A judiciary committee has concluded that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are in fact legal. The West Bank, the committee believes, is not occupied territory and therefore Israel has the legal right to settle it. Is it a legally viable conclusion? One would find it hard to dismiss such a conclusion, authored by a former High Court justice, and the former legal advisor to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Alan Baker, one of the committee members, said today that the report produced by the committee is “legal” and not “political”. I have no doubt that the authors believe this to be the case – and I have no doubt that such belief is irrelevant. As soon as the report was released and published, a barrage of responses followed the most banal route of political patterns. Ministers of the right immediately leapt on the opportunity to legalize all West Bank outposts, calling the report an historic opportunity. Left-wing NGOs attacked the report without even taking the time to pretend to have read it first.
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