Edition 2: No.36
Israel’s ‘No Occupation’ Report!
Israel’s illegalities are forever shored up by a propaganda machine that works insistently to create ‘facts-on-the-ground’. A freshly published report by an Israeli judge – retired Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy – concludes thatIsraelis not in fact occupying the Palestinian territories. The report has been received with a sense of disbelief everywhere.
Comical as the claim is, Israelis may soon start believing it. And so will gullible their supporters around the world who support the Zionist state.
Dr Joseph Goebbels, a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 once notoriously argued: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” It seems that Israelis mastering the art of lying and reinforcing the lies by reiterating them.
The Israeli judge went so far as to leave the hawkish Likud Prime minister of Israel somewhat ill at ease. He was too embarrassed to make the report public. Such are levels of the preposterous claims made by the hardliners who rule Israel.
Justice Edmond Levy’s preposterous findings were mocked at even by the left wing websites. A cartoon showed an Israeli soldier pressing the barrel of a rifle to the forehead of a Palestinian pinned to the ground, saying: “You see – I told you there’s no occupation.”
Legal analysts have also challenged the findings of the report questioning its ‘dubious reasoning’. They recall a warning from Theodor Meron, the foreign ministry’s legal adviser in 1967 that cautioned the government to desist settling civilians in the newly seized territories after the Six-day war. They saw it as being in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Netanyahu’s embarrassment does not, however, come from any sense of moral shame. It stems from the timing. The judges he commissioned to study the legality of the illegal Jewish settlers’ wide spread “outposts” were handpicked. One of them was the only Supreme Court judge to oppose the government’s decision to withdraw the settlers from Gaza. So the report was clearly one that Netanyahu was looking for. ,
Legal experts have underlined the embarrassment Israel will face if it adopts Judge Levy’s position. Jonathan Cook, an analyst and commentator on the Middle East points out that ‘under international law,Israel’s rule in the West Bank and Gaza is considered “belligerent occupation” and, therefore, its actions must be justified by military necessity only. If there is no occupation,Israel has no military grounds to hold on to the territories. In that case, it must either return the land to the Palestinians, and move out the settlers, or defy international law by annexing the territories, as it did earlier with East Jerusalem, and establish a state of Greater Israel.’
The report leaves Netanyahu in a bind. If he chooses annexation, says Jonathan cook, he will find himself having to “either offer the Palestinians citizenship and wait for a non-Jewish majority to emerge in Greater Israel; or deny them citizenship and face pariah status as an apartheid state.”
Typical to the political brand that Israelis, Netanyahu will seek to find a way out. Legal brains with a scheming mind set are already beginning to locate the ambiguities and loopholes that they can exploit to impose the report on the Palestinians even without annexation – a move that is bound to attract huge international condemnation and isolation.
It now turns out that in a 2003 interview, one of the other Levy committee members, Alan Baker, a settler who advised the foreign ministry for many years, explained Israel’s heterodox interpretation of theOsloaccords, signed a decade earlier. He avers that the Oslo agreements were merely a road map to establish the legitimacy of the settlements and not, as the world then
Judge Levy is now saying “We are no longer an occupying power, but we are instead present in the territories with their [the Palestinians’] consent and subject to the outcome of negotiations.” Jonathan Cook observes: “That explains why every Israeli administration since the mid-1990s has indulged in an orgy of settlement-building there.” The suspicion, indeed the fear, Cook argues is “that the report paves the way to “establish the legitimacy of the settlements is preparing the legal ground for Israel’s annexation of Area C.”
Even the European Union (generally viewed as soft on Israel) have for once used harsh terms to describe what it calls the “forced transfer” of Palestinians out of Area C into the West Bank’s cities, which fall under Palestinian control. The EU notes that the numbers of Palestinians in Area C has shrunk dramatically under Israeli rule to fewer than 150,000, or no more than 6 per cent of the Palestinian population of theWest Bank. Settlers now outnumber Palestinians more than two-to-one in Area C. (See box below for description of what Area C signifies)
If Israel were to seize nearly two-thirds of the West Bank and still safely confer citizenship on Palestinians there, the addition of 150,000 to the existing 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, a fifth of the population, would not erode the Jewish majority’s dominance. So, even if Netanyahu is going to sit on the Levy report for now, it is clear thatIsraelhas the intention to strengthen its hold on Area C.
The people are watching including the international community. Israel does not want to be under the gaze of internationals when they resort to annexation. So they will try to limit the presence of internationals. Even the respected OCHA is under threat –Israelwarns it will suspend issuance of staff visas and cripple its operations.
The persistent demonstrations by Palestinians in Area C are a sign that they are not willing to walk away from what is theirs. Internationals join Palestinians in these non-violent protests.Israelis edgy about the popularity of these protests and is using intimidation as a way to scuttle them.
Sadly, the PA has rendered itself impotent and can neither support the people nor thwart the Israeli machinations. It simply lacks in credibility and lacks the trust of the Palestinians.
The onus is on the international community to find the will and means to expose the absurdity of the Levy report and discredit its contents and orientation. It is a report laden with risks for the Palestinians and one which may further obscure an already thorny issue.
For full article of Jonathan Cook titled: “What really lies behind Israel’s ‘No occupation’ report: Way cleared for annexation” see http://www.israeli-occupation.org/2012-07-18/jonathan-cook-israels-annexation-plan/
The Palestinian West Bank is divided in to areas A, B, and C
Area ‘A’ is fully under Palestinian control, PA police patrol the streets and deal with all of the needs of the residents of the area, towns like Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus, Tul Karem, and Qalqilya all are in area A.
Area ‘B’ is under Israeli military control and soldiers can arrest anyone in them; however all the civil responsibilities are of the Palestinian Authority the PA, most of the villages on the outskirts of area A cities are in area B.
Area ‘C’ is under full control of Israel military and civilian issues, as well as education, power and water supplies – and that’s where the problem starts, with the Palestinians living in these areas who feel left out and forgotten byboth PA and Israel. The people of area C are caught up between Israel and the PA and are forgotten by both.