While most Israelis celebrate the outcome of the Six Day War, and particularly the re-unification of Jerusalem after 19 years of Jordanian occupation, the left-wing Btselem organization has marked the anniversary with a position paper bemoaning everything from Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria to it’s dishonest administration of the Oslo process.
Predictably, nothing in the Btselem report suggests any wrongdoing by Arabs, for any reason. Even when the group admits that life for ordinary Palestinian Authority Arabs has gotten better in recent years, there is no recognition that the difficulties in every day life for Arabs in Judea and Samaria are more often than not the result of Palestinian actions and policies.
For instance, the report acknowledges that “women in labor detained at checkpoints for so long that they end up giving birth there are no longer a common occurrence; there are fewer incidents of killings, violence and destruction.”
Conveniently, however, Btselem fails to make mention of the fact that prior to the PLO terror offensive that accompanied the Oslo process, there were no checkpoints for Palestinian women to have gotten detained at. Reading the Btselem document, one would have little clue that the checkpoints were actually set up to prevent suicide bombers, not the detention of pregnant women.
Oh, yeah: The report also leaves out another small detail: Arabs repeatedly proved their valor during the Oslo War by smuggling weapons into Israeli cities, often hidden under “sick” patients en route to take advantage of Israel’s healthcare system.
Similarly for the separation wall, built a decade ago to protect Israeli lives (and, incidentally, Palestinian lives, by preventing the need for IDF troops to respond to murderous Palestinian attacks). Somehow, however, there is no mention of the 1,027 innocent Israelis who lost their lives to Palestinian bus bombs, restaurant bombs, pizzeria bombs, shopping mall bombs, bus stop bombs and roadside shootings.
No, to Btselem, the separation fence “was planned primarily to keep as many settlements and large areas designated by Israel for their expansion west of the barrier, on its ‘Israeli side’. Of course, Jewish lives pale in comparison to the “severe violations of the rights of Palestinians,” some of whom have had their lives “disrupted” by the inconvenient wall. How sad they can no longer enter Israeli cities at will in order to carry out their murderous attacks.
Of course, no Btselem report would be complete with out a lecture about the supposed root of all evil in Judea and Samaria (and perhaps in the world): “Settlements,” or Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
In a section entitled “Settlements: The heart of the matter,” the report establishes that Jews who live in Judea and Samaria are criminals, because “the 300,000 Israeli citizens live in more than 200 settlements and settlement outposts throughout the West Bank, all established in contravention of international humanitarian law.” Better tell them not to speak to Justice Edmund Levy.
The report continues: Abandoned lands used by Israeli are ”based on a dubious interpretation of the law.” Even worse, Israel ensures that Palestinians cannot kill those damn “settlers” by “devot(ing) a great deal of resources to ensure that Palestinians not violate the military orders designed to keep them away from settlements and to keeping Palestinians from attacking settlers or settlements.”
Thankfully, Btselem does acknowledge that “attacks (on civilians) … are both immoral and unlawful,” but one is left with a sharp feeling that he lives the fact that the organization views attacks on Judea and Samaria Jews as something less than tragic (after all, “the settlements are a breach of international humanitarian law,” no?).