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'Upon making historic and legal decision, set conditions which will expose the truth' Photo: Reuters
'Upon making historic and legal decision, set conditions which will expose the truth' Photo: Reuters
 
Rabbi Yoel Ben-Nun Photo: Shaul Golan
Rabbi Yoel Ben-Nun Photo: Shaul Golan
 
 

Lies I've been told about 'occupation'

Op-ed: Ahead of historic decision on peace deal based on half-truths, let’s not lie to ourselves

Yoel Ben-Nun
Published: 01.10.14, 12:03 / Israel Opinion

Against a complete lie it's easier to defend oneself and present a truth. With half-truths, however, it's very hard to deal.

 

1. 'Two states for two people'

The Palestinians in Amman and the Palestinians in Nablus, Ramallah and Jenin are one people. They have different political leaderships, and most Israelis prefer justifiably, and out of years-long experience, the royal Hashemite leadership, but in the historical Land of Israel there have been two states for a long time, and there are no three people.

 

 

2. 'Jewish state in Land of Israel, with solid Jewish majority'

Today's conflict focuses on controlling Area C, where some tens of thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of thousands of Israelis (= "settlers") reside.

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The Palestinian struggle against the Israeli construction in Jerusalem and the settlements – which are all in Area C – shows that this is not a demographic problem at all, neither is it a problem of Palestinian citizenship and the threat on the Jewish majority. Even if Israel annexes all Area C, the Jewish majority in the Jewish state will not be affected at all, and the Palestinian civil status in Areas A and B will not change. The American demands concern a Palestinian territorial continuity, rather than their civilian status which has already been settled.

 

3. 'Israeli occupation'

Many times I have asked decent and educated Palestinians, who have nothing to do with terror, when the "Israeli occupation" began. All, without exception, said in 1948. There are Palestinians and Israelis who I haven’t talked to, who start the "occupation" from the Balfour Declaration, and even from the beginning of Zionism. Therefore, even the 1967 borders will not put an end to the occupation. They see the entire State of Israel as "occupation." Only in the minds of Israelis, and Europeans and Americans, "the occupation" is identified with the settlements and the 1967 borders.

 

4. 'Peace'

The perception of peace and acceptance, in the sense of compromise, has become fixated in the Jewish culture, and there is also the justice of compromise – "justice, justice shall you pursue!" Why twice the word justice? "One for law, and one for compromise" (Sanhedrin Talmud tractate, page 32). In the Arab culture, and of course in the Palestinian culture, peace means justice, in other words "restoring the justified rights." Compromise cannot be considered as peace in their eyes – at the most there is a partial restoration of rights, which means a "phase program."

 

5. Security vs. terror

In the Israeli world of concepts, we have justified rights in this land of our forefathers, and the return to Zion is the vision of the Torah and prophets which is materializing in front of our eyes. History has also proved that the Jewish people have no other place in the world to implement their rights besides this land. We anyway have a justified right to defend our existence as a people in this land, and anyone fighting us is an enemy. The division of the land, in the Israeli world of concepts, is a strong and deep bone of contention, between a "necessary concession" and a "disaster" to faith, vision and the future.

 

In the Palestinian world of concepts, terror against women and children is a justified method of war by powerless people whose land has been occupied and robbed as part of the Zionist "occupation crimes," which is the essence of our existence as a people and as a state in this land. Therefore, murderers and terrorists who were tried by us are, in their eyes, nothing but captive fighters who were released, or who are about to be released.

 

There is no real meeting point between the two cultures, and there is no chance to stop the Palestinian terror as long as there are Palestinian organizations which see the "Israeli occupation" as a crime of disownment, expulsion and theft. Hamas and the resistance organizations are declaring explicitly that they will not accept any agreement signed by Abbas on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and we have already seen in Gaza what is expected to happen when Hamas takes over the PA in Ramallah too. Whoever says we will then go back in – is welcome to go into Gaza.

 

Conclusions

In principle, I am against peace agreements based on half-truths which are worse than lies, but I am not a member of the Knesset or of the government.

 

Israeli government ministers and Knesset members, upon making a historic and legal decision on the outline of the American agreement, and on borders which will be set "based on the 1967 lines with land swaps" – if most of you are convinced that there is no other choice, that the State of Israel cannot be perceived in Israel and in the world as the side which thwarted the agreement – at least don't lie to yourselves, and set conditions which will expose the truth.
At least say in advance: Any Israeli agreement to permanent borders will be completely canceled if it becomes clear that the Palestinian terror against the "occupation of 1948" will continue after the agreement and if Palestinian missiles are placed on the ruins of the settlers' communities, and under the Palestinian villages.

 

"And a Redeemer will come to Zion!"

 

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