Aug. 1, 2018
The language of occupation is an oft-wielded weapon against Israel. Those who use it have interests at odds with the existence of the Jewish State. They may refer to Israel as an “illegal occupier,” and the Jewish State’s presence in the Middle East as an “illegal occupation.” The IDF, Israel’s military, is variously known by the anti-Israel media as “occupying forces,” the “military occupation,” and even Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). Judea and Samaria, and sometimes all of Jerusalem, are referred to as “occupied territories.” We also see “OPT,” shorthand for “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” in lists of countries we must choose from when filling out online forms or making purchases.
The purpose of this language is to negate the right of the Jewish State to exist on land that Arabs assert belongs to them. And since Arabs assert that all of Israel is on land that belongs to them, all of Israel is, according to this narrative, illegally occupied by the Jewish people, or put more simply, Israel is illegal, and therefore, has no right to exist. To date, there is no part of the current State of Israel in which Arabs would accept a Jewish state. Everywhere that Israel is, it is an occupier.
But the word “occupier” is more than just a vehicle for negation. There’s an unsavory quality to the word, suggesting that the entity in question is a usurper. Meaning: hey, that land belongs to someone else!
And of course, if Israel is an “occupier” and the land belongs to someone else, that makes Israel a thief. And the someone else must be Arabs.