When speaking with Israel’s largest daily, United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman set the record straight for the world to see, arguing that Israel has been condemned for an “alleged occupation” – noting that the Palestinians are not even living on Arab land in the first place and that 98 percent of Palestinian Arabs actually live under Arab rule.
Needless to say, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas – who is also a Holocaust denier and whose government is jointly led by the Islamic terrorist group, Hamas – disagrees and stays true to the messaging of which he has successfully convinced much of the world.
“Abbas condemned the term ‘alleged occupation,’ and then falsely proclaimed that there is an Israeli ‘occupation of the territory of the state of Palestine’ and variations of the same line some 27 times during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week,” Morton A. Klein reported in his Breitbart column.
After examining both accounts of the long-debated Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, however, the U.N. ambassador’s case and point was confirmed.
“However, an honest examination of the facts and actual international law reveal that Ambassador Friedman’s words were correct: In fact, the presence of Israel and Israeli Jews in Judea/Samaria (‘West Bank’) and the old city of Jerusalem is not an ‘Israeli occupation,’” Klein insisted. “Occupation means possessing/exercising actual authority over another country’s sovereign territory. A nation who has the sovereign rights to land cannot be an ‘occupier’ of that land. Israel has the lawful sovereign right – as well as the strongest historical, religious, and legal connection – to Israel, including Judea/Samaria and all of Jerusalem.”
A new Israeli-American relationship
As opposed to the strained Israeli-American relationship that suffered under the two terms of former President Barack Obama, the bond between the two nations is getting stronger by the day, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been declared by Friedman as a “very high priority” on President Donald Trump’s agenda.
“If we conclude that there’s an opportunity here that really works well for both sides, I think he will jump into this to help it get done,” Friedman told the Jerusalem Post. “But we’re not there yet, and we’re still working with the parameters. He is, I think, very much committed to seeing this done.”
Friedman maintained that his opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not based in an ideological source – but in a practical approach to what is possible and what is not attainable under the current conditions.
“I’m not someone who believes that the outcome should be driven off of an ideology or a religious belief,” the Middle East expert explained. “I think the outcome should be driven off of the Israelis’ justifiable need to live in peace and security. As long as there is the culture of hate, as long as there is financing of terror, as long as there is the type of threats that existed and were created in the evacuation of Gaza, Israel can’t afford another failed experiment. It’s not a function – it’s just not a function of ideology. It’s a function of what can be done and what can’t be done.”
Contrasting his and Trump’s approach to Israel and the Palestinians from the previous administration’s, Friedman strongly rebuked Obama for his decision to not veto the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2332 at the end of his presidency – a decision that condemned Israel for erecting settlements on its own land.
“I don’t want to speak for the president, although he has been on the record on this; I’ll speak for myself,” Friedman expressed to the Post. “I thought it was an absolute betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration, as sharp a betrayal as any president I think has ever inflicted upon Israel. Of course, in the aftermath of that, the president wanted to signal a change, and I think that was well within his thinking when he appointed me to be the ambassador.”
History explains itself for Israel
To shed some more light on the current situation in the Middle East, Klein – who serves as national president of the Zionist Organization of America – explained a little about the history of the people who dwell there, as well as their right to the Holy Land that has been heavily under dispute for decades … ever since Israel became reestablished as a nation back in 1948.
“The Jews are indigenous people of Israel – including Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem,” Klein informed. “The word ‘Jew’ comes from ‘Judea’ – because this is where the Jewish people lived. (Jordan renamed Judea/Samaria ‘the West Bank’ during Jordan’s 19-year (1948-67) illegal occupation of the area, as explained below). Jewish kings and kingdoms reigned in Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria for hundreds of years (c.920 BCE – 597 BCE). For over 3,000 years, there was always a Jewish presence in Israel, even after conquests and dispersions of the Jewish people.”
He also touched on why he denounces the Palestinians’ attempt to grab Jerusalem as its own capital.
“Moreover, Jerusalem was never the capital of any country except Israel,” Klein continued. “Jews were also the largest religious group in Jerusalem since at least the first census in the 1840s. Jerusalem is mentioned almost 700 times in Judaism’s holy books. Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. For millennia, Jews pray for Jerusalem and pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray facing Mecca, and have no prayers for Jerusalem. No Arab leader except Jordan’s King Hussein ever visited Jerusalem.”
The pro-Israeli leader then denounced the unsubstantiated claim made by Muslims and those on the Left that Palestinians have any kind of a legitimate claim to the Holy Land.
“By contrast, there has never been a Palestinian Arab state or kingdom in Israel, Jerusalem or Judea/Samaria – ever,” Klein insisted. “’Palestine’ is not an Arab name but is a Roman name, named by the Romans in 135 CE for the geographic area, to attempt to de-Judaize Israel and Judea/Samaria, after destroying the Second Temple in 70 CE and crushing the Jewish Bar Kochba Revolt (133-135 CE).”
He proceeded by clarifying what is really going on in the Jewish State and by revisiting history – an analysis that is rarely considered by today’s global community.
“Israel thus does not ‘occupy’ land belonging to any Palestinian-Arab foreign sovereign – for no Palestinian-Arab foreign sovereign ever existed,” Klein argued. “Israel fell into desolation under Ottoman rule (1517-1917) and was sparsely populated then. Mark Twain wrote in 1867 that Israel was a ‘desolate country… We never saw a human being on the whole route… There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere.’”
Contrary to the common belief that is perpetuated in many textbooks and most media renditions about the Palestinians, they are not the true natives of Israel.
“Most Arab ‘Palestinians’ are not indigenous to Israel,” Klein stressed. “Most ’Palestinian’-Arabs immigrated into Israel from Arab nations and northern Africa (Algeria, etc.) after waves of Jewish communities started rebuilding Israel in the mid-to-late 1800s through mid-1900s. ‘Palestinian’ Arab last names such as ‘al Masri’ (meaning ‘from Egypt’) and ‘Mugrabi’ (‘North African’) reveal some of the Palestinian Arabs’ origins.”
The Zionist leader went on to refresh those about the true history of the term “Palestinian.”
“Indeed, the world always understood that ‘Palestinian’ meant ‘Jew,’” Klein impressed. “The media used to refer to Arabs in Judea/Samaria as ‘West Bankers,’ not ‘Palestinians.’”
He used some historical documents dating back to the 20th century to prove his point about the true status of Israel.
“Britain’s Balfour Declaration (1917) and legally binding international treaties, including Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant; the Mandate for Palestine (1922), San Remo Resolution (1920), Feisal-Weitzman Treaty (1919) (an Arab-Jewish treaty, signed by the Emir of the Kingdom of Hejaz, now part of Saudi Arabia), the1924 Anglo-American Convention [Treaty] (ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1925, making it a binding U.S. treaty obligation), designated the area that is now Israel including Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria and present-day Jordan as a “sacred trust” for reconstituting the Jewish homeland,” Klein informed.
He then appealed to the famous words spoken by England’s Winston Churchill back in 1922.
“[T]he development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine… is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community,” Churchill was quoted by Klein. “[T]he Jewish people… is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance.”
Furthermore, the justification and validity of Israeli settlements was then established.
“The Oslo Accords (1993-1995), signed by the PLO, acknowledge Israel’s territorial jurisdiction over ‘settlements,’” Klein pointed out. “Oslo never spoke of a Palestinian Arab state and in Prime Minister Rabin’s last speech, he spoke of establishing ‘less than a State’ for the Palestinian Arabs and no giveaway of any part of Jerusalem.”
He then readdressed the false “occupier” assertion that many around the world have been led to believe.
“Moreover, a nation cannot be considered to be an ‘occupier’ of land over which it does not exercise governing control,” Klein emphasized. “Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states that a foreign power is only considered to be an occupier ‘to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory. Israel has relinquished governing control in all of Gaza and 40 percent of Judea/Samaria. The Oslo Accords provided land within Judea/Samaria to establish a ‘Palestinian Authority.’ And, in 2005, Israel unilaterally evacuated 10,000 Jews from Gaza and Northern Samaria.”
A fact that most fail to realize was then impressed.
“As a result, 98 percent of Palestinian-Arabs are living in these ceded territories – under Palestinian Arab rule,” the Israel advocate explained. “These territories are governed by Palestinian Arabs, with their own legislatures, courts, TV, radio, newspapers, police, hospitals, school system and municipal services. These Palestinian Arab governmental agencies are largely corrupt, brutal and hate-mongering. But they are their own, not Israel’s. In short, Israel no longer runs PA-controlled areas.”
He then laid out why Israel continues to have a military presence around the hostile areas … to protect its own from anti-Semitic terrorist attacks.
“Israel remains enmeshed with Palestinian Arabs only with respect to security issues, and that’s only because the Palestinian Arabs continue to wage war on Israeli civilians – with exponentially increased rocket assaults and terror tunnels from Gaza since 2005, and continued terror assaults from Judea/Samaria,” Klein added. “Israeli forces must foil dozens of such assaults each month. Thus, Israel is forced to maintain checkpoints in Judea/Samaria to prevent terrorist attacks from terrorist cells based in the Palestinian Authority. And since Israel’s unilateral evacuation of Gaza in 2005, Israel has had to make three significant military incursions into Gaza to try to stop Hamas’ incessant rocket fire on Israeli civilians, and to destroy Hamas’s terror tunnels. But that’s not ‘occupation’; that’s war to stop terror, and its attendant mess and tragedies.”
Exposing the lie
Klein dismissed the clever messaging put out by the Palestinians that is geared to draw empathy from the world – as they use the term “illegal occupation” to make people around the globe believe they are living in a so-called “Apartheid” state.
“It’s because proclaiming ‘illegal occupation’ promotes the Palestinian Authority’s and Hamas’s goals of ethnically cleansing all Jews from the lands that the Palestinian Authority seeks to seize, and ‘justifies’ terrorism,” the ZOA president contended. “Indeed, Mahmoud Abbas asserted in his UN speech last week that Israel’s ‘occupation breeds incitement and violence.’ Calling any residual Israeli presence, anywhere, within areas that the PA or Hamas deems to be ‘occupied Palestinian territories’ serves as justification to engage in terror, promote international efforts to indict Israel, promote violence over peace, transform Palestinian-Arab terrorists into ‘freedom fighters,’ and avoid negotiations with Israel for real peace.”
Unfortunately for the Jewish people, the UN continues to give audience to the Palestinian’s never-ending dialogue that they are the rightful owners of a land they never rightfully possessed.
“It is for these reasons that the PA continues to seek UN affirmation that all of Judea/Samaria and Gaza and the old city of Jerusalem is ‘Palestinian land’ and ‘occupied’ – rather than even using the neutral term ‘disputed,’” Klein added. “As Mahmoud Abbas put it in 2012, ‘We want to establish that the Palestinian territories that were [taken] in 1967 including Jerusalem [are occupied], since Israel has a different approach. It says that the territories occupied in 1967 are disputed territories. In other words, up for negotiations.’”
Unsubstantiated claims continue to be adopted by world leaders to perpetuate the anti-Semitic climate in the Middle East and around the globe.
“And it is for these reasons that Hamas – and many statements from the PA – insist that all of Israel is ‘occupied Arab land,” Klein concluded. “In fact, Israel does not occupy another foreign sovereign’s territory. Thus, Ambassador Friedman merely spoke the truth when he used the term ‘alleged occupation.’ Simply put, there is no Israeli ‘occupation’ in Judea/Samaria/Jerusalem.”
Shortly after the UN Security Council passed its anti-Israel resolution last December, the issue of “occupation” was brought up to expose the irrational condemnation of Israel in the matter over settlements.
“From the perspective of someone who does not understand international law or the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, this resolution tells the story that Israelis have trampled over Palestinian lands illegally and decided to build houses on them in a fit of colonial aggression,” DailyWire.com’s Elliott Hamilton explained at the time. “Unfortunately for them, that is nonsensical and false. The entire argument rests upon the false premise that Israel is ‘occupying’ Palestinian land and that Israel has no legitimate claims to the lands in question.”
He then gave a simple answer to a simple question.
“That still begs the question of whether Israel is ‘occupying’ Palestinian land in the first place,” Hamilton continued. “The answer is no, and that is clearly codified in how international treaties define occupation. It is important to recognize that in international law, a treaty represents the persuasive authority of an international legal question. Contrary to the ‘soft laws’ of customary international law and jus cogens, treaties serve the same purpose and legal power as a contract between two parties. Anyone who signs an international treaty is obligated to follow the specific words dictated between all of the nation-states that helped draft and agree upon the terms.”
Hamilton went back more than a century to reestablish the true meaning of the world “occupation” that evades most today.
“The legal definition of ‘occupation’ comes out of the 1907 Hague Convention, some of the first treaties governing international laws of war and war crimes,” he informed. “The definition of an occupation can be found in Articles 42 and 43 and can also be summarized in the following sentence: Possession of the territory of the legitimate power by the occupying power.”
A rational conclusion of the matter was then offered to legitimize Israel’s stake on its land.
“Since there has never been a sovereign state of ‘Palestine’ prior to 1948 or 1967 and since there is still no legitimate state of ‘Palestine’ today, there cannot legally be an ‘occupation of Palestinian lands’ by Israel according to The Hague Convention of 1907,” Hamilton concluded. “Since there was no legitimate Palestinian state and Israel already has legal claim to Judea, Samaria, and Eastern Jerusalem, Israel has the right to build Jewish communities in disputed territory in Area C until a final peace agreement is signed with the Palestinian Authority, if that is still possible at this point...”