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It’s time to stop talking about the Occupation, we need to talk about the Israeli Military Dictatorship instead

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I am beginning to think one of the reasons the Israeli occupation has endured for so long is that we insist on speaking of it as an occupation. Let’s stop doing that.

When you speak of an occupation, you are walking into the hands of the hasbara people. An occupation, they will remind you  – at least, the more subtle of them will – is actually legal. Countries may occupy parts of other countries during warfare. Occupations are supposed to be short: The basic concept of the laws of war is that war end, often quickly. Once the war ends, the territories occupied have to be restored to their owners. Much as many Israelis lament it, after World War II the bastards changed the rules and it’s no longer legal to obtain territories by force.

The assumption that occupation is supposed to be short, however, is unenforceable. As long as we stick to the paradigm of occupation, Israel will claim (legally, correctly) that it stands in the shoes of the sovereign; that it has valid security concerns; and, using the loophole of “security concerns”, will basically do whatever it pleases with the territories.

To give two obvious examples: Israel has seized large tracts of land for “military purposes.” Under occupation law, it is perfectly entitled to. Some of these land was indeed used for military purposes (building camps, etc.); others have been turned over to settlers. Often slyly, without any official announcement: the army simply left the base unguarded, and lo and behold – settlers walked in into the abandoned base and turned into a settlement. The settlement is perfectly illegal, of course, but the army will tell the court (assuming this ever gets into court) it has other, more pressing matters to attend to. The judges will sigh, mutter that isn’t their job to outguess the military commander, and that would be the end of it.

Another trick is to say settlements are actually military bases and that they are needed to control the area. This schtick is considered in bad odor legally since the late 1970s, but recently the settlers have been speaking about it again.

You can’t win against the occupation: The army will be able to cover just about anything under the wide umbrella of “security needs.” The history of legal fights against the occupation is long and distinguished; some of my best friends have engaged in it; but it’s mostly distinguished in its glorious defeats.

Take ‘Amona, for instance. For three years I’ve watched the best legal minds of Yesh Din (for which I freelanced) deftly avoid and deflect any legal mumbo-jumbo the government could throw at them, including some truly deplorable shit, and forced the courts to order the removal of the illegal settlements. The struggle over ‘Amona deserves a book of its own. The battle was won, but the war was lost. Haaretz reported yesterday that the army has issued an order declaring ‘Amona to be a closed area to all – but allows the settlers to enter it, while preventing the Palestinian owners from accessing their land.

The case is in court. Assume a ruling in 2025. Which will be postponed until 2029. No reason to hurry. It’s only the livelihood of Palestinians.

And this is the crux of the matter. As long as we speak of territories, of land, we are bound within the rules of occupation, where the occupier and his “security needs” will always win.

Stop doing that. Start speaking of the Israeli Military Dictatorship.

Avoid all discussions of sovereignty. They’re useless. Speak of night raids intended only to terrify people, dozens of which are carried out by the IDF each night; speak of impunity, in which soldiers can kill, wound, main, and bully without paying any price; speak of detention without orders; of invading houses without warrants; of housing soldiers in private houses for military purposes; of arbitrary confiscation, which is often indistinguishable from looting; speak of daily indignities, humiliations, checkpoints you can pass depending on the mood of the soldier on duty; speak of administrative detention, which is indefinite imprisonment without trial; speak of the horror lurking beneath all this, the knowledge that if you protest too much, you or your loved ones may be taken to a legally-sanctioned dungeon and be tortured.

Speak, in short, not of territories but of people. People who had to live at the whim of enemy soldiers and secret policemen for decades. Speak of the fact that Nazi Germany (a “security concern” if ever there was one) was occupied for only seven years before it was entrusted back to its citizens; so was Imperial Japan; and yet the Palestinians live under the Israeli Military Dictatorship for nearly 52 years.

Speak of the Israeli Military Dictatorship, and you will see the fairy tale of the “only democracy” go up in smoke. Speak of the IMD, and see hasbarists scramble for answers they cannot find.

Unchain yourself of the concept of the Occupation, hard as it may be, and this freedom from an old concept may yet lead to the freedom of Palestinians.

Yossi Gurvitz

Yossi Gurvitz is a journalist and a blogger, and has covered the occupation extensively.

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25 Responses

  1. HarryLaw on April 29, 2019, 12:22 pm

    The Palestinians entered into the Oslo accords with the start of negotiations on a final settlement of remaining issues, to be concluded before 4 May 1999. Although there was no mention of a ban on settlement building in the accords [When one enters into an agreement it is normally left unsaid that your “partner” will not engage in grave war crimes ‘transferring Israeli citizens into occupied territory’ as described in the Geneva conventions] but from day one of that agreement the Israelis engaged in those war crimes, without the Palestinians threatening to end the accords. In some ways the Palestinians have been naive about Israeli intentions, here is what former PM Shamir said way back when….
    “Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was quoted in a published interview today as saying he wanted to drag out peace talks with the Palestinians for a decade while vastly increasing the number of Jewish settlers in Israeli-occupied territories.
    Mr. Shamir reportedly said, “I would have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years and in the meantime we would have reached half a million people” in the West Bank.”
    The situation today is much worse but Abbas still sticks to the letter of the Oslo accords especially on security, when the Israelis have driven a coach and horses through it.

  2. bcg on April 29, 2019, 1:32 pm

    We should stop talking about the Occupation but I propose we go even further: stop talking about history, ‘ancestral homelands’, what happened in 1929 or 72 A.D. – it’s all besides the point at this juncture.

    The proper justification for a Palestinian state is the human rights situation, full stop.

  3. mondonut on April 29, 2019, 2:43 pm

    Of course – having finally figured out that Israeli control of the West Bank is indeed legal, let’s spin that into something that sounds nastier. Pop in some false analogies to Japan and Germany (actual countries in the first place) and you have your new outrage of the day.

    • bcg on April 29, 2019, 3:58 pm

      @Mondonut: So if you had anything to say about the actual content of this piece, which makes a number of very specific claims about human rights violations, what would it be?

    • Misterioso on April 30, 2019, 10:31 am


      “….– having finally figured out that Israeli control of the West Bank is indeed legal.”

      Au contraire. “Israel’s” control of the West Bank is not legal. Indeed, it is in flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, binding on all UN members, e.g., collective punishment directed at the indigenous Palestinian Arabs therein and permitting Israeli Jews to establish communities and move there en masse.

      For your much needed edification:
      In the summer of 1967, “[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by then Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] whether international law allowed settlement in the newly conquered land. In a memo marked ‘Top Secret,’ Meron wrote unequivocally: ‘My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.’” (New York Times, 10 March 2006)

      Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) “[Affirms] once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,
      “1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;..”

      Security Council Resolution 465 (1 March 1980) “determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…”

      “Israel’s” 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was rejected by the UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

      (BTW, on 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared “Israel’s” 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights “null and void.”)

      UN Security Council Resolution 2334, December 23, 2016: “Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

      “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

      “Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,….”

      “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

      “2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;….

      This may come as a shock, but I can assure you that there is no special provision in international law that enables “Israel” to violate it with impunity.

    • oldgeezer on April 30, 2019, 11:02 am


      I’ve seen quite a few legal theories which purport to justify Israeli actions in the West Bank.

      Surprisingly not one of them has ever been adjudicated in court or used in court references on such issues.


      They don’t hold any water. The GoI and the individuals putting the manure together know that.

      An unadjudicated legal opinion is worth every penny nobody paid for it.

  4. Maghlawatan on April 29, 2019, 3:25 pm

    Leaving occupation behind also drops Israeli framing

    Hasbara is based on Israeli framing

    Zionists never apologise and never accept facts or truth. They’re paid to keep you going in circles….

    Plus Israel deserves sanctions in the name of tikkun olam.

  5. Nathan on April 29, 2019, 8:02 pm

    There is quite a difference between the Germans / the Japanese of the Second World War and the Arabs in conflict with the Jews. Germany and Japan surrendered, whereas the Arabs haven’t surrendered (and never will). So, in the case of the Germans and the Japanese, there was no conflict after surrender. The Allies dictated the terms, wrote the constitution – and the ordeal was quite short. The Arabs have been defeated without a doubt, but there is no surrender. More importantly, there is an expectation that a negotiated end of conflict will ultimately be reached. It’s a very slow process, indeed, and there is no end in sight. Anti-Israel sources are focused only on Israel, and no one seems to notice the old Arabic saying: “al-‘ajala min al-shaytan” (speed is from the devil). In short, the Palestinians are not in a rush to end the conflict (they seem to think that the continuing conflict is working to their benefit), so they might complain about the “longest occupation in history”, but they won’t negotiate finality.

    Now that Yossi Gurvitz has compared the occupation of Germany and Japan with the West Bank, he has actually brought up an interesting thought: If you’re in a hurry to solve the plight of the defeated Palestinians, maybe you should suggest to them to follow the example of the Germans and the Japanese. Maybe “unconditional surrender” is the best policy for bringing about an end of the conflict. However, if you just can’t imagine such a scenario, then maybe you can stop belly-aching about the 52 years. Nothing is going to move an inch without an agreement that ends the conflict to the satisfaction of both sides.

    • RoHa on April 30, 2019, 1:48 am

      ‘Maybe “unconditional surrender” is the best policy for bringing about an end of the conflict.’

      What would count as unconditional surrender?

      And what would happen afterwards?

      Would the Israelis say “O.K., then. All the refugees can come back into Palestine, and get compensation for their homes and the property that was looted. You will all become full citizens of the New Democratic and Socialist People’s Republic of the Holy Land, which stretches from the river to the sea”?

      Or would they say ” Clear off out of here, and go into the Jordanian desert”?

      • eljay on April 30, 2019, 10:50 am

        || RoHa: ‘Maybe “unconditional surrender” is the best policy for bringing about an end of the conflict.’

        … what would happen afterwards? … ||

        The same thing as is happening now: Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of (geographic) Palestine.

        Only more so and with even greater impunity.

      • Nathan on April 30, 2019, 6:40 pm

        Gee, RoHa, I couldn’t have imagined that such a clear message would not be understood. The Arabs will never surrender, period – and that was stated in so many words in my comment. Therefore, comparing the Second World War with the conflict between Arabs and Jews is simply absurd. It is a comparison between a conflict that came to an end and a conflict that has not come to an end. It is a comparison between a conflict that the victor dictated the conditions to the vanquished and a conflict that will end only through an agreement reached in negotiations. And so here’s my message in question form: What’s the point of griping that “the occupation has lasted 52 years” when there is no intention of negotiating the end of conflict? The Palestinians are not in a hurry to end the conflict, and so the status quo continues indefinitely.

        Perhaps, a little explanation of the Palestinian logic would be helpful. Ending the conflict with Israel means the acceptance of Israel’s legitimacy. That is regarded by the Palestinians to be defeat (i.e. surrender). That is impossible, obviously, so they prefer continuing the conflict – even at the price of the continuity of the hated status quo. The ongoing conflict means in their eyes that one day in the distant future Israel might be defeated, and they are willing to wait (even centuries). I think that this logic of hoping for Israel’s ultimate demise is quite clear to the anti-Israel crowd here at Mondoweiss.

        So, there’s not going to be a surrender; therefore, I don’t really have to imagine what might be the scenario afterwards. I think it would be interesting to hear your scenario of what might happen to the Jews after Israel’s defeat, but since Israel is not going to be defeated you also don’t have to bother.

      • RoHa on May 1, 2019, 1:12 am

        Abu Musameh had expressed an interest in visiting Belfast to study how the Irish peace process worked. He had already held discussions with Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin leader who had persuaded the Irish Republican Army to call a ceasefire.

        Abu Musameh, I felt, was saying something that jarred with the official view of Hamas presented by Israel and its Western supporters. Far from being addicted to violence, he was eager to learn about what policy wonks call “conflict resolution.”

    • oldgeezer on April 30, 2019, 8:49 am

      Final status issues being something Israel refuses to discuss in order to avoid an end to the conflict. Israel profits in many ways from the conflict and it provides cover for it’s crimes against humanity.

    • bcg on April 30, 2019, 8:59 am

      @Nathan: When the U.S. occupied Japan it was understood that it wasn’t going to build settlements there or dispossess the Japanese of their homes. Huh?

      Do you have anything to say about the human rights issues the article brings up?

      • MHughes976 on April 30, 2019, 12:54 pm

        And it was understood that the legitimacy of the Japanese monarchy was not to be questioned. It was all the fault of the army, almost the opposite of what was said about Germany.

      • Nathan on May 6, 2019, 1:00 pm

        bcg – Let me be the first person to tell you the big secret: The entire USA is a gigantic settlement. So, you’re right that the defeat of the Japanese didn’t lead to the settlement of Japan, however the crushing of the Indian tribes did indeed include their dispossession on a continental scale.

      • Mooser on May 6, 2019, 5:30 pm

        “Let me be the first person to tell you a big secret”

        Sure, “Nathan”, all the Zionists have to do is find a big slab of continent chock full of natural resources, and held only by a disease-decimated indigenous culture, and throw it open to people from all over the whole world to exploit.

        Yeah, find that continent and you can run roughshod over the natives. Oh, it also helps if it’s 200 years ago.

      • MHughes976 on May 6, 2019, 6:11 pm

        One big settlement – so really is England. I’m from Wallasey on the Wirral Peninsula, the ‘Welsh Island’ where my Welsh ancestors retreated from my English ancestors who were barging in and renaming everything, with a contribution from Danish immigrants later on, so that Bebington and Thurstaston rub shoulders with Greasby and West Kirby. A splendid example of ninth century multiculturalism, who knows? The general resolution of the English-Welsh relationship took a thousand years and more but it was approximately settled by free movement, enfranchisement, political careers in England for Welsh dynasts and demagogues and suchlike basic things. If that point could be reached in Palestine/Israel there would havd been a great step forward.

      • RoHa on May 7, 2019, 12:27 am

        “my Welsh ancestors ”

        Ha! A confession. I long suspected it.

        “political careers in England for Welsh dynasts and demagogues ”

        Henry VII and David Lloyd-George.

    • Misterioso on April 30, 2019, 10:43 am


      Let’s check in with someone who, unlike you, knows what he’s talking about:

      “How Trump drove a coach and horses through international law” by Jonathan Kuttab, Arab News, April 27/19

      “One of the worst decisions for world peace made by the Trump administration has not received enough attention. Withdrawal from the Paris climate accords was bad, revoking the Iran deal sent a signal that international agreements signed by a US president may not be honored by subsequent administrations, and the successful intimidation of the International Criminal Court has caused dire consequences for the international order.

      “But the worst decision by the Trump administration is the cavalier reversal of a principle that has been the bedrock of international stability since the Second World War. In order to ensure that countries can longer benefit by invading and occupying weaker neighbors, the world unanimously agreed on the ‘inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.’ Attempts to violate this principle (Iraq in Kuwait, Russia in Ukraine, and Israel in Jerusalem and the Golan) were universally condemned and rejected. This principle was mentioned in the preamble of UNSC 242 and has been a fundamental principle of international law since the mid-1990s.

      “US officials, trying to justify the Trump administration’s sudden recognition of the illegal annexation by Israel of the Syrian Golan Heights, argued that the territory was acquired in a ‘defensive’ war; and that in any case Syria is embroiled in a civil war and its current leader is not worthy of having his land back.

      “The defensive war justification does not hold water. Western governments, international human rights organizations and jurists, including some Israeli jurists, acknowledge that the prohibition against acquiring territory by war makes no reference to whether the war is defensive or offensive. Israel claims that it started the June 1967 war because it feared an assault from Egypt. President Abdul Nasser had blocked the Straits of Tiran, and removed the UN peacekeeping forces established in Sinai following Israel’s invasion of Egypt in 1956. Arabs dispute this and commonly refer to the 1967 war as an aggression against them. This only underlines the point that both sides in any war can claim to act ‘defensively,’ which is why international law makes no distinction between a defensive or offensive war when it prohibits the ‘acquisition of territory’ during war.

      “The problem with Washington’s action is that it forms a dangerous precedent. No sooner had Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from Washington after the Golan decision when he began talking about annexing portions of the West Bank, which would totally destroy the possibility of a peaceful resolution based on a two-state solution.

      “The consequences of Donald Trump’s recognition of the annexation of occupied Syrian territories extend far beyond the Middle East conflict, and sends a green light to every country in the world. If this principle is abandoned no one would be able to object to Russia claiming parts of Ukraine, or Saudi Arabia claiming parts of Yemen, Iraq demanding Kuwait be its 19th district, and so many other land disputes. Numerous countries in Africa, Asia and Europe have territorial disputes with neighboring countries, and may choose to resolve the issue by forcibly retaking territory to which they have some historic or tribal claim.

      “The Nazi war machine was so brutal, and its occupation of many countries in Europe so nasty, that the world community rose up and agreed on principles that were coded into international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention was written and approved in 1949 precisely to give protection to civilian populations falling under belligerent military occupation until peace is restored and their territories relinquished by the conquering armies. The occupier, in particular, is prohibited from moving its civilian population into the occupied territories (which is why all Israeli settlements are illegal under international law). This was affirmed in the 2003 decision of the International Court of Justice in the case of Israel’s wall built deep in Palestinian occupied territory. Natural wealth, artifacts and resources in occupied areas cannot be legally taken by an occupying power. Annexing occupied areas is totally rejected.

      “For decades, successive US Democratic and Republican administrations, for all their support of Israel, have refused to recognize Israeli unilateral actions in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. They also insisted that Geneva Convention rules must apply. But the Trump administration has recklessly thrown out this important principle, denied the existence of an occupation, moved an embassy into Jerusalem, recognized the illegal Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights and was not even willing to discuss Netanyahu’s plans to annex any parts of the West Bank.

      “American officials claim they are about to reveal a peace plan. This may be the case, but such a plan can hardly be advanced by this recent action. The effects of the reckless policy of President Trump will not be limited to the Middle East. Countries the world over that have an ambition to capture land they believe traditionally belongs to them will now have a strong precedent. ‘If the Americans and Israelis can do it,’ they will say, ‘then so can we.’
      Jonathan Kuttab is a jurist doctor in international law from the University of Virginia, and co-founder of Al Haq Human Rights organization in Ramallah.

    • andrew r on April 30, 2019, 10:54 pm

      “If you’re in a hurry to solve the plight of the defeated Palestinians, maybe you should suggest to them to follow the example of the Germans and the Japanese.”

      Except if the Palestinians surrender, there’ll still be a conflict. Zionism is hostile to a non-Jewish presence on the land it covets.

  6. RoHa on April 30, 2019, 1:19 am

    Once again I have to point out that the weapon in the photograph is not a slingshot.

    It is a completely different weapon, namely, a sling.

  7. oldgeezer on April 30, 2019, 8:32 am

    On one hand this is a surprise and on the other it’s no surprise at all.

    Let’s not forget that these people are paid by the state and part of the training for troops that will be used to murder and oppress Palestinians. Let’s not forget that this can’t be a secret to the powers that be and they permit it. Why can’t it? It’s not the first story dealing with rabid racism in the idf training particularly that delivered by risibly named rabbi’s. Any ignorance is willful.

  8. Misterioso on April 30, 2019, 8:55 am

    For the record:

    “Will New Netanyahu Coalition and Kushner’s ‘Deal’ Bring Destruction to Jerusalem’s Golden Dome?”

    By Miko Peled, April 29/19, Mint Press News.

    JERUSALEM — “There is a story about the Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab, the Muslim leader who conquered Jerusalem in 637 C.E. It is said that upon entering the city he asked to see the site of the temple built by King Solomon, but could find no one who knew where it was. According to the story, he then came across a poor Jewish beggar sitting in the street. The beggar told the Kalifa that he could take him to the site where the temple once stood. When they arrived at the site Umar realized that the site had been used as the city trash dump. He then went down on his knees and, together with the Jewish beggar, cleaned the site and vowed to build a sanctuary that would for all eternity protect the holy site.

    “This sanctuary is the Dome of the Rock and with its golden dome it has become the most iconic symbol of Jerusalem. Today, Zionists in Israel plan to destroy it and replace it with what amounts to no more than a slaughterhouse where Jewish fanatics will sacrifice animals in rituals whose time has long past.

    “The Zionist system of takeovers”
    “If we observe what is happening at the Haram Al-Sharif — the Holy Sanctuary in Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock are situated — and compare it to the history of Zionist takeovers of land, towns, neighborhoods and homes elsewhere in Palestine, the only possible conclusion that can be reached is that Israel is intending to push Palestinians and Muslims out and allow more Zionist zealots in. In case it is not abundantly clear at the outset, all people should treat this issue with the gravest concern.

    “From the earliest days of the Zionist takeover of Palestine, the method employed to take over land has been to send young zealots to confront the Arab population, while the establishment maintains a pretense that this is just a prank by youthful enthusiasts. Then the Zionist establishment allows these young zealots to create what they call ‘facts on the ground;’ and then, gradually, services like water, electricity, roads, and of course security are provided, until this ‘youthful prank’ becomes a Zionist settlement.

    “This was true in the pre-1948 years; then, after 1967, this system was revived, initially with settlements like the ones in Hebron and Sebastia. Today the system is used to take over areas that are slightly more controversial and in which the state officially does not want to get involved. These are what Israel calls ‘illegal outposts’ — which eventually become ‘legal,’ and then full-fledged settlements.

    “According to Peace Now: ‘Under Netanyahu’s government, we have seen intensive activity to restore the widespread phenomenon of illegal outposts deep inside the West Bank.’

    “Peace Now goes on to say:”
    “The history of the settlements shows that many times an agricultural farm is actually the basis of the establishment of a whole new settlement. At the beginning, the settlers receive an approval to farm the land, then to build a house, and then, with or without an approval, they establish a neighborhood.”

    “Haram Al-Sharif”
    “Knesset member Yehuda Glick is an Israeli politician who made the building of a Jewish temple in place of the Islamic monuments that have existed in Jerusalem for over a thousand years his life’s mission. According to Glick, 30 years ago when zealots like himself began to enter the compound — which they call ‘Har Habayit,’ or the Temple Mount — there were about a hundred who went. In 2018 there were some 30,000 and this year they expect 50,000 Jewish zealots to enter the compound.

    “In an interview with an Israeli television program about the Temple Mount faithful, ‘Rabbi’ Yoel Elitzur, another zealot leader of this group, states: ‘We will advance one step at a time, we will do what they allow us and we will advance. This has proven itself.’

    “’You mean a slow confiscation?’ the reporter asked him. ‘Yes.'”

    “The Israeli provocations into the Haram Al-Sharif are very well organized and documented. They are done in coordination with the Israeli security forces and are more like a march of force than an innocent tour. From time to time the boys who give the tours and who go to the sanctuary to create a provocation will drop to the ground and prostrate themselves and get arrested. In a tweet by ‘Hozrim La’Har’ (Returning to the Mount), one can see young men doing this on video.

    “It is not only about access”
    “Over the years there has been a growing movement of messianic Jewish fanatics who have been holding seminars and practice sessions on how to build the temple and how to conduct animal sacrifices. Priests dressed in costume and all the paraphernalia required are present and hundreds of participants attend the events, which are growing in popularity. Classes and camps for children are also held so as to educate a new generation of Israelis who will want to eliminate all signs of Muslims from Jerusalem, a city that has been Muslim and tolerant of other religions for over a thousand years. Having listened to interviews with members of the Temple Mount Faithful, it seems they have an obsession with burning a red cow and slaughtering young goats and then covering the place with blood pouring from the ritual slaughter. A practice hardly compatible with the quiet spirituality one finds at the Holy Sanctuary today.

    “Ne’emani Har Ha’bait, or the Temple Mount Faithful, have been financing these events and for the past eight years have been financing an architect in order to make this maniacal, destructive hallucination into a reality. The architect, Yoram Ginzburg, is an Israeli secular Jew who seems to be as enthusiastic about this vision as are all the others. His plan includes creation of a ‘Greater Jerusalem’ that includes the cities of Ramallah and Al-Bire in the north and Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala in the south. ‘As for the Arabs’ who live in these areas, he offers what he calls ‘two interesting options:’ one is expulsion, or, as he calls it, ‘Evacuation-Compensation;’ and the other mass conversion — that all the Palestinians will convert to Judaism. Non-Jews may remain as long as they are loyal to this ‘Jewish project.’

    “A serious threat”
    “Jared Kushner’s Deal of the Century is one in which Israel takes all and Palestinians are denied any rights. The Neo-Nazi thugs like Betsalel Smutritch and Michael Ben-Ari, with whom Netanyahu made a pact prior to the April 2019 elections, seem likely to be his coalition partners. Under these circumstances, the dream that the ‘Temple Mount’ loyalists hope to see materialize no longer seems far-fetched.

    “The history of the past seven decades shows that the masters of the land — the most vicious, violent and racist elements within Israel — always get their way. Unless action is taken swiftly — and Israel with its anti-Arab, anti-Islamic policies is forced to stop — the world risks losing the most iconic symbol of Jerusalem, and one of the oldest and most beautiful religious structures ever created.

    “Feature photo | The Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City is seen while Jewish orthodox men pray in a cemetery in Jerusalem, Dec. 7, 2017, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Ariel Schalit | AP”

    Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation

  9. CHUCKMAN on April 30, 2019, 11:16 am

    “It’s time to stop talking about the Occupation, we need to talk about the Israeli Military Dictatorship instead”

    Just an excellent, hard-hitting suggestion by the author.

    I think in my future writing I will use the expression where it fits.

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