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Who do the territories belong to?

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Who do the territories belong to? Who do the territories belong to? With Golan Azulai Every day, we hear in the news about "occupied territories" and "illegal settlement activities". ...And it seems that everyone knows the story: In the Six Day War, Israel occupied the West Bank from the Palestinians, refused UN demands to withdraw, and built settlements in violation of the Geneva Convention, which forbids settlement in an occupied area. But is this an accurate picture? What, every Israeli government there ever was simply ignored international law? Does that sound logical to you? Let's try and understand the legal situation a little better: We'll start with a simple and very basic question: From whom did Israel "occupy" Judea and Samaria? From the Palestinians? No... there was no Palestinian State in 1967. when was there, really? The area was occupied from Jordan! This was in a legal war of self-defense after Jordan, Egypt and Syria tried to destroy Israel. By the way, destroying countries is illegal. And what was Jordan's claim of ownership of the area? There was none. It simply occupied the region in 1948. And no one other than Pakistan and Great Britain recognized this. Not even the Arab states, shhhh... Jordan was not the legal owner of the area, and has no claim on it. No one was occupied. So how is there an occupier? The accurate definition of Judea and Samaria according to international law, is like in all the other places where there are, or wer, territorial conflicts: The Kashmir Strip, Nagorno-Karabakh, or the Western Sahara. The definition is not "occupied territories". It's "disputed territories". So the whole idea of "occupied territories" in the Geneva Convention simply doesn't apply to Judea and Samaria. So now someone may say, "Okay, so Jordan was also an occupier. So what? The 29th of November! The UN resolution on two states. Israel is violating that resolution!" And again, that's wrong. Legally, the partition resolution was advisory, and would only have taken effect once both sides accepted it. Did we say two sides? The Jews agreed, the Arabs launched a war. And what can you do? They lost. In short, the partition resolution has been a rejected suggestion since 1947, and is not legally binding. It simply isn't. Okay. So not this and not that. So what? What are we left with? Where is the boundary? Let's go back a little in time. Don't worry, not to the time of the Patriarch Abraham. Just about a hundred years. And let's understand where did the legal basis for any of the states in the area to be sovereign come from? The Middle East. Up until 1917, most of the area was part of the Turkish Empire. At the end of the first world war, after the Allies defeated Turkey, the occupied territory passed to French and British control, and it was decided to create "a new Middle East", and to divide the area into states, at which point Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Minister, decided to throw the Jews a bone, and declared "The historical rights of the Jewish People in Palestine should be recognized." But wait... do you see what happened here? The Mandate initially included not only Judea and Samaria, but also Transjordan. So don't say we haven't made painful concessions... In any case, the League of Nations legally endorsed this decision in 1922. Britain was given a mandate on the area in order to assist in the establishment of the Jewish State. Let's just say they didn't exactly do their best to carry out this task, but that's another issue. What's nice is that recognition of the Jews' rights in Palestine up to the Jordan by the League of Nations, including Judea and Samaria, was ratified again by the UN after WWII. In other words, not only did we receive complete international legal recognition of our right to Judea and Samaria, The 1967 war was a legal war of self-defense. Israel is not an "occupier", because there was no legal entity in the territory. And therefore, the territory is not "occupied", but rather "disputed". Even the partition resolution of 1947 never became legally binding. Israel's right to the territory was recognized under international law. The building of settlements, therefore, is entirely legal. So what's the solution? There are no magical solutions. But it doesn't matter if you're on the left or the right - remember that Israel has outstanding legal claims to its right to Judea and Samaria. This position will not only strengthen Israel's starting point in any future negotiations, it's also the simple truth. So stop calling them "occupied territories" - It's simply not politically correct.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 5 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: Israel
Language: English
Genre: Animated
Producer: Rogatka
Director: Shlomo Blass
Views: 1,381
Posted by: ezragilbert on Jun 2, 2011

Golan Azulai in a new and engaging short-film: Who do the Judah and Shomron territories belong to?

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Original Hebrew YouTube video here:

On YouTube with English "comment" subtitles here:

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