Monday, June 26, 2006

"Occupation" or not?

Many people on the internet and across the world assume that Israel is wholly occupying another people's land in the West Bank. They are aghast in horror at some perceived human rights violation - mostly due to the hugely effective propoganda campaign of the Palestinians. In fact, Israel has a very legal right to the West Bank, and history shows that unilateral withdrawal only bolsters the Palestinian terrorists. (see: rockets being fired from the Gaza strip) Indeed, logically, given history, Israel would have to be suicidal to simply give up territories in the West Bank without some assurance of peace. Israelis are smart people, and as such, a majority are against Olmert's lunatic "realignment" plan. However, the problem is that so many in the world are simply ignorant of history. The term "occupation" has become such an intrinsic part of our vocabulary, and yet we are not even aware what it means. You all should read for yourself the history of Israel's relationship to the West Bank. The Israel government produced a wonderful site explaining their powerful case. Anyone who knows the history of the region can clearly see that Israel has every right to the West Bank. As far as the Palestinians - they will get their own nation, probably in the West Bank, when they decide they care more about the lives of their children than the death of Israel's children. Until then, their human rights are hardly being abused. Indeed, the level of human rights the Palestinians have in the West Bank under Israeli control is far superior to what they had when it was under Jordian control, previously. This little ignored fact often gets swept under the rug while people scream out "ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE! ZIONISM IS RACISM!" The war on thought runs quite strong when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and so I thought showing some actual facts can help to clarify issues.

17 comments:

felix said...

Excellent Post.
BTW, I have come to think that we we will never see a Palestinian State. That the Gaza Strip will one day become a demilitarized part of Egypt--as it was before the 1967 war. And that parts of what we now call the west bank will become part of Jordan. A kind of 3 state solution.

Here is one of my old posts on the issue:
Give Gaza Back to Egypt

ChiefMommy Owl said...

Some interesting thoughts...
Many of the people who were recently expelled from the Gush Katif area had settled there after being expelled from Yamit when a treaty was reached over the Sinai Desert. At the time, they were encouraged by the Israeli Government to settle where they did. The area was a barren desert, not a populated Arab area. The Arab people brought the new settlers gifts of food baskets and wished them luck making a home on the "cursed land." Israeli farmers created a paradise in the desert including a resort area and the world's largest kosher(bug free) vegetable export business. This was when the area became appealing to the Palestinians, when the Israelis forgot to starve to death. Does any of this sound like the Palestinians were forced out of their homes to let the Israelis settle? Just one example of the widespread misconceptions on occupation.

Sara
babyowls.blogspot.com
www.babyowls.com

Steven said...

Many of the people kicked out of their homes from Gush Katif are still stuck in trailers - a baby was killed in one of those trailers as a result of rockets being fired at civilian areas, trailer parks in this case, by pink fluffey, cute starving victim Palestinians.

Steven said...

I actually built and hosted a website for projectWarmUp which was designed to provide each person evicted from their homes a coat for the winter as they had either not experienced a cold winter or did not have access to their posessions.

Unfortunatelly someone decided to steal loads of the coats - but it just meant that we had to raise twice as much money.

Steven said...

:) I am hardly ever this proIsrael, nor in such a blunt way. It is quite refreshing! Hope you don't mind.

Red Tulips said...

Felix,

Interesting thoughts. I never thought of that as a possibility, and ultimately, I am not sure it is the best one. I think that if the land is to be given up, ideally, it should be given to the Palestinians who can maturely handle the responsibility of running a state. (which they cannot at the moment)

Chiefmommy owl:

Thanks for bringing that up! I was not even aware of that extra fact, but of course it makes perfect sense.

Steven:

I love your thoughts! It is great to read about hidden little details that often get forgotten.

Osaid Rasheed said...

This article just makes me laugh...

looool

What a POERFUL CASE you have !!! Why keep defending it then ??
Oh, coz all the world is understanding it wrong except u guys !! heheheheheh

Osaid Rasheed said...

Check this Article posted in :
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4850.shtml

written by :
Dr. Ran HaCohen was born in the Netherlands in 1964 and grew up in Israel. He has a B.A. in Computer Science, an M.A. in Comparative Literature, and his PhD is in Jewish Studies. He is a university teacher in Israel. He also works as a literary translator (from German, English and Dutch), and as a literary critic for the Israeli daily Yedioth Achronoth. Mr. HaCohen's work has been published widely in Israel.

.............

The history of occupation is not just that of Palestinian suffering and Israeli aggression; it is also the history of its ideology, the history of the fictions the Israeli society fabricates in order to justify its major colonial project which has just entered its 40th year. These fictions do have a history: one can trace their career from birth to maturity, their shifts from the margin to the center and vice versa, their rise and fall among definite segments of the Israeli society or media, sometimes their (reversible) death.

A few years ago, I dedicated two columns to the ideology of occupation, following a nice synopsis of it given by an Israeli settler. Most of those arguments are still on the market today. You can still hear Israelis explain away the occupation by resorting to the Palestinian rejection of the partition plan, 60 years ago. Also the notion that "they want to throw us all into the sea" can boast a continuous career from the Passover Hagadah ("in every generation they rise against us to destroy us") up to the current political use of the Hamas Charter. But some things have changed. If you nowadays ask an Israeli about the occupation, what answers will you get?

The orthodox and hard-line right wingers (Likud and rightward) would probably come up with more traditional arguments ("it's all our land," etc.); but if you come across a mainstreamer – one of those who consider themselves "moderate right-wingers," "centrists," or "leftists" (the terms are near-synonyms in present Israeli discourse), voters of Kadima, Labor, or Meretz – I think this is what you are going to hear.

"The Occupation Has Ended"

Almost all the Israelis really believe the occupation of Gaza is over. The Palestinians there are now free to run their lives as they like, and Israel has nothing to do with it. They envisage a similar scenario being realized, or perhaps realized already, for the West Bank behind the Wall.

This fiction has become popular since the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last summer; but its roots go back to the Oslo years, when especially the Zionist Left (Yossi Sarid, et al.) cultivated the myth that a Palestinian state in fact already existed, or was about to emerge within a fortnight (not later than 1998, as the Oslo Accords indeed stated; remember also Bush's broken deadline). In fact, this fiction represents a deep Israeli desire to deny: since the liberal Israeli knows the occupation cannot go together with democracy and justice, the occupation should disappear – but in a virtual way, by being denied. On a deeper level, many Israeli liberals believe Arabs cannot go together with culture and modernity, so denying their existence, both virtually and actually, by locking the undesired neighbors behind a big Wall and forgetting all about them, sounds like a pretty good solution.

"We're Here, They're There," Said the Jailer

"We're here, they're there" was Ehud Barak's sophisticated "peace slogan." The actual power relations between "here" and "there" have to be denied; in fact, the only thing that reminds the Israelis of these power relations is the Palestinian violent resistance. Were it not for "terrorism" (a term used indiscriminately for both legitimate and illegitimate Palestinian violence), the Israelis would have happily forgotten all about their locked-up neighbors by now. Accordingly, the persistent homemade Qassam missiles that terrorize the Israeli town of Sderot are conceptualized by Israelis as typical Arab ingratitude, as shameless ungratefulness for the great gift that Israel has presented the Palestinians by withdrawing from Gaza, allegedly restoring their freedom, honor, and well-being.

The reality is different. Having pulled its settlers out of Gaza, Israel is now imposing a total siege on the tiny Strip: the 1.5 million Palestinians locked up there have no access to the sea (Israel never let the Gaza seaport be built), no access to the air (Israel destroyed the Gaza airport), and all the crossings are under Israeli control (i.e., practically closed most of the time). Since the Hamas victory in the elections, Israel and the international community have also been imposing an economic siege on the Strip, severing the financial ties with the Palestinian authority; to pay their Authority's employees, the Palestinians have to smuggle cash through the crossings. Israel's "security system" – the Occupation incarnated – is the one who decides whether Gazans will have flour, medicines, and any other goods, how much, and when.

While this economic and physical siege is being imposed by air, sea, and land, and while Gaza is daily bombarded by missiles, artillery, and naval fire, "center-left" Israelis can say things like "Israel has left Gaza. The Palestinians could use this fact to finally rebuild Gaza, to build houses for refugees, to encourage investments, and to create jobs. Gazans could finally live like humans" (quoted from a letter to the excellent Hebrew Web site Ha'okets).

The situation in the West Bank is not so very different. The Palestinians there are locked in smaller cages than in Gaza, but the siege is less hermetic. While the Palestinians are locked behind huge walls, with a satanic system of roadblocks and permits, and sliced by roads-for-Jews-only and by settlements, harassed day and night by army incursions into their villages, houses, and bedrooms, many Israelis believe the occupation is now retreating, and its end is just a matter of time, or rather of semantics.

Alas, colonialism does not disappear by being denied; in fact, the Israeli occupation is at its peak, worse than ever before. There is no better evidence for that than the discussion about whether or not there is a humanitarian crisis in Palestine, once a rich Land of Milk and Honey.


................................

This is an Israeli and Jewish TESTIMONY.

But you know what, it means NOThing after all, this man is a terrorist !!!

Red Tulips said...

Osaid Rasheed:

I am glad you posted this, because they are valid and refutable points.

1) Israel has attempted to give supplies to Gaza, rather than money, and Hamas has refused - only wanting money.

2) Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

3) Allowing Hamas officials unlimited funds and free access to come and go as they please around the world is hardly a sane policy for a nation that values its security.

Furthermore, Palestinians have killed anyone who sells land to Jews, and forbidden Jewish access to holy sites when they have control over them. This contrasts to the Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

The Palestinians, when given funds, use it to suicide bomb, rather than build infrastructure. They would ban any Jew from living in their nation - which contrasts to the 20% of Arab Israelis currently happily living in Israel.

The Palestinians have a tough life - I do not deny it. But the reason it is tough is their continued acceptance of suicide bombing as a means to an end. Ironically, Olmert was going to unilaterally withdraw from 90% of the West Bank, and after all the events recently, it seems there is no way that will happen, as the Israeli citizens no longer support it.

The Palestinians have had an ability to have their own state on numerous occasions, and choose violence instead. It's sad.

Steven said...

The fact that this man is Jewish does not give him more credibility... unfortunatelly.

See...
Jewish Leaders

Red Tulips said...

Steven,

Yup, the Holocaust revisionist Norm Finkelstein is Jewish, and his parents were survivors.

Mere circumstance of Jewish or nonjewish birth does not make someone more credible or not.

Osaid Rasheed said...

An addition :

Check what Jeff Helper Wrote :


/...
Indeed, the vote for Hamas was not a closing of the door at all, but a rational, intentional and powerful statement of non-cooperation in a political process that is only leading to Palestinian imprisonment.
Hamas, if anything, stands for steadfastness, sumud, the refusal to submit.
This conflict is too destabilizing to the entire global system to let
fester, the Palestinians are saying. You can all impose upon us an apartheid system, blame us for the violence while ignoring Israeli State Terror, pursue your programs of American Empire or your notions of a "clash of civilizations," we the Palestinians will not submit. We will not cooperate. We will not play your rigged game. In the end, for all your power, you will come to us to sue for peace. And then we will be ready for a just peace that respects the rights of all the peoples of the region, including the Israelis. But you will not beat us.

As an Israeli Jew who sees how the Occupation has eroded the moral
foundations of my society and, indeed, my entire people, and as a resident of Israel-Palestine who knows that my fate is intricately intertwined with that of the Palestinians, I pray that such an end will come sooner
rather than later.

...............

(Jeff Halper is the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).





It is OCUPATION man !

Red Tulips said...

I have no idea what you are trying to accomplish by quoting that. All it does it justify terror.

I have to assume that this means you too justify terror against the civilian population of Israel. If so, you are justifying the counter-reaction to the terror which you know is what happens. So you are justifying your own degradation, and the murder of innocent women and children.

Sad, just sad.

Osaid Rasheed said...

See what these people say about the situation in West Bank , these people are reliable :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a80bldpJZk&mode=related&search=

Osaid Rasheed said...

A proof that it is occupation :

look at the site of the ISRAEL physicians for Human rights

at :http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=24&catid=51&pcat=51&lang=ENG



/..Physicians For Human Rights-Israel was founded in 1988 with the goal of struggling for human rights, in particular the right to health, in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Human dignity, wellness of mind and body and the right to health are at the core of the world view of the organization and direct and instruct our activities and efforts on both the individual and general level. Our activities integrate advocacy and action toward changing harmful policies and direct action providing healthcare. Today Physicians For Human Rights-Israel has more than 1150 members, over half of whom are healthcare providers...Physicians For Human Rights-Israel is a member of the IFHHRO (the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations). The foundation has won numerous prizes throughout the years, including the Prime Minister's "Defense of the Child" award and the Emil Greenzweig prize of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The President of the association and the Field Work Director have won the Jonathan Mann award.../


Also see what this RESPECTFUL ISraeli ORG has stated :
/Historical responsibility in the Occupied Territories; General information on Palestinians’ right to health in the Occupied Territories; the medical system in the Occupied Territories; activities of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Since the 1967 war, the Palestinian population living in the occupied territories has been living under martial law that has been detrimental to their lives../


Are these liars too ?

Osaid Rasheed said...

Check, again, the Israel Foreign affair Ministry web site at :

http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/peace%20process/guide%20to%20the%20peace%20process/

and read :

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/People/SOCIETY-%20Minority%20Communities


See how your government did NOT include the arab citizens of the west bank and gaza in its reports... simply coz the land is not Israeli..if it was Israel's land it would have been included !!!
See also the agreements of your government and how they regarded their presence as occupation.

It is OCCUPATION ...thats wt your government says !!!
Stop misleading people and yourself !!!

Red Tulips said...

I just want to state the following.

The term "occupied territories" has become so common in our vernacular, that neutral and respectable bodies use the phrase without thinking.

It doesn't mean it's accurate, and it doesn't mean it's right.

The video you linked to does not have "neutral" people speaking. The UN Commission on Human Rights has such lovely bodies such as the Sudan on it, and they have focused the lion's share of their attention on Israel as if they are the worst violators of human rights in the world - ignoring Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, China, gosh I could go on!

The video is utter propoganda, focusing on how bad the Palestinians have it, and not how they bring it on themselves and revel in the cult of the victim.

Widespread acceptance of something does not make it so.