Misconceptions over Planned Israeli Moves in West Bank

(Jewish News-UK) Natasha Hausdorff - The last few weeks have seen a herd mentality take hold about Israel with fevered discussion over Israel's proposed application of civilian law to parts of Area C in the West Bank. The move is consistently misrepresented as "annexation" and a "violation" of international law. Both allegations are false and stand in the way of any informed debate. What is being considered is a change to the internal administrative legal framework in certain parts of Area C which would replace military law with the civilian law that applies throughout Israel. The existing framework was intended to be temporary, but it has been dragged out for 53 years, through decades of failed negotiations. The universal rule for determining borders for emerging states dictates that they are established with the administrative boundaries of the prior administrative entity. Israel was preceded by the "Mandate for Palestine," which was established by the League of Nations and administered by Britain. As the only state to emerge from the Mandate in 1948, international law dictates that Israel inherited the Mandate's administrative boundaries. The principle that a new state inherits the borders of the last top-level administrative unit has been universally applied upon the independence of new states, including to the emergence of states in Asia, Africa, South America and from the former Soviet Union. The one and only exception now appears to be with respect to the establishment of Israel. When generations of Israelis have witnessed every compromise lead to more blood on the streets, it has become harder and harder to explain why the next time will be different. The policy of "land for peace" (where Israel hands over land and the Palestinians promise peace) has been revealed to be a gargantuan failure. The public is being consistently misinformed on the proposal Israel is to consider this month. The harm to Israel's international standing arises from the conspiracy theory that it violates international law, not from the reality of the proposals. The writer is a barrister and a director of UK Lawyers for Israel.

2020-07-02 00:00:00

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