Friday, July 13, 2012

The Middle East Media Sampler 7/13/2012: Key Parts Of Levy Report Translated

From DG:
1) False history 

A reader has provided Elder of Ziyon with a translation of some important parts of the Levy committee's legal reasonning. One of the central features of current critiques of Israel is claiming that it violated (or is violating) the Fourth Geneva Convention with its policy of allowing Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

The Levy committee wrote:
We do not believe that one can draw an analogy between this legal provision and those who sought to settle in Judea and Samaria not as a result of them being "deported" or "transferred" but because of their world view - to settle the Land of Israel. 
We did not ignore the view of those who think that one should interpret the Fourth Geneva Convention as also prohibiting the occupying state to encourage or support the transfer of parts of its population to the occupied territory, even if it did not instigated it (on this issue see note 13 here). 
But even if this interpretation is correct, we would not change our conclusion that no analogy should be drawn between Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, in light of the status of the area under international law, and for that matter a brief history is required.
The history repeated here is often forgotten and, unfortunately, obfuscated.

Shaul Bartal writes in Fabricating Palestinian History (via Daily Alert):
The Palestinian Arab assault on the Jewish connection to Jerusalem continues apace aided and abetted not only by radical Islamists or angry Silwanites but by fellow travelers in the media and in academia, including Israeli Jews. 
Consider the tours carried out by Emek Shaveh, an Israeli nonprofit organization, and Palestinian residents of Silwan with a view to rebuffing the "political archaeology of the Jews" and to prove the area's "true" archaeological significance.[49] Emek Shaveh's founder Yonathan Mizrachi, who has voluntarily left his job at Israel's Antiquity Authority, spares no effort to downplay the Jewish biblical history of the area. As he put it: "After three hours on [an Israeli-organized] tour, you are convinced that you are at a totally Jewish site where evidence of Canaanite, Byzantine, and Muslim, and, of course, Palestinian [civilizations] are pushed aside. Jerusalem has 4,000 years of history. They only focus on the marvelous stories of King Solomon, David, and Hezekiyah, of which, by the way, they haven't found any archaeological evidence that ties them to the place."[50]
Sadly, the battle over Silwan (and for that matter the wider Palestinian-Israeli conflict) is likely to continue as long as Palestinian Arabs and their brethren refuse to recognize that another people, the Jews, have a claim to the Land of Israel.
2) Behind the scenes in Syria

In The Sovereignty of Violence, Jonathan Spyer writes of his recent observations of Syria:
It should surprise no-one that sponsoring Qatar and Saudi Arabia to build the rebellion in Syria will result in a Sunni Islamist-dominated insurgency. The Qataris back the Muslim Brothers, so that is who is now growing stronger. The Saudis support the Salafis, so they are growing too. It is the Sunni Islamists who have the shiny new hardware that is destroying Assad’s tanks and his helicopters. 
But even the officers and men of the Free Syrian Army, most of whom oppose Islamism, appear firmly within the familiar boundaries of Arab nationalism. The distrust of non-Arab minorities, the paranoia regarding the west and Israel. All are easy to discern. Hence the almost entirely Sunni Arab complexion of the rebellion against Assad preceded the current rise of the Sunni Islamists within it. 
I have seen the regime side less close up, for obvious reasons. But when imagining the convoys across the mountains bringing money to the rebels, one should also picture the Russian ships bringing gleaming new arms and machines to the regime.
There's a lot more there, much of it unsettling, but well worth reading.

3) The secret connection

Shortly after the United States invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein an Iraqi infant was flown to Israel for life saving surgery. That led some to hope that post-Saddam Iraq might be a changed place with respect to Israel. That hasn't happened.

However, The Times of Israel reports that a secret Iraqi trade route has been operating in Israel. (via Daily Alert)
Iraq and Israel do not enjoy diplomatic relations but the Israeli port of Haifa has been secretly serving as a conduit for trade between Iraq and Europe for a long time, Haifa mayor Yona Yahav told Al-Jazeera. Trucks from Jordan carrying Iraqi merchandise arrive at Haifa port and load it onto ships that travel to Europe. A WikiLeaks document published in October 2010 revealed a conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin in February 2009 in which Netanyahu spoke of “strong but unpublicized trade between Haifa port and Iraq via Jordan.” 
Yahav said the Israeli government is investing $70.6 million in a train line between Haifa and Beit She’an, on the border with Jordan. Trade expert Matanis Shahadeh told Al-Jazeera that from Iraq’s point of view, the Iraq-Haifa route is much more direct and cost-efficient than the alternative maritime route through the Persian Gulf.

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