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Israeli occupation is like US occupation of Germany and Japan that people grew to like — Ambassador Dermer


Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, says that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is like the U.S. occupation of Japan and Germany after World War II continuing to this day. The occupation was imposed at first, but the German and Japanese people came to understand that occupation was “good for them.”

“Japan has U.S. forces for 75 years. Germany — U.S. forces for 75 years. And if anyone thinks that was by agreement at the beginning they’re kidding themselves. It was imposed, then they understood it was good for them. And over time there was a mutual interest in keeping it. But you have that same thing in South Korea and it’s helped stabilize the peace. Our situation is different than America’s situation; this is not a threat thousands of miles away. This is right next door, so Israel’s security service, Israel’s military, is going to have to have control west of the Jordan River, period.”

Dermer was making the Netanyahu government’s argument against the two-state solution, which he said would give “unlimited sovereignty” to Palestinians.  “When people say two states, you’re flying into unlimited sovereignty,” Dermer told the American Jewish Committee earlier this week. Netanyahu’s position is: “I want the Palestinians to have all the powers to govern themselves but none of the powers that can threaten Israel.”

That would include a “flag” and “self-determination,” Dermer said, but Israel will not walk out of “Judea and Samaria” in a few years. “It’s not going to happen.” Israel left Lebanon and pulled settlers from Gaza and in each case got a “forward terror base” on its border.

How do you stay in a way that minimizes friction between the Palestinians and allows them to have this independent existence however you want to call it and not have constant friction with Israel’s security service?

The United States forcibly occupied Germany and Japan from 1945 to 1952. The U.S. is said to have 32,000 forces at many bases in Germany, and 54,000 troops in Japan. Americans did not seize land in those countries, move their citizens into those lands, building walled cities and exclusive roads to serve them, and allow the residents to continue to vote in American elections. Israel calls those colonies “settlements” to mask the massiveness of the project: about 650,000 colonists, almost all Jewish. Were the extent and character of the colonies better known, U.S. politicians might actually say something about them . . .

New construction in the Ofra settlement (Photo: Philip Weiss)

Addressing the Jewish audience, Dermer listed powers Palestinians could never have. How many think Palestinians should have an army? “No! How many here think that the Palestinians should control their airspace? How many here think that Palestinians should have full control of their borders” so that they can bring in any weapons they please. “No! How many think the Palestinians should be able to make military pacts with countries like Iran? No!”

Dermer is hardly alone in this view. This is the talking point of the Israeli right against Trump’s presumed peace plan. Israel needs “perpetual control,” rightwing Israel advocate Caroline Glick wrote lately about the Trump plan. Israel deserves sovereignty over Area C in the West Bank, where Jewish settlers outnumber Palestinians. “[T]to secure its strategic interests, Israel requires perpetual control over all of Area C.”

Thanks to Scott Roth. 

James North and Philip Weiss

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23 Responses

  1. just on June 7, 2019, 1:43 pm

    “… they understood it was good for them …”

    omg. Where have we heard this before? Dermer is a perfectly awful human (?) specimen. btw, the US Occupation of Germany and Japan has zero in common with the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. He’s also an idiot.

    “Addressing the Jewish audience, Dermer listed powers Palestinians could never have. How many think Palestinians should have an army? “No! How many here think that the Palestinians should control their airspace? How many here think that Palestinians should have full control of their borders” so that they can bring in any weapons they please. “No! How many think the Palestinians should be able to make military pacts with countries like Iran? No!””

    Ptooey! A flag is nothing without self- determination which includes the above… or not. It means sovereignty. The Palestinians already have a flag and they carry it in their soul.

  2. eljay on June 7, 2019, 3:55 pm

    Yup, those women freely walking the streets of the city and doing whatever they were choosing freely to do are better off being chained in the basement of a rapist who decides how and when to brutally “self-determine” himself in them. No-one can dispute his argument or the argument of pro-rapists that he knows better than those women what is best for them.

    (Pro-)Zionists – like (pro-)rapists – are truly hateful and immoral hypocrites.

  3. HarryLaw on June 7, 2019, 4:25 pm

    Sovereignty is the key here, and the Israelis will never concede that, why, because the historic ‘Land of Israel’ is at least the whole of Palestine [as per the Likud charter] the Israelis plan on presenting the Bantustans option in areas ‘A’ , ‘B’ and Gaza and because area ‘C’ [comprises 60% of West Bank with less than 200,000 Palestinians in it] it is already being integrated into Israel, the Israelis think that annexation of that area is almost defacto implemented the dejury aspect and the political opprobrium the Israelis would expect may come later, the Israelis could then say your too late, its a fait accomply, backed up by the US of course. The Israelis have all this worked out, they are working towards, in effect a one state solution, without the Palestinians able to vote in the Knesset and hoping the Bantustan solution backed up by Saudi, EU and US cash will buy off the majority. If they don’t give in Palestinians will suffer, glimpses of that punishment are in Kushners ‘deal of the century’ everyone is aware of that. As the Palestinian population begins to equal that of Israel and in ten years maybe even greater, the question has to be asked what price Apartheid? So time is not on Israels side, this together with the ‘arc of resistance’ Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah building up huge stockpiles of missiles with the capability of destroying Israel, makes an all encompassing agreement vital now. The Iran nuclear deal was bad for Israel because it guaranteed Iran could not enrich uranium beyond the level required to fuel their power stations, any excess to be sold on the open market, but crucially the deal did not prohibit Iran from building ballistic missiles so long as they were not designed to carry nuclear weapons, the US are piling the pressure on their allies to get them to renegotiate the deal so that Iran will be defenseless. Macron seems to be the weak link in Europe, already partly agreeing with Trump on a second agreement to include those missiles. The Iranians will not give in, nor will the Russians or Chinese and a war in the region is unthinkable, everyone would lose, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel followed by a world wide recession because no oil could transit the Strait of Hormus. The ball is in the US/Israel court unfortunately US leaders Trump, Pence, Pompeo and Bolton are incapable of striking a deal, even though they think God is on their side.

    • Yani on June 8, 2019, 7:22 am

      “the Israelis plan on presenting the Bantustans option in areas ‘A’ , ‘B’ and Gaza”

      No you are wrong! The actual Israeli Bantustan plan for Palestine is a number of “city states” where even Bethlehem isn’t included as a Palestinian city state.

      You need to do more research and not be so generous based on what is unreasonable and understand that the actual goal is total and complete ethnic cleansing. You are being way too generous.

      • Yani on June 8, 2019, 7:36 am

        This plan is the real deal that the Zionists want…

        The 8 state solution.

        Solution: Palestinian City-States

        For all the reasons mentioned above, Israel must strive to block the territorial contiguity of the West Bank while maintaining the Israeli presence in the area between Ramallah and Nablus, including the settlements of Ofra, Shilo, Eli, Yizhar, Itamar, and the region of Ma’ale Efraim.

        Therefore, the proposed plan is the creation of eight independent and separate city-states within the West Bank, having a limited rural periphery, that will enable future expansion and the establishment of industrial zones. The towns that will receive independence are under this plan are Hebron (the Arab part), Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Tul-karem and Qalqilya. Bethlehem will require further consideration. At the same time, Israel must create a situation of de facto annexation of the majority of the rural areas, while granting Israeli citizenship to those Arab residents of the villages who want it.

        Such a de facto division, sustained over time, will foster the development of local rule and facilitate the establishment of political entities based on each separate city-state.


        Note: "Bethlehem will require further consideration."

      • Yani on June 8, 2019, 7:41 am

        Dr. Mordechai Kedar is close enough to the Israel government to be promoted on their embassy website. Don’t write him off as being a nutter without influence, he’s a major influencer!

      • HarryLaw on June 8, 2019, 9:24 am

        Yani..”I am wrong” “You need to do more research” Thanks for that, My understanding is that the political separation of areas ‘A’. ‘B’ and Gaza are general ideas which in a short comment in Mondoweiss is difficult to expand upon, suffice it to say my three Bantustan position i.e. No sovereignty, and permanently occupied by Israel [UN definition of occupation] and surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements is hardly any different than the eight Bantustans which Dr Kedar thinks the Israeli Government will propose. Can I draw your attention to what a very influential and long serving Israeli Government Minister said in the New York Times in 2014

        First, we would work to upgrade the Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank, in the areas largely under Palestinian control (known as Areas A and B, according to the Oslo Accords). Ideally, this will be done in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.
        The Palestinians will have political independence, hold their own elections, select their own leadership, run their own schools, maintain their own social services and issue their own building permits. They should govern themselves and run their day-to-day lives. Israel should not interfere. Much of this already exists, but we can do better.
        This Palestinian entity will be short of a state. It will not control its own borders and will not be allowed to have a military.
        Lastly, I propose applying Israeli law in Area C, which is the part of the West Bank controlled by Israel under the Oslo agreement. The Palestinians who live there would be offered full Israeli citizenship. We can start with the known settlement blocs that everyone agrees will remain part of Israel even under a final status agreement. By applying Israeli law and asserting national sovereignty in those blocs, while upgrading Palestinian autonomy in Areas A and B, we will reduce the scope of territory in dispute, making it easier to reach a long-term agreement in the future.

      • Yani on June 10, 2019, 12:53 am

        I fear brainstorming the “Best Plan”, and I have been of that view, isn’t the solution.

        Delegitimizing Israel and its supporters is. The first step isn’t to come up with a plan but to end the abuse of basic human rights that every Palestinian experiences everyday. It is those abuses that our politicians in the West support when they claim “Israel isn’t apartheid” and reap the rewards for their comments in electoral donations.

        A fair and just one state solution is acceptable to most Palestinians, in fact it is likely the preference of the young, who like any other young people, seek modernity, just as long as it is delivered with an end to oppression. That means Zionist and Islamic oppression. They just want the same as anyone else in the world wants from their government. They are totally capable of expressing pride in Palestinian and Arabic heritage within a just framework.

        Our job is to ‘bring it on’. Do whatever you think is going to add a drop to that bucket. Just know that the stories you are reading even in the Palestinian media represent at best 1% of the daily oppression that Palestinians face. You hear about a killing or a house demolition but not a car stolen from a profoundly deaf man at an IDF checkpoint or the knifing of a young Palestinian in the head by Israelis who he thought were his drinking buddies.

        IMO we should bring down the whole damn Jewry for the disgusting oppression it is supporting.

      • HarryLaw on June 10, 2019, 8:39 am

        Yani, “A fair and just one state solution is acceptable to most Palestinians, in fact it is likely the preference of the young” While it does appear the Israelis are moving in the direction of a ‘one state ‘ solution [Which could imply equal rights etc] nothing could be further from the truth, a one state solution whereby Palestinians are given equal rights means in effect the end of the Jewish state [since demographics indicate that Palestinians will outnumber Israelis in 10 years time] you and I would say, so what, the Israelis would not, here is Professor N Finkelsteins opinion, although the chances of a two state solution diminish by the day…
        Professor Norman Finkelstein speaking at a University in Dublin several years ago had this to say on why many people in the Solidarity Movement had gone to a one state solution…”If you can’t get half a loaf why not ask for the whole loaf? If it seems two states is not within reach, which many people feel is not within reach, why not ask for one state, I can understand that reasoning, the logic of it, but you have to convince me of two things, number one, that two states is not within reach, and you have to convince me that one state is more within reach than two states. I think neither of those propositions is true, I think the second proposition is positively insane, if Israel will not abandon the West Bank [that claim] Israel won’t withdraw, so if that is true do you think it is going to be easy to get Israel to give up a Jewish state? Does that make any sense? If two states is remote, one state is another time warp”.

  4. LiberatePalestine on June 7, 2019, 6:20 pm

    → Were the extent and character of the colonies better known, U.S. politicians might actually say something about them . . .

    I doubt it. What more needs to be known about the colonies? or the genocidal occupation of Palestine in general? US politicians do not support the criminal Zionist entity out of ignorance; they know exactly what is going on, and they endorse it.

  5. JWalters on June 7, 2019, 7:30 pm

    Slave owners in the Old South also claimed their slaves were better off being slaves.

    And the ABSURD false equivalence by Dermer shows that Zionists are desperately scraping the bottom dregs from the barrel of bigotry. It’s an ancient barrel.

    The root of this attitude of superiority is shown starkly in the teaching by rabbis at a military prep school in Israel. They teach their future soldiers that non-Jews are intended by God to be slaves to Jews, and that they are better off when they are slaves to Jews. Literally, they say Hitler was right about there being a master race, but he just got the race wrong. The Jews, not the Germans are the master race.
    “Israeli rabbis at military prep school are caught on video praising Hitler”

  6. RoHa on June 8, 2019, 1:08 am

    “We left Lebanon . . . We got an Iranian terror base on our northern border that is a real strategic threat to Israel. . .”

    Really? The Israelis just left?

    I thought that a home-grown Lebanese resistance movement drove the Israelis out.

    • Misterioso on June 8, 2019, 10:27 am


      Well said.

      BTW, Hezbollah, the courageous Lebanese resistance army, defeated and expelled Zionist invasion/occupation forces twice. Courtesy of American taxpayers, “Israel” has vastly superior weaponry, but Hezbollah has much better soldiers.

      • lonely rico on June 8, 2019, 2:44 pm

        “Israel” has vastly superior weaponry, but Hezbollah has much better soldiers.

        Hezbollah was fighting on their land, defending their land. They were fighting in their villages and on their farms, defending their families. With outstanding courage and tenacity.
        Israelis are bullies who have only one answer to resistance – massive destruction. Since being driven out of Lebanon, the IDF only does murder and ruination, particularly in Gaza.
        Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appelant. (They create a desolation and call it peace)
        Calcagus in Tacitus’ Agricola

  7. Stogumber on June 8, 2019, 3:37 am

    From a West German point of view:
    The occupation of Germany 1944/45 could of course have failed and foregone a long era of mutual hostility.
    But on the whole the Germans were surprised in a positive way

    First, the average American soldier was much less resentful than American propaganda would want him to be. A lot of rural bumpkin Whites and of urban Blacks simply enjoyed a state of affairs where they could live more comfortably than at home or where at least they lived more comfortably than their German neighbour and could act as the rich uncle who distributed goodies between the foreign kids (for a whole generation Blacks were identified with distributing sweets).

    Moreover, a lot of German-Americans, of Republicans and of Blacks weren’t interested in the war and weren’t (from different reasons) convinced of American moral superiority, even if they deemed warfaring as their duty.

    Of course, nearly every American soldier felt that his “democracy” was a better system than the German dictatorship, but (and this is a really important BUT) Americans also felt and communicated that in their kind of democracy you could feel completely welcome and equal even if you were an adherent to conservative, traditionalist, rural, regional, religious or family values. American democracy was insofar a completely different experience from the well-known French democracy (where conservatives, traditionalists, rurals, regionalists, religious people etc. were unwelcome or even “the enemy”). This basically was what gave democracy a new and positive image.

    Last not least the most resentful people had left the occupation army rather early: German-speaking Jews, who had played a big part as translators in the first months, were eager to go back into their civil businesses; and after the death of Roosevelt and the retreat of Morgenthau the “Morgenthau boys” lost track and left, too .

    So there were a lot of good psychological reasons why the occupation worked well. None of these seem to have been understood by the Neocons, when they tried to imitate the model of the Good War in Iraq or Afghanistan.

  8. Elizabeth Block on June 8, 2019, 8:17 am

    I met Miko Peled (he was on a book tour), and asked him, “People say that Israeli Jews don’t know what happens in the occupied territories. How can that be? They serve in the army. They see it. They do it.” He answered, “They know. They just think it’s OK.”

    Most people don’t know and don’t care. If American Jews, and American politicians, don’t know, their ignorance is deliberate. But some of them do know, and just think it’s OK.

  9. James Canning on June 8, 2019, 9:18 am

    What utter rubbish from Ron Dermer.

  10. Helena Cobban on June 8, 2019, 12:53 pm

    Of course what Dermer said was rubbish. My dad was in the British occupation force in Germany. That occupation lasted, I believe, 6 years total, ditto the Japanese one. Both were conducted under the long-developed principles of customary international law which were then (re-)codified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Some of these principles included *not moving citizens of your own country into the occupied area*, impacting the life, economy, and customs of the residents of the occupied areas as little as possible, etc.

    By the ways, some of the key provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention (which governs how a foreign military power occupying another country’s territory) were introduced precisely i response to the practices the Nazis had used in the vast areas of Europe they occupied. That included, crucially, the prohibition on moving your own citizenry into the occupied territory.

    My dad was horrified when he saw at first hand what the Israelis were doing in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

    Once I was talking about the occupations of Germany and Japan with my (sadly long deceased) friend Murray Gart, a big-time Ti me mag journo. I mused on the fact (as imbibed from my dad) that there could be such a thing as a “good” occupation. He replied, “Don’t believe a word of it, kiddo. Our occupation in Germany was also pretty brutal. I was there.” In many ways, he was doubtless right. But the victorious Allies realized they needed to bring the occupations to an end as early as possible.

    Dermer defames the memory of all who fought against the Nazis.

    • HarryLaw on June 9, 2019, 3:26 pm

      Good comment Helena, you are right Germany occupied and colonized many areas of Poland and France, in fact the Nazi’s called it the former Polish state. As for occupations generally, they are supposed to be temporary, in Israel’s case the occupation over 50 years is never going to end [by design] so Netanyahu follows the Likud constitution ‘no Palestinian state between the River and the sea’ he also said Israel will live by the sword.

    • James Canning on June 9, 2019, 4:42 pm

      The occupation of Estonia (and Latvia, Lithuania) by the Soviet Union perhaps offers a better comparison with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Golan Heights.

  11. VQTilley on June 8, 2019, 1:15 pm

    It would help greatly if those using the term “Bantustan” for this situation would take fifteen minutes to read a bit more about the South African Bantustans.

    Mainly, it’s really important not to slip into describing what Israel is creating in the West Bank as “eight [or however many] Bantustans”. South Africa did have several Bantustans (10, actually) but what Israel is creating in the West Bank will clearly be one Bantustan. Territorial fragmentation is simply part of this Bantustan, as it was for several South African Bantustans, which were established strategically as a patchwork, exactly like we’re seeing Israel creating in the West Bank. Check out, for example, maps of the KwaZulu Bantustan and the Bophuthatswana Bantustan on Wikipedia:

    Second, I hope we can get past this “several Bantustans” error because it distracts from recognizing how the PA is serving as the Bantustan government. One Palestinian government for an archipelago of cantons, with responsibility for garbage collecting, public education, the civil registry, etc., but not roads, trade, water or anything that crosses a border, is exactly how KwaZulu, Bophuthatswana, Lebowa and Gazankula were designed to work. The PA is essential to this system by providing putative “Palestinian” (legitimate) government for them. (South African law called their version of this, “Bantu Self-Government Authorities”. ) Recognizing the PA as a Bantustan government explains why we shouldn’t expect any resistance from it. It is a collaborating institution by design.

    Finally, it may help to remember that the South African legal term for the Bantustans was “Homelands” (uppercased). The enabling myth was that these artificial entities were located in the actual geographic “homelands” of these ethnic groups and “self-government” in them therefore satisfied the right of these “peoples” to self-determination. The same cruel lie is being deployed in Palestine – except, weirdly, people are falling for it.

    We don’t need recent quotes by Dermer to recognize this plan. We’ve had Israeli planning maps laying all this out since the 1980s: e.g., Israel’s keeping the Jordan Valley, Area C being annexed to Israel and Areas A/B (adjusted) becoming the Bantustan. The only real mystery is why people have been so willfully blind about these plans for so long.

    • LiberatePalestine on June 8, 2019, 6:47 pm

      Don’t expect the Zionist entity to refer to its Bantustan as a «homeland»: only Jews, according to the Zionists, have or should have a homeland in Palestine.

      Hard though this may be to imagine, the Zionist proposal is even worse than the Bantustans of occupied Azania («South Africa» in colonial language). The white settler-colonialist régime occupying Azania always insisted that the Bantustans were sovereign states; it even set up embassies in them. (No other state recognised them, although the US came close.) I’m not aware that the apartheid régime occupying Azania ever objected to the Bantustans’ controlling their territory and establishing an army, since 1) they, being «sovereign», enjoyed those powers; and 2) they obviously could not have functioned as viable states, still less mounted military forces of any consequence. By contrast, the Zionist apartheid régime occupying Palestine insists that its would-be Palestinian puppet entity not be sovereign, not control its own territory, and not have military forces. The Zionists are thus proposing considerably less than a Bantustan. They learned well from their apartheid-building allies in Azania. And Germany.

  12. Ossinev on June 9, 2019, 7:13 am

    “By contrast, the Zionist apartheid régime occupying Palestine insists that its would-be Palestinian puppet entity not be sovereign, not control its own territory, and not have military forces”

    OMG It gets worse. The Yahoo will soon be officially offering the Untermenschen Palestinians a motley collection of Bantustan minuses :

    I wonder what the word for “Bantustan” is in Hebrew. Probably equates to something describing a walled off demilitarised ghetto.

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