Salman Masalha ||
The international occupation of Palestine
The truth must be stated: If the West, led by the United States, truly wanted to bring about an end to the Israeli occupation and a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would have done so long ago. The West has some very effective means at its disposal that could change the situation. But instead of employing these means, what do we get? A flood of declarations. Again and again, Western leaders make the same hypocritical proclamations calling the settlements in the occupied territories illegal and an obstacle to peace. These declarations are as old as the occupation itself, stretching all the way back to June 1967.
The world hasn’t learned that toothless declarations won’t stop the real-estate theft called “Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel.” The multitude of declarations made over the years haven’t removed a single Zionist trailer from a single Palestinian hilltop. Throughout the years of the occupation, such declarations have served as nothing more than mild pain relievers for a body that is in critical condition.
So, enough hiding behind all the bland verbiage. The time has come to call a spade a spade: The occupation in Palestine isn’t just an Israeli occupation – it’s a Western occupation; a European, American and Russian occupation, and more. As such, the Palestinian argument must be directed to the entire Western world: Stop trying to sell us empty lip service. The time has come to ask the world to take operative steps that hold the potential to compose the final movement of the unfinished symphony of the immoral Israeli occupation.
There is no need for an academic boycott of Israel, or for a boycott of products from the settlements. Such moves will not bring an end to the occupation. There are other effective ways to achieve the desired goal, ways that will lead to the end of the settlement enterprise before too long.
A few months ago, it was reported that Spain was considering offering citizenship to the descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. The report stirred much interest among potential new Spanish citizens from a broad section of the Israeli public. But it seems it was almost too good to be true.
Some time later, there was another important piece of news, revealing the existence of an internal directive in the Israel Defense Forces Manpower Branch to issue a warning to Israelis who also hold a Spanish passport. According to the report published by this newspaper in April, “A person with dual Israeli-Spanish citizenship, or a Spanish citizen who is a permanent resident in Israel and serving in a foreign army, is liable to lose his Spanish citizenship and possibly face punishment in accordance with Spanish law, should the Spanish authorities become aware of this.” Therefore, since the army cares about its citizens, it allows the “Spanish Israelis” who are obligated to do military service to request a two-year deferment, after which they could request another deferment, until eventually they would receive an exemption from military service altogether.
Many Israelis hold dual citizenship, quite likely including many of the great “patriots” who live in the settlements beyond the Green Line. This is further proof that the occupation in Palestine is not purely Israeli, but rather a thoroughly international occupation.
So, what we have here is a very elegant way to dismantle the settlements and end the Israeli occupation in Palestine. All that is required is a simple administrative decision by the Western countries: To demand that anyone who holds a passport from their country to leave those places which they define as “an obstacle to peace.” These countries should add a warning saying that anyone who continues to reside in the “obstacles to peace” will forfeit his citizenship.
Then just sit back and watch all those great “patriots” in the settlements pack up their things and return inside Israel’s world-recognized borders. It won’t be long from there to the end of the occupation.
Published: Opinions-Haaretz, Oct. 22, 2014
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