Will the real occupiers please stand up???!!!

Will the real occupiers please stand up? The BDS (Boycott,Divestment, Sanctions) Movement is gaining momentum, continuing with a zealous campaign to delegitimize Israel and pressuring companies,entertainers, and even countries to cease doing business with the Jewish State. As unbelievable as it might seem to place the United States and anti-Israel activism in the same category, the Obama administration’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, is now also threatening boycotts, sanctions, and even a third intifadah.

All of this is because of Israel’s supposed “occupation” of
Palestinian Arab land. But what if Israel is not the occupier at all?
What if Israel is actually occupied?

All literary, historical, and archaeological records point to the
international community affirming the right of the Jewish People to
the Land of Israel. Napoleon, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Lord
Balfour, the League of Nations, and the United Nations all affirm the
historic connection between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.
Furthermore, we need not depend on the biblical account to find that
there was a Jewish state in this piece of land. Archaeology and
historical record point in the same direction. Recent genetic research is yielding the very same results – that Jews residing in different parts of the world are genetically related, Jewish genetic origins are in the Middle East, and that Jews, as a genetic group, are related to Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians, Greeks, and Italians.

This also accentuates the point that seems obvious. Jews are neither
White nor European and the reborn State of Israel is exactly where it
should be, bringing an exiled population back to the land of its

While we are myth busting and showing that the myth of European
colonialism is simply not true, let us go further and explore the idea
that Arabs are native to the land we call Israel.  In fact, Arabs
arrived in the Middle East only in the 7th century with the Islamic
conquest, conquering ancient peoples such as the Egyptians
and Assyrians and turning them into subjugated Christian minorities. Haven’t you ever wondered what happened to those ancient Egyptians who wrote in hieroglyphics? They are still around. They were conquered by the Romans and then by the Arabs and are today a persecuted Christian minority in their own land. The only land to which the Arabs really have historical claim is the land of their namesake – Arabia…today ruled by the Saud family and thus called Saudi Arabia. The rest of the Middle East is occupied – by the Arabs. That means that the entire Arab population of Israel got there and were settled there by means of and as a result of a conquest and an occupation.

It also means that Jewish lands that are not part of modern Israel and are still under Arab control, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the country we today call Jordan, are also occupied by the Arabs and rightfully belong to the Jews. In fact, all of these areas including Jordan were originally allocated to the Jewish State in the League of Nations decision of 1922.

Exploring the modern period, Israel came into being with the world
acknowledging the Jewish People’s right to the Land of Israel. Despite
the Jewish People’s right to the land, it was sensitive to the Arabs living there and was willing to split the land. The State of Israel as it was
established in 1948 came into being when the Arabs refused to share
and chose instead to attack Israel in a war to destroy the Jewish State.
When Israel won and secured its existence, Israel took over lands that it was originally ready to relinquish to the Arabs. The expanded 1967 boundaries came under Israel’s control in another such war of self-defense. Throughout the entire time, Israel has held out its hands to the
Arabs in the hopes of sharing and having peace only to have that hand

So where is the occupation that so many people are so upset about? Some have not read their history. The world gave a piece of land to the Jews because the Jews are the rightful owners and it was partly as a result of Jewish homelessness and dispossession that persecution of the Jewish People took place. But then, the world changed its mind.  First, it removed Jordan from the land allocated the Jews. Then it partitioned what was left into a miniscule Jewish state and a miniscule Arab state. Now it calls Israel occupied Palestine and an apartheid state.  Maybe the world simply doesn’t want Israel to exist at all. I’m beginning to feel that the world doesn’t see a place for the Jews anywhere, not even in their own land. Since it bothers the oil-rich Arabs so much, it would be better if there was no Israel and maybe the international community made a mistake when it voted to create it. Still others are bothered by Jews raising their heads high in a sovereign state. They are more comfortable with the wandering, homeless Jew or the Jew in the stripped pajamas than a Jew in proud IDF uniform. Has it occurred to anyone that the proposals of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement are eerily similar to laws imposed on Jews by the Nazi regime before World War II in order to exclude them from economic and political life?

Maybe the problem is not one of “occupation” at all, but rather some people’s pre-occupation with their prejudice against Jews.

About the Author
Rabbi Royi Shaffin has served as a rabbi, Jewish educator, professor, writer, and public speaker for over 15 years. His writings span the full spectrum of Jewish religious and political topics. He considers himself a member of both the faith community and the community of free-thinkers. As such, he bridges the gap between religion and reason, belief and inquiry. His commentary on Israel and the Jewish world uses unique insight, satire, comedy, passion, and life experience to shed light on Israeli and Jewish life in the modern world and creating visions and possibilities for a better future.