On July 23rd, 1990, Israel Resource News Agency organized a dialogue between Israeli-American residents of Judea and then US Consul in Jerusalem, Mr. Phillip Wilcox.
During that discussion, guests from Judea praised the sensitivity of the US government to the human rights and civil liberties of Palestinian Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and asked the about human rights of Jews who live in the same areas.
US Consul Wilcox responded quickly and straightforwardly, with no emotion: “If you live where you live, then you have no human rights and no civil liberties.”
Wilcox invoked the 1949 Red Cross Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids nations that conquer other lands from settle their citizens in those lands.
Wilcox, consistent with his position, now heads the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, which issues weekly papers on the imperative for Israel to stop living in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem.
Don’t let facts stand in the way
The Wilcox statement of Jewish human rights denial ignored the San Remo Treaty, adopted by both the League of Nations and the United Nations, which protects the right of Jews to purchase land and to settle in the Jewish national homeland, defined as anywhere west of the Jordan River.
27 years later, Israeli government officials have adopted the position that “settlers” have no human rights or civil liberties, even if they are law-abiding, tax-paying Israeli citizens.
The Israeli government destruction of Amona this week speaks for itself.
The Israeli government, when it approved Jewish families to live there, did not know about private claims to that land.
In other words, the mistake was not that of the people who moved there.
The mistake was that of the government.
Yet the government brutally moved its police army to expel the 41 “settler” families with more than 200 children who had lived there for the past 21 years, without a place for “settler” families to move to, because “settlers” do not yet have human rights in Israel.
If there is one goal in Jerusalem at this time, it would be to ensure that all Israelis have human rights, and that the world recognize that, beginning with the United States.
The time has come to remove the pejorative term of “settler” from the Israeli and American lexicon.:
A “Settler” is a non-person, like Afro Americans who used to be referred to as the “n” word.