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The Colonization of Palestine: Rethinking The Term ‘Israeli Occupation’


The Colonization of Palestine: Rethinking The Term ‘Israeli Occupation’

Ramzy Baroud

June 5, 2018 marks the 51st anniversary of the Israeli Occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.


“Israel is a settler colonial project, which began when the Zionist movement aspired to build an exclusive homeland for Jews in Palestine, at the expense of the native inhabitants of that land in the late 19th century.”


[Israel = USA; Zionist = Protestant]


I think the two-state solution remains the only viable option. It is hard to see what can change without a peace agreement. Israel and Egypt will continue to blockade Gaza to keep weapons out of the hands of Hamas. Israel will not annex the West Bank or Gaza because it would mean the Palestinians would have almost as many votes as Jews and probably eventually more votes. The International community and the US says the settlements in the West Bank are illegal. However, even though Obama tried to push Israel to stop building settlements he was not backed up by Congress. Trump is hopeless on foreign policy in this situation and elsewhere (who but a complete fool would risk rupturing US relations with Canada and Mexico as well as Western Europe). Syria has not given up its claim to the Golan Heights and that will remain an issue of contention. I would assume for Syria to take it over some sort of agreement would have to be reached with Israel to keep the Golan Heights free of weapons that could be launched into Israel. The fate of the East Jerusalem has to be part of the peace process regardless of that the religious extremists who have a large say in Israel contend. The US must insist on East Jerusalem being part of negotiations. Whether the Palestinian situation of having Fatah and Hamas as two separate authorities can be resolved remains to be seen. Israel would probably be willing to negotiate with Fatah, as it has done in the past on a number of occasions, but not with Hamas. Some sort of breakthrough is needed to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. That would seem to offer the only hope to alleviate this awful situation.


I assume you know that Israel influenced the rise of Hammas (e.g. from https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/hamas-israel-palestine-conflict/):

“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than two decades, told the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Back in the mid-1980s, Cohen even wrote an official report to his superiors warning them not to play divide-and-rule in the Occupied Territories, by backing Palestinian Islamists against Palestinian secularists. “I … suggest focusing our efforts on finding ways to break up this monster before this reality jumps in our face,” he wrote.

Maybe Israel should just admit they were wrong to do this (as we were in Afghanistan doing the same damn thing in the 70s) and suck it up and negotiate with Hamas. I don’t think they are as bad as the Taliban and sane people suggest negotiating with them.

In the future, there are strategies to use to support non-violent secular or non-secular resistance groups as opposed to the violent ones. But the US and Israel didn’t learn that lesson I’m afraid.


You’d be correct if your underlying assumption is that Israel and the US desire a peaceful resolution. There’s no evidence to support that, I’m very much afraid.

Otherwise agreed.


That is a possibility of Israel negotiating with Hamas. That would remove a major obstacle to negotiations. It would probably take the Israeli population to vote the right wing extremists out of power. The US has a similar problem, right wing extremists in power. Let’s hope both countries can make needed changes in government through elections.


Historically, colonizers don’t negotiate. they take your stuff and then give you an unsustainable future in return. Lets call it what it is.


I think this is a unique situation. The UN created Israel and Transjordan. And after Israel was attacked by several countries those Palestinians who fled or were driven out became refugees. The Palestinians who remained in Israel became Israeli citizens. While history has a lot of lessons I don’t think there is a good historical precedent for this situation. One could view this situation as Western colonization or it could be viewed as a solution to the Jewish problem in Europe where assimilation into the larger societies was not occurring. The Zionists were originally offered land in Africa (in what is now Kenya) but that never happened and Palestine became the destination. And the history of what happened is well known.


The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the way Arab territory was divided immediately after the First World War had a profound effect on the contemporary history of the Middle East. The foundation creating British and French protectorates from territories ruled by the Ottomans. The arbitrary nature of these borders can explain aspects of current conflicts in the region. It also reminds us that the original colonial policies in the region were also pursued as ‘humanitarian interventions’.

It is not really unique and neither is the outcome. Just older and different power brokers. So can we call it was it is or just stick with a complete violation of human and civil rights. It is not new.


Palestinians regret the actions it is forced to take to defend its citizens, Palestinian civilians have faced thousands of organized, violent and life-threatening attacks by Israeli terrorist settlers and IDF, that have specifically and deliberately targeted women and children. Suicidal settlers burning Palestinian homes, bombs, roadside and checkpoint ambushes, mortar barrages, rocket attacks, live ammunition sniper fire on crowds peacefully demonstrating against their un-lawfull imprisonment, occupation, and extermination, bus stops and even places of worship…all deliberate…all indiscriminate…all designed to inflict as many casualties as possible.


The Palestinian refuge problem started before the state of Israel formed. The story that Israel was attacked and had to defend itself is a myth.




Yes the Middle East was colonized by Britain and France and the boundaries drawn definitely had an influence on events. Israel itself of course was not a colonial power and was formed as a nation only 70 years ago. But it added a different element as two groups of very different people claimed the same land. Unless both sides can compromise it is hard to see anything but more conflict ahead.


Israel was definitely attacked by several Arab countries after it was formed by the UN. That is just a very well documented fact. The Arab countries don’t deny it.


Sorry to rain on Common Dreams’ anti-Israel campaign, but some facts need to be remembered. When the old Ottoman Empire was divided up by Western powers, Palestine had two groups: Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Some of each were native to the region, others (yes, many Arabs) poured into the former Ottoman Empire. A two state solution was created, Tiny Israel was one and much larger Jordan, intended for Arab Palestinians, was the other. After many attempted Muslim invasions of Israel, going through the Golan Heights and the West Bank, Israel took these areas over and stopped the wars. The Israelis understandably don’t want their vulnerable little country invaded again.

Think outside the box, people. Why not simply resettle the Arab Palestinians in Jordan, the originally established “second state”? The wealthy Arab emirates and Saudis could easily fund a humane resettlement plan, aided by the U.S. and Israel. Resettlement is not only more humane than war, but a lot cheaper. Unless you live in fairyland, a return of Arab Palestinians to Israel, thus overwhelming the world’s only Jewish state, is a non-starter. All that would result would be an eventual civil war when the Muslims become the numerically dominant population. Israel will not allow that to happen, so forget about it. Instead, look for win-win solutions that have a chance of working in the real world.

B.R. Wilson, Ph.D.


Every military conflict subsequent to that of 1948 was initiated by Israel agasist its neighbors.

Why not ethnically cleans Israel; the Arabs get out, let the Jews have it all, and others pay for it? That’s fair from the unbiased perspective of B.R. Wilson, Ph D.