New York Times Off Base in Portraying Gaza as 'Occupied Territory'

The New York Times errs badly in a Sept. 26 article in which it lumps the West Bank and Gaza as Israeli-occupied territories (“Rival Palestinian Factions Agree to Resolve Differences, Leader Say,” page A4).

In referring to Mahmoud Abbas’s plans to address the U.N. General Assembly, Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren writes that Abbas “plans to appeal for a new international approach to ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.”

To depict Gaza as Israeli-occupied is quite a stretch – in fact, a totally misleading description, a gross error.

“Occupied” and “occupation” fit the bill if there are  “occupiers” on the ground.  But there’s not been any Israeli “occupier” in Gaza since Ariel Sharon pulled out all Israeli military bases and civilian communities nine years ago – in 2005.  For several of those years, there actually was a single Israeli in Gaza, Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas.  But he’s back in Israel after a trade for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.  And Shalit can hardly be classified an “occupier” during his Gaza imprisonment.

Gaza now is Judenrein.

If the Times were looking for a real, genuine Gaza “occupier,” it need look no farther than Hamas – the real ruler and occupier of Gaza.

Israel has decamped.  There’s no Israeli  ”occupation.”