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I'm amazed and confused about the "Settlement Issue" Somehow, I cannot imagine any justification for these settlements in the Palestinian lands. Perhaps someone could explain to me how Israel claims these lands and justifies taking them at gunpoint from the people who have a claim on that land.

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Hello Greta,

personally, I'm convinced that settlements are not just a kind of 'show of force' by radical Zionists. After all, many Jews consider the Palestinian lands (the West Bank) as part of the 'holy land' - Judea and Samaria (this is also the official Israeli definition of the Palestinian lands). I think that a viable peace solution can't be based on both sides saying either 'Go (back) to mainland Israel', or, respectively, 'Go (back) to the Arab world'. Instead, both sides need to learn to live together and learn about and accept each other. Settlements or Jewish presence in the West Bank mustn't be based on violence and expulsion, but, equally, Jews can't be - across the board -denied living in cities like Hebron.

Although I don't like the quite arrogant tone (and the one-sidedness) of this Israeli commentator of the LA Times, you might like to read his article, in order to understand how Israelis might justify settlements (it is separated into three parts! See 1..2..3 underneath the text). He justifies his assumed right to live in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh:

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/28/opinion/oe-medad28

In the long term, Jews and Palestinians need to live together respectfully. In my opinion, however, settlement building and expansion should now be halted as a part of a reinvigoration of the peace process. The issue of (safe) Jewish presence in the West Bank should then be an important point in peace talks.
It seems that the confusion is whether or not Israel has a right to the land of the West Bank? Is this right? The history is long and very convoluted, but what is the most recent recognition of borders by the "world". The article you site is interesting and puts forth a justification for their actions, but is also very convoluted in its reasoning, given the actual state of affairs currently. We can't go back to fix all the wrongs of the past, but we all can move forward with reason and good will. Again, if the land of the West Bank belongs to Israel, then there is no contest, but if it belongs to the Palestinians, then they should get out.
I guess in some way it 'belongs' to both. That's the problem.
legally?
Hi Greta,

It really is just the Law of The Jungle that applies. Possession and control is what really counts. States can be proclaimed by anyone. Recognition as such by other States (and not Laws) bestows legitimacy.

Legally, I think, the West Bank is in limbo and still is "disputed" territory. There is no State that can be recognised by others.

It can be argued that Gaza is a de facto State as no one disputes its boundaries. OTOH no one has declared or recognised Gaza as a State.
Wasn't this land designated as something in 1948 or 1967? I mean officially and agreed to by the world community.
"States can be proclaimed by anyone".

Indeed. States as such are social constructs - just as nations.
It is up to other existing States whether they recognise the "new" State.

I think that States are administrative constructs (formal and legal entities) whereas Nations are social constructs (not necessarily formal or legal entities).
המדיניות של להרוס בתים לגרש את האוכלוסייה בירושלים, חדשה קים מזמן מדיניות
אבל מה שאנחנו רואים בימים אלה, של מספר רב של צווי הריסה ו החרמה של בתי ערבים בעיר ירושלים וסביבותיה
השאלה מדוע ממשלת ישראל בחרה הפעם ומספר הבתים להיות הרסו
ממשלת ישראל קבעה כי יש ויציבות להרגיע את האזור ואת לקח הרבה של מדיניות להרוס את ההחלטה להרוס את הבתים ואת מפת הדרכים, ובכך כל האמנות הבינלאומיות ואת החוקים ואת ההומניטארי כי מדיניות זו מלמדת כי דבר זה מראה כי מאחורי מדיניות הממשלה החלטות מחפשים דם ואלימות ו ואת התחייבויותיה הבינלאומיות של התחמקות

ממשלה זו מתבצעת האוכלוסייה הערבית במזרח ירושלים, זמן הפצצה להתפוצץ בכל עת ואת רק לוזר הוא אזרח של הערבים והיהודים
את אלה של לקובעי יורד בתחנה החשוב ביותר של הממשלה יש רק המשיך המשרד לא משנה מה המחיר
פייסל אליטיב האדם מחפש את השלום והגעה לשלום
Here is the raw Google translation:
Policy of destroying houses and expel the population of Jerusalem, a long-standing policy But what we see these days, the number of demolition orders and confiscation of Arab homes in Jerusalem and its environs
The question why the Israeli government has chosen this time and the number of houses to be demolished
The Israeli government has determined that calm and stability in the region and took a lot of policy to destroy the decision to demolish the houses and the road map, and all international conventions and humanitarian laws and that this policy indicates that this shows that behind the government's policy decisions and looking for blood and violence and avoidance of international obligations

This government is the Arab population in East Jerusalem, the time bomb to explode at any time and the only loser is the citizen of the Arabs and the Jews
Those of the makers and get off at the most important government office has just kept no matter what price
Faisal Elitib person looking for peace and reaching peace

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