Israeli leftists and ‘the occupation'

Some argue that “the occupation” prevents Palestinians from “controlling their own fate" This ignores the fact that the PA and Hamas already control the areas under their brutal authoritarian rule

By
September 4, 2019 22:06
3 minute read.
Israeli leftists and ‘the occupation'

Israeli leftists . (photo credit: REUTERS)

With plans to advance building more homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) and US President Donald Trump’s proposal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict about to be revealed, why are Israeli leftists still obsessed with “ending the occupation” and promoting a Palestinian state: the “two-state-solution?”

Although Israeli leftists may have ethical and moral motivations, their suggestions to capitulate have no practical or reasonable application. They endanger Israel and support efforts to demonize and vilify the Jewish state and promote antisemitism.

Despite ongoing terrorism by the PA and Hamas – as well as Hezbollah, ISIS-backed groups and Jihadist terrorists throughout the region that are direct threats to the country – Israeli leftists advocate restricting settlements, further withdrawals from Israeli-controlled Area C and offering the PLO/PA a sovereign state, including the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, or as a separate entity. It makes no sense.

 These demands are even more absurd considering PLO/PA/Hamas’s rejection of Israel’s legitimacy and continuing terrorist attacks. In fact, no Israeli government would consider removing Jews and Jewish communities from areas claimed by Israel’s enemies.

Some argue that “the occupation” prevents Palestinians from “controlling their own fate,” because Israel “restricts their movements” (in order to prevent terrorism), “determines their ability to export and import” (weapons) and “prevents them from exercising sovereignty.” This ignores the fact that the PA and Hamas already control the areas under their brutal, authoritarian rule and actively promote incitement and terrorism.

Left-wing ideologues argue that preventing or restricting Jews from building in settlements will “keep the options open” to the possibility of making peace and encouraging Palestinian moderates. There is no indication, however, that this has worked, or is realistic. Why then persist in irrational, magical thinking?

Although many in the international community – including some Jewish and “pro-Israel” organizations – promote a “two-state solution” and “ending the occupation,” they are oblivious to the threats this poses to Israel. They argue that the presence of Jews in what they mistakenly call the “Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)” – all areas conquered by the IDF in the Six Day War in 1967 – is “illegal according to international law and a violation of Palestinian humanitarian rights.” Israeli leftists would agree – but few, if any, would be willing to sacrifice Israel’s security to accommodate the international community and allow Israel’s enemies to commit genocide.

THE LEGALLY fraudulent concept of OPT was introduced by the International Committee of the Red Cross in the early 1970s and was adopted by the international community as a way of defining the status of “the territories” and denouncing “Israeli occupation.”

Rather than describe what now exists as “occupation,” however, a different terminology would be more creative and productive for both sides. One could refer to what the Torah calls “possession,” (reshut – the exercise of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel). Another possibility would be to refer to the Israeli presence, instead of to “occupation.” This would describe realistically what exists, without referring to a political term that has legal and moral implications. And, it would emphasize that Israeli Jews also have legitimate “humanitarian” and legal rights to build and protect their homeland.

Moreover, as of March 13, 2019, the US State Department erased the word “occupation” from its description of the Golan Heights and areas claimed by Palestinians. Instead, it refers to them as being “under Israel control.” Last week, the State Department also removed the Palestinian Authority from its list of countries.

The truth is that evacuating Jews and destroying Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would accomplish nothing. It would not satisfy the PLO/PA/Hamas goal of destroying Israel. It would not change their basic narrative – “the Nakba,” or “catastrophe” – of Israel’s establishment in 1948, nor would it satisfy their demand for “the right of return” of Arabs who left “Palestine” and live in UNRWA-sponsored towns in Lebanon and Syria. It would not “Liberate Palestine, from the river to the sea!”

 Creating another “Palestinian state” – in addition to Jordan – would not eliminate terrorism: It would encourage and enhance it. Another Palestinian state would not promote peace: It would provide the catalyst for war and it would destabilize the entire region. Ironically, it would prevent the emergence of any moderate, democratic Palestinian group that seeks accommodation with and acceptance of Israel.

Israeli leftists need a reality check and honest self-examination: what purpose do they serve?

The author is a PhD historian, writer and journalist in Israel.


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