Yoram Shifftan and Bernice Lipkin
Ariel Sharon was elected because Israeli voters no longer believed in the
promises of the Oslo Accord. They had rejected the idea of giving up territory
or making any more unreciprocated concessions to the Arabs. They wanted
forceful military action to protect Israel. Sharon promised to be such a leader.
Instead, once elected, Sharon promoted a Palestinian state, protected Arab ‘
civilians’ complicit in bomb building by exposing Israel soldiers to
unnecessary danger, responded minimally to Arab terrorism and completed a slide into
chaos by announcing he was uprooting the Jews of Gaza from their homes; this
to be followed by dismantling settlements in Samaria and Judea. Rather than
uniting a country facing grave dangers, he has succeeding in splitting Israel
into indecisive and hostile factions, squabbling among themselves and not
focused on dealing effectively with their real problem: the Arabs, whose goal
continues to be the destruction of Israel.
Sharon has cited American pressure, the demographic threat, and other
arguments, none of which are convincing. Nor is it clear what his real motives are.
He acts like a man no long subject to reason, so intent on rushing to his
goal, he is willing to destroy anything that gets in his way ‘ whether this is
people, his party or Israel as a democracy.
The fundamental illegality of Sharon’s adventurism is that his actions are a
violation of the law of trusts, which defines the complete set of
beneficiaries for any given trust. In this case, it is the ‘Jewish People’ that is the
beneficiary of the ‘Sacred Trust of Civilization’, which was enacted in
perpetuity by the League of Nations, and further upheld by the Charter of the
United Nations and the International Court of Justice.
According to the ‘Sacred Trust of Civilization’, the trustees of the
Mandate (currently the UN and its agencies) are enjoined to facilitate the Jews in
their dense settlement of the land of Palestine. The land is not to be
transferred out of Jewish control. All residents have civil and humanitarian
rights, but only the Jews have political and national status.
The beneficiaries of this particular trust include Jews everywhere, and all
future generations of Jews. The contemplated uprooting deprives beneficiaries
of the Palestine trust such as future Jewish generations of their rights.
The proposed uprooting involves one beneficiary depriving other beneficiaries
of their rights. In international law, the Israeli government has no right to
give away this land.
Sharon has downplayed the legal aspects of ceding this land to the Arabs. It
is quite likely his government knows the settlements are legal ‘ why else
has official Israel been forbidden to defend their legality? Israel has muzzled
its diplomats and not allowed them to assert in public Jewish national
rights. Instead, Israeli spokesmen sound as enthusiastic as their Arab
counterparts at the thought of establishing a viable Arab state next to Israel, however
much it will damage Israel. Israeli representatives, like Peres, who falsely
assert that ‘Israel even without Judea, Samaria and Gaza is already 78% of
Palestine,’ do enormous damage to Israel’s image.
The legality of the settlements is the keystone argument for both the
settlements in particular and the Jewish state in general. Sharon’s government has
not considered that if it allows the abrogation of international law with
regard to the settlements, how it will resist the ‘reasonable arguments’ that
Israel itself has no right to exist?