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- Written by Eman Jueid
- Category: In Other News
This article, written by Marc Tracy, appeared on Tablet Magazine on July 09,2012
As Prime Minister Netanyahu deals with demands for a national service law, here’s another thing coming up on his right flank: the new report declaring that Israel isn’t occupying the West Bank, legally speaking, but rather, y’know, settling the land Arthur Balfour sorta, basically promised them in 1917. It’s a pretty radical document, which essentially argues that the period between 1948 and 1967 involved no settlements in Judea and Samaria because of “war” (actually it’s because those lands, as well as East Jerusalem, were parts of Jordan, another sovereign state) and suggests re-starting the Ottoman-era system whereby land is registered to private owners, which Israel suspended after the Six Day War out of respect to Palestinian owners of the land.
So Bibi faces another problem. His attorney general won’t approve the report, and Bibi can’t endorse it fully, lest he discredit himself internationally—by the way, this is another reason why it’s regrettable that so many countries around the world seek to delegitimize Israel’s mere existence: it gives Israeli leaders little incentive to abide by international norms—and, more important, provoking the Third Intifada. But if he rejects it entirely, he faces the prospect of a Likud backbench revolt. No wonder, as Haaretz‘ Barak Ravid scoops, Netanyahu kept the report in a drawer for more than two weeks. He wants it to go away, or at least not to be associated with his name. The problem is, he appointed the committee in the first place.
READ MORE AT Tablet Magazine
*Photo Credit: Oxfam International
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