Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

West Bank - Jews worldwide have legal rights

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Catherine Ashton - High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission - was merely parroting European Union policy when she told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on December 30 2009:

“East Jerusalem is occupied territory, together with the rest of the West Bank.”

It was justification enough however for Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to pen an article in the Wall Street Journal on December 30, 2009 pointing out that Israel considers these territories to be “disputed territories” rather than “occupied territories” - the nomenclature adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and the International Court of Justice.


Mr Ayalon stated the reasons for Israel‘s position as follows:

“That's because the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered ‘occupied’ in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognised sovereignty before Israel's conquest. Contrary to some beliefs there has never been a Palestinian state, and no other nation has ever established Jerusalem as its capital despite it being under Islamic control for hundreds of years.”

Mr Ayalon criticised the perception that:

“... Israel is occupying stolen land and that the Palestinians are the only party with national, legal and historic rights to it. Not only is this morally and factually incorrect, but the more this narrative is being accepted, the less likely the Palestinians feel the need to come to the negotiating table.”

Mr Ayalon was affirming that the West Bank was at present “no man’s land” in which no recognised State - including Israel - had yet attained sovereignty.

The current claimants - Israel on behalf of the Jewish people and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs - are yet to finally negotiate on and conclude the allocation of sovereignty between them based on their competing claims.


It was therefore particularly pleasing that Ms Ashton stated:

“Negotiations should be based on international law and respect previous agreements.”

This should be seen as a welcome statement from the European Union since the international law dealing with the legal status of the West Bank and Jewish rights to claim sovereignty there has been consistently and studiously - perhaps even deliberately - overlooked since Israel‘s capture of the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

5 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 5 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy