ARE THE JEWISH SETTLEMENTS ILLEGAL?
(MR. LAUER: When you talk about the lack of trust and you talk about the leaders, while you were there you talked about a time-out. You wanted people to stop doing things that added hostility to the peace process.
Shortly after you held a phone conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, he announced that he'd build 300 new homes in Efrat, a settlement near Jerusalem. He said he planned more settlements in the West Bank. This is right after you had a phone conversation with him. He mentioned nothing about that to you. What does that say about your influence, after your call for a time-out in the region?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think I have tried and I will continue to try. TheUnited States is the only country that can actually help them get together.
But as I said, Matt, the leaders themselves have to make the decisions. What I found when I was in the region, the people, the Israeli people and the Palestinians, want peace. I think it's very important for the leaders to give that a chance, to make some tough decisions. We are talking more with them about what the concept of a time-out means, because actions that create even greater lack of confidence, we've got to avoid those.
MR. LAUER: But do you think you were blind-sided by the Prime Minister?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I wasn't happy. We had had a conversation, and I felt that going forward with those kinds of buildings was not helpful. It is not in any way not part of what they can do, but they shouldn't do it.
MR. LAUER: It's legal.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: It's legal. But I think that, in this kind of an atmosphere, it's very important not to take actions that are viewed by the other side as creating more difficulties.
Interview with Madeleine Albright in 1997 )
THE "ILLEGALITY" OF SETTLEMENTS
"That the settlements are illegal, the conventional wisdom says, is obvious. But it is far from obvious.
The case for [their] illegality rests largely on a single source: article 49(6) in the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. This article states that- an occupying military power "shall not deport or transfer part of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."
Yet, as several international jurists have pointed out, not only has Israel "deported" or "transferred" no one to the settlements, whose inhabitants are there of their own free will, it is by no means clear that Israel was ever, legally, in the position of being an occupying power. "This is because, in 1967, Israel had as good a claim as anyone to the West Bank, which in effect belonged to no government. The Jordanian annexation of the area, while acquiesced in by the same Palestinian leadership that had rejected the 1947 U.N. partition resolution, was unrecognized by most of the world, and Jordan itself had refused to make peace with Israel or to consider their joint border more than a temporary cease-fire line. "The conventional wisdom is also wrong in asserting--a frequently made claim--that continued settlement activity on the part of Israel is a violation of the 1993 Oslo accords. The plain fact of the matter is that nowhere in that agreement was there any reference to the settlements, apart from a single paragraph stating that. their fate was to be settled in final-status negotiations. This was hardly an oversight. The Palestinians wanted a settlement freeze and fought for one at Oslo; if they did not get it, this is only because in the end they accepted the Israeli refusal to agree to one. In repeatedly demanding one anyway over the ensuing years, it is they, not the Israelis, who have gone back on the document they signed."
Author Hillel Halkin, writing in the June issue of “Commentary” on the legality of the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria:
The Arabs have built 261 settlements in the West Bank since 1967. We don't hear much about those settlements. We hear instead about the number of Jewish settlements that have been created. We hear how destabilizing they are -- how provocative they are. Yet, by comparison, only 144 Jewish settlements have been built since 1967 -- including those surrounding Jerusalem, in the West Bank and in Gaza. The number of Arab settlers is based on statistics collected on the Allenby Bridge and other collection points between Israel and Jordan. It is based on the number of Arab day workers entering but not leaving Israel. The numbers were published by the Israel Central Bureau for Statistics during the administration of Binyamin Netanyahu and subsequently denied as "recording errors" by the Ehud Barak administration. Of course, the Barak administration had incentives for denying the high illegal immigration numbers, given its heavy political reliance on Arab voters. Is this a new phenomenon? Absolutely not. This has always been the case.
Arabs have been flocking to Israel ever since it was created and even before, coinciding with the wave of Jewish immigration into Palestine prior to 1948.
Winston Churchill said in 1939: "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population."
"What is a Palestinian?" by Joseph Farah April 25, 2001, WorldNetDaily.com.
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ARE THE JEWISH SETTLEMENTS ILLEGAL?
Qana, Lebanon 2006
The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) code