The Likud party leadership met Sunday and voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that effectively annexes the Israeli colonial settlements constructed on illegally-seized Palestinian land in violation of international law.
During the discussion before the vote, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told the Likud Central Committee, “The time has come to express our Biblical right to the land”. Erdan then referenced the U.S. President’s December 6th declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying that the Israeli government should take advantage of this opportunity to seize permanent control of the land.
This marks a unilateral action by the state of Israel, backed by the United States, to take over territory through the use of military force and expand Israel’s (never declared) borders while pushing out, killing and denying the presence of the indigenous Palestinian population.
As Juan Cole pointed out in 2010 in his synopsis of the history of the city of Jerusalem, “The Assyrians conquered Jerusalem in 722. The Babylonians took it in 597 and ruled it until they were themselves conquered in 539 BCE by the Achaemenids of ancient Iran, who ruled Jerusalem until Alexander the Great took the Levant in the 330s BCE. Alexander’s descendants, the Ptolemies ruled Jerusalem until 198 when Alexander’s other descendants, the Seleucids, took the city. With the Maccabean Revolt in 168 BCE, the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom did rule Jerusalem until 37 BCE, though Antigonus II Mattathias, the last Hasmonean, only took over Jerusalem with the help of the Parthian dynasty in 40 BCE. Herod ruled 37 BCE until the Romans conquered what they called Palestine in 6 CE (CE= ‘Common Era’ or what Christians call AD). The Romans and then the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium ruled Jerusalem from 6 CE until 614 CE when the Iranian Sasanian Empire Conquered it, ruling until 629 CE when the Byzantines took it back.
“The Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 and ruled it until 1099 when the Crusaders conquered it. The Crusaders killed or expelled Jews and Muslims from the city. The Muslims under Saladin took it back in 1187 CE and allowed Jews to return, and Muslims ruled it until the end of World War I, or altogether for about 1192 years.”
As the late Edward Said noted in 2011, “The Zionist claim to the land is one claim among many others. Certainly the Arabs have a much greater claim because they have a longer history of inhabitance, of actual residence in Palestine than the Jews did…..If you look at history, you’ll see that the actual Israelite inhabitance in Palestine, in the Old Testament, amounted to about 200 to 250 years. But there were Mallebites, there were Jebusites, there were Canaanites, there were Philistines, there were many other people in Palestine at the time and before and after. And to isolate one of the claims and say that’s THE claim, that is the real owner of the land — that’s fundamentalism…Because the only way you can back it up is to say ‘God gave it to us’. Yes, but Christians say that God gave it to them, Muslims say that God gave it to them – it’s not a rational argument. So I think that the people who have a history of residence in Palestine, including the Jews and, of course, the Arabs, have a claim. But I don’t think that any claim, whether it’s given by god or the emperor, nobody has the claim that overrides all the others’ and entitles that person with that so-called claim to drive people out.”
Likud Convenes to Urge Annexation of West Bank
Dec 31, 2017 @ 23:29
The ruling Israeli Likud party is to convene, on Sunday, to vote on urging party leaders to formally annex the occupied West Bank to Israel, and allow unlimited construction in illegal Jewish settlements.
A number of party heavyweights have released statements or videos expressing support for the vote, which will take place at the Avenue Conference Centre, near Ben Gurion Airport, Israeli newspaper Times of Israel said.
They include Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
The keynote address, at the confab, was reportedly given to longtime Netanyahu opponent and former cabinet minister Gideon Sa’ar, also a backer of the resolution.
Likud activists in the illegal settlements of the occupied West Bank, who gathered over 900 signatures of Central Committee members, called for allowing the resolution to be presented without requiring the consent of party leaders.
The resolution reads: “Fifty years after the liberation of Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank], and with them Jerusalem, our eternal capital, the Likud Central Committee calls on Likud’s elected leaders to work to allow unhindered construction and to extend Israeli law and sovereignty in all the areas of liberated settlement in Judea and Samaria.”
Extending Israeli law and sovereignty means considering the occupied Palestinian lands as part of Israel, which was built on 78 per cent of Palestine’s area occupied in 1948.
~Times of Israel/Days of Palestine