Aug. 23, 2019
- “The Occupation” – How the EU Discriminates Against Israel – Prof. Hillel Frisch
Israel is deemed by the EU as an occupying power even though some of the greatest legal minds in international law, such as Elihu (Hirsh) Lauterpacht and Eugene Rostow, question whether Israeli rule in the West Bank – rule that resulted from Jordanian aggression – was ever in fact an occupation, as Jordanian sovereignty over the area was never recognized by most states.
Turkey militarily occupied northern Cyprus in 1974. China occupied Tibet in the 1950s. Morocco occupied parts of Western Sahara in 1977. “Occupation” continues in all three places. Yet only Israel has a deep historical claim to the area it “occupies.” The Jewish Scriptures mention the area hundreds of times, so frequently that it is abundantly clear that Judea and Samaria were the centers of Jewish life and politics for thousands of years.
A search on the European Commission’s Internet site found the following: Israeli military occupation – 85 results; Turkish military occupation – 3; Moroccan military occupation – 2; and Chinese military occupation – 0. It is hard to understand why Israeli “occupation” receives nearly 30 times more consideration (and opprobrium) than Turkish occupation and colonization and over 40 times more than Moroccan occupation, while the Chinese colonization of Tibet is not viewed as an occupation at all.
The writer is a professor of political and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at its BESA Center. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)