Jewish Journal


July 12, 2012

Settlements are legal, but who cares?


The West Bank settlement of Givat Ze'ev, near Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

The West Bank settlement of Givat Ze'ev, near Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

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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