Ron Huldai Does Not Understand ‘Occupation’
Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai made disparaging remarks concerning Israel’s part in causing the Arabs to kill us. Ilana Dayan interviewed Huldai after the terror attack at a Sarona restaurant that took the lives of 4 and injured over 10 others and Huldai used the air time to cause serious damage to the country I have no doubt he loves.
Unremarkably, one of our fellow Israelis congratulated Huldai on his public proclamation of mea culpa. I am sure she is not alone in feeling this way.
— (((Tuttle-Singer))) (@TuttleSinger) June 10, 2016
I don’t know what kind of moral courage can been found in misguided statements that have no basis in fact.
Here are the objectionable comments Huldai made in his interview with Ilana Dayan [translation mine]:
“With all due respect, we are in a state, perhaps the only state in the world, in which there is a people that is under our occupation and which does not have the rights of citizens, all the while the land is being held as an asset for some future agreement . . . There is no [demonstration of] courage to make a step toward attempting to reach an agreement. . . . We are already 50 years into the occupation . . . I am familiar with the reality and know that leaders with courage must seek to take action and not just talk. . . . [We need] to part from the reality in which there are people without the rights of citizenship and who are not citizens of Israel. We cannot continue to maintain the occupation and to think that people will reach the conclusion that everything is okay . . .”
Correcting the First Fallacy: If Israel was an occupier, it would NOT be the only one.
The most famous examples are northern Cyprus that is occupied by Turkey and Tibet that is occupied by China. If Huldai does not know about these, then, . . . well . . . that leaves me speechless.
There are also Japanese islands occupied by Russia, Eritrea occupied by Ethiopia, parts of the Crimea and Ukraine occupied by Russia, and parts of the western Sahara occupied by Morocco. Just because there are other occupiers would not make an Israeli occupation okay.
However, that brings us to the second falsehood told by Huldai.
Correcting the Second Fallacy: Israel is NOT occupying anyone.
I will not go into all the legal issues here regarding why our gaining control over Judea and Samaria does not constitute occupation. If you want more information regarding the legal aspects you can click here. The fact that Huldai continues to regurgitate the “occupation” mantra shows that he has not done his homework regarding Israeli rights under international law.
Correcting the Third Fallacy: The Palestinian Arabs HAVE citizenship rights.
According to the Oslo Accords, signed by officially recognized representatives of the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs, Arabs residing in all parts of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are citizens of the PA (some have retained their Jordanian citizenship). That is why they don’t vote in Israeli elections or have any Israeli citizenship rights. It is not apartheid or discrimination. It is by mutual agreement.
If Huldai is not familiar with the Oslo Accords, then I suggest he read them first-hand and then and only then comment on the civil rights of the Palestinian Arabs.
Correcting the Fourth Fallacy: There HAVE been courageous attempts to reach peace.
While there is debate regarding who is more to blame for the failures of the various attempted negotiations, it is just simply malicious to accuse Israel of not having made courageous attempts to reach a peace agreement. We have, and the PA leaders were not satisfied with anything less than total capitulation on our part. To agree to that would be stupidity and weakness, not courage.
While Huldai is, of course, free to his own opinions, there is a time and a place for everything. While Arabs are rejoicing at the deaths of 4 of us, Huldai added fuel to the antisemitic fires burning in the PA and around the world. Congratulations, Ron!
[Feature image via Twitter]
This post first appeared on Jews Down Under on 6 June 2016.