Op-Ed: Guilt-Tripping Israelis
Dr. Moshe DannMoshe Dann is a writer and journalist with a Ph.d in history, who lives in Jerusalem.
For decades, Jewish communities in Yehuda, Shomron and Gaza have been called "moral disasters." Writing in newspapers and journals in America and Israel, these commentators maintain that Jews who built homes in areas acquired by Israel in 1967 should not live there. "Obstacles to peace," they said. "Remove them, if necessary, by force, like those in the Gaza Strip and Northern Shomron."
They applauded when PM Ariel Sharon evacuated Jews from their communities and plowed them under. Sitting in cafes on Emek Refaim and Dizengoff, and book-lined offices, they enthusiastically proclaimed that this would endear Israel among the nations, free us from the burden of "occupation," and herald the evacuation of the rest of the Jews and settlements from Yehuda and Shomron.
They did not predict peace, but it would, they believed, erase a “moral blight” and reconcile Israelis. And what about the Nakba, Israel's establishment? Silence.
And what if Gaza explodes, I asked them on the eve of the evacuation of Jews from the Gaza Strip? "We'll make it a parking lot!" they replied, confidently. "Wipe them out?" I asked. "The world will stand behind anything we do once we've left," they added.
Today, even those who planned and implemented the largest, deliberately self-inflicted disaster in Israel's history admit that it was a tragic mistake. After evicting 9,000 people from their homes, disrupting their lives and destroying thriving businesses which provided employment and stability to both Jews and Arabs, Jewish refugees are still stranded, while the Gaza Strip is Hamastan, a base for Islamic terrorists.
With neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem at risk, however, and Pres. Obama at our throats, those who cry ‘Moral Disaster' still support further concessions, except for Jerusalem.
"It's the occupation," the Moral Disaster' people opine. "No one should be ruled by someone they don't want and haven't chosen." Well, billions of people would fall into that category, but not everyone is lucky (and strong) enough to be on top.
Moreover, since nearly all Arab Palestinians who live outside of Israel are ruled by other Arabs, and those in the 'West Bank' and Gaza are under the PA, the charge is absurd and irrelevant -- an attempt to pin a badge of shame upon us.
Shifting gears, the ‘Moral Disaster' people argue that "occupation" refers not only to people, but to land -- a very specific piece of land defined by the cease-fire Armistice Lines of 1949. This begs the question of Israeli Arabs who consider themselves "Palestinians," and millions more throughout the Arab world.
If the ‘Moral Disaster’ conundrum applies to Israel's occupation of territory, as well as people, then why not include areas that Israel conquered in its War of Independence?
Focused on Jews who live over the Green Line, the ‘Moral Disaster’ people are stuck. Even they admit that “there is no partner.” Cries about the “immorality of occupation,” therefore, are nothing more than a baseless guilt trip that undermines our resolve, our rightful claims, and serves our enemies.