“Why is Palestine occupied?” Israeli Meir Deutsch asked a foreign activist on Wednesday morning.He was responding to charges by the woman and other Palestinians, who held a small protest both inside and outside the Rami Levy supermarket in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, that Israel was an “occupying power.” The two of them had a short, heated debate in which she defended her position as pro-Palestinian but not anti-Jewish.
As they spoke, police herded activists standing around them onto a waiting bus.“I have nothing against Jewish people,” said the female activist, who wore sunglasses and silver hoop earrings. “I am speaking technically. I teach international law at the university, I want to say that it [Israel’s occupation of Palestine] is according to international law, not according to me.”But Deutsch was puzzled by her words.“Is indigenous people [the Jews], living on their land – is that occupied?” he asked her.She looked at him, as if he had misunderstood some basic fact.“You have occupied Palestine. You have occupied the West Bank,” she said, exasperated. She moved her arms as she spoke and her voice quickened with emotion.Deutsch, who was much taller than she, remained calm.“Who said it was occupied?” he asked.“There was a war, it was in 1948; they [the Jews] took over the land and in ’67... ” She would have continued, but Deutsch interrupted her.“No,” he said. “The Jews are indigenous to the Land of Israel and Palestine, which it was called way before it was called Israel,” Deutsch said.“Really, you are totally out of your mind,” she responded, shaking her head. “Go learn your history,” she added.“Did you read the Bible?” asked Deutsch, as police pushed her onto the waiting bus as well.