Occupied territory or disputed territory

In response to my discussion of the “God’s Jewish Warriors” special, Oceanguy said he was quite disheartened that I could be taken in by the propaganda he saw in that show.  His particular concern centered around the following statement by Ms. Amanpour, ““Intifada, in Arabic, it means ‘shaking off.’ And beginning in September 2000, Palestinians turned increasingly to suicide bombs in the Second Intifada to shake off Israeli occupation and strike at the Jewish state.” 

Oceanguy (as best I understood it and please feel free to correct me) felt that I was taken in by this statement, in that I agreed that there was such a thing as an Israeli occupation.  He sses this as the worst kind of propaganda, because it sounds so plausible to those, like me, not intimately familiar with the situation.  Oceanguy believes the territories in question are disputed, not occupied.  He is certainly correct that I have believed that the occupied territories were occupied since Israel occupied them in 1967. 

Now I readily admit that I am the least knowledgable person in this discussion.  But please bear with me and help educate me as to why my belief is in error. 

I don’t know the technical legal definitions, but it would seem to me that for a territory to be disputed, there would have to be disputants with competing plausible claims of right to the territory.  I don’t recall that before the Six Day War Israel was claiming the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, or the Golan Heights as a matter of right.  When they occupied those areas in that war, I still don’t remember them claiming them as a matter of right.  What I remember is an argument that Israel must be allowed to keep some or all of these territories to give Israel defensible borders.  The issue wasn’t whether Israel had a historic right to the territories, but rather the much more pragmatic one of Israeli security.

Thus, from my limited viewpoint, it has always seemed that the territories are not disputed, but occupied.  Israel cannot create a dispute by asserting a right to the territories after the invasion, certainly not based on settlements on the land, or any occupier could convert any occupied territory to disputed territory by simply settling it and asserting a right to it.

I’m not at all certain that either term has meaning.  The whole discussion depends on the fiction of international law (which, through the ICJ, has already ruled against Israel in the matter).   Perhaps Oceanguy is simply saying, “We conquered it.  We own it.”  That certain has been the rule for nearly all of history and, for the most part, is how America came to exist.  But he seems to be saying something more — that Isreal has a legitimate claim to the territories under international law, and it is that claim which I have never understood.  Can anyone enlighten me here?


20 Responses

  1. I wish that I could help you out, Bookworm. I am as in the dark about this as you are, my rabid support for Israel notwithstanding…..


  2. Thanks for the response. I’ll try to answer in a very brief way without seeming flip… but there is no substitute for the study of the history. The “occupation” issue is crucial because, as you said is true with you, it is truth to so many that the land is “palestinian” land that Israel is unlawfully occupying.

    First of all we have to look back a couple of decades at the original Palestinian Mandate, which was, in underhanded dealings by the French and British promised to both Jews and Arabs. The original Mandate included all of Israel and Jordan. Churchill quickly moved to appease the Hashemites and ceded the lions share of the land… which was supposed to be, according to the Balfour Declaration, a homeland for the Jewish People… to the Hashemites who had been chased out of Saudi Arabia in the 20’s. 1929 was the Hebron massacre where the centuries old Jewish community was slaughtered by the Arabs. The ‘pushy’ settlers in Amanpour’s story were from Hebron. Anti-Semitic attacks continued through the interwar years throughout the Mandate into the Second World War. The Mufti of Jerusalem was an ally of Hitler… much of today’s propaganda and invective has Nazi origins. Some Jews fought back, against both the Arabs and the British who were seen as being too pro-Arab and were severely limiting Jewish immigration despite what was happening in Europe.

    Again this is at least a semester’s worth of study… I’m trying to be brief.

    Fast Forward to 1947 when the United Nations voted to partition the REMAINING mandate into an Arab State and Jewish State. Jews danced in the street, happy to have just an untenable sliver of a State… Immediately upon Israel declaring themselves a State, the entire Arab world attacked to drive the Jews from the “Occupied Arab lands” into the sea.

    In 48 after hostilities were halted, Gaza belonged to Egypt… and the West Bank belonged to Jordan… It remained that way until the Arabs again chose war to drive the Jews into the Sea. Remember the PLO was formed in 1964, when Jordan Occupied what so many now believe to be palestinian land, and Egypt occupied Gaza. That all changed when the Arabs chose war again and lost them both. “Peace” negotiations failed to bring about a transfer of governance for the conquered land. Israel could have annexed the land, perfectly legally. They did not because they still wanted to live peacefully with Arab neighbors… that is still the case. Meanwhile the Arabs, through a campaign of terror, violence and an extremely effective media war have changed the narrative. Many intelligent well-meaning people have no clue as to the legal disputes about the land involving land purchased, conquered, occupied, ceded, and covered under various UN Resolutions. That is too messy and too complicated to understand. Instead the Amanpour narrative, that the West Bank and Gaza are illegally “occupied” has become the virtual Gospel truth…. it is false… It is The Big Lie.

    Obviously it is not universally recognized, but the legal status of Judea and Samaria… the West Bank… is, indeed disputed. Before 1967 it was part of Jordan… after 1967 Jordan did not want it back. Who’s is it? The answer is, we don’t know for certain… it’s disputed. It’s left for a negotiated settlement… but with whom?

    The Arabs… ALL the Arabs… refused to deal with, refused to recognize Israel. It remains so, with only shaky pseudo peace deals and “some” trade and cultural relations with Egypt and Jordan… But back to the territories… the disputed territories.

    Israel did attempt to change the facts on the ground by building villages, small cities, and to populate the land to help legitimize its claim to the territory, but were only marginally successful.

    Meanwhile the Arabs, in a different tactic used violence, terror, intransigence, deception and a deft media campaign against Israel… the Western Press ate it up. Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian, invented the palestinian people through a campaign of hijacking and blowing up airliners, and murdering Israeli Olypmic Athletes. Go read the newpapers and news magazines of the time… Until 1964 there was no knowledge of palestinians… Now you’d think they were an ancient civilization massacred like American Indians. OK I exaggerate…

    The point is, the Arabs, with the western media eating it up, built a fantastic narrative… weaving bits of truth into a fairy tale that much of the world takes as the gospel truth.

    Only in a narrow sense is the issue about Israeli security. Thats’ ONLY the Israeli side of the story. The problem is the false narrative that much of the world has bought into changes the perception of the two sides. Number One it is an Israel-Arab War… not an Israeli-Palestinian war. Simply by defining it down the rest of the Arabs have won an important concession, and can absolve themselves of responsibility of both living peacefully with Israel and in taking care of the “refugees.” that were imprisoned into palestinian peoplehood. Hell, before 1947 the Palestinians were the Jews…. Now that has been a slick and effective propaganda campaign that is at the point of perpetuating itself with minimal effort from any Arabs.

    Its’ why, when I see people… smart people… well-intentioned and otherwise objective people buy into that narrative that I lose a bit of hope. It seems there is no putting the genie back in the bottle and all Israel can do is hope an Arab peace partner will come along…

    But the world keeps showing the Arabs that terror works. Peace loving westerners, including Israelis, are more than willing to pay the price to keep things quiet… just give them what they want… Give them the Sinai back, there will be peace, leave Lebanon there will be peace, give them Gaza there will be peace… We Are Still Waiting for the peace, while the Arabs are waiting for the next concession.

    Yes Israel has legitimate claims to the territories, both legal and historic. The ICJ decision you speak of is not the only judgment. IN fact that judgment was not in agreement with other precedents in land disputes as a result of occupation. It seems Jews have a different standard of behavior to live up to.

    Mainly there was no previously recognized legal Sovereignty of the territories.. as I mentioned Jordan had been just as “illegally occupying” it then as Israel is now. So Jordan had it as a result of an “illegal” invasion, Israel has it as a result of a defensive war… whose claim is more legitimate? It was Jordan who demanded in 1948 that the Armistice line remain just that… NOT a border.

    UN Resolutions 242 and 338 basically left the status of the territories up in the air… DISPUTED… to be worked out by negotiation…. We’re still waiting. But the Arabs have time on their side… the more time passes the more people will believe as you do…. Damn the truth, it’s all about perception.

    And it is the perception that Amanpour’s tale gives that is so offensive… indeed poisonous.

    Sorry for the long rant… I’m not going to take the time to proof it, so if you see any obvious typos, please fix…

    I feel better for having my say, but I’m still disheartened just for needing to say it.

  3. Here is from a seminar I gave on the subject three years back:

    1. I want to separate the political question about the wisdom of settlements from the legal question. Will get back to political question at the very end. Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of the settlement enterprise.

    Legal issues:
    1. Recommend anyone interested obtain this book: Israel’s Legitimacy in Law and History
    2. Recommend read: articles by Douglas Feith: The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, Eugene Rostow: The Peace Making Process: UN Resolutions 242 and 338, and Paul Riebenfeld’s: The Legitimacy of Jewish Settlement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
    3. Big picture: Israel obtained the right of settlement, and the encouragement to settle in all of the Palestinian mandate territory awarded to Britain as the mandate power in July, 1922. This followed the signing of the Treaty of Sevres in August, 1920, by which a portion of the Ottoman Empire was formally disbanded, and divided into Syria, Mesapotamia (Iraq),and Palestine, with the first two to become independent states, with mandatory supervision, and Palestine to become subject to a mandatory power to put into effect the Balfour Declaration of November, 1917, to develop a national homeland for the jewish people. Treaty in section 95 (Page 115) repeats specific language of the Balfour Declaration – about establishing a national home for the Jewish people, and about not prejudicing the civil and religious rights of non-jewish communities in Palestine, but nothing about political rights of these communities. Mentions political rights of jews in other countries- Jews should not lose their political status in countries because they do not move to Palestine.
    4. Other documents which preceded the formal award of the mandate to the British are also of interest: Weizmann—Feisal agreement of Jan. 3 , 1919 the League of nations covenant (article 22- page 112) describing the role of mandatory powers, and also the US delegation briefing document on Palestine for use at the Paris Peace Conference , in 1919. Anticipates jewish state if the jews make use of the right of close settlement and become a majority.
    5. Palestinian Mandate speaks in preamble of historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country-
    6. Palestinian mandate: Article 6: Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in article 4, close settlement by jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes. (P. 97)
    7. Many of the land were waste lands. Jews had begun settling some sections in the 1880 and 1890s, at which time the total population of the area was only 250,000, . A continuous community had existed in Jerusalem for 3000 years and a few other communities for long periods as well. As of 1920, Jews were a little over a sixth of the population of 700,000 in an area that included what we now call Israel, the west bank gaza, the golan heights and Jordan. All of this was included in the palestinian mandate, with virtually all the jews, and the majority of arabs in western palestine. Jewish immigration to palestine from 1880 to 1920, and their development of the lands, brought many new arab immigrants to western palestine as well.
    8. In September 1922, , the League of nations approved a memorandum that codified Article 25 of the mandate that suspended the land we now call Jordan (but is more correctly called eastern palestine) from certain of the provisions of the mandate . Note that this was a suspension, not removal for all time of the provisions of the mandate. This decision was a political one, urged by Winston Churchill, colonial secretary, to ease the hashemite Feisal’s. anger at being expelled from Syria by the French, part of the territory he had liberated while serving under Colonel T.E. Lawrence during the war,and his anger at the award of arabia to the saud family ,hence saudi arabia. . So to appease (same guy who signed the agreement with Chaim Weizmann), , he was given control of Iraq, and his brother Abdullah, control of Jordan east of the Jordan River. Abdullah was King Hussein’s grand father. Chaim Weizmann objected to this reduction of the mandate for Palestine by over 3/4 of its land. In 1923, the British also agreed to give the Golan Heights over to Syria, and the French mandate. There are those who claim that Palestine, and later israel were colonialist creations. If so, what are we to call Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia? All these nations were created mainly by Britain and France after World War 1. None of these new nations had historic boundaries distinct national histories.
    9. The British did not carry out the terms of the mandate. For many years they refused to allow jewish immigration to Palestine, or greatly limited it. Greatest tragedy- that this limitation occurred precisely when all other avenues of escape for european jews were closed off beginning in 1939. Would hitler have allowed millions of jews to emigrate to Palestine? Not at all clear, if his goal was to eliminate them from the earth, not just from his captured territories. But until Wannsea confernce in 1942, the clear goal of exterminating the jews had not been a consistent policy. In retrospect, there are at least many hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, who might have made it to safety in Palestine , since other western nations, including the US and Britain severely limited their immigation during the war, and there were clearly Jews who would have left europe had they had a place to go. . At the same time, the British closed to door to palestine to desperate european jews, it encouraged and opened the door to arab immigation to palestine, much of it surreptitiously from syria, jordan and egypt. This immigration was not opposed by locals because they did not see the newcomers as different or threatening- they were arab. .
    10. Why did the british close the immigration door, and violate the mandate? This was in part a reaction to arab riots and pogroms, in 1921, , 1929, 1936, but also a reaction to the discovery of oil in the arabian lands. Britain wanted a part of that., and wasn’t anxious to turn Palestine over to the jews, and lose influence in the region. . In 1937, Britain tried to formally get out of the mandate requirements, and begin a process of creating an arab state with a jewish minority they could control. . The league of nations refused to accept this, and specifically reminded the british of the purpose of the mandate. Page 58-59. Consent of the arabs to the building of national homeland, and jewish state creation was not required. Reminder- their liberation from ottoman empire accomplished in world war 1, and they got three states out of it-jordan, syria and iraq. .In 1939 the british announced that they planned to turn over palestine to an arab state in ten years and would cut off jewish immigation totally after allowing 75,000 over the next five years. Total abdication of responsibility under the mandate.

    After the war, the League of nations dissolves and the UN replaces it. For a year they overlap. The UN in article 80 of its charter (P. 106) specifically carries over the mandate rights, created by the League of nations for states and peoples . In 1946 US President harry Truman makes an offer to the Palestinians- if they will accept into their midst 200,000 Jewish refugees detained on Cyprus, he will support at the UN the creation of a single state, in which Arabs would be in the majority.
    The arabs say no.

    In 1947, Britain invites the United nations to develop a plan for its palestinian mandate. Britain hoped to continue as a trustee. A group of ten representatives are sent to the area, and study the land settlement patterns. They recommended the creation of two states within western palestine with an internationalized jerusalem. . The general assembly votes in November 1947 to accept the recommendation 33-13, 10 abstaining. . The zionists announce they will abide by the resolution,and the arabs of palestine and arab states indicate they won’t accept partition. . The arabs of palestine launch a civil war that same night. .One argument that has been made for the arabs rejection of the partition, is that the Zionist controlled only 7-8% of the land, but were given half of Palestine for their state. This is nonsense. The overwhelming majority of the land was controlled neither by jews or arabs, but were state lands that could be separated between the two new states. In addition, the zionists accepted that arabs would live within their state, on the land they owned.
    . In May, 1948, Britain just got up and left., knowing full well that a civil war was underway and an invasion by arab nations was coming. Hence they accepted that the resolution of the mandate territory would be decided by war . the British fully expected the arabs to win,. They had trained the Jordanian army, and with five arab nations invading Israel the day Britain leaves,, this result seemed to be a given.
    But Israel won he war, and in 1949 armistice lines are established by UN representative Ralph Bunche. The armistice lines have Israel in control of some territories that were to be part of the arab state in western palestine, and Jordan and egypt in control of other sections of the arab state. Jerusalem is split between jordan and israel, and jews are driven out of areas of jerusalem and gush etzion, as well as parts of the area bordering Syria. . The failure of the jordanians and egyptians to create a palestinian state on the territory they controlled in 1949 is why there is no palestinian state 53 years later. But this is the first move in along pattern of them- the arabs never wanted a second palestinian state (in addition to Jordan) and they never wanted to resettle refugees either, since this grievance would keep alive the palestinian resentment that would support their own territorial ambitions against Israel. .

    The jordanians attempted to annex their captured territories in 1951,. Only Pakistan and Britain recognized this. Egypt did not annex gaza.. Both of these occupations were illegal under international law, violating both the palestinian mandate, and article 2 of the UN charter- acquiring land through a war of aggression. . .
    The original mandate rights are still maintained for the jews, and the local arabs despite the british abdication of their mandate responsibility. When Israel is admitted to the UN, its armistice borders are accepted by that body. The arab refugees from the 48 war overwhelmingly wind up in the jordanian area occupied in the 48 war (commonly referred to as the west bank) or in Jordan- in other words within mandate Palestine, either east or west of the jordan river. A much smaller number wind up in lebanon and syria. .
    Remember that the entirety of western palestine is the area of the mandate for jewish settlement in palestine. That mandate never contemplated two states in western palestine. In fact, it is illegal under the mandate for Jordan and Egypt to prohibit jewish settlement within the areas they control that are part of the mandate land for the period 1948-1967. . This land is simply unassigned to a state but open to jewish settlement.

    In 1967 the six day war, a defensive war under the UN Charter (article 51, page 105) begins. Egypt closes the straits of tiran, closing off the gulf of aqaba, a violation of the armistice agreement that ended the suez campaign of 1956,and demands that UN forces in Sinai leave immediately, and moves its forces into demilitarized zones. .Both are acts of war, and break agreements with Israel ending the 56 war. When Israel responds and attacks egypt on June 4, Jordan is contacted by the israelis and asked to stay out of the war. Jordan responds by firing on Israel. Israel then invades the west bank.

    In six days, Israel captures all of the remainder of mandated palestine- the west bank and gaza, as well as regaining land lost to syria in 1948 , plus the remainder of the golan heights, and the sinai from egypt.
    Russian resolution (P. 69) one week after war- Israel must withdraw from territories of the three countries-egypt, jordan and syria. (suggests that all of the captured territories belong to these countries). This is rejected by the security council. Moshe Dayan offers a peace to the Arab states- recognize Israel’s existence, and end the state of war, and israael will withdraw. Arab league meets in Khartoum in August – aand issues its three no- no to recognition, no to negotiations, no to peace with Israel.
    Negotiations to draft a resolution drag on for 5 months.
    Then in early November, India, Mali and Nigeria- demand Israel withdraw from all the territories, not naming who they belong to. Also rejected.
    Finally in late november, the resolution 242 is adopted. 242 speaks of withdrawal from territories, not the territories, or all the territories, and only in exchange for peace and secure borders. No peace, means no land exchanges or withdrawals.
    Palestinians never mentioned- only a just settlement of the refugee problem. Agreements between states- Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Territories, not all the territories.
    American position-=Johnson asked for generals to tell him what Israel needed for security. Map (P. 104). A little of sinai, all of golan, and most of west bank. Never any intention to require israel to return all of territories. These territories were occupied in a defensive war. In the case of west bank and gaza, Israel was now in control of territories that made up part of the original palestine mandate, in which they had every right to settle. Arguably, as Stephen Schebv stats in the Gold article, page 3)- Israel has better title to this land.

    From 67 to 77 Israel creates a few settlements around Jerusalem, in the Jordan Valley , in gush etzion, and a few other places Almost all are defensive in nature, or anticipate a treaty in which some minor border adjustments will be made. . Several thousand settlers in all.

    Also settled in Golan and Sinai.- if anything these are more controversial than those in west bank and gaza, particularly sinai, which was never part of palestinian mandate. . In any case, Israel withdrew all of its settlements from Sinai,and returned all of sinai to egypt for peace in 1979. . This alone meant that well over 90% of territories won in the 67 war were returned. Resolution 242 is satisfied in terms of return of territories by deal with Egypt. Note that Egypt did not ask for gaza back. So all the territories won in war with egypt were not returned . it is false that egypt got everything back. And Ariel Sharon was the man sent by Begin to dismantle the sinai settlements.

    In 1974 King Husseins declares that the PLO is the sole negotiating authority for the palestinians. Fine, but the palestinians have no more legal rights to the territories of the palestinian mandate than they had before this. Their rights can only be enhanced by negotiationswith Israel which specifically would give them political right they do not currently have. Remember that the mandate provides no specific political rights for arabs in western palestine- – only in eastern palestine- jordan. In other words, the palestinians already have 78% of the original mandate territory for palestine. (pie story).PLO can negotiate with Israel, but Jordan only gives what it can give. Its occupation was illegal,and they held no title to the land. King Hussein couldn’t deliver title or political rights to land he illegally held to the palestinian arabs of western palestine.

  4. The issue wasn’t whether Israel had a historic right to the territories, but rather the much more pragmatic one of Israeli security.

    Israel could have annexed those territories but Israel decided not to. Hence the almost perpetual occupation. The Palestinians wish to dispute Israeli control, and their prefered method is to attack people that can’t fight back.

    Thus, from my limited viewpoint, it has always seemed that the territories are not disputed, but occupied.

    Yes, if only because Israel chooses not to extend their borders across to such territories. They have the power to make it into reality, and because they don’t make it into reality is the reason why the conflict has lasted so long.

    or any occupier could convert any occupied territory to disputed territory by simply settling it and asserting a right to it.

    That is usually how it goes, Book. But ever since the Cold War and the establishment of territorial border freezes by America, people trying to assert their rights to other people’s countries have ended up as Saddam. But if you had the power and the US wasn’t opposed to it, then you could still do it. The method didn’t die out after all, BOok, regardless of what people in the UN and the anti-American club claim.

    Perhaps Oceanguy is simply saying, “We conquered it. We own it.”

    That’s not true either because Israel has not wanted to own the West Bank or Gaza. That’s been part of both their problems as well as ours in Iraq.

    But he seems to be saying something more — that Isreal has a legitimate claim to the territories under international law,

    international law is a chimera. Meaning essentially that it is what you make of it, if you are successful.

    You know what my views on international law are, Book, if only because of my views on the SUpreme Court rulings here in the US.

    Israel essentially has two choices. Wage total war by acquiring nuclear devices from the United States, ad infinitum. Or wait until America launches offensives from a stabilized base in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to do on the ground what Israel was never willing nor capable of doing.

  5. Inter-exchange Book with Don. I missed it on the RSS feed, something I don’t tend to do when reading the actual site.

  6. I’m not saying, “We conquered, We Own it.” Certainly Israel could have done that, but in the interest of peace… giving land for peace, they didn’t and haven’t annexed the territory. Maybe they should have… I’m not arguing that.

    I’m just saying that it is FACT that the territory is disputed. DQ and so many others, don’t know that. The palestinian narrative has won the day.

    The ICJ has handled disputed territory very differently in the few cases it “decided.” It’s no surprise that Israel was held to the most severe standard.

    Thank you Richard for saying much more eloquently.

    As I commented in the original post DQ’s review really disheartened me. Because I respect his intellect it was a blow to hear him so readily argue that Amanpour and her story was reasonable… “she reports we decide.” We had, in fact seen different stories because our frames of reference were so different.

    One reason I sometimes burn out on blogging is the feeling that I’m just reading and saying the same things over and over again. And while I respect immensely those who can find the middle ground between two positions, finding the “middle” ground in the Israeli-Arab war without recognizing that the territories are actually disputed is impossible no matter how reasonable it may sound to well-intentioned intelligent and otherwise well-informed people.

    And it really doesn’t matter if it’s naivety, ignorance or willful ignorance… it all advances the Arab cause. And as Richard put it so well, “Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of the settlement enterprise. But the fact remains, for whatever it’s worth, legally Israel has at least as much claim to the territory as the Arabs.

  7. One man’s dispute is another man’s settlement blah blah.Hitchens has it right religion poisons and may I add people’s insatiable greed and airs of smug superiority as well.Get over yourselves and lets see what can happen.We are all so clever with the legalese(gee I wonder why that is?) and historical perspective(at least yours anyway) but get zero for humility,sharing ,kindess and living within basic means.It would be hilarious if wasn’t so tragic. Anyway your here for a short time (might as well get as much as YOU can while the rest will brillantly trickle down an over to others . . don’t think so).Sixty years of stupidity.How many more ? Now where did I put my watch and calender ?

  8. Just like Britain unveiling a statue of Nelson Mandela outside the houses of parliament,honouring the South African anti-apartheid campaigner as one of the great leaders of this era so to will the Americans someday erect a statue of Jimmy Carter aside Abraham Lincoln(the great emancipators) honoring Carters work “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.” After all they both won the Nobel Peace prize.They must know what they are talking about.Right?

  9. The length of many of the above posts makes it clear that this is not an open and shut, clear issue.

    For me, the essential truth is that these are territories that Jews have lived on and claimed as their own throughout all known history. Also, there was no nation in existence there in the late 40’s. These were territories only.

    The Chinese consider Tiawan to be an illegitimate state. Many in Russia still believe the newly independent states along the Russian borders to still be a part of Russia’s U.S.S.R.. There should be no surprise that Israel is an illegitimate state to all Muslim theocratically-ruled countries. Once under Islam, ALWAYS under Islam, is their unshakable belief. Any territory that once was controlled under Islam, but is now under the control of any infidel, is an abomination to Allah (they claim).

    I believe that every state that does not acknowledge Israel’s existence as a state is at war with Israel. This “disputed territory” vs “occupied territory” argument is meaningless to me, personally, until the war itself is over.

  10. Bring it to an end MD ! It is bringing us down. It’s gotta stop period

  11. DQ,

    As if you don’t have enough to digest, see also The Huffington Post

  12. DQ, here’s some solid factual information about the territories that I found just this morning in a longer article about Amanpour’s shows:

    Moreover Amanpour is wrong on the facts. When a Jewish settler argued that Jews have the right to live in Hebron, Amanpour interjected that the “West Bank was designated by the UN to be the part of an Arab state.” Amanpour incorrectly invoked UN Resolution 181, more commonly known as the Partition Plan, the plan that Palestinian Arabs rejected in 1947 thus invalidating the Arab-Palestinian claim and rendering the resolution null and void. (The Palestinians preferred to destroy the nascent Jewish State rather than exercise their right to self-determination). Conversely, the West Bank was included in the area of Jewish settlement under the Balfour Declaration and by Article 6 of the British Mandate. Hebron, it should be noted, is one of the four Holy cities for Jews. Jews had lived in Hebron continuously until the murderous Arab riot in 1929 that killed 67 Jews and forced surviving native Jews to flee, abandoning their properties in the process. This land was reclaimed after the Six Day War.

    Presenting Jerusalem as the bone of contention between Muslims and Jews, Amanpour sought out the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Husseini (perhaps a relative of Hitler’s ally and friend Haj Amin al-Husseini – the Mufti of Jerusalem who held sway until the end of WWII) for his views. Husseini told Amanpour, “The Jewish Temple did not exist (on the Temple Mount).” Instead of interviewing a counterpart to the Mufti, someone such as Israel’s former Chief Rabbi Israel Lau, she chose instead to question secular Israelis with little attachment to any religious sites.

    Continuing on the issue of Jerusalem, Amanpour told the audience, “Israel captured the Arab part of Jerusalem.” Nowhere did she mention the sacredness of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem (which happens to abut Arab sections of Jerusalem) and the fact that the Arab Legion killed or expelled its residents and destroyed much of what was holy to the Jews. And, she neglects to note that Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since 1840.

    This might go some way to answering the questions you had. By the way, I like it that you ask these questions. So many people operate on assumptions, not facts, and your willingness to acknowledge where there are holes in your information is one of the most refreshing things about your writing.

  13. On second thought, I suspect Richard Baehr’s and Oceanguy’s summaries may well tell you everything you need to know!

  14. What’s the dispute over, ocean?

  15. Simply stated the dispute is over who had, has, or should have sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and exactly where the border should be.

  16. Taking every territory and executing every Palestinian criminal or person involved with terrorism should settle some of those disputes.

  17. Technically, isn’t that what anti-Zionists already accusing Israel of already having done? How therefore can Israel do for the first time what they have already done? Propaganda is always a two edged sword.

  18. it never ceases to amaze me how zionists with their oppressive and in the true sense of the word fascist mentality continue to rewrite history for their own self serving monetary and political gain at the deadly expense of the Palestinian people, and you have the nerve act as if you can not understand why the Palestinian people react as they do, myself i am unable to understand why more non Arab people are not stepping up to defend the Palestinians, i for one would find it impossible not to engage in any manner available to defend the Palestinians if i were in the position to do so, i do not say this lightly as i have three daughters who are consider as jewish by the so called jewish community, their uncle is also a rabbi, i was just discussing how parts of the world were divided by and amongst the victors of ww3 as one of my daughters was working on her homework and i presented them my world atlas that was printed in the early 1940’s and challenged my daughters and their jewish mother to find israel on the map of that area, you know as well as i do what they found in the area where current maps label as israel, yes it was Palestine , as one response recomended- executing every Palestinian criminal or person involved with terrorism , i personally would like to see that position taken with israel, gee i wonder how many jews would be left in israel my guess would be not many, now that would solve most problems in the middle east, and if the amerikan government would stay out of the middle east that would probably solve the rest of the problems

  19. and you have the nerve act as if you can not understand why the Palestinian people react as they do,

    I take it then that you wouldn’t mind me using a 9 inch blade to carve out your eye? If the Palestinian people can react with violence to people that offend their sense of existence and which they don’t like hearing, then why are you exempt from the knife, jerry?

    yes it was Palestine

    You also know of course that if you find a 500 AD map, that the area in question would be called Judea.

    i personally would like to see that position taken with israel, gee i wonder how many jews would be left in israel my guess would be not many, now that would solve most problems in the middle east, and if the amerikan government would stay out of the middle east that would probably solve the rest of the problems

    Your problem is that you life on the sufferance of Israeli and American compassion. Had we been in the universe of the Draka, you would have been strung up and vivisected once your use was over. A pity you don’t realize how lucky you are to live in a world where the people with the most power are the most hesistant to use it to crush bugs and other humans.

  20. You’re willing and eager to execute most Jews in Israel, while Israelis don’t want to even kill the proven terrorists in their own jails. This demonstrates, for itself, the difference between ruthlessness and morality of the two sides.

    I have always said that Israel lacked the fire to conduct true killing. This is true of most Western civilizations most of the time, though Israel is a special case in that they can see the torn bodies of their children and still act with compassion towards enemies. That ability is nice… in a peaceful world, but we don’t live in a peaceful world, at all. Jews don’t have the luxury of the Amish, living inside well protected nations or communities.

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