Talk:Israeli settlement/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Initial discussions

I must protest at the heading 'Reestablished Communities'. This seems to come straight from the lexicon of the settlers themselves. This heading is extremely biased at MUST be removed if this page is to be neutral.

I removed:

As a means to legalise their position, the israelis have taken invading refugee camps Sabra and Chatila Massacre and vilages in an attempt to scare off Palestinians and claim the land as theirs.

The massacre in Sabra and Shatilla was not committed by Israel. Israel's responsibility, and for that matter Sharon's, was in not stopping their Christian Phalangist allies in Lebanon from committing the massacre. Nor was the massacre committed to legalize settlements. It took place in Lebanon, not the West Bank or Gaza. No Israeli government has ever made territorial claims on Lebanon, nor have any settlements been created there. Of course, a statement like this also merits an Israeli explanation of the actions if it is to be considered NPOV. According to Israel, refugee camps in the West Bank have Gaza have been invaded to stop thm serving as terrorist bases. It is not a question of agreeing with this or not. Personally, I do not, however, claiming that it is a policy intended to scare off the Palestinians requires some factual backing. I'd like to see that. Finally, it is Sabra and Shatilla (S and 2 l's).Danny

Let's improve the article by describing

  1. advocacy which opposes the settlemnts
  2. advocacy which supports the settlements

I presume Arabs are mostly against the settlements, because they regard the West Bank as properly belonging to a Palestinian state (de facto, de jure, or proposed) -- so the Israelis are trespassing, to say the least.

I presume the Israeli military wants radar installations that can see across the Jordan River, to get an extra 10 minutes' warning of enemy jets or missiles.

No doubt there are other issues as well. Please, someone who knows the area and the issues, write about this. Thank you. Ed Poor

Ed, you are confusing several issues here. military installations are not settlements. Many people in Israel, perhaps the majority, support removing most of the settlement but keeping military installations in vital places. And it is actually 3 minutes, not 10. Danny
Thanks for clarifying that, Danny. Ed Poor
Dear Ed, what you wrote is just, well, how should I put it?, not true! The majority in Israel is AGAINST removing settelments such as Gilo(a neighborhood in Jerusalem, but on the east side of the 1967 lunch-brake line) or Gush-Etzion... The military isuue isn't just about warning time...Today's radars are capable of seeing Jordan just fine even if Israel moves them a couple of miles to the west(see the Karin-A capture). The bigger problem is the height advantage the West Bank gives, the problem of making Israel VERY narrow at some places, and the isuue of provking more terror by showing that terror DOES work at achieving the Palestinian national movment goals(and thus being only the first step in "liberating allmof palestine from the Zionist enemy"...) Dear Ed, before you tell others about public opinion, you should know SOMETHING about it... --conio.h 18:54, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Alex, you're responding to a debate that appears to be at least a year old. Jayjg | (Talk) 16:02, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

These settlements have been declared to be illegal by the UN Security Council (Resolution 446), and Israel has been asked by that resolution to cease further settlement activity. Since resolution 446 was not made under Chapter VI or VII of the United Nations Charter , Israel argues that it is purely an advisory request, and chose not to fulfill it. The issue of the legal status of resolutions of the UN Security Council not made under Chapters VI or VII of the Charter is controversial in international law -- some accept Israel's argument, others reject it, and consider the resolution to be legally binding on Israel.

What are these chapters ?

I may have got the chapter numbers wrong, but as I remember, Chapter VI is compulsory measures of a non-military nature taken to protect international peace and security (e.g. peackeeping missions, sanctions, weapons inspections, embargos); Chapter VII is compulsory measures of a military nature (i.e. the United Nations authorizes a war). All members of the United Nations are legally obligated to obey resolutions of the Security Council made under these two chapters (such resolutions always contain the recital "Acting under Chapter whatever of the Charter of the United Nations", or words to similar effect) -- everyone is more or less in agreement on this. Whether or not they are legally obligated to obey and implement resolutions not containing that language is controversial. Resolution 446 did not contain such language.

Also controversial is are there any legal limits to the powers of the Security Council (can it legally command whatever it likes?), and whether the legality of Security Council resolutions is open to challenge before the International Court of Justice... -- SJK

Palestinians argue that the settlements are a unilateral act, not a bilaterally agreed act;

I think this sentence is irrelevant in discussing the reasons for the Jordanian giving up of their claims to the West Bank. Jordan simply said: "I don't care anymore about these territories, I sign my peace with Israel and I trust that Israel and the Palestinians will reach an agreement some day, but which exactly I don't care". They did not make their giving up somehow conditional on the question of Israeli settlements. That's why I think this phrase is irrelevant. uriyan

At the time of writing, no hard evidence has been produced by Israel to support these claims.

Removing plants or buildings after an attack is a standard procedure. Just several months ago, there was a family that protested its house being demolished in the Israeli Supreme Court (the house was used for an ambush). Israel's decision-making in this field follows a known procedure and is well documented.

arguing that Israeli settlements constitute de facto military bases.

Fragment. Under international law, settlements do not constitute bases, troops being deployed solely for protection. Moreover, settlers are still non-combatant civilians.

pointing to the fact that Israel has continued transferring her own civilian population to settlements

Israel does not 'transfer' population to settlements: they may come and go according to free will

which have come from Israel and the USA

Each side brings its issues. That's called negotiation.

The security of a future Palestinian state from attack by Israel has occasionally been mentioned in this connection.

So Israel would be signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians to attack them? The Palestinians' main proposed source of attack is Israel, while Israel's is not the Palestinians. So while the Palestinians are covered by a peace agreement by definition, Israel is not. --Uri

List of changes:

  1. Al-Quds (ash-Shareef) is Jerusalem, plain and simple. Jerusalem is the accpeted English name; using it solely for East Jerusalem is incorrect and biased.
Agreed. --Elian 18:35 Oct 7, 2002 (UTC)
  1. I wonder why it must hurt to mention that settlers are entitled to life. In spite of the fact that this has been reiterated numerous times by the U.N., various NGOs and who else, it's far from being common knowledge.
Please go around wikipedia and add this to all events in history where people got killed. Mentioning it only here gives a particular moralic stance which doesn't conform with NPOV, so I cut it (even if I agree with you that every human being is entitled to life ;-)) --Elian 18:35 Oct 7, 2002 (UTC)
  1. 6200 sq. km. are not under the control of settlers! Jacob, did you notice the 4% figure? That's the land under settler control; the rest are closed territories. This addition was biased, unhelpful, and the worst part is that you could have avoided it by looking up stuff. Why didn't you do that? --Uri

my changes: Some of the settlements were established on the spots of Jewish communities destroyed by Arabs in 1929 and 1947, while most are new. removed. What does this sentence signify? While this may be true, it should either be balanced with fatcs about settlements/highways etc erected on confiscated palestinian ground or left out. --Elian 18:35 Oct 7, 2002 (UTC)

Um, was it is Ok for Arabs to mass-murder Jews and take over their towns (like in Hebron)? Is Ok by you that this essential part of the conflict be hidden? Do you hold that Jews finally move back into areas where they always used to live, this is "incitement"? How is your view any different than Palestinian anti-Semitic propaganda that Jews hadn't been living there all along? No thanks. The material you deleted must be restored. You can't just delete historical facts that you find uncomfortable. That is a violation of all the ethical and scholarly standards by which the Wikipedia community works. If you think that some info should be added, then add this material. But don't just wipe out critical facts because you are too lazy to write new material. RK

First, thanks for removing the sentence about my agenda being biased and anti-Jewish (I have a text in preparation that explains my personal views on the conflict, but it's not finished yet, but there's one thing I can say: I am not anti-Jewish). Second: I invite you to have a look at Wikipedia:Arab-Israeli conflict editing project and read over the discussion in the mailinglist and add your general view there. Next: By removing this sentence I didn't intend to deny that Jews were living in the holy land for a long long time (I don't really understand how you came to this conclusion by the above statement). But in regard to the fact, that many settlements (while some were erected on the ground of old Jewish settlements) were erected on confiscated Arab ground (where also mass-murder may have occurred - see Deir Yassin, which is a Israeli village now) the above sentence brings bias in the article. And until it's de-biased I'd prefer to have it here on the talk page. Last, regarding laziness: I am no native english-speaker and it's very hard for me to write in English (and takes much time, too). I will write new material, but it may take some time. --Elian

The number of Palestinians within the West Bank and Gaza has also undergone a large increase as human species tends to reproduce.

Yes, but aren't Israelis humans as well? I am sure that you are not implying that Palestinians have a right to expand their towns and have children because they are human, but that right is somehow questionable for Israelis. Yet that is how it comes off. I say this because much Islamic literature popular among Palestinians teaches explicitly that Israelies are "the sons of dogs and pigs", and that they really do not have a right to live in any part of the land, West Bank or Israel proper. Most Islamic teachers among Palestinians really do deny Jews any form of human rights whatsoever. RK

Yes, Israelis are humans as well. But I think there is a major and fundamental difference between a systematic policy of building settlements and increasing population by settling people there and the "normal" way a population increases (which is happening in the Israeli settlements as well) The question is a political one: Do the Israelis have the right to install settlements on an occupied territory which is not an official part of their state and by doing this creating a situation which makes the planned creation of a Palestinian state extremely difficult (and violating the terms of the Oslo accords)? and just a remark: I don't think that we should refer to extremists' views in discussion. And articles shouldn't be written in an attitude to implicitly argue against these ridiculous views. Further I want to add that there is also a part of Palestinians who are Christians, have nothing to do with "Islamist literature", don't deny the right of Israelis to live in Israel but however strongly call for a stop of settlement building as a mean of making a functional Palestinian state in Westbank and Gaza impossible. Do you deny that the Palestinians have a right to an own state and a right of political self-determination, a right to vote, a right to express their opinion freely, i.e. everything which constitutes the freedom most Americans do so strongly support? BTW, I left a message on your Userpage. I'd appreciate hearing your opinions about the project. --Elian

This land is not simply "occupied" or "liberated", it is disputed. Also it should not be forgotten that Palestine comprises land on both sides of the Jordan river. Therefore there are already "2 states for 2 people". One Arab Palestinian state: Jordan, one Jewish Palestinian state: Israel. A third one would be injustice against the Jewish people because they have only this one state (whereas the Arabs have 22).

I think the discussion should move from national questions to human rights questions: How can this conflict be ended in a way which is fast and helps the entire population? When all the stateless Palestinians get Jordanian citizenship then they have their nation state *and* they can stay in Israel as normal foreign citizens. This proposal could really work:

This is Benny Elon's "solve the problem by expelling the palestians" solution?
No, "expelling the palestinians" is not part of the plan, see Elon Peace Plan Der Eberswalder 06:56, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The pro-transfer policy of Elon is well-known to every Israeli. He's careful not to specify the exact mechanism by which the "completion of the exchange of populations that began in 1948" (his words) will be achieved, but nobody is fooled. His proposal is barely different from Kahane's was. --Zero 13:37, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
There is a huge difference between forced Ethnic cleansing and persuasion (by development aid). What you are writing is just plain backbiting. Der Eberswalder 06:35, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)
You must be the only person in the universe who is fooled. Elon has made his intentions completely clear in speeches and interviews and there is hardly a single Israeli who doesn't understand them. Elon is not a fool and he knows full well that few Palstinians will leave just because they have financial assistance. They will refuse to cooperate, their refusal will be considered a "declaration of war" [this step is not really needed as Elon regards the intifada to be a war already] then "Should the Arab population of Judea, Samaria & Gaza declare war on us, they will be expelled to their state, on the other side of the Jordan River." [1]. I suspect you really know this already. --Zero 09:53, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I made a few changes today, but it will take a lot more work to balance the "they are illegal claim" of Palestinian Arabs with pro-Israeli POV. I wish someone who knew more about law than I do, would research this. --Uncle Ed 14:49, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Dunno about law, but I know something about the English language - viz, that when you march into a place and hold it at gunpoint it is and must be called occupation - attempting to pretend a military occupation is anything else but a military occupation is simply absurd. I'm not even going to read the rest of the article - with a start like that, it ain't worth it. Tannin

Might I point out that the previous state in control of the land was also an "occupier"? Jordan, who marched into the area, expelled Jews in the area (might I also point out that some of the settlements can be justified as the return of Jewish Refugees to their homes where they were expelled in 1948 by the Jordanians? Considering the promotion of the palestinian "right of return", one can hardly argue with allowing Jews the same rights, especially when, unlike the possibility of palestinians entering Israel, it does not pose any threat to the demographic stability of the area.) and annexed it illegally? Yet I don't see you condemning their occupation, of which was of a much more brutal nature and involved the annexation of land, which Israel has not done. Also, to Ed Poor, I will start doing some research to represent further the other point of view, in the interests of balance. Thankyou for pointing that out.-Leumi

The maps are damn fine but they show East Jerusalem as within the Green Mile border which is totally wrong. It must be fixed. BL 12:14, Apr 17, 2004 (UTC)

What does the header "Reestablished Communities" mean? -SV

Population in Settlements

It is a common misconception that the settlements are mostly in Palestinian towns. The pluarility of the settlers live in Ma'ale Adumim im what was and still is uninhabited desert east of Jerusalem. Most of the settlers live near the borders of the West Bank in areas that would never have been given back to the Palestinians and serve as suburbs of Tel Aviv, Netanya, or Jerusalem. It is a sad truth that the majority of settlers who are quoted are the 400 people who live in Kiryat Arbah in Hebron, who do not represent the majority of settlers; who are usually people who want to live close to Tel Aviv - many vote for the labor party. There are also agricultural settlements along the Jordan along the border with the nation of Jordan. Palestinians would never gain this land as the Jordanian government detests the PLO, ever since the attempted coup d'etat in 1970.

I don't know who wrote the above paragraph but it's very clear that you've never been to the West Bank and seen the settlements. They are not 'near Tel Aviv' at all. They are deep inside the West Bank on the hilltops. There are plenty of militant settlers throughout the illegal West Bank settlements - not just around Hebron. Around Nablus, for example, there are many who routinely attack Palestinian families trying to harvest their crops.
To set things straight: the whole area we're talking about is quite small, so it's hard to say "near" or "far". Only the bloc of Modi'in Illit (total population about 25,000), and a few other settlements (e.g., Oranit - 5,000 and Har-Adar - 1,420) can truly be considered adjacent to Israel. Other blocs (e.g., Etzion - 33,000, Ma'ale Adumim - 28,000) are close to the border, but in areas also populated with Palestinians. Most other settlements (e.g., Ariel - 16,000) are deep inside the Territories. The settler population in the Jordan Valley is very sparse, about 6,000, even less than the (relatively sparse) Palestinian population there. While some settlements are only a few kilometers from Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem, hardly any of them can be considered "suburbs", due to the Palestinian population concentration in the Tul-Karem, Qalqiliya, Salfit, East-Jerusalem and Beth-Lehem areas. --Doron 11:13, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think it's fair to say that Gilo is a suburb of Jerusalem. And I'm not sure how Palestinian populations would be relevant, could you elaborate? Jayjg | (Talk) 17:56, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I agree on Gilo, but Gilo is part of the municipality of Jerusalem, and thus under Israeli law, which puts it in quite a different status than, say, Ma'ale Adumim (a distinguishment that is made in the article as well). Most East-Jerusalem settlements are widely accepted as suburbs of Jerusalem, even by the some Palestinians (e.g., Geneva Accord). Re: Palestinian populations - for example, it's hard to accept Alfei Menashe as a suburb of Tel-Aviv when Qalqiliya and Hable, which are closer, are definitely not considered as such. Regarding such areas as "suburbs" of Tel-Aviv suggests that there is a continuity of Israeli territory, which is absent in most cases as I have written above. The person that wrote the first paragraph (to whom I meant to reply) brought up the issue of "not giving back to the Palestinians" some of these areas, so I wanted to point out that this is relevant in only very few instances, since it is generally accepted (even in Israel) that areas populated with Palestinians are not to be annexed to Israel. --Doron 08:56, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Good points. Jayjg | (Talk) 16:04, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)


I removed the term "massive" from the reference to financial incentives. I was tempted to remove the term "incentive" and replace it with "support" as well. Whether the incentives are "massive" or not is a matter of interpretation.

Essay by new editor

I'm new to this "talk", but I'm mesmerised by the amount of words used to justify these illeagal and immoral land thieves.

Millions of indigenous people to this land are either crammed into 12% of what was their land or languishing in refugee camps; meanwhile people from all over the world are free to come take even more of their land because thy belong to an exclusive club, the Jewish religion. Many of these squaterrs are from North America or Russia...they have no ties to this land. As I type they are demolishing the Palestinains olive and orange groves to build more Jews-only roads and towns...with the occupying military's help.

Israel continues to steal even more of the little that is left ofr the indigenous people; it is very clear that they are hoping to completly ethnic cleanse this land of the Palestinians by driving them out or keeping them cut off from the outside world in little enclaves controlled by Israel...remind you of South Africa?

Legal status

I added a section on different legal status of the territories in question. I suspect it may get more complicated, since the Arab position long was that the very existence of Israel - on even a square inch - was unacceptable to them. The Jordanian and Egyptian peace treaties stipulate what areas fall under Jordanian and Egyptian sovereignty, but make no particular statement about where Israel's final borders should go within these borders.

--Leifern 22:01, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This section currently just includes the Israeli POV, not mentioning that most of the worlds countries, UN and most jurists look upon these territories as occupied. I'd like to include some reference to the ICJ-advisory opinion paragraphs 70-78 which looks on the legal status of the West Bank.

This also makes the latter section about the application of the Geneva Convention a bit more clear, a revamp could possibly include both these section thus making the legal aspects a bit more understandable. --Cybbe 21:49, Feb 18, 2005 (UTC)

I've started a separate article, International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict that tries to clarify the legal issues, taking into account all sides of the debate. --Leifern 13:53, 2005 Feb 28 (UTC)

Motivations for settlements

I added a section on the motivations for settlement, making an effort to describe both the accusations and the professions.

Isn't the stated motivation of the settlers to make the occupied territories part of Israel (commonly referred to as "creating facts on the ground") as in this map on the Arutz Sheva website? [2] Why is this not mentioned? What are Israel's territorial claims exactly - I have never seen them stated explicitly.

Regarding to the Israeli "willingness" to evict from Sinai

Israel has a very unique political system, in the sense that Israel is never "willing" to do anything, but certain parties/people are. Israel switches governments and PMs like socks, mostly because the people want's "something to be done differently", but they don't actually know what they want to do...

If the PMs wants to do something, there's no on to stop him, for about four years, meaning: what the Israeli government did isn't necessarily what the people wanted. For example(without going into the isuue wethere the action was right or wrong): David Ben Gurion signed the compensation agreement with Germany when there was a lot of criticism on that act from the public(The Knessest was even attacked), and it's not clear what the public wanted... (although today, most agree that looking back in time, it was a good decision)

So, the point is: Odd as it may sound, you can't conclude what Israel(people) wants from whatIsrael(government) did. --AlexKarpman 09:25, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The term "settlements"

User: Guy Montag has gone through the article and changed the word settlements to communities or "settlements" (putting them in quotes). From my understanding, his goal is to have the word replaced everywhere in Wikipedia. I think this issue needs some discussion, not just for this article, but for what term is used in other articles as well.

I think the term should remain settlements for the following reasons:

  • This is the commonly used term. If you need one word to describe this phenomenon without ambiguity, so that everyone immidiately understands what you are talking about, this is the word.
  • "Communities" is misleading, as it may refer to communities in Israel proper, and it may refer to Palestinian communities (as it often does), so it should be "Israeli communitites in the disputed Israel-Palestinian territories" or something of the sort, unless it is already established that we're talking about settlements.
  • User: Guy Montag has suggested that the word 'settlements' is pejorative. I don't think it is. The fact that it is sometimes used in a negative sense is due to the controversy surrounding them, there's nothing negative about the word itself. Just as the word "Jew" is not pejorative, even though some (antisemites) use it in a negative sense. Furthermore, the word "settlements" is used even by Israeli authorities (e.g., [3]) and pro-Israeli sources (e.g., [4]), and sometimes by the settlers themselves (e.g., [5]) and by right-wing movements (e.g., [6]). So how can it be pejorative? Do all of these use the term in a negative sense?
  • Introducing a new "politically correct" term seems to me to contradict the No original research rule.

On the other hand, I think it is perfectly fine to use "communities" once it is established that the settlements are the issue. --Doron 08:59, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree. This is a commonly used term, used by both sides, and i have changed it back to settlements (along with some legal issues). Thus, the term most commonly used is the one closest to NPOV, and the one that should be used. This also reflects the name of the article. --Cybbe 19:45, Feb 23, 2005 (UTC)

I have many issues with this article because it presents a slanted, unprofessional POV in certain parts, and inserts controversial subjects that many legal experts dispute.

The term "settlement" is misleading. When does a settlement become an established town? Most settlements have been there for over 30 years. They are by now small towns. It has to be stated clearly that we are not talking about small outposts established a month ago, but 30 year old thriving communities. The article itself says that settlements are communities. I think we can use the term to differentiate between long established settlements and newly established outposts. If we refer to all of them as settlements in my view, it projects the idea that they are all new.

"New" is relative, and I'm no native speaker of English, but I think the word "settlement" can refer to a small town, which the vast majority of them are. But anyway, "settlements" is the common word and Wikipedia is not the place to advocate the use of new terms. If you want to make a point of the length of time some of these settlements exist, that's a different thing, but otherwise I'm reverting the word back to "settlements" everywhere where it is more appropriate than "communities".

Other issues

My other criticism includes:

  • Misrepresentation of the Geneva convention. -- The Geneva convention applies only to signatory nations. Jordan was never a signatory and it repudiated it's claim to the West Bank in 1987. The territory was never part of a state, or was a state signatory to the Geneva convention, hence this argument is flawed.
  • Use of outdated or any polls in Wikipedia. This is a response to a similiar querry I had when posting in the Elon Peace Plan discussion page regarding a poll. This was the response to the deletion of a poll by veteran wikiposter Uffish:

I claim that polls are unecyclopedic, you only said that this poll is important. Important is not the same as encyclopedic. An encyclopedia should aim for something of lasting importance and meaning.

See Wikipedia:Avoid statements that will date quickly. 

Now, the Steinmatz Institute, for example, publishes a poll every month with basically the opposite results. What are we going to do? Update this page every month? Delete ones that are one year old? This is why polls are unwelcome here — you are welcome to stroll around other parts of Wikipedia and check for yourself.

Hence the Peace Now Poll does not apply to this article and I will delete it.

  • Misrepresenting and POVing the ICJ response with a slant against Israel. - Do not delete opposing point of view, and state in a definitive manner that the ICJ ruling represents a credible interpertation of international law. This is passionatly disputed by dozens of intenational law experts, and the ICJ's jurisdiction to even render this verdict was disputed by the US, China, and the European Union. The argument stated that it would be a gross breach of the ICJ's mandate to issue a verdict with disregard to protocol, and especially that the ICJ did not have the mandate to issue verdicts with respect to such wide reaching points of international law without consent of Israel.

Both states must issue interest with the Court to render a ruling. The PA is not a state, and Israel does not recognize the authority of the ICJ.

The advisory opinions of the court are influential and widely respected interpretations of the law, but they are 'not authoritative, and they are inherently non-binding under the Statute of the Court. Because they are not authoritive, the dissent must be provided.

  • "Arabs" did not wipe out Gush Etzion and Hebron or Gaza, specific Arab armies and violent events did. The events that led to the destruction of these communities was: Hebron (Arab Pogrom), Gaza (Egyptian army) and Gush Etzion (Jordanian army.)

  • Finally, Cybbe, either register so your statements and edits can be accountable, or stop making unabashedly POV edits to this article. "Occupied" is not a neutral term to be used in most wiki articles.

Guy Montag 01:30, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC) (Forgot to sign)

First: The term settlements. This is a generally accepted term used by both sides, and using another term is simply pushing a POV. also, the definition of "Settlement"

Main Entry:set£tle£ment Pronunciation:*se-t*l-m*nt Function:noun Date:1648

1 : the act or process of settling 2 a : an act of bestowing or giving possession under legal sanction b : the sum, estate, or income secured to one by such a settlement 3 a : occupation by settlers b : a place or region newly settled c : a small village 4 : SETTLEMENT HOUSE 5 : an agreement composing differences 6 : payment or adjustment of an account

This is not misleading.

The Geneva convention. Your facts are outright wrong. Jordan is and has been since 1951, a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. The conventions are also considered to be customary international law. This is a subject I am familiar with.

To make a balanced article one needs to present both views. The current article presents Israels view on the Geneva Convention and why, while the other view is only presented without giving it a legal explenation, which is wrong and makes the article unbalanced, in favour of an Israeli POV.

Let me cite the convention: "In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them."

The territories does not have to be a legitimate part of that country for the GC to be used. This is the point of that argument, which the ICJ did use. The point of referring to ICJ was to in some way include this view. That could be done without reference to the ICJ, by simply ICJ them with a general term like "most lawyers" "the world community" or something like that, but I thought it was better to refer to them as an authorative source of international law, as it is (even though it is of course possibly to have dissenting views, which one or more of judges often have).

The idea behind behind article 2(2): "The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets withno armed resistance. " which is often cited for those opposing the application of the Geneva Convetion, was to protect citizens in a territory even if it is taken without hostilities. Thus the phrasing "also apply" and "even if".

I do of course know that ICJ advisory opinions are not binding, but they are a very influential source of international law, one which even the Israeli supreme court respects. And, the point of including it is not to advocate its _ruling_, but merely to show a legal argument in favour of applying the convention (to balance out the legeal view Israel has already included and accounted for in the article). Just saying most states disagree with Israel is unbalanced, as it says nothing of why. This view should be represented, some way or the other.

I dont think the dissent should be provided, as it already is included in the article; the Israeli legal view. Perhaps the section could use some rephrasing making it clearer it's there to show an argument, not a binding statement, but this is not the right article for criticism of the ICJ-ruling, as that is not what the section including ICJ refers to.

As for the ICJs jurisdiction in advisory opinions, they dont need the consent of either Israel nor PA, it was the GA which asked for an advisory opinion. And, as mentioned before, the reference is included to show the basis for why most lawyers believe the Geneva Convention should be applied (even the link you provided had an Israeli saying he agreed with the court on that point), the fence isn't even mentioned. Thus, pointing out that the ICJ-ruling is controversial is shooting at the wrong target, as it's not the ruling which is relevant, only a legal argument (included to balance out the case already given for Israel), and although one might disagree with that argument, that is already provided for in the Israeli POV. This is really not the place for bashing at the court.

Oh, and saying the Geneve Convention applies in occupied territories is absolutely correct, and there really should be no difference of opinion here. The line were "occupied" is mentioned does not say the territories are occupied, but thats were the disagreement is, Israel believe the areas are not occupied as given under the Geneva convention, most other jurists do. The disagreement is not about whether GC applies to occupied territory.

And what do you mean with "finally, Cybbe, either register so your statements and edits can be accountable"? --Cybbe 08:39, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)

edit: I did not change the current criticism of the ICJ and have allowed it to stand, as I've had a minor change of heart and feel the current criticism may be right given it's current proportions. However, using 4-5 lines on ICJ-criticism is not appropiate in this article, and most of my arguments still stand. However, I will not change it in it's current version.

--Cybbe 09:38, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)

The Term settlement is absolutely misleading in two ways. Firstly, I do not know what dictionary you were using, but I simply had to look at to find this definition:


n 1: a body of people who settle far from home but maintain ties with their homeland; inhabitants remain nationals of their home state but are not literally under the home state's system of government [syn: colony] 2: a community of people smaller than a town [syn: village, small town]

How far away are the Jewish communities in the West Bank from Israel? 20 miles? Right on the cease fire line? Clearly they have established links with Israel. The term settlement gives out the idea of far flung trailers when this is not so. Secondly, they are no longer small towns but established communities. Now the article agrees with me that as long as we establish that we are talking about "settlements" we can use it interchangibly with Jewish communities. Doron also agrees with me. Because of this, I will, where appropriate, change the term "settlement" to community.

About Jordan being a part of the Geneva Convention. This is irrelevent as the territory Jordan conquered in an aggressive war was illegal in the first place. Only England and Pakistan recognized its "claim." Not to mention, in 1988 Jordan renounced its claim to the West Bank, making it defacto unclaimed territory. Since the West Bank as a territory is not a state, nor is the PA, and neither is either able or allowed to be a signatory of the Geneva conventions, they cannot apply.

The reason you cannot give a legal explanation is because there is no legal explanation for that position.

"In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them."

Once again, is the West Bank a signatory? It is a simple yes or no question.

It is ridiculous to think that the opinion of the parties who have the most at stake do not matter. Of course they matter. If the ICJ is purely responsible for its opinion to the Israel antagonistic General Assembly than what do they have at stake? They made their ruling with haste, and ill consideration to the situation of both parties and disregard for international law or any accountability to its actions. This is the argument that detractors make against the ICJ ruling.

Finally, register so we know who you are. You dont have an internet signature to follow, no place to make comments in talk and no edit history. For all I know you are Doron. 23:55, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Um, I am registered, Cybbe is my signature, but I havent made a biography of myself for anyone to see, you are correct about that. I disagree on your views on the term settlements, but as long as both terms are used to a certain extent, that can be a compromise
On the Geneva Convention, what you have presented is one view. What I have presented is another (the one that dominates outside Israel, and the one ICJ has recognised). Look at the wording you cited. The 1967 "armed conflict" was between Israel and Jordan, both signatories. Thus, the Geneva Convention applies. The status of the West Bank in international law prior to 1967 (which is a bit unclear) is irrelevant, as the convention still applies. This has also been determined in countless Security Council Resolution (do a search for yoruself on google "s/res fourth geneva convention").
The West Bank is and was no signatory, but Jordan most certainly was, and they had control over the West Bank in 1967. This is whats relevant. They had control, there was an armed conflict between Israel and Jordan, (both signatories), thus, the territories are considered occupied. The fact that Jordans de jure annexation wasnt recognized is of no relevance. Ask yourself, if a country had occupied the Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem today, would you consider those territories under that country's occupation? Israels annexation of these territories are no more recognized than what Jordans annexation was.
And please, tell me what is wrong with my registration. I am registered, and I am signed in as we speak. --Cybbe 11:10, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)

The Convention cannot apply to disputed territory. The Ottoman Empire did not sign the Geneva Convention and Jordan's sovereignty over the West Bank was illigitimate. The difference between Jordan's conquest of the West Bank and Israel's is the difference between a war of aggression (Jordan's) and a defensive war (Israel's) as recognized by international law. The last I remember, international law allows self defense. It is the logical outcome that giving territory "back" to an entity that first of all did not gain it legitimately, and the fact that giving territory back to aggressors destroys detterence to stem future aggression; the entire basis for the ruling is ridiculous.

Guy Montag

Of course the Ottoman Empire never signed the Geneva Conventions of 1949, at there was no Ottoman Empire by then ;) But in modern international law, there is no principle that land taken by force, even when the use of force was legitimate (i.e. self defence), can be held legitimately as reperation (I've given countless references here in talk). While you make think you make a sound argument, this "holding territory as detternce" is not a legal argument, and has no international support. Both Jordans and Israels annexations were/are thus illegal with respect to international law. Still it's your right to have your opinion and both arguments are represented in the article. So as long as you dont remove this argument, which _is_ the dominant in international law, I wont try convincing you further. This view is also shared by some of the critics you linked to, so its not really controversial. Still, lets not discuss this any further, a consensus wont be reached. --Cybbe 00:21, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

"G.A. resolutions are irrelevant to international law)"


This statement is... false.

One of the most important sources of international law is customary international law. The article about customary international law is a stub, but should give you some idea of the general concept.

Customary international law can be reflected in GA resolutions. GA res 2625, also called "Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations", is considered one of these, this is not something I make up. For instance, the Security Council do refer to this resolution (e.g. in S/RES 1373), so does the International Court of Justice (see the 1986 judgment Nicaragua v. Usa for an example).

And, to go even further, the principle that "no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal" IS a principle in modern international law, the principle is also included in S/RES 242 (which should be familiar to all interested in the legal aspects of the middle east conflict).

Thus, stating that G.A. resolutions are _irrelevant_ to international law is outright wrong. They are not binding, but they can reflect customary international law (which is binding). To use a more complicated term, they can reflect opinio juris.

International law is complex, don't jump at conclusions if you dont know what youre talking about. --Cybbe 19:00, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)

G.A. resolutions may reflect International Law, but they do not create it. Your cite is irrelevant. Jayjg (talk) 19:08, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Also, please not the rules about original research. If you're citing the arguement someone makes, just cite them, and attribute it to them. Don't go making up your own arguments about what is or isn't "customary international law". Jayjg (talk) 19:54, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A new argument? Interesting. Still, you have no grounds for saying that this cite is irrelevant, nor for saying that this is "original" research of mine. Res 2625 reflects international customary law, this is recognized by both the Security Council and the International Court of Justice, the two most authorative sources of internatiol law. Would you rather i refer to resolution 242, which reflects the same established norm? ("Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war"). I cited a decleration which everyone with a little more than basic knowledge in international law knows reflects opinio juris and customary international law. And, the very same pricniple has been recognized by the security council and the ICJ. Your accusations are wrong. --Cybbe 20:26, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)
Please re-read the Wikipedia:No original research policy, particularly about original research being forbidden if "It purports to refute another idea", then please provide a citation for this particular argument being used by some reputable source (and not you) as an argument regarding Israeli settlements. Jayjg (talk) 20:39, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The argument i refute is this: "Further, Israel argues that these lands were conquered in a defensive war and are held legitimately as reparation." Do you recognize the Security Council and the ICJ as reputable sources? The General Assembly? Ive cited several different SC resolutions, one GA resolution, one ICJ-judgment, and could provide countless other sources for this principle in international law. A quick search on google would show that a big majority accepts this principle, this is really not a controversial issua - at all. What is wrong with the sources I've already provided, other than that they do not support the Israeli POV? Both sides of an argument should be allowed to stand, this is "the other side" (from your, I presume, POV). --Cybbe 21:11, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)
What's wrong with the sources you've provided is that you have to quote a source which uses this argument in this context. Do you understand what the "No original research" policy says? It's telling you you can't make up your own arguments to refute something you don't like in an article, you have to cite a source which uses the source in that way. Please abide by policy, and provide a proper source. Jayjg (talk) 21:53, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
By that argument, one would be forbidden from saying that a newspaper misquoted, say, Bush because his actual words, as heard on TV, were different; instead, one would have to wait unless someone had specifically said that that particular newspaper had misquoted him! "No original research" does not (and not be taken to) mean "No critical reasoning no matter how trivial". - Mustafaa 02:03, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
To begin with, whether or not something is part of international law is considerably more complex than the wording of a speech. Moreover, you are essentially correct regarding the quote; if a newspaper quotes Bush as saying something, you can't come along and say "but it was wrong because I heard something different". Rather, you must quote a source which gives a different text, or which actually complains about the wording used in that newspaper. Wikipedia cannot have footnotes saying "However, according to Wikipedia editor Mustafaa, the actual wording was so-and-so". Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
However, the point that the ICJ does refer to these resolutions should be mentioned and clarified in the article. - Mustafaa 02:09, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Which I have now done. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Let me cite the article about original research first: "Wikipedia is a secondary source (one that analyzes, assimilates, evaluates, interprets, and/or synthesizes primary sources)"
I have not created an argument, I've used it in the very same context as ICJ, the SC and the GA. The statement "these lands were conquered in a defensive war and are held legitimately as reparation" is what res 242 is aimed at, what GA res 2625 is aimed at, and the context ICJ uses the principle in. Its a general principle that applies to territories conquered in war, and its not wron using it in the context I am, rather the contrary. Cybbe 09:38, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)
If you use and argument "in the very same context" as another source, but don't cite that source, then you are doing original research. Cite your source if you are using their argument. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Let me continue by citing the ICJ:
  • "Aware of the established principle of international law on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, "
  • "On 24 October 1970, the General Assembly adopted resolution 2625 (XXV), entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co?operation among States” (hereinafter “resolution 2625 (XXV)”), in which it emphasized that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” As the Court stated in its Judgment in the case concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law (see I.C.J. Reports 1986, pp. 98?101, paras. 187?190); the same is true of its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force. "
  • "74. On 22 November 1967, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 242 (1967), which emphasized the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war and called for the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”, and “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency”. 75. From 1967 onwards, Israel took a number of measures in these territories aimed at changing the status of the City of Jerusalem. The Security Council, after recalling on a number of occasions “the principle that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible”, condemned those measures and, by resolution 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, confirmed in the clearest possible terms that: “all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the City of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties, transfer of populations and legislation aimed at the incorporation of the occupied section, are totally invalid and cannot change that status”. "
  • 117. The Court would recall that both the General Assembly and the Security Council have referred, with regard to Palestine, to the customary rule of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” (see paragraphs 74 and 87 above). Thus in resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, the Security Council, after recalling this rule, affirmed that: “the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles: (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”. It is on this same basis that the Council has several times condemned the measures taken by Israel to change the status of Jerusalem (see paragraph 75 above)."

If this is enough for you, then nothing is. This is the very same "context", this is no argument of mine, and you have no grounds for saying that appling this established principle of international law to counter the claim that "these lands were conquered in a defensive war and are held legitimately as reparation" is some new or funny way of applying it. This is the very context such a principle have to be used, and how all legal experts use it. Refering to the ICJ is also not necessary, as this is a long established principle in international law.
Again, citing the orignal research page "However all of the above may be acceptable content once they have become a permanent feature of the public landscape." I believe I have established the fact that this is a permanent feature of the public landscape in the domain of international law. --Cybbe 09:38, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)
If the ICJ makes the claim, then we cite it as making that claim. International law is hardly as clear cut as you pretend it to be. Your evidence is finally good enough that we can actually put the ICJ's argument in the proper section dealing with International law, and cite it as the source for the argument. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It's very obvious from this discussion that Cybbe is far better acquainted with international law than anybody else discussing the question. The ICJ citation JG demanded was given in the very first post in this section; all you had to do was look it up. Clearly you did not do so, since you gave in immediately when he quoted it to you verbatim. Had you done so, you would have saved Cybbe a bunch of wasted time that could have been better spent improving other articles' treatment of international law. - Mustafaa 21:01, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Read it more carefully, Mustafaa. The citation given at the beginning of this section was not clearly attributed to the ICJ in this context. And it's not up to me to look these things up, but rather for the editors who want to insert them to provide proper citations. Cybbe wasted our time by not understanding the difference between cited claims and original research; unfortunately, I still don't think he does. Jayjg (talk) 21:18, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"the International Court of Justice (see the 1986 judgment Nicaragua v. Usa for an example)." That is an unambiguous citation, and the context is given equally unambiguously by the quote itself, namely: "territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force". I hope Cybbe doesn't let himself be deterred by delaying tactics. - Mustafaa 21:45, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It's a citation for a ruling of the ICJ. It's not a citation for a ruling made in this context. And I hope Cybbe doesn't let himself be goaded into inserting original research and personal opinion in placed of cited sources. Jayjg (talk) 18:41, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I dont really think any of these legal arguments have to be attributed specifically to the ICJ. The reason they are is because thats the easiest way of reaching a consensus (here on wikipedia) that its hard to argue against. But, the arguments put forward, in the current article attributed to the ICJ, are the dominant view in international law. This can hardly be argued against, but there are of course dissenting views, the official view of the Israeli government is one of them, and youll surely find jurists who share their view. But having to attribute a dominant view in international law to a specific source is in my view not necessary, as soon as it is established that these views are in fact the dominant ones. I believe I have established this as a fact, even the link to an article in the Jerusalem Post currently in the article supports this view: "hebrew University Professor David Kretzmer also criticized the ICJ ruling, even though he agreed with the court's determination that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank were illegal. But he added that just because the settlements were illegal did not mean the fence was."
The use of the ICJ in this article is awkward, and the criticism againt it is maplaced, as the criticism deals with the ruling of the fence, while the ICJ-reference is simply to legitimze a legal argument I believe is held by a large majority of legal scholars around the world. I do clearly understand the difference between cited claims and orignal research, however, as other editors here dont accept that this is the dominant view in international law (probably due to lack of knowledge), the reference to the ICJ had to be put in. I do, however, still dont think its necessary to refer to it, and I really dont believe the balance of the article is pushed in either direction if we change the wording to "many international scholars"/"a dominant view in international law"/"most jurists outside of Israel" etc. The reference to the ICJ is awkward, and the criticism against it is malplaced (as it doesnt refute the arguemnt at all and actually supports it).
I believe such a phrasing is better, as it doesnt refer to a court ruling and I think the article will have a more NPOV if that phrasing is used, and this will also fix the problem with the maplaced criticism which actually support the courts view (in this context). Id like some feedback whether such a phrasing would be acceptable. --Cybbe 13:39, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)
If this argument, used in this context, is indeed "the dominant view in international law", then you should have no trouble finding other sources making this exact same argument to support this point. As for "many international scholars" etc., thos are unsupported weasel words which we should avoid in favour of cited references. Jayjg (talk) 05:51, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, "many international scholars" is too vague; I rather suspect that "most jurists outside of Israel" would be the correct phrasing... In any case, I definitely take your point about the criticism being misplaced; not one of the sources cited in the article denies that the settlers' presence is illegal. Jayjg, can you come up with some criticism of this point? - Mustafaa 06:55, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There are any number of sources which say the settlements are not illegal; for example, the one you just removed from the Occupation of the West Bank by Jordan article [7]. Here's a more detailed one: [8] Or, you could skim these ones [9] [10] [11] [12] and many more if you like. Jayjg (talk) 07:45, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC) is much better indeed; ridiculous though I consider his argument, it's clearly citable and well-informed. However, it does not specifically criticise the ICJ ruling. - Mustafaa 07:51, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
All your inks, save one, are from known Israel-supporters and can hardly be representative for most jurists outside of Israel. I found these links on a quick search, although I do not claim all of them being neutral [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21]
The point is, there is a dispute about whats the correct interpretation, but the dispute is not between the ICJ and Israel, or the rest of the world. There are two main interpretations, and I believe its unnecessary to to assign one of the exclusively to the ICJ.

(Moving left) Um, most of the sources you have provided are as anti-Israel as the sources I have provided are pro-Israel. And the sources I have provided are not exclusively Israeli. Yes, there are two points of view on this, and you have continually tried to characterize this as "International law says one thing, but Israel supporters say another". If you now want to reframe this as "there are two differing interpretations of International law on this matter", that's fine with me. Jayjg (talk) 17:16, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Could you accept a compromise where the wording where something like "there are two contradicting views (.....) one with support from Israel and (...fill in...), the other with support from (...EU, UN etc...)"? Not quite sure how it would come out, but i feel that would be better from a NPOV. The danger with such a phrasing is that we might move to far into the realm of politics. Any thoughts? --Cybbe 18:10, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
How about "View of international law are contradictory on this matter. Supporters of the Israeli position state X (with various cites given), supporters of the Palestinian position state Y (with various cites given)". That seems in line with NPOV. Jayjg (talk) 18:44, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Looks too vague to me, and obscures the substantially greater support enjoyed by the anti-settlement position. I prefer Cybbe's idea of listing some of the main international political forces which have expressed support for one or the other view. - Mustafaa 20:47, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
While a good idea in theory, the problem is that the "illegal" position's popularity is mostly political, not legal; in practice I believe you will find very few credible sources which have actually made a ruling based on international law referring to this specific issue. The ICJ is one, but most of the other sources tend to be partisan opinion pieces from non-legal experts. Jayjg (talk) 22:44, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I find that decidedly unlikely, but I suspect Cybbe is the one to ask here: who are the top academic or legal authorities in international law? (ICJ is obvious, but I assume there are other institutions worth naming.) What do they say? What does a typical textbook of international law say? - Mustafaa 23:39, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well, I haven't seen any indication yet that Cybbe knows much more about the subject than any of the other editors here, but I'd certainly be interested in his response as well. Jayjg (talk) 03:01, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've tried to read up on the general topic of international law and laws of war in particular. It's far from straightforward. For starters, courts in international law play an entirely different role than courts in domestic law. The ICJ, for example, can only make legal rulings in cases where all involved parties submit to its authority voluntarily. The EU and several other countries objected to the referral by the General Assembly to begin with, pointing out that an "advisory opinion" would have no practical use. And since Israel rejected the court's jurisdiction, it never presented a rebuttal to the case brought before the ICJ - the result being that the court ignored all those arguments that would have sought to justify or explain the existence of the fence. It would take some imagination to view such a ruling as having any authority whatsoever.
Similarly, General Assembly resolutions are - by definition - reflections of the political opinions of the majority of the Assembly. Jayg is absolutely right in saying that they are "irrelevant" for international law, since such law is not determined by consensus or even majority votes among the world's governments.
Security Council resolutions are a different matter. The SC does not pretend to interpret international law; rather by being a party to the various tractates governing the United Nations, member states vow to submit to some of the SC resolutions. If you read the resolutions carefully, you'll see that the body rarely orders member states to do anything - they use other words to express their opinion.
There is one overriding imperative in all international law, which is national sovereignty. No international law can trump a state's right to defend itself from external or internal enemies. This, by the way, is the main argument leveled by Saddam Hussein's regime against the U.S.
As an editorial aside, if the Security Council really meant that it is inadmissible to acquire territory by force, we'd have to dismantle virtually every country in the world, since all of them came into being by force. --Leifern 14:11, 2005 Feb 28 (UTC)
Leifern: I believe there's enough information in this talk page to direct you to several sources that show that the principle "No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal" is indeed widely recognized to be internatiol customary law, and this includes SC-resolutions. GA resolutions are not binding, but customary law is. As for your last statements, this principle is a modern one; prior to the two world wars there were no law that stated that use of force was illegal, that is a rather new concept. Thus, that argument is flawed, war was accepted as a way to solve differences in the past, and new law is not retroactive. Cybbe 18:03, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, yes, well the prohibition on acquiring land through conquest was was theoretically abolished in international law by the League of Nations after the World War I, but that didn't seem to stop the U.S.S.R. from sucking up huge portions of Poland, and Poland from "incorporating" large portions of Germany into their respective territories following the Second World War. Jayjg (talk) 19:31, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Have you taken an arguement out of context without knowing the following paragraphs? --Cybbe 19:47, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean here. Jayjg (talk) 20:25, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Jayjg and Mustafaa: This is not math. If youre looking for absolute answers you will find very few. Its a matter of interpretation of treaties, law, established norms etc. Thus, in issues like this, which have a strong political side, a consensus will be hard to reach, and both sides will claim to have the law on their side. Its hard to keep the political side out of the question. As for infuential authorities: The few courts and their decisions are influential, and even national courts might be taken into consideration. Other organs/institutions worth mentioning includes the International Law Commision (a UN organ) and The International Commission of Jurists, a NGO. Much can also be found reading littarature in the subject of international law. I found a book specializing in this particular subject "The Right of Conquest - The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice" [22], and it seems this book is ideal for an introduction in this particular subject, putting it in a historic context. I will try getting a copy myself, and would encourage others here interested doing that too (although Im not claiming this book has "the answer"). It seems this books also includes "five case studies", the 1967-war being one of them. Cybbe 18:03, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
The Korman book deals specifically with East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, no doubt because they (unlike the West Bank and Gaza) have been annexed by Israel. It should be interesting to see her conclusions, though they may not be completely applicable, since neither the Golan Heights nor East Jerusalem were intended for a future Arab state. Jayjg (talk) 18:23, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The book probably has some interesting points, but I think we should concentrate on the phrasing of the arguments we currently have, and how they should be presented. I dont know when I'll get hold of the book, but can share her views when I get it. I think, however, we should focus on the official Israeli position and "the other one", the main problem being how "the other one" should be presented. --19:47, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
By the way, [23] might be a more specifically relevant work. Jayjg (talk)
I did a quick search on for reviews of this book, the first one stated "Gersons book is one-sided to the point of dishonesty". The second review I found also found his analysis to be "less than adequate". (I dont know wheter you have access to Jstor, if you do, simply search for Allan Gerson). --Cybbe 20:00, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
I don't have access to jstor, but I did find some pages on Gerson, for example, [24] [25] He's described as a "noted international law expert". Who wrote those reviews you refer to? Jayjg (talk) 20:25, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
John B Quigley, professor of Law at Ohio State University [26] and Rosalyn Higgins [27], currently a jugde at the ICJ. --Cybbe 21:02, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
Back to the main question, can non-biased opinions on particular subjects be found? Yes, I believe they can, sadly, its hard to find searching the web. Both sides in a contentious issue like this will have their "propaganda sites" bringing "the truth" and one should be careful using those as sources, as they are partisan by definition. Look in textbooks of international law, and see what they say on the subject. Those are written by acknowledged academics in the subject, and will be more non-partisan than what you would find on the web (generally speaking).
To get back to the article, Im not quite sure how we should present it. The objection that political views dominate which legal interpretation one supports is a strong one, however, this is also the only way to present it without saying whats "correct". Saying "those support that view" and "these support the other view" doesnt say anything about whats correct. I support Mustafaa in that whatever phrasing is chosen, it should reflect the fact that one position has greater support than the other one, without saying that's the correct one. This way we can present both arguments, and show which has greater support. We might include a notion this might reflect political opinions as much as legal views, to satisfy Jayjg objections. --Cybbe 18:03, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
I think the WP:NPOV policy would pretty much preclude us from "say[ing] anything about whats correct". If one or another position has greater support, then you should be able to find more examples of experts who support it. Jayjg (talk) 20:29, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"since neither the Golan Heights nor East Jerusalem were intended for a future Arab state" - no, the Golan Heights were "intended" for an existing Arab state. Anyway... yes, I would say the article should cover the opinions of leading international courts, and possibly individual judges if sufficiently eminent. I'm not sure what should be evidence of sufficient eminence, apart from membership of international courts such as the ICJ, but clearly we don't want to treat individual professors as on a par with leading judges. - Mustafaa 23:21, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure why leading professors/authors on the subject would be any more or less reputable than someone who had accepted an ICJ appointment. Jayjg (talk) 16:01, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The teachings of leading academics from various countries are of course relevant (not as much as offical judgments, but still relevant) but I think we should use the arguments these scholars put forward, and attribute them to actors in the international system, i.e. International Organisations (EU, UN etc), important states (the US etc), the actors involved (Israel, PA) and so forth, based on these different actors position towards the different issues. I other words, whats commonly referred to as "the world community". This is far easier to implement and easier to relate to than judges and scholars no-one except those already familiar in this field knows who are. The problem is of course that this makes it hard to differentiate politics from law. --Cybbe 15:41, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)
Well, of course its hard to differentiate politics from law, particularly in this case, since most of the rhetoric is about politics. The approach of all of these groups (EU, UN, US, Israel, PA) is primarily political. Jayjg (talk) 17:36, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

NPOV tag

Anyone have any more problems with this article? If not I think we should give it a couple of days and remove the POV tag. Glad we all came up with a good compromise here. Good job everyone.

Guy Montag 18:09, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think it is fairly balanced, as balanced as an article on such an issue can ever be probably... --Doron 18:48, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Give it a couple a days, and I think it can be removed. There are a couple of issues still to be resolved, but those are in my view issues on wording, and not content. The content is fairly balanced, but I believe parts of the article could be presented better and more coherently, while keeping all of the content. --Cybbe 13:39, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)

One more thing before we change the Pov tag. Doron why are you changin Jewish communities in Gaza to settlements? Both are acceptable by the article, both site them as communites, why do you believe that the term settlement for communities in Gaza that have been there for 30 years is applicable?

If I am not mistaken, you stated:

"On the other hand, I think it is perfectly fine to use "communities" once it is established that the settlements are the issue. --Doron 08:59, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)" I am pretty sure you did. Because of this I see no point in you changing the last article.

Guy Montag 20:55, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You could ask yourself the same question, why do you insist on changing it back to "communities". Well, I just thought it sounds better that way. I do not accept the idea that everywhere someone writes "settlements", someone else would change it to "communities", especially if this is a part of some kind of agenda, as in your case. If you wish to emphasize the devestation caused by the dismantlement, you can write about how big they are and how long they have been there. In fact I'll write it myself right now, hope this will compensate.
In light of the vigorous consensus-building and dispute resolution attempts in Talk sections of articles related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, I am removing the NPOV tags. If someone has a any further problems not already covered in Talk, they should start a new section and bring forth their concerns. These perpetual NPOV tags are unreasonable.--A. S. A. 12:31, Mar 17, 2005 (UTC)

Topics that need more discussion

  • the road map
  • the origin of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Gaza and Sinai.
  • the historical, social and political context in which these settlements were created.
  • The political and religious motivations of the settlers.
  • The willingness of Israel to remove all settlements in the Sinai once a peace treaty with Egypt was signed.
  • the radical side of the settler movement, and also the more moderate side
  • a continuously updated section regarding the Gaza Strip Disengagement Plan, and the settlers' varied reactions to it

I agree with this version of the article. I suggest we begin removing the POV tag.

Guy Montag

G.A. resolutions and international law

"General Assembly resolutions contain decisions and recommendations adopted by the member nations of the General Assembly. These resolutions are not intended to be legally binding on the General Assembly's independent member nations. Consequently, a nation's own government must accept a General Assembly resolution before it can become binding upon that nation. Although General Assembly resolutions are not sources of law, they may contribute to the development of international law if they are supported by the General Assembly's member nations." [28] Jayjg (talk) 05:58, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I havent said anything that contradicts with this. SC resolutions and ICJ-interpretations fully supports the view that res2625 does in fact reflect customary international law. But its nice to see you now realize that GA resolutions in fact can be relevant in international law. --Cybbe 12:58, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

They are relevant only insofar as they may reflect international law, as I've already said previously - this is not a new realization, I made the same comment 3 days ago. They do not create international law, and deciding which G.A. resolutions actually reflect international law and which don't is a separate matter, and one which in any event is irrelevant to deciding what international law already is. Jayjg (talk) 17:06, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Sasson Report

I have just added a section dealing with the just published government report about the funding and involvement by government officials with illegal settlements and outposts. Will fellow contributors keep an eye on the developing situation as more reactions and analysis become available. We will of course eventually remove the current event tag once a fuller measure of reaction and consequences is included.--A. S. A. 04:19, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

The section seems a little long to me, considering that it is one report, and considering the length of the rest of the article. I think it should be pared down to no more than 3 paragraphs. Jayjg (talk) 17:20, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Apparently it's a huge report, detailing illegalities dating from the Oslo Accords. I actually left out a great many details, and tried to summarize as much as possible. Nevertheless, if you really think it's too long, all I can say is, dig in and see what you can do with it. Do you want to merge paragraphs together, or actually excise some text? In any case, we'll bat it around until it's acceptable to all.--A. S. A. 18:06, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
I'd prefer to summarize the information into two or three paragraphs. Would you like me to just start in on the text in the article itself? Jayjg (talk) 15:52, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Basically just edit it the way you see fit, and I'll review and revise if needs be. At this time, except for a possible merging of some sentences or paragraphs, I don't yet see the need for any major surgery, but that might change after I see a different version. Also, we need to provide some more brief feedback now that the Israeli cabinet has debated and commented on the report. [29] and [30]. Do you think in light of these comments/developments, the current event tag should be removed? I'm not very proficient when it comes to tags and templates. I'll do a quick consolidation once-over to reduce paragraph #s, then you do your revision if you think it is still needed.--A. S. A. 17:24, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)

I've brought it down to 3 paragraphs. I generally removed stuff that was details about the allegations against the various departments involved (which, after all, was about internal Israeli scandal, not about settlement per se), and much of the stuff about the potential political repercussions to various individuals, which again, is not about the settlements but about the scandals and those individuals. I also removed the focus on the author of the report itself; I'm not sure why the author herself is specially noteworthy, rather than the report itself and its conclusions. I still think the section is a bit long, given the size of the rest of the article, but I figured I better stop here. Perhaps it might be better to create an article on this, with the longer version of the incident (and more in it), and then just link to a brief summary here. Jayjg (talk) 18:20, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That's much more deletion then I had any idea you were contemplating. I disagree with your assessment of the relevance of internal Israeli department scandals to the actual settlements. The report alleges vast conspiracies of secret cooperation to subvert and circumvent Israeli law for the purpose of expanding settlements. Some analysis and quotations from said departments and officials is surely not outside the scope of this article. I am not altogether opposed to your idea of possibly creating a separate article on the Report, where I can add the details and analysis I had initially omitted for the sake of brevity. However, currently I lean towards keeping a Sasson section in this article, with the details and analysis in tact. As for the focus on the author, I really think no such focus exists. She is briefly mentioned along with her former prosecutorial position. The picture is meant to signify the importance of the report, delivered amid a major government press conference. The BBC and CNN have described the report as damning and highly anticipated. The section uses "the reports states" and "according to the report" more than "Sasson." Is it necessary to remove all mention of Sasson recommending this or that? Also, I don't think we need be too concerned with an arbitrary number (3) of paragraphs. As it is, the section is only 4 paragraphs long plus a bulleted summary of findings. I think it flows very well with the article as a whole, which is not too short to hold this section gracefully. P. S. I moved your last post from the G.A. resolutions and international law section to the Sasson Report. I assumed you entered there by mistake. I hope I have not overstepped my bounds in moving your Talk.--A. S. A. 21:08, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)
Um, well, what can I say? The section is vastly overlong as it is, and unbalances the article, having far too much detail on peripheral items, for reasons I've already explained. I suggested 3 paragraphs, you said give it a try, and when I turned it into 3 paragraphs you basically reverted everything I did. In fact, you made it even longer. The only thing you removed was the "current event" flag, which in fact should remain. Jayjg (talk) 22:58, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Since you have not, as of yet, created a separate Sasson Report page (which although I think is unnecessary I have said I do not oppose) there is no justification for such drastic deletion as you deem necessary. I thought you might have a novel method of summarizing, not that you would take out so much important content. What I added was a brief 1 line update on what the cabinet said to Annan, which is a logical insertion since in the initial version it said that they reserved comment until the March 13 discussions, which have now happened. I think you are overly circumspect about arbitrary numbers of words and paragraphs. I also take issue with the reduced relevance you assign to the section and content contained therein, to the topic of the article. If you pause and consider the exhaustive nature of the report and the multitude of officials and departments named, you might not think I failed to summarize properly. I left out a great many quotations of persons concerned in the report, and included only what I considered to be the principal ones: Sasson on her most damning pronunciations, current and former housing ministers, settler representative, and official government, US and Palestinian response. It was a response to your concerns that I merged paragraphs and did some reorganization. I don't think the article or the report section is at all long-winded, but I suppose we must agree to disagree on that point. If you decide to create a separate article on the report (again, I really think it deserves to be a section in this article), I think I can live with a short one-paragraph summary in the Settlements article.--A. S. A. 23:55, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)
My "novel method of summarizing" was to summarize. Your method of "summarizing" is to add information and reformat to make it look smaller. While your summary may be an excellent summary of the report itself, it is too long for this article, and strays into a number of areas that are not immediately pertinent. I'm rather disappointed with this outcome. I suppose I could create an article about the report, and summarize here and link to it, but what guarantee would I have that you wouldn't agree to it beforehand and them simply revert again afterwards? I'm loathe to waste my time again. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps if you help me understand, with empirical references, as it were, just how long is too long, I can see your perspective better. Is there some some specific Wikipedia manual or guideline that I have violated? Where is this 3 paragraphs per section ideal mentioned? Regardless, we've been through near deadlocks before, and I flatter myself that our opposition, and the input of other editors, has lead to better articles then we would have produced alone. You ask for guarantees, well, I can give none. However, I trust that I have been flexible in the past, once we've batted the issue around a bit. Shall we put in an RFC and get some other suggestions and perspectives? I have read the article many times and I see only well jointed sections and a reasonable length.--A. S. A. 04:25, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)
"Empirical references", manuals, guidelines etc. are all red herrings; you know there are no such things on Wikipedia regarding this. Rather common sense and consensus handles these issues. The single largest section in the article deals with a report on branches of the the Israeli government apparently breaking Israel's own laws, mostly regarding "wildcat settlements". These settlements comprise a tiny fraction of the overall settlements in size and population. The actual discussion of international law is smaller, and there is hardly anything about the settlements themselves in comparison. Common sense indicates a lack of balance. I'm going to restore the NPOV tag until this issue is resolved; I suspect I will next attempt to create a new article, and summarize here. I'm hoping for a positive response. Jayjg (talk) 14:06, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is a difference between a red herring and a rhetorical question used to illustrate a point. By specifying an arbitrary number, 3, of paragraphs you think the section should be limited to, you betray, in my opinion, an unsupportable position that seems to want to shorten just for the sake of shortening. Yes, the Sasson section is the largest, but no small wonder considering the extent and importance of the report. This is an article about settlements, wildcat or otherwise. All information, about all types of settlements, and more importantly Israeli Policy [illicit and official] towards expanding them, are entirely relevant. Furthermore, just because the article may be deficient in details where other sections are concerned, that is no justification to mutilate the Sasson section so it can conform to some kind of general deficiency of detail, arguably to be found in the international law or regular settlements sections. Also, why on earth would you reintroduce the disputed neutrality tag over a disagreement about length and relevancy? I removed the tag because all issues regarding NPOV and bias had been thrashed out in Talk. You and I are discussing issues of length and relevance, not bias. While we bat it around, can I not prevail on you to agree that the NPOV tag is not needed here? If you think there is some bias, please start a Talk section about it so that it can be resolved by consesnsus and these absurd perpetual tags can be finally removed. P. S. In the article you committed a small typo and neglected to separate the tag from the leading sentence, which has caused it to display incorrectly. I would have corrected it for you, but as you know my position is the NPOV tag should not be there and me correcting the typo would be the same as me restoring the tag.--A. S. A. 15:00, Mar 17, 2005 (UTC)

I have just put in a RFC to solicit other opinions regarding this issue.--A. S. A. 15:19, Mar 17, 2005 (UTC)
The "three paragraph" number was merely an estimate of the amount of information required to put this section into balance with the rest of the article. While you view the report as extremely important (and by the way, size is not an indication of importance), in my view it is more of an internal political matter than anything else, and the real issues are about the other established and larger settlements (their size and composition, their legality, their future, etc.). And while the report is, of course, relevant (and I have never argued otherwise), the detail of information given here is not, and it should be summarized regardless of the state of the rest of the article. For example, there is only one photograph in the whole article, that of the author of the report. This author's only connection with the settlements it to have written a negative report about "wildcat settlemetnts"; meanwhile, not one picture of the settlements themselves, the leaders of the movement, etc., can be found. Regarding bias, introducing this length of summary of the report, in my view, creates systemic bias in the article, as it focusses far too heavily on the fringe of the movement and phenomenon. Finally, I strongly resent your description of my summary of your text as a "mutilation", considering we discussed and agreed to it beforehand, and the final result was a fair summary of the section which was a considerable improvement over your lengthy dissertation. Use of that kind of language is certainly is not the way to try to garner co-operation. Jayjg (talk) 17:27, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The perceived deficiency, in details and photographs, in other sections of the report is no valid justification to cut down the Sasson section. I do agree that there aught to be a photograph of, say, one of the larger, long-established West Bank settlements, and perhaps more physical details and descriptions. In any case, thank you for explaining your view about the systematic bias you believe is created because other sections and traits of the article are not as prominent. This at least provides some stimulation and discourse so we can move towards removing the tag by addressing this concern. I do not think that one kind of settlement is more important than the other, I believe that overall israeli policy towards expanding settlements, through official and unofficial (illicit) means, is the real juice of the article and goes to the heart of the overall tilt of the article (which was there before I ever edited it), that of the context of the settlements in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Sharon himself was quoted telling wild cat outpost settlers to slowly build and persevere so that these outposts would eventually become full blown settlements. Many expansionist and anti-Palestinian partisans obviously plan these "fringe" movements to become mainstream. In some cases there are already indications that some wildcat hilltop outposts (which have been springing up since Oslo and indeed since the first Intifada) have grown into sizable settlements, which was exactly their purpose. Therefore I think it is a mistake to dismiss or diminish the significance of the illegal encouragement and financing of wildcat outposts. The government report obviously agrees. Size is not the only, nor the most important, indication of importance, but it is a measure. The language of the report itself, and the international news commentary regarding it's "damning" nature, is clear indication of it's importance. Lastly I wish to apologize for the use of the word "mutilation" which in hindsight was inflammatory and a poor choice of words. My opinion is that your revision was much too drastic and deleted far more than it summarized. Also, I never claimed that you went ahead without consultation, only that I found your revision to be detrimental. After all, I did explicitly reserve judgment about what you proposed to do until after I read your actual revision, as we all have the right to do.--A. S. A. 05:36, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia discourages overly long articles. The problem isn't that the other sections are too short; the problem is that the Sasson paragraph is too long both in an absolute and relative sense. Even if I were utterly against the so-called settlements, I wouldn't want the Sasson report to be the final word. You're tacitly acknowledging the bias in the article by writing: "I believe that overall israeli policy towards expanding settlements, through official and unofficial (illicit) means, is the real juice of the article and goes to the heart of the overall tilt of the article..." My inclination would be to rename the whole article and start from the beginning, something I might still do. --Leifern 12:21, 2005 Mar 18 (UTC)
It's a hard sell to claim that the this article is overly long. Regardless, there is no claim made anywhere in the article, implicit or explicit, that the Sasson Report is any sort of final word. The section is a faithful impartial narrative of the factual findings and the responses of the former and current ministers and officials. I even went to some lengths to tone down some of the analysis by the BBC and CNN and other sources (for example I inserted the qualifier "potentially embarrassing to Sharon" and other edits along those lines). We cannot safeguard the balance of the article as it were by removing facts, quotations and analysis just because we are unwilling to let Israel appear to disadvantage. The facts speak for themselves, and must not be disguised or scaled down under the guise of shortening an article that does not even have an excessive length tag on it. Speaking of which, this Talk section is almost 100 kb long. Will a more experienced user please archive some of the older sections? By the way, I don't know if you missed it or just haven't gotten to it yet, but I also responded to your last post in the RFC section and I'd like to pick your brain about some ideas that I talked about, thanks.--A. S. A. 13:43, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)
I've archived all the stuff before February 2005. Jayjg (talk) 19:02, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

RFC comments

This is a topic, for which it would be difficult to agree on basic premises and semantics. On one side, there are those who feel that the term "Israel" reflects a bias; or that "settlements" gives legitimacy to something more sinister; on the other side, there are those who would point out that these are not "settlements" at all but towns and villages on par with towns and villages anywhere else in the world, asserting that the very existence of the article demonstrates a bias. I think the NPOV will have to stay for the time being. --Leifern 15:29, 2005 Mar 17 (UTC)

Thanks for responding. Arguably, all articles related to the Arab-Israeli conflict are peculiarly susceptible to the tricky nature of premises and semantics which you mentioned. That is why there is a Talk section. Most of these articles have had an NPOV tag for as long as I can remember. They remain long after specific bones of contention have been resolved by consensus. You say, "for the time being," but what does that mean? Whenever someone raises an issue in Talk, we tackle it as you can see. Why then can we not remove the tag? If someone wishes to argue for rewording to include the points of view you just outlined, or indeed any other concerns for bias and balance, I say let them do an edit and start a Talk section. To justify a continuation of a tag that questions the integrity of a Wikipedia article, we have to put up or shut up, wouldn't you agree? Also, you did not comment on the main request for input, dealing with length and relevancy of the Sasson Report section. May I tax you to examine this again and favor us with your opinion? Thanks. --A. S. A. 15:53, Mar 17, 2005 (UTC)
I think the Sasson report gets too much real estate - it's not the first and will certainly not be the last news item related to this issue, nor do I think it's of central importance to the issue, whether you're on one side of it or another. It would be better to give it one paragraph and then its own article. --Leifern 18:02, 2005 Mar 17 (UTC)
If a separate article were to be created, and say the entire Sasson section transferred as-is (and then later expanded), and a one paragraph summary be created and the articles linked, would you have a suggestion about the name of the new article? That was one of the ideas that stuck in my throat. Somehow "The Sasson Report" doesn't cut it. I was also mulling "The Sasson Report on Government Support of illegal settlements of 2005" or something along those lines but it seems too busy and verbose. You know, these RFCs really aren't very attended to. So few people take the time to comment and help out :-( --A. S. A. 05:36, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)
Well, I think the "Sasson Report" would be fine - I notice, for example, that the Warren Commission's report on the assassination of Kennedy is simply listed as "Warren Commission" --Leifern 14:02, 2005 Mar 18 (UTC)
"Sasson Report" seems best to me as well; articles shouldn't start with "The", the other title is too long, and if there is ever another famous "Sasson Report", a disambiguation page can be created. Jayjg (talk) 18:58, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree with the idea of creating a separate article for the report and creating a summary paragraph in this article which refers to the new article. However, I do not like the long or the short version for the title. The long version is too long and can be looked at as POV. The short version, "Sasson Report," does nor tell me much. We need to have a title that is brief but gives an indication of place and time. That is, I want something indicating a true reference which tells us that this is a Sasson Report distinct from any which might have existed in the past or would exist in the furture, and that would tell me that this is the Israeli Sasson and not another Sasson in another country (a possibility). I don't have a title myself, but I think it is important to think of titles as something that can be indexed and unique (without a disambiguation page) A.Khalil 20:38, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)

A bit of conflict here

I was asked to take a look, and I've managed to wade nearly half way through the talk page so far. It doesn't look good (but it's not hopeless either).

It seems like the usual dispute among Wikipedians about the definition, connotation, and implications of using terms such as "settlement". Mixed in, as always, are versions of history (Jordan did or did not sign the Geneva Convention) and appeals to UN pronouncements condemning or endorsing various propositions or actions.

The thing to do is really quite simple, but probably not "easy": describe the disputes! Go back to primary sources as much as possible, and quote them. Who says that Israelis are "settling" the West Bank? And who says that these "settlers" are acting in accordance with (or violation of) international law? (Which laws, too!)

Remember, everything about the Arab-Israeli conflict is disputed. Each side thinks it's much more right than the other, and several elements on each side think that it's an obvious, black and white issue.

Anyone who has taken one side or another is, of course, welcome to write for Wikipedia -- but they need to take care not to let their advocacy blind them to this web site's NPOV policy. Pro-Israelis must not try to make the article whitewash the settlers and "disprove the false claims" of Palestinian Arabs or their sympathizers. Likewise, Arabs and their sympathizers must not try to make the article "prove" that the Israelis who have "come into this land" are "illegal settlers".

No one is required to "write for the enemy" (even though that's the fastest way to get a balanced article), but we all must keep in mind that every claim, conclusion or disputed fact must be properly sourced.

For example:

  • Chaim Eyenaymez Mudd of the Israeli Interior Ministry wrote, "Israelis are perfectly justified in reclaiming Eretz Israel. God gave us this land 36 centuries ago."
  • Mustafa Holness-Zed, secretary of refugee affairs for the Palestinian Authority wrote, "These illegal settlements must go. The entire civilized world condemns the Israeli occupation."

(Note that I've invented the names and quotes: its the style not the substance which I suggest you follow.) -- Uncle Ed (talk) 15:35, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)

The main focus of the the RFC was the length and relevancy, and possible sub-articling (is that a word?) of the Sasson Report section. Those other points regarding balance were thrashed out at length in Talk, before even my time, and have passed and are closed. The new concern as to possible questions of balance is again related to the perceived, proportionately too large Sasson section, which some editors are concerned makes it appear as if the entire onus of the article revolves around only illegal (according to Israeli law) settlements and the "scandal" of government complicity. I'm very sorry indeed that you read through all of that ancient Talk and only reached half way and not to the last two, the Sasson and RFC sections, for which your aid and input was solicited. If you will, please do so when you can.--A. S. A. 17:57, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)

Regarding world opinion of Israeli administration of post 1967 territories

I propose that we take the legal issues elsewhere.

As for criticism of administration, there are few governments, and certainly not the UN that criticizes the fact that Israel administers these areas. There are plenty who criticize the manner of the administration, but I am not going to accept a characterization that Israel is up against world opinion for not giving up everything in return for nothing. --Leifern 19:09, 2005 Mar 18 (UTC)

Firstly, let us try and keep Talk section titles accurate and informative, so we can help our fellow editors keep track. "Recent stuff from Aladdin" is unprofessional and uncalled for. Second, it is most unfortunate that you would take up this provocative "war attitude" in your edit summaries (Quote: "If you want an edit war, I'd be happy to give you one.") Why can't we simply state our reasoning in edit summaries without this unpleasant saber rattling? What's more, in your blind revert you deleted my innocuous wiki links in the Legal status section which I clearly mentioned in my edit summary. Third. Are you actually disputing that the UN and virtually every government of the world (the US vacillates) condemns the occupation, and rejects the legitimacy of Israel's administration of territories seized in 1967? This real, compelling and virtually uniform criticism is without prejudice to any final peace settlement the parties may agree to. Fourth, I have no objection to "taking the legal issues elsewhere" but while that statement in dispute remains in that section, I will edit it to reflect official international diplomatic standing vis a vie occupation/administration of the territories, unless through rational discourse I am persuaded otherwise. Finally, since you have upped the anti and mentioned an edit war, I will follow Wikipedia cooling-off guidelines and limit my edits of contentious material to once daily, excepting of course minor edits like wiki links etc.--A. S. A. 19:49, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)
I was in a bit of a hurry to make my comments know, but should have thought of a better title - point taken. I think we should try to avoid interjecting controversial qualifiers (e.g., "illegal," etc.) in clauses that are otherwise intended to be neutral. There is widespread agreement that Israel's administration of these areas constitutes a military occupation and therefore should be brought to a close, but it is a minority that thinks Israel should unilaterally abandon the areas. The criticism leveled against Israel - and we have to be precise here - is something to the effect that Israel isn't doing enough to end what they call an occupation. If you parse the criticism carefully, very few governments call the occupation "illegal." They may call the policies there "illegal," but not the occupation itself. --Leifern 20:20, 2005 Mar 18 (UTC)
Your elaboration here certainly improves the prospect for consensus, and helps me understand your perspective. In my opinion most governments do officially classify the occupation as "illegal" but of course this only in the absence of a final peace settlement. I will revisit the article tomorrow and we can continue where we left off.--A. S. A. 20:56, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)

OK I finally got around to that edit. I hope that this rewording makes it clear that the international criticism/condemnation does not mean everyone expects Israel to just "pull out." I see the other changes and updates seem to have wrapped up. I'll be removing that POV tag soon unless someone has anything further to edit/discuss.--A. S. A. 08:59, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)

Let's be clear here: the "international community" (whatever that really means) accepts Israel's continued administration/occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as long as there isn't a peace agreement. As I pointed out earlier, there is criticism - more or less vague - of the manner in which the administration/occupation is conducted, but these are two separate issues. The "international community" is pushing Israel very hard to make concessions that they think would lead to peace, but that is also another issue. Aside from all that, the legality of the administration/occupation is moot, because it is in fact governed by the Declaration of Principles and subsequent agreements related to the so-called peace process. I realize you would like to believe that the occupation/administration is illegal, but it simply isn't. --Leifern 13:21, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)

For the record, I accept the consensus rephrasing "In the absence of a final peace settlement, the continued Israeli administration of areas captured in 1967 is in itself subject to continuing international concern and criticism. However, it is the establishment of Israeli homes and communities in those areas that has often generated condemnation."--A. S. A. 14:04, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)
I dont see why "homes and" should be included, isnt communites enough? Homes is just an euphemism adding nothing to the term communities (I would myself prefer the term "settlements" but wont take an argument on that). --Cybbe 15:08, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)
Change it if you want, I have no objection.--A. S. A. 16:08, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)
Its just an observance of a tendency to use euphemism, critique against homes seems a lot worse than critique of settlements or even communities. Anyway, feedback appreciated, I wont edit it for now. --Cybbe 16:23, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)

Citizenship for residents of eastern Jerusalem

Arab residents of those parts of Jerusalem annexed after 1967 did not have to "swear allegiance," or "demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew." Such allegations are unfounded and slanderous. They did have to relinquish their Jordanian citizenship, and if they chose not to, they can still vote in municipal elections. --Leifern 13:29, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)

I didn't make them up. See B'tselem article and Israel's Nationality Law (English summary at the bottom).--Doron 13:45, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Argument about quotes

I don't think there's any disagreement that Israel has been accused of grabbing land. Clearly, there is disagreement whether these accusations have any merit. I'm not sure whether using quotes is appropriate or not - by putting them in quotes, we would somehow be quoting the accusers; on the other hand a quote isn't strictly speaking necessary - "land grab" is a straightforward term and not really a euphemism. We wouldn't write, for example, that OJ Simpson was accused of "murder." This is something we should be able to resolve by looking in the right manual of style. --Leifern 12:59, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)

I agree. Recently, far too many unnecessary quotation marks have sprung in Middle-East-related articles IMHO--Doron 13:55, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Use of quotations should be limited and not be used simply when there are terms one disagrees with in a "normal" sentence. There will always be "formulations" not everyone disagrees with, but use of "quotations" are "awkward" in these instances. --Cybbe 14:17, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Land Grab vs "Land Grab"

This is a simple problem. Wikipedia is not making the Land Grab accusation, unnamed critics are. As such, I think it is necessary to either rephrase the term to a more neutral connatation, or when using the term land grab, to use quotes to dissasociate between the claimants and wikipedia.

Guy Montag 23:23, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I can't imagine anyone thinking that Land grab accusations means that Wikipedia is making the accusations, come on! These quotes everywhere are poor style, but if you are determined to keep them, I can think of half a dozen places in this very article where I'd add quotes (e.g., "reestablished", "annexation", "bought fairly", etc.).--Doron 23:59, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps you are right.

Guy Montag 07:00, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well said, Doron. --AladdinSE 07:44, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)
My understanding of the quotation marks was that they were meant to demarcate a colloquial expression; would they not be appropriate in that case? Jayjg (talk) 15:44, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That was the idea among others, but people are inserting their fears in biases into a couple of quotes, so I just didnt feel like having a long discussion over such trivial changes. If you intend to revert it I will not object.

Guy Montag 17:32, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

My concern was the rather liberal use of quotes that has become prevalent in Middle-East articles lately, not necessarily just this particular case. When some thing is stated as an accusation, a view, an opinion, etc., the quotes are redundant. Quotation marks are indeed used to indicate that a statement is made by someone else, but they are also used to indicate that a statement is dubious. Using quotation marks when it is already stated that the statement is an opinion creates the impression that the it is absurd.--Doron 22:47, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

By the way, a quick google check I did showed that prominent news websites usually use the phrase land grab without quotes, especially in titles (even in the BBC, which has a stronger tendency to put quotation marks). Also the phrase appears in the American Herritage Dictionary, so it's not just a colloquial expression.--Doron 23:13, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

International law

Cybbe, you only have to read the relevant chapters here where it's in pretty plain text what the chapters intend to do. There is a reason why pacific resolution and action are described in separate paragraphs. Frankly, I find the argument that Chapter VI resolutions are binding to be specious at best, and most likely politically self-serving; at least when they don't take into account national sovereignty and right to self-defense. --Leifern 16:36, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

Read the argument carefully, it's not that Chapter VI resolutions are binding, it is that resolutions _outside of_ Chapter VII can be binding. This is in conformity with art. 24 and 25, and although you and others (the Israeli government for one) might not agree with the argument, that doesnt mean the position should not be presented. The Israeli position is given, this is another interpretation which it is not up to Wikipedia to judge. This is simply giving both sides the oppurtunity to be heard. Where there are two positions, present them both, and don't use careful wording two make one of them look fallacious (as the previous version IMO did). And as far as I can see from the 4 resolutions in question, they give no reference to Chapter VI. --Cybbe 17:00, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)
I am all for presenting both sides of an argument, but I also think that when one party accuses the other of breaking a law to which the party has committed herself, the burden falls on the accuser to make the case. The UN Charter makes it pretty clear that conflicts should preferably be resolved through peaceful means, i.e., negotiation, discussion, arbitration, etc., including voluntary submission to the ICJ. Chapter VII clearly states that coercive methods can only be applied in certain cases. A recommendation by the Security Council is just what the word means, as are the various other choices of words. If the Security Council has the power to establish international law outside of this framework, such a premise will only work if it is undisputed by the affected parties. Scholars and pundits can argue endlessly how many angels can dance on a legal pinhead, but the UN is inoperable if the charter is subject to revision depending on one or more parties' interpretations. The charter is not scripture. --Leifern 17:59, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)
You may dislike the arguments and the position as much as you like, but this doesnt change that some sholars disagree and have another view on these resolutions than Israel. You argue for one position on how the Charter and these resolutions should be interpreted, but the other view should also be presented. I could put forward arguments here in favour of regarding these resolutions as binding, but my intentions have never been to present one side of the story and remove the one I believe to be wrong. We dont need to argue for and against the different views. The current article presents Israels view and the other side of the story, just as it should. As for the burden to make the case, I believe the link given establishes the argument in more detail, and the article does in no way say which position is the "correct one" (the previous version did), just as it should. --Cybbe 18:19, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)
The Charter itself is clear on what is binding and what is not; in general, the rule of national sovereignty applies, and the U.N. only makes recommendations. In rare cases, when it wishes to make a ruling binding, it will apply various mean to carry out it's wishes. In those cases, which happens to be Chapter VII resolutions, U.N. wishes are binding. Trying to discuss a "binding" resolution under international law, when the U.N. refuses to avail itself of the mechanisms for ensuring enforcement, is nonsensical, regardless of the novel arguments some legal scholars have recently advanced in order to support their agenda-based efforts to modify international law. Jayjg (talk) 17:26, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This is nonsense. Most treaties do not have any means of enforcement, they are nonetheless binding. You've failed to point out where in the UN Charter (the relevant articles are 24 and 25) it says that only Chapter VII resolutions and enforcement measures are binding; the Charter simply doesnt say that. Instead of choosing _one_ interpretation of the Charter (the Israeli one), what is so wrong with giving both sides the chance to have their arguments heard? The link I've given (from a professor on public international law) argues out of the wording of the Charter and the relevant articles and refusing that argument on some personal quasi-legal reasoning is wrong. You're basically saying "my interpretation is the correct one, thus must the other be wrong". While I may believe your interpretation is wrong, i dont write it in this article, I simply present the other view, which it how it should be done. This is an issue of whether both sides should be heard, and whether the "other" argument should be presented from the Israel POV or from a neutral POV. A comparable wording would be "although the Palestinian territories are considered occupied under the Geneva Conventions, Israel believes they should be referred to as disputed". It stinks of POV. --Cybbe 19:55, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
Both POVs are represented in the original version; the very fact that some legal scholars are trying to now argue for including resolutions outside of Chapter VII in International Law as well is a good indication that it hasn't been there up until now. As for that being the Israeli view, it's held by more than just Israelis. Oh, and treaties have all sorts of means of enforcement; always have. Jayjg (talk) 23:05, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No they are not both presented equally in a _neutral_ manner. You're presenting one POV on the basis that the other (the Israeli one) is "the truth", which is obviously a biased way of doing it. You've failed to establish that your and the Israeli view is "the truth" (not a single reference, not a single interpretation of the relevant articles of the Charter). You are also mistaken that treaties have "all sorts of means of enforcement", they usually dont and that is one of the distinguishing marks of international law. This is just another case of denying a view on the basis that it doesnt correspond with the other one; of course it doesnt, thats why there are two POVs . Your highly original research on the UN Charter and the link between binding and enforcing resolutions have no place in this article. The Israeli POV is by no means an established truth in international law, and presenting it as such is not writing from a NPOV. Why cant you accept that there exist another interpretation (the link provided is from a professor in public international law). --Cybbe 18:43, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)
Actually, treaties always have means of enforcement; various spoken and unspoken economic and political sanctions, including the ultimate one, war. As for the non-binding nature of (say) Chapter VI resolutions, it's not my "original research"; see e.g. "[a]s stipulated unambiguously in the Charter, the Security Council's powers consisted of making non-binding recommendations, under Chapter VI, which dealt with dispute settlement, and also binding decisions under Chapter VII, which dealt with measures of collective security."[31] "Under Chapter VI, the Security Council's role is that of a facilitator, supporting the parties to resolve their conflict by pacific means of their own choice. Resolutions passed under Chapter VI are therefore recommendations- which by definition are not binding."[32] "Acting under chapter VI, the Security Council can investigate and make recommendations, but Security Council resolutions under Chapter VI are not binding under international law... Chapter VII empowers the Security Council to issue legally binding resolutions in response to threats to international peace and security, and to enforce them if states fail to comply."[33] "Some Security Council Resolutions are legally binding, but many are not"[34] "taken under Chapter VI and as having only recommendatory value"[35] "There is a clear distinction between the UN resolutions passed under Chapter VI and Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The resolutions on Kashmir were passed under Chapter VI, which means that they are non-binding recommendations."[36] Your source clearly recognizes this fact, which is why she is arguing that the binding nature of Chapter VII resolutions should be extended to Chapter VI resolutions as well. By the way, that first link is quoting the Special Rapporteur to the International Law Commission in 1992. Oh, and this cuts both ways, of course; for example, UNSC Resolution 1559 which demanded Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon was also non-binding.[37] Jayjg (talk) 02:04, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(Restarting indents). I think that the wording Cybbe keeps reversing is extremely awkward, but neither am I comfortable giving equal legitimacy to one scholar's interpretation as I would to a sovereign state that is actually affected by the interpretation. Also, I think we're caught up in a debate as to the meaning of the term "binding." It's pretty clear to me that no member state of the UN signed up to blindly obey the Security Council in whatever they decided, and the crucial point here has to be what the member states thought they signed when they signed the UN charter - not what some scholars think after the fact. I have a hard time believing that any member state would accept the scholar's interpretation as you state it, and so there's the question whether it has any significance outside of the academic one. I'm not getting into revert wars on this one, but I am far from convinced that we're near a resolution (so to speak). --Leifern 21:05, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

You may have noticed that I've put in a RfC. Also, I dont intend to present this POV as a _fact_, but i _do_ intend to present it as _one_ possible interpretation of the Charter, and although there might exist others, as there clearly does, they all deserve to be presented in a neutral manner and as what they are; _different_ interpretations. And if you've read the scholars argument carefully, it was not that _all_ UNSC resolutions are binding. (and I do not agree with you on that no state support this view, but that is not too relevant). The wording could be changed to include the actual provisions of article 24 and 25, but this would not really help the situation, only make it more confusing. As before, my opinion is that both interpretations should be included without the article saying anything about should be considered correct. This is how most, if not all other different legal positions I've seen in Israeli-Palestinian articles are presented; both views in the article without establishing either one as a fact. --Cybbe 21:20, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)


The dispute is over these two versions:

"Although the UN Charter only makes Security Council Resolutions adopted under Chapter VII binding upon its members, in that they alone allow non-military (i.e. political and economic) sanctions and/or the use of force, some scholars have argued that other Security Council resolutions should also be considered legally binding upon member states.".

"Some scholars have lately argued that Security Council resolutions outside of Chapter VII can also be considered legally binding upon member states."

I support the latter as the first IMO presupposes that one view (the Israeli one) is correct and that this is nowhere established as a fact and in anyway not writing in a neutral manner. Jayjg's (and perhaps Leifern's) position is that the first version is the correct interpretation of the Charter (at least I would assume it to be so). --Cybbe 21:10, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

What is the former version trying to say? Is the claim that "they alone allow non-military (i.e. political and economic) sanctions and/or the use of force" correct - ie, is it correct that the UN Charter prohibits non-military sanctions and/or the use of force except in the case of resolutions under Chapter VII? (I doubt it, especially in the former case.) Is it true that a resolution is only binding if some means of enforcing it is stipulated? I find that even less probable. If either point is true, can some documentation be provided? I see none here. The latter version, more conservatively worded, seems unproblematic as far as it goes, although it may need expansion depending on the answers to these questions. - Mustafaa 05:21, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Since you seem to have missed the ten or so links I provided above, I'll provide them again here. Chapter VI of the Charter is all about pacific resolution of conflicts between states; as such, it can't possibly be binding, since the whole point to encourage peaceful (i.e. non-coercive) resolutions between differing parties, rather than imposing solutions by the U.N. These resolutions by their very nature are non-binding, and (contradicting Cybbe's claim) this is not original research on my part, but rather accepted fact; see e.g. "[a]s stipulated unambiguously in the Charter, the Security Council's powers consisted of making non-binding recommendations, under Chapter VI, which dealt with dispute settlement, and also binding decisions under Chapter VII, which dealt with measures of collective security."[38] "Under Chapter VI, the Security Council's role is that of a facilitator, supporting the parties to resolve their conflict by pacific means of their own choice. Resolutions passed under Chapter VI are therefore recommendations- which by definition are not binding."[39] "Acting under chapter VI, the Security Council can investigate and make recommendations, but Security Council resolutions under Chapter VI are not binding under international law... Chapter VII empowers the Security Council to issue legally binding resolutions in response to threats to international peace and security, and to enforce them if states fail to comply."[40] "Some Security Council Resolutions are legally binding, but many are not"[41] "taken under Chapter VI and as having only recommendatory value"[42] "There is a clear distinction between the UN resolutions passed under Chapter VI and Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The resolutions on Kashmir were passed under Chapter VI, which means that they are non-binding recommendations."[43] Cybbe's source clearly recognizes this fact, which is why she is arguing that the binding nature of Chapter VII resolutions should be extended to Chapter VI resolutions as well. By the way, that first link is quoting the Special Rapporteur to the International Law Commission in 1992. Oh, and this cuts both ways, of course; for example, UNSC Resolution 1559 which demanded Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon was also non-binding.[44] Jayjg (talk) 05:37, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This establishes only that a significant number of people do claim that Chapter VI resolutions are not binding. It does not establish the considerably stronger claims made by the former version: that only Security Council Resolutions adopted under Chapter VII are binding, and that they alone allow non-military (i.e. political and economic) sanctions and/or the use of force. - Mustafaa 06:54, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No, a significant number of people state that Chapter VI resolutions are non-binding as a matter of fact. Since only Chapter VII resolutions allow sanctions, others clearly do not; next you could claim that G.A. resolutions were binding and allowed sanctions as well. Finally, the fact that a small number of people are advancing the novel thesis that other resolutions (outside of Chapter VII) should be binding as well indicates that it is a novel assertion. The status quo is the status quo, those trying to change it should be noted as such. Jayjg (talk) 07:14, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Note how this legal paper differentiates between Chapter VII resolutions as binding, and Chapter VI resolutions: [45] It doesn't argue the point, it merely notes the facts. Also note the relevant Articles here: [46] Jayjg (talk) 07:35, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Finally, here is a webpage from the Office of the Secretary General himself, listing the exact countries which have had sanctions applied under Chapter VII of the Charter, as outlined in Article 41: [47] Jayjg (talk) 07:55, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Neither of the two non-partisan sites you just mentioned say anything about Chapter VI one way or another. The claim that "since only Chapter VII resolutions allow sanctions, others clearly do not" simply presupposes the point that is to be proved. - Mustafaa 08:12, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Some things are being confused here. A simple reading of the UN Charter does not yield the conclusion that only Chapter VII resolutions are binding. Rather, it yields the conclusion that only Chapter VII resolutions have active enforcement provisions. There is a world of difference between binding and enforcable. (To see that the distinction is important, notice that even the most binding ICJ decisions have no enforcement provisions at all.) A simple reading of Article 25: "The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.", which does not distinguish between Chapter VII and other chapters, is that decisions that "demand" UN signatories to do something are binding on them. This does not contradict that decisions less than demands can exist, so the appearance of these in Chapter VI is not an anomaly. It is certainly true that there is a common opinion amongst jurists that resolutions outside Chapter VII are binding, but it isn't a unanimous opinion and it does not follow from a plain reading of the Charter. Jayjg's version is wrong because it presents this opinion as a fact when it's actually one opinion of several that coexist. The text of this article should state both opinions. --Zero 08:35, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Everything is open to debate, even that the world is round, if you're so inclined. The original purpose of the ICJ was to conduct binding arbitration for member states who voluntarily and jointly submit their dispute to the court. They have recently - and rather unilaterally - accepted referrals by UN and other organizations for an opinion. Their opinion is in no way shape or form binding, as much as you would like it to be. So thanks for bringing up an example that strengthens my point. --Leifern 12:19, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
Whatever you are talking about, I have no idea. The ICJ has been giving advisory opinions since the beginning (first one in 1948) in accordance with its charter. The Permanent Court of International Justice gave advisory opinions before that. --Zero 14:14, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The new trend is that they accept advisory opinions from a broader set of groups, but that "advisory opinions" are just that - they have zero binding effect. They are the opinion of a bunch of jurists, most of whom come from traditions of jurisprudence that approach the medieval. To cite their opinions are binding international law is simply absurd. --Leifern 16:28, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
Also, I find the interpretation that member states can be bound by something that only can be inferred after the fact a clear violation of general legal principles. "You thought you signed this, but now we've got news for you. Recommendations don't mean "recommendations," they mean "orders." --Leifern 12:19, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
Haven't got a clue what you are on about here, either. --Zero 14:14, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
When people claim that member states should consider SC resolutions international law when there isn't a statute that explicitly states that they are, they are engaging in an academic discourse that has no practical meaning. Honestly, Zero, this is not a big intellectual leap. --Leifern 16:28, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
And what if states are saying they are not bound by decisions when there isnt a statute explicitly saying they aren't? Honestly, do you not see that this article takes a stand on which POV is correct, which is contrary to what wikipedia should do? --Cybbe 17:21, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

First, I had hoped for comments outside of the "usual faces" in articles regarding this conflict, the only one that surfaced was a rather interesting comment in my talk page, but that irrelevant. As for the case:

Jayjg, you've used the same argument as Leifern did in his first post, that of Chapter VI resolutions. I never wrote, and the link provided never stated, that Chapter VI resolutions are binding. (And the four resolutions in questions does not include a reference to Chapter VI). The argument was with regards to resolutions outside of Chapter VI, and the article linked to make this perfectly clear "These resolutions are therefore very different from Chapter VI resolutions under which the Council can only recommend procedures or terms of settlement which are not binding." It was never argued against the point that Chapter VI resolutions are recommendations, as you can read from this cite, she even writes so in her analysis. Your references did not comment on her argument at all, and can not be used to show her argument is wrong. And still, they are only different POVs and not an a priori fact. Other references that support this (her) view includes:

" Although I maintain that the Council can make binding decisions outside Chapter VII, this essay does not enter the debate over the precise legal effect of various Security Council actions.3 " (Image and Reality in the UN’s Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, Steven R. Ratner)"

Also, look at the wikipedia article on UN Security Council#Resolutions, which also includes this position (which shows this is an issue where no definite answer may be given).

You mentioned resolution 1559, that makes no reference to either Chapter VII nor "international peace and security, which is interesting, as it provides a guide to see some views on this resolution:

"Herve Ladsous, French foreign ministry spokesman said Friday that "Security Council resolution 1559, which is binding on everybody, must be implemented, and its implementation is being very closely followed by the Security Council and the entire international community."" [48]

"Question: Russia last year abstained in the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, holding the position of noninterference in the bilateral affairs of Syria and Lebanon. The problem is now growing into an international one. Does the time not come to back up the more active stance of France, which advocates the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the territory of Lebanon? Foreign Minister Lavrov: In tackling such matters we do not select a position in favor of supporting a particular country. We abstained, and we weren't alone who so did. There were seven abstentions out of the fifteen members of the UN Security Council. Since then the situation has slightly changed. Firstly, any resolution of the UN Security Council, once it is adopted, is binding for implementation. Secondly, both Syria and Lebanon after the adoption of this resolution, having considered the UN Security Council's position, drew some conclusions for themselves, and they are already talking about gradually beginning to reduce the Syrian contingent in Lebanon now."[49]

These different views on resolutions 1559, combined with other sources already provided for, clearly show that the UN Charter is not as clear cut on which resolutions are binding and which are not as you would like this article to say. That's why a neutral version not taking a stand on that issue but simply reporting the two different views should be chosen. --Cybbe 17:21, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

Btw, you realize you never actually made the RfC? You just posted here, not on the RfC page. - Mustafaa 20:06, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, whoops? ;) No, I was not aware of that, probably used the "show preview" feature and forgot to press save page, as I did (try to) edit the RfC-page. --Cybbe 17:40, Apr 30, 2005 (UTC)

Article by Vera Gowlland-Debbas

OK, so I read the article that Cybbe is referring to. Vera Gowlland-Debbas's writings are based on the premise that member states of the United Nations effectively signed a commitment to abide by Security Council resolutions, more or less unconditionally[50], where she calls for all member states to pass legislation that would automatically make SC resolutions domestic law. Interestingly, she does not take into account a) national sovereignty as an overriding principle; b) legitimate causes for self defence; or c) the possibility that the Security Council isn't fallible. She concedes in the article Cybbe refers to that "some requests to the parties in the conflict that could be taken in the latter sense."

At the same time, she routinely refers to a non-existent state called "Palestine" as if it were a definite place. Her bias is pretty apparent, in two respects: she's an advocate of a world-government concept in that she ascribes powers to the Security Council I doubt any member state would agree to; and b) she hates Israel.

Having said that, it appears that her arguments, tortured as they are, are based on the notion that the Security Council doesn't feel the need to make the intent of their resolutions clear; or that they choose to keep them ambiguous for reasons we can't ascertain. A reasonable person might suppose that when confronted with arguments from Israel that doesn't view its resolutions as binding, the SC would pass resolutions to clear up that misunderstanding. But Gowlland-Debbas would have us believe that the binding nature of the resolutions can only be discerned through pilpul, i.e., by parsing and interpreting them endlessly as if their writers' intent were lost to history.

In the end, we can only conclude that her view is her opinion - she thinks that Israel ought to accept the resolutions as binding but can find only the flimsiest evidence that they should. It's her opinion, to be sure, but it's a political perspective, not a legal one. --Leifern 21:21, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

And the Israeli opinion is strictly based on a neutral, judical review and is not politically motivated at all?
She refers to "Palestine" as most people do; the West Bank and Gaza. Your arguments are ad hominem (e.g. "she hates Israel"). Do you have anything at all to support this or is it only based on her not choosing "Judea and Samaria" instead of Palestine? Instead of attacking and smearing her as a person, you could try refuting her arguments, which whether you like it or not are "legal" (she is a professor of public international law and more than qualified). Her arguments are based on actual charter and resolution wording, this is how legal analysis works. This isn't math were you wind up with a single answer as correct, thats exactly why the professor tries to interpret resolutions and the UN Charter to come up with conclusions. Israel is entitled to her interpretation, others should be entitled to theirs without being called haters by those disagreeing. --Cybbe 21:59, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)
Actually, my comment that she hates Israel is impertinent because it is at best my opinion. If it were proven to be true, it would be highly relevant, so it's not ad hominem because it would indicate bias. If I had written she was wrong because she was ugly (and for all I know she's a hottie), that would be ad hominem. Just because she's a professor doesn't mean she's right, and I have learned that nobody can be so full of crap as someone who thinks he/she is an expert on a subject. I'll judge her arguments on their own merit, and hers are exceedingly weak. I've briefly explained why in the section above. --Leifern 12:02, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)


The settlement map in this article contains many non-existing settlements (such as Lucifer, Eli-Shama, Ginat, Yad Hashisha, Doron Shurshan), many typos (such as Ofarin, Tzuit, Nekodim, Ganin, Beitan), Palestinian villages appearing as settlements (such as Qaddum, Yabad, Anata), many places that are not settlements (such as Gilboa, Har Malkishua, Netiv Haasara, Har Dov), many settlements appear several times (such as Nahal Katif 'A' thru 'D'), thus inflating the number of settlements, and most localities are mislocated (such as Neve Dekalim, which is in Gush Katif, not in northern Gaza Strip, and West Bank settlements which are randomly scattered in the map). In short, this map is sloppy and of poor quality. Does anyone know of a better map?--Doron 11:39, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Citizenship for Golan residents

I was asked to provide refs for the claim that citizenship was imposed on Golani Arabs. I'll start by admitting that this is a topic on which my knowledge is weak and I'm a bit fuzzy on the relationship between Israeli identity and Israeli citizenship. I'll start by quoting two UNGA resolutions: A/RES/37/123: "Strongly condemns the imposition by Israel of its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, ... and the imposition of Israeli citizenship on Syrian nationals, ...". A/RES/37/88: "Strongly condemns Israel for its attempts and measures to impose forcibly Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Arab Golan Heights and calls upon it to desist from its repressive measures against the population of the Syrian Arab Golan Heights." Next from an academic paper (T. Mara'i and U. R. Halabi, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 22, No. 1. (Autumn, 1992), pp. 78-93): Israeli tried to convince Golani Arabs to accept Israeli identity papers even before the annexation, but after the annexation they imposed them. There was massive opposition, general strikes, riots, tens of people killed, etc.. (Now quoting:) "On 1 April [1982], Israel officially declared the Golan a closed area, imposed a round-the-clock curfew, and sent in about 14,000 Israeli soldiers-more than the entire Arab population of the Golan Heights-who went from door to door confiscating the old military IDs and distributing the new IDs that had been prepared for each individual denoting Israeli citizenship." (There is a footnote: "Israeli military IDs had been distributed at the beginning of occupation [1967].") However, after further protests, Israel gave in: "the IDs and travel documents ultimately distributed carried no mention of Israeli citizenship. There was further agreement that Golanis would not serve in the armed forces, that visits to Syria would be permitted, and that land would not be confiscated. These last two commitments were not honored. This is the situation as it stands today; Israel identifies the Syrians of the Golan as 'residents of Israel,' but not citizens." So the story is more complex than I realised. I guess a summary of this belongs on Golan Heights. --Zero 14:12, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Interesting, thanks. As far as I know, ID's are given to residents as well, not just to citizens. I just found it strange that a country can impose its citizenship on foreign nationals.--Doron 17:17, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
But I think all of this shows that what I originally wrote here was correct - it is consistent with sourced changes I earlier made in Golan Heights. Israel's changes in the status of the Golan Heights were similar to the 1967 ones in Jerusalem (which was also drafted in part by Begin), except that there was more protest against the new IDs (which I am not sure actually denoted Israeli citizenship, rather than just permanent residency like in East Jerusalem.) So I will change it back to my version if there is no objection. Of course a description of the Golani Arab response should be put in the GH article.--John Z 21:59, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Your wording is not quite right because ID cards were not "offered". They are compulsory. It is only citizenship that was finally made optional. If you change the wording to reflect that, I won't object. --Zero 03:32, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
If there were appreciable protests, I agree with Zero's comment that this should be qualified. El_C 03:38, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Stevertigo's introduction

An Israeli settlement refers to new housing development in areas within the control of the Jewish state of Israel to be settled exclusively by Israeli Jews. The issue is controversial because the areas of land in question in the West Bank and Gaza, had been settled in violation of previously agreed-to boundaries, and after the forcible removal of Palestinian refugees. The Arab-Muslim Palesinians are considered non-citizens in Israel, despite their non-state status and residence within Israeli boundaries.

This is incorrect for any number of reasons. They have not been settled "in violation of previously agreed-to boundaries", nor "after the forcible removal of Palestinian refugees", the Palestinians are not all Arabs or Muslims, over a million Palestinians are citizens of Israel, and they dispute whether they live within Israeli boundaries. The amount of POV and factual incorrectness in this insertion was breathtaking. Jayjg (talk) 03:20, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Even the article says its a conflict over "interpretation of international law" - so while it may be improper to use the term "violation," theres still some deal of disingenuousness in your correction. "Forcible removal" is not an exclusively military term and must naturally include any enforced moving and re-settlement including by slow attrition and land grab. Arab Israelis are not Palestinians in the sense of refering to Palestinian refugees. Granted, theres some ambiguity that needs explanation. Dont assume prerequisite knowledge, and state upfront wtf an israeli settlement is. Your offhand comment about "random characters" being an improvement is one I will take note of. -St|eve 03:34, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Whether or not it is in violation of international law is an issue much debated, but that has nothing to do with it being "in violation of previously agreed to boundaries". Forcible removal is indeed that, forcible, and in any event "slow attrition" is also patently false, particularly given the huge increases in the Palestinian population in the territories since 1967. In addition, "land grab" is a POV that implies Palestinians were living there before the settlements; in fact, the settlements have been specifically placed in areas where no Palestinians were living, such as hilltops and beaches. And finally, "random characters" would indeed be an improvement, since at least with them everyone recognizes immediately that they are nonsense, and is not misled into believing they are meaningful and factual. Jayjg (talk) 03:41, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Three villages in the West Bank were destroyed in 1967 but they weren't settled (they became Canada Park). However, most of the settlements were built on agricultural land confiscated in some fashion from Arab villages. Sometimes it was declared to be "state land" regardless of the evidence, sometimes it was seized for "military purposes" then handed over to settlement, sometimes it was merely settled without bothering about legal niceties. One trick that used to be quite common was to declare the land a military zone for three years then seize it by applying an Ottoman law that says that certain types of leased land return to the lessee if they aren't cultivated for three years in a row. (This method of legal theft was used inside the green line too, especially in the 1950s.) Having said all that, Stevertigo's wording is not acceptable and I'm not sure all those issues should be right at the start of the article. --Zero 15:24, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Jerusalem embassies

Re: the part about embassies not being in Jerusalem -- firstly, embassies are not located in Jerusalem because the status of the whole of Jerusalem is in dispute, not just East Jerusalem, and this predates 1967. Is west Jerusalem also considered, for the purpose of this article, an Israeli settlement? Secondly, there are two embassies in Jerusalem and another two in the suburb of Mevaseret Zion, four in total. The rest are in the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area, not just in Tel-Aviv itself.--Doron 10:17, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes, of course that is right. It is a bit odd that this article covers this, it is more proper to Jerusalem and Israel; I wrote something for one of these articles but it got reverted a while ago and I haven't bothered to fix it up with more references.--John Z 10:42, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Introductory paragraph

The previous revision was

An Israeli settlement refers to housing development for Israeli Jews in areas within the control of Israel (as a result of the 1967 Six Day War), but contested by Palestinians residing in those areas.

I found this too fuzzy. I don't think it was intentional, but it makes it sound like whether something counts as a "settlement" is a matter of degree, depending on how strongly it is "contested". I changed the wording to make it clear that any housing for Israeli civilians outside the Green Line is a settlement.

I've edited your changes for accuracy and NPOV. Jayjg (talk) 04:31, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
I haven't edited the introductory paragraph yet, but it is rancid with inaccurate POV. The "borders" are not internationally recognized, but armistice lines - and this is indeed reflected in SC 242. "Broadly considered" is too vague. This needs work to be remotely acceptable. --Leifern 13:11, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Israeli citizens

"Except for areas that were annexed in Jerusalem and the Golan, Israeli citizens and others can only move to areas captured in 1967 with the authorization of the Israeli government." --- This is only true for Area A. --Zero 15:10, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Gaza Withdrawal

Can someone please change the statistics to indicate that there are now 0 settlers in the Gaza strip? 02:37, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Israeli settlements???

The term "Israeli settlement" refers to all Israeli settlements (e.g., cities, towns, villages, and hamlets), inside and outside the souvereign territory of Israel. True, the term is most often used as a shorthand for Israeli settlements in the Westbank (in the not so remote past also the Gaza Strip), and many times also the Golan Heights and Jewish concentrations in East-Jerusalem, but this use is by no means exclusive. The overwhelming majority of the Israeli settlements are within the souvereign territory of the State of Israel and therefore the name of this article is extremely confusing and, plainly, wrong. So please, before I get politically motivated answers, take a breath. I am interested only in a correct name. I have no problems with the contents of the article. gidonb 02:15, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm actually not sure the first sentence in the paragraph above is true, at least in common usage terms. This may have been true before the state was founded in 1948, but in modern times, I think (again from a common use POV) that "settlements" do not refer to anything in the sovereign territory of Israel. Of course, I'm not claiming to be an expert so if you have further information that would be good too! Ramallite (talk) 03:28, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
New towns and smaller rural communities inside the green line are sometimes called settlements, but cities never are. This usage is today mostly avoided because of the very strong association between the word "settlement" and Jewish communities in the OT. This article might be better titled "Israeli settlements in the occupied territories" but that would just bring a fight from those here who pretend to not know what "occupied" means. Otherwise, the current title is ok I think. Before 1948 it was "Zionist settlement" or "Jewish settlement". In the early days (pre WWI) it was "Zionist colony". --Zero 03:55, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Ramallite, for once, I claim to be an expert on this matter. Any metropolis, city, town, village or hamlet is a settlement. It is a very basic concept in geography. Read for example a simple lesson for school kids at the BBC: I can give you tons of these.
Whoa - okay. The word "fence" also means something different to school kids than it does in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The word "settlement" is now common usage for specific structures in the occupied territories, used by Palestinians, Israelis, and most foreign bodies. I'm not defending the use of the word "settlement", I'm disagreeing with your reasons for wanting to remove it. Thanks for referring me to a BBC school kids website though, I personally would rather wait until the folks over at Sesame Street weigh in... Ramallite (talk) 16:50, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Accuracy dispute

The name of this article is incorrect. It has nothing to do with politics, only with concepts taught at elementary school. gidonb 04:05, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Because of the wrong name, the defintions are incorrect and much of the information provided is incorrect. For example, the population of the Israeli settlements is underestimated by some 7 million people. Hence the accuracy warning. gidonb 04:25, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


An anon made some POV edits to the intro on the 22nd-23rd; I've restored the original opening paragraph. Jayjg (talk) 06:41, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, Jayjg. Nevertheless, the general problem of this article prevails. gidonb 06:48, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
I must have opened and saved a historical version of the article by error. Weird. gidonb 06:58, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps you could comment on the issues I've raised below; User:Marsden has essentially restored the anon's POV changes. Jayjg (talk) 17:24, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

"internationally recognized borders" vs. 1949 Armistice Agreements

Can someone explain how the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which specifically stated that they were not creating legal borders, can be considered to have created "internationally recognized borders"? Is there some sort of agreement I have missed? Jayjg (talk) 17:21, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Not really an agreement, but a consensus. Would "territory" in place of "borders" be more acceptable to you? Marsden 17:36, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

"Internationally recognized territory" - when and were was this recognition given? These are armistice lines, why one earth would you object to stating that simple fact? Jayjg (talk) 20:16, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

1949, I would guess. Among the nations that recognize Israel at all, the armistice lines limit what they regard as Israel's territory. I object to stating that simple fact because it doesn't go directly to the matter at hand, namely that (other than in gidonb's private language) that the significant aspect of the settlements is that they are outside of what is recognized as belonging to Israel. The term "armistice lines" does not directly make this clear. Jay, could you restore this article to its correct name, by the way? Marsden 20:33, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not aware of anyone "internationally recognizing" the 1949 Armistice lines as Israeli territory. I'll fix that, and the proper name. Jayjg (talk) 20:18, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

"broadly regarded as illegal" - weasel words?

The phrase "broadly regarded as illegal" seems to contain of weasel words to me; can someone justify its inclusion? Jayjg (talk) 17:23, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Every nation in the world other than Israel -- including Israel's foremost ally, the US -- regard the settlements as illegal. That seems to to me to fit the definition of "broad." Marsden 17:39, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
"Every nation in the world other than Israel -- including Israel's foremost ally, the US -- regard the settlements as illegal." - could you source that claim, please? Jayjg (talk) 20:17, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
I can cite for the US, certainly. Marsden 20:28, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Broadly regarded as illegal indeed refers to a much used POV. While the major POVs on settlements need to be mentioned, it is important first to define what an Israeli settlement or what Israeli settlements are, before getting into different opinion on these. I have given it a try, which may be somehwat different than either of you had in mind. Lets stick to encyclopedia editing. gidonb 17:42, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Gidonb, do you think that the interpretation of "Israeli settlement" that you have imposed on the article is what anyone means when they think of the term? Marsden 17:58, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I am certain that many people think of an Israeli settlement when you talk of an Israeli settlement and not about a very small section of the settlements for which the term is sometimes used as a shorthand. Please see my explenations above. gidonb 18:05, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
And do you think that such a definition warrants an encyclopedia entry? Should we also have articles on "Hungarian settlement" and "Canadian settlement?" What definition of "Israeli settlement" do you think warrants an encyclopedia entry? I assert that the definition you propose does not, not any more than every other nationality should have a "settlement" article, which they should not. Marsden 18:25, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Well many of the settlement forms and definitions change from coutry to country. Israel, since you asked, has several unique types of settlements. Further, each one of these countries has different definitions for categories of settlements and different settlement policies, different size distributions and spatial distributions of settlements, special setllement histories, and much more. All this is intriguing. gidonb 18:32, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
It might be more appropriate for you to start an article on Zionist settlements, which I think would more clearly incorporate the sorts of things that you want to include, particularly the communities that became part of Israel proper. "Israeli settlement" today means something more particular than this. Marsden 18:59, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Also keep in mind there are already articles on Kibbutz, Moshav, Zionism, etc... Ramallite (talk) 19:10, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry Marsden, but this is totally disputed POV. I believe everyone is taught in elemantary school what settlements are. If you do not like to politicize regular communities, you really need to be more sepcific. As things stand now you are virtually moving 6.5 million people out of Israel and commiting a virtual transfer. I assume you do not mean to do any of these. gidonb 19:13, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Gidonb, your move of this article now has the title "Israeli settlements in the West Bank" for an article that refers to settlements in the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and Sinai Peninsula. You are seriously out of order. Nothing about using the term "Israeli settlements" to mean only settlements outside of Israel proper is moving anyone, virtually or otherwise. I'm going to request that you be banned if you can't refrain from insisting that everyone else accept your interpretation of widely used terms. Marsden 19:36, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Go ahead. The meaning of settlements is a proper dictionary and social science definition. The Wikipedia definition is clear POV. As you can see below, I was willing to return everything to the previous situation so that we could discuss things, however my edits were improperly reverted and my text were actually deleted from the article while calling my edits to resolve an obvious accuracy problem "vandalism". Thus I had no choice but to restore the correct text. Of course this does not solve the problems other problems of this article, so I suggest that we also adress these. gidonb 19:52, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

By the way, if there is no immediate consensus on this point, I do not mind returning for the meantime to the inaccurate version. As long as this is done properly. gidonb 18:14, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

title change

I hope whoever moved this article plans to fix the dozens of incoming links for Israeli settlements, almost all of which refer to these rather than what is now described under that title. —Charles P. (Mirv) 17:27, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Apparently not, or so it appears to me from Talk:Israeli settlements. Palmiro | Talk 05:31, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

legal scholars sympathetic to Israel have disputed that designation

Marsden is now inserting the phrase sympathetic to Israel in to the phrase "some legal scholars have disputed that designation". There are a number of issues with this claim:
1. It is intended to poison the well, implying that the only reason they reach this conclusion is because they are sympathetic to Israel. Marsden's edit summaries indicate the same reasoning, insisting that all "neutral" scholars would reach a different conclusion.

This is of course magical thinking on Jay's part. He doesn't know my intent in the least. Marsden 05:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
That it is poisoning the well is blatantly obvious, and the fact that your revert edit summary states "can you give a single example of an objective scholar who reached the pro-Israel position?" (emphasis mine) means no "magical thinking" is required to discern the basis for your statement.[51]
You just regard removing artificial sweetening from the well as poisoning it. Deal with it. (Can't give an example of an objective scholar, can you?) Marsden 05:21, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Huh? Because I didn't insert well-poisoning text, it was "artificial sweetening"? Sheesh. Jayjg (talk) 05:32, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Take a deep breath, Jay. The world does not revolve around you, regardless of what your grandparents may think. That the text, whatever its origin, creates a false impression that is favorable to one side in a disupute means that it is "artificially sweetened." It is appropriate to amend the wording in such instances so that the false impression is not given. In this case, the false impression is that believing that the settlements are not illegal does not extremely strongly correlate with being pro-Israeli generally, which it clearly does, even if not exclusively so. Marsden 05:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

2. It makes unwarranted assumptions:

  • It assumes that all legal scholars who have reach the conclusion that the settlements are legal are sympathetic to Israel.
No, it does not. The statement "Some of X believe Y" does not mean "Only members of X believe Y." Marsden 05:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
It does when inserted in the way you have. You'd have to say "some legal scholars, some of whom are sympathetic to Israel" to make it mean what you claim to want it to mean, which, in any event, would be rather silly looking and irrelevant well-poisoning. Jayjg (talk) 05:17, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Would you agree that leaving it as "Some legal scholars ...," without reference to sympathy to Israel, implies that some legal scholars who are objective with regard to Israel hold the position? And yet, has anyone come up with even a single example of such a legal scholar? Did you say something about inserting bias and undocumented statements? Marsden 05:24, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • It assumes that legal scholars who have reached the conclusion that the settlements are illegal might not also be "sympathetic to Israel".
Huh? Marsden 05:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

One would certainly not allow the claim that the UNSC and ICJ are "unsympathetic to Israel" (though many people believe that).

You could certainly say that their rulings in this matter are unsympathetic to Israel

3. We've already been through this issue - see the discussion about about the use of the term "exclusively".

There is no mention of exclusiveness in the sentence in question. Marsden 05:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
The wording implies it. Jayjg (talk) 05:17, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

--Jayjg (talk) 04:25, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

... just as the lack of the wording implies nonexclusivity. Exclusivity seems, in fact, to be much more nearly the truth of the matter, particularly in light of your complete inability to come up with an exception. Marsden 05:28, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I haven't bothered to try; you need to find support for your claims, I haven't made a claim. Jayjg (talk) 05:48, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
It's very simple, Jay: provide one example of a non-Zionist legal scholar who has stated that the settlements are not illegal -- particularly that they do not violate the Fourth Geneva Convention -- and then you will at least have a leg to stand on. If only scholars who are otherwise inclined to favor Israel ever reach this position, don't you think it would be misleading ("sweetening the well," one might say) to leave wording that suggested that it was not such a narrowly held position? If every single "environmental scientist" who disputed anthropomorphic global warming was in the employ the petroleum industry, wouldn't it be dishonest to say only that "some environmental scientists dispute anthropomorphic global warming?" Why did you pretend that this matter is any different? Do you know of any non-Zionist legal scholars who dispute the illegality of the settlements? I don't, and if you don't, then on what basis do you assume that they exist? And if you do know of such scholars, why not just document it? Marsden 05:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
But the people you're talking about are not in the employ of the Israeli government, so it's a false analogy. It would be like insisting that a scientist must be involved with the petroleum industry if he says anything consistent with the industry's views. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:10, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
It's an inexact analogy, not a false one. I expect that, if you cared to, you could easily muster sufficient intellectual ability to understand the relevance. Why would you prefer not to? Marsden 05:39, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
No, it's as false analogy, because the key element in the scientist example is that they're working for the petroleum industry. Any analogy missing this key element is a false one. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:01, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Why again did you prefer not to understand the relevence? Marsden 06:15, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I don't need to do any such thing; rather, you would need to prove your original research, since you're the one making the claim, if the insertion were even relevant, which it is not. And your resorting to rallying uninterested reverters to your cause [52] [53] [54], along with your again making it clear that your only purpose here is to revert and demonize me [55], means that you are essentially dismissed again. Come back when you're willing to edit in good faith, until then I have no interest in your sophistry. Jayjg (talk) 05:17, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
"Sophistry," eh? You mean like, insisting that someone come up with a negative existence proof, as you are doing? And, as for "rallying uninterested reverters," where perchance did SlimVirgin come from in this article? You're honestly a hypocritical ass, Jay, as this discussion quite ably demonstrates. Marsden 05:39, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

By the way, Marsden, I didn't link to an article by Dershowitz, and the fact that some of the legal scholars who make this argument are sympathetic to Israel doesn't prove that all who make this argument are sympathetic to Israel. And, of course, keep in mind the other issues raised above with your POV insertion. Jayjg (talk) 04:43, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Again, name just one who has not demonstrated himself otherwise to be pro-Israeli. Marsden 05:18, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Again, the onus of proof is on you. Jayjg (talk) 05:32, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Right: insist that I craft a negative existence proof. Slim, you like to pretend to know something about philosophy from time to time: would you care to clarify for Jay why his position is unreasonable? I certainly won't be surprised when you don't. Marsden 05:48, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Marsden, you're just trying to poison the well by adding that the scholars are "sympathetic," and your definition of "sympathetic" is probably that they dispute the designation. The extent to which their political sympathies have affected their views is your own personal opinion. What's important is that they're legal scholars. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, you must asume good faith. It is suspicious that a certain scholar disputes the designation, and since Julius Stone (who is being cited) is a descendant of Jewish refugees then some type of qualifier needs to be used to differentiate objective sources with those who are "sympathetic" with Jewish causes. Otherwise there is non-NPOV. --Vizcarra 05:35, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
How odd that you insist SlimVirgin has to assume good faith, but say nothing about Marsden's comments below. It's also amazing that you think that anyone who is a Jew is, by definition, not "objective". Jayjg (talk) 10:34, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • It shouldn't be too odd if you remember that you have been "reminded that edit-warring is harmful to Wikipedia's mission" and that you were "advised to use Wikipedia's dispute resolution procedure in preference to attempting to control content through the use of reverts". You can read it again here Proposed_decision#Jayjg. It is not Marsden who has been warned about this type of issue.
  • Can you show me where I said that <<anyone who is a Jew is, by definition, not "objective">>? --Vizcarra 10:49, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
No, it is quite odd, since your comments about assuming good faith were to SlimVirgin, not to me. Moreover the comments about edit-warring apply to all Wikipedia editors, including Marsden, and especially you, Vizcarra, who have never edited here before, have no idea of the subject and issues involved, and only came here to revert-war me specifically at the behest of Marsden. Your awareness of the Arbitration Committee ruling regarding edit-warring indicates that you would have no defence whatsoever for doing it yourself. As for your comment, you insisted that one must differentiate between "objective observers" and "a descendant of Jewish refugees" who you believe must be ""sympathetic" with Jewish causes". Since essentially all Jews are "descendants of Jewish refugees", by definition you are saying none of them are objective, and that they must be "differentiated". That is disturbingly close to anti-Semitism. Jayjg (talk) 10:59, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Since SlimVirgin and you seem to use the exact same arguments (like in this case, she has been repeating the "poisoning the well" excuse after you used it first) and SlimVirgin magically appears when you get involved in edit-warring, it shouldn't be odd. Next time she will probably remember that you have been recommended not to participate in edit-warring and may not get involve herself or himself. She accused Marsden of "poisoning the well" instead of assuming good faith, that is that he was probably trying to give proper weight to the opinion of the oddball in discussion (the one scholar who seems to be at odds with reputable international organizations) she is just assuming bad faith. That's why it shouldn't be odd.
  • About the rest or your comments, let me parse your remark to analyze it piece by piece:
  • As for your comment, you insisted
To insist indicates persistance. This is the only remark about this topic I have written.
  • that one must differentiate between "objective observers" and "a descendant of Jewish refugees" who you believe must be ""sympathetic" with Jewish causes".
For someone to have a bias, there has to be a reason. In your case, your strong bias and POV-pushing could have originated from the only fact that you are a Jew. This fellow is at odds with reputable international organizations, to claim that he is biased there has to be a motive. In this case the motive is that he is a direct descendant of Jewish refugees. And feels sympathetic for the Israeli cause. Somebody who does not have that background or any other reason pro- or against the issue, any type of agenda does not have a reason not to be objective.
  • Since essentially all Jews are "descendants of Jewish refugees", by definition
I never gave a definition.
  • you are saying none of them are objective, and that they must be "differentiated"
Incorrect. See above.
  • Since essentially all Jews are "descendants of Jewish refugees", by definition you are saying none of them are objective, and that they must be "differentiated". That is disturbingly close to anti-Semitism.dant of Jewish refuges and is not biased
Nice original research on your part. But... again, incorrect. "I fell because there was a stone" doesn't imply that I will fall every time a stone is present.
  • That is disturbingly close to anti-Semitism.
It would be indeed, not disturbingly (unless you have a very lenient concept of "disturbingly") if I had said such thing. --Vizcarra 11:33, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Do you find that any more disturbing than the fact that your first edits on this article (on the 27th) were to revert me? Does this obvious hypocrisy embarass you? Another reason you're dismissed. Jayjg (talk) 05:32, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Missfire, Jay. You are a hypocritical ass because you criticize other people for recruiting reverters just as you have recruited SlimVirgin on at least two occasions. I criticize you for this, and correctly so, as I'm sure any objective observor would agree. I also monitor your edits because I consider you, with good reason, to be a POV-pusher. You seem to monitor what other editors do for similar reasons, but I have never criticized you for this: it is a valid thing for someone to do in order to combat POV in Wikipedia. You are demonstrably a hypocrit, but your accusation that I am a hypocrit falls short. Sorry. Marsden 05:45, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Other people monitor my edits as well, and they don't like seeing POV pushers revert me by inserting unsourced well-poisoning POV pushing. Your personal attacks have again made this page impossible; I will not be responding to you again until you apologize and promise to desist. Jayjg (talk) 05:48, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
That'll admittedly be my loss: all of my interactions with you leave me feeling much better about the sort of person I am. Or maybe, more precisely, about the sort of person that I am not. Marsden 05:57, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Marsden, no one "recruited" me. I have this on my watchlist and saw you reverting, so I came to see what your latest effort to cause trouble was. I see you're turning this into another toxic talk page. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:58, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Right ... Can you remind me of how the toxicity at the Israeli-occupied territories article was resolved? Was it that finally it became clear to you and Jayjg that you didn't have the numbers successfully to promote your POV title preference? When you and Jay finally stopped pushing your agenda there, most of the remaining people -- including MPerel, who originally tended to favor your position -- were fairly pleased with the article's progress. So whose fault is it that talk pages become toxic? And how productive is it for you to have made such an accusation here? You tried, at the other talk page, to remove the rancor from the discussion -- why not go one step further here and refrain from contributing to it in the first place? Marsden 06:11, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
It started to get resolved when your back-up Saxet briefly stopped posting. I then withdrew because the page had become too toxic. You're right that toxicity disappears when the opposition withdraws and you get your own way, but that's no way to approach Wikipedia. You could (presumably) be just as forceful without resorting to personal smears, and yet that's always your first port of call. You mention MPerel, but my memory is that she withdrew too. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:15, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Right ... And how would you characterize Jay's assertion that my wording change was "intended to poison the well?" Marsden 06:23, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I would characterize it as accurate. SlimVirgin (talk) 07:02, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm reminded of a William Faulkner quote. Marsden 07:11, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

In the same way that the disagreement over "broadly regarded as illegal" was settled by being very specific, I suggest that we resolve this impasse in the same way: by directly naming the legal scholars who have disputed the illegality designation. Thoughts? I'll make a first pass. Marsden 16:27, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

"(Julius Stone) is a descendant of Jewish refugees"

Vizcarra is now using the rationale that because "(Julius Stone) is a descendant of Jewish refugees", one can therefore designate him as "sympathetic to Israel". While his reason for reverting is actually only animus towards SlimVirgin and me, it is worth examining this rather bizarre claim. By this rationale one could also state that Norman Finkelstein is "sympathetic to Israel", yet he is one of Israel's fiercest critics. Jayjg (talk) 05:55, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree that the fact that Julius Stone is of Jewish heritage does not preclude him from being an objective scholar on the legality of the territories. Were anyone to suggest that he is an objective scholar on this matter, his other writings would have to be examined. Marsden 06:01, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Exactly (to your first sentence). I do think, however, that the onus is on whoever wants to claim Stone is not objective to demonstrate it. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 06:20, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree. However, he has not yet been presented as an objective scholar. I don't happen to think that he is objective, but I'm not going to go around proving that one scholar after another is biased when they haven't even been promoted as being unbiased. Marsden 06:25, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Well we know Stone was a respected legal expert according to sources: "Within his particular specialty of public international law, it could also be accepted that he was a respected and orthodox scholar." [56] As far as his bias, we only have our wikipedian opinions (which don't belong in the artice)...unless there is a quote by someone (not a wikipedian) who reports his legal opinion as biased or unbiased, we don't need to (nor does Wikipedia policy allow us to) qualify his legal opinion one way or the other. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 07:08, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
On Julius Stone: "He had a life-long commitment to Israel, argued through such works as Stand Up and Be Counted (1944)." [57] Marsden 07:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Julius Stone was Challis Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law at the University of Sydney from 1942 to 1972. He was, and is, recognised internationally as one of the premier legal theorists. His thinking, particularly in the areas of human rights and social justice, profoundly influenced generations of students who went on to make major contributions to the life and culture of Australia, on the Bench, in political life, and in the professions. He died in 1985.

Professor Stone was born on 7 July 1907 in Leeds, Yorkshire, the son of Lithuanian Jewish refugees, and was educated on scholarship at Oxford (BA, BCL, DCL), Leeds (LLM) and Harvard (SJD) Universities. The combination of British and American traditions marked his work throughout. He taught at Harvard, where he was associated with the great American jurist Roscoe Pound, and briefly at Leeds. He was Dean of Law at Auckland University College before being appointed to the University of Sydney Law School.

Professor Stone came to Sydney to assume the Challis Chair in 1942. His appointment was wrapped in controversy driven by the perceived radicalism of his jurisprudential stance, the desire of some to keep the Chair open for candidates in the armed forces, and, it has often been suspected, Stone’s identity as a Jew. Nevertheless Stone was appointed, after a stormy debate waged in the newspapers and in Parliament, and punctuated by the resignations of the Chancellor and two Fellows of the University Senate. Indeed, Stone’s appointment was crucial in the evolution of University governance, reinforcing the primacy of academic judgement, vested in the Academic Board, in appointments.

Thus Professor Stone embarked on his long career at Sydney. His output was marked by rigorous research, and he built up a substantial research establishment in a new Department of Jurisprudence and International Law. He was a committed and inspirational teacher as well as being instrumental in founding the Sydney Law Review and the Australian Society for Legal Philosophy.

Professor Stone worked equally in international law and jurisprudence. On the jurisprudential side, he wrote many articles and a trilogy on jurisprudence. His most influential jurisprudential works were The Province and Function of Law (1946) and Precedent and Law: Dynamics of Common Law Growth (1985).

In these works, and indeed throughout his life, he was concerned with the context-bound nature of legal research, the openness of judicial interpretation and how principled means might be found by which judges should exercise their interpretative latitude. He drew heavily on sociology and on a concern for policy in adjudication. He argued strongly for a legal practice that would incorporate, as an integral part, concern for human rights and social justice...[58]
Jayjg (talk) 09:34, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone dispute ... ?

Does anyone dispute that the position that the settlements are not illegal correlates very strongly with being pro-Israel, even (and perhaps particularly) among legal scholars?

Does anyone dispute that the phrase, "... some legal scholars have disputed that designation (that the settlements are illegal)" gives the impression that there is no particular correlation between being pro-Israel and believing that the settlements are not illegal?

Does anyone dispute that giving the impression that there is no particular correlation between being pro-Israel and believing that the settlements are not illegal when in fact there is a very strong correlation makes this article misleading in a material way?

Does anyone dispute that Wikipedia should try to avoid having articles that are misleading in a material way?

Does anyone dispute that a logical consequence of all this is that the wording of the phrase quoted above should be changed in order to prevent this article from misleading in a material way?

Does anyone dispute that anyone who reverts the article back to having the phrase quoted above ought to dispute at least one of the items I've named here?

So can those of you who have done exactly this explain yourselves?

Marsden 06:36, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

It's not up to Wikipedians to make correlations and conclusions...that's OR. It's fine to cite sources who do though. Do you have any that make these claims? --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 07:14, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually, yes it is up to Wikipedians to make correlations and conclusions in some respects. Consider for example the matter of undue weight in Wikipedia's NPOV policy, which includes: "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not." If the position that the settlements are not illegal is ABSOLUTELY ONLY held by pro-Isaelis among legal scholars (I'm not asserting at this point that this is the case), then it would be strongly arguable that such a position should not be included in Wikipedia at all because the viewpoint is only held by a "vastly limited" minority, or at least that it should not be included in Wikipedia as a legitimate and objective legal opinion. I wouldn't go this far, but it is clearly wrong to present a legal opinion promoted almost exclusively by people on one side of a conflict as though it was something over which there was very much objective disagreement. We went over similar stuff at Israeli-occupied territories -- that the Israeli government and many of Israel's supporters dispute that the territories are really "occupied" does not mean that Wikipedia should steer clear of using that term to describe them because it is POV: it is only POV in about the way that a court verdict is POV because the party that was ruled against considers it wrong. Marsden 07:37, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

This construction is built on sand. The term "settlement" is heavily politicized and is being used practically exclusively for Jews. Please name any Palestinian settlements or Druze settlements. Attempts to present the conflict as caused by the Israeli settlements are doomed to failure: it began well before 1967 or 1948. Humus sapiens←ну? 11:36, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

??? I may be mistaken in this (perhaps Ramallite will weigh in ...), but my understanding is that the term "settlement" is more objected to by Palestinians than by Israelis -- after all, "settling" implies that the area in question was previously unsettled, which would probably come as news to the people who had been farming and living there for hundreds of years. "Colony" would actually probably be more accurate, but I believe certain parties have strongly objected to that term ... And I don't think anyone argues that the conflict was caused by the Israeli colonies (did that sound better to you?), but only that they exacerbate the existing conflict and stand as an illegal impediment to its ultimate resolution. Marsden 15:36, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Palestinians more often use the Arabic word for "settlements" in referring to the structures, and less often use "colonies" (which is used more often in English-language Palestinian publications). Since it is not disputed that these places are commonly built on confiscated and expropriated property and are for Jews only (hence addressing Humus' point that they are unique in that only Jews can live there, which is why they are singled out as such), the word "settlement" has established a unique definition for itself in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a politically laden phrase. The word "settlement" thus has a pretty negative connotation among Palestinians, making it unnecessary and redundant to harp on "colony" or "illegal outpost" or whatever. Ramallite (talk) 04:27, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

The source cited in the article mentions Stephen Schwebel, former Chief Judge of the International Court of Justice, as one of the legal experts who holds that the settlements are not illegal. I can't find anything mentioning his ethnicity or supposed bias one way or the other, just a biography summarizing his expertise in international law. [59] --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 18:50, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I dont think Schwebel has stated the settlements are legal. What he did write was something along the lines that that the state occuping territory in self-defence from a state which did not hold the legitimate title to the territory had a stronger claim to it (i.e., he meant Israels claim was stronger than that of Jordan and Egypt, although he did not state they actually had a legitimate claim to the entire territory). I assume this is the article cited in Stone, it is available through . I dont think Schwebel is jewish, as a trivia I know the current American judge is a holocaust survivor of Jewish Slovakian origin (although my knowledge of his personal beliefs ends there), Buergenthals position is that the settlements are illegal. The fact that his article is published in AIJAC and not in e.g. AJIL or other scholarly journals (as Schwebels article was) is better evidence of what might be a bias in Stones position than his ethnicity, it should be obvious that not all legal expertise of jewish origin holds the same view as Israel. Cybbe 19:19, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I think you overstate Schwebel's position, MPerel. The pdf says that Stone bases some of his arguments on Schwebel, and it quotes Schwebel as saying that Israel after 1967 had a "better title" to the territory than Jordan did after 1948. But he also held that Jordan had absolutely no legal claim whatever to the territory! To have "better title" to a territory than a party that has absolutely no right to be there at all is not the same as having the right to establish permanent settlements there. Marsden 19:30, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

American position on the settlements

A source has been brought claiming that the American government states that the settlements are illegal. However, other sources are far more nuanced. For example, the Foundation for Middle East Peace has said in its "Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories:

Until the early 1980's, the U.S., like all other states except Israel, viewed Israeli settlements as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. After President Reagan declared that settlements were not "illegal," in contrast to previous U.S. policy, the U.S. took no legal position on settlements, although all subsequent administrations have opposed settlements as an obstacle to peace.

Other sources confirm that Reagan did not consider the settlements to be illegal, stating in a February 2, 1981, interview: "As to the West Bank and the settlement there, I disagree with the previous administration as they referred to them as illegal. They're not illegal--not under U.N. resolutions that leave the West Bank open to all people, Arab and Israeli alike. . . .", that subsequent administrations did not refer to them as illegal, but as an obstacle, and George W. Bush has implied that the settlements are acceptable.[60] Can we either get a definitive statement from the government itself regarding its position, or some more accurate view of the government's position, rather than inserting one specific POV on it? Jayjg (talk) 00:58, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

The position that the settlements may be acceptable is not the same as regarding them as legal, there's an important difference between accepting the settlements and endorsing them. As for the U.S. position, there are several sources that imply they regard them as illegal although the word itself is not used. for instance:

QUESTION: Are they legal? Are they illegal or legal? And what's the position regarding annexation of land?

AMBASSADOR WELCH: You heard our position. We have a concern about unilateral actions that could prejudice getting to final status negotiations, that could complicate getting there. That's our position.

" [61]

And from the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee:

"During the half-century of its existence, Israel has had the strong support of the

United States. In international forums, the U.S. has at times cast the only vote on Israel's behalf. Yet, even in such a close relationship there are some differences. Prominent among those differences is the U.S. Government's long-standing opposition to the GOI's policies and practices regarding settlements. As the then-Secretary of State, James A. Baker, III, commented on May 22, 1991:

Every time I have gone to Israel in connection with the peace process, on each of my four trips, I have been met with the announcement of new settlement activity. This does violate United States policy. It's the first thing that Arabs — Arab Governments, the first thing that the Palestinians in the territories — whose situation is really quite desperate — the first thing they raise when we talk to them. I don't think there is any bigger obstacle to peace than the settlement activity that continues not only unabated but at an enhanced pace.24

The policy described by Secretary Baker, on behalf of the Administration of President George H. W. Bush, has been, in essence, the policy of every American administration over the past quarter century. 25"[62]

And of utmost importance regarding official U.S. policy, from the currrent American foreign secretary:

QUESTION: Lynnell Burkett, San Antonio Express-News. There is concern among the Palestinians about expansion of the settlements near Jerusalem. And do you plan to pressure the Israeli Government not to expand settlements at this particular time?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, our policy is very clear: The expansion of settlements ought to stop; settlement activity ought to stop. We've also been very clear that we are particularly concerned about any kind of activity that would prejudge the outcome of a final status agreement and that it is contrary to American policy for Israel to do so.


But absolutely we are saying to the Israeli Government with absolute certainty that the settlement activity ought to stop. They say that this is the beginning, this is planning, this is tendering, but we are very concerned that there not be any land taken here that could be viewed to be some kind of attempt to get ahead of a final status agreement. [63]

A press briefing in 2004:

QUESTION: During a background briefing at the White House held by three high Administration officials, I asked to explain the contradictions between the President's new initiative, allowing settlements on the West Bank and calling for the Palestinians to dispense with a right of return, and 242 and 338, and so on. (Inaudible).

Could you tell us, really, if there has been a departure from the U.S. position, longstanding position that the settlements are an obstacle to peace? Has there been a marked departure yesterday in the President's statement?

And I will have a follow-up on that.

MR. BOUCHER: No, there is no change in U.S. policy on settlements. The United States has -- (laughter) -- look, the United States has supported the roadmap. Yesterday's discussions always talked about the roadmap. As you know, the roadmap itself talks about a freeze on settlement activity. The United States has always felt that settlements were indeed one of the difficulties that had to be resolved in a final -- in a negotiation, when it came to territory, which is a final status issue.[64]

I think this shows there is enough evidence to conclude at least that the US view the settlements as: A) an obstacle to peace B) prejudging the final outcome of negotiations; and C) being contrary to US policy. I see the Bush statement as a pragmatic acceptence of the reality of the settlements but not an endorsement of their legal status, and the US position reflected in the above-mentioned quotes should be reflected. Cybbe 18:51, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
This just proves that the U.S. studiously avoids calling them illegal, but rather considers them an "impediment", "ill-advised", etc. Jayjg (talk) 19:32, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
My conclusion didnt include the US calling them illegal. Note also that Ramalite reached the same points with different sources. Cybbe 20:25, 2 November 2005 (UTC)


Although I haven't read as far back as what people in the 70's and 80's said, the current US policy consists of the following points:
  • The US is opposed to any expansion in settlement activity [65].
  • News that Israel plans further expansion of settlements around Jerusalem was referred to by Dr. Rice as an act "that would contravene American policy." [66]
  • The US is "concerned" that settlements prejudge the final status agreements, and as such, Secretary Rice said U.S. policy "is very clear: The expansion of settlements ought to stop; settlement activity ought to stop." [67]
  • It is also US policy that any final agreements on borders must take into account existing "major population centers". In a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister, the US president wrote "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities." [68].
  • The US has more recently distanced itself from the above declaration, instead preferring to emphasize that any future borders must be determined by mutual agreement only. In October 2005, Bush said "Israel should not undertake any activity that contravenes its road map obligations or prejudices the final status negotiations with regard to Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. This means that Israel must remove unauthorized posts and stop settlement expansion. It also means that the barrier now being built to protect Israelis from terrorist attacks must be a security barrier rather than a political barrier...As I said in my comments that we expect all parties to adhere to the road map, and we are holding people to account on the pledges that both the Palestinians and the Israelis have made on the road map. And we do so publicly and we do so privately." [69][70]
To summarize, I do not see where current US policy classifies the settlements as illegal. The US policy can be summarized as follows: It is staunchly against expansion of settlements, it recognizes that major population centers (i.e. the major settlement blocks and not all settlements) have to be taken into account for the final status negotiations, but all arrangements on these issues must be arrived at mutually with the Palestinians.
This article referred to above was written in 1997. Are there any recent sources that suggest that the US (i.e. the Bush administration) regards all existing settlements as 'acceptable'? I don't think that word has been used by analysts to refer to all settlements. Ramallite (talk) 19:17, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
The article I linked to specifically stated as much. Given the U.S.'s deliberately ambiguous statements regarding legality, I think any reference to its position in opening should either be much more highly nuanced, or eliminated entirely. Jayjg (talk) 19:32, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
"Acceptable" is not the same as legal. A reference to the American position, which should be given but not necessarily in the opening paragraph as it might take up too much space for an introduction, should include the points mentioned by both Ramalite and myself and the recent statement from Pres. Bush shown in the link. Note also, "implying that the settlements were acceptable" is not what Bush said, it (at least partially) contradicts more recent statements from e.g. Rice and is what the author of your article makes of it.
I believe the summary from Ramalite sums up the US position quite well. Cybbe 20:25, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
I actually don't think the intro is the place for it, but it could be mentioned somewhere else along with the EU and other positions as a separate section or part of an existing section. The UNSC mention in the intro should suffice. Also note that what the US voiced support for taking into account "major israeli population centers", not all settlements as implied by the CRC report. This (based on Haaretz and other sources) was based on PM Sharon's request, and the Israeli government specifically mentioned (in its own circles) Maaleh Adumim, Ariel, Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba, and Givat Zeev [71] (probably better primary sources exist) Ramallite (talk) 22:58, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree - UNSC is enough, the American position is too complex, and should be presented in a later section, along with other relevant opinions. I agree, the American position does appear to be "major centers" should be taken into account, not all. Jayjg (talk) 16:38, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Removal of quote by Yoram Sadeh

Doron, I disagree with your removal of the quote by Yoram Sadah as an "un-notable individual opinion". First of all, he actually does have some notability as the peace activist son of General Yitzhak Sadeh, one of the founders of the IDF. Secondly, I cited his quote from the Jerusalem Post, which is an accepted encylopedic source. Thirdly, I think it's appropriate in the discussion of the settlements being "an obstacle to peace" to cite a source who expresses a general attitude that exists about the settlements, that it's not Jews settling there that incites Palestinians, but rather the conditions under which they are there, legal or not. I'd like to re-add the material pending feedback from Doron and/or others. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 19:01, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

I have to agree with the deletion, MPerel. I personally find in an interesting perspective, but there are a couple fatal problems with it, as far as including it in Wikipedia. First, it is essentially an Israeli's interpretation of the Palestinian perspective -- a secondary source. It's probably accurate, but I can't imagine that there is such a dearth of Palestinians offering their perspective that an Israeli has to be found to speak for them. Second, he's not really that notable within the context of this article. In an article on Israeli peace activists, he would be notable, but here he is marginal. That said, it would be nice to replace his quote with something that gives a broad Palestinian perspective. Marsden 20:37, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree, MPerel. Sadeh is a well-known Israeli peace activist, and has been one since 1967. It's an important view, especially because it comes from the left-wing activist camp. Jayjg (talk) 21:17, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
As I know him well, I will not take a stand. gidonb 21:19, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Marsden. Furthermore, I strongly disagree with your assertion that he is notable, I'm a peace activist myself and I've never heard of him, he gets a very modest Google hit both in Hebrew and English, compared to peace activists that are notable, and who his father was is irrelevant, nor which newspaper published his article. And even if he were as notable as, say, Uri Avnery, I don't think that would warrant a quote of what is after all just his personal political opinion. For your purpose, it would suffice to write "some Israelis think that ..." and provide a link. Still, I'd look for someone more notable than this rather obscure peace activist.--Doron 21:36, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to stay neutral here because I'm conflicted between adhering to Wikipedia policy and really liking this article which stuck in my head ever since reading it for the first time in the mid 90s. However, in response to Doron's suggestions, here is a source by a notable Israel-based peace organization, and here is another by a notable peace activist. While they don't echo Sadeh word for word, there is some element of similarity. I think it's possible to meld these with Sadeh's piece and make a better statement out of it. Ramallite (talk) 21:58, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
It appears Sadeh is a lot more prominent than what I think, everyone here seems to know him. Could you refer me to more information about him, as the web has precious little about him or by him. Is he a prominent scholar or leader, or does he hold a high position in a peace movement?
Anyway, I'm still not sure he's important enough to get a quote. He suggests the settlements can remain under Palestinian rule and thus are not necessarily an obstacle to peace, an opinion (which I personally subscribe to) that is not very prevalent in Israel, but is certainly an interesting opinion. I think this opinion must certainly be mentioned (with a link to articles such as Sadeh's). Ramallite, I'm note quite sure I see the similarity between your links and the quote in question, I may have misread them, but I'm in a terrible hurry (sorry), did I get it all wrong?--Doron 11:58, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the only context that I have ever heard of Sadeh was this article which I read a long time ago. I had not heard of him before then, and have not since. I don't think that he holds any prominent positions though. He has another prominent article "Over the Next Hill" and maybe an essay listed here (both mid 90s), but other than that, he is not known by very many it seems. You are right that the other sources I quoted do not really bear much resemblance to Sadeh's proposal regarding letting settlements stay under Palestinian sovereignty, but they do seem to echo his sentiment that Jewish "superiority" among Palestinians is the actual problem, although I read it in a hurry as well. I agree that it may be worth mentioning Sadeh's proposal, but in context of an overall statement that refers to opinions of peace activists on settlements and not necessarily singling Sadeh out by himself. Ramallite (talk) 14:31, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Have a look at the paragraph I have added, what do you think?--Doron 11:55, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Looks good to me. If it ever comes true, I hope some of these settlements have good bowling alleys, we don't have any bowling alleys in Ramallah! Ramallite (talk) 15:44, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I think shooting ranges are more popular.--Doron 20:49, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Thank you Doron (and Ramallite and everyone else who offered feedback). The new paragraph is a good compromise. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 11:37, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Israeli settlements

I thought I'd point out that there is an article with an almost identical name (Israeli settlements) which is dedicated to a very peculiar interpretation of the term. The article claims that all Israeli communities (including cities in Israel proper) are "settlements." This is an argument that I think most people from both sides of the dispute would strongly disagree with. I have no problem with debating this usage, but the page seems to be designed to deceive people, since most of the pages that connect to the stub were actually intended as links to this page. I think it should be deleted, or, at the very least, edited and merged with this page. -- 17:50, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Anon, you are statement is false and is totally against the Wikipedia rules. While there is place for improvement, the article Israeli settlements is precisely about what is in the title, that is Israeli settlements. This article has Israeli settlement as its title, Israeli settlements in bold and discusses only a small minority among the Israeli settlements. Only those which are outside Israel's souvereign territories. As such, it is misleading and POV. gidonb 16:59, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I cannot assume good faith when you have demonstrated none. You made your case here 2 months ago and it was rejected by all parties. You then created the stub without any consensus, or even a single supporter, and through its creation redirected many of the links which were intended to link here. I would call that acting in bad faith. As has been pointed out to you on numerous occasions, the term "Israeli settlement" commonly refers to communities created by Israeli settlers on land that was annexed after the Six-Day War; it doesn't refer to all Israeli communities. While many people dispute the use of the term, the intended meaning of the word is not an object of dispute. If you want to create an All Israeli Communities are Settlements page, at least do so without redirecting half the links to this page. - 19:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I have not redirected one single article anywhere. As a rule I stay out of political controversies, but rather try to enhance the neutral character of our encyclopedia. It is very convenient to make false accusations from a hidden identity and to admittedly break the rules of our community, but then again, convenience is not everything in life. gidonb 19:17, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Over 75 articles now link to your stub. How do you figure that came to be? - 19:42, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Why don't you check it out yourself, instead of making false accusations? gidonb 19:46, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Let me put it this way: I discovered your stub when someone pointed out to me that the link I had created was redirected to your page. Given your lack of support on this page, I think it's safe to say that some of the other 75 links might be "accidents" as well. - 20:01, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

As I usually do not deal with the most political articles, I have not visited most of them, let alone made any edits there. I reduce bias, rather than create it. gidonb 20:12, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

If you think your position can stand up to debate, why don't we merge the articles? I don't see why they shouldn't be merged; aside from the "s", they have identical titles. - 20:18, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I have always claimed that the entire subject matter in this area should be better arranged. If you have constructive ideas, that would decrease controversy on definitions rather than increase it, I am willing to listen. I can also come up with a better map myself. I have built and increased consensus in many areas of Wikipedia. gidonb 20:38, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

"Jewish neighborhoods that coexist ... (e.g. Hebron and Shechem/Nablus)"

Jewish neighborhoods that coexist with Arab neighborhoods in the same city (e.g. Hebron and Shechem/Nablus) -- is there a Jewish settlement in Nablus? As far as I know, no Israeli settlers reside in Nablus.--Doron 15:04, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, the word coexist means "to exist in mutual tolerance despite different ideologies or interests". Can anyone honestly apply this definition to Hebron? Ramallite (talk) 16:31, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
So why do the settleres keep saying they get along just fine with their Arab neighbors? I wonder.--Doron 00:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
You mean, those Arab neighbours who they are intent on driving out? --Zero 01:44, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
That was said tongue-in-cheek, of course. This is a claim settlers often make, which I personally find hard to believe...--Doron 05:57, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

There may be a few Israeli individuals in Nablus, but there are no neighborhoods with a significant Jewish population. This example should be removed. Also, to call the Israeli-Palestinian "co-existence" in Hebron "not good", would still be a great understatement. gidonb 19:37, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Name change

It has been indicated time and again through documents from leading research and educational institutions and by several contributors that the name of this article uses an extremely narrow and biased definition of the concept "settlement". Further, after recent name changes its name is only one "s" apart from the article Israeli settlements. To overcome the ambiguity on the article's contents, I would like to open a discussion on name change. Proposals anyone? gidonb 06:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Oppose. This is the most common usage of the term. The material in the other article belongs in Geography of Israel, or, if such an article must exist, it ought to be renamed.--Doron 07:44, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

You can of course oppose to anything, but this is not a vote yet, since no specific proposal was made. I summarized the previous developements and called upon anyone to come up with proposals to overcome the extreme ambiguity and biasedness of the current name as noted by several participants. gidonb 07:50, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

And I have stated my opposition to the very idea.--Doron 07:56, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that you only started to review the materials. If you read a lot of newspapers and are less engaged in research on settlements, I can understand your initial reaction. gidonb 08:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your understanding.--Doron 08:06, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

The other page represents a minority position; in fact it, I'm not sure I've ever heard the term "Israeli settlement" used to refer to all Israeli communities. It seems far more logical to change the title of the other article to "Israeli communities," as was suggested on the talk page of that article. This would minimize confusion, and redirect the links that now mistakenly connect there. -Gregor Samsa 15:40, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Settlements are different entities from comunities. You are very welcome however to join the discussion on a possible name change of the Israeli settlements article on its talk page. The links, mostly incorrect, are not influenced by a name change. gidonb 16:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

The problem with the other page is that it claims: "Most Israeli settlements are metropolises, cities, towns, villages, hamlets or farms in the sovereign territory of Israel"--a statment which contradicts the widely understood definition of the term. As a result, the page says almost nothing about the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, etc., their history, the controversy, and so on, which is what people are looking for when they enter the words "israeli settlement(s)." Also, it must be emphasized that the majority of the links to the other site were redirected from this site, since formerly all links using the plural form linked here.

I think the other site should be renamed or merged (either with Israeli geography or this one). A note could be made that some believe the term "Israeli settlement" applies to cities in Israel proper, although some evidence would have to be provided, and so far you have offered none aside from an unpublished power-point presentation and your own emphatic assertions. --Gregor Samsa 20:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Hello Gregor, the two articles have different functions. One deals with Israeli settlements in general and the other deals with Israeli settlements which are specifically located outside Israel proper. These settlements have now become so famous that sometimes they are mentioned without some specificity of the geography they are located within. In many if not most cases OUTSIDE Wikipedia the specific geographic area (e.g. West Bank) or general geographic circumstances (e.g. occupied territories, Palestinian territories) are mentioned next to "Israeli settlement" as otherwise the articles may be misunderstood. We took over the practice of the more sloppy authors and this lack of specificity is misleading and against our policies. After all, these settlements are a minority among the Israeli settlements. I suggest that "Israeli settlement" will be renamed as its current title is highly ambiguous if not to say deceptive. gidonb 00:54, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but this is entirely at odds with Wikipedia conventions regarding the use of common names. Anyone who follows any English-language media sources about Palestine will have a clear idea as to what an Israeli settlement is, and it's what's dealt with in this article, not at the unfortunate Israeli settlements. Of course in French and other languages, the matter is easier as the settlements covered here are referred to as "colonies", and I suppose if you like you could propose that as an alternative title for this page. I suspect, however, that you might encounter some resistance. Palmiro | Talk 13:26, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I am in favor of disambiguization of the name of this article. If you propose colonies we could discuss it. I would like to see different proposals before I will decide which is preferred by me. I think everyone deserves this chance. gidonb 13:33, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, I was being somewhat sarcastic with the reference to "colonies", I must admit. I prefer this location, as it corresponds to general use and general understanding. Equally, I would have no objection to "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories", but you must be aware that "occupied territories" is itself a term that quite a few people object to (on fairly poor grounds, in my view, but the result in any case is an added difficulty to adopting that potential name). I wouldn't lke us to end up with something unwieldy like "israeli settlements in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan". If the article does move, I would still strongly argue that in deference to common use and the principle of least surprise, both "Israeli settlement" and "Israeli settlements" should redirect to it; a redirect pointer at the top such as the one you have just added would in my view be sufficient for the benefit of those really looking for information on settlements (in the broader, human geography sense) in Israel. Palmiro | Talk 13:49, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposals to reduce the ambiguity of this article

Formal attempt to resolve naming issues

A proposal for moving Israeli settlements so the name may redirect to this article has been made. The proposal has implications for the disambiguation debate above. Please refer to Talk:Israeli settlements --Bb3cxv 16:59, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

This proposal has succeeded, and that article now stands at Settlements in Israel. Palmiro | Talk 02:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)