Abu Yehuda :Who Owns the Land?

Who Owns the Land?

It never stops: Europeans complain about Israel building things, or rather, about Israelis planning to build things. Such activities, they claim are illegal, because according to them nothing east of the 1949 armistice line belongs to Israel.

But to whom does it really belong? A starting point is the question that the blogger who calls himself Elder of Ziyon asked in a tweet the other day: “what country was legitimately sovereign in Judea and Samaria on the day prior to the start of the 1967 war?”

Jordan illegally occupied the territory in 1948, when it was one of five Arab countries that invaded the area of the former British Mandate in order to try to prevent the Jews from creating a sovereign state there (and indeed, to try to kill and drive out the Jews from the land). In 1950 it (again illegally) annexed the area and named it the “West Bank.”

This aggression clearly violated the UN charter, and in the 19 years that Jordan held it, only two nations (Britain and Pakistan) recognized its purported ownership. Incidentally, the Jordanians committed numerous war crimes during their conquest and occupation, starting with the violent ethnic cleansing of its Jewish inhabitants, and including the deliberate destruction of synagogues and the refusal to allow Jews and Christians to visit their holy sites in Jerusalem – something Jordan had agreed to in the cease-fire agreements.

For several reasons, Israel’s claim in 1967 was stronger than that of Jordan’s. One is that the beneficiary of the Mandate is the Jewish people; it refers to the creation of a “Jewish Home” and not an Arab one. It is also reasonable to understand the “home” as being a state, although probably the British envisioned it as more like a protectorate within their empire. And an Arab state (Jordan) had already been created in part of it.

Posted on by Victor Rosenthal

It never stops: Europeans complain about Israel building things, or rather, about Israelis planning to build things. Such activities, they claim are illegal, because according to them nothing east of the 1949 armistice line belongs to Israel.

But to whom does it really belong? A starting point is the question that the blogger who calls himself Elder of Ziyon asked in a tweet the other day: “what country was legitimately sovereign in Judea and Samaria on the day prior to the start of the 1967 war?”

Jordan illegally occupied the territory in 1948, when it was one of five Arab countries that invaded the area of the former British Mandate in order to try to prevent the Jews from creating a sovereign state there (and indeed, to try to kill and drive out the Jews from the land). In 1950 it (again illegally) annexed the area and named it the “West Bank.”

This aggression clearly violated the UN charter, and in the 19 years that Jordan held it, only two nations (Britain and Pakistan) recognized its purported ownership. Incidentally, the Jordanians committed numerous war crimes during their conquest and occupation, starting with the violent ethnic cleansing of its Jewish inhabitants, and including the deliberate destruction of synagogues and the refusal to allow Jews and Christians to visit their holy sites in Jerusalem – something Jordan had agreed to in the cease-fire agreements.

For several reasons, Israel’s claim in 1967 was stronger than that of Jordan’s. One is that the beneficiary of the Mandate is the Jewish people; it refers to the creation of a “Jewish Home” and not an Arab one. It is also reasonable to understand the “home” as being a state, although probably the British envisioned it as more like a protectorate within their empire. And an Arab state (Jordan) had already been created in part of it.

 

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