The Occupation Solution

On October 25, 2023, U.N. secretary general António Guterres said at a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war that he condemns unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel.  He continued:

Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians — or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.

He then justified the attacks:

It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.  The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.

What was the hoped for political solution that has somehow escaped Israel and the Palestinians all these years?  Guterres explained:

A negotiated peace that fulfills the legitimate national aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis, together with their security alike — the long-held vision of a two-state solution.  

This vision of a two-state solution is shared by President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  It is not shared by Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that Israel will take responsibility for Gaza for the indefinite future.  Netanyahu explained that only occupation of the Gaza Strip can prevent an “eruption of Hamas terror.”

This vision of a two-state solution is not shared by the Palestinian Authority, either, who in 2000 was offered and rejected an independent sovereign state in almost all of the West Bank and Gaza, without a single settlement in sight, and a capital in east Jerusalem.  They rejected the offer because it did not include an agreement by Israel to be flooded with millions of Palestinian Arabs living in refugee camps in the West Bank.  If the Palestinian Authority had accepted that suicidal offer, it could have had an army with tanks and planes, with only a 10-mile-wide stretch of Israel between them and the Mediterranean Sea.  The lunacy of the two-state solution becomes even more apparent when one realizes that in the 28 years since the Oslo Accords, the existence of four de facto Palestinian states did not stop terrorism.

Guterres believes that there can be peace once the Palestinian Arabs cease suffocating under Israel occupation, but are they suffocating?  Are they occupied?  Who is occupying whom?  A poll carried out by the Palestine News Network found that 93% of Arab residents of East Jerusalem preferred to live under Israeli governance rather than that of the Palestinian Authority.  One would almost think that the Palestinian Authority and not Israel is the suffocating occupier.

Caroline Glick explained just how suffocating the occupation by the Palestinian leadership is in an article that first appeared in the Jerusalem Post in 2007.  She wrote:

In the State of Palestine, two-year-olds are killed and no one cares. Children are woken up in the middle of the night and murdered in front of their parents. Worshipers in mosques are gunned down by terrorists who attend competing mosques. ... No UN body condemns anyone or sends a fact-finding mission to investigate the murders. ... In the State of Palestine, women are stripped naked and forced to march in the streets to humiliate their husbands. Ambulances are stopped on the way to hospitals and wounded are shot in cold blood. Terrorists enter operating rooms in hospitals and unplug patients from life-support machines.

Palestinians have ethnically cleansed Gaza of Jews multiple times.  Gaza once had a sizable Jewish community, with a history going back 3,000 years, long before the Arabs occupied it.

The first ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza in modern times occurred during the 1929 Palestinian riots.  One of the ancient Jewish towns of Gaza was called Kfar Darom.  In 1946, a kibbutz was founded there.  Two years later, in a second ethnic cleansing, Kfar Darom had to be evacuated of Jews following an Egyptian siege in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Jews returned to Gaza again after the surrounding Arab countries tried to annihilate Israel in 1967.  In 1968, then–prime minister Yigal Allon proposed founding two Nahal settlements in the center of the Gaza Strip, which he viewed as vital for Israel's security in the area.  That area became known as Gush Katif.  During the first Intifada (1987–1990), the residents of Gush Katif were subject to frequent stoning of traffic.  During the al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–2005), Gush Katif was the target of thousands of attacks by Palestinian terrorists, with over 6,000 mortars and Qassam rockets launched into the settlements.  Terrorist attacks included a bombing of a school bus and the murder of a pregnant woman and her four young daughters.

A belief that withdrawal from Gaza would end Israeli casualties was one of the reasons for the third ethnic cleansing of Jews, one in which the Israeli government, in a self-inflicted wound, forcibly removed the Jewish population of Gush Katif from Gaza.  The only occupation of Gaza after that was by Palestinian Arabs and Hamas.  The fourth ethnic cleansing was of Israeli towns near the border of Gaza, which occurred on October 7 of this year, when Hamas terrorists invaded and murdered entire communities.

If, as Guterres implied, occupation were the cause of the October invasion of Israel by Hamas, that occupation would have to refer to areas outside Gaza, yet there, too, it is the Arabs who occupied and ethnically cleansed the area multiple times.  The first Muslim occupation of Israel occurred in 636.  Invading Arabs expropriated Jewish houses and property, uprooted Jewish farmers from their soil, and drove them out of Israel.  Eight hundred and eighty years later, the Ottomans occupied Israel.  They gave incentives to Muslims to colonize Israel while imposing severe jizya taxes on the Jews and brutal punishments if the Jews couldn’t pay.

In 1852, Arthur Hollingsworth described what Jewish life was like under Ottoman occupation.  He wrote:

This Jewish population is poor beyond any adequate word; it is degraded in its social and political condition, to a state of misery, so great, that it possesses no rights. It can shew no wealth even if possessed of it, because to display riches would secure robbery from the Mahometan population, the Turkish officials, or the Bedouin Arab. ... He creeps along that soil, where his forefathers proudly strode in the fulness of a wonderful prosperity, as an alien, an outcast, a creature less than a dog,

Ottoman persecution forced entire Jewish communities to leave Israel.

The third Muslim occupation occurred during the British mandate as a result of Jewish immigrants clearing out malarial swamps, farming the desert, creating industries, and creating jobs.  Ladislas Farago in his book Palestine at the Crossroads wrote in 1937:

One always finds in Palestine Arabs who have been in the country only a few weeks or a few months. ... Since they are themselves strangers in a strange land, they are the loudest to cry: “Out with the Jews!” ... Amongst them are to be found representatives of every Arab country: Arabs from Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, the Sudan and Iraq.

The reason there is no peace in Israel is not because the Israelis are occupying Palestine, but because Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are occupying Israel and indoctrinating their population to hate the Jews.  The Palestinian Authority pays terrorists to kill Jews.

President Biden and Antony Blinken believe that Israeli occupation is the root of the conflict and so are opposed to Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to occupy Gaza after defeating Hamas.  They want Israel to turn Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority.  If Israel does that, it will turn victory into defeat and experience more horrific attacks.

Occupation is a solution the allies used after World War II, when they occupied Germany and Japan, and it is the only chance Israel has of achieving peace with the Palestinians.  Germany and Japan became allies of the United States, and who knows?  Maybe some day there could be a friendly government in Gaza, but it has to be de-Nazified first.  That government is not the Palestinian Authority.

Image: scottgunn via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0.

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