Itamar settlement
Photo: George Ginsburg

The right to live

Op-ed: Beyond biblical, legal rights, Jews have natural right to peacefully live in West Bank

Nearly a decade ago, a Palestinian terrorist broke into the home of the Shabo family in Itamar, Israel. He murdered Rachel Shabo and three of her children: Neria (16), Zvi (13), and Avishai (5). Less than two weeks ago, Udi Fogel (36), Ruth Fogel (35), and their children Yoav (11), Elad (4), and three-month-old Hadas of the same Itamar were murdered by another Palestinian terrorist.


The Shabo and Fogel families had a right to live, and they had a right to live in Itamar. Their right to live in Itamar was not limited to a God-given directive and is beyond the legitimacy gained from fighting off multiple Arab armies in 1948, 1967 and 1973.


This right goes beyond the legal title derived from the binding 1917 Balfour Declaration that called for establishing “a national home for the Jewish people” in the said area, the 1920 San Remo Resolution where Britain, France, Italy and Japan agreed to create a Jewish national home in the Land of Israel, the Treaty of Sèvres between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies that agreed to the same, the Faisal - Weitzman Agreement that supported the Zionist claim on both sides of the Jordan River including Judea and Samaria, the Lodge-Fish Resolution of 1922 that made the Balfour Declaration part of US law, the 1924 Anglo-American Convention on Palestine, which ratified the relevant passages of the Balfour Declaration, and UN resolutions 242 and 338 that further confirm Israeli rights to live on at least part of Judea and Samaria.


Legal pundits can find a definitive 1,300-page dissertation on this subject written by Jacques Gauthier, a highly respected French Canadian lawyer who spent the last 20 years researching the subject, and concluded: "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law."


Having said that, more far reaching than biblical and legal rights, the Shabo and Fogel families had a natural right to live in Itamar as peaceful human beings.


Peaceful Palestinians currently living in Judea and Samaria also have a right to do so. However, the Palestinian monsters who murdered three-month-old Hadas, and those who incited and now harbor them - do not.


Jews limited, Arabs are not

It is still unclear how many Palestinians make up the peaceful camp and how many make up the other one. Public opinion polls on the issue can be deceptive, but the sights of candy being given out in Gaza to celebrate the sick slayings of Jewish children in their sleep are a grim indication. That is the same kind of candy distribution carried out in Gaza and Ramallah after 9/11.


The subsequent statements made by mild mannered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and by perceived superstar Prime Minister Salam Fayyad after the attacks were also very disappointing. These “moderate” Palestinian leaders have unfortunately adopted the tactics of their predecessor; arch terrorist Yasser Arafat, by half heartedly condemning Palestinian terror in English but tacitly condoning it in Arabic.


These cheap tactics have worked, as world leaders continue to make demands from Israel while offering the Palestinians kind gestures and funds. US President Barack Obama still sees the sense of stopping Jews from building their homes in Judea in Samaria but sees no logic in similar limitations on Palestinians.


As Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal wrote last week, “For 60 years no nation has been held to such stringent moral account, or such ceaseless international hectoring, as Israel. And no people have been held to so slight an account as the Palestinians.” Stephens was slightly off the mark. It’s been over 62 years now.


Indeed, restoring reciprocity and reaffirming the Jewish people’s right to live in their homeland is the premise to just peace.



פרסום ראשון: 03.25.11, 01:23
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