Most of the world stands against Israel. Historically, that has been the usual state of affairs between Jews and the rest of the world. In that august body called the United Nations, if you ask a majority of its members they will say that Israel’s building of homes (which they call derisively “settlements”) in the West Bank is completely illegal. Why is it illegal, you ask? The answer will be that it is illegal because a majority of members of the U.N.say it is.
The question of Jewish development of communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) has been discussed and debated for decades now, both in and outside of the U.N. Most people around the world have been propagandized to believe that those developments are illegal, among other lies about Israel.
Their argument is that Israel is “occupying” Palestinian Arab land (false). Or that the land belongs to the Palestinian Arabs and Jewish settlements eliminate the possibility of the Arabs being able to live in that land (false). Why would that be? Is the argument of the world that if Jews are living in the area, then Arabs can’t live there? Why not? Do the Arabs want the land completely judenrein (free of Jews)? Why? We have Arabs living in the State of Israel, why can’t the Arabs have Jews living in a future State of Palestine?
As it is, Jewish communities take up about 3% of the land area of the West Bank. Does that eliminate the possibility of a future Arab state?
Many scholarly works have been written with references and citations explaining why Jewish development in the West Bank is legal. These have had little resonance in the international arena, which wants to believe, however falsely, that Jewish development in Judea and Samaria is illegal.
We know that international law clearly shows that Jewish development in the West Bank is legal. Technically, under international law, the land belongs to Israel, who took if from Jordan in a war after they attacked Israel in 1967. So the question Jews rightfully ask is, how can one occupy his own land?
There are many places one can look to find out whether the developments by Jews in the West Bank are legal or not, like here, here, here , and here. There are actually many more sites which support the legality of Jewish community development in the West Bank.
Ambassador Yoram Ettinger has added to the literature explaining why Jewish development in the West Bank is not illegal.
See his argument here.
I am going to quote a few paragraphs of Amb. Ettinger’s essay:
“The misperceptions, misrepresentations and ignorance surrounding the general attitude toward the legal status of Jewish settlements in the disputed area of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), reflects the general attitude toward the unique phenomenon of the reconstruction of the Jewish national home in the Land of Israel.”“Fidelity to law is the essence of peace” opined Prof. Eugene Rostow, a former Dean of Yale University Law School, Undersecretary of State and a co-author of the November 22, 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242. Rostow resolved that under international law: “Jews have the same right to settle in the West Bank as they have in Haifa.”
“According to Article 80 of the UN Charter, and the Mandate for Palestine, the 1967 war of self-defense returned Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to its legal owner, the Jewish state. Legally and geo-strategically the rules of “belligerent occupation” do not apply to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, since the area is not “foreign territory,” and Jordan did not have a legitimate title over the area in 1967. Also, the rules of “belligerent occupation” do not apply in view of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty.”
For those of you who are interested in this subject, I suggest reading Ambassador Ettinger’s complete article where he lays out the legal case for legitimacy of Jewish development.
Read Amb. Ettinger’s article, “Jewish Settlements are Legal”