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by Mark B. Kaplan


End the illusion of illegal occupation.

What if everything you think you know to be true is a lie, and everything you see is just an illusion? Sounds like a promo for The Matrix, but this is the reality of life in the Middle East. The rules that apply to other countries strangely change when applied to Israel. Israel becomes subject to "international law" based upon a legal foundation of facts that don't exist; Israel has leaders, but the leaders would rather suffer the existence of abusive friendships than fight back and protect their children.

The United States is leading the crusade against Israel. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are not only demanding Israel freeze all "settlement construction", including natural growth, but that Jewish rights be curbed in Jerusalem. Obama is also calling Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria an "occupation."

Yes, Israel does have rights under international law, and the Arab propaganda accusation of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine is another falsehood that needs to end. Israel's government has never stood up for Jewish land rights. Can it be that they don't even know what those rights are?

It's frustrating to see Israeli leaders refuse to challenge the false accusations. The fact is that international law does have a lot to say about Israel's rights in Judea, Samaria and beyond. Israel's leaders, President Obama, and the entire world body should look to international law before declaring that Israel should freeze construction, or even worse, surrender portions of the Jewish National Homeland.

Jerusalem attorney Howard Grief spent twenty five years researching Israel's legal rights under international law. Grief summed up Israel's legal rights in a new 700-page book entitled, The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law. According to Grief, Israel and its legal borders were supposed to be set by the historical formula adopted by the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers at the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920. Those historical borders were supposed to encompass the Biblical formula of "from Dan to Beersheba." Unfortunately, the French and the British conspired to cut off large portions of Jewish national land before the ink on the Mandate was dry.

The Principal Allied Powers at San Remo established the Mandate System that created Mesopotamia (Iraq), Syria, Lebanon, and the Jewish National Home in Palestine. The result of the illegal French-British land deals and the British criminal malfeasance in administering the Mandate was the removal of the northern Galilee, Golan and 78% of Palestine, which today is Jordan. However, the final borders of the Mandate include Judea, Samaria, and all of Jerusalem. Israel's presence in those areas cannot be considered an occupation. The legal title belongs exclusively to the Jewish People.

The Mandate for Palestine was for the exclusive benefit of the Jewish People. No other beneficiary is named in the Mandate. Non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine were guaranteed the civil and religious rights due to any minority living in a democracy. These rights do not include the right to autonomy. If they did, then every religious group would have the right to an autonomous state.

The British never intended on leaving Palestine for the Jews. Despite their obligations under the Mandate, British actions prevented Palestine from becoming Jewish.

Two years prior to the Balfour Declaration, in which the British committed to use their best endeavors to establish a Jewish country in Palestine, the British signed the secret Sykes-Picot Treaty with France, which called for conquering and dividing Palestine between the two signatories. That treaty was eventually declared illegal, but until that point, creating the Jewish state would have violated the treaty. When the British were appointed the administrators of the Mandate, they succeeded in forcing the French out of Palestine.

The Jews remained the obstacle for British plans to keep Palestine. The British knew Palestine could not be turned over to the Jews until the Jews became the majority in Palestine. The British, rather than fulfill their obligation to assist Jewish immigration, instituted the White Papers that severely limited Jewish immigration and where Jews could settle. When the British finally proposed to end the Mandate, they recommended a partition in which the Jews and Arabs would each receive portions of the land, and the British would keep Jerusalem (the grand prize) and the Negev (where the British expected to find oil). The UN rejected the British plan.

The British purposely change the demographics in Palestine to prevent the Jews from becoming the majority. They also turned a blind eye to illegal Arab immigration. Joan Peters, in her book From Time Immemorial, cites the lack of British documentation regarding illegal Arab immigration into Mandate Palestine. Peters quotes a 1934 article in which the governor of the Hauran region complained of the Arab flight to Palestine, saying, "In the past few months from 30,000 to 36,000 Hauranese (Syrians) had entered Palestine...." The official British records say the number of non-Jewish immigrants for the entire year of 1934 was 1,784. This tells us that an overwhelming number of Arabs identifying themselves as "Palestinians" from "time immemorial" illegally immigrated to Palestine during the Mandate.

Furthermore, the Mandate (Article 5) stipulated that "no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power." This means that under international law, no one can force the Jewish State to cede any land that is legally recognized as belonging to the Jewish homeland. This renders the 1947 UN Partition Plan an illegal resolution.

The US may not care about International law unless it's in its own interest, but every American high school graduate knows that the US Government must follow Constitutional law, right?

Apparently not.

Demands That Israel Halt Settlement Construction Violate The 1924 Treaty.

In 1924, the US signed a treaty with the British in which the Mandate was adopted as part of the treaty. Article VI of the US Constitution calls a treaty the "Supreme Law of the land." The rights conveyed through the treaty still stand, including the prohibition to cede Jewish land, as well as the right of settlement.

Obama's demand that Israel halt settlement construction violates the 1924 treaty. President Obama has no right, under US law, to call Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria an "occupation." Additionally, the establishment of an Arab state within the legal boundaries of Israel is a violation of Jewish rights under both international and US law. Therefore, the "Roadmap to Peace" (which expired in 2005) also violates the United States Constitution.

The Justice Now! organization has begun work to take legal action to compel the Obama administration to stop violating the 1924 treaty. Justice Now! Director Dr. Michael Snidecor compares Obama's demands to a situation in which the British would say they are no longer honoring the 1783 Paris Treaty that granted the thirteen colonies independence, and instead are giving the land to a Native American nation. Justice Now! is also enlisting congressional support to demand Obama obey his own country's laws, as well as international law regarding Israel's rightful borders.

Bringing the Jewish People's rights before the legal system, where propaganda will lose to factual evidence, will end the illusion of illegal occupation and firmly establish the Jewish Nation's legal rights to all of Israel. Once the propaganda is proven to be a lie, then perhaps, just like in The Matrix, the Jewish People will also be able to stop the bullets of anti-Zionism in mid-air. Then, legal and just solutions can be found to end nearly a century of war and bloodshed.


EDITOR'S NOTE: To follow up on references to the applicable International Law whereby Mandated Palestine west of the Jordan River -- i.e., the Golan, Gaza, Samaria and Judea (the West Bank) as well as Israel -- are held in an irrevocable trust for the Jewish People, google the google box (just under the top banner on the home page) for "Howard Grief" and "Yoram Shifftan". With reference to Comment #14 in the Readers' Comments below, Grief's letters can be read here. Google "grief shamgar" for other articles clarifying the legal issues. The profound legal insights of Julius Stone are referenced in many Think-Israel articles. What it boils down to is this: any agreements such as the Oslo Agreement, which gives up the land that is held in trust for the Jewish people, is itself illegal.

7. annex the land

to #3 Dave - yes, Israel should have annexed the land in 1967. yes, Israel does have a solid legal claim to Judea & Samaria, more valid than the claim of any others. those who claim that Judea & Samaria are "occupied" are simply motivated by their hatred towards Jews, not by any regard for law or justice.

the arabs have 22 countries comprising 99% of the mideast, where Jews and other minorities have been forced out or deprived of civil rights - even those who lived in those places before islam.

Jews have only one country, 1% of the mideast, which also happens to be our ancestral homeland.

the arabs living in Israel before 1967 are 20th century immigrants who came from other places after the Jews revived the land in the 19th century. at most we should give them civil rights, but not voting rights. even so they would have more rights than even arabs do in arab countries.

Leah, Maaleh Adumim (28/08/09)

9. Dear Mark

You need to reach the widest possible audience and this subject that took Attorney Howard Grief twenty years to research, has to be made accessible to the general public in bites small enough to digest.

In the age of Twitter we need short power point presentations that can go viral.

There are a lot of Jews and non-Jews who, when faced with these legal facts, would definitely defend Israel's rights.

For decades now there has been a relentless Goebels-style campaign to delegitimize Israel. Lies are told everyday and disseminated by the media as facts, while facts favoring Israel are obscured, denied or distorted.

And THE SADEST PART OF ALL, Israeli leaders (with just a few honorable exceptions) have been either complicit with the plan to shrink Israel, or become fatalistic and given up to inertia, or just gone along with the crowd for selfish reasons.


Michelle, Vancouver (28/08/09)

13. Writer's reply re:American Indians

CDG,Great analogy. Limited space, but Some similarities and differences: Like the Indians, Jews are victims of broken promises.The Jewish Nation was promised the historic borders, which reached way up into modern Syria and Lebanon (see the official map that was supposed to be used at , and Transjordan, which the British illegally ripped from the Jewish Home and gave to a foreign Arab group. Similarly, it is too late to get those territories back, but there should be compensation. Unlike the Native American nations, it is not too late to stop the US from forcing us into reservations in Judea and Samaria.

Mark Kaplan, (30/08/09)
14. Re: Dave Rosen's "annex land" comment

According to 2 Israeli laws from 1948, any land that is Jewish historical land that comes under IDF control must fall under Israeli law. The military adv. gen. in 1967, Meir Shamgar convinced the Gvt. to bypass these laws (or he did not inform the govt. they existed). The Govt. placed YESHA under military law instead. The existing Israeli law, which was never replaced, REQUIRES Israeli law by implemented. as opposed to the Shamgar law which leave the option for... Unfortunately, the military rule is greatly responsible for the perception that YESHA is occupied territory. In a series of letters, when confronted with this by Howard Grief, Shamgar claimed Howard was missing information. However, Shamgar would not or could not provide any further info to Howard, despite his requests to enlighten him.

Mark Kaplan, (30/08/09)
22. #19 - wrong again, Dave

the "A" word you are thinking of, denied civil rights to a certain group of people based on racial characteristics. in fact there are Jews of all races in Israel. and in fact, the arabs under Israeli rule (including those in Judea & Samaria) have more rights than most arabs have in arab countries.

"civil rights but not voting rights" describes the situation of permanent residents in the US ("green card"). in fact, many US residents who have "green cards" never even bother to request citizenship (which would only add voting rights to what they already have). and many immigrants who do not have "green cards" would be overjoyed to get one.

the arabs are 20th century immigrants who came *after* the Jews made the land livable. they are squatters and intruders.

the Jews *returned* to our homeland from which many (not all) of us were exiled many years ago. we are the natives.

Leah, Maaleh Adumim (31/08/09)
25. Start with getting rid of arab dominance INSIDE Israel

Jews can not safely go into cities inside of Israel - this is already illegal and unheard of in any other Western country! For instance, a scenerio might be that I am afraid, as a Jew to enter into the city of Decatur Ga, a mere 7 miles from my home, because it is arab occupied and they will beat,rape,maime or murder me. Si effectively, I would have no freedom to go whereever I wanted inside my own state, as a citizen of the USA. This is what Jews face insidetheir own country in Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli arabs can move freely in ANY city inside of Israel w/out fear. Solution, move all arabs from Israel and relocate them in Egypt, Syria, Lebbanon, iraq, Iran, etc, they don't belong in Israel. They are intolerant thugs, racists,murderers,and criminals whose existance is about murdering Jews. there will only be peace in the ME when the arabs love their own children more then they hate Jews

laura, atlanta (01/09/09)
26. No Dave...

First of all the term "palestinian" is another 20th century myth coined by anti-semites and self-hating jews. Second, the arabs living in the state of Israel, by and large, are the fifth column working for the destruction of the country and driving the jews into the sea. They could stay in the land with all their rights intact, but they chose the path of hatred and genocide instead. Their favorite slogan being: "Yitbach al yahud" (slaughter the jew). So you're comparing apples and oranges here. Third, every jew, wherever he or she lives has an inalienable right to make aliyah and settle anywhere he wants in that place. It's our duty; otherwise, there will be more holocausts and pogroms which i'm sure Dave will endorse. And finally, sudeten germans became "immigrants" virtually overnight after WWII when they became Hitler's fifth column and were shipped en-masse back to Germany.

Alex, New York (01/09/09)
27. Writer's reply to #24 Dave Rosen/#22 Leah

The assertion that these Arab families have been here for centuries is inaccurate. Yes, there are Arab families who have been here for centuries, but the total population of Palestine over the centuries remained less than 290,000 people until the late 19th century. Most Arabs calling themselves Palestinian arrived after the Zionists began building Palestine, and as documented they arrived illegally. The only reason Jews were granted the Mandate was the "historical connection of the Jewish people" with the land. As to Leah's description of "civil rights," According to official British letters from the 20s, it meant the right to vote.

Mark Kaplan, (01/09/09)


Mark Kaplan is a former producer, news writer, and anchor for Arutz Sheva/INN-TV. Kaplan was recently appointed the media relations director for the Office for Israeli Constitutional Law/Justice Now. (www. JusticeNow4Israel. com). This article appeared August 28, 2009 in Arutz-Sheva (
( Thanks are due Paul Rotenberg for sending this to Think-Israel.


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