The Hansell Paper & Secretary Pompeo’s Settlement Statement

Yehuda Oppenheimer Don’t you think it would have been appropriate for the US State Dept. to publicize exactly “why” they believe it is not “per se a violation of international law” for Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria…? Their repudiation of the Hansell paper should clarify why Jewish settlement activity does not violate the Fourth Geneva Convention – in this case, there is no forcible deportation or transfer of Jews into this “disputed territory”.

That is, Jews voluntarily settle in Judea and Samaria; and,

the State of Israel does not occupy any other sovereign’s territory and therefore the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply as Hansell asserted.

According to one paper’s take on Hansell’s position, the so called “occupation” ended when Israel and Jordan signed their peace treaty.

I think under International Law (the laws of armed conflict) once Jordan signed the peace treaty with Israel they acquiesced to Treaty Law (e.g. the Treaty of Versailles) giving Israel recognition in law that the territory is Israeli …!

Yad L’Achim sues Facebook over missionary targeting of minors

Missionary watchdog group takes social media giant Facebook to court in class-action lawsuit over ads by missionaries targeting children.

Arutz Sheva Staff, 22/11/19 10:53





An Israeli anti-assimilation and missionary watchdog group is taking on Facebook in a class-action suit aimed at forcing the social media giant to stop accepting advertisements from missionaries that target minors.

For some time now, Yad L’Achim has been receiving complaints from concerned parents about missionary advertisements on Facebook. These ads, aimed at those aged 13 and above, are in violation of Claude 368a of the Israeli penal code that forbids efforts to convince minors to convert out of their religion, on punishment of prison.

Yad L’Achim initially asked Facebook to pull the advertisements, but its appeal fell on deaf ears. While other companies, like YouTube, understood the problematic nature of the ads and agreed to cease cooperation with the missionaries, Facebook was apparently more concerned about its profits than about the spiritual wellbeing of minors.

The law suit, filed with the help of attorney Guy Ofir, cites the case of one of the mothers who turned to Yad L’Achim: “She never tried to access the page of Yeshua, especially considering that she leads a religious lifestyle, and wondered why the ad kept popping up on her screen. The response she received from Facebook left nothing to the imagination: ‘This ad is presented to you because Yeshua wants to reach people 13 and above who live in Israel. This information is based on your Facebook profile and the sites you visited on the internet…

“Here it is, black on white, that Facebook enables advertisers to focus their message and content in order to try and convert minors out of their religion, behavior that transgresses many aspects of the law.”

The suit also cites instance of young people being contacted by missionaries via the internet, and as a result converting out of their religion.

“The plaintiff [Yad L’Achim] has knowledge of attempts by these organizations to influence minors to convert. It has direct experience with a minor, aged 15, from a religious family, who encountered ads on Facebook on behalf of an organization called iGOD. The minor began corresponding with representatives of the organization, at first via Facebook and afterwards via other means. The relationship between the minor and representatives of the organization continued many months during which time the minor began to believe in Yeshua. This case was brought to the knowledge of plaintiff No. 2, after the parents of the minor turned to her in the hope that she would be able to help return their son to Judaism, by bringing him to religious figures who could help.”

Muslim Brotherhood and IRGC’s dirty dealings revealed in intel leak

Jpost – Middle East

Documents leaked from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence show that the IRGC was to be the muscle, while the Brotherhood provided the cover.

Muslim Brotherhood demonstration, Amman, August 8, 2014.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Muslim Brotherhood demonstration, Amman, August 8, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Leaked Iranian intelligence documents revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran sought to work together. Like an iron fist in a velvet glove, the IRGC would be the muscle and the Brotherhood could give it cover in the 85 countries it works in, members of the organizations discussed. They convened in Turkey in 2014 to discuss how they might work together and who to fight against. First target: Saudi Arabia. Other common enemies: Israel and the United States.

The revelations come from some of the 700 documents that were leaked from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security to The Intercept and The New York Times, which have been running stories about the documents. The leak reveals that the Brotherhood – a Sunni Islamic religious organization rooted in Egypt with branches in other countries that has inspired numerous far-right Islamist groups, including Hamas – wanted to work with Iran’s religious far-right leadership.

The embrace by these two groups in 2014 appears to go against the narrative that Sunni and Shi’ite religious extremists don’t get along. But the region is not so simple, and in fact, they saw areas of cooperation. First of all, the Brotherhood came to power in Egypt in 2012 but had been swept from power in 2013 by Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. While its members were arrested, others reached out to Iran. This was in the spring of 2014. Could a meeting be arranged?

Iran’s IRGC was so eager that it said it would send Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the IRGC Quds Force commander. The Brotherhood wanted to meet in Turkey where its allies among the AKP ruling party were in power. Hamas was being well received in Turkey as well, and Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been a key supporter of the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. Turkey was angered by Sisi pushing Morsi from power. Saudi Arabia had supported Sisi.

Herein lies the reality of the region in that year. Turkey didn’t mind the meeting taking place, but Soleimani was too high profile. Instead, an IRGC member named “Abu Hussain” was sent. A Turkish hotel was selected. The Brothers, The Intercept claims, sent “Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, Mahmoud al-Abiary and Youssef Moustafa Nada.” But Nada told The Intercept he never attended the meeting.

What’s important is that while the world was being told that Sunnis and Shi’ites were fighting each other in places like Syria, Lebanon or Iraq, in fact the religious far-right of these groups was willing to work together. How would that happen?

They could work against the “common enemy” of Saudi Arabia. The Brotherhood had once made major inroads in Saudi Arabia. But in recent years it has been challenged. The United Arab Emirates began to crack down on it in 2011 and Saudi Arabia followed, designating it a “terrorist organization” in 2014. The US designated Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra, offshoots of the Brotherhood, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as terrorist organizations in 2018.

In 2014 the Brotherhood and IRGC said they might be able to cooperate in Yemen. This is a major revelation because Saudi Arabia didn’t intervene in Yemen to stop the Houthi rebels until 2015. The crackdown on the Brotherhood is largely seen as part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s approach, as well as the war in Yemen. But this shows that actually the Brotherhood and IRGC were already plotting before MBS reacted.

“The Brotherhood delegation said the two sides could join forces against the Saudis. The best place to do that was in Yemen,” they said, according to The Intercept report. They would escalate with the Houthis against the Saudi-backed government. The Brothers would work with the tribes and the IRGC with the Houthis.

They could also work together in Iraq. The unspecified enemy there would be the US. The IRGC was already working against the US in Iraq. The Brotherhood could help reduce tensions with the Sunni community.

It isn’t known what came out of the meeting, but there were hints of more discussions in Turkey or Beirut. The details of the meeting show that these two important organizations appeared willing to discuss different shared interests. This is part of a wider web whereby the IRGC in Iran is willing to work with groups like Hamas or the Taliban when it serves their interests, even though they are ostensibly against other more extremist Sunni jihadist groups.

They have shared interests and enemies, and both have a worldview rooted in religious theocracy. While the Brotherhood often likes to use the ballot box and political Islam to gain power, working both sides of the fence by appearing moderate but also theocratic, the IRGC also uses different methods to gain influence. The IRGC works with groups like Hezbollah and the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq. In each case, it creates a mini-IRGC, with a political party and armed group. It then inserts itself into democratic systems to slowly take over part of the state.

Both groups understand the need for using both democratic means and muscle. Democracy is like a train: you ride it until you reach your station and then you get off. Your destination is power. Both the IRGC and the Brotherhood want power. And they view countries like Saudi Arabia and its allies, the US and its allies, or Israel as often being in the way of that power.

Watch Yochanan Ezra ben Avraham recite Yigdal

Watch Yochanan Ezra ben Avraham recite

Yigdal – Based on Maimonides Thirteen Essentials of Faith:

Yigdal (Hebrew: יִגְדָּל; yighdāl, or יִגְדַּל‎;yighdal; means “Magnify [O Living God]”) is a Jewish hymn which in various rituals shares with Adon ‘Olam the place of honor at the opening of the morning and the close of the evening service. It is based on the 13 Articles of Faith (sometimes referred to as “the 13 Creeds”) formulated by Moses ben Maimon. This was not the only metrical presentment of the Creeds, but it has outlived all others, whether in Hebrew or in the vernacular. A translation can be found in any bilingual siddur.

With the Ashkenazim only thirteen lines are sung, one for each creed; the last, dealing with the resurrection of the dead, is repeated to complete the antiphony when the hymn is responsorially sung by the Chazzan and congregation. The Sephardim, who sing the hymn in congregational unison throughout, use the following line as the 14th: “These are the 13 bases of the Rule of Moses and the tenets of his Law”.

English translation

  1. Exalted be the Living God and praised, He exists – unbounded by time is His existence;
  2. He is One – and there is no unity like His Oneness – Inscrutable and infinite is His Oneness;
  3. He has no semblance of a body nor is He corporeal – nor has His holiness any comparison;
  4. He preceded every being that was created – the First, and nothing precedes His precedence;
  5. Behold! He is Master of the universe – Every creature demonstrates His greatness and His sovereignty;
  6. He granted His flow of prophecy – to His treasured, splendid people;
  7. In Israel, none like Moses arose again – a prophet who perceived His vision clearly;
  8. God gave His people a Torah of truth – by means of His prophet, the most trusted of His household;
  9. God will never amend nor exchange His law – for any other one, for all eternity;
  10. He scrutinizes and knows our hiddenmost secrets – He perceives a matter’s outcome at its inception;
  11. He recompenses man with kindness according to his deed – He places evil on the wicked according to his wickedness;
  12. By the End of Days He will send our Messiah – to redeem those longing for His final salvation;
  13. God will revive the dead in His abundant kindness – Blessed forever is His praised Name.
  14. These are the thirteen fundamentals, they are the foundation of the religion of God and His faithful. The Torah of Moses and his prophecy is true, blessed for eternity be His Name. [used in Sephardi tradition]

The Cognitive War Against Israel

The only question on settlement legality is: Why did it take so long?

When it came to the issue of the settlements, the discussion was not, to quote Professor Eugene Rostow, “about legal rights but about the political will to override legal rights.”

Arutz Sheva – Israel National News
Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, 20/11/19 08:05 | updated: 12:54


In reversing the Obama administration’s shameful acceding to the UN Security Council’s 2016 resolution that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria were illegal under international law,  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finally stated what was obvious to many legal scholars and others who have assessed the facts on the ground; namely, as Pompeo put it, “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.” Additionally, as he noted, while the decision “does not prejudice or decide legal conclusions regarding situations in any other parts of the world,” the Secretary emphasized that the affirmation of the settlements’ legality “is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.”

Those “unique facts, history, and circumstances,” of course, have existed for some time now, but were ignored or purposely contorted to promote a defective diplomacy in which, it was thought, the realization of Palestinian Arab statehood was being compromised by the construction of Jewish housing in the ‘West Bank’.

The settlement debate had also been hijacked by the Arab world and its Western apologists who, willingly blind to history, international law, and fact, continued to assign the blame for the absence of peace on the perceived offenses of occupation and Israeli truculence. Thus, for instance, then-Secretary Hillary Clinton and her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, had both referred to the nuisance Israel caused by letting Jews live in the ‘West Bank’, against the wishes of the Palestinian Arabs who view that territory as once and forever theirs, as “unhelpful” in seeking a viable solution to Palestinian Arab statehood.

What was truly “unhelpful,” however, were the repeated references to the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza, as well as East Jerusalem, as “Arab” land, the putative Palestinian state in waiting, encumbered only by Israeli oppression, the dreaded occupation, and those pesky settlers. This widely held notion that European Jews, with no connection to historic Palestine, colonized Arab land and displaced the indigenous Palestinian Arab population, of course, is a key part of what Professor Richard Landes of Boston University defined as the “cognitive war” against Israel; it serves the perverse purpose of validating Arab territorial rights to the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza, and, more importantly, casts Israelis as squatters who have unlawfully expropriated land that is not—and never was—theirs.

Secretary Pompeo’s confirmation of the legality of the settlements serves to reverse the faulty historical assumptions and misreading of law that has animated the settlement debate, principally the fact that not only all of the land that is current-day Israel, but also Gaza and the ‘West Bank’, is part of the land granted to the Jews as part of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, which recognized the right of the Jewish people to “close settlement” in a portion of those territories gained after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

According to Eugene V. Rostow, the late legal scholar and one of the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242 written after the 1967 war to outline peace negotiations, “the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors,” something which Israel’s intransigent Arab neighbors have never seemed prepared to do.

Moreover, Rostow contended, “The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the Mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem before the State of Israel was created,” and “the Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the existing Palestinian population to live there.”

The Six Day War of 1967, in which Israel recaptured Gaza and the ‘West Bank’, including Jerusalem, resulted in Israel being cast in another perfidious role—in addition to colonial usurper of Arab land, the Jewish state became a “brutal” “occupier” of Arab Palestine, lands to which the Jews presumably had no right and now occupied, in the opinion of many in the international community, illegally.

But when did the ‘West Bank’, Gaza, and East Jerusalem become Palestinian land? The answer is: never. In fact, when Israel acquired the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza and other territory in 1967 after being attacked by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, the Jewish state gained legally recognized title to those areas.

In Israel’s 1948 war of independence, Egypt, it will be recalled, illegally annexed Gaza at the same time Jordan illegally annexed the ‘West Bank’—actions that were not recognized by most of the international community as legitimate in establishing their respective sovereignties.

Israel’s recapture of those territories in 1967, noted Professor Stephen Schwebel, State Department legal advisor and later the President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, made the Jewish state what is referred to as the High Contracting Party of those territories, both because they were acquired in a defensive, not aggressive, war, and because they were part of the original Mandate and not previously under the sovereignty of any other High Contracting Party. “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully,” Schwebel wrote, referring to Jordan and Egypt, “the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.”’

It is also morally repellent, for those arguing on the Palestinian Arab side, that the ‘West Bank’, like Gaza, eventually be made judenrein, totally absent of Jews, that, as Mahmoud Abbas has loudly announced on more than one occasion, the future Palestinian state would not have one Jew living within its borders.

Putting aside the fact that it is Israel that is continually derided for being racist and exclusionary (despite having one million Arab citizens), only in a world turned upside down would diplomats uphold a principle that Jews—and only Jews—not be allowed to live in certain territories, and particularly those areas to which they have irrevocable and inalterable biblical, historic, and legal claims.

In fact, Professor Emeritus Jerold Auerbach of Wellesley College has written that, protests from the State Department and many in the West aside, “Israeli settlement throughout the West Bank is explicitly protected by international agreements dating from the World War I era, subsequently reaffirmed after World War II, and never revoked since . . . The [Mandate for Palestine] recognized ‘the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine’ and ‘the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country’ . . . This was not framed as a gift to the Jewish people; rather, based on recognition of historical rights reaching back into antiquity, it was their entitlement.”

While those seeking Palestinian statehood conveniently overlook the legal rights Jews still enjoy to enable them to occupy all areas of historic Palestine, they have also used another oft-cited, but defective, argument in accusing Israel of violating international law by maintaining settlements in the ‘West Bank’: that since the Six Day War, Israel has conducted a “belligerent occupation.”

But as Professor Julius Stone discussed in his book, Israel and Palestine, the fact that the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza were acquired by Israel in a “sovereignty vacuum,” that is, that there was an absence of High Contracting Party with legal claim to the areas, means that, in this instance, the definition of a belligerent occupant in invalid. “There are solid grounds in international law for denying any sovereign title to Jordan in the West Bank,” Stone wrote, “and therefore any rights as reversioner state under the law of belligerent occupation.”

So, significantly, the absence of any sovereignty on territories acquired in a defensive war—as was the case in the Six Day War of 1967—means the absence of what can legally be called an occupation by Israel of the ‘West Bank’, belligerent or otherwise.

The matter of Israel violating Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is one that has been used regularly, and disingenuously, as part of the cognitive war by those wishing to criminalize the settlement of Jews in the ‘West Bank’ and demonize Israel for behavior in violation of international law. It asserts that in allowing its citizens to move into occupied territories Israel violates Article 49, which stipulates that “The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territory it occupies.”

The use of this particular Geneva Convention seems particularly grotesque in the case of Israel, since it was crafted after World War II specifically to prevent a repetition of the actions of the Nazis in cleansing Germany of its own Jewish citizens and deporting them to Nazi-occupied countries for slave labor or extermination.

Clearly, the intent of the Convention was to prevent belligerents from forcibly moving their citizens to other territories, for malignant purposes— something completely different than the Israel government allowing its citizens to willingly relocate and settle in territories without any current sovereignty, to which Jews have
The settlement debate is part of the decades-old narrative created by the Palestinian Arabs and their Western enablers to write a false historical account that legitimizes Palestinian claims while air-brushing away Jewish history.
longstanding legal claim, and, whether or not the area may become a future Palestinian state, should certainly be a place where a person could live, even if he or she is a Jew.

And does anyone doubt that once the Palestinians, aided and abetted by mendacious Western elites, diplomats, and an anti-Israel international community of supporters, have purged Gaza, the ‘West Bank’, and East Jerusalem of all Jews, that new calls will then arise accusing Jews of “occupying” more “Arab” lands in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Tiberias, or Haifa?

Professor Rostow himself saw through the disingenuous talk about legal rights and resolutions when it came to the issue of the settlements. The discussion was not, in his mind, “about legal rights but about the political will to override legal rights.” In fact, the settlement debate is part of the decades-old narrative created by the Palestinian Arabs and their Western enablers to write a false historical account that legitimizes Palestinian claims while air-brushing away Jewish history.

“Throughout Israel’s occupation,” Rostow observed, “the Arab countries, helped by the United States, have pushed to keep Jews out of the territories, so that at a convenient moment, or in a peace negotiation, the claim that the West Bank is ‘Arab’ territory could be made more plausible.”

With Secretary Pompeo’s bold statement reversing the legal status of the settlements, at least for the time being, that “convenient moment” may be less likely to occur and at least one key element in the cognitive war against Israel seems to have neutralized.

Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.