A NY Times correction that requires a correction

Leo Rennert
In its April 26, edition, the NY Times runs the following under Corrections on page 2:

"Because of an editing error, an article on Monday about Egypt's cancellation of deliveries of natural gas to Israel in a payment dispute referred imprecisely to Israel's relationship to Gaza, which is one of the causes of popular Egyptian anger at Israel.  While Gaza's borders are controlled by Israel, and the territory is subject to an embargo Israel imposed in 2007, Gaza is no longer occupied by Israel, which unilaterally withdrew its military forces in 2005.  As the article correctly noted, there is continued occupation of the West Bank by Israel."

Use of "occupation" in reference to Israeli presence in parts of the West Bank is erroneous because it clearly implies that the West Bank does not rightly belong to Israel, but to another country - i.e. the Palestinians.  But the Palestinians have no sovereign ownership of the West Bank - now or in the past.  The last such sovereign to rule the West Bank was the Ottoman Empire.  Since then, the West Bank awaits a new, recognized sovereign owner.  Thus, the proper and accurate description is that the West Bank, rather than being "occupied" by Israel, remains disputed territory, which awaits a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Also adding to the error about Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank is the fact that, since the Oslo agreements of the 1990s, the vast proportion of West Bank land and West Bank Palestinians are not under Israeli rule, but under the rule of the Palestinian Authority.  This includes Ramallah, Jenin, Bethlehem and other cities and towns that are governed by the PA under Mahmoud Abbas. 

Would the Times, given this fact, insist that West Bank residents live under Palestinian "occupation"?  I somehow doubt it.

In its April 26, edition, the NY Times runs the following under Corrections on page 2:

"Because of an editing error, an article on Monday about Egypt's cancellation of deliveries of natural gas to Israel in a payment dispute referred imprecisely to Israel's relationship to Gaza, which is one of the causes of popular Egyptian anger at Israel.  While Gaza's borders are controlled by Israel, and the territory is subject to an embargo Israel imposed in 2007, Gaza is no longer occupied by Israel, which unilaterally withdrew its military forces in 2005.  As the article correctly noted, there is continued occupation of the West Bank by Israel."

Use of "occupation" in reference to Israeli presence in parts of the West Bank is erroneous because it clearly implies that the West Bank does not rightly belong to Israel, but to another country - i.e. the Palestinians.  But the Palestinians have no sovereign ownership of the West Bank - now or in the past.  The last such sovereign to rule the West Bank was the Ottoman Empire.  Since then, the West Bank awaits a new, recognized sovereign owner.  Thus, the proper and accurate description is that the West Bank, rather than being "occupied" by Israel, remains disputed territory, which awaits a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Also adding to the error about Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank is the fact that, since the Oslo agreements of the 1990s, the vast proportion of West Bank land and West Bank Palestinians are not under Israeli rule, but under the rule of the Palestinian Authority.  This includes Ramallah, Jenin, Bethlehem and other cities and towns that are governed by the PA under Mahmoud Abbas. 

Would the Times, given this fact, insist that West Bank residents live under Palestinian "occupation"?  I somehow doubt it.