Aug. 20, 2019
- Ask someone at random what Israel should do to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the answer you’re most likely to get is “end the occupation.” For most Westerners, this means the West Bank (acquired by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War).
- However, for most Palestinians the occupation is not limited to the West Bank, but consists of “historic Palestine,” which includes the whole of Israel. For most Palestinians, the occupation began in 1948 when Israel was born, and they won’t be satisfied by anything less than the elimination of the State of Israel.
- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Palestinian TV in October 2013: “All Palestinian land is occupied – Gaza is occupied, the West Bank is occupied, the 1948 lands [i.e., Israel] are occupied and Jerusalem is occupied.”
- A June 2019 survey by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion found that only 30% of West Bankers would approve a two-state solution. The majority say “the conflict should not end, and resistance should continue, until all of historic Palestine is liberated.”
- There is no mistaking the meaning of the chant heard at virtually all pro-Palestinian rallies: “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free.” The river is the Jordan River and the sea is the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, Palestine is Israel.
- The Palestinians memorialize the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” to mourn the 1948 War of Independence and the creation of Israel. That is the occupation they seek to end to this day.
The writer is an attorney who served for 30 years as an appellate lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department in Washington.