Homepage / Hasbara News / Ziva Dahl, Observer Reporter, Lies about the Illegal Occupation of Palestine
Judges of the ICC visit Auschwitz-Birkenau at the end of their retreat on efficiencies Occupation is not (ethical) Judaism Letter to “David Friedman” US Ambassador to Israel: on Politico Rebecca Vilkomerson on what woke her up about the Nakba and Israel’s true history How The Forward and Ynet Spread Fake News Let Arab media be more vocal on Palestinian plight | GulfNews.com Ramzy Baroud: Israel’s vision for the future is terrifying Michael Bennett and other NFL stars bow out of Israeli Hasbara propaganda trip Balfour Declaration: Netanyahu’s ironic ‘particularly moving moment’ Fake News about Israel from ‘American Thinker’ Michael Berenhaus Haaretz Chemi Shalev: I was warned about “playing with fire” Reporters Committee moves to unseal court records connected to three high-profile leak prosecutions Google News showcases more Fake News Lies with ACLJ #alternatefacts Obama defies GOP Tea Party with $221 Million to Palestine Kellyanne Conway, the alt-right, Hasbara and #alternatefacts Update: Michael Oren Owes Bernie Sanders an Apology Ziva Dahl, Observer Reporter, Lies about the Illegal Occupation of Palestine Batya Medad – Wild-Eyed Hilltop Jewish Jihad in Shiloh, Palestine Algemeiner: Haaretz a Nazi Run Newspaper Shani Shahmoon, the Daily Bruin, and Hasbara for the Kiddies How Jerusalem Post is the Fox News of Israel BBSNews and JPost Columnist Discuss Iran Deal and Israel Bethany Koval, a brave young activist and canary in the coal mine in the face of Israeli Hasbara Israeli Demographic Problem is Now Too Big to Fail Google Joins the Dark Side Just in Time for New Star Wars Movie Asheville Citizen Times Publishes Anti-Israel Letter Toronto Sun Columnist Lies about Golan Heights ICC: Status Report on Palestine Situation David Horowitz, anti-Muslim “godfather”, goes after Berkeley students Leonard Nimoy Deeply Believed in the Two State Solution Jerusalem Post raises false hopes for Israel about the ICC Algemeiner: AP Gaza casualty figures discredited John Boehner Admits Deceit on Netanyahu Iran Speech Palestine ICC case solidifies recognition by at least 138 states Hamas ready to provide ‘thousands of documents’ to ICC Palestine bid at UN fails due to United States The taboo of questioning Israel forever broken in 2014 Why does Benjamin Netanyahu Lie to the World? Full text of Geneva Declaration on Palestine Palestine opts to join International Criminal Court Sanction Israel Now to Focus Israeli Elections One Rule, Two Legal Systems: Israel’s Regime of Laws in the West Bank 138 Nations Recognize Palestine across the Globe ICC Finds War Crimes Committed by Israel on Mavi Marmara The Hamas Charter or Covenant is Defunct JewishPress.com hosts call to genocide Palestinians Gaza in a stark new light Mahmoud Abbas – Full Transcript UNGA 2014 Statement Israeli Apartheid Observations Surface Again Russell Tribunal finds evidence of Israeli Crimes Against Humanity President Obama remembers Gaza, Palestine at U.N. Meet The many headline expressions of war Analysis: Hamas Can Talk to Israel and not Violate Sharia U.S. Senate Breaks U.S. Law and Engenders Israeli Human Rights Violations Forward refuses to publish or acknowledge op-eds submitted by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust President Obama and Valuable Caution With Iraq George Mitchell and the Israelis Open Letter to Wapo’s David Ignatius Likud Explained Israel Deputy Defense Minister Danon Admits Ethnic Cleansing Plans Memorial Day for the Death of Truth: Reprise from 2002-05-27 Will Israel Strike Syria for President Obama? Senator Lindsey Graham Should go to Syria and Stay There Israeli government has already taken 94% of Wadi Foquin President Obama Does Israel

Hasbara News

Ziva Dahl, Observer Reporter, Lies about the Illegal Occupation of Palestine

Hasbara Club News – By Michael Hess. There are so many fundamental lies in a recent Observer article by Ziva Dahl it is hard to know where to start. But the easiest way is to start at the beginning. In the beginning, there was Palestine. There was no Israel. But there was Palestine. Indeed Palestine was a state twenty-four years before Israel. Anyone can read Article 22 of the League of Nations and quickly discover that people like Ziva are not telling the truth. This kind of purposeful ignorance is so breathtaking and monumental that it can’t be just be happenstance that she is wrong, she is clearly purposely lying in the face of the decades of known evidence from the primary documents themselves.

Typical Hasbarian.The tone from Ziva Dahl in service of justifying Israel’s crimes against humanity is both chilling and devious. She is intent on convincing the world that all Jews are in this together, that all Jews are committing these crimes in Israel, that all Jews are to be blamed for the crimes of successive Israeli governments, this is not just wrong but it’s incredibly dangerous.

In an ill-conceived article in the Observer that never should have seen the light of day yet was maniacally entitled The Big Lie: Anti-Semitism and the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ Dahl unbelievably wrote:

Because the West Bank and Gaza, under international law, were never legal sovereign entities or sovereign territories of any other state, there is no legally recognized owner of these territories to which the land can be returned.

This is a lie. A falsehood. Hasbara propaganda. Indeed and quite ironically, instead of her claim that the occupation is a Big Lie in the mold of Joseph Goebbels, it is her wrong interpretation of primary documents and historical reality that is the big lie. Compounding that lie she insists that the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel is a conspiracy of all Jews and therefore it logically follows that all Jews are to be held responsible when she writes unhinged conspiratorial sentences like, “The term ‘occupation’ has become a pejorative used to vilify the Jews.” She promotes a dangerous logical fallacy that is pure incitement and put thousands of lives in danger.

Definition of an Hasbarian.That’s crazy. It’s dangerous rhetoric, this device on the part of Hasbarians who use it, to inspire fear and ensure ignorance and to imply that all Jews on this planet are in some sort of lock-step conspiracy to take over the state of Palestine. People like Ziva Dahl are effectively increasing the target list and I for one do not appreciate ideologues like her inciting violence against Jews everywhere when in reality this is about land and resources in Israel and Palestine (leaving out for the purposes of this analysis the Golan Heights which will also eventually have to go back to Syria).

Now let’s examine this claim by Ziva that Palestine was terra nullius. No Man’s land. Ripe and rich and free for the taking come and get it…

Dahl references the League of Nations in her screed in the Observer but completely mangles the import of these documents to justify the longest running crime against humanity in modern history, the illegal occupation of Palestine. Her quivering faux outrage that world governments, the New York Times, the United Nations and the international media all have it wrong and she and the other Hasbarians have it right is quite frankly shocking for all people who have basic reading comprehension skills. When presented the facts people can make up their own minds. Ziva is not presenting the facts and her ideology is incitement.

Her entire article is a laundry list of lies, misconceptions and long-debunked Hasbara. However, here I am going to focus on just one of her most egregious lies, that somehow Israel was created in Palestine, but that there was no such thing as Palestine. Let’s begin.

In the very first paragraph of Article 22 we learn that Palestine (and several other nations in the region) were held in a “sacred civilizational trust.” Palestine was a Class-A State, destined to be able to rule itself, this promise was made to the Palestinians two years before Balfour made his policy statement. This happened when Henry McMahon in 1915 promised Palestinians self-determination in return for their help in defeating the Ottoman Empire. This they did, and they are owed a great deal because of the way this promise was broken (as the world learned in 1918 and a 1939 investigation by Britain into this very question, a promise is a promise.)

We know from history, and the primary documents that record official history, that Palestine predated and existed prior to any state of Israel. Much of Israel and many diaspora Jews on an annual basis celebrate the Balfour Declaration from November 1917. A recent call has even gone out to declare “final” Israeli borders before the centennial of Balfour (even though Israel long ago already declared its borders as UNGA 181 borders). Arthur Balfour made his statement on behalf of the War Office in Britain thirty one years before Israel became a state under UNGA 181, but it was at the time little more than a policy statement from the British Government that was also cynically used to secure Zionist help for the allied war effort. If you recall, Balfour called on Lord Rothschild to alert the Zionist Federation. It was not the Gettysburg Address. And Palestine was after all a Class-A mandate state.

Palestine’s Statehood

For the sake of brevity I won’t include here a history of Palestine going back to Roman times, it will be sufficient I think to go back to the first inklings that there would be a set aside of territory for a Jewish national home in 1917 in competition with a promise made by the British in 1915-16.

The Mcmahon-Hussein Letters

A lot of paper has been expended when discussing the correspondence between Sir Henry McMahon and Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca in 1915 and 1916. An excerpt from page 48 of the Palestine Papers 1917–1922, Doreen Ingrams and UK Archives PRO. CAB 27/24 addresses their import. A component of the British Cabinet, the Eastern Committee, met on December 5th, 1918. In attendance was Lord Curzon who chaired the meeting as well as the famous Lawrence of Arabia. T.E. Lawrence, General Jan Smuts, Lord Balfour, Lord Robert Cecil, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff General Sir Henry Wilson, and also agents of the Admiralty, the Foreign Office, the War Office, and the India Office and treasury. Their findings were summed up in the minutes taken by Lord Curzon:

The Palestine position is this. If we deal with our commitments, there is first the general pledge to Hussein in October 1915, under which Palestine was included in the areas as to which Great Britain pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future . . . the United Kingdom and France – Italy subsequently agreeing – committed themselves to an international administration of Palestine in consultation with Russia, who was an ally at that time . . . A new feature was brought into the case in November 1917, when Mr Balfour, with the authority of the War Cabinet, issued his famous declaration to the Zionists that Palestine ‘should be the national home of the Jewish people, but that nothing should be done – and this, of course, was a most important proviso – to prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. Those, as far as I know, are the only actual engagements into which we entered with regard to Palestine.

It is important to note that in the Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine during the period of July 1st through June 30th 1921, the Jewish population of Palestine was only about ten percent of the whole:

There are now in the whole of Palestine hardly 700,000 people, a population much less than that of the province of Gallilee alone in the time of Christ.* (*See Sir George Adam Smith “Historical Geography of the Holy Land”, Chap. 20.) Of these 235,000 live in the larger towns, 465,000 in the smaller towns and villages. Four-fifths of the whole population are Moslems. A small proportion of these are Bedouin Arabs; the remainder, although they speak Arabic and are termed Arabs, are largely of mixed race. Some 77,000 of the population are Christians, in large majority belonging to the Orthodox Church, and speaking Arabic. The minority are members of the Latin or of the Uniate Greek Catholic Church, or–a small number–are Protestants.

The Jewish element of the population numbers 76,000. Almost all have entered Palestine during the last 40 years. Prior to 1850 there were in the country only a handful of Jews. In the following 30 years a few hundreds came to Palestine. Most of them were animated by religious motives; they came to pray and to die in the Holy Land, and to be buried in its soil. After the persecutions in Russia forty years ago, the movement of the Jews to Palestine assumed larger proportions…

The League of Nations Covenant April 28th, 1919

When Jan Smuts, the father of the League of Nations, was formulating his conception of what such an organization would embody, one thing was foremost on his mind and that was the thought that colonialism was a chief cause of the wars of late and it was time for conquest and colonialism to end.

In Article 22 paragraph 1 & 4 of the League of Nations Covenant a mandate system was established in which there were classes. Palestine was a Class-A state, one which met these conditions:

To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.

Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.

The British (Churchill) White Paper June 3rd, 1922

Just before the Palestine Mandate Winston Churchill wrote a White Paper in 1922 setting out clarification for Palestinians who were fearful of the ramifications of the Balfour Declaration for their state and their right to self-determination as envisioned from previous promises made by the British government (although this document itself came under scrutiny in later years) and at the time he was directly answering people from today who are still making the same spurious arguments such as Dahl. He pointedly wrote:

Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become ‘as Jewish as England is English.’ His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated, as appears to be feared by the Arab delegation, the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language, or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded ‘in Palestine.’ In this connection it has been observed with satisfaction that at a meeting of the Zionist Congress, the supreme governing body of the Zionist Organization, held at Carlsbad in September, 1921, a resolution was passed expressing as the official statement of Zionist aims ‘the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to each of its peoples an undisturbed national development.’ [Bold emphasis mine]

Thus it was known twenty-six years before Israel was founded on the basis of UNGAR 181 that only a portion of the country of Palestine was destined to become a Jewish National Home, and indeed twenty-six years later, partition of the already existing state of Palestine was the basis for the November 29th, 1947 partition resolution.

The Palestine Mandate Two Months Later July 24th, 1922

The Palestine Mandate was approved by the League of Nations on July 24th, 1922. It incorporated Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant in the preamble as well as the language pertaining to Balfour. This is perhaps the most misunderstood and misused document in this conflict. This is the first legal underpinnings of a Jewish National Home but many right wing Zionists wish it said something other than it does. It is of the utmost importance that those who care about Israel start learning how to defend it based on the legal and historical documents, and this is a good place to start.

This is the place where Israel gains a legal right to exist. At the same time it establishes that Israel was contemplated to be created in the country of Palestine, and that this was not be done by taking away the rights of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine who vastly outnumbered Jews, the Palestinians (who were named so by the way by Winston Churchill in the above referred 1922 White Paper). From the preamble of the Palestine Mandate:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country…

Clearly this is where Israel’s legitimacy lies. Starting with Balfour, through San Remo, and the 1922 White Paper, and the Palestine Mandate nothing was to be done against the rights of the the Palestinians in their Class-A mandate state protected under a “sacred international trust”, and it’s important to note here that Britain was merely a custodian charged with protecting the rights of Palestinians and their sovereign rights granted under Article 22 decades before Israel was founded. Palestine was not a conquest of Britain nor did they extend sovereignty over it, Palestine already enjoyed sovereign rights under paragraph 4 of Article 22.

United Nations Assembly Resolution 181

UN Palestine partition map 1947.

UN Palestine partition map 1947.

If only ever I had a quarter of a dollar for every time I heard a Hasbarian say that Israel accepted UNGA 181, but the Palestinians did not, I would be a rich man and yet I would still be advocating for the rule of law and justice in the Israeli Palestinian conflict because right is right.

Nevertheless, in their next breath I am often told that it’s a General Assembly resolution so it has no meaning (not true) and that seems rather self-defeating. Then I am told that the UN has no such authority (this I believe is true) but that’s also pretty self-defeating for a “defender” of Israel to proclaim. Then I am often told that even though it is written into the Israeli declaration of independence, they didn’t really mean it. And then the really illogical claim that if Israel accepted UNGA 181, but the Palestinians did not, that this made Palestine, outside and separate from Israel, terra nullius because the Palestinians were (not unsurprisingly) not willing to part with any of their state that they were promised in 1915-16. The very idea is ludicrous on its face. In accepting this idea, it means that Israel’s agreement with UNGA 181 was a lie. This is a very dangerous road that people like Ziva Dahl travel. She is implying that the agreements that Israel made to the world and the United Nations were a lie.

In the advisory opinion of the International Criminal Court of Justice in 2004, in a separate opinion in agreement Judge Al-Khasawneh wrote about this misguided concept of terra nullius being applied to Palestine:

The Court was wise, Judge Al-Khasawneh said, in not enquiring into the precise prior status of the occupied territories before 1967, because a finding that these territories are occupied and that the international legal régime of occupation applies in them can be arrived at without reference to their prior status. Moreover, except on the impossible thesis that the territories were terra nullius would their previous status matter. No one can seriously argue that those territories were terra nullius for that is a discredited concept that does not have relevance in the contemporary world. Moreover, the territories were part of mandatory territory and the right to self-determination of their inhabitants was not extinguished and would not be until the Palestinians achieved that right.

The documents tell us that Israel declared its state under UNGA 181 borders. This is what Eliahu Epstein transmitted to President Truman, and this is what the United States recognized as the provisional state of Israel. From the original source document at the Truman Presidential Library:

I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in it’s resolutions of November 29, 1947, that that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the obligations of Israel in accordance with international law. The act of independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time…

In short, the state that the United States officially recognized is the state that Israel itself declared within the borders as set out in UNGA 181. This did not include Jerusalem of course as Jerusalem was never intended to be anything other than an international city as specified in UNGA 181.

The provisional state of Israel clarified this fact again eight days later to the UN Security Council in a letter, writing on May 22nd, 1948 in answer to the question (a), “Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at the present time?” The Foreign Secretary of the Provisional Government of Israel in Tel Aviv replied:

At present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947. In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.


Question (b): Do you have armed forces operating in areas (towns, cities, districts) of Palestine where the Arabs are the majority, or outside Palestine?


Answer to Question (b): We consider the territory of Israel as a single unit with a Jewish majority. As indicated above, the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israel; parts which, with the notable exception of Jerusalem, formerly for the most part, contained Arab majorities. These areas have, however, been mostly abandoned by their Arab population. No area outside of Palestine is under Jewish occupation but sallies beyond the frontiers of the State of Israel have occasionally been carried out by Jewish forces for imperative military reasons, and as a part of an essentially defensive plan.

Clearly then Dahl is mistaken, the provisional government of Israel just more than a week after the state was declared under UNGA 181 made its intentions clear that its declared borders were UNGA 181 borders, and outside of those borders was Palestine. There are literally dozens of these documents. It is inexplicable that anyone can argue that Palestine did not exist as a state entity when the primary source documents says it most certainly did. The government of Israel is aware of its borders, and is aware that Palestine is outside of those borders, why does Niva Dahl not know them and yet is so vehement about the Hasbara that she asserts?

The illegal occupation of Palestine

Yes, a military occupation can be done legally in compliance with international law and treaty. The United States has recently occupied a Middle Eastern country and this was seen as a legal occupation (odious for a number of reasons but legal). It was legal because it was sanctioned by the international community through acknowledged and customary means and most importantly because the United States did not immediately go into Baghdad and claim it as the “eternal capital” of the U.S. – and the U.S. did not start transferring American citizens into Iraq and claiming that it belonged then to the United States.

(You’ll remember that the lack of a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) wound up the US presence and occupation of Iraq. It didn’t take fifty years but it did take a lot of lives. This is also how international law works for every other nation except for Israel, there is a double-standard, just not the one that Hasbarians would like us to believe.)

A military occupation can become illegal for a number of reasons. In this case with Israel the most glaring of crimes that makes Israel’s half a century occupation of Palestine illegal is the hundreds of thousands of illegal squatters that Israel has transferred from the Occupier State, into the Occupied State of Palestine.

Look to the advisory opinion by the International Criminal Court of Justice in 2004 that found the colonies that Israel has created in Palestine to be illegal. They found that Israel’s protestations that Geneva 4th did not apply to be without merit. And the Court specifically refutes the specious argument that Palestinians do not have a right to self-determination as a people:

The Court recalls that both the General Assembly and the Security Council have referred, with regard to Palestine, to the customary rule of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”. As regards the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination, the Court observes that the existence of a “Palestinian people” is no longer in issue, and has been recognized by Israel, along with that people’s “legitimate rights”. The Court considers that those rights include the right to self-determination, as the General Assembly has moreover recognized on a number of occasions.

With regard to the Apartheid Wall and the colonies themselves they held:

The Court notes that the route of the wall as fixed by the Israeli Government includes within the “Closed Area” (i.e. the part of the West Bank lying between the Green Line and the wall) some 80 per cent of the settlers living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and has been traced in such a way as to include within that area the great majority of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem). The information provided to the Court shows that, since 1977, Israel has conducted a policy and developed practices involving the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary to the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention which provides: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The Security Council has taken the view that such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention. The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.

In addition, the colonies that Israel has set up in Palestine and other actions such as closing off the West Bank for religious observances in the neighboring state of Israel, and restricting the right of Palestinians to travel to Al Aqsa Mosque are in breach of the Hague Convention 0f 1907, specifically Article 46 that provides, “Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.” Article 47 also prohibits “pillage” where an occupying army has no legal right to plunder and rob those being occupied.

The Apartheid State of Israel

In addition to being wrong about the illegal occupation of Palestine and Palestine’s status as a state Dahl also has not fully recognized that Israel’s actions in Palestine equal the crime of Apartheid. In addition to sending colonists over the border into Palestine it also extends Israeli civil law, to just those colonists. When an illegal squatter in the West Bank burns alive some innocent Palestinians, they face Israeli civil authorities and are tried as such. In most cases, 92.6% according to Yesh Din, acts of Israeli Jewish terrorism are simply not prosecuted at all.

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin warned recently that the two different legal systems were “potentially irreversible” saying:

In the State of Judea there are different standards, different value systems, different attitudes towards democracy, and there are two legal systems,” he asserted. “In the State of Judea, law enforcement is shockingly weak towards Jews. In the State of Judea, anarchistic, anti-state, violent, and racist ideologies are forming over the years, and they are treated tolerantly by the Israeli legal and judicial system.

Many human rights groups have conducted studies on the two different legal systems in under which Palestinians live, the Association for Civil Rights Israel (ACRI) published a report on the problem entitled ‘One Rule, Two Legal Systems: Israel’s Regime of Laws in the West Bank‘ in 2014 outlining the many ways that Palestinians are forced to live under a different rule of law than the illegal colonists live under and indeed Israelis within Israel proper.

B’Tselem describes the dual systems of law in this way:

Being subject to the Israeli judicial system, settlers enjoy liberties and legal guarantees that are denied Palestinian defendants in the Occupied Territories charged with the same offense. The authority to arrest an individual, the maximum period of detention before being brought before a judge, the right to meet with an attorney, the protections available to defendants at trial, the maximum punishment allowed by law, and the release of prisoners before completion of their sentence – all of these differ greatly in the two systems of law, with the Israeli system providing the suspect and defendant with many more protections.

Thus, different legal systems are applied to two populations residing in the same area, and the nationality of the individual determines the system and court in which he or she is tried. This situation violates the principle of equality before the law, especially given the disparity between the two systems. It also violates the principle of territoriality, conventional in modern legal approaches, according to which a single system of law must apply to all persons living in the same territory.

In addition, the illegal Israeli colonists who make their home in another country, Palestine, they get to vote. In a painful irony for the indigenous Palestinians that they lord it over with price tag attacks and other depredations they get to vote for even more right wing candidates who are in favor of even more illegal colonies and the criminal activity that is part and parcel of colonization by military force and state terror.

The millions of Palestinians living under the illegal occupation of Palestine do not get a vote. In Greater Israel, that is all of Israel and Palestine that is ruled over by Israel, one in three people do not have any representation. In this illegal occupation that has stretched on now for nearly half a century there are hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in another country enjoying different rights, different laws, different privileges, they get to vote and there is an extremist new law, actually three versions, already approved by the Israeli Cabinet, known as the Jewish state law that would elevate Israeli Jews by law over indigenous Palestinians.

This law brought the last Israeli elections. It also prompted some soul searching on the part of Israelis forty-percent of whom believe that it would be a severe blow and “damage” the country. This stands in stark contrast however to the recent Pew Survey where after exhaustive polling it was found that eight out of ten Israelis say that Israeli Jews should get preferential treatment in Israel. Almost half believe the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel is a viable solution.


The facts tell us that Palestine is a state, and was a state twenty-four years before Israel. The facts show that the state of Israel has legitimate rights as a state, but those same facts show that Israel has no right whatsoever to exert sovereignty over and the colonization of Palestine, which is outside of Israel.

Writers such as Ziva Dahl not only are extremist sources of incitement, they are also dangerous to diaspora Jews because she would like to ascribe blame for the criminal actions of the state of Israel to all Jews as if there is some sort of monolithic block of all Jews on this planet in a lockstep conspiracy with successive governments of Israel to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity including Apartheid against the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.

Writers like Dahl show that it is time for diaspora Jews to stand up and be counted as either for or against these crimes. Currently Bernie Sanders, a most respected Jewish American politician who is currently running for US President, is being vilified for the offense of calling for even-handedness in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and openly saying that Israel bears responsibility for the crimes that it has committed during the long decades of this conflict.

Senator Sanders told the New York Daily News in a highly contentious hit-piece that, “I think that for long-term peace in that region, and God knows nobody has been successful in that for 60 years, but there are good people on both sides, and Israel is not, cannot, just simply expand when it wants to expand with new settlements.”

He is being crucified for that statement even though it is undoubtedly true. He is also being criticized for telling the truth about the indiscriminate nature of Israel’s Wars on Gaza, in particular the 2014 war. Ben Norton did a fine job at Salon in an article today entitled ‘Ignore the smears: Bernie Sanders is right about Israel’s heinous atrocities in Gaza — he just got the numbers wrong‘ outlining the many ways that Israel’s actions in Gaza have been highly indiscriminate as well-documented by many human rights groups.

The bottom line is that Bernie Sanders is a mensch on the side of the rule of law, human rights, and basic human fairness. People like Dahl spend a lot of time trying to justify criminal acts by Israel and to lay that government’s actions at the feet of the world’s Jews. It defies reason for anyone to claim that the world’s Jews are in some sort of cahoots to commit these crimes.

It is a blood libel to claim that supporting these crimes are inherent to being Jewish. And that if one does not support these crimes then a Jew is “self-hating”, or a non-Jew is an “anti-Semite”. That is patently untrue and a dangerous sentiment to express. It is time for diaspora Jews to throw off the yoke that people like Dahl would like to shackle them under.

It is time to say goodbye to divisive and willfully ignorant Hasbarians and start arguing for Israel based on the true facts and the rule of law. This means that it is time to hold the Israeli government responsible for its actions, and to stop trying to lay the blame on the world’s Jews.

Israel has a right to exist within the borders that it itself declared. But those internationally recognized borders do not include the state of Palestine, recognized by 138 nations and the Vatican, and those who claim that it does are not just a danger to the rule of law but they imperil ethical Judaism itself. They are helping to increase the level of antisemitism by trying to make this an all Jews versus the world conflict.

It’s time for them to be stopped in their tracks. Defend Israel based on the rule of law and UN resolutions and stop trying to blame the world’s Jews for the crimes of successive Israeli governments who have been enabled by impunity from gutless politicians more worried about getting elected than upholding the rule of law, truth, and human rights.