This is historic. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was just quoted in a New York Times interview that “Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank”. This is a historic comment since it is the first time in history that a US administration has come out in support of Israel retaining parts of our ancestral homeland in Judea & Samaria.
To clarify this historic statement, I spoke his morning with the closest Israeli in Israel to the Trump administration, Marc Zell, who is Chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel, VP of Republicans Overseas (International) and also a prominent International lawyer based in Jerusalem.
International Law with Israel and the Jewish People
US Ambassador Friedman actually did not use the term “annex”, he said that Israel can “retain” some of the West Bank. However, the publicity about this statement has used the term “annex”. The truth is that Israel does not need to annex any parts of Judea & Samaria, because according to international law the areas of Judea & Samaria actually belong to the Jewish people, and have never been given over to any other entity. The last international decision regarding Judea & Samaria was made in the San Remo conference in 1920. The San Remo Resolution of 1920, approved by the 51 countries part of the League of Nations, recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine. The outcome of the declaration gave birth to the “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, a 10,000 square-miles the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (including Judea and Samaria). The full text of the Balfour Declaration became an integral part of the San Remo resolution and the British Mandate for Palestine, thereby transforming it from a letter of intent into a legally-binding foundational document under international law.
Then on June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,” confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine – anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea:
“Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected.”32
Some people say that the United Nations partition plan in 1947, aka Resolution 181, gave the land of Judea & Samaria to the Arabs. But there is one problem with that theory, the Arabs refused to accept that decision and instead launched a war to destroy the fledgling state of Israel and throw the Jews into the sea. So Resolution 181 never had ever authority and to this day the last binding international decision regarding all the areas of Judea & Samaria is the San Remo Conference that gave it over to the Jewish people. So Israel does not need to annex any areas in Judea & Samaria, Israel just needs to apply Israeli law and enforce her sovereignty in the area.
Left is Going Crazy
After US Ambassador Friedman’s interview, the anti-Israel left is going crazy! They can’t deal with a US administration that is actually dealing with reality! Israel has every right, historically, morally and legally, according to international law, to be sovereign in Judea and Samaria! Yet, they prefer to ignore reality and instead support Israel handing over land to an entity that for 100 years has proven all it wants to do is kill Jews and destroy the Jewish state of Israel.
Jeremy Ben-Ami is such a person. Even though he professes to lead a pro-Israel liberal organization, J-Street is actually an anti-Israel organization. It supported Obamas’ disasterous Iran deal even though it was a disaster for Israel, and here they are going ballistic over the Ambassador’s full support for Israel. “David Friedman has once again made clear that he is acting not as the US ambassador to Israel but as the settlement movement’s ambassador to the United States,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami. “By essentially giving the Netanyahu government a green light to begin unilaterally annexing Palestinian territory in the West Bank, the Trump administration is endorsing a flagrant violation of international law.”
We already explained the truth about international law, that Ben-Ami and his fellow anti-Israel co-horts prefer to deny. With regards to harming any potential for “peace” and the creation of a potential state of “Palestine”, the one who said it best is actually Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
When asked a few weeks ago in Israel by a BBC reporter how he would respond to a Palestinian Arab about his support for Judea & Samaria, Gov. DeSanatis said “When I was in Congress sitting on the Foreign Affairs Committee (as a Congressman) and dealing with the issue, to me, the one constant dealing with modern history of the Middle East and the State of Israel is that Palestinian Arabs wanted to get rid of the Jewish state more than they ever wanted their own state. I don’t think that has really changed. There have been a lot of efforts of peace and they have been rejected (by the Arabs). So at the end of the day, if you do not accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, I think you are the impediment to peace”. (video below at around the 17:40 mark)
It is Now Up To Us!
It is now up to the Government of Israel to finally apply Israeli law in all or parts of Judea & Samaria. We will never have such a supportive friend in the White House today that understands reality and stands with Israel in this way.