Saturday, June 05, 2010

Occupation: Happy 43 years!

Yes, she's getting on a bit, what is apparently the longest standing military occupation of our times, while possibly now also facing a mid life crisis. You don't see many that are the result of an alleged 'pre-emptive war' that make it into their forties...

Promised Land blog has some excellent stuff, including videos.


At 9:13 PM, Blogger Ernie Halfdram said...

You know, Gert, whenever I see this assertion, I wonder why people insist on attributing superlatives to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and Israeli actions in general. When I point out that military occupations have been going on much longer in other parts of the world - Guam, for instance, which the US military has occupied since 1898 - it seems to upset interlocutors, who proceed to detail the Israeli occupation, effectively restricting the definition of military occupation to just those cases that resemble this one in every particular. To be honest, this reminds me of nothing so much as some of the hasbara conceits, like that Israeli apartheid can't be apartheid because Israel is not South Africa, and the like. Perhaps you're the one who can explain why all the other military occupations don't count?

And then there is that other little matter - the apatosaurus in the drawing room - that discussion of the occupation of 1967 almost always serves as a distraction from the central issue of the racist colonisation of Palestine and the Nakba - the occupation of 1948.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Touché, Ernie, Damn, I make that argument once and get my wrist slapped ;-) . In my feeble defense I'll say that I don't even know about the occupation of Guam, which going by its longevity sounds more like a case of non-reversible colonisation.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger Ernie Halfdram said...

No need to go all mea culpa on me now, Gert, I was just askin'. Perhaps I shouldn't assume that when people assert a superlative that they've considered all the candidates.

That said, I'm wary of this concept of 'non-reversible colonisation'. I'm not sure about Guam, but certainly there are still people fighting for Puerto Rican independence, although PR was also occupied during the Spanish-American War. More importantly, it seems to suggest that there is some period of time after which we resign ourselves and relegate the colonised to their fate. And I surmise that in your view the period is more than 43 and less than 112 years. But it seems a trifle arbitrary. Does it mean we give up on Palestine after 45 years? Or 50? What if it's really 40 years and it's already too late for Palestine?

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Gert said...


"What if it's really 40 years and it's already too late for Palestine?"

In a real sense of the word it is of course already too late for Palestine: even a just one state solution cannot reverse what happened in the past. But I believe in the remarkable ability of people to forgive others and redeem themselves...


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