In today’s HS, the editorial department shows just how little they understand about Israeli settlements in the WB. In the editorial (subscription only) “Robbing, negotiating, robbing”, the Helsingin Sanomat, wrongfully and misleadingly paints the settlements in the West Bank of Judea and Samaria as illegal.
In the meeting last week, the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert assured the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas that he will do nothing to harm the negotiations on a final solution to the crisis in the Middle East. It was the news that Israel had again authorised the building of more than three hundred new apartments on land robbed from the Palestinians in East Jerusalem which gave reason to his comment. Of course, a few more settlement buildings here or there do not really change the situation. Israel has robbed land, extended settlements and established new ones through all stages of the time of occupation since the 1967 war.
The HS’s editorial claim of Israel “robbing land” is blatantly false, as it is dishonest. The editorial shows a concerted effort by the Helsingin Sanomat, to pervert the historical record and obfuscate the fact that the Israel’s presence in the WB does not constitute illegality, quite the contrary.
According to the late Julius Stone (1907-1985, University of Sydney, Challis Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law, 1942 to 1972) author of “Israel and Palestine: Assault on the Law of Nations “: a state victim of aggression, which has lawfully occupied the attacking state’s territory in the course of self defense,” has clear, inalienable rights to self-defense.”
The fact is, that UNSCR 242 is a Chapter Six resolution, and by default, it thus recognizes that the Israeli presence in the territories is legal, as opposed to a Chapter Seven resolution, like the one delivered against Iraq for its invasion of its tiny neighbor Kuwait.
Palistine facts states: “The settlements are not “illegal” as sometimes charged. The Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to settlements even though you will often hear the claim that it does. Israel took over the land in a defensive war in 1967 from rulers (Jordan, Egypt) who themselves had recently acquired control of the land by aggressive war. The only internationally recognized agreements are those of the Oslo process which do not in any sentence prohibit settlements.
At some points in time Israel has voluntarily agreed to a temporary halt to new settlements in anticipation of negotiating breakthroughs. But the repeated reversion to terrorism by the Palestinian Arabs has ended such restraint. The endlessly repeated refrain about “occupied territories” is propaganda, since a) the territories never belonged to Palestinian Arabs, b) the Palestinian Authority was given control of the areas, and c) the only reason Israel continues to exert control is in reaction to Palestinian Arab violence.”
HS continues: This has been done when there has been a standstill to the peace process, and this has also been done when the process has advanced. In the so called road map agreed upon in 2003 the Palestinians were obliged to quell terrorism and Israel to quit extending the settlements and to demolish those established illegally. The government of Abbas has either not had the strength or not had the will to subdue the Hamas and other terrorist groups who do not accept the roadmap as binding.
While the Road Map does in fact call for a stop in construction, Palestinian terrorism has gone unabated regardless of whether Israel has stopped or resumed any construction within the settlements. The areas under construction near or in East Jerusalem do not belong to private Arab owners, having been fully recognized as belonging to the state of Israel.
Israel has not made single gesture in order to fulfil its own part of the obligations of the roadmap. In the recent meeting in Annapolis [the parties] once again swore in the name of the roadmap, as if [they] would hold it in honour. In principle, the parties also agreed to complete serious negotiations already within the year 2008. One would not think it would be too much to ask of the Israeli government to contain itself so much as to suspend stealing land from the Palestinians at least during the process of negotiation.
Besides, all the settlements on the occupied territories are illegal according to international law. The credibility of Abbas among his own cannot but suffer when he is forced to negotiate in the middle of continuous, unnecessary provocations.”
Fact: Israel released prisoners on repeated occasions (even though the Road Map didn’t call for any such measures) dismantled checkpoints, and withdrew from Palestinian Arab towns. Contrary to the HS’s false claims, Israel has gone way beyond the requirements of the Road Map. With this hit piece of an editorial, the HS has finally dropped its mask of any so called “neutrality”. It is a blatant attempt to apply blame where none exists, because the HS’s favorite pet cause, “the Palestinians”, have screwed themselves up beyond all repair.
But that’s not all, the HS’s double barrelled shot gun still has a second salvo to be fired.
According to Tundraman (who translated the entire editorial): “HS simultaneously published today a big story (on page A11) on the Jewish congregation in Helsinki, the main point of which was to show how alien the values of Jews are to those of the Finns: the huge title was “In the synagogue of the Jews, men and women sit apart”.
As the moral teaching of the Editorial has the same flavour (“the Israelis are thieves and liars”), all this adds to the tendency of the Finnish public to (a) view any Jew as responsible for Israeli politics and (b) to depict both in anti-Semitic terms.
This is truly a very sick newspaper, who will do its utmost best to demonize Israel by any means possible, even if that implies presenting the public with downright lies. Truly disgusting. *L* KGS