A New York Times editorial Tuesday rewrites history and claims Israel “took” Judea and Samaria from Jordan in 1967, when Jordan fled the areas after joining other Arab nations as they converged on Israel in the Six Day War.
The editorial lambasted Israel in last week's non-binding report by a government-appointed judicial panel, which contradicted the international community’s claim that Israel is an “occupier” and that it is illegal for Jewish communities to exist in Judea and Samaria.
The editorial stance of the Times was not surprising, but its editorial actually twisted the fact that Israel never “took" or conquered Judea and Samaria. The newspaper also repeated the frequent claim, not supported by facts, that all of Judea and Samaria were under authorized Jordanian sovereignty.
The Israeli panel of three legal experts, chaired by former High Court Justice Edmund Levy, pointed out that Jordan actually was the occupier of what mainstream media calls the “West Bank, which also is a misnomer because the literal definition is all of the land west of the Jordan River and reaching the Mediterranean Coast.
The United Nations partition plan of 1947 was to divide Israel, administered under the British Mandate, between Israel and a new Arab state after Britain had created the artificial country of Transjordan. After the Arab world refused to accept the idea of a Jewish State of Israel, the War for Independence broke out and ended with the Temporary Armistice Lines of 1949. Jordan assumed sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria because its forces had occupied the area.
Jordanian forces fled the entire area during the Six Day War in 1967, leaving Israel to administer Judea and Samaria. Israel could be termed an “occupier” in the land that fell under its control and had been part of the country, but Jordan itself had occupied Judea and Samaria in 1947.
Nevertheless, The New York Times editorial continues to allege that Israel is in violation of “the Fourth Geneva Convention [that] bars occupying powers from settling their own populations in occupied lands.”
Even the editorial’s headline – “Wrong Time for New Settlements” – was a bit misleading concerning the newspaper’s opinion, which does not leave an option for a “right time” for settlements.
The Times also concluded that the Levy report was a “disastrous blow” because “pushing ahead with new settlements in the West Bank” is an obstacle to “peace talks, the best guarantee of a durable solution” to the Palestinian Authority-Israeli dispute.”
The newspaper even warned that the report also will damage Western efforts to halt Iran’s unsupervised nuclear development.
It reasoned that the report will bring about “new international anger at Israel…that could divert attention from Iran just when the world is bearing down with sanctions and negotiations to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.”