A Plant Named Occupation Has Grown Into a Deep-rooted Tree

When someone says something against the occupation, he is attacked as if he is the ultimate enemy of all Jews from the time of Moses to Yair Lapid.

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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A Palestinian woman gestures as she stands beside an olive tree after it was cut down in the West Bank village of Litwane, near the Jewish settlement of Ma'on.
A Palestinian woman gestures as she stands beside an olive tree after it was cut down in the West Bank village of Litwane, near the Jewish settlement of Ma'on. Credit: Reuters
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

“The sheikh’s dog is also a sheikh” goes the Arabic saying. If the sheikh’s dog urinated in your salon, you are expected to be amazed at the fragrant aroma that engulfs the room. And if you are tempted, because of all the torture you go through because of him, to throw a stone at him – then the dog’s whole clan and the sheikh’s whole clan and their friends across the sea will rise up against you. Your name will be mud and even Hitler will look like Mother Theresa compared to you and your cruelty.

But the delicate liberal souls will say that if part of your rear end gets caught in the jaws of that sweet canine, don’t go telling outsiders about it – after all, that’s what you have the sheikh for! Go to him, and don’t be surprised to see how much he takes it to heart. Look what happened, for example, after the massacre that Baruch Goldstein perpetrated in Hebron. The sheikh was so angry that he prevented Arab residents in the area from going through the nearby streets to their homes. And so they were murdered and their families were also punished.

That’s the way it is with the occupation. The fate it shares with the Jewish state is crystal clear for all to see. Any criticism of the occupation is like blasphemy against the Jewish people. And when someone says something against the occupation, he is attacked as if he is the ultimate enemy of all Jews from the time of Moses to Yair Lapid.

Really! Who would have believed that this occupation, which began, at least officially, as a war for the survival of the state, would turn into the “rock of our existence”? After all, before going out to that war, which was presented as a war of no choice, Israel had no demand for sovereignty over the territories it conquered. The Levi Eshkol government did not even demand sovereignty over the Western Wall.

In that context, I would like to reveal a secret that I’ve been keeping for a generation now. The Israeli occupation is actually a sophisticated Arab conspiracy. The Arabs really wanted to destroy the Jewish state in 1967, but with great logic, they said to themselves: “Why should we go down in history as ignorant anti-Semites? Instead, we’ll plant occupation among them. That plant will give rise at first to sounds of joy and celebration, and by the time they discover that it’s no more than a Trojan horse, it will be too late.”

Meanwhile, the plant has grown into a deep-rooted tree. Its envoys have conquered the corridors of power. Enormous funding is funneled to it, tens of thousands of soldiers, clerks, lawyers, jailers and investigators work around the clock to maintain and protect its good name. So bad has the situation become that we don’t know any more who the dog is and who the sheikh.

And now of all times, when everything is ripe for the Jewish state to crumble from within, Jewish patriots like Breaking the Silence, The Committee Against Torture, Machsom Watch and B’Tselem have discovered the Trojan horse in their yard and are beginning to reveal its face in public. Well, the Arab conspiracy has already been uncovered and the Arabs are starting to sweat.

But if we started with the sheikh’s dog, let’s end with the dog of another sheikh, the prime minister’s dog, whose time came to be locked up in the dog pound, despite its celebrity status, after it started to embarrass the sheikh. That is good for the dog and good for the sheikh and good for everyone. The question is whether Sheikh Benjamin is ready to take this drastic step when it comes to a truly dangerous dog – the occupation? The time has come to put the occupation into the dog pound of history. That will be healthy for both our peoples.

But I continue to fear that it is too late for us; that our lovely dog has already devoured the sheikh and instead of putting it in a proper dog pound, it and its friends are patrolling around us in the solitary confinement in which we have been enclosed, lest we manage to reach freedom and the brotherhood of peoples.

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