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1,000 Jurists to EU: Settlements are Legal

Mammoth petition delivered to Catherine Ashton states: '1967 lines' don't exist.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/4/2013, 7:16 PM

Security fence
Security fence
Flash 90

A mammoth jurists' petition delivered to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton states that the EU is wrong in holding that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal, and that the term “1967 lines” does not exist in international law.

The letter is signed by over 1,000 jurists worldwide.

Among the signatories are former justice minister Prof. Yaakov Ne'eman; former UN Ambassaor Dr. Meir Rosen; Britain's Baroness Prof. Ruth Deech, Prof. Eliav Shochetman and Prof. Talia Einhorn. They include legal scholars from the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Malta, Holland, Norway, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, South Africa, Sweden and, of course, Israel.

The man behind the initiative is Dr. Alan Baker, Israel's former ambassador to Canada and legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, who currently heads the International Action Division of the Legal Forum for Israel.

Baker was also a member of the three-person committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Edmond Levy, known as the Levy Committee, which pronounced that Judea and Samaria were not occupied territory.

Dr. Baker explained to Arutz Sheva that there is “no such thing” as the 1967 lines. “There never was such a thing. The matter of the borders is on the agenda of the negotiations, The EU cannot dictate a subject that is on the agenda of the negotiations. The pre-1967 lines are (1949) armistice lines. These are not recognized lines or security lines. In the Oslo process, it was agreed between us and the Palestinians that the matter of borders will be negotiated. The term '1967 lines' does not appear anywhere in our agreement with the Palestinians, therefore it is a legal and factual aberration to determine that these are our lines.”

"The second thing is the determination that the settlements are illegal according to international law. It is true that most of the world thinks so, but that does not make it true legally. Legally, the clause in the Geneva Convention that they use to say that settlements are illegal, was not intended to refer to cases like our settlements, but to prevent the forced transfer of populations by the Nazis. This is not relevant to the Israeli settlements.”