The Myth of Israeli Occupation

Writing in the @WSJ, @EVKontorovich says, “The claim that Israeli settlements are illegal is based on a 4-page 1978 memo, written by legal adviser Herbert Hansell, that ‘was flimsy in 1978 and is ridiculous in 2019.’ He offers 3 arguments:

1. Under international law, occupation occurs when a country takes over the sovereign territory of another country. But Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) was never part of Jordan…nor was it ever the site of an Arab Palestinian state.

2. A country cannot occupy territory to which it has sovereign title, and Israel has the strongest claim to the land. Israel was preceded by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, whose borders included Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

3. Herbert Hansell wrote the state of occupation would end if Israel entered into a peace treaty with Jordan. In 1994 Jerusalem and Amman signed a full and unconditional peace treaty, but the State Department neglected to update the memo.

A fourth point can be made that under International Treaty Law, Jordan acquiesced to Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) by signing the Peace Treaty with Israel which references the boundaries of the Mandate for Palestine….

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