03 January '11
The Guardian refrain that Jewish communities across the green line (including in “East” Jerusalem) represent a clear violation of international law is repeated so many times that even those who don’t possess antipathy towards Israel could be forgiven for uncritically accepting this as fact.
Indeed, Sherwood’s latest piece, “Israel and Palestinian negotiators meet for first time in a year“, Jan. 2, contains this characteristic throw away line about the “settlements”:
The Palestinians argue that there can be no meaningful talks while Israel continues expanding its settlements in the West Bank, which are illegal under international law.
Of course, Sherwood, as with the countless other Guardian reports alleging the “illegality” of such settlements, doesn’t bother citing a source for such an international adjudication, as no such determination has ever been reached or definitively codified.
What Palestinians, and their advocates at the Guardian, are likely referring to is the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, the first international agreement designed specifically to protect civilians during wartime.
They specifically charge that the settlements violate Article 49(6), which states: “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies.”
To settlement opponents, the word “transfer” in Article 49(6) connotes that any transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population, voluntary or involuntary, is prohibited.
However, the first paragraph of Article 49 reads: “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”
Unquestionably, any forcible transfer of populations is illegal.
But what about voluntary movements?
(Read full "No, Harriet, Jews living across the green line are not in violation")
Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.