The world claims that Israel violates the Geneva Conventions, Article 49, Paragraph 6:
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
The original intention of this paragraph was described by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1958 this way:
This clause was adopted after some hesitation, by the XVIIth International Red Cross Conference (13). It is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. Such transfers worsened the economic situation of the native population and endangered their separate existence as a race.
They are referring in part to the German Generalplan Ost, a far reaching plan to colonize most of Europe and to expel (or murder) anyone who the Germans felt were inferior – and replace them, forcibly if necessary, with Aryans.
Only after 1967 did anyone think that this minor paragraph in a major article about forcible transfers of populations could apply to people who wanted to – voluntarily – return to the land of their ancestors in territory that was never under the legal sovereignty of a state.
For fifty years, the anti-Israel community of nations have been steadily nudging international law to be interpreted in a way that Israel’s actions of allowing Jews to voluntarily move to ancestral lands has gone from admirable to a war crime.
The first thing they needed to do was to define Judea and Samaria as “occupied territory,” since Geneva only refers to occupied territory. They do this using a neat trick: since no one doubts that the provisions of Geneva are humanitarian and meant to protect the existing population, they ignore the official definition of “occupied” as defined in the Hague Conventions where the occupied territory must belong to a “state.”
They say that the laws of occupation must apply anyway, because the people in the territory must be protected whether they are residing in a state (a “high contracting party”) or not.
Israel always accepted that it would uphold the humanitarian provisions of Geneva for any non-citizen Arabs who live under its rule, but building houses and communities – nearly always away from Arab population centers – do not violate any humanitarian rules of Geneva.
Israel’s enemies claim that Geneva applies to the territories in total, meaning that they have won the argument that the territories are occupied, and therefore they try to apply the paragraph about “transfer” to Jews who move voluntarily. The international community has acquiesced to this false interpretation of Geneva because nothing is more important than humanitarian considerations, so they say that Geneva must apply and ignore the fact that, strictly speaking, it doesn’t.
But that is still problematic to Israels enemies because it is obvious that this was not the intent of Geneva’s framers and paragraph 6 was a bit vague.
So the Additional Protocols for the Geneva Conventions were drafted in 1977 and they elevated this violation of international law into a “grave breach:”
4. In addition to the grave breaches defined in the preceding paragraphs and in the Conventions, the following shall be regarded as grave breaches of this Protocol, when committed wilfully and in violation of the Conventions or the Protocol:
(a) the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Convention;
Note how Israel’s enemies now placed a nation’s transfer of its own population before the much worse issue of forcible deportation. This is language that was directed at Israel and only Israel.
But there is still the problem of defining “transfer.” In Geneva Article 49, the term is used seemingly only in reference to involuntary transfer, as every other use of that term in that article is clearly referring to deportations or forcible transfer.
When the International Criminal Court was being created, the Arab nations seized the opportunity to upgrade Israel’s “crime” once again. The Rome Statute lists as war crimes things like murder, torture, kidnapping, intentionally attacking civilians – and it added one more that had never been considered a war crime in history:
The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
Arab states insisted on adding the “directly or indirectly” terminology and the drafting committee caved to pressure. The only target of this was, again, Israel, which would now be considered criminal for not stopping Jews from moving to their historic lands.
This is only one of many examples of how haters of Israel have managed to move the goalposts of international law, specifically against Israel and only Israel.
The sober jurists and arbiters of international law have allowed themselves to be manipulated, between decades of propaganda and laziness at deciding to “compromise” with those who want to destroy Israel, into believing that allowing Jews to houses are war crimes on par with directly and purposefully attacking civilians.
The biggest irony of all is that Geneva IV Article 49 is concerned with the huge human rights violations of forcible mass transfer of populations against their will – and yet the world is steadily moving towards using that very same human rights law to forcibly transfer hundreds of thousands of Jews out of their homes, many of whom have lived there all of their lives. It is not just a misinterpretation of Geneva – it is a perversion of Geneva. And it is only being directed at Jews. (Thousands of Israeli Arabs have moved over the Green Line without any peep of protest by the international community.)
Perhaps the biggest perversion of all is that these legal instruments, in a sense, equate Israel with Nazi Germany. Many of the Geneva Conventions were specifically written to counter the worst kinds of human rights violations done by Nazi Germany in order to ensure that they never happen again. Now the same instruments of international law are singling out the Jewish State as a paradigm of what is considered evil – laws are being passed and approved by the entire international community specifically to target the primary victims of the Nazis whose actions led to Geneva to begin with.
In this case, they aren’t trying to ensure that these supposed war crimes never happen again. After all, there are settlers being implanted in Crimea, Western Sahara. Northern Cyprus and elsewhere, all without a peep from these supposed humanitarians who created these laws. The purpose of these laws have been and remains to delegitimize Israel and only Israel.
The new UN resolution 2334, although not international law, is simply another in a series of never-ending actions that are all intended to do one thing: to twist, manipulate and create an international legal framework against Israel and only Israel.
Between their own latent antisemitism, their fear of Arab terror, and their lack of moral principles, the international community allows and even encourages these perversions.
After all, they can comfort themselves by saying that this entire fifty year legal war against Israeli Jews is all “legal.”
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