Beyond the Cusp

January 3, 2018

Israeli Laws and Disputed Territories

 

The term “Disputed Territories” while more accurate than “Occupied Territories” is still not exact enough to relate the truth and the actual state of these areas under International Law. Because of treaties, conferences et al including but not limited to (and with apologies to our regular readers but the list once again) San Remo Conference, Treaty of Sèvres, Treaty of Lausanne, the Mandates System and the Treaty of Westphalia (which defines the necessary requirements an area must meet to be denoted as a State). Still, we will use the term “Disputed Territories” for this article unless referring to specific regions or a change in recognition of the existing dispute.

 

All of the treaties listed above lead to one singular conclusion, under International Law, the eastern border of the State of Israel is the Jordan River. There is but one way that such can be altered, and this is what is attempting to be forced down Israel’s throat, Israel must release claim to the lands and actually grant that right to another entity. This is what actually occurred with Gaza as Israel, under the near despotic acts by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, did legally transfer the rights to govern Gaza as a separate entity to the Palestinian Authority. This legally gave the Palestinian Authority an actual piece of land with which to prove they could run an actual nation. When the Palestinian Authority lost these gifted lands to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other criminal and terrorist entities, they proved that they were incapable of ruling over the people they claimed were loyal citizens and these loyal citizens proved they support terror and the destruction of Israel over having a state of their own. They also negated the conditions under which the land was forfeit by Israel, which allows Israel to rescind their let of claim and retake the Gaza area. But Israel, like Egypt, wants nothing to do with Gaza, as its residents are largely terrorists and their supporters whose goal in life is dead Israelis and the Jewish State in smoldering ruins with not one shred of evidence the Jews had returned. So Gaza is currently an illegal entity run by terrorists.

 

The sad part is Gaza is not all that different from the areas in the Disputed Territories run by the Palestinian Authority. The reason we gave this introduction is that the Likud Party Central Committee just voted, according to reports and the Likud’s press release, unanimously to extend Israeli Law to the Jewish communities within the “Disputed Territories” and those areas under total Israeli control. That would include Area C which, according to the Oslo Accords, is under Israeli civil, security and military control and forbidden to construct within or otherwise attempt to extend any legal control over parts by the Palestinian and other Arab Palestinian entities. This would include the building of inferior quality and sometimes even dangerous homes and shops by the European Union (EU) marking them as intended for the sole use of the Palestinian People establishing these areas as part of what the EU considers the State of Palestine. Below are a couple of pictures of these EU built structures.

 

Illegal European Union built structures in Disputed Territories

Illegal European Union built structures in Disputed Territories

 

More Illegal European Union built structures in Disputed Territories

More Illegal European Union built structures in Disputed Territories

 

Illegal European Union structures bearing obvious EU Identification signs

Illegal European Union structures bearing obvious EU Identification signs

 

Israel has destroyed numerous of these types of villages as they are more than structural threats and politically threatening to Israel, these structures are substandard, have no running water, no sewage with bathrooms simply emptying into pits contaminating ground water, no electricity, no utilities and are lacking any compliance with building codes allowing for the potential for disease and other horrific results if permitted to be used and inhabited. Jewish structures built with power and utilities but which were considered substandard have also been routinely destroyed by Israel, something the media refuses to recognize telling only when these EU structures or other Arab illegal places are taken down. The reporting has been definitively one-sided against Israel, especially in Europe and in the left-wing media in the United States.

 

As we mentioned at the start, the Likud Central Committee has just voted unanimously to extend Israeli Law to the communities and state owned areas in Area C replacing military rule. The main change would be that instead of criminal acts being investigated by the military authorities, they would be investigated by civilian law enforcement with military assistance if requested, and instead of trials taking place in military courts, civilian courts will be used. This is being touted as a remarkable first step in a process and that the Likud is breaking new ground. Below is a video of Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely at special Likud gathering of the Central Committee speaking to the ground breaking event and the blazed path by Likud. Minister of the Knesset Sharren Haskel also spoke on Sunday of the importance of the Likud Central Committee vote (second video).

 

 

There is a small problem with the Likud claim, the Jewish Home (HaBayit HaYehudi הַבַּיִת הַיְהוּדִי) has not only been a proponent calling for this for years, their members in the Knesset have taken steps in an effort to effect this exact change. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in May of 2016 made calls to revive an initiative that would extend Israeli civil law to Jewish communities in the West Bank.

 

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked attends the weekly Jewish Home party meeting at the Knesset on March 28, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked attends
the weekly Jewish Home party meeting
at the Knesset on March 28, 2016.
(Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

 

The original bill which Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was attempting to revive was introduced and in 2014 was sponsored at that time by MKs Yariv Levin (Likud) and Orit Strock (Jewish Home), who stated that the legislation “will protect the rights and obligations of all Israelis in Judea and Samaria. There is no justifiable reason why Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria are unable to self-determine rights and obligations through the representatives they elected to the Knesset for this purpose, without applying sovereignty to the territory.” Prime Minister Netanyahu (Likud) did not make this legislation something he would hold coalition members to vote to support. That was a political move so as not to anger certain members of his coalition.

 

Minister of the Knesset Orit Strock from the Jewish Home

Minister of the Knesset Orit Strock from the Jewish Home

 

This has also been the unfortunate position of Prime Minister Netanyahu on this subject as if he is worried what will the world, Europe in particular, think if we change even the slightest of the present imbroglio Israel has allowed be woven since the passing of the Oslo Accords. The telling thing, also in article, is that Netanyahu did not even insist that his party members support the bill. We have long suspected that Prime Minister Netanyahu is more worried with his image and likability in Europe and the other countries of the world and often this makes him too hesitant to do what is inevitably necessary. The longer Israel waits to do what will be found to be necessary, the more the world will condemn Israel. It may already be too late but if not, then the time is passing before our eyes and is being wasted. The Likud Central Committee vote to support extending Jewish Israeli civil law to the communities in the Shomron is a decent restart. The only problem is that the vote is not binding on the Likud Knesset members and we can bet that Prime Minister Netanyahu will make a definitive point that he is not beholden to the vote and will not force anyone else to back such legislation.

 

The Regulation Bill, a revolution that paves the way for Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria, was championed by Jewish Home Party Chairman Naftali Bennett when it was introduced in December of 2016. This was another piece of legislation which was to normalize the Jewish communities in the Shomron with the rest of Israel sponsored, or at the least co-sponsored, by Jewish Home Party as a whole which passed the Knesset in February of 2017. The Supreme Court has not struck down this law thus avoiding a battle with the Knesset where many ministers had threatened to clip the wings of the Supreme Court if it should continue to believe they had veto power and were to examine every piece of legislation and decide on its meaning and even its validity. So, at least thus far, the Regulation Bill remains intact and passed.

 

Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee Meeting for discussion and vote on Regulation Bill, November 30, 2016.

Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee
Meeting for discussion and vote on Regulation Bill,
November 30, 2016.

 

The Likud Party and their support would be required for getting legislation enforcing the concept passed unanimously by their Central Committee. Despite what the media will come out and report or what Likud members in their excited, grab attention state will scream proudly into the closest microphone, this is far from a new concept and they are grabbing the thunder as the Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party, is already working to revitalize former legislation which proposed exactly this idea. Her efforts may have come as members of the Likud Party told her of their Central Committee coming support and thus she knew that the right time was approaching. Ayelet Shaked has championed this cause which was partially why she was tapped to be Justice Minister by Naftali Bennett and the hierarchy of the Jewish Home Party. She has also done a great amount of work making necessary adjustments to the way Justices and Judges are selected and balanced the Israeli adjudicators such that they now represent a wide variety of political attitudes, as they were rather one-sided when she took on being Justice Minister. She has been lauded as one of the best Justice Ministers as she has quietly and with minimal feather ruffling managed to radically alter much of the judicial problems that have plagued Israel for the past fifty years. It is not unusual for Likud to hold off supporting numerous Jewish Home Party proffered legislations simply to introduce a near identical legislation with great fanfare claiming that this will be remembered as a momentous day in Israeli legislative history. Well, if they had played straight, then that momentous day could have come earlier but doing so would have meant sharing the spotlight, and politicians do hate sharing the spotlight almost as much as others get steamed over others stealing their spotlight. But for those who watch and follow the Knesset realize, much of the groundbreaking legislation others put forth were originally ideas which came from Jewish Home Party, the party which represents religious Zionism and is a proudly conservative, Jewish, Zionist party with a bright future.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 6, 2012

Time’s Up; Netanyahu’s Game Has Played Out

The importance of the vote today in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, is of epic proportions. On this vote lies so many items in disparate areas all tied together around Prime Minister Netanyahu. Almost a fortnight ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave his word to Minister of the Knesset Yaakov Katz (National Union) that he would not oppose his Regulation Bill which would negate the Supreme Court ruling for destruction of five residential buildings in the Givat HaUlpana section of Beit El community should MK Katz postpone its introduction for a two week period. Well, MK Katz complied with the leader of the coalition, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and for his compliance, Prime Minister Netanyahu has gone back on his word and threatens to dismiss any coalition Minister who dares oppose his wishes and support the legalization legislation. This has already caused two of the member parties of the coalition, Yisrael Beytenu and Shas, to choose to be absent as they had previously decided they would support the Regulation Bill. Their absence removes any possibility that their parties would be thrown from the coalition. There are still some members of the Prime Minister’s own party, Likud, who plan to challenge his authority and support the bill. It will remain to see if Netanyahu follows through on his threat to remove those voting for the Regulation Bill. Those who have stated their intent to vote in favor despite the threat to their positions are Ministers Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Gila Gamliel, Ayoob Kara and Daniel Hershkowitz.

So, why don’t we take a simple trip through the entire methods, manipulations, coercions and finagling done by Prime Minister Netanyahu in order to defeat those forces who had colluded to support the Regulation Bill and thus provide the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria some legal coverage against the political onslaught now being waged to destroy their communities, homes, lives, and in many cases livelihoods. When the destruction order first arrived at the front door of the Knesset after the Supreme Court decided that the five buildings in question in Givat HaUlpana, Beit El, the nationalist wing of Likud in concert with other nationalist Knesset members initiated a legislated solution to prevent the destruction and provide an alternative to future destructions. This was expected to be rejected by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and likely also Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. Up to this case it had been assumed that Prime Minister Netanyahu was in agreement with the nationalist camp against the demolitions of communities in Judea and Samaria. This became the straw that would break the camel’s back. It also shined light on the real, true Netanyahu. Now the Prime Minister faced something he had been dancing deftly to avoid, actual legislation which had popular backing being introduced onto the floor of the Knesset with no conceivable way to prevent it short of preventing the demolition of HaUlpana by other methods. But that was a problem as Prime Minister Netanyahu was actually in favor of the demolitions and has secretively been favoring a unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria surrendering the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority in similar manner as previous Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. So, Prime Minister Netanyahu faced a difficult situation as if he were to come out of the closet and play his cards in favor of the demolition his coalition would collapse and he would be forced to call for elections. This was not something favorable and held some pit falls for Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Netanyahu realized at the very start that should he come clean and admit to favoring demolitions, he would face an impossible battle as his party, Likud, has stated in its platform its position against the demolitions. This meant he could not reveal himself before the next elections were held, but they are not scheduled for about another year and a half. What was he to do? I have to hand it to Prime Minister Netanyahu; he came up with a brilliant plan which forced some who thought they were in opposition to the presumed nationalism of the Prime Minister to join him or face electoral oblivion. Netanyahu instead of announcing a position on the Ulpana demolition claimed that what he wished he could do was impossible with the slight majority held by his coalition and in order to gain a stronger position he was going to call for new elections. The nationalists took this as a sign that Netanyahu was behind them and was going to take their nationalist message and present it to an approving public and form a stronger and even more nationalists, pro-settler government in order to legalize all the communities in Judea and Samaria and put an end once and for all to the political demolitions being pushed by the extreme leftists and the post-Zionists. This placed the Kadima Party in a position where they were facing a loss of power of immense proportions. The polling showed that Kadima would fall from their current twenty-eight seats down to as few as six or as many as possibly nine, either way they were going to lose BIG!

The new leader of Kadima, Shaul Mofaz, met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and they conceived of a way for Kadima to avoid political oblivion, have Kadima join the coalition. It is even likely that Netanyahu confided in Shaul Mofaz that he secretly supported not only the demolitions, but a complete, unilateral withdrawal from the vast majority of the so-called West Bank. This gave Prime Minister Netanyahu his necessary super-coalition which was completely safe from any threat from any group or parties threatening to pull down the coalition and force new elections. Now, with Kadima on board, Prime Minister Netanyahu could actually lose every single member’s support of Likud Ministers, his own party, and the coalition would still stand. With this huge number in the coalition, Netanyahu was free to come out of the closet and admit to his support of demolitions beginning with the Ulpana neighborhood. Sure, he threw the nationalists a bone promising to build ten residences for every one demolished knowing full well that between having to get it through the bureaucracy and resist leftist challenges in the courts, including the anti-settlement Supreme Court, the promised units would likely never be built. Now we need to look at what Prime Minister Netanyahu plans to do down the road with remaining time before the next elections.

I cannot see any path where Prime Minister Netanyahu remains in a Likud Party without the expulsion of its nationalist faction who could find a home with the Jewish Home Party. This would likely end the hopes of Moshe Feiglin to head an electoral ticket and become Prime Minister himself. Barring the nationalists departing Likud, expect that at some time as the election nears that Prime Minister Netanyahu will announce that he and Shaul Mofaz are reinvigorating Kadima as the true middle-of-the-road political party it was supposed to be with the two of them sharing the top position. Netanyahu will head the ticket under the Kadima Party which will also include Ehud Barak and his short-lived Independence Party joining the new and improved Kadima Party. This will leave the Likud Party in disarray with this announcement coming too close to the elections to allow them to get their house in order and take stock of who left with Netanyahu and who remains in Likud. I actually hope that the nationalists and others who support ending these demolitions or are opposed to a unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria giving the Palestinian Authority possession of vast stretches of land within their so-called West Bank regain control of the Likud Party. Even giving them all of the West Bank and even half of Jerusalem including all of the Old City will not end the terror war and claims of occupation by the Palestinian leadership. What comes next other than the likely unilateral disengagement or some similar form of complete surrender to the Palestinian terror machine is difficult to fathom, as if that would not be enough to endanger all of Israel sufficiently.

Would Netanyahu also give in to the Obama demands and return the Golan Heights to Syria once Assad has been removed and replaced by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood? I would not bet against it at this point. Whatever Prime Minister Netanyahu has in mind, odds are it will be as surprising as was Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with his unilateral disengagement of Gaza which worked out so wondrously. One would think that the lesson of Sharon, Gaza and the ensuing rocket barrages and other difficulties would have taught even Netanyahu that giving land to the Palestinians in any manner is something that only will endanger Israel and her citizens, all of the citizens and not just the Jews. This move by Netanyahu to completely turn against those who elected him and break almost every promise he had made to MK Katz, the members of Likud, the coalition member parties, particularly Shas and Yisrael Beytenu, and to Israelis in general is heartbreaking and with any luck will take Prime Minister Netanyahu, Kadima Leader Shaul Mofaz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and all those who follow their political lead to political oblivion and being unable to even garner sufficient votes to enable minimal seats in any future Knesset. I so dearly hope this is Netanyahu’s political Waterloo.

Beyond the Cusp

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