Stand with The Libertarian Institute

The Empire has us on the brink of nuclear Armageddon. The central bank has us flirting with economic-social collapse. Americans are increasingly paranoid of one another and simultaneously invested in wielding the state against one another.

The voices of the establishment are legion. The voices of dissent are few. Make your stand for liberty by supporting The Libertarian Institute today.

To Annex or Not to Annex — Is the Question Moot?

by | Jul 22, 2020

To Annex or Not to Annex — Is the Question Moot?

by | Jul 22, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who remains under a cloud of personal corruption, had more or less promised to annex some of the West Bank in July. He’s let his deadline slip, we’ve been told, because he doesn’t want to proceed while his buddy Trump is preoccupied with other matters. He must need the cover, which is interesting in itself. Meanwhile leading Jewish Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer are uneasy with annexation talk, perhaps because his party is no longer solidly in Israel’s corner.

So who can say when and if a formal annexation will occur? I prefer to ask: does it matter? If the state of Israel does nothing, the Palestinians of the West Bank will remain without rights, ruled under an apartheid regime either by Israel directly or by Israel’s subcontractor for security, the authoritarian Palestinian Authority.

As the indefatigable Norman Finkelstein often reminds us, Israel has already de facto annexed the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which is just a big open-air prison. Under international law, when a government occupies an adversary’s territory during a war, it is obliged to regard the occupation as strictly temporary. Keeping it and moving citizens into it are indisputably illegal acts. The law makes no distinction between offensive and defensive wars, although the 1967 war, in which Israel seized the Palestinian territories (which Jordan had occupied since 1948), was not defensive.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice reaffirmed this aspect of international law when it condemned Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, the Jewish-only settlements, and the wall of separation as illegal.

By now, after 53 years, we are entitled to notice that Israel’s occupation is not temporary. And that means the territories’ status is not one of occupation but of annexation. It won’t do to say that Israeli governments have tried to negotiate with the Palestinians according to the land-for-peace formula called for by the postwar UN Resolution 242. Israel has often pretended that it would be willing to give up some land for peace, but it is hard to take those gestures seriously. Every so-called “generous” Israeli offer contained so many conditions and Israeli prerogatives that the Palestinian territories would have been nothing more than a scattered archipelago of vassal districts. This is no less true of Trump’s grand plan for Israel and Palestine.

The Palestinians have been victims of a cruel Israeli (and American) joke — often with the complicity of what are laughably called their rulers, who have put their personal interests ahead of the people they claim to represent.

No wonder Netanyahu is in no hurry. He’s already got what he wants. If he were to formally annex some of the West Bank, he would get flak both from those who support the long-suffering Palestinians and from his domestic right-wing, which will complain that he did not annex enough.

So as I say, what’s his hurry?

About Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies; former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education; and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest books are Coming to Palestine and What Social Animals Owe to Each Other.

Our Books

thisone

Related Articles

Related

Who Do We Blame?

Who Do We Blame?

This is from The Wall Street Journal last week: FTX suffered a “complete failure of corporate controls” that culminated in an “unprecedented debacle,” its new chief executive officer said Thursday. John J. Ray, who has helped oversee some of the biggest bankruptcies...

read more
Vote Buying Surges in Advance of Georgia Runoff

Vote Buying Surges in Advance of Georgia Runoff

President Joe Biden is tottering on the edge of his most inefficient vote-buying binge yet. As the runoff race for Georgia’s Senate seat enters its final weeks, the Biden administration may rubberstamp a nationwide handout to snare a handful of Peach State ballots....

read more
NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution

NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution

As our government continues to bumble and stumble at full speed towards World War III, the concept of tripwires and the legal authority of Article 5 become required understanding for the vigilant citizen. Last week the American people received the then-breaking news...

read more
Search for Easy Money Fueled FTX-Crypto Collapse

Search for Easy Money Fueled FTX-Crypto Collapse

The collapse of the crypto exchange FTX may prove to be a canary in the coal mine of the easy-money-fueled crypto bubbles. FTX’s collapse has exposed just how little due diligence is actually taking place among investors, who are apparently willing to put large...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This