[Published 18 June 2015]
The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) instituted in 2005 by “Palestinian civil Society” against Israel and its civil society continues to attract people from all around the world—including Jews and Israeli Arabs - who support the campaign without realising its genocidal objective.
The BDS manifesto makes clear that its punitive measures are to be pursued until Israel ends:
“its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands”
These are code words effectively calling for Israel’s destruction since:
1. According to the PLO: "Israel is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab home land, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation."
2. According to Hamas: "Israel is an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it."
Those who have:
1. boycotted theatre performances by Israeli groups in Barcelona,
2. stripped supermarket shelves of Israeli food products in London,
3. marched in South Africa to protest Woolworths stocking Israeli made goods or
4. protested outside Max Brenner outlets in Sydney
are actually supporting a racist campaign that calls for the total elimination of the Jewish State.
However the European Union (EU) — mindful of the Jew-hatred endemic in the BDS campaign - yet anxious to appease its Arab trading partners and burgeoning Arab populations within its member countries — has targeted only the West Bank — presently working to enact measures requiring Israel to label products coming from Jewish settlements there - following guidelines established on 18 July 2013.
These EU policy initiatives are ostensibly based on the 1980 Venice Declaration — which stressed that:
1. Israel needed to end its territorial occupation of the West Bank
2. Israeli settlements constituted a serious obstacle to the peace process in the Middle East.
3. Jewish settlements established there - as well as modifications in population and property — were illegal under international law.
The EU position on the illegality of those Jewish settlements has now been totally discredited following the recent decision by Norway’s largest pension fund — KPL - to sell its shareholdings in Heidelberg Cement AG and Cemex SAB de SV - whose two Israeli subsidiaries are currently operating quarries established after 1967 in Area C of the West Bank.
Under the 1995 Oslo Accords Israel has sole civil and security control in Area C — comprising 60% of the West Bank where no more than 4% of the West Bank’s Arab population currently lives.
KPL first sought advice on the legal situation pertaining in the West Bank from the Oslo-based International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) - an independent institute focusing on good governance, peace and conflict, and international law.
The advice completely refutes the EU’s long held position.
Senior ILPI Partner Gro Nyusten — former Norwegian Foreign Affairs staffer, former Associate Professor of International Humanitarian Law/the Law on Armed Conflict at the University of Oslo, from 2008 Associate Professor at the Defence Staff University College in Oslo and former chair of the Council on Ethics of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global — advised KPL that:
1. international law does not provide “unambiguous answers”
2. it was “highly probable” that the operation under Israeli licence of the subject quarries was inconsistent with the requirements of the law of belligerent occupation
3. a case on quarrying activities in Area C went all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court - but was rejected because the court concluded that it raised issues that could only be resolved through political channels and not through the court
4. Occupation law did not prohibit Israel from making use of real property - but Israel’s role was restricted to that of a caretaker that must restore such property to the “occupied power” once the conflict has ended. Significantly Ms Nyusten failed to identify that the “occupied power” was Jordan - whose annexation of the West Bank in 1950 was declared illegal by every country except Great Britain and Pakistan.
5. The issue of whether Israel was entitled to open new quarries which did not exist before 1967 — was “controversial”.
6. The 1995 Oslo Accords (Oslo II) “presume” the ultimate transfer of Area C from Israeli to Palestinian control through so-called final status negotiations. Ms Nyusten however did not point to any provision in the Oslo Accords that supports this “presumption”.
Ms Nyusten’s legal opinion also failed to consider two territory-specific provisions in international law sanctioning the right of Jews to live in the West Bank for the purposes of reconstituting the Jewish National Home there — article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
In the end KPL — faced with no definitive international law to justify its decision to disinvest - concluded:
“that the ethical arguments carry the heaviest weight in this case”.
Ethics are not law.
EU decisions supposedly based on judicially determined principles of international law were exposed as myths that can no longer be legally or politically sustained.
The BDS hoax is set to swallow many more well-intended people into its Jew-hating vortex.
The EU could suffer a similar fate with the introduction of its labelling policies — no longer being able to rely on non-existent international law to camouflage that decision — whilst opening itself to the charge it is supporting a genocidal campaign designed to dismantle the Jewish State.
Common sense will hopefully prevail.