Australia’s former Foreign Minister and former head of Labor Friends of Israel – Bob Carr - has entered the debate concerning Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on 23 December with his article in the Sydney Morning Herald “The Genius of the UN’s Resolution on Israeli settlements” (December 27)
His contribution is riddled with the following errors that cannot be allowed to stand unanswered and uncorrected. They must be rectified.
- He states that Levi Eshkol’s chief legal advisor Theodor Meron advised the Prime Minister in 1967 that the Geneva Convention says no nation may settle its own population on land it wins in war.
What Mr Carr omits to tell readers is that this very same Mr Meron changed his opinion on the applicability of the Geneva Convention in 1968 when he co-signed the following advice to Israel’s then Ambassador to the United States – Yitzchak Rabin:
“to tell the Americans that there are unique aspects to the status of the territories and to our status in the territories. Before the Six-Day War, the Gaza Strip wasn’t Egyptian territory, and the West Bank, too, was territory that had been occupied and annexed by Jordan without international recognition. Given this ambiguous, indeterminate territorial situation, the question of the convention’s applicability is complex and unclear prior to a peace agreement that includes setting secure and recognized borders.”
- Carr claims Meron is alive today, an eminent international jurist. He says he was right then and is right now.
No evidence is supplied by Carr to substantiate that claim – which is obviously rebutted by Meron’s revised 1968 opinion to Rabin anyway. Why did Carr fail to mention Meron’s 1968 epiphany?
- Carr claims all settlements in the West Bank are illegal.
Wrong – all those settlements are legal under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter – territory-specific legislation dating back to 1922 that is still valid today.
- Carr claims that Israel has been spreading settlements as fast as possible to render it impossible to achieve a two-state solution.
Wrong – the settlements cover only 5% of the 'West Bank' territory. Israel made offers to cede its claims to 90% of the 'West Bank' in 2000/1 and 95% in 2008.
There has been no settlement because the Arabs want 100%.
- Carr claims Israeli Governments have gifted settlers the best land.
Absolutely wrong – the land given to settlers for which they pay has been land that has remained unsettled and undeveloped for the last 3000 years. It comprises State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes as prescribed under Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine.
- Carr claims that if the Palestinian Arabs throw up a granny flat without approval in Area C it is promptly demolished by army bulldozers.
Wrong – the granny flats are being thrown up by the European Union without approval to create facts on the ground. Yes – they are being demolished as happens to any illegal structures built anywhere in the World.
The European Union has no legal right to charge in without authorization.
- Carr asks - If Israel is really open to giving the land to the PA in a peace deal why allow settlements in the first place?
Because the Arabs refused to negotiate with Israel between 1967 and 1993 and Israel was legally entitled to settle there.
Israel did the same in Gaza and unilaterally disengaged from every square inch of land there as well as a part of the 'West Bank' in 2005.
- Carr relies on Obama’s envoy and former Ambassador Martin Indyk to confirm 'settlements' destroyed the deal.
Yet between 1948 and 1967 there were no 'settlements' - after all the Jews living in eastern Jerusalem, the 'West Bank' and Gaza had been driven out by the invading Transjordanian and Egyptian armies. The Arabs could have had their state at any time during those 20 years with the stroke of an Arab League pen in precisely the same area they now claim for themselves.
They could have had an even greater area had they not rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan
95% of the Arab population live in Areas A and B and their daily lives are completely ruled by the PA and PLO.. Only 4% of the Arabs live in Area C under Israeli rule.
Carr finally twigs when he states that historically the aged and corrupt Palestinian leadership has to bear some responsibility and that they've let their people down.
Too many offers have gone begging and will not return again given the horrendous events being played out in the Middle East right now.
- Carr claims the Palestinians are offering a demilitarized state – a Palestine without an army –and Western peacekeepers within their borders. It is hard to imagine more explicit security guarantees.
Mr Carr provides no source for this very important information – which is new to me and as far as I know, to everyone.
- Carr claims the 83% Arab population of the West Bank is being ruled by a racial and religious minority of 17%.
Aboslutely wrong – 95% of the Arab population live in Areas A and B and their daily lives are completely ruled by the PA and PLO.. Only 4% of the Arabs live in Area C under Israeli rule.
Bob Carr – like the United Nations Security Council - relying on these and similar incorrect and unsubstantiated facts –– is in a state of complete denial about Jewish rights to settle in the 'West Bank' and the legality of Jewish communities there as well as of the reality on the ground..
Both should take the time to better acquaint themselves with fact – not fiction - if they ever want to be believed.