Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Israeli Settlements Are Legal Under International Law

When U.N. leaders call continued Israeli settlement unproductive and illegal, upon what are they basing this on? Under International Law Israel is the legal guardian of the land, they can literally do as they please; if so, then why all the whining that Israeli settlement activity is wrong?

In practice, they are placing political progress in the pursuit of the current peace process, ahead of fundamental International Law, i.e. increasing Israeli security, which settlement expansion, if nothing else, does precisely that.

But the theoretical basis of the assumption that Israeli settlements are a ‘bad’ thing rests on the concept that West Bank and Gaza Palestinian Arabs view it as bad. In other words, as Israeli settlement activity offends Palestinian society, it is “illegal” because it is unproductive towards the current peace process. The current peace process, however, is not a law; it is merely an initiative that the U.N. supports.

It is the height of arrogance to assume that just because the UN supports something it is to be considered the absolute law, and in fact, as that would remove free will from individual nations, the pursuit of a peace policy that endangers national rights, is illegal itself!

The right of nations to pursue their own agreements and treaties with their neighbors without threat of violence is the foundation of the entirety of International Law, and other than Jus Cogens / Primal Law, nothing is more potent than a treaty between nations in International Law. Therefore there is no basis in International Law for such an erroneous belief as to force feed a peace deal that is not in the best interests of the nation involved.

In other words, when U.N. leadership says that it is illegal for Israel to pursue settlement, they are really saying it is politically inconvenient, and if any of them truly believe that it is illegal then they are mistaken. International Law need not bow to global politics; actually it is the reverse that must occur so that law and order may properly function in the world.

We see why Israel goes to America for evenhanded mediation, not the U.N., as the U.N. not only does not take Israeli societal preferences as an equal and counterbalancing claim to Palestinian societal preferences, but the U.N. has been ignoring the very law it claims to represent, in regards to Israeli claims in the face of Palestinian Terror.

But aren’t settlements an encroachment on Palestinian land?

No, according to the U.N. itself even this has not been established yet.

According to U.N. resolutions, (which carry a third tier legal status of importance, below Jus Cogens and Treaties) Israel and the Palestinian Arabs have to determine the borders, and that means NO BODY ELSE can determine the borders. As shown by the fact that there have been no U.N. ratified objections targeted against Palestinian settlement expansion, this proves clearly that there is no real law against the concept of "settlement expansion", per say. Except if done by Israelis. Therefore we see that objective standards such as law have been thrown out the window whenever the topic of Israeli settlements are raised at the U.N.

As long as Israel has an evenhanded policy in settlement expansion, there is no reason to believe that anything truly wrong is being done by settlement expansion. And as expansion of settlements decreases security risks for Israel, settlement expansion should be considered enshrined and protected within the category of Jus Cogens itself. Therefore even if Israel, for example, were to halt all Palestinian expansion and continued only Israeli expansion, as a policy against terror, they would have a theoretical “right” to do so, however politically improbable it may actually be.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Foreign Policy Toward Russia

As I wrote less than two months ago, Russia has shown willingness in the past to play chicken with the safety of its people in foreign borders, having assumed that no one would risk Russian wrath, and having accepted that performing violence against anyone who dares threaten citizens of Russia is perfectly legitimate, even if poor judgment placed them in harm's way to begin with.

Unfortunately, Georgia did not read or take my warning to heart. I am hoping other countries in the West will not make the same mistake. The Russian action against Georgia should have woken everyone up. There is no need to even mention my warning save for the fact that all this was so predictable that even a simple fellow such as myself could figure it out.

I do not blame Russia alone for the events in Georgia. Either the Russians in North Ossetia should be moved to Russia or the territory should be transferred to Russia in peaceful negotiations. The timid or careless reaction by the EU to the decades long pressure build up between Russia and Georgia is the main reason this matter has come to bloodshed.

Diplomatic ideals must give way to the imperative of preventing live warfare. It is vital to make Russia tell its workers to leave Iranian reactor sites or else. The West may be on track for another cold war with Russia, but it is more than wise to make sure that nothing worse than a cold war transpires. Don't worry about the West being painted as a bully towards Russia. Just work to make sure everyone lives to read the history books that discuss these events of today.