Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Why is This Court Ruling Ignored by the Media

This posting is a transcript of a blog by Israellycool and is worth reading in its entirety. but the BIG question remains  - why has this been ignored not only by the media but also  official sources.
Today in France 70 nations will come together in Paris and blindly ignore the legal ruling of a highly significant French court (Court of Appeal of Versailles) just a few years ago. They will most likely issue a statement which creates the impression that Israel’s activities in Judea and Samaria are illegal.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that there hasn’t been a proper legal case to decide the legality of Jews living in the lands captured back from Jordan in ’67, specifically Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem. I was wrong! There was exactly such a case and, even though I’ve written about it, it has received almost no attention and been buried.
Here’s a very simplistic background on how western legal systems operate. In a Western country founded on Judeo-Christian principles, some form of elected body decides to pass and enact laws. Perhaps there is a foundational document (like the US Constitution) or centuries of history and a set of procedures and prior law on how stuff is done (the UK). One thing that unites all these systems is that new laws must be tested in court.
A law enters the books when the elected officials have all agreed on it, but until someone breaks the law or challenges it in some way, it isn’t fully tested.
Fortunately there isn’t a government for the entire world (and plans for such a monstrosity probably took a backward step when Hillary Clinton lost in November). The UN, as a club of dictators, despots and dastardly deed doers (with a sprinkling of decent, democratic states) certainly isn’t remotely close to a single government for the world that any sane person would submit to. The International Criminal Court in the Hague is also similarly problematic. International law, therefore, stems from a bunch of widely (but not universally) accepted treaties and agreements many nations have signed up to going back, in cases, hundreds of years and methods for deciding disputes are confusing.
But just as with nations passing laws, until a court hears a case based on the law, interpretation of that law isn’t set. That’s why there is such a thing as a “legal opinion”. In any given case there are two or more sides arguing that they’ve understood the law correctly and the other side is wrong.
That’s the situation with Israel’s status in territory it captured in various defensive wars since 1948. When I wrote “you can believe arguments one way or another, but you can’t yet say the matter of settlements is settled” I was overlooking one very important case from France in 2013 which I even wrote about back then! A week after the case concluded (with a resounding win for the Israeli side and a defeat for a PLO backed boycott effort) I wrote the following:
As we first reported here on Israellycool last week, a French court has confirmed some aspects of the legal situation regarding Israel and the hills of Judea and Samaria, especially around Jerusalem.
Now the larger news outlets have had time to think about this and get the opinion of greater legal minds than this humble blogger.
And the answer seems to be, it is a victory, but only if you didn’t know anything about international law and the specifics of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions.
Well I’d say that’s just about everyone on earth and doubly so for everyone who is deluded by BDS campaign lies!

Exactly as I noted then, the legacy media completely ignored this ruling or downplayed it because it didn’t fit their lethal narrative: Jews are illegal settlers in what was once their own land. Nobody in the hostile legacy media has referred to it since (try to google for it).

Jerusalem Light Rail

Jean-Patrick Grumberg (the original reporter I linked to back in 2013 on the story) has now re-published a more detailed account of the technicalities of the case which related to the building, in Jerusalem, of the light rail system which connects both predominantly Arab and Jewish neighbourhoods to the centre of Jerusalem.
The entire blog post is definitely worth reading (a few times) but here are the headlines:
In a historical trial carefully « forgotten » by the media, the 3rd Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles declares that Israel is the legal occupant of the West Bank*.
In the 90s, Israel bid for the construction of the Jerusalem light rail. The tender was won by French companies Veolia and Alstom. The light rail was completed in 2011, and it cross Jerusalem all the way to the east side and the « occupied territories » (more about this term later).
Following this, the PLO filed a complaint with the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of Versailles France, against Alstom and Veolia, because according to PLO, « the construction of the tram is illegal since the UN, the EU, many NGOs and governments consider that « Israel illegally occupy Palestinian territories ».
Jerusalem Light Rail - In blue

First and foremost, the Versailles Court of Appeals had to determine the legal rights of Palestinians and Israelis in West Bank. Their conclusion: Palestinians have no right – in the international legal sense – to the region, unlike Israel, who is legitimately entitled to occupy all land beyond the 67 line.

Why is this an historical ruling: it is the first international case since the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948.

The Court of Appeal does not deny the occupation, but it destroys one after another all the Palestinian arguments.

Israeli occupation does not violate any international law.

Propaganda is not international law.

Humanitarian law was not violated.

The PLO and the Palestinians were dismissed.

This is how Jean-Patrick concludes his post (which also includes the entire court decision in French).
The Court of Appeal therefore sentenced the PLO (and Association France Palestine Solidarité AFPS who was co-appellant) to pay 30,000 euros ($32,000) to Alstom, 30,000 euros to Alstom Transport and 30,000 euros to Veolia Transport.
Neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority nor the AFPS appealed to the Supreme Court, therefore the judgment has become final.
This is the first time that a Court has legally destroyed all Palestinian legal claim that Israel’s occupation is illegal.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Palestinians: A Strategy of Lies and Deception

by Bassam Tawil  •  January 13, 2017 
  • Abbas has lied twice. First, it is a lie that he is prepared to return to the negotiating table with Israel. In the past few years, Abbas has repeatedly rejected Israeli offers to resume the stalled peace negotiations.
  • Abbas's chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, claimed this week that his boss was ready to resume the peace talks with Israel in Moscow....Indeed, Abbas had "earlier" voiced his readiness to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow. But Abbas once again outlined his preconditions for such a summit... This means that Abbas has not abandoned his preconditions for resuming the peace talks with Israel. The timing of Erekat's announcement in Moscow is clearly linked to the Paris peace conference. It is part of the Palestinian strategy to depict Israel as the party opposed to the resumption of the peace talks.
  • Abbas has in the past reluctantly condemned some of the terror attacks against Israel. But these statements were made under duress, after being pressured by the US or EU.
  • In fact, his "condemnations" are nothing but political pablum, a sop to the West.
  • The Palestinian terrorist who rammed his truck into a group of young Israeli soldiers last week was doing exactly what his president urged Palestinians to do.
  • The Germans and French should not believe Abbas when he says that he condemns truck terror attacks in their countries. The scenes of Palestinians celebrating carnage in Jerusalem should serve as a wake-up call to the international community. The message of the call? That the overall Palestinian strategy – like the jihad strategy - is built on lies. Both continue to feature terror as one their main pillars.
  • What members of the international community do not seem to understand is that... [t]he terrorist who rammed his truck into a German Christmas market did not carry out his attack in outrage at a German settlement or a checkpoint. The terrorist who mowed down French people celebrating Bastille day was not protesting French "occupation." Abbas and his cohorts, like the terrorists in Europe, are part of just one big global jihad against all "infidels" – including them.
Full article can be read here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

UN to blacklist Israeli firms operating beyond Green Line

In the UN the Israel bashing game goes on and on. Richard Falk continues his "blame Israel for everything" campaign and now wants the Human Rights Council to ban doing business with YIsraeli companies in Judea and Samaria. The trouble is he has not read the regulations controlling the activities of the UNHRC

From Yisrael Hayom the following letter sets out the continuing double standards and anti-Israel obsession in the UN 

The United Nations Human Rights Council is reportedly working on a "blacklist" of Israeli companies operating beyond the Green Line with aim of declaring them illegal.
The list, an initiative prompted by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, is scheduled to be released in March, but a source familiar with the issue told Israel Hayom Monday it may only come out in June.

The move reportedly aims to bar the presence of any Israeli company beyond the Green Line. If adopted, the list could deem even private security firms protecting Israelis in Judea and Samaria from terrorist organizations, as illegal.

The list is said to be the brainchild of known BDS activist Richard Falk, formerly the U.N.'s special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights. Falk first came up with the idea for the blacklist six years ago, while in office, and he has been strongly advocating for it ever since, this time with the support of several Arab U.N. members.

In an effort to thwart this initiative, NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that promotes greater transparency among foreign-funded Israeli nongovernmental organizations, has recently sent the Human Rights Council a position paper explaining that such a list would be a violation of international law and the UNHRC's own guidelines against discrimination based on national origin, arguing that as no such blacklists exist for any other conflict zone in the world, it would in effect be targeting Jewish-owned businesses.

"The U.N. Human Rights Council discriminates against Israel by applying double standards to international law," the position paper noted.

"The list may also harm companies conducting business with Israel, which is consistent with the ultimate goal of [the BDS movement], which is isolating and attacking the State of Israel and undermine the Jewish people's right to self-determination."

NGO Monitor's legal adviser Anne Herzberg called the initiative "another chapter in the U.N.'s double standards and long and shameful, anti-Israel obsession."

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Call on All Christians to Defend Their Birthplace and the Homeland of the Jewish People

  • We need ensure that the Old City of Jerusalem, the heart of Judaism for more than 3,000 years and the seat of Christianity for 2,000 years, will not be allowed to be Islamic as part of what would soon be an Islamic country, and very likely a terrorist one. In such a state, all polls show that the next vote will be to install Hamas.

  • Based on the Hamas Charter that denies Israel's right to exist, the vote could complete eliminating Jewish -- and Christian -- history and replacing it with Islam.

  • What drives Western politicians to be servants aiding the destruction of Judeo-Christian culture in the Middle East and Europe? Why does the Paris peace conference prepare for the destruction of the Jewish State while Christians are murdered in Muslim countries in historically unparalleled numbers?

  • Christians will not be silent when all these places will be voted to go to those who will destroy them -- as they destroyed Palmyra, Antioch, Nisibis, Niniveh, and in late 2014, Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, St. Elijah, leveled by the Islamic State.
  • The streets of Paris must hear the protests against the attempted rewriting of history at the peace conference and any subsequent Security Council vote. Such protestors are like "a man who would built up the wall and stand in front of God in the gap on behalf of the Land" (Ezekiel 22:30) -- so that the only bastion of democracy, the very defender of Christianity, the last keeper of Judeo-Christian heritage in the Middle East and Europe will continue to prosper
For full article read here

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Archaeological Discoveries of 2016 in Israel

As we enter the New Year, here we list the top Biblical archaeology discoveries that amazed us in 2016! From a spectacular Philistine cemetery to a rare Hasmonean coin hoard, the year was filled with incredible finds. All dated well before the advent of Islam.

**The stories below are listed in no particular order**

First-Ever Philistine Cemetery Unearthed at Ashkelon

The first and only Philistine cemetery ever discovered has been found outside the walls of ancient Ashkelon.

Ancient Latrine: A Peek into King Hezekiah's Reforms in the Bible?

A millennia-old latrine discovered at Tel Lachish in Israel could be evidence of King Hezekiah's religious reforms enacted throughout the Kingdom of Judah in the eighth century B.C.E.

Jewish Purification: Stone Vessel Workshop Discovered in Galilee

An excavation at a cave in Galilee has uncovered what may be a 2,000-year-old stone vessel production center. In the first century C.E., Jews commonly used stone vessels in observance of Jewish purity laws.

Gold Nero Coin Comes to Light in Jerusalem

A rare gold coin depicting Roman emperor Nero was unearthed in excavations just outside the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel. This coin is especially significant because it was discovered on a scientific excavation, so its findspot is clear.

Givati Parking Lot Dig Unearths Rare Seal of Woman

Two First Temple period seals were discovered in the Givati Parking Lot excavations in Jerusalem. One seal belonged to a woman named Elihana bat Gael.

Inscription Reveals Governor of Judea Before the Bar-Kokhba Revolt

Who was the Roman governor of Judea during the time leading up to the Bar-Kokhba revolt, the second Jewish revolt against Rome? This question has now been answered thanks to an inscribed stone block recently discovered off the coast of Tel Dor in northern Israel.

The Third Wall of Jerusalem: Where Romans and Jews Battled

Archaeologists believe they have located remains of the elusive Third Wall of Jerusalem described by ancient historian Josephus. According to Josephus, Jewish rebels completed this wall leading up to the First Jewish Revolt against the Romans.

An Ancient Roman Gateway to Pan at Hippos-Sussita

After discovering a rare bronze mask of the god Pan at the Israeli site of Hippos-Sussita, archaeologists have excavated a monumental Roman gateway within the same complex.

New Huqoq Mosaics: Noah's Ark and Exodus Scenes

During the 2016 season at Huqoq, mosaics depicting two well-known Biblical stories were uncovered.

Hasmonean Coin Hoard Comes to Light at Modi'in
After 2,140 years, a hoard of silver coins dating to the Hasmonean Period has once again seen the light of day.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Legal Case for Israel

Professor Eugene Kontorovich International law is on Israel’s side. Watch the video to understand why! This must be one of the best video presentations that very clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and for Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel’s situation intelligently with others.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Journalistic Failure at NRP

Ethnic Cleansing in the West Bank

Reporters Greg Myre and Larry Kaplow of NRP in the US begin a recent report by claiming:

“When Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, no Israeli citizens lived in the territory.”

This stunning lack of context ignores that Jews had indeed lived in Hebron, Bethlehem and many other towns in the land historically called “Judea and Samaria,” until 19 years earlier – when Jordanian forces (with the help of local Palestinians) expelled or killed all of the indigenous Jews, and then re-named the entire area “The West Bank.”

The only reason the population of the West Bank was entirely Palestinian by 1967 was because they expelled the indigenous Jews in 1948.

Doesn’t the ethnic cleansing of an entire indigenous Jewish population deserve a mention from NPR?

Kaplow and Myre further distort history in the very same sentence by saying “Israel captured the West Bank…” yet covering up the reason why: Jordan had turned those lands into a launching point for a massive assault against Israel, with the intent to destroy the entire country.

Israel was forced to capture the West Bank in order to prevent Jordan’s advance, save Israel’s very existence, and save all the Jews in Israel from the same fate suffered by those Jews referenced above: total and complete ethnic cleansing.

Again, not even a mention?

Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem

In an encore of ignorance, Kaplow and Myre claim:

“Shortly after the 1967 war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, which is part of the West Bank and had a population that was then entirely Palestinian.”

First of all, there was never any such entity as “East Jerusalem.” Jerusalem was one united city for several thousand years until Jordan invaded its eastern part in 1948. At that point, Jordan’s military (with the assistance of local Palestinians) expelled or killed all the Jews living in the areas it captured. Again: total and complete ethnic cleansing.

Kaplow and Myre also cover up from their readers that the area they call “East Jerusalem” includes the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism) along with its famous Western Wall, the Old City, and Jerusalem’s ancient Jewish Quarter.

Yet all the authors have to say is “…a population that was then entirely Palestinian.”

Journalistic Failures

Kaplow and Myre indulge in a number of other misleading falsehoods, such as the claim:
“While the Israelis tend to speak of East Jerusalem and the West Bank as two separate entities, the Palestinians regard them as a single body — the occupied West Bank.”

In fact, Palestinians do not typically use the term “occupied West Bank,” but rather “occupied Palestine,” which they clearly define as being all of Israel.

When discussing Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza NPR selectively omitted the thousands of rockets fired at Israel from the Strip. Kaplow and Myre also criticize Israel’s military presence in the West Bank but fail to acknowledge that Palestinian terrorism forces Israel to maintain that military presence.

A journalist may explore complex topics and present varying viewpoints, but journalistic ethics do not allow the omission of critical context nor the distortion of objective historical facts, as Kaplow and Myre have done here.

NPR has covered up the massive scale ethnic cleansing of Jews in their own historic homeland. The result is not only offensive to the Israeli victims of these attacks and misleading to NPR readers, but also an embarrassment to the very profession of journalism.