Pre-Hearing Brief In Support Of Application By A Palestinian Tortured In Israel


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X Y is a 34-year old Palestinian from the Occupied Territories of the West Bank, which are under Israeli occupation.   Mr. Y and his family were persecuted by the Israeli military throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.   He came to the United States on October 11, 1993 and applied for asylum on May 27, 1994.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Mr. Y’s parents fled from their hometown in present day Israel to a West Bank refugee camp known as Dair Ammar.  During the June 1967 war, Israel invaded the West Bank and took over Dair Ammar.  In 1972, one year after Mr. Y’s father passed away, the Israeli army transferred Mr. Y’s family to the Am’ari camp near Ramallah, where Mr. Y was detained, beaten, and tortured.   The first incident occurred in 1972 when he was five years old and was trying to protect his 55-year old mother who was being beaten by soldiers.   Between 1972 and 1992, he was placed many times in detention, several times for up to four months.  While in custody, Mr. Y was beaten on the head, torso, teeth, and hands; forced to stand in cold water and keep his arms raised above his head to avoid being beaten; blindfolded and subjected to mock executions; and deprived of sleep during interrogation sessions that lasted more than 24 hours at a time.   The last incident occurred just before he came to America in 1993.   Three of his four brothers also have been subjected to administrative detention and tortured.  His brother Z was once held for 5 years, and eight months ago was again placed in administrative detention.

Despite the Madrid peace talks of 1991 and the Oslo Accords that were signed in 1993 and eventually led to the creation of a Palestinian Authority having control over non-contiguous patches of the West Bank, many Palestinians continue to be persecuted today.  Mr. Y comes from an area of the West Bank that is still under Israeli military control.   Mr. Y faces a very real threat of death or other persecution if he is deported.  Conditions in all of the Occupied Territories, not just the areas that are under Israeli military control, are worse than when he left.   The Israeli government continues to use lethal force against demonstrators in connection with the current uprising in the Occupied Territories.

Mr. Y’s return to the Occupied Territories will be immediately known by his former persecutors because entry into the Occupied Territories is controlled by the Israeli military.   Because he was given a special travel document to leave Israel with the understanding that he may never return, Mr. Y is likely to be detained, interrogated, and subject to further torture.   According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Resource Information Center, Mr. Y is stateless and cannot legally return to the Occupied Territories because he has lost his residency by failing to return to the Occupied Territories every two years to renew his residency papers.   Mr. Y is greatly concerned that he will be mistreated like fourteen Palestinian Americans, who returned to visit the Occupied Territories, were arrested and are currently held in Israeli administrative detention without having been charged.

Mr. Y is eligible to apply for asylum in the United States.   Mr. Y therefore requests that this court grant asylum and withholding of removal and also relief under the Convention Against Torture.  The requested relief is amply warranted in this case because Mr. Y has been brutally persecuted in the past by Israel on account of his nationality, political opinion, and race and has a reasonable fear that he will be killed or persecuted if he is forced to return to any area in the Occupied Territories.

Mr. Y also is entitled to relief under the Convention Against Torture.  In view of the history of torture that will be presented at trial, Mr. Y has substantial grounds for believing he is in danger of being subjected to future “torture” as defined by the Convention should he return to Israeli-occupied Palestine.

Aaron David Miller allegedly an arrant and shameless liar and spear-carrier for Israel


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Aaron David Miller is more than just Israel’s lawyer–“yes …we [Dennis B. Ross, Obama’s current advisor on Middle East affairs, I, and others] were just spear-carriers for Israel [while working for Clinton’s US State Department].  We made a mistake”–he’s allegedly an arrant, shameless liar.  “Not only did the State Department go along with…[Israel’s agenda during the peace process negotiations], but they lied to the Palestinians as to the meaning of the English legal documents that they had drafted, that they were trying to get the Palestinians to accept.  I[, Francis Boyle,] have that story in my…book[, “Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law.”]  You can read it there with the footnotes…The Palestinians would bring the documents together with their mem-coms–the memorandums of conversations–with Djerejian or Ross or Miller etc. and say: “Well, they told us the documents meant this.”  And I said:  “Well, that just isn’t true.  It’s plain English, this is what it means.”  So I would straighten out the real meaning of the document, and then they would go back.  They lied to the Palestinians about what these documents meant.

Francis A. Boyle, Breaking all the Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran and the Case for Impeachment, p.22, Clarity Press, Inc. (2008) (an excerpt from the 18th Bertrand Russell Peace Lecture)

[Why is it when Zionist (Jewish) Americans engage in treason and are loyal really only to Israel to the detriment of US national interests their often at least equally treasonous defenders claim that it is offensive racism to ascribe dual-loyalties to them?  Don’t they understand that they are being accused of things far worse than the very serious charge of having dual-loyalties to the US and Israel, a country that has harmed the US more than its worst enemies and adversaries?]

No Middle East peace possible through negotiations because Israeli strategies are aimed at establishing hegemony over the entire Middle East, conceived of as extending from India to Mauritania, and Muslims everywhere

“[T]he oppression of the Palestinians does not interest the Israeli strategists in the least. It follows that what goes under the name of ‘the solution of the Palestinian problem’, whatever the nature of that ‘solution’ is, cannot bring about peace, because Israeli strategies are aimed at establishing hegemony over the entire Middle East, conceived of as extending from India to Mauritania. Of course, the first victim of Israeli expansionism in search of such a hegemony is the Palestinian nation. But, it should be added, establishing a hegemony over the entire Middle East is more important in Israeli strategic thinking than the extension and the perpetuation of Jewish jurisdiction over the entire land of Israel, however extravagantly its borders may be defined….[In 1983 with all complacency, Ariel Sharon, then defense minister] proposed to India an alliance for the sake of jointly attacking Pakistan, with the aim of destroying the latter’s budding nuclear capability. In this scheme Israel was to supply the aircraft and India the bases. Incidentally, only two years earlier, in 1981, Sharon made a speech, later widely publicized, in which he defined the extension of Israel’s influence from ‘Mauritania to Afghanistan’ as an Israeli aim….The only problem is that this conflicts with US policies, whether avowed or actually pursued. Still, Israel has an enormous latitude for action when the Americans know nothing about Israeli aims because they don’t want to know. Interestingly, all branches of American intelligence may be even more willfully ignorant in this respect than the US media….
[Yoav] Karni [one of the better-informed Israeli strategic commentators] by no means exaggerates when he speaks of an ‘Israeli cosmic struggle against all Muslims.’….
‘If power [in Egypt] is ever seized by Islamic extremists, they will at once have to decide whether to recognize the peace treaty with Israel as binding or not. It will be a most difficult decision for them. If they do recognize the treaty, they will compromise their own ideology. And if they don’t recognize it, they will at once have a war for which they cannot possibly be ready.’….

Under the new conditions of ‘a vacuum [which] was created‘ by the demise of the USSR, and by the increasing vulnerability of the US, Israel clearly prepares itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East which it has always sought covertly, without hesitating to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones. Contrary to what Gazit, Shuval or other Israeli spokesman say, however, this venture is not being undertaken for the sake of benefiting the West. The West is comprised primarily of Gentiles, and Israel is a Jewish state whose sole purpose is to benefit Jews alone. Israel‘s search for hegemony stems from its own time-honored ambitions which now dictate its strategic aims.”

Israel Shahak’s Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies, pp. 31-45

[A well-known critic of Zionism and Israel recently asked in a magazine article about Israel’s disagreement with the US over rapprochement with Iran whether Israel feels threatened by Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.  I guess she is not familiar with what Israel has considered doing with India or via its Zionist agents in the US to undermine Pakistan’s nuclear capability.  People don’t understand how bad off the US really is because of Israel and how much Snowden has harmed Israel and the Zionist enterprise even if he was intended to help them.  ;)  Snowden, even if he was an Israeli agent, has done more harm to Israel than the harm Pollard did to the US which was quite bad.  The harm done to Israel is so bad that he’s actually helped the US at the very least a little bit if not enormously (but that doesn’t mean he should or shouldn’t be punished.  If he had harmed Israel and Zionist agents in the US and elsewhere much more, it would then be difficult to say that he should be punished).  He’s also made the life of Zionists especially Zionist Jews in Congress, their successors and supporters quite difficult.  If I were Obama, I would let both houses of Congress pass declarations declaring war against Iran in the event Israel attacks Iran and at most halfheartedly protest.  He can then invite me to the White House to share some non-alcoholic beer and laugh at them and their stupid Israeli and Zionist masters who just don’t know when to stop digging holes.  There is not going to be any war against Iran, whether by Israel, the US, or both and pretending that one is even a possibility, when you know you cannot have one, is almost as harmful as having one.

Pretending is worse than retrenchment and not as bad as doing something that is grossly counter-productive.  Let them pretend all they want because their pretending is something that now the entire world, including adversarial competitors of the US, understands is exclusive to Israel and its Zionist agents in the US and elsewhere.  Adversarial competitors of the US who are still foolishly relying on Israel and its Zionist agents to help manage their dealings with the US or anyone else are playing with a fire that will consume them.  If the stupid Brazilians buy Swedish jets with Israeli equipment, they will find themselves in a situation that is not much better than the one that Israel is increasingly finding itself in.  Complaining about spying done at the behest of Zionists and Israel and using Israeli equipment and methods by denouncing the US and never denouncing or exposing Israeli spying makes one wonder what the Brazilians might be trying to hide.  The same is true for the Zionist-controlled Germans, French, Spaniards,….  Snowden is a double-edged sword, but you are fools to think that the sword is equally sharp on both sides or all along its generous length that threatens some more than others or that he is even helping the fools who have access to his documents and have refused to put all of them in the public domain.  Keep on reading idiots like Greenwald and the buffoons at The Guardian, The Washington Post, and similar news outlets for entertainment, but certainly not for meaningful analyses.

For God’s sake, how can someone write about NSA spying on OPEC in connection with a Zionist-initiated investigation pursuant to an anticipated US Zionist-DOJ anti-trust suit against OPEC and fail to mention that a conspiracy to control oil prices couldn’t exist because the US made sure that at least the Saudis cheated by overproducing in accordance with US instructions to do as much.  Such a suit would have no merit and wouldn’t achieve anything other than give Israel and Zionists potential leverage in dealings with fools.  The foregoing anticipated suit is similar to the war declarations in support of Israel being considered by Congress.  If I were Obama, I would insist on Zionists, Israel-firsters, and Zionist Jews in Congress passing prospective declarations of war against Iran in support of Israel.  Disgruntled American soldiers or ex-servicemen who have suffered enough because of Israel will take care of at least some of them if Israel is stupid enough to attack and by doing so will send a message to those who rely on Israel and Zionists to protect them while they help enrich Israel, Zionists and their associates.  If the Chinese, Indians, French, Germans, Italians, Spaniards, and Russians and others who have helped Israel and Zionists know what is good for them, they will find a way of undoing Zionist and Israeli enrichment.]

It is impossible not to admire the neatness of the rebuke; the hoisting of the political Zionists with their own petard by rejecting their claims under guise of confirming them….

To return to the general issue, the situation laid down for the Arabs, of Palestine by typical Zionist writers is that these Arabs are political slaves, persons not having the right of ownership of their place of birth, a place indeed which in their hands politically would not exist.

Let us go back to the [Balfour] Declaration.  After it had been published an event occurred which is closely attached to this particular question of national prerogatives, and may serve to close the discussion of it.  The Zionist leaders approached the chief Allied Governments with a request for pronouncements of encouragement and support similar to that which Great Britain had given them.

A deception awaited them. From the French, on the 9th of February, 1918, they received a note which was no more than adequate.  Mr. Sacher, or any other of the Political Committee, would have turned out some-thing much more attractive. It ran:

M. Sokolov représentant des organisations sionistes, a été reçu ce matin au Ministère des Affaires Etrangères par M. Stephen Pichon, qui a été heureux de lui confirmer que l’entente est compléte entre les Gouvernments français et brittanique en ce qui concerne la question d’un établissement juif en Palestine.

Not really a satisfactory statement, it will be seen. The French evaded giving the Zionists any direct guarantee.  They confined themselves to saying that they were in agreement with the British government’s policy.  This left the onus of the policy upon the British,  and the Quai d’Orsay spokesmen gave no pledge at all that they would continue in agreement with it as it developed.  Moreover, the French note was sent with a covering letter in which M. Sokolov was complimented upon the “dévouement avec lequel vous poursuivez la réalisation des voeux de vos co-réligionnaires.”  A very back-handed compliment.  It discounted the whole nationalist and not religious platform which the devoted M. Sokolov was straining to construct.

But it was when Italy was approached that the best-laid scheme really went agley.  Here is the Italian pronouncement, given in London on the 9th of May, 1918, to M. Sokolov by the Marchese Imperiali, the Italian ambassador, “by order of Baron Sonnino”:

In relazione alle domande che gli sono state rivolte il Governo di Sua Maestà é lieto di confermare le precendenti dichiarazioni già fatte a mezzo dei suoi rappresentani a Washington, l’Aja e Salonico, di essere cioé disposoto ad adoperarsi con piacere per facilitare lo stabilirsi in Palestina di un centro nazionale ebraico, nell’intessa pero’ che non ne venga nessun preguidizio allo statofgiuridico e politico delle già esistenti communità religiose ed ai diritti civili e politici che gli israeliti già godono in ogni altro paese.

(In connection with the requests which have been made to it His Majesty’s Government is happy to confirm the previous statements made through its representatives in Washington, The Hague and Salonica, that is to say that it is prepared to take steps with pleasure in order to facilitate the foundation in Palestine of a Jewish national centre, on the understanding however that no prejudice shall arise through it to the legal and political status of existing religious communities and to the civil and political rights already enjoyed by Israelites in any other country.)

The Italian Government in its pronouncement put in the missing words which made all the difference.  Since the petitioners who had asked for a declaration had caused the Palestine population to be divided into “communities,” the Consulta took care to signify that this division was a religious one.  It spiked the guns of Lord Balfour and Dr. [Chaim] Weizmann who had used the religious idea to make the division into communities, but thereon had treated the communities as national divisions.

More important and more meaning still was the insertion of the words “legal and political status.”  The Italian Government guaranteed that the National Home should not prejudice those very fundamental rights of Arabs which the Balfour Declaration deliberately had excised.  With entire politeness it indicated that it was not deceived by the terms of the Balfour document, and that it would not be party to the suppression of native rights.

It is impossible not to admire the neatness of the rebuke; the hoisting of the political Zionists with their own petard by rejecting their claims under guise of confirming them — just as they had drafted for the Arabs; the elegant assumption that Lord Balfour had intended a genuine guarantee and that Italy would make it more to his mind by making it watertight.

This Italian guarantee was given, need it be said, long before the days of Fascism, by the old Italian Kingdom, democratic and liberal, so that it cannot be ascribed to rivalry or spite or other such motive.  It puts Italy in a strong position at present, it is simply an example of how honesty can indeed be the best policy. Not surprisingly, it has been kept rather quiet.  The version of it with which Mrs. Andrews credits M. Sokolov in her The Holy Land Under Mandate is not exact.  Mrs. Andrews quotes Italy as safeguarding only the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities or the legal or political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” The Italian Declaration is turned thus into another Balfour Declaration.  The true version, given by M. Sokolov, in the original Italian just cited, is very different and stands to this day, with formidable implications attached to it upon which it is unnecessary to dilate.

Excerpt from J. M. N. Jeffries, The Balfour Declaration, Monograph Series No. 7, pp. 18-20, The Institute for Palestine Studies, Beirut, 1967, which is a reprint of Chapter 11 of Jeffries’ book Palestine: the Reality (Longman, Greens, and Co., 1939)

In doing Israel’s bidding, Obama digs a hole for himself and Israel and ends up helping the Palestinians

In doing Israel’s bidding, Obama helps the Palestinians

Obama Strengthens Palestinian Case for UN Membership and Recognition of Statehood

In doing Israel’s bidding, Obama digs a hole for himself and Israel and ends up helping the Palestinians make the case for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood and membership in the organization.

In a recent interview with the BBC [1], US President Barack Obama unwittingly helped the Palestinians rather than the Israelis by criticizing the Palestinian plan to have the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (GA) recognize Palestinian statehood [2].

He most probably criticized the plan because — if it is pursued properly — it would 1) help level the negotiating-leverage playing field, and 2) result in international law becoming again a factor in resolving the dispute.

During the past almost two decades of primarily US-dishonestly-brokered/facilitated [3] Sisyphean peace negotiations, Israel has had, courtesy of the US, an unconscionably immoral negotiating leverage.

The leverage has been amplified by the success of the US and Israel at 1) not allowing international law to be a factor in the negotiations for resolving the dispute and 2) preventing many others, who have an interest in seeing justice and international law upheld, from speaking or acting without fear of retribution, much less participating.  Only those who are subject to Israeli and Zionist intimidation or manipulation have been allowed (and trusted by Israel) to participate in the peace negotiations [4].

Obama’s comments open door to history Israel needs desperately to be ignored

In response to the question of whether the US would veto [5] a General Assembly resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood, Obama stated (in the reverse order in which he made his statements): 1) that the US (, which has not been sympathetic to symbolic efforts in the past,) “is [not] going to be particularly sympathetic towards” such efforts; 2) that such an effort would be symbolic; 3) that the problem cannot be solved at the UN; and 4) that the union of Hamas and Fatah makes it very difficult for Israel to say that it is going to sit across the table from somebody who denies its right to exist.

Given the nature of the indisputable historical context into which his words emerge, nothing of what he said helps Israel, or even the US to the extent that the US wants to maintain Israel’s unfair negotiating advantage and allow it to continue its egregious flouter of international law.  Each of the four foregoing points will be examined below in its proper historical context.

At the conclusion of the examination, the reader will agree, at the very least, that Obama’s statements 1) harm Israel’s case significantly by opening again the door to the examination of a history that Israel and the US need desperately to be ignored and 2) will actually help pave the way for the Palestinians and others to get recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN, with or without US support, and ultimately membership in the UN in accordance with Resolution 181, as hard as it might be to believe such a thing right now.

The combination of Obama’s harmful statements and the likely favorable outcome for the Palestinians — and even though an ardent, knowledgeable Zionist would have almost certainly said exactly what Obama stated — might make one wonder whether Obama secretly intended [6] to help the Palestinians, but one most likely will also recognize that for positions with little or no merit — and Israel’s position is a classic example — both honest or disingenuous defenses unavoidably lead to the same unfavorable conclusion and ultimately a full and honest reckoning….

1 Transcript: Andrew Marr interview with President Obama, BBC News,
2 Palestinian officials have also mentioned the possibility of seeking full UN membership for Palestine despite the risk of a US veto.  It would be desirable to put the US in the position of being forced by Israel to veto full UN membership for Palestine.  Unlike the US, irrespective of which of the two possible outcomes holds, the Palestinians win, and the US can only win if the Palestinians succeed in their bid for full UN membership.
3 See Naseer Aruri, Dishonest Broker: The Role of the United States in Palestine and Israel, South End Press, Cambridge, 2003.
4 That’s the most honest and accurate description of the category in which the Quartet resides.
5 The interviewer, Andrew Marr, actually asked him twice whether the US would veto a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood when such a resolution, as opposed to one for gaining membership in the UN, is presented in the General Assembly, where the US does not have the power to veto.
6 Given Obama’s atrocious record in supporting Israeli war crimes and violations of international law and his recent speeches regarding Palestine, it is highly unlikely that Obama would now suddenly want to ‘secretly’ help the Palestinians.

Statement of the US State Department Legal Adviser Regarding Illegality of Israeli Settlements in Occupied Territories

Statement of the US State Department Legal Adviser



April 21, 1978

Dear Chairmen Fraser and Hamilton:

Secretary Vance has asked me to reply to your request
for a statement of legal considerations underlying
the United States view that the establishment of
the Israeli civilian settlements in the territories
occupied by Israel is inconsistent with international
law.  Accordingly, I am providing the following in response
to that request:

As noted above, Israeli armed forces entered  
Gaza, the West Bank, Sinai and the Golan Heights in 
June, 1967, in the course of an armed conflict.  Those 
areas had not previously been part of Israel’s sovereign 
territory nor otherwise under its administration.  By  
reason of such entry of its armed forces, Israel estab- 
lished control and began to exercise authority over these 
territories; and under international law, Israel thus be- 
came a belligerent occupant of these territories. 

  Territory coming under the control of a belligerent 
occupant does not thereby become its sovereign territory.  
International law confers upon the occupying state author- 
ity to undertake interim military administration over the 
territory and its inhabitants; that authority is not un- 
limited.  The governing rules are designed to permit  
pursuit of its military needs by the occupying power, to 
protect the security of the occupying forces, to provide  
for orderly government, to protect the rights and inter- 
ests of the inhabitants and to reserve questions of ter- 
ritorial change and sovereignty to a later stage when the  
war is ended.  See L. Oppenheim, 2 International Law 432- 
438 (7th ed., H. Lauterpacht ed., 1952); E. Feilchenfeld, 
The International Economic Law of Belligerent Occupation  
4-5, 11-12, 15-17, 87 (1942); M. McDougal & F. Feliciano, 
Law and Minimum World Public Order 734-46, 751-7 (1961); 
Regulations annexed to the 1907 Hague Convention on the  
Laws and Customs of War on Land, Articles 42-56, 1 Bevans 
643; Department of the Army, The Law of Land Warfare, 
Chapter 6 (1956) (FM-27-10). 

In positive terms, and broadly stated, the Occu- 
pant’s powers are (1) to continue orderly govern- 
ment, (2) to exercise control over and utilize  
the resources of the country so far as necessary  
for that purpose and to meet his own military  
needs.  He may thus, under the latter head, ap- 
ply its resources to his own military objects,  
claim services from the inhabitants, use, requi- 
sition, seize or destroy their property, within  
the limits of what is required for the army of 
occupation and the needs of the local population. 

But beyond the limits of quality, quantum and  
duration thus implied, the Occupant’s acts will  
not have legal effect, although they may in fact  
be unchallengeable until the territory is libera- 
ted.  He is not entitled to treat the country as  
his own territory or its inhabitants as his own 
subjects,...and over a wide range of public pro- 
perty, he can confer rights only as against him- 
self, and within his own limited period of de  
facto rule.  J. Stone, Legal Controls of International 
Conflict, 697 (1959). 

  On the basis of the available information, the civ- 
ilian settlements in the territories occupied by Israel  
do not appear to be consistent with these limits on Israel’s 
authority as belligerent occupant in that they do not seem 
intended to be of limited duration or established to pro- 
vide orderly government of the territories and, though some 
may serve incidental security purposes, they do not appear 
to be required to meet military needs during the occupation. 

  2.  Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention rela- 
tive to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 
August 12, 1949, 6 UST 3516, provides, in paragraph 6: 

The occupying power shall not deport or trans- 
fer parts of its own civilian population into the 
territory it occupies. 

  Paragraph 6 appears to apply by its terms to any 
transfer by an occupying power of parts of its civilian 
population whatever the objective and whether involun- 
tary or voluntary.*  It seems clearly to reach such in- 
volvements of the occupying power as determining the lo- 
cation of settlements, making land available and financ- 
ing of settlements, as well as other kinds of assistance  
and participation in their creation.  And the paragraph 
appears applicable whether or not harm is done by a 
particular transfer.  The language and history of the 
provision lead to the conclusion that transfers of a 
belligerent occupant’s civilian population into occu- 
pied territory are broadly proscribed as beyond the  
scope of interim military administration. 

(*Paragraph 1 of Article 49, prohibits “forcible” 
transfers of protected persons out of occupied territory; 
paragraph 6 is not so limited.)

  The view has been advanced that a transfer is pro- 
hibited under paragraph 6 only to the extent that it in- 
volves the displacement of the local population.  Although 
one respected authority, Lauterpacht, evidently took this 
view, it is otherwise unsupported in the literature, in  
the rules of international law or in the language and ne- 
gotiating history of the Convention, and it clearly seems 
not correct.  Displacement of protected persons is dealt 
with separately in the Convention and paragraph 6 would be 
redundant if limited to cases of displacement.  Another  
view of paragraph 6 is that it is directed against mass 
population transfers such as occurred in World War II for 
political, racial or colonization ends; but there is no 
apparent support or reason for limiting its application  
to such cases. 

  The Israeli civilian settlements thus appear to 
constitute a “transfer of parts of its own civilian pop- 
ulation into the territory it occupies” within the scope  
of paragraph 6. 

  3.  Under Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, 
paragraph 6 of Article 49 would cease to be applicable  
to Israel in the territories occupied by it if and when  
it discontinues the exercise of governmental functions  
in those territories.  The laws of belligerent occupa-  
tion generally would continue to apply with respect to 
particular occupied territory until Israel leaves it or 
the war ends between Israel and its neighbors concerned  
with the particular territory.  The war can end in many  
ways, including by express agreement or by de facto ac- 
ceptance of the status quo by the belligerents.   

  4.  It has been suggested that the principles of 
belligerent occupation, including Article 49, paragraph  
6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention, may not apply in the  
West Bank and Gaza because Jordan and Egypt were not  
the respective legitimate sovereigns of these territor- 
ies.  However, those principles appear applicable whe- 
ther or not Jordan and Egypt possessed legitimate sov- 
ereign rights in respect of those territories.  Protect- 
ing the reversionary interest of an ousted sovereign is  
not their sole or essential purpose; the paramount pur- 
poses are protecting the civilian population of an occu- 
pied territory and reserving permanent territorial changes,  
if any, until settlement of the conflict.  The Fourth  
Geneva Convention, to which Israel, Egypt and Jordan are 
parties, bind signatories with respect to their territor- 
ies and the territory of other contracting parties, and  
“in all circumstances” (Article 1), in ”all cases” of  
armed conflict among them (Article 2) and with respect to 
all persons who “in any manner whatsoever” find themselves 
under the control of the party of which they are not nation- 
als (Article 4). 


  While Israel may undertake, in the occupied terri- 
tories,actions necessary to meet its military needs and  
to provide for orderly government during the occupation,  
for the reasons indicated above the establishment of the 
civilian settlements in those territories is inconsistent 
with international law. 

        Very truly yours, 

             Herbert J. Hansell

[Note that the State Department Legal Adviser’s view of international law undermined the already irreparably ineffective argument by the dimwitted former US Supreme Court Justice and US UN ambassador, Goldberg, that, under UN Security Council Resolution 242, Israel is not obligated to vacate all the occupied territories simply because he had the definite article ‘the’ omitted before the word ‘occupied’ in one, only one, of the three official translations of the resolution over the unanimous, strenuous objections of the rest of the Security Council which, like the US State Department Legal Adviser, had absolutely no doubt about the state of international law before and after the passage of the resolution.  I believe I am the first and only one to point out the foregoing and the first and only one to point out (brilliantly, perhaps) that any agreements between war criminal Ariel Sharon and the George W. Bush administration regarding the settlements would be as unenforceable as one species of alternative reality ‘legal’ agreements such as those signed in a movie or play by actors, prompting the Zionist agent and then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to announce that there were no such agreements despite Israeli insistence to the contrary.  Zionist Jews, many or most of whom are atheist and all of whom are culturally mentally and intellectually stunted, think that if they can get something that means absolutely nothing in writing (like the promise that some Jews gave themselves about some god promising them some land) then somehow it can be binding on others.  The Security Council that ‘patted’ the idiot Goldberg on his head and the US State Department Legal Adviser who ignored Goldberg’s laughable ‘achievement’ at the UN realized and understood the foregoing at some level.  Perhaps, even the dimwitted George Bush and Condo Rice were doing the same: no harm in giving Zionist lunatics led by Sharon something that Adam Albrett will destroy in a few words.  It will only be a matter of time before the entire more than one century-old alternative reality ‘legal’ regime just comes tumbling down.]

Gaza, South Lebanon, and Gaza again: Israeli revisionism of past atrocities, a blank check for present atrocities

To my knowledge no one has shown before, as described below, that 1) there is a pattern of Israel acting aggressively against civilians and political leaders before it withdraws from occupied territory in order to punish them for not giving in to its demands to sign illegitimate agreements that would reflect the imbalance in military power in Israel’s favor and 2) when it is time to withdraw from other occupied territory Israel conveniently forgets that in anticipation of earlier withdrawals it had engaged in extensive illegal collective punishment and falsely claims that withdrawal will invite attacks by its victims. Withdrawal does not invite attacks by its victims. Withdrawal without signing an illegitimate agreement that favors Israel invites savage Israeli attack against civilians and political leaders for not giving Israel the indications of legitimacy that it craves and will never get.

In reading analyses about Israel’s impending withdrawal from Gaza, one is struck by the repeated comparisons made to Israel’s withdrawal from the south of Lebanon about four years ago. The fact that the comparison is reflexively proposed by Israel is reason enough to suspect that the comparison is being misused by the Israeli government and that one would do well to analyze Israel’s hidden motivations for and concealed benefits derived from making this comparison.

Israel claims that, unlike its ‘peaceful’ withdrawal from Lebanon, it is being forced to act aggressively in conducting the withdrawal from Gaza. It goes on to say that it has to act aggressively now so that Hamas will not score a public relations coup or inspire others to believe that Israel was defeated, as supposedly happened after Israel withdrew from Lebanon. If Hamas were allowed to have the satisfaction of a morale boost, the effectiveness of Israel’s military deterrence would be undermined, an undesirable development. By mischaracterizing the past withdrawal as being peaceful, claiming that the past withdrawal was ineffective because it was relatively peaceful, and juxtaposing the mischaracterized past withdrawal with the present withdrawal, Israel hopes to rewrite history and give itself a blank check to act now in a manner as atrocious as it pleases.

The reality is that Israel acted aggressively in anticipation of its withdrawal from Lebanon and is acting aggressively in anticipation of its withdrawal from Gaza. Contrary to the conventional wisdom Israeli aggression in both instances has nothing to do with maintaining the effectiveness of Israeli military deterrence, but everything to do with punishing political opponents whom Israel expected to meet at the bargaining table and from whom Israel expected to receive an award in return for Israel’s withdrawal.

Before Israel withdrew from Lebanon, Israel approached Lebanon and Syria to give it something in return for withdrawing. Both laughed at the request because they knew it was in Israel’s interest to withdraw; so why should they be giving Israel a superfluous incentive to do what it already had sufficient incentive and self-interest. While Uncle Sam’s taxpayers give in to the water pistol at their head and pay Israel to do what it already has an incentive to do, Arabs haven’t reached that level of domination by the Israelis, but they are getting close. Given that Israel’s attempts at extortion failed, Israel understandably felt weak. What to do?

Israel began to think about what it could do now so that the next time it is in this position it can force Arabs to the bargaining table to give it a reward to do what it already has sufficient interest in doing. What to do?

The only thing Israel can do is act aggressively so that Arabs learn that when Israel invites them to make concessions they need to pull out their fancy treaty or parchment paper and start contributing generously: a little money for withdrawal by setting aside part of the Arab economy for strictly Israeli commerce, a mountain side here, a creek and river over there…or maybe a full blown peace treaty with liberal clauses renouncing Arab sovereignty over land, water, air, and trade. What does this have to do with deterrence? Recall that maintaining the effectiveness of Israel’s deterrence was the justification for acting aggressively when withdrawing.

Deterrence discourages actions not invites them. Threats and intimidation, words not used by Israel, invite action. Quite Orwellian, no? As indicated in previous articles, once one accepts the faulty framework established by an opponent one is doomed to make weak arguments and to needlessly grant the upper hand to one’s opponent. When some use the word “deterrence” they often mean the power of threats and intimidation to achieve a desirable and unjust goal. When “deterrence” is misused one should be alerted to the possibility that the one using the word is really a victimizer with a politically weak case but a strong military, and that one should refrain from using the word. Israeli cabinet minister Haim Ramon’s statement that the “[the guerrillas] will pay a price from Israel in order to make it clear to them Israel’s forces are leaving Lebanon” and the observation that the primary victims of Israeli aggression were civilians makes it easy to conclude that “deterrence” is a euphemism for intimidation of and threats to civilians (and ultimately political leaders).

As indicated above, the history of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon has recently been stripped of its aggression, revised and repackaged along with a lesson: that ‘peaceful’ withdrawal was a mistake which encouraged terrorism and Arab military hubris, decreased the effectiveness of Israel’s deterrence, and worst of all inspired the second Intifadah. With the second Intifidah attributed to the withdrawal from Lebanon, the Israeli public and those sympathetic to Zionism-no matter how many lives it unjustly destroys-are now primed to accept even greater horrors than were committed during the withdrawal from the south of Lebanon. Three Hellfire missiles streaking towards a sexagenarian quadriplegic in a wheelchair is not a screen capture from a grotesque video game but the latest exhibition of Israeli punishment of Palestinian leaders for failing to recognize their ‘weakness’ and for failing to reward Israel for its withdrawal.

Having decided that additional aggression is necessary to teach the recalcitrant Arabs or Palestinians a lesson, who should be subjected to that aggression?  It is not mere coincidence that Sheik Yassin a political leader was assassinated or that Lebanese civilians were killed and terrorized in anticipation of the withdrawal from Lebanon. It is they rather than military forces that need to be taught a lesson in anticipation of future encounters in which it is hoped that their successors will know how to behave when Israel demands that they appear at a negotiating table ready to sign what Israel hands them. Israel fought the military forces in the south of Lebanon and in Gaza to a stalemate. Hitting them again would have the analogous efficacy of adding table salt to the ocean or a hand trying to clap by itself. It is the political leadership or their civilian wards that must be taught a lesson, and predictably they have been struck violently. When military power is used against civilians or political leaders with no military authority but authority to reach binding agreements with the wielders of military power, the wielders of military power are demonstrating their power to intimidate and threaten. They threaten and intimidate others to give up rights rather than refrain from aggression.

Again, Israel and its supporters are abusing the word ‘deterrence’ to obscure the big club that it is wielding against political leaders and civilians who will not recognize their political weakness-that only Israel can see-or the military might of Israel (understandably because Israel has not been able to achieve more than a stalemate with Lilliputians).

While one may be tempted to think that experience of Lebanon provides clues as to what Gazans should expect, this is so only because in a shallow examination of history it appears that the withdrawal from Lebanon commenced before the withdrawal from Gaza. However, a deeper examination of history reveals that Israel wanted to get out of Gaza before it even went into Lebanon in 1982. This means that there may have been lessons to be learned from what happened in Gaza that would have helped predict Israeli behavior in its last few days in Lebanon. The remainder of this article examines the utility of 1) the Gaza experience for predicting Israeli behavior upon its withdrawal from Lebanon, and 2) the withdrawal from Lebanon plus the Gaza experience for predicting Israeli behavior in the imminent Gaza withdrawal.

Before delving into an analysis of the Gazan experience the part of history that reveals that the ‘withdrawal’ from Gaza commenced before the withdrawal from Lebanon needs to be explored. Some may know that Israel wanted to withdraw from Gaza soon after occupying it, and again as recently as 11 years ago, or more than 7 years before it withdrew from Lebanon. A former Israeli general and chief-of-staff, Moshe Dayan, may have been the first to offer to withdraw from Gaza. When a senior American diplomat told him that the offer is transparent by half-Israel benefits but what do Palestinians get out of it-Dayan without missing a stride-because he must have prepared himself mentally for rejection, the most likely answer-said “It’s okay, we’ll double-cross that bridge when we get to it.” In September 1993 at the White House signing ceremony attended by Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, and US President Clinton, Ilan Halevi, a Palestinian Jew, Palestine Liberation Organization member, and former Palestinian ambassador to the Socialist International stated that Gaza was offered to the Palestinians from the very beginning of the peace talks. Halevi’s reply to Israel was “Sure. But what will you give us in exchange.” A few months after the White House signing ceremony, Yitzhak Rabin, in reference to Gaza, said, “I wish it would sink into the sea.


Gaza is an epic canvas of human suffering and misery that so saturates the consciousness that one thinks one will never notice anything else, and that’s true until one becomes acquainted with the will, bravery, and steadfastness of its people. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth and where illegal Israeli domination of the economy and restrictions on trade have caused unemployment to reach 50%. A United Nations Relief and Work Agency job posting for 8 garbage collectors resulted in 11,655 persons applying for the jobs. Produce rots because it cannot reach markets which Israel has reserved for itself. Industry is deliberately kept low-tech so that locally produced products cannot compete with Israeli products. People who are so poor that they cannot buy food are subjected to night raids by Israeli troops, not tax collectors, for non-payment of taxes. All of this can be found in 240 square kilometers of Gaza on which 1.2 million Palestinians live, 5,000 persons per square kilometer. Nevertheless, Israel uses 500 lb bombs and missiles to try to assassinate someone who is in the midst of dozens of bystanders. Sometime, shortly after the occupation began in 1967, Gaza became a slum, and even perhaps a ghetto that is most probably larger than any previous ghetto in history. However, today it is undeniably a concentration camp, a gulag by the Mediterranean, where Israeli soldiers lure tiny kids to come out into the street and then shoot them for sport.

While some may think Israel and Zionism are sadistic and their inherent sadism explains the resulting inhumane behavior in Gaza (or even the West Bank), whatever sadism exists in them cannot be the complete explanation for all the past misery in Gaza, (but may explain all of the future misery, as the last paragraph augurs). Long before countries and movements become sadistic they engage in conduct that is remarkably similar but because practical self-interest, even if illegitimate, is the motivation for an achievable goal, even if illegitimate, the conduct cannot be described as being sadistic.

If that is so, then what can be made from the aforementioned comments by Messers Dayan, Halevi, and Rabin? Their statements coupled with knowledge of the magnitude of underdevelopment in Gaza suggests that Gaza’s problems are too extensive and costly to fix. Furthermore, given the population density, Gaza was never a real prospect for long-term settlement by vast numbers of Zionist settlers. Consequently, Gaza is a product that has been sitting on the shelf since 1967 and is eyed by its Israeli ‘seller’ who wants to sell at an unreasonably high price and a buyer, the Palestinian Authority (or Egypt) who only wants it for ‘free’ (i.e., with rights of absolute sovereignty, as explained below). This is the case even though its people are ready to and have the right to assert control over their own freedom. The Israelis do not want to fix Gaza and want to get rid of it, but not by turning it over to its people. Without Israel recognizing the absolute sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority to govern and improve the situation in Gaza as the Authority deems necessary, the Palestinian Authority does not want responsibility for a Gaza whose severe underdevelopment cannot be fixed without the attributes of absolute sovereignty.

Well, what’s the only way to get rid of it if the only identified buyer will only take it in a form (i.e., with absolute sovereignty) that Israel is not willing to sell? Given Israel’s extensive experience with collective punishment, it did not take too long to hit on a sinister formula that seemed to make sense, but most probably never succeeded in history and doesn’t appear to be succeeding in the case at hand. Israel made civilian life in Gaza intolerable in the hopes that the Palestinian leadership in the diaspora or others, out of humanitarian concern, would rush to the negotiating tables and take responsibility for Gaza while allowing Israel to maintain all the attributes of sovereignty.

If the above is an accurate description of the Gaza experience, what would one have expected Israel to do when it arrived at a military stalemate in Lebanon? Conceivably, one would have expected Israel to unleash its military to terrorize civilians and send to their leaders the signal that refusing to negotiate with Israel after a military stalemate has been reached has a cost that civilians (and their leaders) will bear.

The real character of Israel’s withdrawal from the south of Lebanon is congruent with and an extension of the Gaza experience. Despite Israel having reached a legally binding agreement in 1996 with Hezbollah not to target civilians and even though Hezbollah was acting in accordance with the agreement, Israel pursued a scorched earth policy in its last days in Lebanon and attacked civilians indiscriminately and combatants who had not attacked Israel in years. Israeli attacks were accompanied by Israeli foreign minister David Levy’s irrational outbursts in which he threatened Lebanese civilians and children if legitimate resistance to Israeli occupation continued. It was not enough to say the “soil of Lebanon will burn,” but in a Knesset speech he proclaimed that Israel will extract “Blood for blood, soul for soul, child for child.” Beirut’s power plants, which had recently been bombed by Israel resulting in 8 deaths, were bombed a few months and again a few days before the withdrawal resulting in 17 civilians being injured. With one power plant completely destroyed and another out of commission for 18 months, half of Beirut was plunged into darkness and the population was terrorized with repeated low over flights that shattered the windows of hundreds of homes whenever a sonic boom occurred. The destruction of the power plants, shelling of over a dozen villages, and the deaths of civilians and innocent Palestinian fighters who had not fought Israeli soldiers in more than a decade were not enough. Israel brought several tons of explosives to historic Beaufort’s Castle the site of a major battle in 1982 in which Israel received a bloody nose and Israeli soldiers came to respect the bravery of Palestinian fighters. The Lebanese Prime Minister, Mr. Selim Hoss, wrote an impassioned letter to world leaders, pleading for the castle to be saved and saying its destruction would be a crime against history. Who is to say that the inchoate crime of Ehud Barak and his Israeli government didn’t inspire the Taliban when they destroyed the centuries-old historical treasures in Afghanistan?

Israel terrorized civilians in Gaza and in Lebanon but did not succeed at bringing Israel’s opponents to the negotiating table. Domestic pressures forced Israel to withdraw from Lebanon before it could secure a favorable agreement. Economic pressures are now forcing Israel to withdraw from Gaza, the same Gaza it wanted to withdraw from more than 25 years ago. Israel has exhausted its ‘terrorize the civilians bag of tricks,’ and in doing so terrorized Gazans beyond the saturation point, but they are not willing to concede defeat because of the strength of their political, legal, and moral case and the irrelevance of their military weakness. Israel, through Benjamin Netanyahu, even tried the child’s trick of marketing something undesirable (Gaza with an approximation of sovereignty) as a desirable acquisition, by telling Palestinians that they have to give up the right to return to get Gaza. After the failures of state terrorism of civilians and embarrassingly stupid marketing gimmicks, what’s left for Israel?

A pervert petulant prime minister watching a little TV screen in a dark room and knowing that the enduring pleasure of victory, even an unjust one, is nowhere in sight so he must extract on behalf of his people-with whom he is to later share-the imperceptible, fleeting, and unsatisfying satisfaction that can be derived from momentarily reveling at the pain and death of a wheelchair-riding quadriplegic cleric who is returning to the home that the cleric left before sunrise to go with others to worship God.

See Peace & Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine In The Middle East Process, Edward Said, Vintage Books 1996. (In the preface there is a discussion about Israel’s attempts to get rid of Gaza.)

In memory of Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Yahya Ahmed Koussa, both born in Palestine in the same year, both lifelong indefatigable proponents of justice, and both deserving incomparable rewards that can only come from God.

Clinton’s US State Department, Dennis Ross, and Aaron David Miller–liars and spear-carriers for Israel

…[US Secretary of State Jim] Baker did nothing. No pressure was applied on Israel to do anything. In the negotiations that Baker relegated to Dennis Ross–pretty much a spokesperson for the Israel lobby–nothing happened. Throughout the course of these negotiations Ross was basically a spear-carrier for the Israeli government. You can read his pathetic little piece in today’s New York Times attacking President Carter. Afterwards, he went back to the Israeli lobby think-tank, where he originally came from. At least the others, such as Aaron [David] Miller, came out and finally admitted this–he was working with Ross: “yes basically we were just spear carriers for Israel. We made a mistake.” So the State Department people in charge of this process went along with the Israeli agenda.

State Department Prevarication

Not only did the State Department go along with it, but they lied to the Palestinians as to the meaning of the English legal documents that they had drafted, that they were trying to get the Palestinians to accept. I have that story in my book. You can read it there with the footnotes. All the materials I’m referring to are in my Palestinian book. The Palestinians would bring the documents together with their mem-coms–the memorandums of conversations–with Djerejian or Ross or Miller etc. and say: “Well, they told us the documents meant this.” And I said: “Well, that just isn’t true. It’s plain English, this is what it means.” So I would straighten out the real meaning of the document, and then they would go back. They lied to the Palestinians about what these documents meant. They were drafted of course in English, Oslo was in English too, all negotiations, everything was in English.

So, nothing happened despite the fact that before I showed up in the Grand Hotel, I had been instructed by the Palestinian Delegation to prepare position papers on every issue that was expected to come up in the peace negotiations and to develop a reasonable compromise that would protect their interests while also meeting the reasonable demands and interests of Israel. All that paperwork was there, it was done, it was ready to go. Nothing happened. Ross and Miller went right ahead and carried the water for the Israeli negotiators.

Francis A. Boyle, Breaking all the Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran and the Case for Impeachment, (Atlanta: Clarity Press, Inc. 2008), at 22