Studying history is a good idea

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Kelvin Ervais’ simplified statement in the op-ed “ASUC fails students when it comes to free speech” that there is an “Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory” does not make it so.  For three millennium up until 1948, Jews lived almost continuously in Judea and Samaria. In 1948, Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria. With the enthusiastic support of Palestinian Arabs, it ethnically cleansed the eastern portion of Jerusalem, removing all of its Jews.

Not satisfied with its illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria, in June 1967, Jordan joined with Egypt and Syria in a genocidal war. Suddenly thrown into a defensive war, Israel pushed Jordan out of Judea and Samaria and ended their illegal occupation, finally allowing Jewish people to return to their homes that they had lost 19 years earlier.

In 1964, the Palestinian Liberation Organization was formed when Israel existed within the 1949 Armistice Lines. While the PLO charter is effusive about demanding the genocide of the Jews of Israel, it makes no mention of establishing an independent state of Palestine on Judea and Samaria, which at that time were illegally occupied by a foreign power, Jordan. Only after Jordan was pushed back from its illegal occupation in 1967 did the PLO suddenly discover the idea that Judea and Samaria were “occupied” by Jews and started talking about liberating “occupied” Palestine.

In addition, Eugene Rostow, under secretary of state for political affairs from 1966-69 and one of the authors of United Nations Resolution 242, has written extensively in The New Republic (April 23, 1990 and Oct. 21, 1991) that all settlements in Judea and Samaria are completely legal as per the British Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the Charter of the United Nations, nor are they in violation of Article 49 of the Geneva Conventions.

Rather than parroting the Palestinian National Authority whose enabling documents are the 1964 PLO charter, which mandates the murder of every Jew in Israel, and Article 7 of the Hamas Charter, which essentially mandates the murder of every Jew on Earth, it would be good to do a bit of actual historical research, as it could make a big difference.

Richard Sherman is a retired Florida-based Zionist with degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Maryland School of Law.