This morning, a friend sent me an article by Leonard Fein called “Occupation Corrupts Soul of Israel.”
Hakibush mashchit — The occupation corrupts.
And so, plainly, it does. But so what? However inadvertent the origins, the poison fruit is today fully ripe. To understand that, it is not sufficient to call attention to the horrific attack in Zion Square the other night, the attack by a mob that threatened the life of Jamal Julani, or even to add to it the firebombing hours earlier of a taxi near Gush Etzion in which six Palestinians, two of them children, were wounded.
He goes on to talk about “settler violence,” the complicity of the authorities (if you ask the ‘settlers’, they will tell you that the authorities in fact protect the Arabs), price tag vandalism, etc.
Is this the “poison fruit” of ‘occupation’?
Or is it simply that some Jews have — after decades of murder, vandalism, no-go zones in Israel’s capital and other places, stonings, lynchings, etc. — learned to act like Arabs?
Did the poison come from Jews living in their historic homeland, or from the Arabs who hate them?
The Left’s solution is to end the ‘occupation’, to withdraw from Judea, Samaria, the Golan, and eastern Jerusalem. In short, give them what they want and everything will be fine. Of course “what they want” is not limited to the territories, and surrendering them will just send the message that we are too weak to resist, and they will redouble their efforts to obtain the rest.
I responded to my friend that if ‘occupation’ corrupts the soul, then withdrawal, with its concomitant rocket attacks and terrorism might well corrupt the body in a very physical way.
But in addition to the security issues, there is something still more important, which is well-understood by the Arabs, if not by the Leonard Feins. Here is a 2009 remark by PLO official Abbas Zaki, which explains it well:
With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward.
Fein is wrong. The corruption of the Jewish soul did not begin in 1967. It began with the adoption of the idea that surrender is pro-Israel, with — as Fein mentions — the birth of Peace Now and the national self-flagellation that followed the Sabra and Shatilla massacres (in which Arabs behaved like Arabs), and culminated in the suicidal decision to allow Arafat and the PLO to return from exile in 1993. Today, it’s fed by a huge influx of money from the European antisemites who support the anti-state NGOs in Israel that are all that’s left of the Left.
It isn’t ‘occupation’ that corrupts — it’s surrender.