Israel and the Occupation Myth

The hatred and violence that killed five members of the Fogel family existed before the Jewish state did.


The recent murder of a family of five in Itamar shocked Israelis to their core. A terrorist broke into the Fogels’ home before stabbing and garroting to death the two parents, Udi and Ruth, and their children Yoav, 11 years old, Elad, 4, and almost decapitating Hadas, who was only three months old.

There has since been very little outcry from the international community. Many nations who are so used to condemning the building of apartment units beyond the Green Line remained silent on this sadistic murder. Meanwhile, the few international correspondents to have covered the massacre have placed it in the context of ongoing settlement-building and Israel’s so-called “occupation.”

However, regardless of one’s views on which people have greater title to Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank, it is a historically inaccurate distortion to claim that the occupation that breeds this type of violence. If this mantra were true, then it must be the case that before the occupation there was no violence. This defies the historical record.

In 1929, the Jewish community of Hebron—which stretches back millennia, long before the creation of Islam and the Arab conquest and subsequent occupation of the area—was brutally attacked. The Jews who had been living peacefully with their Muslim neighbors were set upon in a bloody rampage, inspired by Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, who later became notorious as Hitler’s genocidal acolyte during the Holocaust. In two days, 67 Jews were hacked or bludgeoned to death. Jewish infants were beheaded and Jewish women were disemboweled. Limbs were hacked off the dead as well as those who managed to survive.

On visiting the scene shortly after the massacre, Britain’s High Commissioner for Palestine John Chancellor wrote to his son “I do not think that history records many worse horrors in the last few hundred years.”

This and other similar pogroms happened, not only before the “occupation” of Judea and Samaria, but even two decades before the state of Israel was reestablished. From 1948 to 1967, Judea and Samaria were illegally occupied by Jordan, which renamed the area the West Bank, in reference to the East Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan that fell beyond the Jordan River. Not one Israeli was allowed into this area, yet nor did Israel know one day of peace in that time, during which it saw brutal attacks launched from the West Bank against Israeli civilians.

Further evidence against the mantra that the occupation breeds violence can be culled from Palestinian sources. Take Hamas’s founding charter, for instance, which does not mention occupation or settlements. What is does contain are calls for the complete destruction of Israel, down to its last inch, such as: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” The charter goes even further, aspiring to a point in time when there will be no Jews left anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organization, currently headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, notes in its founding charter that “this organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank,” while still calling for a “liberation of its homeland.” This was written in 1964, fully three years before Israel conquered the West Bank during the Six Day War.

It’s safe to say that the violence and terror visited upon Israelis has little connection to “occupation” or settlements. This myth has no historical foundation, but is easy to proclaim for those who have little understanding of the conflict.

Yet these fatuous canards only make our conflict harder to solve. The recent massacre in Itamar highlighted the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing incitement to violence through its media, mosques and educational system. At this point, the basic parameters of the peace process need an overhaul. If our aim is to reach a peaceful resolution, then merely ending the “occupation” would far from guarantee that, as history has shown.

Israel was assured in the past by the international community that if it just retreated from Gaza and Lebanon, peace would flourish and violence would come to an end. In both cases, this hope proved deadly wrong, and millions of Israelis have been subjected to incessant attacks from these territories since the retreat.

This is not about “occupation” or territory; it is about meaningful coexistence. Only when the root ideological causes of our conflict are solved can Israelis and Palestinians make the painful concessions necessary for peace.

Mr. Ayalon is the deputy foreign minister of Israel.

March 29, 2011 | 8 Comments »

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  1. In 1992 the international community acting through the League of Nations recognized the Jewish people’s pre-existing rights to reconstitute their national home in Eretz Israel.

    Nothing any collection of nations can do changes that fundamental truth. In terms of the law of the nations, the right of Jews to closely settle an approximation of Eretz Israel called the Mandate for Palestine, was recognized in 1922. Nothing has occurred that takes that right away from the Jews (nor arguably could the nations take away the rights of the Jews even under their international law.)

    General Assembly resolutions are merely recommendations. The UN GA in 1947 established nothing. (However in the early 1950’s GA resolution 377 muddied up the UN Charter and gave the GA some semblance of power it did not have under the Charter. This is a concern today as the PA may attempt to use a 377 action in the GA to declare a state – thus circumventing the Security Council and the possibility of a US veto.)

    The rights of Jews to our homeland exists outside international law, but within international law our right to our homeland was given to the Jewish people, not the modern day government of Israel. Israel of course can establish her own borders, but she cannot give away our rights to our land.

  2. I do not know why the christian commuity does not stand up agains this kind of thing .Israel is the birth place of christianity and a very holy land It is were our lord Jesus Christ and GOD choose the jewish people as his own. there are plenty of warnings in the Bible to Have one stop a think of what will come down on them. I stand with Israel for not to would be puting my finger in the EYE of GOD.

  3. muslims don’t want the land, I think that should be clear after all the land they’ve got so far and nothing changed in their attitude. They’re simply Jew haters/murderers and they base that feeling I believe on their hate for democracy and freedom that Israel is representing. They can’t take a neighbor who thinks differently. Brain limited they think that everybody just needs to be in the same sheet (pardon my French, I just hate them equally) as they are themselves.

  4. If the Arabs declare a State in the “West Bank” based on international law, why can’t the Jews declare a State in Judea and Samaria based on international law? After all the Jews have international law on their side – The San Remo Resolution – April 25, 1920 which was ratified by the League of Nations and the United States signed onto – although not a part of the League of Nations – is grandfathered into the UN Charter. This is so in spite of the hypocrisy of the EU, the US, and the nations of the world which claim that Jewish settlements are illegal or “illegitimate”. If anything these nations should be encouraging and financing the “close settlement of the territories by the Jews”. The sad fact that the government of Israel doesn’t assert Jewish rights to the land even by “secular” international law probably is due to the influence of the Post-Zionists on the secular oligarchy that leads Israel today. The Post-Zionists themselves were indoctrinated by the German Jewish intellectuals who taught the Humanities, social sciences and law at Hebrew University – Israel’s first university (see Yoram Hazony’s The Struggle for Israel’s Soul).

  5. BlandOatmeal says:
    March 30, 2011 at 5:41 am

    [6] In that day will I make the governors of Judah

    “Alufei” can translate as “governors” but it usually refers to battalions and regiments of soldiers.

    There is also an opinion that the word is really “alfei”, meaning the thousands of residents of Yehuda, who will all be witness to the miracles mentioned in the previous verses. See “alfei Yehuda” in Samuel 1, 23:23.

    Israel’s problem is not declaring a 2nd Jewish State, which would be saying that it doesn’t mind casting 100s of 1000s of its own people to the terrorist beasts. Israel needs to unite and rid us all of the beasts once and for all.

    We are nowhere near that now. The Israeli Canaanites in charge have made sure of that. And the beat goes on…

    EDIT: Zechariah 12 also implies that the House of David will be in control at the time. Right now, we’re still in the era of the House of Stupid Jews.

  6. Efune’s article merits some consideration. Zechariah 12 speaks of the end-times Judea and Jerusalem as two separate entities:

    [6] In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
    [7] The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

  7. Declare a Second Jewish State
    by Dovid Efune, Dir. Algemeiner Journal

    If Israel can suggest a man made PA island off the Gaza shores to bypass Hamas, why shouldn’t this be considered as well?

    In September the United Nations General Assembly will convene in New York. It is widely anticipated that the Palestinian Arab leadership will unilaterally push for the declaration of a State, seeking approval and diplomatic acceptance from among the gathered representatives.

    It is unlikely that this initiative, that would essentially amount to an effort to seize control of the West Bank, will materialize. However if it did, it could cause a great deal of concern for Israel. Now consider for a moment what the implications would be if at the very same time, a movement to declare a second Jewish State in Judea and Samaria was gathering pace.

    Sounds farfetched? Maybe, but the idea is not my own. Political activists in Israel and around the world have begun to debate the merits of this concept, and as interest grows, the embryo of a movement may begin to be taking shape. The residents of cities, villages, towns and outposts throughout Judea and Samaria have often borne the brunt of Arab aggression, and their future is constantly subject to political whims. Israeli civil law does not apply to residents of these areas and the ability for communities to defend themselves is restricted.

    The recent brutal and barbaric Itamar slaughter underscored the kind of threats that these communities need to take into account. Following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit of consolation to the Fogel family, the following comments by their oldest daughter Tamar gives an indication of how isolated many Jewish West Bank residents feel. “The Prime Minister said, “They murder us and they try to…and we build. We build. We build. We…just continue on.” So I told him, “And then afterwards you expel people (from their homes).” She continued, “And during the expulsions, it’s not just expelling people from their homes; there is also a war between brothers going on.”

    As communities feel more isolated, movements that call for Judean independence may begin to gather more steam. The argument, although not unflawed, is in many ways quite sound. First of all, as many Israel advocates are fond of mentioning, there are a number of Arab states and only one Jewish State. So why not establish a second?

    According to most in the international community, Israeli control-and certainly inhabitance-of the West Bank, is illegal and Arabs refer to the land as ‘occupied’ territory. Even to those observers that defer minimally to the laws of impartiality, the area is referred to as ‘disputed.’ If Israel were to cede control of the areas to a new entity, governed by the local Jewish inhabitants who have an extensive historical connection to the land, what grounds for reckoning would be left? Israel would no longer be involved, as the dispute would now be between the West Bank Jews and the West Bank Arabs. After all, historically Jewish sovereignty was divided at times between the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.

    Of course, because of the strategic importance of the area militarily, economically, and agriculturally, Israel would need to maintain an extensive bilateral defense and trade pact with the new entity.

    Besides the immediate effects on the ground, the benefits for Israel in the ongoing arena of world opinion could go even further. The precious underdog status that has so expertly been transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Arabs over the last number of years may be assigned to the Judeans as they struggle to build their newly independent Jewish State.

    Faced with a new geopolitical reality, and understanding of Jewish fortitude and determination, the local Arab population, maintaining their refugee status, may have more of an incentive to seek resettlement elsewhere in the Arab world. They may finally even be assisted by the international community.

    These committed pioneers have settled the Jewish homeland in its entirety and have shouldered the burden of peoplehood and the hardships of actualizing the dream of a Jewish return to Zion. They may yet open up a new frontier in the battle for the Jewish right to self-determination and it may go a long way in reframing the Israel-Arab conversation.

  8. Palestine and 1967 “international borders”:

    1. The State of Israel has had only one set of recognized international borders. The UN partition plan set up a small Jewish State of Israel in 1948, which was recognized by the UN as an independent nation. The rest of the British Mandate was to become an “arab” state. The word arab was used because that state was to include “christian arabs” in addition to muslims.
    2. The “palestinian arab state” has never come into being. The surrounding arab nations did not allow the palestinians to form an independent government. Instead, four muslim arab nations (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria) attacked Jewish Israel (and christian Lebanon supported the muslims).
    3. The Jews counter-attacked and pushed outwards. So, the only official borders Jewish Israel has ever had lasted only minutes.
    4. In 1949 the UN brokered a truce between Jewish Israel and the muslim Kingdom of Jordan. The truce line is called the “green line”. It is not a border. Israel had gained territory in the War of Independence, adding Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beer-Sheva, Nazareth, and Acre to its UN mandated territory. The UN did not tell Jewish Israel to surrender these new territories. Their fate was to be determined at “a future time” through negotiations.
    5. Instead of allowing the palestinaians to form their own state, the Kingdom of Jordan annexed the West Bank and the old city of Jerusalem. In 1967 they joined a pan-arab attack against Jewish Israel. Israel counter-attacked and drove the Jordanian army back over thr Jordan River. Israel has administered the West Bank ever since.
    6. The United Nations is a group of Jew-hating third world dictatorships. It claims to constitute some type of “world government”. America pays a fifth of its budget, using money it borrows from China in the name of the American taxpayer. The UN has formed a kangaroo court, called the “International Court of Justice”, in order to give “legitimacy” to UN positions. It is stacked with Jew-hating third world “justices”.
    7. In 2003 the International Court of Justice issued an “advisory opionion based on international law”. It said that the territories seized by Jewish Israel in 1949 were somehow legitimate (at least for the time being), but that in 1967, when Israel crossed the “green line”, they had attacked the borders of the (non-existent) State of Palestine, and were therefore an “occupying power” violating “international law”.

    Conclusion: just like Stalin and the communists used “Soviet Law” to justify their atrocities, the UN (including Obama and the EU), make up “international law” as they go along, and use it as they wish as a weapon against whomever they choose at the moment. So look out, Jewish Israel.