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Date: Sun 2 Mar 2003
Subject: Support Israeli sovereignty in West Bank to stop PLO terror!
Dear Mr. President:
Last week in a speech before the American Enterprise Institute you set
forward a vision of peace for Iraq and the Mideast generally. To clarify
one important matter permit me to explain that your reference in that
speech to Israeli settlements in ?occupied territories? is in error.
The term "occupation" implies that Israel has no right of sovereignty in
Judea-Samaria-Gaza or the Old City section of Jerusalem and that the
Israeli presence in any of those areas constitutes illegal "occupation" of
someone else's land. In fact Israel has the strongest religious
historical and legal claim to this land.
The territories of Judea-Samaria-Gaza and the Old City of Jerusalem were
integral parts of the Jewish kingdoms throughout the biblical eras and
are explicitly mandated by the Hebrew Bible as part of the Land of Israel.
These lands were Jewish thousands years ago under King David King
Solomon and other Jewish rulers. This historical-religious right was the
basis for the League of Nations decision in 1922 to endorse the Jewish
people's right to all of the Holy Land on both sides of the Jordan River.
From the standpoint of international law it is important to note that
prior to 1967 there was no other recognized sovereign power in the
territories. Israel's capture of Judea-Samaria-Gaza and the Old City of
Jerusalem in 1967 did not constitute an illegal "occupation" of someone
else's land because prior to 1967 there was no legal or recognized
sovereign power there. The Jordanian occupation Judea-Samaria and
Jerusalem during 1949-1967 was illegal having been carried out in
defiance of the United Nations Security Council. The only countries in
the world to recognize it were Pakistan and (in part) England.
Furthermore Israel captured the territories in self-defense. Israel took
over Judea-Samaria-Gaza and the Old City of Jerusalem in self-defense in
response to aggression by Jordan and Egypt in June 1967. Had Jordan not
invaded Israel --ignoring pleas by Israel to stay out of the war-- Israel
would not control Judea and Samaria today. As former State Department
Legal Adviser and former head of the International Court of Justice in the
Hague Stephen Schwebel has written: "Where the prior holder of
territory had seized that territory unlawfully the state which
subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense
has against that prior holder better title."
In short the notion that there is an illegal Israeli "occupation" is a
myth and your reference was in error. Please support Israel's legitimate
rights for sovereignty in Jerusalem Judea Samaria Gaza and the Golan
Heights. Please end your calls for a PLO state that will inevitably
become another Islamic terrorist base threatening democracies around the
globe including the United States of America.