World Shudders as Israel Declares 988 Acres of the West Bank State Land
Some conventional wisdom about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is easily debunked. One such bit of nonsense is that Palestinians have or will turn on Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank after the losses in the recent fighting with Israel. After suffering over 2,000 casualties, seeing 32 tunnels destroyed, and losing two-thirds of its rocket inventory by firing them with little effect or having them destroyed by Israel, the perception is that Palestinians, deep down, have had enough, and see no benefit from the Hamas strategy of confronting Israel every two years.
Of course, this theory suggests that anything any Palestinian in Gaza believes or desires has anything whatsoever to do with who governs the territory, and in what fashion. If you subscribe to the notion that all politics is local, then Hamas is now stronger than ever. That seems to be the message explaining why Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is now by far the top choice to become the head of a unified PA-Hamas government, securing a 61% to 32% victory over Mahmoud Abbas if elections were held today. Most remarkable is that support for Hamas has soared in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), which escaped the fighting. Palestinians in the West Bank are demonstrating that resistance is easy to support when someone else, somewhere else is fighting and getting hit. This “courageous” support for Hamas from Palestinians in the West Bank mirrors the “courage” shown by Hamas leaders who hid below ground while allowing the locals to be killed as human shields.
Of course there is an easy explanation out there for Hamas' popularity, and the lagging support for Abbas, Fatah, and his Palestinian Authority. That would be the purported “land grab” by Israel in the West Bank, all of 988 acres, which naturally will destroy the chances for peace and reconciliation and the two-state solution. Muslim extremists can massacre people in one country after another in the Middle East and Muslim world, but Israel taking land it already controls to build houses, pending any legal challenges (got that?), is the ultimate threat to the survival of the world.
This “logic” depends on the badly mistaken notion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the central explanation for the behavior of Islamists anywhere. If only Israel would stop building houses, then peace would be achievable between Israel and the Palestinians, and all the myriad Muslim grievances in dozens of countries on every continent would miraculously disappear. Such is the obsession with what Jews do, but more to the point, the intensity of the hatred of Jews and the state they control -- a cause that journalists the world over, many parts of what might be called the “global left,” have signed onto. U.S. President Barack Obama seems to have been immersed in the holy waters of rage at Israel as well, according to spokesmen in his administration, most notably Martin Indyk:
And Mr. Obama -- No Drama Obama, the president who prides himself on his cool, a man whose emotional detachment is said to explain his intellectual strength -- is enraged. With Israel. Which has just been hit by several thousand unguided rockets and 30-odd terror tunnels, a 50-day war, the forced closure of its one major airport, accusations of "genocide" by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, anti-Semitic protests throughout Europe, general condemnation across the world. This is the country that is the object of the president's rage.
Of course, the rage will now be stoked by Israel’s land grab for more settlement building. This may force Obama to play 36 holes of golf a day for a week just to cool off.
Daniel Greenfield, in his customary caustic fashion, describes the perceived calamity of Jewish house-building:
Angry British men in red Keffiyahs hold up signs about the Holocaust in front of Jewish cosmetics stores in London. Marginalized French youth, by way of Algeria and Tunisia, hurl stones at synagogues. John Kerry interrupts a speech on the dangers of Global Warming as an aide notifies him of an even bigger threat to the world. David just made a down payment on a two bedroom in G'vaot ...
Some may think that nuclear weapons are the ultimate weapons, but as we see, time and time again, the ultimate weapon is a hammer and a fistful of nails in a Jewish hand.
Has Israel done anything illegal by its recent action? In fact, the answer is no:
Finally, there is the question of legality which has been a point of disagreement for many years. The question of legality comes from Article 49 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits moving the inhabitants in any occupied territory out of the occupied territory. The final section of the article also prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s population into an occupied territory. The view of Israeli jurists, and important U.S. jurists as well (like Eugene Rostow, the former dean of Yale Law School), is that this section relates to the forcible movement of an occupier’s population into an occupied territory. This language was incorporated after World War II as a reaction to Nazi German policies of forcibly transferring German Jews to Occupied Poland for extermination. It is no wonder that the Israeli Supreme Court never ruled that settlements are illegal, despite the announcements of a number of foreign ministries around the world.