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Elizabeth Warren: Those Settlements ‘Violate International Law and Make Peace Harder to Achieve’ by Hugh Fitzgerald

Elizabeth Warren reacted to Secretary Pompeo’s statement that in the view of the Administration, Israel’s settlements did not violate international law with characteristic swift certainty:

Another blatantly ideological attempt by the Trump administration to distract from its failures in the region. Not only do these settlements violate international law — they make peace harder to achieve. As president, I will reverse this policy and pursue a two-state solution,” Warren said.

Was Pompeo’s announcement merely a cynical attempt to “distract” the public “from its failures in the region”? Surely such an announcement was certain to have exactly the opposite effect – it would focus the media’s attention on the Israelis and Palestinians as it had not been so focussed since the Great March of Return began on March 30, 2018. Every major media outlet – CNN, AP, BBC, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post – covered Pompeo’s remarks in detail. Those remarks were hardly designed to “distract” from supposed “failures in the region.” And as for those “failures,” what does Warren have in mind? Was the defeat, by the Americans and the Kurds, of ISIS in Syria a “failure”? Was the collapse of ISIS in Iraq, to which American military assistance contributed, a “failure”? Was the body-blow to Iran’s economy, that the Administration brought about by reimposing sanctions, that in turn led to the streets of Iran now being filled with Iranians shouting against the regime, a “failure”? Was cutting off aid to the massively corrupt UNRWA a “failure”? Was cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority, because of its Pay-for-Slay program, a “failure”?

Warren then blithely noted that the settlements “violate international law.” This was not always her understanding. At a Town Hall in August 2014, Warren called into question the notion that future US aid to Israel should be contingent on the halting of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Clearly she did not then regard the settlements as being “illegal.”

And two years later, in September 2016, ahead of a U.N vote on a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, Warren was one of 88 senators who signed a letter to President Obama sponsored by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, urging him to “veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months”: the resolution was approved by the Security Council 14-1-0, with the United States shamefully abstaining.

Again, Warren was still willing to urge the government to veto a Security Council resolution that treated the West Bank settlements as “illegal.”

What changed her mind? Perhaps, after Bernie Sanders’s claim that he would take some aid money away from Israel and give it to the Palestinians in Gaza, Warren felt she needed to establish her bona-fides among the “progressives” in the Democratic Party, who have become increasingly anti-Israel. And what better way to do it than to instantly attack Pompeo on the “legality” of Israel’s West Bank settlements?

A law professor for many years, Warren is well-versed in reading statutes and codes. As a professor of bankruptcy law, she can comprehend the Bankruptcy Code, so he Mandate for Palestine ought to be child’s play. If she reads that Mandate, she will understand that the League of Nations established, on a sliver of land that had been identified with the Jewish people for two thousand years, and that had formerly been part of the Ottoman Empire, the Mandate for Palestine. That Palestine Mandate was entrusted to Great Britain, whose task it was to prepare that territory for independence as the Jewish National Home. There were other Mandates that were intended to create Arab states – Syria, Lebanon, Iraq – but the Mandate for Palestine was intended solely for the Jews. Warren would then want to know, as the thorough policy wonk she is, precisely what territory was to be included in that Mandate. Upon investigation, she would discover that the Mandate for Palestine applied to all the territory from Dan in the north to Beersheva in the south, and from the river Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the West. In other words, all of what is present day Israel, and the entire West Bank, was included in the Mandate. Israel cannot be called the “occupier” of land that was assigned by the League of Nations to be part of the Jewish National Home, which would then become the State of Israel. When the League of Nations shut down, its successor organization, the United Nations, implicitly recognized in Article 80 of its Charter (the so-called Jewish People’s article) the continuing in force of the Mandate for Palestine. The only thing that prevented the West Bank from becoming, as it legally should have, part of the state of Israel in 1949, was that Jordan managed to hold onto the West Bank, and remained its “occupier” until 1967.

Elizabeth Warren never mentions the Mandate for Palestine, which is the indispensable document in judging the legality of the Israeli settlements. Nor does she mention, in any of her statements online, U.N. Resolution 242 and its significance in giving Israel the right to “secure and recognizable boundaries.” She has a duty to study both the Mandate, and Resolution 242, before making her self-assured and dismissive pronouncements about how those settlements “violate international law.” And she might also explain why those same settlements did not “violate international law” back in 2014, when she opposed making aid to Israel contingent on its halting of settlement building. Did she know something in 2014 about the settlements’ legality that she then forgot, or did she learn something since about their supposed illegality?

Then there is Warren’s remark that the settlements are not only “illegal,” but that they “make peace harder to achieve.” How does she, and the many others who mindlessly repeat this mantra – “settlements make peace harder to achieve” – know this? Because the Arabs – the Palestinians – keep telling them so.

What kind of “peace” is possible between Israel and the Palestinians? Some may insist that by squeezing itself back within the 1949 armistice lines, what Ambassador Abba Eban called “the lines of Auschwitz,” Israel makes peace more likely. But those who recognize that the war being waged, by all possible means, including terrorism, combat (qitaal), economic and diplomatic warfare, and demographic jihad, against Israel has no end, for Muslims, until the complete disappearance of the Jewish state, will not be so quick to put their trust in treaties. That is especially true because the Muslim model for all treaty-making with non-Muslims is the agreement that Muhammad reached with the Meccans at al-Hudaibiyya in 628 A.D., a treaty that was to last for ten years, but which he broke after 18 months, attacking the Meccans as soon as he felt his forces were strong enough to win. Given that Muhammad is the Model of Conduct for all Muslims, Israel cannot rely on a peace treaty with Muslim Arabs to be kept indefinitely.

Instead, there is another and better way to maintain the peace between Israel and its neighbors. That is deterrence: the enemy’s understanding that if Israel is attacked, it will respond, and much more devastatingly. Egypt and Syria now know what they did not know in October 1973, when they launched a surprise attack on Israel. Despite early losses, Israel delivered punishing blows in response. No Arab state since has tried to attack Israel; terror groups are a different matter, for their members are ready to be “martyrs.” For rational actors – fanatic Muslim groups and groupuscules are not among them – deterrence works. It kept the peace between the United States and the Soviet Union for more than four decades after World War II. Israel must remain overwhelmingly, and obviously, stronger than its enemies for deterrence to be effective.

That is where the West Bank settlements come in. The 400,000 Jews who live in the West Bank, with all of the adults having undergone military training when fulfilling their mandatory service in the IDF, are an indispensable part of that deterrence. Those settlements throughout the West Bank, especially those strategically placed on the Judean hills, and overlooking, the Jordan Valley, are a powerful obstacle to invasion from the east. The settlements significantly improve Israel’s deterrence, and a credible deterrence is the only guarantee that peace between Israel and the Arabs will be kept.

Warren claims the settlements will make peace “harder to achieve.” She has things backwards. The settlements may make a “peace treaty” harder to achieve, but they will make the only peace that really matters, a peace based on deterrence, easier to achieve.

In addition to the Mandate for Palestine (especially the Preamble and Articles 4 and 6), and U.N. Resolution 242, Elizabeth Warren should read about the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya and its continuing significance, in Majid Khadduri’s magisterial War and Peace in the Law of Islam. That’s all the studying she need devote to the matter for now. The exam will be take-home. We’re all hoping that Professor Warren earns an A.

COLUMN BY

Hugh Fitzgerald

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

History the World Chooses to Forget

The Second World War is over and much of Europe is a wasteland. Millions of displaced persons roam the ravaged landscape in the wake of German Nazi devastation. Millions more are dead but none of the citizens of Europe have suffered disproportionally more than its Jewish remnant.

At the beginning of 1933, when Hitler assumed power by exploiting the democratic process, which he then castoff with the acquiescence of the German populace and the industrial, military, government complex, there were in the world some 18,000,000 members of the Jewish faith.

By the war’s end in 1945, there were barely 12 million Jews left. The one third who had fallen under German occupation and their European fascist allies had been beaten, starved, gassed and systematically exterminated; including one and half million children.

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, might have been saved and allowed to find refuge in their ancestral and biblical homeland of Israel, but for a document known as the White Paper.

This unilateral act was created by the British government in 1939 under the premiership of the arch appeaser and self-righteous Neville Chamberlain – he who had come back from meeting Hitler with a piece of paper fluttering in the wind, announcing “peace in our time.”

The Land in which Jews had established their biblical and post-biblical patrimony since time immemorial was then known by its geographical term, Palestine; a name resurrected by the British Mandatory government, which had been awarded the Mandate over the territory by the League of Nations in 1922.

This was the name imposed upon ancient Jewish Judea by the Roman emperor, Hadrian, after he had defeated the second Jewish revolt against Rome’s pitiless occupation in the year 135 AD.

Hadrian chose to rename Judea (the name from which the word Jew derives) – Philistia after the Jews’ hated biblical enemy the Philistines – a sea people originating from Crete who became extinct over a thousand years earlier.

And here it is vital to understand that at no time throughout recorded history has there ever been an independent sovereign state called Palestine: Certainly never an Arab state.

That 1939 White Paper was produced by the Chamberlain government in an act of capitulation to the pro-Nazi Arabs who demanded that Jewish immigration into the Jews’ ancestral homeland be prevented. The White Paper was never submitted for approval to the Council of the League of Nations.

Thus Britain limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 people for five years, after which it would cease altogether. The pernicious influence of Arab oil also played a part in Britain’s decision.

World War Two broke out in September, 1939 and lasted five years. This was the five year death sentence for 6,000,000 Jews in German occupied Europe who were barred by Britain from rescue in Palestine.

The British Mandatory government controlling Palestine shut the gates of the territory for the duration of the war and after to Jews attempting to flee the German Nazi juggernaut of death.

Britain, which rose in anger at the use of brute German force in Poland, alas did not hesitate to use force against Jewish refugees clamoring to escape from the horrors of the German Reich.

It is interesting to note that the lie to Chamberlain’s fear of Arab hostility and oil blackmail was given earlier by British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Malcolm McDonald.

In a House of Commons debate on November 24, 1938 he was obliged to admit the advantages to the local Arabs of any additional Jewish immigration to the long established existing Jewish community in the territory. He said:

“The Arabs cannot say that the Jews are driving them out of the country. If not a single Jew had come to Palestine after 1918, I believe that the Arab population would still have been around 600,000 at which it had been stable under Turkish rule.

It is because the Jews who have come to Palestine bring with them modern health services and other advances that Arabs who would have been dead are alive today and that Arab children who would have never drawn breath have been born and grown strong.”

The League of Nations grant to Britain of the Palestine Mandate was given with the express purpose of incorporating into it the earlier British government’s 1917 Balfour Declaration facilitating the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

Furthermore, the British were instructed to “use their best endeavors to facilitate Jewish immigration.” Tragically the White Paper and the subsequent British blockade against Jews fleeing the Holocaust in whatever ships they could find – usually unseaworthy hulks – was a betrayal of all such earlier commitments.

In November, 1941, two ships – the Pacific and the Milos – arrived in Haifa with 1,771 Jewish refugees. The human cargo was forcibly herded aboard another ship, the S.S. Patria and ordered to sail by the British authorities to the then unhealthy tropical island of Mauritius where the hapless refugees would be interned.

While still docked in Haifa, a mysterious explosion ripped through the ship and 250 passengers were killed. Interestingly of the Jewish survivors, 82 young men immediately volunteered for service in the British army despite the suffering they had endured.

Similarly, another ship, the Darien arrived also at Haifa carrying some 793 Jews from Rumania and Bulgaria fleeing the Nazi death machine. Half were skilled workers and farmers eager to contribute to defeating civilization’s nemesis: Hitler. The British Command in Palestine placed them in a prison camp where five of them went insane.

And then there was the searing tragedy of the Struma. Writing in her powerful blog, Sarah Honig recounts the appalling treatment meted out to the Jewish refugees on the unseaworthy craft by Britain, Turkey and an unfeeling world. She writes about the floating coffin as follows:

“The Struma was a 115 year old leaking Danube River cattle barge. Some 769 Jewish refugees, including many young men fit for work or army service, were on board. So were some two hundred women and 70 children.”

Ms. Honig continues:

“The ordeal of these hapless refugees began in December, 1941 and ended on February 23, 1942 in front of a watching but unfeeling world. On December 12, the unseaworthy hulk entered the harbor at Istanbul, Turkey. It had no fuel or water left on board. Britain pressed the Turkish officials NOT to let any of the Jews leave the crippled hulk. A sign with the word “Help” was suspended over the ship’s side but in vain.”

On February 15, the British announced they’d make an exception in the case of Struma children aged 11 to 16, but the British authorities denied entry to the other children, including babies. All could have been allowed into Mandatory Palestine.

No doubt Hitler and the Nazi High Command, watching intently at a world caring nothing for the Jews on the Struma, were encouraged to pursue with even greater ferocity their extermination of European Jewry. The same demonic attitude that much of the world displayed towards the friendless Jews on that floating coffin is repeated today as it shrugs off the never ending Arab and Muslim aggression the embattled Jewish state endures day after day.

Only when Israel, goaded beyond endurance, fights back to defend its people does much of the world suddenly take notice and display its endemic anti-Israel hostility.

Ms. Honig continues:

“On February 23, the Turks ordered the Struma to leave the port and head out into the open sea but not before truncheon wielding Turkish policeman had viciously clubbed the frightened and desperate passengers. Despite resistance from the refugees, the anchor was cut, the Struma was towed out and was left paralyzed, to drift precariously without supplies or a drop of fuel.”

Finally the following day an explosion tore the ship apart. While the surviving passengers struggled to hold onto anything that still floated, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the stricken barge and it sank immediately in the Black Sea. As Sarah Honig writes:

“It is estimated that as many as 500 were killed outright by the blast. The rest flailed feebly in the waves, till they expired of wounds, fatigue and hypothermia.”

Tragically the British nation, which had risked its life to prevent the triumph of Nazi Germany, chose to deny refuge and sovereignty to the Nazis’ first victims.

Contrast the horrific manner in which those true Jewish refugees were treated with that of  the millions of Muslims welcomed into Europe who then wreak violence and rapine upon their European rescuers.

Obama’s ‘final solution’ for the state of Israel

On December 28th, 2016 John Kerry gave his final speech as the outgoing U.S. Secretary of State.  Kerry’s “Remarks on Middle East Peace” lasted 1 hour and 13 minutes. In his speech Kerry outlined President Obama’s “final solution” for the state of Israel.

One phrase struck me. Kerry stated, “Israel can be Jewish or democratic – not both.”

But Israel is already Jewish and democratic. There have been Israeli Arab members of the Knesset ever since the first Knesset elections in 1949. There are currently 17 Arab members of the Knesset, and 59 former Arab members. Kerry asked:

How would Israel respond to a growing civil rights movement from Palestinians, demanding a right to vote, or widespread protests and unrest across the West Bank? How does Israel reconcile a permanent occupation with its democratic ideals? How does the U.S. continue to defend that and still live up to our own democratic ideals?

Israel already recognizes the right of every Israeli citizen, Jew or Arab or Christian or Druz, el al, to vote. Israel has been dealing with terrorism against the Jewish state since 1949 and throughout its history, from ancient Rome to the PLO and HAMAS.

The U.S. continues to defend Israel because it is the basis, the foundation, of our own democratic ideals. Founding Father John Adams in a letter to F. A. Van der Kemp dated February 16, 1808 wrote:

“I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations …

They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.”

There are no Jewish members of the PLO nor in HAMAS, which controls the Gaza strip. Additionally, those nations surrounding Israel are Muslim and undemocratic, abiding by shariah laws that reject non-Muslims. Why? Because the Koran says so.

So what is Kerry projecting on behalf of President Obama? What has been, and clearly is, Obama’s “final solution” to end the conflict in the Middle East?

Answer: A Jew free Palestinian state.

Kerry focused on Jewish “settlements” in Judea and Samara, historic land that has belong to and had been occupied by, the Jewish people for thousands of years. Kerry sees these settlements as the existential threat to a two state solution stating:

So the settler agenda is defining the future of Israel. And their stated purpose is clear. They believe in one state: greater Israel. In fact, one prominent minister, who heads a pro-settler party, declared just after the U.S. election – and I quote – “the era of the two-state solution is over,” end quote. And many other coalition ministers publicly reject a Palestinian state. And they are increasingly getting their way, with plans for hundreds of new units in East Jerusalem recently announced and talk of a major new settlement building effort in the West Bank to follow.

Then Kerry asks, “So why are we so concerned? Why does this matter? Well, ask yourself these questions: What happens if that agenda succeeds? Where does that lead?”

May I suggest that a one state solution leads to what now exists in the Jewish state of Israel. A pluralistic society where all segments of the population, regardless of religious affiliation or ethnicity, live in peace side by side as individuals.

Kerry laments:

So if there is only one state, you would have millions of Palestinians permanently living in segregated enclaves in the middle of the West Bank, with no real political rights, separate legal, education, and transportation systems, vast income disparities, under a permanent military occupation that deprives them of the most basic freedoms. Separate and unequal is what you would have. And nobody can explain how that works. Would an Israeli accept living that way? Would an American accept living that way? Will the world accept it?

Under a united Jewish state of Israel Palestinians do have access to real political rights, education, transportation systems, serve in the IDF and have enhanced economic opportunities in what is know as “the startup nation.”

If you want to know what an independent Palestinian state would look like and act just look at the Gaza strip. A radicalized Islamic state that is Jew free where its citizens have no political rights and suffer under a regime more interested in arming itself for the sole purpose of killing non-Muslims and an exporter of terrorism globally.

The only option going forward for President-elect Trump is a one state solution.

As David Friedman, President-elect Trump’s nominee to become the ambassador to Israel said in a pre-election interview with The Algemeiner in early November:

“It is inconceivable there could be a mass evacuation on that magnitude, in the unlikely event that there was an otherwise comprehensive peace agreement,” Friedman said. “It makes no sense for Judea and Samaria to be ‘Judenrein [void of Jews],’ any more than it makes sense for Israel to be ‘Arabrein [void of Arabs].’ It’s not fair.”

The two-state solution is dead. Long live the one-state solution.

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RELATED VIDEO: Tom Trento, Director of The United West hosts Dr. Andy Bostom and Ken Abramowitz in studio to deconstruct the devastating decision by the Obama Administration to abstain from voting on the UN National Security Council, regarding the issue of “settlements” in Israel.

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