Illegal Israeli Settlements?

Someone recently pinged me on UN Resolution 2334 which was passed on Friday, December 23, 2016, essentially making all Jewish settlements in old Judea and Samaria (aka The West Bank) illegal.
This person said, “It gives all this land to the Palestinians. Land, by the way, that never belonged to the Palestinians in the past. Israel took that land from Jordan in the 1967 war and now has a peace treaty with them. The resolution also gives the Palestinians control of all of east Jerusalem; something Israel will never accept. It’s now illegal, according to the UN, for Jews to go to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.”
 I have been following politics closely in the wake of the recent political upset of the US Democratic Party and I also have a keen interest in the Middle East. It is my opinion that the US has maintained a disastrous foreign policy in that region since as far back as ’79 with the ouster of the Shah of Iran.
 So, long story short, I thought I should properly investigate the history of Palestine and try to understand the whole Israeli settlement issue by starting from the very beginning.
Near as I can figure, the territorial term ‘Palestine’ was created by the Romans circa 135 AD to punitively erase the memory of the nation of Israel following a regional revolt by the Jews in the same year.
If I remember my history:
  • David was the 2nd king of Israel reigning circa 1000 BC. The nation of Israel comprised all of the land west to east from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River and north to south from Lebanon to Egypt.
  •  Israel ceased being a nation when they fell to the Babylonians somewhere about 600 BC.
  • When Jesus was born, the area around Jerusalem was a province of Rome.
  • In 636 AD, Jerusalem fell to Islam and it and all of the land surrounding it was then eventually absorbed into the Ottoman Empire (which fell at the end of WWI).
  • From 1920 – 1948 the British ruled the region of Palestine (which was the land west of the Jordan River) under a Mandate from The League of Nations .

Okay. So when the British realized that their mandate to rule Palestine wasn’t working out very well for them, they convened a group headed by Lord Peel in 1936 to propose partitioning the province of Palestine. Their plan was to: a. Relieve themselves of the responsibility of governing the ungovernable. b. Satisfy the promises made in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to the Jews concerning their homeland nation. And c) Thereby proposing to cut Palestine into 2 primary regions, thus curbing the friction between the Muslims and Jews.

[according to Wiki] “In 1937, the Peel Commission proposed a partition between a small Jewish state, whose Arab population would have to be transferred, and an Arab state to be attached to Jordan. The proposal was rejected outright by the Arabs*.”

Here is a copy of the map so that you can get a better idea of what it was the Muslims rejected.

peel-partition-plan
This entire subject would have ceased to have been an issue way back in 1937 if local Muslims would have just accepted the deal. And it is ironic that they would have ended up with a hell of a lot more land  than just the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. History goes to show that some people are too far short on strategy and way too long on anger and intolerance to do anything but be a burden in this exsistence.

So anyway, it has become apparent to me that logic dictates there can’t be any such thing as Israeli settlements built on Palestinian lands as Palestine was never a nation, nor country, nor did it have citizens. It was a best a rough geographical point of presence, first articulated by the Romans. I think that it could be safely argued that the area known as Palestine was all but erased when the British abandoned their Mandate.

So the first point I am trying to make is if there is no present day Palestine- and hasn’t been since 1948 – how can there be a Palestinian people?

And how can the Israelis occupy the Palestinian land of these same Palestinian people?

Okay. I have a problem swallowing the very fundamentals of the nomenclature of this problem so let’s move on. The reality is the idea of Palestine has been keep alive only for political purposes.

The perpetuation of Palestine has served the local Muslim interests by keeping the refugees in play to both act as a perpetual thorn in the side of the Israelis and to also act as a placeholder; the whole right to return argument. It was the Arab League who first denied the Muslim refugees immigration status following both the 1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine as well as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War that followed. This was exacerbated by the UN who were ineffective in doing nothing more for the displaced then settling them into refugee camps which many still shamefully exist, housing and feeding some 1.4 million Muslims to this day.

Sadly this isn’t the end of the story. So, in the third Arab-Israeli War (also called the Six-Day War, or the 1967 Arab-Israeli War), Israel not just prevailed over their Muslim invaders but also expanded their territory significantly. They captured the Golan Heights from Syria, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan.

So coming full circle – the land presently in contention – in this latest UN resolution is the West Bank and East Jerusalem (which ironically the local Muslims had already claimed as their capitol). Once again, the argument gets very political. Between 1998 to 2012, the term Palestinian territories, Occupied was used to refer to territories controlled (not owned) by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But the UN somewhere along the way, through numerous resolutions and condemnations refers to Israel as the Occupier of all four of those territories acquired in the ’67 war.

But – and I’ll leave it at this – the post-history revisionism suggests that Israel all this time has been oppressing and occupying the rightful land (in this case the West Bank) of the Palestinian people when the West Bank was clearly won in battle from Jordan. And the term ‘Palestinian people’ gives further legitimacy where none is due.

*They weren’t Arabs (Arabs are only those people that are from the Arabian peninsula). The Arabs, under Mohammad in the 7th century, did rape and plunder across all of the Middle East (and parts of Africa) so it is conceivable that some of Muslims living in Palestine, who were refugees from Jordan and Syria, had Arab blood. But nationally speaking, they were not Arabs.

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