“The Occupation” …and Other Fairy Tales Stephen A. Berger, M.D. Tel Aviv Medical Center
Oc·cu·pa·tion Pronunciation: ”a-ky&-'pA-sh&nFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English occupacioun, from Middle French occupation, from Latin occupation-, occupatio, from occupareDate: 14th century 3: the holding and control of an area by a foreign military force c : the military force occupying a country or the policies carried out by itMerriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary
This map represents 3,000 years of history ! Some people find this very complex and boring …and would prefer to sum it all up in two statements: “Israel illegally occupies Palestine.” “This is the core of the Mideast conflict”
“We are the only people in the world who remain under occupation” - Yassir Arafat para·noidPronunciation: 'par-&-"noid Function: adjectiveDate: 19042 : characterized by suspiciousness, persecutory trends, or megalomania - Merriam-Webster Dictionary First: They all accuse Israel of ‘occupation’! Second: They are all guilty of ‘occupation’! pro·jec·tion Pronunciation: pr&-'jek-sh&n: 5: the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxietyMerriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary hy·poc·ri·sy Pronunciation: hi-'pa-kr&-sE also hI-Function: nounInflected Form(s): plural -siesEtymology: Middle English ypocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, from Greek hypokrisis act of playing a part on the stage, hypocrisy, from hypokrinesthai to answer, act on the stage, from hypo- + krinein to decide Date: 13th century a : feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary The Occupier of … ---------- Flanders ---------- Quebec ---------- Tibet - Moslem Regions ---------- Northern Ireland - Gibraltar- Falklands - Scotland ---------- Corsica - Alsace - French Polynesia ---------- Kashmir - Sikh Punjab ---------- Irian Jaya ---------- Mindanao ---------- Chechnya - KurilIslands ---------- Tamil Nadu ---------- Basque Region ---------- Kurdistan ---------- Puerto Rico - Okinawa Belgium Canada China England France India Indonesia Philippines Russian Federation Sri Lanka Spain Turkey United States These countries have two things in common
Middle Eastern fairy tales There is a country named ‘palestine’ Israel occupies Arab lands This occupation is illegal This occupation is brutal This occupation is the “heart of” the Mideast Conflict
Fairy Tale number 1: “Palestine” The term ‘Palestine’ was coined by Roman occupiers to describe the area on this map. It is just that - an area. During the entire history of the planet, there has never been a country named, ‘Palestine.’ A Jewish country named Israel existed 1,000 years before the invention of ‘Palestine’ - and 1,500 years before the first Moslem was born ! The land area known as ‘Palestine was repeatedly occupied: by Romans, Mongols, Crusaders, Ottomans and Englishmen. Even when Moslems ruled the area, they never saw fit to create a country named ‘Palestine.’ Jerusalem was just another backwater town to them
Following World War One, The League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to govern ‘palestine’. Although the Sinai desert was not included in the mandate, the British also managed this area - and in practical terms, the Sinai never really ‘belonged’ to Egypt. In 1923, Britain unilaterally carved out 70% of Palestine to create a racially-pure Jew-free state - later named “Jordan.” There is no historical basis for Jordan and it continues to occupy most of ‘Palestine.” Sinai Amazingly, both Britain and Jordan insist that Israel occupies ‘Palestine.’ This would be the equivalent of a United States claim that Canada occupies North America !! * note: Before removal from ‘palestine’ Jordan was referred to as ‘Transjordan’
Also note that the British had no right to carve up the land or invent new fictional countries - to the exclusion of Jews This is an abbreviated version of the Mandate given to Britain over Palestine Note the emphasis placed on encouragement of Jewish settlement and Jewish rights in the Land [in red].
...and so, having given away 70% of Palestine to invent Jordan, the British now proceeded to chop out yet another portion of Palestine - this time to the French. In 1923, the Golan Heights were given over to the jurisdiction of French-ruled Syria. Is there anything in the words, “no Palestine territory shall be ceded...” that I don’t understand ?!?!? Only a few decades later, Syria demands the ‘return’ of the Golan - their “ancient and eternal homeland” [!!??]
...25 years and one Holocaust later, the United Nations offered the Jews an even smaller portion of ‘Palestine’ [in yellow] The Jews accepted ... and the Arab countries unanimously rejected the proposal (General Assembly 181) and opted for war. Fifty years, 5 wars and scores of thousands of casualties later, they suddenly inundate our TV screens with cries of, “WE ACCEPT 181 !!”
In the first of these 5 wars, which ended in 1948, the Arabs captured Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria [The West Bank] and the Gaza strip. ‘West Bank’ Jerusalem Gaza Summary to 1948: Palestinians - not yet invented Palestine - not yet invented Illegal Occupation by Arabs: Jordan West Bank Jerusalem Gaza Golan Heights Illegal occupation by Jews: 0
Question: What is it about the words, “West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza” that sounds so familiar ? Answer: These are the precise areas which the Arabs now claim to be ‘Palestine.’ ‘West Bank’ Jerusalem Gaza Question: But .. then why didn’t the Arabs declare this to be Palestine after they occupied the territories in 1948 ? Answer: Ah Hah !!
Amazing ... but true: From 1948 to 1967..... The Arabs occupied all of the territories which they claim to be ‘Palestine. But they never even considered forming Palestine. The people who fancy themselves ‘palestinians’ lived in these areas. But they never made any attempt to form Palestine. The Palestine Liberation Organization was formed in 1964. They held it all in 1964 - so just what are they trying to liberate ? There was not a single Jewish ‘settlement’ in these areas. So why did the Arabs carry out a 20-year reign of war and terror? There was no Jewish ‘occupation’ - not a single inch. So how can they claim that the ‘occupation is the heart of the problem’ ??
And so [at a time that the Arabs held all of what they call ‘Palestine’ .. and at a time that there was no occupation] they started yet another war of annihilation against the Jews Golan ‘West Bank’ In June 1967, we Israelis once again fought and won a defensive war ... a war of survival - this time re-gaining control of Jerusalem and ‘the West Bank’ [illegally occupied by Jordan]; Gaza [illegally occupied by Egypt]; and the Golan Heights [illegally occupied by Syria since 1923.] Jerusalem Gaza Note that these territories had been taken illegally and occupied by Jordan, Egypt and Syria - and had originally been held by Britain and intended for Jewish settlement.
Fairy Tale number 2 : There is an “occupation” As we’ve seen, the areas under dispute were returned to Israeli control after a period of illegal occupation by Jordan, Egypt and Syria. There is and never has been an “Israeli occupation” - only Disputed Territories. Fairy Tale number 3: The “occupation” is illegal. One might expect the diplomatic world to spend its time with more pressing issues than the legal standing of a ‘non-occupation.’ The ‘law’ generally invoked to denounce Israel’s presence in these disputed territories is United Nations Resolution 242.
The most common word in 242 is ... ‘The’ The most significant word-omission in 242 is.... ‘The.’ 242 clearly requires... “Withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories....” Read my lips: “from territories.” NOTtheterritories. NOTall of theterritories ! There is no shortage of ink at the United Nations - the addition of one more, ‘the’ would have taken only a-second-or-so ! The Security Council, Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East, Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security, Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter, 1.Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles: Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force; 2.Affirms further the necessity For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area; For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem; For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones; 3.Requests the Secretary General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution; 4.Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible. This is Resolution 242 The word “The” appears thirty-seven (!) times - accounting for 13.1% of the document.
Another key word in 242 is, “States” - appearing five times in the document ! When 242 was written in 1967, there were no such things as ‘Palestine,’ a ‘Palestinian homeland’ ... or even ‘Palestinians’ ! The “States” referred to in this document are Israel, Syria, Egypt and Jordan. In other words, 242 is totally irrelevant to the palestinian conflict. A nonexistent ‘State’ named ‘Palestine’ has absolutely no claim on the areas discussed in 242! A key word that you won’t find in 242 is, “Jerusalem.” Anyone who demands that Jerusalem must be “returned in accordance with 242” is obviously lying !
About the ‘occupied territories” All of the parties and territories discussed in 242 are outlined in this map. Note there is no reference to ‘palestine’ - because there has never been such a place. Golan ‘West Bank’ In 1979, Israel gave the Sinai to Egypt - thus fulfilling the territorial demands of 242. The Sinai is larger than all of Israel, and comprised over 90% of all disputed territory. Additional territory was later given to Jordan; and Jordan / Egypt renounced all claim to Jerusalem / Gaza, respectively. Jerusalem Gaza Israel has completely fulfilled her obligations under 242. There is no reason to give more land away to countries which threaten her existence [Syria] or to terrorist organizations which are totally irrelevant to the conflict [palestinians].
Fairy Tale number 5: The “occupation” is brutal Aside from the fact that Mrs. Ashwari dates the ‘occupation’ from 1948 (ie, the very existence of Israel is “occupation”), she has apparently led a rather sheltered life. Surely the ‘human mind’ has devised acts of brutalization and persecution far worse than her paranoid fantasy. Which brings us to……………….. “In 1948…the population…was subjected to the systematic oppression and brutality of an inhuman occupation that robbed them of all their rights and liberties…under a unique combination of military occupation…..and systematic oppression. Rarely has the human mind devised such varied, diverse and comprehensive means of wholesale brutalization and persecution” - Hanan Ashwari Per capita GNP in U.S. $
Fairy Tale number 6: The “occupation” is the heart of the Mideast conflict This is AMAZING nonsense ! Aside from the fact that the Arabs started most of their wars before the ‘occupation’ ... Aside from the fact that the Arabs never created ‘Palestine’ - when they already had everything ... Aside from the fact that most Arabs openly support the complete elimination of Israel.... All of the following happened BEFORETHE OCCUPATION EXISTED Arab anti-Semitism institutionalized (Syria in 1840). Continual 150-year string of pogroms against Jews in all Arab countries. Arab pogroms conducted under Ottoman rule throughout the Middle East. Arabs massacre Jews under the British Mandate in 1929, 1933, 1936 and 1948. Arab leaders cooperate and even participate actively in the Holocaust. Unending Arab terrorist raids against Jewish civilians during 1948 to 1967. Expulsion of 540,000 Jews from Arab countries before 1967. etc............
Question: So what is the “heart of the problem” ? This little speck is … “The Occupation” Answer: Arabs oppose the presence of a Jewish State in the Middle East !