End the occupation (of Palestine) – a response

1) It is directed against the State of Israel, and by extension, Jews; 2) It is supported by much of the international community and many anti-Israeli NGOs;

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August 5, 2019 21:33
4 minute read.
End the occupation (of Palestine) – a response

A demonstrator holding a Palestinian flag and a cane reacts in front of burning tires during a protest near the Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the village of Kofr Qadom in the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 5, 2019. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

‘Ending the Occupation” has been one of the most successful propaganda campaigns since it was invented nearly 50 years ago. This is because:

1) It is directed against the State of Israel, and by extension, Jews;

2) It is supported by much of the international community and many anti-Israeli NGOs;

3) It was promoted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a private Swiss NGO with UN status, which arbitrarily ruled that Israel’s control of the territories it conquered in the 1967 Six Day War violated the Fourth Geneva Convention and, therefore, are a “violation of international law.”

“Ending the Occupation” and granting autonomy to Arab residents were the primary reasons why Israel agreed to the Oslo Accords and withdrew from the Gaza Strip, and it became an essential part of various “peace plans,” including the “Two-State-Solution.”

In America, anti-Israel groups have made the issue part of the political discourse, allying with left-wing and Muslim politicians who characterize “the occupation” as “illegal,” “racist,” “immoral” and a “violation of human rights.” Those who denounce Israel for its “injustice” toward Arabs, moreover, claim to have an objective basis: Israel opposes granting Arab Palestinians a state and exercises security control in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) which it does not claim as part of its sovereign territory.

Unexamined, however, is the nature of the Palestinian Authority that rules over most Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. The PA is a corrupt, incompetent and violent dictatorship run by the PLO/Fatah, Hamas and Islamic jihad gangs that engage in incitement and terrorism. Their primary goal is to eliminate Israel. The proposed Palestinian state would be an extension of what now exists.

By focusing only on “ending the occupation,” without examining the reasons for Israel’s refusal to accept an Arab Palestinian state and the probable consequences of giving in to these demands, anti-Israel activists have diverted attention from the real problems: the threat to Israel and the danger of a failed state.

Moreover, “ending the occupation” (by Israel) ignores the real occupation of Arab Palestinian society by the PLO and other radical, violent groups which suppress any dissent or criticism. Blaming Israel is a convenient excuse for the failure of Palestinian leaders to improve their own society and meet the needs of their people. “Ending the occupation,” therefore, is a weapon to brainwash, confuse and prevent critical thinking.

 

THERE IS no coherent attempt, however, to define what “occupied” means and how its removal will be implemented. For example, to what does “occupied” refer? If it’s a geographical area, what does it include? If it refers to a group of people who consider themselves to be “Palestinians” and “occupied,” who does that include? Residents of UNRWA “camps?” Muslims living in other countries?

Does “ending the occupation” mean removing more than a million Jews from their homes in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria? Or, does it also mean removing Jews from areas that became part of Israel as a result of the War of Independence in 1948? Or does it really mean everything “from the river to the sea?”

The most effective response to someone who demands to “end the occupation” is to ask, simply: “Where? How? What will happen afterward?” This approach, hopefully, will open the issue to inquiry. In other words, “ending the occupation” should not end the discussion, but can become the beginning of critical thinking, dialogue and a serious examination of all the problems and issues.

As a mantra, therefore, “end the occupation” is meaningless nonsense. It cannot be used to support a “two-state-solution,” since that would mean Arab acceptance of Israel’s legitimacy as a prerequisite without conditions and restrictions. It would mean agreeing to end the war against Israel and the Jewish people. As most Arabs and Muslims see it, however, “ending the occupation” does not mean ending the conflict; it means moving to the next level of confrontation – and that will be far more deadly than what now exists.

This was proven in the failures of the Oslo Accords and the “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip, which empowered the PLO/Fatah and Hamas.

Rather than drown in futile, mindless arguments over “the occupation,” it would be far more beneficial to engage in creative dialogue and meaningful discussion. Ironically, tying “the occupation” to a “two-state-solution” and Jew-hatred strangles the possibility of finding solutions because it creates a false interdependence. People don’t hate Jews and demonize Israel because there is an “occupation” and a Palestinian state doesn’t exist. Jew-hatred has no rational basis. It is cultural and theological, not the result of Israeli policies.

As a metaphor for Jew-hatred and hatred of Israel, therefore, “end the occupation” must be understood as a distorted perspective, a form of bigotry, not as specific criticism of Israeli policies. It is used by those who seek to undermine and destroy the basis for human relationships and efforts to resolve conflicts.

“End the occupation” is not meant to promote “human rights,” it is part of a hate campaign that seeks to destroy Israel and vilify Jews.

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


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