Friday, November 16, 2018

Quaint Qumran Bothers the BDSers

In an Al Jazeera piece attacking tourism that, supposedly, brings tourists to visit "an illegal settlement", that is, Qumran, and that "only six mention or imply that one will be outside Israeli territory" and that "Thomas Cook, Collette and On the Go Tours, for example, make stops at the Ahava Visitor Center without telling tourists they are leaving Israel", you can read this:

For the unsuspecting visitor, it is not easy to tell that one is no longer within the internationally recognised borders of Israel, but in the occupied West Bank, in an Israeli settlement, illegal under international law.

The same goes for nearby Qumran, a popular tourist attraction where a Bedouin shepherd once found the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

Notwithstanding it being situated in the West Bank, Israel now controls the site,

And someone really wants to threaten these tourists:

According to John Dugard, professor of international law and former UN special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, the travel agencies' customers are unknowingly "aiding and abetting" the crime of establishing illegal settlements.

"In theory, this exposes tourists to prosecution for having purchased illegal goods," said Dugard, who added that although holidaymakers are not going to be prosecuted before the International Criminal Court for such an offence, travel agencies should be warning tourists that they are about to commit a crime.

"The tourists ought to have a cause of action against the tour companies and claim compensation for having been fraudulently misled and exposed to criminal activity," Dugard said.

Dugard is a long-time opponent of Israel's rights to its historic national homeland. And some international law he gets wrong. And he's been called a 'racist'.

Let's start with "internationally recognised borders".

Israel had none.

Today, its borders with Egypt and Jordan are and, to a great extent also Lebanon, through UN agreements, are "internationally recognized".  But not so as regards the areas of Judea and Samaria, and Gaza for that matter.

They were defined by armistice lines, cease-fire boundaries, etc. which would not "in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question". No peace treaty or any final settlement arrangement exists as regards that territory.

But more to the issue, Qumran had nothing to do with Palestine if what is meant is an Arab entity. It is a Jewish site.

As we all should know
The Hellenistic period settlement [!] was constructed during the reign of John Hyrcanus (134–104 BCE) or somewhat later, and was occupied most of the time until it was destroyed by the Romans in 68 CE or shortly after. It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden

The Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish documents. The residents were Jewish. No Arabs lived there although some nearby Bedouins stole some of the Dead Sea scrolls created at Qumran in the 1940s.

If not for Israel's archaeological units, little of Arab remains would be preserved.

Of course, Israel could simply term the area the "Holy Land" and avoid the whole concern of these BDSers:



Anonymous said...

On borders, I think you are mistaken. The peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan did, in fact, mark out the borders with Israel and replaced the armistice lines that had existed since 1949. So, for instance, even speaking of a Green Line is incorrect; the Israel-Jordan treaty supersedes it. The frontiers with Lebanon and Syria are based on armistice lines set in 1949 and 1974 respectively. Borders will be drawn in a future peace treaty, should it ever happen.
As there is no State of Palestine (at least under the Montevideo Convention which lays out the requirements in international law, as opposed to a political declaration as many countries have made), the issue of borders simply does not arise. As far as Palestinian Arabs are concerned, the lone issue is how much Israeli territory will Israel relinquish in exchange for a peaceful State of Palestine, no more, no less.

YMedad said...

I do not think I am mistaken regarding the borders.

If you combine Article IV

"1. The lines described in articles V and VI of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Lines and are delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948.

2. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Lines is to delineate the lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move"

with Article II

With a specific view to the implementation of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948, the following principles and purposes are affirmed:

1. The principle that no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce ordered by the Security Council is recognised;

2. It is also recognised that no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations.

you'll understand.