Palestine overwhelmed by Illegal American Immigrants

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

If there were a Palestinian Donald Trump, he’d be fulminating against illegal immigrants swamping the Palestinian West Bank. And he’d be complaining that fully 1 in 6 of these undocumented squatters are Americans .

Since Americans have trouble understanding the basic facts of the situation, it is worthwhile underscoring that the United Nations General Assembly’s partition plan for British Mandate Palestine in 1947 did not include Gaza or the West Bank of the Jordan. Those territories were never awarded to Jewish settlers or later Israelis by any legitimate authority (even the UNGC is not an executive body and the Security Council should have signed off to grant real legitimacy in law). Israel militarily conquered Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 and have by now so altered the ways of life, economy and society of these occupied territories that the Occupation is illegal by the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1949 (designed to prevent atrocities against occupied populations of the sort the Axis carried out during WW II).

It is strictly illegal for the occupying power to attempt to annex occupied territory or to transfer its citizens into militarily occupied territory. Mussolini’s Italy pulled that stunt with the parts of France he occupied during WW II. When you hear that someone has violated the Geneva Convention, that isn’t just an abstract matter. It means that someone is acting the way the dictators acted during the war, because it is that kind of lawless behavior the conventions were attempting to forestall from happening again.

Israel illegally annexed part of the Palestinian West Bank to its district of Jerusalem and then settled it with Israeli squatters. Am I comparing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Mussolini in Menton, France? If the shoe fits . . .


Outside the territory annexed to Jerusalem, there are at least 350,000 Israeli squatters who have usurped Palestinian land.

This link explains the process of illegal Israeli squatting on and theft of Palestinian land (a process the International Court of Justice ruled is illegal in 2004).

Some 60,000 of the squatters, today’s equivalent of Mussolini’s Black Shirts , are Americans, according to a new study.

Those American politicians like Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump, who make exaggerated and untrue statements against undocumented workers in the United States but who defend illegal Israeli immigration into the West Bank, are supreme hypocrites. The Israeli squatters, moreover, are often hostile and aggressive, excluding Palestinians from the townhouses they construct on stolen property.

27 Responses

  1. Having lived in the West Bank (Palestine now), let’s not forget that these Americans are the creme of the crap. I was always amazed at how casually racist they were, comparing Palestinians to “criminal” African-Americans. Look at our lovely exports Meir Kahane (whom I met there) and Baruch Goldstein (who I’m glad I didn’t). These Americans used to go to Israel for a few weeks in order to “Arab bash.” Now these losers come and stay permanently, basically welfare recipients, and can “Arab bash” with guns all they want.

  2. Even Resolution 181 was non binding and never went to the Security council to be ratified into law. So none of Palestine was “awarded” to the zionist Jews. UN has no right to take land from one to give to another. It can merely recommend a solution and if both sides agree to that recommendation they can ratify that recommendation into law – eg India/pakistan

    • Blake: “Even Resolution 181 was non binding and never went to the Security council to be ratified into law.”

      The UN Security Council is not a world legislature.

      It therefore can’t “make international law”, nor does it have the authority to “ratify” an international treaty that had been created by any other means.

      Nor, for that matter, can the UN General Assembly – it is no more a legislature than is the UNSC.

      Your comment – and Juan Cole’s – display a fundamental misunderstanding of the United Nations, which is nothing more nor less that a p.o.l.i.t.i.c.a.l. body.

      The UNGA voted on the Partition Plan (via UNGAR181) because the Assembly had inherited the supervisory role that the old League of Nations had w.r.t. Mandatory Powers (if you don’t believe me then read the very first sentence of UNGAR181).

      So, basically, the legalities were this: the Mandatory Power (i.e. Britain) wanted to end its Mandate. But it had to leave *something* behind to show that it had fulfilled the requirements of ending a Mandate.

      So it asked the UNGA to advise, and the Assembly then convened a committee that recommended that the Mandatory partition the territory into two successor states.

      The Mandatory Power accepted that advice (really, it had no choice by that stage), and it was *that* decision that made the Partition Plan legally-binding.

      After all, say what you want about Britain’s conduct 1922-1947, but there can be no dispute that a Mandatory Power had the legal authority to partition a Mandated Territory.

      Exhibit A: Lebanon and Syria.
      Exhibit B: Transjordan and (still Mandated) Palestine.

      Or, in short: it was the legal authority of the MANDATORY POWER that made accepting the Partition Plan a legally-binding decision (save only that a Mandatory – any Mandatory – needed the “consent” of its supervising body before such a far-reaching plan became “legal”).

      And by 1947 that supervising body was… the UNGA.
      And that body gave its “consent” by…. the margin of 33-13.

      Legal, and legally-binding. And violated for the last 68 years.

      • “but there can be no dispute that a Mandatory Power had the legal authority to partition a Mandated Territory.”

        Yeah, right.

        It *can* be disputed. Indeed, your claims can be rendered absurd.

        The “mandatory power” was but an external partisan , colonial and imperial authority and it cannot be granted plenary rights to dispense of the lands of native populations.

        • “It *can* be disputed. Indeed, your claims can be rendered absurd.”

          Dispute away, and by doing so you are invalidating the legitimacy of:
          a) Syria
          b) Lebanon
          c) Jordan
          d) Palestine
          e) Israel

          Not only that, but if you want to argue that a Mandatory Power **didn’t** have the legal authority to decide upon the method of state succession then you are invalidating the legal status of:
          New Guinea

          The Mandates were LEGAL instruments, they weren’t political policy positions.

          You may not like how they were set up, nor the paternalism that drove them.

          Fine. Hate away, you won’t find much argument from me.

          But as LEGAL instruments they were perfectly legitimate, and in the case of the ending of the Mandate for Palestine via the Plan of Partition both the UK (the Mandatory Power) and the UN General Assembly (the supervising body) followed the law to the letter.

          Again, you don’t have to like the p.o.l.i.t.i.c.a.l. outcomes that resulted from those deliberations, but that is not at all the same thing as arguing that what transpired was not legal.

          Because it most certainly was.

      • Nobody argues that Britain ever had a right to colonize Palestine with European Zionist colonists, even though the Balfour declaration was put into a “legal format” such as the Mandate for Palestine by the League of Nations. All it shows is that the major powers – colonial Western states – chief among them the British Empire, could put into “legal form” and pass any resolution as fits their interests. However, power doesn’t make it legal nor moral, much like Israel considers its colonization of the West Bank “legal” and puts it into a legal framework.

        Regarding partition, it is ridiculous to claim that anyone had the legal right to partition Palestine between its native inhabitants and illegal European colonists who were forced upon them. That’s where Palestine differs from other borders that were drawn in the Middle East. Just to give an idea how ridiculous that resolution was – it would be the equivalent of the UN voting to partition Algeria between Algerians and the French colonists = in fact even worse since most of the Zionist colonists were not even born in Palestine!

        • “Nobody argues that Britain ever had a right to colonize Palestine with European Zionist colonists, even though the Balfour declaration was put into a “legal format” such as the Mandate for Palestine by the League of Nations.”

          What you are saying is that you can reject a law if you don’t happen to like that law.

          Try that next time you are booked for speeding, and let me know how that turns out for you.

          The Mandates were legal instruments. They were perfectly “legal”, precisely because the prior sovereign power (in this case, the Ottoman Empire via its successor state “Turkey”) agreed to handover its sovereign territory to a Mandatory Power nominated from amongst the Principal Allied Powers.

          That’s perfectly legal, however much You Don’t Like It.

          “Regarding partition, it is ridiculous to claim that anyone had the legal right to partition Palestine between its native inhabitants and illegal European colonists who were forced upon them.”

          And in making that claim you run into something of an evidentiary problem, which is that this wasn’t the *only* instance in which a Mandated Territory was split into two successor states.

          Clearly, it could be done and – evidently – it was perfectly legal to do it.

          Witness: Syria
          Witness: Lebanon
          Witness: Jordan

          You need to explain to me why *those* partitions were legal and *this* partition wasn’t.

          Other than, of course, you have a bee in your bonnet regarding *this* partition.

        • I explained to you that a partition between natives and illegal immigrants who were not even born in Palestine is what makes the partition of Palestine different and illegitimate. The Zionist colonists could not be viewed in any way as legitimate residents, let alone claimants to sovereignty in a territory in which they settled under the force of arms. They are what they are: invaders.

          Also, the UN or League of Nations were/are not law making bodies so your interpretation of their actions as “legal” is simply bizarre.

          Slavery was legal, Israel is building settlements which according to its laws are legal, the dispossession and expulsion of Germany Jews was LEGAL. Just because you don’t like the outcome doesn’t mean it’s not legal, according to your strange interpretation….

          But of course, it sounds you are inflicted with the mental disturbance called Zionism which clouds your mind and judgment so I don’t expect to reach an understanding with you.

  3. Why not publicise who these fanatical American land robbers actually are ?

    If they occupy prominent positions in American society, so much easier to pinpoint and boycott.

  4. Thomas Thomas

    Very perceptive Does that explain BIBI? An influx of American Tea Party types? Just something else we inflicted on the world

  5. It never fails to amaze me that our American politicians apparently have no knowledge of history beyond their own simple biases.

    None of them have the fortitude or maybe don’t have the intelligence to understand not only the fundamentals but also the details of situations in the Middle East.

  6. The Book of Authorized wisdom teaches us that is Palestinian land.THERE was not state of Israel. Shame on America and the Europe. To let this from of Bullying to Continue. The rule of Law by the Geneva convention was swept A-side by Classism,Ethnocentric leaders against,the Palestinians to be of Brown skinned and thought of as a lesser value. Undeserving of what is rightly their Land!

  7. It’s heartening to see some sensitive and perceptive remarks in this thread by Americans . I hope that doesn’t sound condescending but when Fox News posts pictures of bombed Gaza claiming that it’s Israel , the voices of reason need to shout louder than the mainstream media with its shameless Zionist agenda . With regard to the destruction of Gaza in 2014 the Zionist narrative , as reported by the US media , took the art of Orwellian doublespeak to a whole new level .

  8. ME turmoil protects Israel. Unless they are enforceable, laws are an open invitation to find arguments that render them inapplicable because superseded by some higher (chosen people) or more urgent (security) consideration. Israel is not going to stop what it is doing unless forced and it is difficult to see how, under the present circumstances, that can be brought about. BDS certainly helps prepare the ground but Israel’s tentacles are spread wide and guarantee endless fudge.

    A piece in the Asia Times link to last week might suggest that Russia’s ME foreign policy contains the seeds of a collateral solution. If Moscow/Cairo/Tehran/Damascus do indeed form …a broad counter-terrorism front in which the key international players and the region’s countries, including Syria, would take part… and it achieves significant impact it might serve to coax Israel’s immunity to an end, with security for the whole area becoming an international rather than exclusively US undertaking, and attention better focused on obtaining a nuclear free ME.

  9. Having just returned from a volunteer teaching stay in Nablus, I can say that not only are American settlers appearing like rabbits – the illegal settlements in downtown Hebron (or al-Khalil, preferably) are flooded with overheard French. Both Brooklynese and Parisian are constantly floating on the wind – Hebrew not so much there.

    On another note I did meet a young American woman who indeed was an illegal immigrant to Palestine – not a settler, but a PA employee who loved Ramallah so much she simply never had left.

  10. I traveled to Palestine in late 80’s. I ran into 2 Isralies carrying Uzis. When I questioned about the poor conditions in which palestinians lived in regugee camps, one said that is the way they like to live. It reminded me of similar racist statements about people of color in the US. I asked where they were from, they replied New York

  11. @Moxeyheller

    I doubt most are from Brooklyn Heights. I would wager most were originally living in East Flatbush.

    Question: Why is this issue so difficult for certain Americans to understand? If God gave them this land, wouldn’t it be far easier to establish a Palestinian state, and then buy the land from the private owner? If an American moves to Canada, this is how the system works. There’s no rationality or long-term planning in the settler movement whatsoever.

  12. Besides conflating innocuous labor migrants (US) with armed colonists (Palestine), you fail to mention that even if there was any legitimacy to UNGA 181 (partition resolution), Israel even in its pre-1967 borders was in violation of the very resolution from which it claims legitimacy when it ethnically cleansed and occupied 78% of Palestine, way beyond the partition plan (UNGA 181 awarded the Zionist colonists 55% of Palestine and obviously never granted them the right to commit ethnic cleansing).

    In addition, opponents of UNGA 181 claim that the UN had no right to vote on partitioning Palestine to begin with since it is in opposition to its very own charter and granting illegal European Zionist colonists 55% of Palestine would be the equivalent of the UN voting to partition France between the French and its population of recent illegal immigrants.

  13. If a governor in the U.S. used the state’s national guard to force people from their homes and to bulldoze the land so he could give the land “free” to developers, every major news organization would be hot on the money trail and a possible story of corruption. Israeli media speculates about the Netanyahu’s high life style but apparently lack the courage to actually find how it is paid for. When the IDF, paid for by the U.S. at the tune of $3 billion per year, is used to raze homes and bulldoze ancient olive groves, stealing Palestinian lands for the sake of developers, just what does that make the U..S.?

  14. This process was highlighted a couple of weeks ago when one of the squatters threw a fire bomb into a Palestinian home and burned a child to death.

  15. Not only did the UN partition plan not include the current West Bank or Gaza, it did not include the Galilee…. and its West Bank and Gaza were so much larger they were touching.

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