The Democratic Party bosses don’t want to include any mention of Israel’s occupation of Palestine in the party’s platform. Why?
Isn’t the occupation a well-established fact, just as climate change is today?
Unfortunately, there are climate change deniers and occupation deniers. Facts mean little to either.
The State of Israel has a very clear strategy to obfuscate their occupation of Palestine in order to escape legal responsibilities as the occupier, and to shift the burden of the plight of the Palestinians onto the Palestinians themselves and the international community. Attorney Noura Erakat educated me about Israel’s legal strategy in her law review piece that I summarized here.
The New York Times, in this respect, is Israel’s handmaiden by deliberately avoiding the term “occupation” in the context of Gaza, as I wrote about here.
Most members of Congress have sipped AIPAC’s koolaid and refuse to touch anything with the term “occupation” attached. Thankfully, 20 members had the courage last month to call it what it is. See here.
The lawmakers sent the president a letter on June 20, urging him to appoint a “special envoy for Palestinian youth” in order to monitor the Israeli government’s violation of Palestinian children’s human rights.
The letter notes that Palestinian children are “growing up under military occupation with very few opportunities to improve their lives.”
The letter describes the occupation as “an unimaginably difficult and at times hopeless environment,” where children “live under the constant fear of arrest detention and violence at the hands of the Israeli military.”
Even pro-Palestine activists are confused about the term. Some label the creation of Israel and the ensuing Nakba that displaced thousands of Palestinians from their homes, businesses and villages as an occupation dating back to 1947. I completely understand their feelings, but wish we could use the term precisely and correctly. Activists only play into Israel’s strategy when they throw the term “occupation” around; just as unhelpful as politicians indiscriminately labeling everyone a terrorist.
We should be absolutely clear about the term “occupation” and use it correctly. Under international law, Israel has occupied portions of Palestine since 1967 and must be held accountable as the occupier. That doesn’t mean Israel shouldn’t be held accountable for the Nakba, but the Nakba does not equal “occupation“……not legally.
And the Democratic Party bosses must wake up and smell the coffee. “It’s an occupation, stupid.”