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    Illegal Arab Immigration into Israel

    This piece was written by Joseph E Katz- Middle East Analyst. This rather taboo subject is normally ignored by Middle East journalists. The fact is that many of what are called "Palestinians" today are in fact  immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt (many who until this last generation even retained their native language). 

    Who is a Palestinian?

    There is no religion, culture or language test for "who is a Palestinian".  The Arab Legion never allowed a census of Palestinian refugees.  The Jordan government refuses to disclose the percentage of Palestinians in Jordan, potentially revealing that the majority of Palestinians live in Jordan giving feul to the claim that "Jordan is Palestine".

    The U.N. defines that any Arab who had lived for TWO YEARS in Western Palestine before 1948 "He and his descendants could claim the right of return".  Today 3-5 million Arabs, without proof or document are claiming to be descendants of these original refugees and are claiming to be "Palestinians" with the "right of return" to Western Palestine [Israel].

    For politically motivated reasons, from 1920-1948, the British government deliberately tried to create an artificial Arab majority in Western Palestine by severely restricting Jewish immigration and actively encouraging illegal Arab immigration. 

    How many Arab Immigrants to the West Bank and Gaza?

    Terms such as "settlers" and "settlements" apply to Palestinians as much as Israelis.  Over ~400,000 Arabs have entered the West Bank and Gaza via Jordan since the start of Oslo.  The Arabs have bult ~261 settlements in the West Bank since 1967.  In comparison ~200,000 Jews have entered the West Bank and Gaza (including Jerusalem Suburbs) and built ~144.settlements.

    The number of Arab settlers is based on statistics collected on the Allenby bridge and other connection points between Israel and Jordan.  I don't know yet whether it also includes the border between Gaza and Egypt.

    The statistics are based on the number of Arabs day workers entering, but not leaving Israel, published by the Israel Central Bureau for statistics during the Netanyahu administration and subsequently denied as "recording errors" by the Barak administration.

    The original report claimed upwards of 400,000 KNOWN illegal immigrants in Israel since the start of Olso, obstensively pushing the West Bank population from 1 million to 1.5 million Arabs.

    The Barak Administration disregarded this figure and reported a revised figure of approximately 170,000 allowing for their "estimated number of recording errors at border control".

    Israel CONTINUES to have a policy of essentially allowing unhindered immigration to the Palestinian Autonomy across the Jordanian, and Egyptian borders.

    The Palestinian Authority several times has tried to claim control of border control, resulting in some conflict at the Allenby and Adam bridges.  Israel during the Barak administration tried to appease the PA by allowing liberal policies towards would-be-immigrants, threatening deportation only if they appeared outside Palestinian Autonomy regions.  It is unclear that Sharon administration's policy is any different.

    In addition, numerous reports have been occurring in the press of substantial illegal (unreported) immigration.  This appears from time to time where job-seeking "infiltrators" are stumbled on by the police or border patrol.  They come from as far away as Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and India.

    The number of settlements can be seen by doing a comparison of maps in 1967 and today.

    We must be aware of the implications of massive illegal Arab immigration into the West Bank and Gaza  There have been twenty at least new Arab settlements since 1998.

    As Winston Churchill said in 1939, "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population." [Martin Gilbert, Churchill, vol. 5, p. 1072. ]

    Various military and political circles talk about the "retaking of Area As" to achieve Israeli security, but the population movement is one thing that can't be "undone" or "retaken".

    57,000 Jordanians here illegally

    Ha'aretz:  By Ruth Sinai Ha'aretz, 4 April 2001

    Deputy Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra claims there are 57,000 Jordanians illegally in Israel, mostly in Galilee villages, and warns they could become a security risk. But a Labor Ministry expert counters that number is "totally illogical."

    Ezra, who asked for reports from border control stations on the numbers of Jordanians who entered the country and then when they left, calculated a difference of 57,000 between the number entries and exits over the last three years.

    "They enter with tourist visas for three months, or for shorter periods. A few seek family reunification, some marry Israelis and many disappear in the country," said Ezra, a former senior officer in the Shin Bet.

    "They come to work like any foreign worker," he noted, adding that as opposed to foreign workers from China or Romania, they can become a security risk, like the Jordanian who, a few months ago, was involved in the terror attack on the Number 51 bus in Tel Aviv. Now the Public Security Ministry is looking into ways to bring down the number of illegal Jordanians here, he said.

    But Benny Fefferman [disagreed]...

    Speaking at a seminar yesterday on the subject of foreign workers here, he said the ministry estimates there are altogether some 100,000 workers without legitimate visas in the country. The Central Bureau of Statistics estimated the number of foreign workers without visas in 1999 at 90,000. Fefferman said that the phenomenon of vastly disparate numbers between entries and exits to the country is "well-known" and mostly a result of poor record-keeping at the borders.

    ...He said that only a few years ago ... the assumption in Israel was that there were as many as 400,000 illegal foreign workers here... 

    Some 184,000 refugees have returned since 1948

    Jerusalem Post, January 2, 2001

    Israel has allowed 114,000 refugees to return to the territories for humanitarian reasons over the years, according to the Foreign Ministry's legal adviser, Alan Baker. Some 70,000 refugees have been allowed to return to Israel proper, most of them in the framework of family reunions after 1948. 

    100,000 Palestinians are already illegally "returned: to Israel

    Ha'aretz: By Avraham Tal  Ha'aretz 28 December 2000

    Since the start of the 1950s, Israel had rejected the refugee clause in Resolution 194, but under the Oslo accords it agreed that refugees should constitute one of the issues to be negotiated in final status talks. Palestinians could view this as an achievement: for them, the very fact that the refugees were recognized as a problem about whose resolution Israel must negotiate constituted a toehold in a door which had previously been locked.

     The Palestinians have seen, and continue to see, that Israel has grown soft  and retreated from once intractable positions: Israelis negotiate with the PLO, assent to the establishment of a Palestinian state and partition areas in Jerusalem. Why, then, the Palestinians reason, shouldn't Israel become pliant and compromising about refugees?

    This assumption is strengthened by the fact that the first cracks in Israel's position on refugees have already appeared. The Beilin-Abu Mazen document (which the Palestinian politician consistently denounces, for reasons that are not hard to deduce) holds that most refugees will be settled in the Palestinian state, apart from a small number which will return to Israel in accord with humanitarian criteria. A proposal akin to this formulation has apparently resurfaced in U.S. President Bill Clinton's current plan - according to the outgoing president's proposal, only a small number of refugees will be entitled to return to the State of Israel.

    An official policy of "family reunification" was carried out after Israel's founding, and up to the end of the 1960s this policy permitted the return of 40,000 persons. How many more families can be "reunited" after 50 years? When one takes into account the clan network structure of Palestinian society, the potential apparently is unlimited.

    How many more are to return under this reunification formula, or some other framework? In 1949, David Ben-Gurion agreed to accept 100,000 refugees. The proposal was rejected and removed from the national agenda; yet recently it has been mentioned anew. In actual fact, since 1967, Israel has "absorbed" close to this number. According to data compiled by Professor Arnon Sofer, about 50,000 Palestinians returned illegally to Galilee and Triangle areas and mixed in with local population groups there. Another 20,000 Palestinians, he says, settled in Jerusalem (not counting those who came under the reunification policy), and about 1,000 Palestinian women married Israeli Bedouin men. Israel doesn't enforce immigration laws (and other laws) in Arab communities. 

    Over 40,000 entered PA without Israel's consent

    Jerusalem Post, June 14, 2000

    Over 40,000 Palestinians have entered the Palestinian Authority from a variety of Arab countries without the agreement of the Israeli government, Israel Radio reports. Many of these obtained temporary permission to stay, but have been remained in the PA indefinitely. At a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Security, Prime Minister Barak said Israel would agree to the continued residence of 5,000 of those Palestinians, the report says. Barak also said Israel was to release three administrative detainees in a gesture to the PA for cooperation on security matters. 


    The so-called "secret database" of Israeli Settlements

    Ha'aretz recently revealed information regarding a secret Israeli government database on settlements located in Judea and Samaria. The newspaper posted the Hebrew version of the database on their Web site. Last month, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) completed an English translation of the 200-page document.

    The database provides a concise description of each of settlements, including their location, legal status, population, and even the origins of their names. In addition, it also contains Israel government cabinet resolutions relating to each settlement.

    A copy of the database had been requested by Israeli citizens groups under that country's freedom of information law, but its release was denied by the Defense Ministry. Ha'aretz obtained a copy independently, which it published. The english translation is here below.

     Jewish Settlement Database Jan 2009



    Are Settlements Illegal? (Jerold Auerbach)

    Summary ... The world declares that the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are illegal and must be destroyed and the Jews relocated. They base their claim on either the Geneva Convention, UN General Assembly Resolution 181, UN Security Council Resolution 242, or any number of other documents. The facts, however, prove otherwise. The Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are, in fact, quite legal, under the provisions set forth in the previously mentioned documents and others, including the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

    With the recent election of a liberal American president and a conservative Israeli prime minister, pressure on Israel to reach a final agreement with the Palestinian Authority is likely to intensify. According to the conventional political wisdom, peace will require substantial Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority regarding the status of Jerusalem, the return of refugees, and the future of Jewish settlements. But the problem that has eluded resolution for sixty years remains: demarcating the permanent, recognized borders of the Jewish state.

    Settlements have been a deeply polarizing issue, in Israel and elsewhere, ever since the Israel Defense Forces swept triumphantly through the West Bank [sic] of the Kingdom of Jordan in June 1967. Before long, clusters of religious Zionists returned to the once inhabited, then tragically decimated, sites of Gush Etzion and Hebron, south of Jerusalem. They were the vanguard of a growing movement to restore a Jewish presence throughout Judea and Samaria, the Biblical homeland of the Jewish people.

    Settlement of the Land of Israel, after all, had defined Zionism ever since the founding of Rishon l'Tzion, the first settlement, in 1882. The "tower and stockade" settlements built overnight by kibbutzniks under British Mandatory rule remained legendary achievements in Zionist annals. With its stunning victory in the Six-Day War, Israel unexpectedly confronted new possibilities to fulfill ancient dreams—and, it is seldom recognized—long-deferred international commitments.

    Now, four decades after the first settlers blazed the trail of return, nearly 300,000 Israelis live in more than one hundred settlementcommunities amid 1.5 million Palestinian [sic] Arabs. No Jews anywhere in the world have been as persistently maligned—indeed, as maliciously vilified—as these Jewish settlers. Everyone from Yasir Arafat to Jimmy Carter (who has made a new career of hectoring Israel) has condemned them for occupying Palestinian land and violating fundamental principles of international law, to say nothing of impeding peace efforts.

    This allegation has been incessantly propagated by Israeli critics of settlement and by enraged Palestinians who claim that Jewish settlers have stolen "their" land. In Lords of the Land (2007), the first comprehensive survey of the Jewish settlement movement, Israeli historian Idith Zertal and Ha'aretz journalist Akiva Eldar lacerated settlers for their illegal occupation, plunder, destruction, and lawlessness. The "malignancy of occupation," they wrote, "in contravention of international law," has "brought Israel's democracy ... to the brink of an abyss." By now, The New York Times has reported, "Much of the world" regards "all Israeli settlements in land occupied in the 1967 war to be illegal under international law."

    At the core of the settlement critique is the incessant allegation — rarely scrutinized or challenged — that Israeli settlements established in "occupied" territory since 1967 are illegal under international law. It surfaced within Israeli government circles three months after the Six-Day War when Theodor Meron, legal counsel for the Foreign Ministry, sent a memo to Foreign Minister Abba Eban, a copy of which he forwarded to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. "My conclusion," Meron wrote, "is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

    The Geneva Convention, adopted in 1949 in the shadow of World War II atrocities, declared that an "occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." According to Meron, this provision (Article 49) was intended to forever prevent repetition of the notorious Nazi forced transfers of civilian populations—for "political and racial reasons"—from conquered territory to slave labor and extermination camps. As a youthful prisoner in a Nazi labor camp, Meron had painful personal memories of such population transfers, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported from their homes and replaced by foreign nationals. He insisted that the Geneva prohibition was "categorical and is not conditioned on the motives or purposes of the transfer."

    Meron's legal opinion, recently rediscovered by journalist Gershom Gorenberg during his research for a critical study of the early years of Jewish settlement, was filed and forgotten—for good reason. It was neither persuasive to his superiors nor an accurate appraisal of the applicability of the Geneva Convention to new Israeli settlements in the former West Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan. Military Advocate General Meir Shamgar, who subsequently became attorney general and then chief judge of the Supreme Court, asserted, "The legal applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to these territories is in doubt." For legitimate legal reasons, no government of Israel has ever accepted the validity of Meron's argument.

    To the contrary: Israeli settlement throughout the West Bank is explicitly protected by international agreements dating from the World War I era, subsequently reaffirmed after World War II, and never revoked since. The Balfour Declaration of 1917, calling for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," was endorsed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, drafted at the San Remo Conference in 1920, and adopted unanimously two years later. The mandate recognized "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and "the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." Jews were guaranteed the right of "close settlement" throughout "Palestine," geographically defined by the mandate as comprising land both east and west of the Jordan River (which ultimately became Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel). This was not framed as a gift to the Jewish people; rather, based on recognition of historical rights reaching back into antiquity, it was their entitlement.

    Jewish settlement throughout Palestine was limited by the mandate in only one respect: Great Britain, the Mandatory Trustee, acting in conjunction with the League of Nations Council, retained the discretion to "postpone" or "withhold" the right of Jews to settle east — but not west—of the Jordan River. Consistent with that solitary exception, and to placate the ambitions of the Hashemite Sheikh Abdullah for his own territory to rule, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill removed the land east of the river from the borders of Palestine.

    Churchill anticipated that the newly demarcated territory, comprising three-quarters of Mandatory Palestine, would become a future Arab state. With the establishment of Transjordan in 1922, the British prohibited Jewish settlement there. But the status of Jewish settlementwest of the Jordan River remained unchanged. Under the terms of the mandate, the internationally guaranteed legal right of Jews to settle anywhere in this truncated quarter of Palestine and build their national home there remained in force.

    Never further modified, abridged, or terminated, the Mandate for Palestine outlived the League of Nations. In the Charter of the United Nations, drafted in 1945, Article 80 explicitly protected the rights of "any peoples" and "the terms of existing international instruments to which members of the United Nations may respectively be parties." Drafted at the founding conference of the United Nations by Jewish legal representatives—including liberal American Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Peter Bergson from the right-wing Irgun, and Ben-Zion Netanyahu (father of the future prime minister)—Article 80 became known as "the Palestine clause."

    It preserved the rights of the Jewish people to "close settlement" throughout the remaining portion of their Palestinian homeland west of the Jordan River, precisely as the mandate had affirmed. But those settlement rights were flagrantly violated when Jordan invaded Israel in 1948. The military aggression of the Hashemite kingdom effectively obliterated U.N. Resolution 181, adopted the preceding year, which had called for the partition of (western) Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. Jordan's claim to the West Bank, recognized only by Great Britain and Pakistan, had no international legal standing.

    Contrary to Theodor Meron's citation of Article 49, the Geneva Convention did not restrict Jewish settlement in the West Bank, acquired by Israel during the Six-Day War. As Eugene V. Rostow, formerly dean of Yale Law School and undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969, noted, the government of Israel neither "deported" Palestinians nor "transferred" Israelis during or after 1967. (Indeed, beginning with the return of Jews to Hebron the following year, settlers invariably acted on their own volition without government authorization.) Furthermore, Rostow noted, the Geneva Convention applied only to acts by one signatory "carried out on the territory of another." The West Bank, however, did not belong to any signatory power, for Jordan had no sovereign rights or legal claims there. Its legal status was defined as "an unallocated part of the British Mandate."

    With Jordan's defeat in 1967, a "vacuum in sovereignty" existed on the West Bank. Under international law, the Israeli military administration became the custodian of territories until their return to the original sovereign—according to the League of Nations mandate, reinforced by Article 80 of the U.N. Charter—the Jewish people for their "national home in Palestine." Israeli settlement was not prohibited; indeed, under the terms of the mandate, it was explicitly protected. Jews retained the same legal right to settle in the West Bank that they enjoyed in Tel Aviv, Haifa, or the Galilee.

    After the Six-Day War, a new UN resolution—which Rostow was instrumental in drafting—specifically applied to the territory acquired by Israel. According to Security Council Resolution 242 (superseding Resolution 181 from 1947), Israel was permitted to administer the land until "a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" was achieved. Even then, Israel would be required to withdraw its armed forces only "from territories"—not from "the territories" or "all the territories"—that it administered.

    The absence of "the," the famous missing definite article, was neither an accident nor an afterthought; it resulted from what Rostow described as more than five months of "vehement public diplomacy" to clarify the meaning of Resolution 242. Israel would not be required to withdraw from all the territory that it had acquired during the Six-Day War; indeed, precisely such proposals were defeated in both the Security Council and the General Assembly. No prohibition on Jewish settlement, wherever it had been guaranteed by the Mandate for Palestine forty-five years earlier, was adopted.

    "The Jewish right of settlement in the area," Rostow concluded, "is equivalent in every way to the right of the existing [Palestinian] population to live there." Furthermore, as Stephen Schwebel, a judge on the International Court of Justice between 1981 and 2000, explicitly noted, territory acquired in a war of self-defense (waged by Israel in 1967) must be distinguished from territory acquired through "aggressive conquest" (waged by Germany during World War II). Consequently, the provisions of the Mandate for Palestine, allocating all the land west of the Jordan River to the Jewish people for their national home, remained in force until sovereignty was finally determined by a peace treaty between the contending parties—now Israel and the Palestinians. Until then, the disputed West Bank, claimed by two peoples, remained open to Jewish settlement.

    In sum, the right of the Jewish people to "close settlement" throughout Mandatory Palestine, except for the land siphoned off as Transjordan in 1922, has never been abrogated. Nor has the legal right of Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria, indisputably part of western "Palestine," ever been relinquished. The persistent effort to undermine the legitimacy of Israeli settlements, according to international law expert Julius Stone, has been nothing less than a "subversion ... of basic international law principles," in which the government of Israel, at best ambivalent about the settlements, has often been a willing accomplice. In the continuing absence of a "just and lasting peace," with an accompanying determination of the scope of Israeli withdrawal from "territories," Israel is under no legal obligation to limit settlement.

    World opinion, of course, is another matter. (In his uncritical embrace of Meron's flawed conclusion, Gorenberg cited "the court of world diplomacy" as "the court that mattered.") Ever since the Six-Day War, settlements have provoked unrelenting international hostility toward Israel. A triumphant Jewish state could hardly be expected to win approval from intractable Arab neighbors who had not recognized Israel even before settlements. An international community that in 1975 perceived Zionism as "racism" continues to see Palestinians only as "victims" of Jewish "conquest" and "occupation." Secular Zionists on the political left—long the ruling elite in Israeli intellectual, academic and media circles—are hardly receptive to challenges to their own cultural hegemony from religious nationalist settlers.

    So, ever since 1967, Jewish settlements have been widely and loudly—and erroneously—trumpeted as the major obstacle to Middle Eastern peace. They are convenient surrogates for the deep and enduring hostility to the very existence of a Jewish state. That hostility long antedated 1967 and, as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizb'Allah, and President Ahmadinajad of Iran endlessly reiterate, it is likely to endure for as long as Israel exists within any boundaries. But neither in the court of world opinion, nor in the State of Israel, are settlementcritics entitled to ignore the firm protection for Jewish settlements afforded by international legal guarantees extending back nearly a century, frequently affirmed ever since, and never rescinded.



    The Settlement Myth

    The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines a settlement as "a collection of dwellings forming a community”

    “The settlements” in Judea and Samaria that the anti-israel media continually refer to,  are not settlements at all, they are towns and cities, established communities that have existed for many years with centres of substantial populations.

    For example:- Gilo established in 1967 as a South Western Suburb of Jerusalem with over 40,000 inhabitants. Maale Adumim established in 1976 now has City Status with over 33,000 inhabitants. Beitar Illit in the Gush Etzion block  established 1985 with over 34,800 inhabitants

    By comparison:-

    Radlett 8,000 inhabitants, a settlement in South West Hertfordshire. Elstree 3,000 inhabitants, a settlement in South West Hertfordshire. Grantham Lincolnshire established 1086 with over 34,500 inhabitants, a settlement in middle England. Newark established 1086 with over 25,000 inhabitants, a settlement in middle England.

    By using the word “settlement” the media and other misinformed parties try to conjure up a feeling of “tent cities” and radical activists moving in on areas pitching tents over night, when in fact they are nothing of the sort. They are established communities with entire infra-structures built in areas and on land that Israel is 100% legally entitled to build on.


     A Republican position expressed by Sarah Palin on Jewish"Settlements"