Posted on October 27, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
erman journalist Martin Lejeune revealed to the Russell Tribunal on Palestine 2014 that in 2007 the Israeli parliament passed a law which let Israel’s government off the hook for paying reparations on damages to property and businesses of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank from Israeli Defense Forces’ attacks. So, since 2007, Israel’s military has conducted “Operation Cast Lead” and “Operation Protective Edge” while knowing the financial responsibility to pay for reconstruction doesn’t legally exist.
While the 2007 law’s passage allowed any destruction of property and businesses to occur with financial impunity, it is uncertain whether Israeli laws include the same financial impunity for wrongful deaths and injuries to the tens of thousands of men, women and children greatly harmed during recent Israeli massacres. Continuous illegal confiscation of occupied territory through the years until today by Israel has occurred to prevent, then make impossible, a two-state solution with Palestinian statehood.
As Israeli illegal – repeat illegal – settlement construction has continued to gobble up Palestinian lands which would become part of their sovereign nation, the chances for that outcome diminish precisely because of the land robbery and construction of homes, placing the two-state solution further from implementation in the minds of more experts on the Israel-Palestine conflict. To those who’ve studied the Israel-Palestine conflict, using the term “fair and just resolution” moving forward unfortunately has become a near impossibility considering the non-action and complicity of the United States’ leadership and lawmakers.
It is not certain whether any studies have been conducted to ascertain the total financial destruction that Israel’s military assaults in recent years has caused, but the total can safely be estimated in the tens of billions of dollars. Israel’s expenditures for rebuilding Gaza multiple times after the three most recent military massacres and property destruction have come nowhere near the dollar amount they morally owe Palestinians – that is, a “fair and just resolution”. What would be the result of studies which compared the total dollar amount of both human and property destruction over recent years to Palestinians – to the dollar amount of buildings, apartments, homes, infrastructure, etc. built during the same time period?
Would Israeli relinquishment of all stolen Palestinian land and settlements back to the Palestinians for eventual inclusion in the new State of Palestine, where Israel pays the claims of those who lose money in the relinquished settlements, represent a “fair and just resolution” to the over-60-year Israel-Palestine conflict? The Palestinian people have the moral right – and duty – to bring Israeli leaders responsible for obvious war crimes during Operation Protective Edge before the International Criminal Court. It seems equally obvious that Israel’s illegal taking of occupied territory through the years – and still occurring today – are criminal offenses coming under jurisdiction of the same International Criminal Court.
A comparison could be made by imagining the United States government stealing/taking land from one or more of the sovereign American Indian reservations. The affected tribe(s) would first take legal actions in state or county courts, then to the United States Supreme Court if justice hadn’t prevailed. Apparently, Palestinians have no legal recourse in Israeli courts regarding the continuous stealing of occupied territory lands and settlements construction. There is glaring deficiency in international law when Israel steals land for years with impunity and Palestinians have no legal recourse or court of jurisdiction where they can present their clear case of harm.
Men and women with academic credentials and real world experience in International Law have surely looked at the problem of illegal Israeli settlements in the context of Palestinians’ legal options. Naming the International Criminal Court as the most likely court of jurisdiction is something one who doesn’t have deep knowledge of international law concerning this particular kind of situation would do. People who’ve done a moderate amount of research into the Israel-Palestine conflict are aware that Palestinians are considering war crimes legal actions against Israelis for Operation Protective Edge, but little is found regarding possible legal options on stolen lands and illegal settlements construction.
In a “fair and just” world highest-court legal proceedings which result in Israel’s relinquishment of all stolen Palestinian lands back to the Palestinians – including the buildings and infrastructure, in lieu of monetary reparations for Israel’s historic, chronic, devastating, destructive criminal actions – would represent a path making possible what the world’s people unanimously believe is the moral and ethical one: an independent Palestinian state.
A few weeks ago in Cairo, Egypt an estimated $5.4 billion became pledged by nations to go toward reconstruction of Gaza. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told the people gathered there that he hoped it would be the last Gaza Reconstruction Conference. From a logical legal perspective, the world community is not responsible financially for rebuilding Gaza time and again: Israel’s actions make Israel responsible for paying reparations. A “fair and just resolution” option goes as follows: Israel returns all stolen property, the two-state solution becomes worked out, then Israel and Palestine live side-by-side as independent nations in peace for all time.
If the Israeli government and people have objections to using tax revenues for reimbursing those who become financially harmed from the return of lands and settlements to the Palestinian people, perhaps one of their more fortunate multi-billionaire resident families – the Rothschilds – are capable of carrying out some creative financing, including solicitation of funds from their circle of equally fortunate friends around the world.
And, if anyone in the Rothschild family and/or their circle of multi-billionaire friends around the world happen to come across these words – the men, women, and children of Ukraine could use a little cash to pay a gas bill. You’ve been the recipients of extremely fortunate financial blessings, so perhaps it’s time to cut some checks and give back to your fellow brothers and sisters in their time of truly serious and urgent need.
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