by Hugh Fitzgerald
Asked to explain what she meant by her use of the word “occupation,” Ocasio-Cortez said, “Oh, I think what I meant is that the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes.”
“I think what I meant”? You mean you are not quite sure what you meant? But you sorta kinda meant that those Israeli settlements (towns) are increasing in number, and that makes things harder for the “Palestinians” in having “access to their housing and homes.” Let’s get this straight. Those settlements — better to call them towns — are perfectly legal. See the Mandate for Palestine, Articles 2, 4, and, especially, Article 6. When the League of Nations ended, its successor organization, the United Nations, in Article 80 of the UN Charter — once known unofficially as the Jewish People’s clause — preserved intact all the rights granted to Jews under the Mandate for Palestine, even after the Mandate’s expiry on May 14-15, 1948.
Howard Greif has explained in exhaustive, but necessary, detail:
Under this provision of international law (the Charter is an international treaty), Jewish rights to Palestine and the Land of Israel were not to be altered in any way unless there had been an intervening trusteeship agreement between the states or parties concerned, which would have converted the Mandate into a trusteeship or trust territory. The only period of time such an agreement could have been concluded under Chapter 12 of the UN Charter was during the three-year period from October 24, 1945, the date the Charter entered into force after appropriate ratifications, until May 14-15, 1948, the date the Mandate expired and the State of Israel was proclaimed. Since no agreement of this type was made during this relevant three-year period, in which Jewish rights to all of Palestine may conceivably have been altered had Palestine been converted into a trust territory, those Jewish rights that had existed under the Mandate remained in full force and effect, to which the UN is still committed by Article 80 to uphold, or is prohibited from altering.
As a direct result of Article 80, the UN cannot transfer these rights over any part of Palestine, vested as they are in the Jewish People, to any non-Jewish entity, such as the “Palestinian Authority.”? Among the most important of these Jewish rights are those contained in Article 6 of the Mandate which recognized the right of Jews to immigrate freely to the Land of Israel and to establish settlements thereon, rights which are fully protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter.
It should be common knowledge that under the Mandate, all of Palestine was reserved exclusively for the establishment of the Jewish National Home and future independent Jewish State, as was previously decided at the San Remo Peace Conference that took place in April 1920. Or put another way, no part of Palestine was allotted for an Arab National Home or state, since Arab self-determination was being generously granted elsewhere – in Syria, Iraq, Arabia, Egypt and North Africa – which has led to the establishment of the 21 Arab states of today, over a vast land mass from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean. There is thus no necessity for a new independent Arab State in the specific area of former Mandated Palestine reserved for Jewish self-determination, most particularly, in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Creating such a state out of Jewish land would be blatantly illegal under Article 80 of the UN Charter and beyond the legal authority of the UN itself.
In this respect, neither the League of Nations nor its successor, the United Nations, ever had sovereign rights over the land we Jews call Eretz-Israel. As a non-sovereign, the UN has no power whatsoever to allot territory to the “Palestinian Authority” where the allotted territory already belongs to the Jewish People.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez needs to study up. She can, and should, make the time.
The Jewish towns (“settlements”) in the West Bank are being built on land that was part of Mandatory Palestine and that was mostly “state” and “waste” land. Some private land has also been bought from Arab landowners, at exorbitant prices. If the “Palestinians” have had to endure some roadblocks, it is not because Israelis are wantonly disruptive, but because of a long uninterrupted history of terrorist attacks on Israelis in the West Bank. Roadblocks and checkpoints are security measures, and naturally more are installed just after a terrorist attack, and then are taken down when the manhunt for terrorists is over.
Finally, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells us that “I am a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this issue, and I’m happy to sit down with leaders on both of these. [sic] For me, I just look at things through a human rights lens, and I may not use the right words. I know this is a very intense issue,” she said.
Well, she can start by finding out just who is harming whose “human rights.” Is it the Jews, who are simply trying to defend themselves, as they have had to for Israel’s entire existence, from enemies within and without, including those many “Palestinians” who have been waging a terrorist campaign against Israeli civilians? And is Ocasio-Cortez prepared to sit down with such people as Abu Marzook and Khaled Meshaal, who have been two of the leaders of Hamas, the charter of which is unambiguous in declaring the group’s goal is to destroy Israel completely and establish the state of “Palestine” from the river to the sea? Is she prepared to ask them about that charter? Does she even know that the Hamas Charter exists and why it is important? And would she dare ask Marzook and Meshaal, if she ever got the chance, as she put it, to “sit down” with them, if just maybe they could find it in their hearts to return to the “Palestinian people” some of the billions both have received (i.e., stolen) from the “Palestinian” coffers? And could she ask the same question of Mahmoud Abbas?
By mentioning her Sephardic Jewish background, Ocasio-Cortez may think that this is a way to allow her to continue criticizing Israel. It’s the calculation made by members of J Street, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and Jewish Voice for Peace — they’re all the same, in their hostility to Israel, and in their taking cover behind the fact of their Jewishness, which gives them a free pass, or so they think, to make the most absurd anti-Israel charges. That is one possibility.
There is another, more hopeful, possibility. She may have become genuinely interested in Israel, of which she knows, and has admitted she knows, practically nothing. It’s unclear when she learned of her Jewish ancestors, or when that ancestry started to matter to her. Perhaps she is just now beginning to consider, in light of those ancestors, that at the very least she should find out more about that tiny country, Israel, a hardly visible speck on the world map, that is so unfairly maligned, and she might discover that she no longer wishes to be a member of that malignant anti-Israel chorus. Her record is not good: this past August, she enthusiastically endorsed Ilhan Omar, despite Omar’s criticism of Israel. But that was then, and this is now. There is still plenty of time for her to learn some home truths.
The resurrection, after several thousand years, of a Jewish state in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, is a stirring tale. Ocasio-Cortez could begin by studying a few documents — the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, the Hamas Charter, U.N. Resolution 242 — and continue her self-education on Israel right up to the present day. And what does Israel face today? A terrorist group, Hamas, in the south, now entering its ninth month of premeditated mayhem at Israel’s security fence. Another terrorist group, Hezbollah, is in the north, with 140,000 rockets and missiles aimed right at Israel; the group now possesses more firepower than 95% of the world’s armies. And behind both Hamas and Hezbollah, there looms Israel’s greatest current enemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its nuclear project (and who knows what the Iranians have been doing to further it, despite their previous promises under the nuclear deal), its vast army and armory, and its unswerving determination to destroy the Zionists.
Perhaps, after having engaged in that sustained study, which will not be easy, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will arrive at different conclusions about, and greater sympathy for, Israel as it faces, as it has always had to face, mortal enemies bent on Jihad. And she may finally grasp the basis for Israel’s legal claim, under the Mandate for Palestine, and Article 80 of the U.N Charter, and U.N Resolution 242, to the West Bank. Such a change in Ocasio-Cortez’s views will greatly dismay Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, but greatly hearten others, who will be happy to welcome her to the umma of understanding, and the camp of common sense.
She's no relative of mine, that's for sure.