Is There a So-Called Occupation?
In order to believe Israel is occupying “Palestinian land” you have to believe there is such a thing as “Palestinian land”.
You have to believe there is a Palestinian Arab nation which is a distinct people with its own history which has existed for centuries.
You have to believe Palestinian culture exists without any recorded archaeological evidence, works of literature, music, distinct foods, linguistic connections to the land, religious observances tied directly to the land and a host of other problems with their claims to be Indigenous.
To believe in an Israeli occupation of “Palestinian land” you have to believe the same, insane, UNESCO/Palestinian “history” or “narrative” as the one which says the Jewish Temple Mount is not sacred to Jews. Narrative is just a fancy word meaning “made up stuff”.
You have to believe this Palestinian people have a distinct culture that is “Palestinian” and separate from wider Arab culture, different from Arabs in Jordan or Syria or Sinai or any of the other parts of the Arab world. Despite the fact even the name they adopted for themselves is not Arabic in origin and begins with a letter not even in their alphabet.
And because this “Palestinian narrative” is so obviously an identity theft of the impregnably strong Jewish indigenous identity, you have to also disbelieve all evidence of Jewish history in the Holy Land. You also have to negate Christian ties to Israel, by the way.
You have to be blind to the fact so many Arab surnames and identifiers proudly proclaim their origins from all across the Arab world and not from within this land of Israel. It is an obvious signifier because a majority of the Arabs now living in Israel are descendants of those who moved here prior to 1948 as the Jews slowly returned in greater numbers and started to repair the land after centuries of malaise and decay under a succession of Islamic caliphs, sultans and pashas.
You also have to go out and look at Judea and Samaria and notice how much undeveloped space there is. There is a lot of room for coexistence if people wanted to co-exist. We co-exist in Tel Aviv and Jaffa and Haifa. We could co-exist in Judea too.
What we do have is a large number of Arabs who are raised with hatred of Jews and told their destiny is to take over all of Israel. They are convinced of this. From the river to the sea they chant. As long as these two lies are being firmly implanted in Arabs in the territories, Israel will need to treat them carefully to stop our people being killed. The conditions we impose on them should be the kindest we can, without risking our own lives.
There is a very big difference in mindset between those Arabs who accepted Israeli, Jewish sovereignty in 1948 and those who didn’t. The fault line is Jerusalem. The wrong answer (for everyone) is to continue perpetuating the myth of occupation. As long as some Arabs are encouraged by outsiders and left-wing Israeli fools to believe Jews will one day leave our land, they’ll keep fighting to make that happen.
In some ways, however, it is fortunate they’re fighting us as if we are an occupying power, rather than a returned indigenous people. Their tactics of wearing us down would work to expel Americans from Afghanistan or the British from pretty much everywhere, but they can’t make the price of holding on to Jerusalem too high for Jews. Some of us will never get tired, enough of us will fight to the last. We will always be here because we know this is our land and we’ve learned the lessons of expecting anywhere else will ever be safe for us.
There is a declining fringe of Israeli society that will cry about the conditions we must impose on Arabs for our security. This fringe feel their influence within Israel declining, they lose elections, their newspapers fail. That is why they flee Israel to spread their message. They flee into the arms of the willing Jew haters of the global left, those dreaming of an Islamic caliphate which joins an extreme fringe who still believe in the lies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Those who erroneously believe Zionism is something global rather than the return of an indigenous people to their land. People like Hagai El-Ad of B’Tselem (just as one example) who runs to speak to the UN and raises money outside Israel because he is so irrelevant to Jewish Israel.
There is no occupation. There is just a struggle to defeat an ideology that believes it must be superior, it must not be ruled by Jews and it can’t accept the humiliation of once enslaved dhimmi Jews regaining their sovereignty and reversing the course of Islamic conquest and Jihad.
There is a long, complex and not very well decided legal discussion over the correct use of the term “occupying power” as it relates to the Geneva Conventions. Most people talking about occupation today aren’t international lawyers so I’m setting aside the true academic and legal terms here. If you want academic and legal, pay attention to Eugene Kontorovich because it is by no means certain that what we have in the disputed territories is a clear case of anything.