Thursday, May 24, 2007

Which "occupation"?

From THE JERUSALEM POST, May. 17, 2007, by Saul Singer, Editor [my emphasis added - SL]....

"Because the Jews destroyed my home. When my home was destroyed I couldn't find my notebook" [says] 'Mickey Mouse' character in Hamas video, crying after he had been caught copying in school (translation by Palestinian Media Watch)....Lost your notebook - blame the occupation.

....This week, Hamas and Fatah were busy killing each other, despite the Mecca deal and the "unity government" that emerged from it. Nine members of Mahmoud Abbas's security forces were killed by Hamas on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Hamas accuses Fatah of "waging war on the new government."

Of course, Hamas also blames all this on the Mossad and the CIA. If only Israel were not stirring things up, there would be tranquility in the Palestinian realm. The Arab world's penchant for blaming others for its predicament is well known and in striking contrast to the West, which often blames itself for "rage" aimed in its direction. The Arab Human Development Reports, written by Arab scholars for the UN and which frankly highlight Arab backwardness in most categories of development, governance and human rights, are the exception that proves the rule.

...Though it is difficult for us to understand that the Arab world - particularly the Palestinians - has come to such a dysfunctional point, what is harder to fathom is why the West would want to encourage such thinking. When this newspaper, for example, asked the new British ambassador, Tom Phillips, why so many in his country seemed so hostile to Israel, he explained, "with some sadness, as someone here committed to Israel," that "Israel is going to get a critical press as long as it is an occupying power."

.... Yet what if the occupied is the side perpetuating the occupation, and the occupier the one desperate to end it? .... the entire Palestinian post-Camp David terror campaign, including Hamas's current buildup for the next round, has been part of the same war to block the coming of a Palestinian state, not to build one and thus end the occupation.

WHEN FRIENDS of Israel, like the British ambassador, speak of "ending the occupation," they are thinking of two states at peace, Israel and Palestine. When Hamas teaches Palestinian children they must blow themselves up to "resist the occupation," they are referring to Israel's destruction....As its spokesman said on Lebanese television on April 2: "We in the Hamas movement will not accept... an agreement saying that at the end of the day, Haifa, Jaffa and Acre are Israeli cities. [We will] not accept any solution that prevents any future Palestinian generation from acting to liberate... the rest of the Palestinian land, if the current generation is incapable of accomplishing this" (

If Hamas is so honest with the West, the West ...should blame the occupation's perpetuation on those who would rather kill themselves and others than see it end: on Palestinian jihadists and those who cover for them in the Arab world.

Israel is often asked to provide a "diplomatic horizon," meaning to more clearly describe the Palestinian state it favors, and how to get there. Where, then, are the demands on the Arab world to clarify the more fundamental matter of which occupation it wants to end - the one that began in 1967, or in 1948?

....Until the West starts asking, "Which occupation?" and demanding the Arab world prove that the occupation they are referring to is not Israel itself, the cycle will continue.

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