TEL AVIV – At the behest of the Palestinian Authority, Egypt on Thursday introduced a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Israel halt all settlement activity, meaning Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Breitbart Jerusalem reviewed the full text of the draft resolution, which contains the following anti-Israel outrages, presented here in no particular order:
1 – The text of the draft resolution repeatedly and wrongly refers to the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem as “Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.”
In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authorities in those areas. Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967.
The 1967 Six Day War was launched after Arab countries used the territories to stage attacks against the Jewish state. In 1988, Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and unilaterally recognized terrorist Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
2 – The draft resolution text exclaims that Jews building in settlements is an impediment to peace, implying that a future Palestinian state must be Jew-free.
The text expresses “grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines.”
What exactly is the problem with Jews building communities in the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem, areas with deep historical and religious significance to Judaism? Condemning Jewish construction in these areas would seem to support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ extremist position that not a single Israeli can live in a future Palestinian state. “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands,” Abbas said.
The UN draft resolution text does not even mention rampant illegal Palestinian construction on Jewish-owned property in eastern sections of Jerusalem, including the construction of dozens of apartment buildings on about 270 acres in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Qalandiya and Kfar Akev, and about 50 acres in a north Jerusalem suburb known as Shoafat. The land is indisputably owned by a U.S.-based Jewish group. The illegal Palestinian construction has created “facts on the ground” due to which these areas are largely considered to be areas that would become part of a future Palestinian state.
3 – The resolution singles out Israeli settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as the main obstacles blocking a two-state solution, while ignoring that the PA has repeatedly refused Israeli offers of a state in those very areas.
If the Palestinians wanted a state, they would not have to resort to introducing anti-Israel resolutions at the UN. Israel has offered the Palestinians a state in much of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a shared capital in Jerusalem numerous times. These offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007, and more offers were made in 2008. In each of these cases, the PA refused generous Israeli offers of statehood and bolted negotiations without counteroffers.
The PA has failed to respond to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unprecedented attempts to jump-start negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state, including freezing Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and releasing Palestinian prisoners.
4 – The draft resolution, brought by Egypt at the behest of the PA, calls for a timetable to be imposed on Israeli-Palestinian talks even though the PA refuses to even come to the bargaining table.
The text “calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010.”
The 2010 Quartet statement called for an agreement within one year.
5 – The draft resolution wrongly claims Israeli settlements constitute a “flagrant violation under international law.”
Firstly, the singular focus on settlement activity leaves out the intent of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, the only binding resolution pertaining to the West Bank, which calls on Israel to withdraw under a future final-status solution “from territories occupied” as a result of the 1967 Six Day War. The resolution does not call for a withdrawal from “all territories,” a designation deliberately left out to ensure Israel’s ability to retain some territory for security purposes under a future deal.
The Jewish Virtual Library explains:
The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from “all the” territories occupied after the Six-Day War. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant “that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands.” The Arab states pushed for the word “all” to be included, but this was rejected. They nevertheless asserted that they would read the resolution as if it included the word “all.” The British ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: “It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear.”
Also, as the Committee for Accuracy for Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) pointed out in an email blast, international law does not make Israeli settlements illegal:
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which is relied upon by those who claim the settlements are illegal, does not apply in the case of the West Bank. This is because the West Bank was never under self-rule by a nation that was a party to the Convention, and therefore there is no “partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party,” as Article 2 of the Convention specifies. Moreover, even if it did apply, by its plain terms, it applies only to forcible transfers, and not to voluntary movement. Therefore, it can’t prohibit Jews from choosing to move to areas of great historical and religious significance to them.
6 – The text calling for Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” sets the stage for an enhancement of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement around the world.
The BDS campaign would be able to point to the resolution as so-called evidence that products made in the settlements were produced in “illegal territories.”
7 – The text about settlements in the draft resolution contradicts a Bush administration commitment to allowing some existing Jewish settlements to remain under a future Israeli-Palestinian deal.
That U.S. commitment, which the Obama administration has repeatedly violated by condemning settlement activity, was reportedly a key element in Israel’s decision to unilaterally evacuate the Gaza Strip in 2005.
The UN draft resolution text states that “cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution,” and it “calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-State solution.”
In 2004, just prior to the Gaza evacuation, President Bush issued a declarative letter stating that it is unrealistic to expect that Israel will not retain some Jewish settlements in a final-status deal with the Palestinians.
The letter stated:
In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.
Elliott Abrams, the Deputy National Security Adviser for Global Democracy Strategy during Bush’s second term, was instrumental in brokering understandings between the U.S. and Israel on settlements. In a June 2009 piece published by the Wall Street Journal, Abrams accused the Obama administration of “abandoning” those U.S.-Israel understandings by taking positions critical of all settlement activity.
There were indeed agreements between Israel and the United States regarding the growth of Israeli settlements on the West Bank … principles that would permit some continuing growth. … They emerged from discussions with American officials and were discussed by Messrs. Sharon and Bush at their Aqaba meeting in June 2003. … The prime minister of Israel relied on them in undertaking a wrenching political reorientation – the dissolution of his government, the removal of every single Israeli citizen, settlement and military position in Gaza, and the removal of four small settlements in the West Bank. … For reasons that remain unclear, the Obama administration has decided to abandon the understandings about settlements reached by the previous administration with the Israeli government. We may be abandoning the deal now, but we cannot rewrite history and make believe it did not exist.
8 – The resolution farcically states that PA security forces must operate in those areas to fight terror, ignoring the fact that members of the PA security forces have also been members of Fatah’s terrorist wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.