Soon after Israel’s April 9 general elections, US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil the “deal of the century.” What is clear is that Trump is taking serious steps to recognize the reality on the ground by not insisting that Israel relinquish its control over the Golan Heights and major Israeli controlled areas in Judea and Samaria. Trump should be thanked and commended for his recent recognition that these lands are NOT “occupied.” It is vitally important at this time to change the rhetoric, “to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past” and, to paraphrase a quote by Albert Einstein, to hope “for different results.”
In recent times, there have been tensions in the Palestinian arena. The rocket attack last week that scored direct hit on a home in Moshav Mishmeret in central Israel, the escalation in violence emanating from Gaza and the prospects of war concern us all, despite the lull in recent days. Furthermore, there have been repeated calls from the Palestinian Authority to not make peace or reconcile with the “infidels” prior to the recent escalation. Under such leadership, which rewards terrorists at the expense of its own employees, it may be impossible to make any peace agreement, even if it is the “deal of the century.”
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Therefore, it is time to embrace the truth that Israel is the rightful owner of the land where Jews have lived from time immemorial, and to which the Jewish people have historical, biblical and legal rights. While two million Palestinians do live beside Jews in these lands, they too would be better off being granted civil rights than living under the dictatorial rule of the Palestinian Authority, which systematically abuses and oppresses its own people, offering them nothing but despair and more violence. Given this, the time has come for the world to recognize Israel’s legal rights to the land and to offer the Palestinians a brighter future, where they could look forward to being a free people granted minority rights in a democratic state instead of living under the iron grip of a terrorist regime.
The “deal of the century” can only succeed if it is based on facts, not lies. Prominent Middle East scholar, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, has stated that, “Middle Eastern culture in 2019 is the same as it was a century ago and the region’s nations, as well as their rulers, are not prepared to accept Israel as a legitimate national entity with a priori rights to exist as a Jewish state or the state of the Jewish people.”
It is critical to remember that Israel has a legal right to Judea and Samaria, as well as to Gaza, under international law. These areas were part of the Mandate for Palestine which the League of Nations granted the Jews to establish a national home there. The Mandate for Palestine, which is codified in international law, is recognized as legally valid by Article 80 of the UN Charter, which validated all League of Nations Mandates as being legal into the present.
As Eugene Rostow, a dean of Yale Law School, noted, “A trust never terminates when a trustee dies, resigns, embezzles the trust property or is dismissed. The authority responsible for the trust appoints a new trustee or otherwise arranges for the fulfillment of its purpose. Its rules apply till today.”
The time has come for the Jewish people to re-assert its legal, historic and religious rights to the land where Jews became a nation 3,000 years ago and have since lived continuously for thousands of years. The time has come for the Palestinians to say goodbye to being ruled by terrorist thugs. So let’s finally put an end to the falsehood that there is an occupation and that Israel is an “occupier.” Terrorism and BDS will not dislodge the Jewish people. Jews are owners, not occupiers. The time has come for Israel to annex Judea and Samaria while assuring the Arabs there of their civil rights. President Trump should recognize such an annexation.
Mr. President, we thank you for helping Israel on many occasions and for your good intentions. This deal can only succeed by debunking myths created by the Palestinian Arab leadership and those complicit in their lies, who are ideologically opposed to peace and refuse to recognize Israel’s right to the land under any borders.
The writer is the founder and chair of Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights.