Dry Bones: EU, UN semantics
Dry Bones: EU, UN semanticsY. KIrschen

Many travel agents, tour operators and airlines seem to have been unwittingly caught up in the Arab-Jewish conflict – as the case of Australia’s national airline – Qantas – has exposed.

Websites like Reservations.com (image below), Champion Traveler and Zen Hotels have also been using the term “State of Palestine” to identify the location of holiday destinations in Judea and Samaria.

Qantas is currently conducting an investigation:

Other travel websites use the term “Palestinian Territories” to pinpoint the location of holiday spots in Judea and Samaria.

The United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) have been using the term “occupied Palestinian Territories” for the last 20 years to define the territories known as Judea and Samaria ('West Bank'), East Jerusalem and Gaza (“Territories”).

These Territories should be re-labelled the “Disputed Territories” as explained in 2002 by Dore Gold - former Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN (1997 -1999):

“... the use of 'occupied Palestinian territories' denies any Israeli claim to the land: had the more neutral language of 'disputed territories' been used, then the Palestinians and Israel would be on an even playing field with equal rights. Additionally, by presenting Israel as a 'foreign occupier,' advocates of the Palestinian cause can delegitimize the Jewish historical attachment to Israel.

"This has become a focal point of Palestinian diplomatic efforts since the failed 2000 Camp David Summit, but particularly since the UN Durban Conference in 2001. Indeed, at Durban, the delegitimization campaign against Israel exploited the language of 'occupation' in order to invoke the memories of Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War and link them to Israeli practices in the 'West Bank' and Gaza Strip.”

The right of the Jewish People to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in these Territories – part of their ancient and biblical homeland 3000 years ago - was specifically granted by the:

  • San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres in 1920
  • League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922

Article 80 of the 1945 UN Charter has preserved this Jewish entitlement until today.

Travel tour operators cannot escape identifying ancient Jewish sites in Judea and Samaria – even as they use this false and misleading UN and EU language designed to bury their existence:

Tripadvisor describes Kalia Kibbutz, with its lovely Israeli resort, camping site and beach as being: “Adjacent to the Caves of Qumran Kalia 90666 Palestinian Territories”

The Dead Sea Scrolls were initially discovered in the Caves of Qumran in 1947. The Scrolls comprise more than 800 mostly Hebrew documents written on animal skin and papyrus, that shed light on the histories of Judaism and Christianity. Among the texts are parts of every book of the Hebrew Bible — the Old Testament—except the book of Esther. The Scrolls also contain the earliest version of the Ten Commandments.

Most, experts say, were written between 200 B.C.E. and the period prior to the failed Jewish revolt to gain political and religious independence from Rome that lasted from C.E.. 66 to 70.

Obama and Netanyahu See the Dead Sea Scrolls
Obama and Netanyahu See the Dead Sea ScrollsFlash 90

Tripadvisor fails to disclose that Kalia Kibbutz was established in the 1930’s but was destroyed by Transjordan in 1948 when it invaded and conquered Western Palestine. Residents of Kalia and nearby Kibbutz Beit HaArava – established in 1939 - fled by boat on 20 May 1948.

The area remained unpopulated save for a Jordanian military camp until lost by Jordan to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Kalia was re-established and resettled by Jews in 1972 - Beit HaArava similarly in 1996.

The UN and EU use of language denying Jews have any proprietary rights in Judea and Samaria is pointedly racist.

UN engagement in such reprehensible conduct in blatant violation of its own Charter explains why the UN has failed to end the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict. Palestinian Arab insistence on providing false information to airlines and others about "Palestinian territories" or the non-existent "State of Palestine" when referring to Israeli-populated land explains the rest.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.