Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time for the EU understand International Law

The infamous statement by the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel this week says that “the guidelines are also in conformity with the EU's longstanding position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied territories, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.”

“At the moment Israeli entities enjoy financial support and cooperation with the EU and these guidelines are designed to ensure that this remains the case. At the same time concern has been expressed in Europe that Israeli entities in the occupied territories could benefit from EU support.”

“The purpose of these guidelines is to make a distinction between the State of Israel and the occupied territories when it comes to EU support”.

The full text can be read at:-

Deception and Double Standards at its Worst

If using the words “illegal occupation” is acceptable to the EU for its action against Israel, then why has it never taken action against Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus?

Apart from the absurdities in this policy over Jerusalem, the extent of the EU’s connection with reality can be gauged from the fact that

          a)  it includes the Gaza Strip in its list of territories occupied by Israel since 1967 without any reference to the fact that it is now 8 years since it ended that occupation, and

          b)  it suggests that Israel should abandon the Golan Heights, thereby plunging the people living there (mainly Druze) into a vicious 2-year-old civil war that has killed over 100,000.  

In other words, the EU has decided on the outcome of any future “negotiations”, should they take place and provided the Palestinians with a perfect case for not entering into negotiations as long as the EU is applying their “unilateral decisions”. 

The EU is reinforcing the Judenrein policies of the Palestinians. Whatever borders are drawn up after a peace settlement, why is the assumption made that Jews may not live anywhere they choose?

Anti Israel NGO’s Protected

Within the guidelines, it is further stated that “the new guidelines will not apply to human rights organizations operating in the territories, the Golan Heights or East Jerusalem (like B’Tselem), or to NGOs that work toward promoting peace and operate in the territories, such as the “Geneva Initiative” or “Peace Now.”

NGO Monitor's president, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, pointed out, "The new EU guidelines are evidence of the influence of political NGOs - some funded by the EU - on the EU's policies. On occasion we have seen the EU rely solely on political NGOs' reports without checking their veracity. The practical results," Prof. Steinberg continued, "are worrisome and reflect a faulty and one-sided agenda."

The NGO Monitor report issued last year, EU Documents Repeat False NGO Claims, showed the direct connections between the NGOs secretly funded by the EU and EU policy recommendations based on their distorted and one-sided reports. Many of the falsehoods focused on Jerusalem and "Area C" in the West Bank, precisely the issues dealt with in the EU's new guidelines. 

What is Defined as Illegal?

It would appear that the EU totally discounts existing international legal agreements and prefers to interpret clauses in these agreements to suit its own agenda.

      a)   The San Remo Treaty of 1920, in which the victors of the First
           World  War parcelled out the remnants of the defeated Ottoman
           Empire, created a geographical area called Palestine along both sides
           of the Jordan River. It is still valid today.

b)   Article 6 of the Palestine Mandate signed by the League of Nations in 1922 stipulated ‘close Jewish settlement’ on the land west of the Jordan River. The river served as the boundary because that year the UK created a new Arab country, today known as Jordan, by unilaterally bestowing the land east of the river onto the Hashemite dynasty and thus giving some three quarters of Palestine away. 

c)   The 1945 UN Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80 explicitly says than nothing within it shall ‘alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties’.

d)   the claim that the Israeli settlements breach Article 49 of the Geneva Convention does not apply to the settlements. Written in the shadow of the deportation of European Jews to their deaths in Nazi Europe, it prohibits 

‘individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or that of any other country, occupied or not…The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.’ 

But none of the Israelis living beyond the Green Line have been transferred or deported, forcibly or not; they all chose voluntarily to live there. (The only force ever used against these residents was in fact when Israel forcibly transferred them from Gaza into Israel in 2005.) 

e)   The Geneva Convention applies to actions carried out on the territory of a ‘High Contracting Party’ with a sovereign claim to that territory. But the areas in question over the ‘Green Line’ never belonged to any sovereign power. 

I hope these points can be distributed widely, the world is totally ignorant of what is international law and what is myth to suit an agenda.

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