Israeli Occupation for Dummies

It’s that season again. The season of intensified misery and bloodshed in Israel/Palestine. The script was written ages ago, the cast set in stone. These are the glory days for power-hungry right-wing politicians who have mastered the art of manipulating fear and are adept at transforming it into political gains.

The all too common cycle of bloodshed goes more or less like this:

1 The “status quo” of occupation, which includes daily violence and dispossession, is interrupted by an Israeli provocation or violence. For example, one or more right-wing politicians visit Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

2 Palestinians protest this challenge, here to their sovereignty of Al-Aqsa (as part of the Jordanian/Palestinian-led Islamic Waqf), the third holiest site in Islam and the single most unifying symbol for Palestinians.

The Israeli military retaliates to Palestinian protest with brute force. During this current round of violence, the Israeli government approved a series of measures that target Palestinian resistance. These laws are in contrary to UN resolutions pertaining the rights of occupied peoples to resistance and self-determination. Controversial images of Israeli soldiers repeatedly shooting a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint have also raised tensions.

4 Palestinians escalate protests throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and within Israel proper. A video released yesterday supports the claims whereby Israeli soldiers in plain clothes regularly incite Palestinian protesters after which they crack down on the perpetrators. Some Palestinian individuals and factions target Israeli civilians. This past week two Israeli parents were murdered in front of their children by an ambush. Several other Israelis were stabbed in East Jerusalem.

The Israeli right-wing demands retribution in response to these murders.

6 Israel escalates its crackdown on the Palestinian resistance, its political leaders and activists. Some are arrested without due process and tortured by the Shin Bet (Israeli internal security), others are injured or killed.

7 Israel engages in a military operation within the OPT (aka “mowing the lawn”). The operation can begin with aerial attacks and lead to the involvement of “boots on the ground” at later stages.

8 Scores of Palestinians are displaced, killed and injured. Depending on the scope of the military operation, Israeli citizens and/or soldiers are injured and killed, though numbers are incomparably less than those of Palestinian victims

9 Mounting international pressure forces Israel to cease its attacks.

The losers are undoubtedly the Palestinians. The winners are all those in Israel and elsewhere that favor racist expansionist policies that promote a segregated, undemocratic society in Israel/Palestine.


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Yoav Litvin is a Doctor of Psychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience.  

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