Baker: Govt. Should Act Now on Sovereignty
Speaking at a conference on sovereignty for Judea and Samaria sponsored by Women in Green and the Hazon Leumi (National Vision) students's organization, international lawmaker and former Israeli ambassador to Canada Alan Baker, said that the recent deal for shared power in the Palestinian Authority between the Fatah and Hamas terror groups gave Israel a great opportunity to annex Judea and Samaria.
Baker was a member of a panel headed by former High Court Judge Edmund Levy that in 2012 researched the question of Israel's “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and found that Israel could not be considered as such under international law. Baker said that it was impossible to dispute Israel's right to the Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, as ancient and modern history makes it clear that the land belongs to the Jewish people.
Ancient writings, from the Bible to Greek, Roman, and early European and Middle Eastern sources all attribute the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. In modern times, the defining documents of the current status of the Land of Israel, from the Balfour Declaration to the UN partition plan all recognized this historic connection as well. “This cannot be disputed,” Baker told the conference.
With that, he said, Israel could not ignore the fact that it had a large Muslim population. It was on this basis that the Oslo Accord was signed, with the final disposition of the land to be decided in negotiations. So far, Baker said, those negotiations have not gone very well, and Israel should use this fact to advance its own ideas on the matter.
In recent months, Baker said that the PA had committed significant violations of the Oslo Accords. “They changed their status, indicating to the United Nations that they wished to be regarded as a state, not an Authority as specified in Oslo. This was a fundamental violation of the Oslo Accords. In addition, they have been engaging in foreign policy-setting,” he said, by signing international agreements – also specifically forbidden under Oslo.
“And third – the straw that broke the camel's back – is the deal with Hamas.” The basis of the Accords was the commitment by the PA to end violence, and here the PA has embraced a terror group that will be satisfied with nothing less than the destruction of Israel, said Baker.
Based on these violations, “international law states that the opposing party in a contract like this is free of its obligations, and can view the contract – in this case the Oslo Accords – as no longer relevant. As an international jurist I believe we have a singular opportunity here to declare the Accords null and void, and to act on our own interests, doing what is good and necessary for us. It's all up to the government,” Baker added.