Ambassador Alan Baker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the head of its Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.
(Copy adapted from JCPA here.)
Amb. Baker recently penned a comprehensive refutation of ten of the most prevalent lies and distortions about Israel, for the JCPA. Here is an excerpt:
Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel, by Amb. Alan Baker, Institute for Contemporary Affairs, August 15, 2016.
2. “Israel’s ‘occupation of the territories’ is illegal and a violation of international law.” Wrong.
- Israel entered the territories in 1967 after being attacked by all its neighbors, acting in self-defense against an offensive and aggressive war.
- Occupation of territory during an armed conflict is an accepted and recognized legal state-of-affairs in international law and practice.
- Israel has committed itself to abide by the international humanitarian and legal norms for the administration of such territories. Israel’s administration of the territories is under strict judicial supervision by Israel’s Supreme Court.
- The territory was never under Palestinian rule or sovereignty, and when it was under Jordanian control there was no intention by Jordan to turn it into a Palestinian state.
- The oft-used term in UN resolutions “occupied Palestinian territories” has no legal basis or validity whatsoever. It is not supported by any legal, historical or other binding document, and its use prejudges the outcome of a still pending negotiation.
- It is an accepted fact that the issue of the future of the territories is in dispute. Israel entertains valid, widely acknowledged and long-held historic and legal claims regarding the territories.
- Signed agreements between the Palestinian leadership and Israel have established an agreed framework for settling the territorial dispute through negotiation of their permanent status.
- Pending agreement between Israel and the Palestinians regarding the permanent status of the territory, no external, third-party political determination or resolution can establish that that the territories belong to the Palestinians.
Read the rest here.
Also, see another refutation of the claim that Israeli settlements are “illegal,” by diplomat & researcher Yoram Ettinger, in “Jewish Settlements are Legal,” which appeared in Israel Hayom on August 18, 2016.