At university we are told about the evils of “
Jewish Zionist colonialism”, invading and occupying Palestinian land. The reality could not be farther from the truth. Denying Jews their indigenous rights to Judea & Samaria, their rights to access holy sites in Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron and Shiloh or simply to settle the land of their ancestors is undeniably against the core values of Social Justice. A similar case can be made for the Aboriginal community in Australia, that no member of the Social Justice campaign movement would deny an indigenous Australian to access a holy site. So why is it that the Jewish state and her citizens are singled out as a nation that should be denied the right to resettle what was and what mostly is a vacant land?
First off here are facts over the history of Judea and Samaria
1) The land was first settled by Jews over 3000 years ago by the 12 tribes as the Kingdom of Israel.
2) Palestinians never dwelt, occupied or built in the region. The Philistines (A Phoenician, polytheistic, nation, no relation to modern Palestinians) held five city states alongside the Levantine’s Southern coastline. Significant Arab settlement would arrive primarily in early middle ages with the rise of the Islamic Caliphate (Circa 600 C.E.)
3) There is substantial archaeological evidence proving that Ancient Israel’s heartland resided in the foothills of Judea and Samaria by archaeological excavations in Hebron (Israel’s Ancient capital) Shiloh (home of the Tabernacle) and the Jerusalem Temple mount rather than the modern coasts of Haifa, Tel-Aviv and Ashdod (not to discount the importance of those regions).
Now that we have established Jews have a direct connection to the land it is time that we look for the legal justification of Zionist settlement within the territories.
1) Under the Ottoman Land code of 1858, the majority of land in Judea and Samaria was defined as “Mewat” dead or undeveloped land. Private properties or land defined as “Mulk” was incredibly limited and rare. Therefore when Zionist settlers bought the land from Absent Turkish Landlords they were in their legal right to reside within the land they had just purchased. Land which was considered “Mewat” for more than 8 years was considered vacant and therefore was liable to be purchased by the state. Therefore this shows that Jewish settlers (Both then and now) did not simply come and occupy private land, rather it was mostly desolate, unsettled and legally transferred to state control following 1948/1967.
2) The San Remo conference (1920) gave legal justification of Jewish settlement in all regions of the British mandate for Palestine. The Resolution stated “in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. No mention of the “Green line”, or “West Bank”, because it was unilaterally known that the Arab populace preferred to be merged with Syria to become a Southern Syrian province.
3) The acceptance of the 1947 partition plan was never placed into effect due to one party rejecting the terms and conditions of the proposal (Even though the Jewish state would have comprised of 75% desert and have a waistline of 12 kilometres). Therefore since the partition plan was never mutually agreed on, Israel has no legal right to succeed land since their is no legal, independent owner of the territory. Therefore legally the term is considered “Disputed rather than occupied”.
4) Post 1967 war, with Israel now in control of the territories, the U.N. adopted resolution 242 ascertaining that each state within the region has the right “to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Currently with Gaza being controlled by an army of genocidal terrorists and a large portion of Palestinian West Bank members wishing to vote in a Hamas controlled government, Israel under the resolution has no current obligation to withdraw to what are considered “indefensible borders.” This doesn’t even take into account the Golan and the threat of terrorism on the Israeli-Syrian border.
This is the reality of the settlements. Jewish communities, having a just cause for resettling and building a land that remains 60% unsettled and fortifying Israel’s borders from a people that would desire its destruction. The fact that 80% of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria reside next to the Armistice line and that these Cities and Towns did not simply usurp land from the Arab population does not do justice to the conflict. In reality this conflict is 50 Shades of Blue and White. We acknowledge that the Jewish Communities in the territories aren’t perfect, however considering that they are under constant threat from being massacred from a virulently Anti-Semitic Arab population we support their rights in legally settling the lands.
You need but visit the region to see the vast amounts of land currently unused and unsettled which in a way is a sublime experience to see the natural state of the deserts and green foothills of the land.
To conclude we as Young Conservatives support the Social Justice movement in promoting Jewish access to their ancient homeland and religious sites which are frequently under threat, including, free access to the Temple Mount which is currently denied to Jewish pilgrims.