Posted on June 11, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“Ask of politicians the ends for which laws were originally designed, and they will answer that the laws were designed as a protection for the poor and the weak, against the oppression of the rich and the powerful.”
– EDMUND BURKE (1729-1797) British statesman, political writer
Israel’s announcement of plans to build 3,300 new settlement units on occupied Palestinian land has drawn negative responses from the major world powers. The United States called the decision “deeply disappointing.” The European Union expressed the decision was “unhelpful to the peace process.” The German government said it was “very worrying.” Could this latest bold, “in-your-face” action by the Israeli government be the move that starts a worldwide movement like the one which brought down South Africa’s apartheid system?
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) will be taking this matter to the United Nations for an addressing of Israel’s latest violation of International Law. Any rational person looking at this must come to a point where incredulity becomes near overwhelming, as it’s unbelievable how the Israeli government would take an action that isolates itself even further from the international community.
Israel’s government officials, already feeling the effects of increasing pressure from the “Boycott, Sanction, Divest” (BSD) movement around the Earth, are seemingly irrational as they continue to act in contradiction of international law. Now, the question is whether the United States, European Union member states, any nation’s government, or the United Nations will call for sanctions against Israel because of this latest example of contempt for planetary rules. If sanctions against Israel are not forthcoming, then the question that needs an answer is how Israel can break international law with impunity and face no negative consequences.
And, what is the most fair and honorable resolution with regard to illegal settlements/homes/apartments on Palestinian occupied lands, numbering in the tens of thousands? These aren’t mobile homes on wheels which can then be hauled off those occupied lands when the International Court of jurisdiction decides for the Palestinians and orders Israel’s return of the land. All of those homes and apartments will stay right where they are, but there will be Palestinian families living in them.
Using a simple analogy, if one neighbor builds a small guest home for friends and family who come for extended visits on their next door neighbor’s backyard, either the court will rule to deconstruct the building and return the backyard to its original condition, or the building becomes the property of the neighbor whose backyard became an illegal building site.
This is a legal issue in the arena of real estate, and the case will most certainly represent the largest dollar amount real estate contested decision in world history. Settling this massive land usurpation contention can only be done in a court of law, and that is what needs to occur as soon as possible. In the simple analogy of neighbors and one building, no rational, moral, and ethical man or woman would feel that the neighbors’ best option for resolving their difficult situation was to beat the crap out of each other, or have a duel. Their dispute must go to a court of law, because there are laws that pertain.
Although the Israeli-Palestinian dispute over settlements is obviously a massive-scale replica of the “neighbors”, the resolution remains the same – presentation of arguments in a court of law. Now, some may say that the situation of real estate/housing on occupied Palestinian territory historically has become resolved through war, killing, and suffering – whoever wins the war wins the land. That is a barbaric, uncivilized, and primitive way to resolve differences in the year 2014.
After more than six decades, the Israel-Palestine struggle needs to go to court. It’s either the legal route or the worst-case scenario – war that destroys the lives of innocent men, women, and children in both Israel and Palestine, along with the nations surrounding them in the Middle East. But it’s obvious to any man or woman with eyes to see that Israel has become an habitual offender/breaker of international law, that the time to stop the law-breaking has arrived, and that no nation or power has the right to act with impunity.
Presidents of the United States over the decades have tried through varying means to resolve the Israel-Palestine issue; some genuine efforts and some paying lip service to bring about a peaceful result agreed upon by all parties. Just as the third neighbor trying to play peacemaker in the simple analogy, presidents have been unable to bring about the best solution and plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. There comes the time when the mediating neighbors, because they sense that the parties to the dispute are getting ready to beat the hell out of each other, acknowledge that the only resolve is the legal system and tell their disputing neighbors such.
Ban Ki-Moon, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Bashar Al-Assad, Pope Francis, Francois Hollande, and all the world’s leaders need to tell their disputing neighbors – Israel and Palestine – such.