What is Sovereignty?
Sovereignty, known as ריבונות in Hebrew, is the right of a country to govern itself and apply its laws and authority to all of its legal territory. As applied to the “settlements” this means that Israeli citizens, like the citizens of any other country, have the right to live anywhere in their country, the Land of Israel, as long as they have legally purchased or leased property.
We seek to educate our fellow Israeli citizens and supporters about the State of Israel’s legal right to apply complete Sovereignty* over all the Land of Israel, including Yehuda-Shomron and Jerusalem.
We have the right to assert complete Sovereignty based on our Torah, International Law and our historical connection as indigenous people of the Land of Israel dating back over four thousand years to the time of Abraham.
Due to the widely promulgated lie that Israel is illegally occupying her own homeland, many Israelis and the international community do not realize the strong and comprehensive nature of Israel’s right to apply Sovereignty to all the Land of Israel, including Yehuda-Shomron and Jerusalem. It is crucial that we understand our history.
The Legal Importance of the Balfour Declaration:
The 1917 Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the 1920 San Remo Peace Conference and the 1922 League of Nations “Mandate for Palestine.” These documents have been internationally recognized as possessing the legal status of an incontrovertible binding treaty and form the basis according to International Law of Israel’s legal sovereignty over its ancestral homeland. These documents describe Israel’s biblical homeland as covering both the western and eastern areas on either side of the Jordan river.
The Two-State solution was already implemented over 70 years ago:
In 1922 Britain violated these “Mandate for Palestine” provisions by assigning the eastern part of Israel, which is on the eastern side of the Jordan River, and comprised 77% of Israel’s original territory, to eventually become Jordan in 1946. Thus, Jordan was established on 77% of Israel’s original territory, in violation of the original intent of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1920 San Remo Conference and 1922 League of Nations British Mandate.
In fact, he state of Jordan has an 80% majority of Palestinians. The Queen of Jordan is Palestinian. In addition, many of the Arab residents of Yehuda-Shomron and Jerusalem have Jordanian passports.
Unlike most countries in the Middle East, Jordan has diplomatic relations with Israel and allows Israeli citizens to enter its borders. Jordanian law, however, prohibits Jews from becoming citizens or owning property.
The Myth of Israel’s illegal occupation: Jordan, not Israel, was the illegal occupier of Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem:
In 1949 Jordan attacked Israel and then illegally occupied Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem from 1949 until 1967. This area represented an additional 7% of Israeli sovereign territory which was not legally part of Jordan. This left Israel with only 17% of its original ancestral homeland. In 1967 Israel liberated Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem from illegal Jordanian occupation.
In 5777 (The Julian year of 2017) we are celebrating two important anniversaries:
We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration which represented the beginning of the establishment of the Jewish people’s International legal right to establish a Jewish State in its ancestral homeland of Israel.
On June 10, 1967, almost 50 years ago, the State of Israel liberated its ancestral homeland, Yehuda-Shomron and Jerusalem from the illegal occupation of Jordan, but did not apply Sovereignty at that time due to international pressure. Israel never accepted the 1949 temporary Armistice lines (aka the Green Line) as its borders, nor did they relinquish Sovereignty over any parts of the Land of Israel. After 50 years, we have waited long enough. It is time to apply our Sovereignty now.
Sovereignty is the only answer:
Until we completely assert our rights and our Sovereignty, we will continue to be on the defensive against BDS, negative world opinion, and lawfare against our homeland. Most important, if we do not declare that the land is ours, we will lose it. There is a war being fought over our land. If we do not declare it as our own, others will gladly do so.
We will also continue to face condemnatory resolutions, such as the recent UNESCO vote denying Israel’s connection to the Kotel and the Temple Mount and the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which denies Israel the right to build in Jerusalem – it’s three thousand year old capital and Yehuda-Shomron – it’s Biblical heartland. The UNSC resolution also states that all areas built after 1967 are illegal according to international law. Besides including small communities such as Amona, Ofra, and Netiv Haavot it also includes large, well-established communities such as Ramot, Gilo, Hadassah Hospital, Mount Scopus, Har Homa, Efrat, Ramat Eshkol, Maalot Dafnah, the Jewish Quarter, the Kotel, Har Habayit, Har Zeitim (Mount of Olives), French Hill, Ramat Ze’ev, Maalei Adumim, Modiin, Shiloh, Hevron, Gush Etzion and many others.
The only answer is to stand up for our legitimate rights and unquestionable claim to the Land of Israel, our ancestral Jewish Homeland, by asserting and exercising our complete Sovereignty.
Three Aspects of Sovereignty:
It is important to make a distinction between the following three legal concepts:
“Possessing sovereignty”: According to International Law, Israeli possesses Sovereignty over all of the land of Israel, including Yehuda-Shomron and Jerusalem, despite UN resolutions claiming that Israel is illegally occupying Yehuda-Shomron and Jerusalem. A country can possess sovereignty without applying sovereignty. For example, according to International law, we possess Sovereignty over Yehuda-Shomron and Jerusalem, since May 14, 1948 ((ה״ באייר ת״שח when the State of Israel was established, but we have not yet applied that Sovereignty due to international pressure.In that circumstance, although a country possesses Sovereignty over a territory, but has not yet applied that Sovereignty, as long as the country has not formally relinquished that Sovereignty, they continue to retain that Sovereignty. For example, Israel has temporarily allowed the Palestinian Authority to have security and civilian control over Area A, as part of the Oslo Accords, conditional upon the Palestinian Authority (PA) proving it is capable of peacefully managing the area. Clearly the PA have proven themselves incapable of peacefully managing the area and have instead continued to incite and financially reward their members to commit terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. Therefore it is clear that Israel has not relinquished its Sovereignty over Area A. It is even more apparent that Israel retains Sovereignty not only over Area A but over Areas B, C and over Jerusalem.
“Applying Sovereignty”: This occurs by a country declaring Sovereignty over territory a country possesses and enacting laws that pertain to the territory. For example, under the above definition, the residents of Amona, Ofra and Netiv Havoc would be subject to Israeli law and land rights would be examined and evaluated fairly and objectively. Israeli law would be applied by allowing adaptations to the antiquated Ottoman and Jordanian legal systems. Israel would apply and exercise its Sovereignty as all countries do and if necessary could fairly compensate any landowners who make proven, legitimate claims on Israeli land. In the case of Ofra, for example, the supposed Arab landowners’ claims are highly questionable because they do not possess a Title deed to the land, and were supposedly granted the land by King Hussein. King Hussein of Jordan illegally occupied Yehuda-Shomron for 19 years from 1948 until 1967 until Israel liberated its land in the Six Day War.
“Exercising Sovereignty”: occurs when a country enforces the laws that have been enacted. For example, Israel clearly has applied Sovereignty when it declared an independent state in 1948, however, Israel has not enforced its own laws on some of its Sovereign territories such as the Negev, where there has been creeping encroachment by Bedouin illegal buildings. Currently there are approximately 100,000 illegal Bedouin buildings on Israeli sovereign territory that have not been removed because Israel has not enforced its Sovereignty. In the special case of Har Habiyit, Israel has retained security control over Har Habayit but has allowed the WAQF to manage the site and so Israel has not completely exercised it’s Sovereignty over Har Habiyit, which is why Jews have not been allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. This is an egregious violation of Jewish Sovereignty rights that should be remedied by Israel exercising its Sovereignty.
Israeli Sovereignty or the establishment of a future terrorist state on our borders:
It is clearly necessary that Israel both apply and exercise Israeli Sovereignty over it’s territory.
Recent events make it appear that we do not have the luxury of time or the option of maintaining the status quo. If we do not declare that the land is ours, we will lose it. There are both stealth encroachments and flagrant battles being waged over our land. If we do not declare it as our own, others will gladly do so. This has been clearly shown in the cases of Amona, Ofra, Susya, Netiv Haavot and other areas.
The recent UN Security Council Resolutions 2334 attempts to deny Israel the right to build in any areas beyond the 1949 Armistice lines (the Green Line). Although the resolution focuses on Jerusalem – Israel’s three thousand year old capital and Yehuda-Shomron – its Biblical heartland, the Resolution also states that all areas built after 1967 will not be recognized as legal. This includes well-established communities such as Ramot, Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, Maalei Adumim, Efrat, Mount Scopus (including Hadassah Hospital), Har Home, Maalot Dafnah, the Jewish Quarter, Har Hazeitim (Mount of Olives), French Hill, Ramat Ze’ev, Modiin, Shiloh, Hevron, Gush Etzion and others.
We will also continue to face condemnatory resolutions such as the recent UNESCO vote denying Jewish connection to the Kotel, the Temple Mount and the Old City.
The only answer is to stand up for our legitimate rights and unquestionable claim to the Land of Israel, our ancestral Jewish Homeland and to apply and exercise our Sovereignty.
Israel must apply and exercise Sovereignty over its territory for the following reasons:
To repudiate the lies being spread in the international community that Israel is illegally occupying its own land.
To prevent its land from being illegally stolen by Arabs who are building on Israeli land illegally in collusion with the EU, hostile Arab countries and anti-Israel foreign-funded NGOs.
To preserve the Jewish right to worship at Israel’s holiest sites including Har Habit, Maarat HaMachpelah, Kever Rachel, Kever Yosef, Har Zeitim. Israel will guarantee freedom of worship for all religions at their holy sites.
To protect our security. Yehuda-Shomron is minutes away from our largest population centers and the Judea mountains tower 3,300 feet above the center of our small country and would create a serious obstacle to our self-defense from what is likely to become another dysfunctional, violent, terrorist state. When we gave away our Gaza territory in return for peace all we received in return were three wars, being attacked by thousands of missiles, many Israeli fatalities and the establishment of a enemy terrorist Hamas state on our southern border.
History and recent events make it clear that we cannot rely on international promises or guarantees to safeguard our people. We see the blatant attempt to divide the Jewish community, to vilify the “settlers” and to obfuscate the truth. We see the promotion of BDS to destroy Israel economically. We see direct and indirect international financing of terrorist murders of innocent Israeli citizens. American President Barack Hussein Obama recently proved that he lied when he said “America has Israel’s back.”
Recent US promises designed to promote Israeli withdrawals are hauntingly similar to those given in the Bush letters prior to the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the tragic uprooting of Jewish communities like Gush Katif. (based on excerpts from Kerry’s recent speech, December 28, 2016 compared to Bush letter to Sharon from April 14, 2004).
For the past twenty-four years, since the onset of Oslo, the concept of giving up land for peace has been proven to be both delusional and dangerous.
Instead of leading to peace, the Oslo Peace Accords which began over 24 years ago, on September 13, 1993, have only brought wars, terror attacks, and death to thousands of Jews.
Albert Einstein said that Insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
We must make a sane choice between Sovereignty which will restore out Biblical heartland or relinquishing our land to another terrorist state like Gaza, that will bring terror and continual war.
We have waited almost 70 years since May 14, 1948 to apply our legitimate Sovereignty. We must not wait any longer. The time is now.
*1 Sovereignty is know as Ribonut ((ריבונות in Hebrew
*2 Yehuda-Shomron (יהודה-שומרון) is known as Judea-Samaria in English and has also been called “The West Bank” by Jordan.
Author: Hindy Kellerman