We Won't Give Up Our Occupation

Forty-five years of successful occupation speak for themselves. Another 87 years remain before Israel has occupied Palestine for as long as France ruled in Algeria, although in demographic terms Israel achieved its aim long ago.

A photo of Dr. Zvi Bar'el.
Zvi Bar'el
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A photo of Dr. Zvi Bar'el.
Zvi Bar'el

For five years Israel's government has been trying to teach the world the difference between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Between the good and the evil, between the freedom fighters and the terrorists, between the wealth of those obedient West Bank residents and the distress of those defiant Gazans.

Both parts of the State of Palestine are under Israeli occupation. According to the countries of the world, "divide and rule" and "carrot and stick" are still with us. What suited Britain in India, France in Algeria and Italy in Libya is copied in its entirety in Israel.

So who are they, perfidious Albion and hypocritical France, to point a finger at Alexander Netanyahu? Forty-five years of successful occupation speak for themselves. Another 87 years remain before Israel has occupied Palestine for as long as France ruled in Algeria, although in demographic terms Israel achieved its aim long ago. About 8 percent of West Bank residents are Pied-Noir Jews. Another 2 percent and we've won.

It was all going so well, until something went wrong. Something always goes wrong. Just as the Shah of Iran didn't understand why his subjects no longer loved him, and Hosni Mubarak scorned the opposition movement and let slip "let them have fun," Benjamin Netanyahu has not understood what's gotten into the Palestinians.

After all, Ramallah's discos were functioning just fine, the pretty malls were flourishing, and the city of Rawabi was being built. After all he, the good and gracious, decided only two months ago to transfer an advance of NIS 250 million from the money due the Palestinians. Is there a more enlightened occupier? Did he not reveal his understanding that the occupied march on their stomachs?

Then suddenly came a venomous bite to the caressing hand. The Palestinian state has sprung up between its fingers. It wasn't Hamas - which can be bombed, imprisoned in Gaza or cut off from the electricity grid - that carried out this ugly exercise, but the favorite child.

The Palestinian criminal sinned twice. He disobeyed the rules of the game under which only one side sets the rules. He took the slogan "two states for two peoples" seriously. But the really big crime was that Mahmoud Abbas portrayed Netanyahu as an empty vessel. Abbas even removed from the occupier its customary cover that "the automatic majority" - that is, dark and backward countries - supported a Palestinian state.

But Israel never loses. It doesn't retreat, it "disengages." It doesn't negotiate with terrorists but "reaches understandings." It doesn't punish but "etches into the consciousness." But what can you do when it's the Palestinians who have etched something into Israel's consciousness and have made clear that Israel no longer occupies "locals" but a recognized state? Such consciousness-altering can be traumatic. In the case of the patient Netanyahu, his craziness has been let out.

First, we've frozen NIS 450 million of the Palestinians' money. After all, they owe money to the Israel Electric Corporation and for other services, so we'll deduct the sum now. What, don't banks do this kind of thing to their customers every day? Did the United States and Europe, who were outraged by the Israeli response, not freeze assets of the Revolutionary Guards and Iran's leaders? Then came the announcement of 3,000 housing units in the territories. And these are only "moderate steps," according to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.

So what's next? Roadblocks? Blocking exit from the territories? Limiting exports? Closure as in Gaza? The expression "all options are open" betrays warlike intentions. Enough of the peace-seeker's costume. Dear Palestinians, we're not afraid of sanctions by Western countries, trade boycotts or diplomatic isolation. We'll shoot ourselves in both feet and pull an eye out, as long as we pull both your eyes out. We have many more years of occupation due us and won't give any of them up.

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