“Our people can’t distinguish between resistance and terrorism. We’re fighting for the liberation of our land from an occupation.” — from this article
The word “occupation” has been accepted, foolishly, by too many in the West. It does not adequately describe Israel’s taking possession, because of its victory in the Six-Day War thrust upon it by Nasser and a runaway Egyptian military, of Gaza and “the West Bank.” (An aside: curious, isn’t it, that the topoynms “Judea” and “Samaria,” though they have been in use all over the Western world since Roman times, and certainly were used by Jesus and the first Christians, suddenly dropped out of use, and the vague placename invented by the Jordanians in 1949, “the West Bank,” was accepted and “Judea” and “Samaria” mocked as “Biblical names used only by Israel’s right-wing” — yet at the same time “Gaza,” a Biblical term for which the Egyptians did not find a replacement, continues to be unembarrassedly used by those in the West who, having no sense of history or logic, who would not be caught dead referring to “Judea” and “Samaria”?)
Israel is not an “occupier” in the sense in which the Germans were occupiers of Occupied France, or of Occupied Paris, or after the war, the Four Powers were in control of Occupied Vienna or Occupied Berlin. Israel has a much deeper, longer claim to those areas — which in the case of Gaza it may not wish to exercise for practical reasons. It is a legal claim based on the intent and terms of the Mandate for Palestine, which in turn is based on a historic and moral claim that the intelligent men who created the League of Nations, and the other intelligent men who staffed the Mandates Commission of that body, found convincing.
Of course, that was in the days before there was oil money from the Arabs sloshing about. The rewriting of history, Middle Eastern history, had not yet given rise to that phrase “the Arab world” which Aramco invented, and which consigned to nothingness both the large indigenous populations of Jews and Christians (Maronites, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Orthodox, Copts, and others) who lived in the Middle East and North Africa (now called “the Arab world”). Their lands were conquered, and they themselves were subjugated. Slowly, over the pressure of the dhimmi system and outright intermittent massacre and forced conversion, the vast indigenous non-Muslim populations were reduced — even as the Christians of Iraq and Gaza and the “West Bank” are being squeezed, harassed, murdered today.
Israel is not an occupier. The Arabs of Gaza were not under “occupation”; they were living on land that by right had been allocated to the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa, and yet the Israelis never treated them as the Jews had been treated by Muslim Arabs. They never tried to evict them. Indeed, they gave them, even under military rule, the best government they had had until then, and the best government they are likely ever to have had — given the lords of misrule whom the Muslim Arab world throws up, and must, because of that blend of support for despotism, inshallah-fatalism, that inculcated habit of mental submission, and the rigid total belief-system that is, and forever will be Islam, and that alone explains the political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures of Muslim states and peoples.
Meanwhile Rashid Khalidi, long-time propagandist for the Arabs and quasi-academic engaged for decades in the “construction-of-the-Palestinian-identity” project, on NPR blames America, blames Israel. While for years he has been denouncing the horrible, monstrous, completely intolerable “Israeli occupation,” he now insists that the Israelis, as the “occupiers” (Israel gave up all of the Arab areas of Gaza in 1994, and it ever since has been under Arab “Palestinian” control, and the Jewish villages that were voluntarily relinquished have not been part of that imaginary “Israeli occupation” for several years) should come back in and “assume their responsibilities.”
In other words, Rashid Khalidi, like the Arabs (“Palestinians”) in Gaza, wants Israel back, to establish security and a modicum of decency. Indeed, he insists that Israel has a “duty” to do so, when for the past few decades the same Rashid Khalidi, and the same local Arabs (“Palestinians”) wanted Israel out.
Please. Try to ignore logic. Try to ignore common sense. Try to forget all you know about this conflict, all you know about the history of the Middle East, all you know about the history of Islam, the tenets of Islam.
Stick with Rashid Khalidi, and try to believe — he wants you to believe — Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
It’s not much to ask, is it? And besides, he’s the “Director” of the “Middle East Institute” at Columbia University. He wouldn’t try to fool you, would he?