Israel defends right to West Bank settlements at UNSC

Jpost Arab-Israeli Conflict

Danny Danon will speak after a briefing to the UNSC by the Israeli Palestinian co-directors of the non-governmental group EcoPeace Middle East.

By Tovah Lazaroff

April 29, 2019 19:52

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon plans to defend Israel’s right to the Land of Israel, including the West Bank settlements when he addresses the United Nations Security Council this afternoon.

He will speak after a briefing to the UNSC by the Israeli Palestinian co-directors of the non-governmental group EcoPeace Middle East about environmental issues shared by Israelis, Jordanians and the Palestinians.

UN Under-Secretary General for Political and Peace Building Affairs RoseMary DiCarlo will also give an update on the situation in Gaza and the Palestinian territories.

Jewish rights to the land of Israel depends on four pillars, Danon said. This includes the bible, history, legality and the pursuit of international peace and security.

God gave the land to the people of Israel in Genesis, when he made a covenant with Abraham said Danon as he read from that passage.

“This is our deed to our land,” he said.

”From the book of Genesis; to the Jewish exodus from Egypt; to receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai; to the gates of Cana’an; and to the realization of God’s covenant in the Holy Land of Israel; the Bible paints a consistent picture. The entire history of our people, and our connection to Eretz Yisrael, begins right here,” Danon said.

The Bible is accepted by all three monotheistic religious, Danon said, adding that “The Quran itself accepts the divine deed of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.”

Historically, there was a Jewish kingdom in the land of Israel, with Jerusalem as the capital and where the Jewish Temple was twice built and twice destroyed first by the Babylonians and second by the Romans.

“Even the Romans themselves admitted the land was ours. Those of you who have visited Rome may have seen that Emperor Titus famously commemorated his victory and the Jewish expulsion by building an enormous arch on the Via Sacra in Rome. If you look at the Arch, it includes an illustration of his men carrying away the menorah from the Jewish Temple,” Danon said.

The Romans attempted to destroy that link by renaming the land Palestina.

“This is how the narrow strip of land in Eretz Yisrael, nestled between Egypt in the south and Lebanon in the north, came to be called ‘Palestine,’” Danon said.

After the Romans, the land was conquered by the Crusaders and then the Ottoman Empire. A Jewish community remained in the land over the next 2,000 years, but the bulk of the Jewish people were in exile.
“For two millennia, Jews across the world continued to pray three times every day for our long- awaited return home to Zion and Jerusalem. As we just said on Passover last week, as we do every year, ‘Next year in Jerusalem!'” Danon said.

He then turned to the issue of international law, starting with the 1917 British Balfour declaration that set out “a national home for the Jewish people” in the land of Israel after Great Britain had taken over that territory from the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.

Danon explained that in presenting the document, British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour wrote that the “declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.”

“In 1922, the mandate of the League of Nations not only stated its support for the establishment of a Jewish national home, it encouraged and facilitated the return of Jews in the diaspora to our homeland. It confirms, and I quote, ‘the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country,’” Danon said.

He added that these documents were Zionist documents and showed that Zionism appeared in international law.

Danon also pointed to the 1945 UN charter which speaks of the right of peoples to self-determination and to the rights of member states to defend themselves from armed attacks.

In 1947, the UN partitioned the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state, with the Jews accepting the plan and the Arabs rejecting it and attacking the nascent Jewish state, Danon said.

The 1948 armistice lines that marked the end of the Independence War, “were never considered international borders. They were simply lines designating the end of the first battle in the Arab war against Israel,” Danon said.

“It was the Arabs who insisted that the armistice lines would not be permanent borders,” he added.

“Because these lines are not borders, the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, to this day, do not cross any international borders. They are built on strategic land for Israel’s security and, as agreed by the parties in the Oslo Accords, would be classified as final status issues,” he concluded.

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