spurned peace, because they simply will not accept the right of an Israeli Nation..

Peace is brought about by reconciliation and Israel should withdraw from the settlements created in the last couple of decades, but this is not what is driving the terrorism and extremism. Its a state run system of hate from generation to generation that sees the highest levels of antisemitism in the world in the Palestinian territories which teach that Israel has no right to exist. Its time the world stopped making excuses for the fact the Palestinians have never wanted peace. Israel has as seen made peace with those who want peace, but Israel must

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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by sassy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:39 am

The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories illegal under international law.[1][2][3][4][5] Israel maintains that they are consistent with international law[6] because it does not agree that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the territories occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War.[7] The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply.[8][9]
Numerous UN resolutions have stated that the building and existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are a violation of international law, including UN Security Council resolutions in 1979 and 1980.[10][11][12] UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon Israel to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup. The reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions has declared the settlements illegal[13] as has the primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice[14] and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The position of successive Israeli governments is that all authorized settlements are entirely legal and consistent with international law,[15] despite Israel's armistice agreements all being with High Contracting Parties.[16] In practice, Israel does not accept that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies de jure, but has stated that on humanitarian issues it will govern itself de facto by its provisions, without specifying which these are.[17][18] The majority of legal scholars hold the settlements to violate international law, while others have offered dissenting views supporting the Israeli position.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law_and_Israeli_settlements
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:40 am

Stormee wrote:The daily dose of spam from Sassy, give it a rest.

And the above is stirring

If you think its spamming, then report it, as otherwise you are clearly trying to start a fight

Grow up

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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by sassy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:40 am

Stormee wrote:The daily dose of spam from Sassy, give it a rest.


So, are you going to threaten me like you did on the headscarf thread?   An answer is still required there.
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:44 am

sassy wrote:The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories illegal under international law.[1][2][3][4][5] Israel maintains that they are consistent with international law[6] because it does not agree that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the territories occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War.[7] The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply.[8][9]
Numerous UN resolutions have stated that the building and existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are a violation of international law, including UN Security Council resolutions in 1979 and 1980.[10][11][12] UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon Israel to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup. The reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions has declared the settlements illegal[13] as has the primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice[14] and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The position of successive Israeli governments is that all authorized settlements are entirely legal and consistent with international law,[15] despite Israel's armistice agreements all being with High Contracting Parties.[16] In practice, Israel does not accept that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies de jure, but has stated that on humanitarian issues it will govern itself de facto by its provisions, without specifying which these are.[17][18] The majority of legal scholars hold the settlements to violate international law, while others have offered dissenting views supporting the Israeli position.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law_and_Israeli_settlements


Irrelevant, under international law, they are not illegal, because again of the League of nations through settling Jews and also the fact the Oslo accord is a binding treaty. The land was formely the British Mandate, the Israeli's declared independence and defeated the Arabs, though the arabs had occupied illegally the West Bank and Gaza through the Jordanians and Egyptians


Anyway


[size=12]



Legal scholars Eugene Kontorovich and Avi Bell have written an impressive new paper submitted to the Arizona Law Review that uses a well-known principle of international law to determine the borders of nations and applies it to Israel.

Here are the important excerpts of the 70-page paper.

[/size]
ABSTRACT:  Israel’s borders and territorial scope are a source of seemingly endless debate. Remarkably, despite the intensity of the debates, little attention has been paid to relevance of the doctrine of uti possidetis juris to resolving legal aspects of the border dispute. Uti possidetis juris is widely acknowledged as the doctrine of customary international law that is central to determining territorial sovereignty in the era of decolonization. The doctrine provides that emerging states presumptively inherit their pre-independence administrative boundaries. 

Applied to the case of Israel, uti possidetis juris would dictate that Israel inherit the boundaries of the Mandate of Palestine as they existed in May, 1948. The doctrine would thus support Israeli claims to any or all of the currently hotly disputed areas of Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem), the West Bank, and even potentially the Gaza Strip (though not the Golan Heights). 

What is uti possidetis juris?



Today, it is generally accepted that the borders of newlyformed states are determined by application of uti possidetis juris as a matter of customary international law. The doctrine even applies when it conflicts with the principle of self-determination. Summarizing the operation of the rule, Steven Ratner explains, “[s]tated simply, [the doctrine of] uti possidetis [juris]provides that states emerging from decolonization shall presumptively inherit the colonial administrative borders that they held at the time of independence.” Recent decades have shown that uti possidetis juris applies to all cases where the borders of new states have to be determined, and not just in its original context of decolonization. Thus, for instance, uti possidetis juris was used to determine the borders of the states created by the dissolution of the Soviet Union,Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.

Does it apply to Israel?


The application of the principle of uti possidetis juris to the legal borders of Israel seems straightforward. Israel emerged as a new state in 1948, when it declared statehood at the expiration of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. The new state of Israel was immediately invaded by its neighbors and several nonneighboring Arab states, and at the conclusion of hostilities, Israel possessed only part of the territory of the Mandate (the remaining mandatory territory was occupied by the states of Syria, Egypt and Transjordan). Israel and its neighbors reached armistice agreements, but they failed to reach peace treaties or boundary agreements. For its part, the British Mandatory government—the immediately prior ruling authority until 1948— did not propose or reach any agreement on borders with the new state. While there had been proposals to divide the territory of Palestine between two new states (one Jewish and one Arab), Israel was the only state to emerge from the Mandate of Palestine. 

Israel’s independence would thus appear to fall squarely within the bounds of circumstances that trigger the rule of uti possidetis juris. Applying the rule would appear to dictate that Israel’s borders are those of the Palestine Mandate that preceded it, except where otherwise agreed upon by Israel and its relevant neighbor. And, indeed, rather than undermine the application of uti possidetis juris, Israel’s peace treaties with neighboring states to date—with Egypt and Jordan—appear to reinforce it. These treaties ratify borders between Israel and its neighbors explicitly based on the boundaries of the British Mandate of Palestine.Likewise, in demarcating the so-called “Blue Line” between Israel and Lebanon in 2000, the United Nations Secretary General relied upon the boundaries of British Mandate of Palestine.

Given the location of the borders of the Mandate of Palestine, applying the doctrine of uti possidetis juris to Israel would mean that Israel has territorial sovereignty over all the disputed areas of Jerusalem and the West Bank and Gaza, except to the degree that Israel has voluntarily yielded sovereignty since its independence. This conclusion stands in opposition to the many public figures who have pronounced that international law dictates very different boundaries.Amazingly, however, such pronouncements reveal no awareness or discussion of the application of uti possidetis juris to the borders between Israel and its neighboring states. Indeed, the literature on both the doctrine and the Israeli-Arab conflict has almost entirely ignored application of uti possidetis to Mandatory Palestine.

At its expiration in 1948, the borders of the Mandate of Palestine, both internal and external, were relatively well demarcated and uncontroversial. Thus uti possidetis juris could be a powerful tool for resolving extant disputes about the borders of Israel. To be sure, Israel appears to be interested in drawing consensual new boundaries that differ from the borders established by uti possidetis juris.  Uti possidetis juris does not preclude later modifications of borders. Application of uti possidetis juris, as is customary in other boundary disputes, would nevertheless provide a clear baseline for future negotiated solutions.   

Why would this apply to Israel whose boundaries did not come close to the British Mandate lines after the 1948 war?


On May 14, 1948, when Israel declared its statehood, its forces controlled only a small part of Palestine. While Israel’s geographic scope of authority expanded by the end of the war, the armistice agreements that ended the war in 1949 left large parts of Palestine in the hands of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. The doctrine of uti possidetis juris, however, rejects possession as grounds for establishing title, favoring instead legal entitlement based upon prior administrative borders. And it is clear that the relevant administrative borders of Palestine at the time of Israel’s independence were the boundaries of the mandate as they had been set in 1923. Israel was the only state that emerged from mandatory Palestine, and it was a state whose identity matched the contemplated Jewish homeland required of the Mandate, and that fulfilled a legal Jewish claim to self determination in the Mandatory territories. There was therefore no rival state that could lay claim to using internal Palestinian district lines as the basis of borders. At the same time, while considerable efforts had been invested in creating and advancing proposals for altering the borders of the ultimate Jewish state and a companion Arab state, no such efforts had ever been crowned with the success of implementation. Thus, it would appear that uti possidetis juris dictates recognition of the borders of Israel as coinciding with the borders of the mandate as of 1948.

Certainly Israel has the right to voluntarily modify the borders in peace agreements, and the authors suggest that perhaps Israel's withdrawal from Gaza would also have that legal weight. Nevertheless, this legal principle that has been the basis of determining the borders of many other states worldwide should be equally applicable to Israel's borders.

The paper notes that historically there was a competing legal principal,  uti possidetis de facto which says that legal possession of land only applies to where there is actual control - but no international court has applied that principle in modern times, and it is universally understood in determining the borders of other nations that uti possidetis juris is the single guiding legal principle.

But what about the rights of Palestinian Arabs within the boundaries of the British Mandate?


Another set of problems related to the Palestine Mandate concerned questions of self-determination. From the outset, the Palestine Mandate was anomalous, in that it recognized a particular people as entitled to express its self-determination on the territory of the Mandate, even though that people was not at that time the majority population of the Mandate. Over the years, Palestinian advocates have argued that this portion of the Mandate was ultra vires, and that the Jewish people were not entitled to receive a grant of the legal right to self-determination. The argument has little to recommend it. But even if the argument were well-founded, it would have little effect on the outcome of the uti possidetis juris analysis, as we have seen. Even unlawful treatments of the right of self-determination have not been seen as grounds to undermine the uti possidetis borders of other Mandates. 

A potentially more serious matter is the question of whether the Jewish people were the only nation entitled to self determination in the Mandate of Palestine. The Mandate itself gives no indication of there being another entitled nation, describing only a Jewish national home and no other national home or national expression. The Mandate provides for a single partition (the separation of Transjordan from the remainder of the Mandate), but no other. The Mandate of Palestine was not, of course, the only Mandate to encompass populations who would not be granted the right to self-determination and an independent state (consider, for instance, the Kurds in the Mesopotamian Mandate). However, the Mandate of Palestine was the only one in which the majority population (the Arabs of Palestine) was not granted a right of self-determination by the founding documents. It may be argued, nonetheless, that, notwithstanding the silence of the founding documents of the Mandate, the Palestinian Arabs did have a claim to self-determination. General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947 would have given both the Palestinian Jewish and Palestinian Arab peoples independent states.

The rights of multiple nations to self-determination on a given territory should not, prima facie, disturb application of the doctrine of uti possidetis juris. This is not simply because the doctrine of uti possidetis juris does not rely upon the existence of a prior claim of self-determination for the new state. Nor is it simply because uti possidetis juris may actually conflict with and override the demands of self-determination, as the International Court of Justice stated explicitly in the Burkina Faso case.321 The most important reason for rejecting the idea that multiple claims of self determination forbid application of uti possidetis juris is that many of the states that have had their borders established by uti possidetis juris have, in fact, been subject to multiple claims of self-determination; in no case has the existence of an additional nation with a right of self-determination defeated application of the doctrine of uti possidetis juris. This is true even when the new state that claimed the benefit of uti possidetis juris was later itself driven apart by new internal claims of self-determination. Yugoslavia and the U.S.S.R. provide several examples of this. Consider, for instance, Serbia (later subject to the secession of Kosovo) and Ukraine (later subject to the highly controversial secession of Crimea).
If an Arab Palestinian state had achieved independence in 1948, alongside the Jewish one, this would doubtless have affected the application of the rule of uti possidetis juris. With two states having achieved independence at the same time within the Mandate of Palestine, it would obviously not be possible for both states to share the borders of the Mandate. Different lines would have to serve as the basis of the borders of each states—if the new states could not reach agreement on mutually acceptable boundaries, the borders of districts or subdistricts would have to do. But, despite the potential self-determination claim of the Arab population of Palestine, only one state was born in 1948 at the termination of the prior administration. As the Palestine Mandate ended, the state of Israel achieved independence. No other state did.

Likewise, if the partition of Palestine envisioned by General Assembly Resolution 181 had been implemented, even if only administratively, the application of uti possidetis juris would have changed. Resolution 181 called for a U.N. Commission to take over administration of Palestine as the Mandatory withdrew. The Commission was to “carry out measures for the establishment of the frontiers of the Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem” and then to assist in the creation of provisional governments before the states achieved independence. However, the Commission never arrived in Palestine. Neither the Commission nor the Mandatory ever sketched out the proposed frontiers. At no time was a separate administration ever set up for the proposed Jewish, Arab and Jerusalem territories as called for by the resolution. In short, at the time of independence, there was only one administrative unit in Palestine. To attempt to apply uti possidetis juris to any borders other than those of the Mandate would leave the remaining Mandatory territories terra nullius, which is exactly the situation the doctrine seeks to avoid.

The paper concludes:


It is likely that a future peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians future solutions will reflect the parties’ presumed desire to accommodate Palestinian self-determination, as well as the right of states to modify existing uti possidetis juris borders by agreement. Uti possidetis juris is not, therefore, the last word on matters. 

At the same time, it is likely that any future solution to the boundary disputes of Israel that wishes to take international law seriously will have to take account of the rules of uti possidetis juris. The doctrine is therefore an indispensable starting point for legal discussions of borders. 

And that is the precise point. The 1949 armistice lines never held any legal value under international law, they were meant to be temporary. Jordan's seizure of the West Bank was not recognized by international law. The assumption that the so-called "1967 lines"  should be used as the borders of a Palestinian state is legally baseless.

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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by eddie on Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:00 am

God these threads are almost like "Who's post is the longest ergo the least read"

Sorry sassy and didge but Sleep

Can't you condense it? Give us bulletpoints or "in a nutshell" - couple of lines and most might read it
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:02 am

eddie wrote:God these threads are almost like "Who's post is the longest ergo the least read"

Sorry sassy  and didge but Sleep

Can't you condense it? Give us bulletpoints or "in a nutshell" - couple of lines and most might read it


Sorry I did post my views, then she c&p and so I did, I should have just left my first post to stand

You are right and will try to be mindful in the future

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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by sassy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:03 am

eddie wrote:God these threads are almost like "Who's post is the longest ergo the least read"

Sorry sassy  and didge but Sleep

Can't you condense it? Give us bulletpoints or "in a nutshell" - couple of lines and most might read it


Very important letter, I wouldn't have the audicity to condence it.
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Re: A Plea For Reason: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu

Post by eddie on Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:06 am

Thanks didge, and sassy I really do understand that it's an important subject and the letter needed to be read etc
But condensing things makes it easier to absorb.

Okay not derailing the thread guys....as you were x
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