Author of Jewish Legal Rights resource dies en route

Susie Dym,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Susie Dym
Susie Dym serves as spokesperson for Mattot Arim, with over 20 years of expertise on "peace-for-peace" issues.

Veteran Canadian-Jewish pro-Israel activist Salomon Benzimra  passed away yesterday. Benzimra had travelled to Israel to meet with Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister among others. He passed away on a flight en route from Israel back to his native Toronto.  

Benzimra  was born in 1943 in the International Zone of Tangiers (now Morocco). He was fluent in French, Spanish and English, as well as Hebrew and some Arabic. A chemical engineer, he studied in France and worked in Morocco before moving to Canada and becoming involved in Israeli and world affairs after 9/11. With Goldi Steiner, he founded Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights (www.cilr.org). Benzimra was also a participant in the San Remo Resolution Commemoration held in Sanremo, Italy, in April of 2010.

Campus resource “for those who believe in the primacy of facts”

Benzimra lectured on the legal rights of Israel and also wrote ‘The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel’, available on Amazon in Kindle format, for students and for pro-Israel advocates. Benzimra wrote the book because he believed that “The Arab-Israeli conflict dominates the daily headlines with “warped notions” such as  “occupied Palestinian territories” and “illegal settlements” which “have taken root and now seem to be accepted as indisputable truths”. Benzimra sought to provide a “resource for all those who believe in the primacy of facts over opinion and myth,  especially to students  repeatedly confronted by emotionally charged falsehoods”. His work outlined  the recognition of the Jewish people’s inalienable “collective, national rights in international law; and the insidious violation of these rights”.  The concept of Benzimra’s magnum opus was endorsed by Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe-Bogy Yaalon,  who said that “’The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel’ comes to fill this knowledge void”.

Online reviews of Benzimra’s magnum opus  make it evident that Benzimra had identified a genuine need for information. Reviews available on Amazon state that Benzimra’s ‘Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel’ is “well written and easy to read... shows how good propaganda ...can override in the popular mind the factual truth of any situation and constitutes a warning to the Western world to look at the facts before making a political judgement or decision”.

Other superlatives were: “I purchased this book a week ago, I can't stop reading”, “monumental ......unbelievable”, “fully documented by written unassailable facts”, “formidable legal tracking will surely clarify many minds”, “unbiased and complete recital” and “awesome production”.

Benzimra’s bible of the Jewish People’s rights to the Land of Israel, praised knowledgeable reviewers, “includes every single document at all pertinent to the legitimacy of the Jewish State and its citizens” and explains “Sir Henry McMahon's two written refutations of the oft-heard claim that Britain promised Palestine to the Arabs... Some dozen international law experts are cited on the legitimacy of the Israeli settlements” including clarification “that most of the land in Palestine was not individually owned by Arabs, with much of it public land owned instead by the Ottoman Turkish government”. Benzimra “demolishes any narrative holding that Arabs are the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine whose land was stolen from them by the Jews. The copious material in this book will be invaluable in exposing all such narratives as the shams they invariably are”.

One reader who appears to have knowledge of anti-Israel campus and media events wrote pointedly that “With all the whoopderah of folks’ signs stating "Israel violates International Law", it becomes obvious that they don't know what they are talking about - a truly enlightening read.”

Benzimra: under international law, the alleged Palestinian People don’t own the land of Israel — the Jewish People do

The purpose of Benzimra’s last trip to Israel had been to discuss the Government of Israel’s latest document on the legality of Israeli settlements, now being posted on all Israel embassy websites worldwide, with Israeli leaders. Benzimra’s  “Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel” detailed inter alia that the Jewish People’s legal rights had been ignored both by the Arab world and  international forums and by Israel itself.  Benzimra’s trip, together with his colleague Goldie  Steiner and Diane Bederman, a Canadian journalist, was intended to express his concern that this latest MFA Report  failed to traverse  the Arab allegation that the invented "Palestinian Arab People” owned the territory liberated by Israel in 1967.  Benzimra wanted Israel to come to a realization that merely stating that the Jewish People have a claim to their territory is insufficient, even if Israel’s claim is presented as better. What should be said, Benzimra believed, was simply that under international law, the alleged Palestinian People don’t own the land of Israel — the Jewish People do. Benzimra’s view was that Arab propaganda was ignoring what was legally a “settled matter” -- settled i when the international community decided irrevocably in favor of the Jewish People’s claim.  However, Benzimra’s concern was that the Jewish People was not currently responding, and in fact had never adequately responded, to  biased claims facilitated by organs of the United Nations, of illegal occupation and illegal settlements.  

Tributes

Benzimra “did great work in promoting Israel’s legal rights. He will be sorely missed,” IsraPundit’s Ted Belman wrote earlier today.

A follower of Benzimra, Miroslav Marinov, wrote that “Israel is the only country in the world so mercilessly scrutinized to the point where many are against its very existence. [M]any defenders of the country think that it was created after World War II as a "gift" to the Jews from the European nations which felt guilty about the Holocaust. The whole issue is so deeply emotionally charged... [Benzimra’s] background in engineering ...helped him bypass all the emotions involved and present a cold factual account. [I]n order to get [The facts he presents] you need to sift through thousands of pages of historical books... [Benzimra’s book] convincingly shows that the state of Israel was not a result of a guilty conscience or an invasion - the reasons for its existence are rooted deeply in ... legal decisions made during the 20th century.”

Toronto Zionist Council’s Paul Rotenberg said that “Solomon ben Zimra is a well known and well respected name to anyone who has been involved in Israel advocacy. [H]is presence was always larger than life, at many venues around the world”.