Occupation Shmuccupation is the name of a new children’s book published by the Yesha Council, a right-wing Israeli settler organization.
The illustrated propaganda book (embedded in full below) teaches Israeli kids that “there is no such thing as the State of Palestine” and that “there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
It also blames “price tag” attacks—in which Israeli extremists attack Palestinians or Palestinian homes, property, and/or crops, such as olive trees—on “internal conflicts between the Arabs over land,” that is to say on Palestinians themselves.
Conservative pro-Israel publication YNet refers to Occupation Shmuccupation as a “hasbara booklet for kids.” The Hebrew word hasbara (הסברה) means public relations, and is commonly used as a euphemism for Israeli propaganda.
The booklet will be distributed in community centers, universities across the country and among professionals working with teenagers. The council is also considering distributing the booklets in kindergartens, schools, and youth groups in order to reach all of the children in the area.
The propaganda book attacks not just Arabs, but also what is dubs “the left-wing organizations.”
Yesha Council spokesman Yigal Dakmoni told YNet Israeli children are being given the hasbara book as a way of indoctrinating them against leftist groups.
Propaganda in books like Occupation Shmuccupation appears to be having an effect. In increasingly conservative and xenophobic Israel, “leftist” is often used as a slur, particularly among the youth.
“Israeli Teenagers: Racist and Proud of It,” an August 2014 feature in leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz, revealed that many Israeli children express violent hatred toward leftists, whom they disparagingly call “Arab lovers.”
Israeli scholars recorded young students threatening to kill Jewish Israeli leftists. In one instance, they recalled:
The same student who told Yaron that she won’t think twice if she gets the opportunity “to shoot one of them [the Arabs]” when she serves in the army, also said, “As soon as I heard about the quarrel with that leftist girl [Michal], I was ready to throw a brick at her head and kill her. In my opinion, all the leftists are Israel-haters. I personally find it very painful. Those people have no place in our country – both the Arabs and the leftists.”
‘Not Going Anywhere’
The Yesha Council has long insisted that Israel should and inevitably will refuse to withdraw from the Palestinian territories, which have been militarily occupied in contravention of international law since 1967.
In a 2012 op-ed in the New York Times, Yesha Council Chairman Dani Dayan refers to the illegally occupied West Bank as “Judea and Samaria” and avers that “our four-decade-long settlement endeavor” is both justified and wise. He implies Palestinians would be incapable of governing themselves in their own state, which would doubtless become “a hotbed of extremism” which “Israel would then be forced to recapture.”
While attacking the Israeli Left, Dayan insists it is Israel’s “inalienable” right to colonize Palestinian land. He openly states “we aim to expand the existing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and create new ones.”
“The American government and its European allies should abandon this failed formula once and for all and accept that the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are not going anywhere,” the Yesha Council head insisted. “Our presence in all of Judea and Samaria — not just in the so-called settlement blocs — is an irreversible fact.”
“No final-status solution is imminent,” Dayan added.