Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat expressed support for the Israeli government’s plan to build 3,000 additional housing units in the E-1 section of Jerusalem. According to Barkat, “We need to connect the E1 area to Jerusalem without any reservations at all, even with the world pressuring us not to do so. […] I don’t know of any city in the world whose regulator is the U.S. president. When the world talks about a freeze in Jerusalem, […] does someone mean that when an entrepreneur approaches me, I should, heaven forbid, ask him what religion he subscribes to so he can receive a permit to build in Jerusalem? That would be horrendous and it negates even U.S. law.”

Nevertheless, despite the fact that it is within Israel’s right to build within East Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has referred to the increased Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, which was done as a response to the Palestinians unilateral UN bid in violation of the Oslo Agreements, as a “set back” for the “cause of a negotiated peace.” She doesn’t fully comprehend that the Palestinians had already seriously hindered the chances for peace through their media incitement that encourages terrorism, their refusal to negotiate with Israel without preconditions, their adamant repudiation of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, etc. Thus, no Israeli construction plans can “set back” the “cause of a negotiated peace” more than the Palestinians have already done themselves.

But even worse, countries such as Britain, France, Sweden, Denmark and Spain have summoned the Israeli Ambassadors in their capitals to protest Israel’s construction plans, yet didn’t seem especially bothered by the Palestinians violating the Oslo Agreements. In fact, while Britain abstained from the UN vote, France, Sweden, Denmark and Spain all voted in favor of the Palestinians violating the Oslo Agreements by becoming a non-member state at the UN General Assembly in the absence of a negotiated settlement.

The world has chosen to react this way despite the fact that Israeli settlements are legal under international law. According to Article 6 of the British Mandate for Palestine, which was approved by the League of Nations in August 1922, “The administration of Palestine […] shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, […] close settlement by Jews on the land.” East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria were both part of the British Mandate for Palestine, which was established to begin with to facilitate the establishment of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine.

The British Mandate for Palestine was later on adopted by the United Nations in 1945,when the principle of recognizing the validity of the existing rights of states acquired under various mandates, including of course the right of Jews to settle in Israel, was confirmed in Article 80 of the UN Charter, “Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements…nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”

While the British Mandate for Palestine recognized Arab civil and religious rights in Israel, it did not recognize their national rights to any part of the Land of Israel. The UN Partition Plan, which suggested the establishment of two states in Israel, never had any legal force because the Arab side rejected it and UN General Assembly resolutions are generally non-binding. Still, despite the fact that the Palestinians are not legally entitled to a state, Israel has still been constantly willing to negotiate a Palestinian state into existence if only the Palestinians would be willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, agree to make peace with Israel, and keep their legal commitments. So far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to do this.

The Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas prefers to pervert international law to create a state without having to negotiate any thing with Israel. Palestine advocates often assert that Article 49 paragraph 6 of the Geneva Conventions are violated by Israel transferring her citizens into Judea and Samaria as well as East Jerusalem. Yet, according to international law expert Professor Julius Stone, “Because of the ex iniuria principle,” no state has a legal title to Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem, since the Jordanian occupation was never recognized internationally and there has never been an independent state in these areas since ancient times. Thus, “Article 49 seems thus simply not applicable. The Fourth Geneva Convention applies only, according to Article 2, to occupation of territory belonging to another High Contracting Party.” Yet, some gullible people have bought into the Palestinian propaganda.

Reported by Rachel Avraham for United With Israel

SIGN the Jerusalem Declaration to show your support for a United Jerusalem!