Diplomats trample Israeli sovereignty yet again

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — and of course the UK, UN, EU etc. — sharply criticized Israel after several Arab families were evicted from homes in the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled against them in a dispute over ownership of the homes.

The details of the dispute are very Middle Eastern, with claims on both sides going back to the Ottoman period. Simply, some Palestinians claim they own the homes while some Jews claim the Palestinians are squatting on their property. There is no way that I — or any other blogger or journalist — could possibly say anything intelligent about the facts or the law of this case, which is quite complicated.

What I can say is that given the makeup and the record of Israel’s Supreme Court, it is unthinkable that they did not bend over backward to be fair — or more — to the Palestinians.

The Court is the bête noir of right-wing and religious Israelis, who have strongly objected to its decisions in such matters as the security barrier, punishment of soldiers accused of mistreating Arabs, the participation of Arab parties and candidates opposed to the existence of Israel in Israeli elections, the right of Arabs to sue the IDF for damages resulting from actions in the territories, etc.

In short, if the Supreme Court saw fit to rule in favor of  ‘settlers’ and against  Palestinians, it’s a safe bet that the Jews had a damn good case.

But Mrs. Clinton didn’t go into facts or law. She said,

I think these actions are deeply regrettable … The eviction of families and demolition of homes in east Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations and I urge the government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions.

And the British Consulate issued a statement, which included the following:

We are appalled by the eviction in East Jerusalem this morning … These actions are incompatible with the Israeli professed desire for peace. We urge Israel not to allow the extremists to set the agenda.

Clinton, the British Consulate, the EU spokesperson and the UN “Special Envoy” did not need to take lessons in Israeli real estate law, which has elements from the Ottoman and British legal codes, nor did they need to look at the Turkish documents that both sides placed into evidence.

No, everyone seems to be in agreement that the real issue is that Israel has no right to decide anything in East Jerusalem (if you ask the US State Department, they would include West Jerusalem, too).

Although one wonders what they would have said if the Court had decided in favor of the Palestinians.

Like the insistence on a settlement freeze in which East Jerusalem neighborhoods that were populated by Jews before 1948 are “just settlements”, this incident exposes the desire on the part of the US and others to wrest control of part — maybe all — of Israel’s capital city away from her.

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4 Responses to “Diplomats trample Israeli sovereignty yet again”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    The right point was made here. The generally bend- over- backwards to accomodate the Palestinians , Israeli Supreme Court would never have ruled in favor of the Jewish families had they not had the much stronger claim. The second point is also correct. The knee- jerk reaction of Clinton and others shows a lack of real understanding, or even desire to understand.
    I suppose this is more evidence yet of how ‘pro- Israel’ the Obama Administration is.

  2. Mike Packer says:

    The Israeli Supreme court has finally made a decision in line with International Law and in light of this perhaps the Jewish National Fund will now start to reclaim the land they own in “East” Jerusalem.

    I can, perhaps, understand Clinton and Obama when they submit their indignation because they are operating from ignorance of Middle East history. Understandable but definately inexcusable for people of their standing in the International Community.

    The British Government has the mitigating gall to complain to the Isreali Government over the eviction of Arab squatters. The problems we have with the “Palestinians” today is because the British flagrantly acted outside their Mandate in Palestine by allowing unhindered immigration of Arabs while denying immigration to Jews which was mandated by the League of Nations.
    If they had acted according to their Mandate we would not be considered “illegal” settlers in our homeland. Their complaints are obscene to say the least.

  3. Robman says:

    What do you expect from Clinton, whose foundation received some $45 million in donations from Gulf Arab states. Anybody think that was given out of the goodness of their hearts?

    As for Britain, this is the country where more money is going into their university system from Saudi Arabia than from the British government! Ever wonder why so many of those academic boycott movements against Israel seem to originate in Britain? Funny, that….

    As for Obama, I’m sure someday whole volumes will be written about this, but you all perhaps recall the references to Obama’s U Chicago buddy, Rashid Khalidi. Well, I’ve met Rashid Khalidi. He was a guest professor for a class I took at U Chicago when I was getting my MA in International Relations in the late 1980s. I had to read one of his putrid books. As sure as the world is round, I can assure you all that this fellow was and is as dedicated to the destruction of Israel as the sponsors of this site are to her preservation. And this guy not only was a frequent dinner companion and family friend of Obama, but even raised $70,000 for his senate campaign. Suppose he did this because he just though Obama was a “nice guy”?

    No, people, let’s not kid ourselves. This is not simply “ignorance of the facts”. This is very purposeful, willful ignorance of the facts. This is a managerie of puppets stage managed by Gulf sheiks and princes. You think if any one of you in this forum had an hour of uninterrupted access to any of these players (e.g., Clinton, Obama, Brown, ad nauseum), you could talk any sense to them? You think they would do any more than nod politely in response to any of your well-researched, reasoned arguments? I can assure you, the next day they would go straight back to their old Israel-bashing line as if you had been talking to a wall all along!

    I’m all in favor of reasoned argument, mind you, but after being involved in Israel advocacy for over a dozen years now, it is rapidly becoming apparent to this observer that we are often wasting our time in this tactic, just as our adversaries intend! A much greater effort needs to be made to expose the corrupt money trail that really decides how these officials behave.

    What Jeff Goldberg at the Atlantic Monthly did with HRW was just the tip of the iceberg. More of this needs to be exposed, and it goes all the way to the top in a lot of places, that is for sure. Until this happens, I fear we waste our time trying to talk sense to such people, writing off their outrageous behavior as mere “ignorance”.

  4. Shalom Freedman says:

    This is a response to Robman’s informative post. I am certain you are right about the need for more investigative journalism to expose the money line leading from Saudi and the Gulf to all kinds of places, including U.S. Middle Eastern studies programs. The question is whether this too would make any real difference.
    After the exposure of the corrupt connection between Riyadh and Washington by among others Dore Gold , so far as I can tell, no real change has been made anywhere.