Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq., and ZOA Director of Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
The Zionist Organization of America applauds Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s pledge to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria. ZOA also praises PM Netanyahu for his important observation that applying sovereignty will ensure that Israel “will never be a country [only] a few miles wide.”
We note that Israel’s Prime Minister also vowed to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea area immediately after the September 17, 2019 election, if given a mandate to do so by the Israeli public, and after release of the U.S. peace plan recommendation.
Applying Israeli sovereignty, to at least Area C, the Jordan Valley, and the Dead Sea areas is long, long overdue. Under international law, Israel is entitled to these historically Jewish areas (and all of Judea/Samaria) in accordance with the 1922 League of Nations Mandate, which guaranteed these areas to the Jewish people to settle and reconstitute the Jewish homeland. The United States also agreed to Israel’s international rights to these areas, in the 1924 Anglo-American Convention, a binding international treaty duly ratified by the Senate and signed by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. The 1946 UN Charter’s “Jewish people’s clause” (Article 80) moreover confirmed that the rights guaranteed to the Jewish people under the Mandate would continue after the Mandate expired. Jordan’s illegal conquest of these areas in 1948, when six Arab nations attacked Israel, and Jordan’s illegal occupation of these areas for 19 years (1948-1967) until Israel recaptured these areas in a defensive war in 1967, did not transform the areas that Israel is lawfully entitled to into Arab or Palestinian-Arab lands. Moreover, the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty established the international boundary line outside (to the west) of these areas.
ZOA thus urges Israel’s Prime Minister to apply sovereignty to these areas now. There is no need to wait for an additional mandate to do so next week. Israel had the mandate to these areas, under international law, ninety-seven years ago – and the Jewish people had the mandate to these areas, from the Almighty, over 3,000 years ago.
According to a report, the Prime Minister is delaying implementation until after the election and peace plan’s publication due to legal advisors’ concerns that Israel’s attorney general previously restricted transitional governments from taking binding action, and White House requests. ZOA wishes to point out that restrictions on the current Israeli government acting now would be undemocratic and particularly inappropriate here – where Israel has for so long been legally, historically and morally entitled to apply sovereignty.
Moreover, the Palestinian Authority once again stated that it will not even discuss a U.S. peace plan. Thus there is no point in waiting for the plan’s issuance.
At a minimum, ZOA urges PM Netanyahu to apply sovereignty immediately after the election.