Over the millenia, the Jews learned to circumvent laws of their Lands, which in any case were intended to cause them harm. This was a good strategy for survival. In modern times, it took a while for the Jews to learn to respect local laws, even for Israelis living in the Jewish state of Israel. This process is not yet complete. As far as international law, the state of Israel is only at the beginning stages of adaptation to the fact that international law is a positive thing and that the State should learn to obey it. Only now, following the Goldstone Report, is some serious recognition given to laws of war, and procedures are established so that it will be followed. The settlement enterprise was from its very beginning following the '67 war an ILLEGAL enterprise, contrary to the Geneva convention. Initially, under the Labor government, the intent was to establish just a few settlements that will help control the West Bank militarily. But things grew from there. Under Likud, beginning 1977, all dams broke down. The Israeli Supreme Court could not stop the flood of settlements because the Knesset never passed a law making Geneva Convention the Law of the Land, so they only imposed the earlier Hague Convention (1907), plus the government voluntary decision to obey Geneva as far as individual rights of the Palestinians. A good guide for Israel would have been to simply obey international laws. There would have been no settlements and no settlers. Please, God, can you turn time back?
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from the article: Israel must choose between Enlightenment and Romanticism