I heartily agree with Gary Rosenblatt that we need creative ways to address anti-Israel activities (“Bring More Nuance To Fight Against BDS,” Editor’s column, April 7), and in that vein, would like to suggest an approach sitting right under our noses.
I refer to the fact that since over 90 percent of West Bank Palestinians have been governed by their own elected Palestinian Authority (PA) on their own land for the past 23 years, there is a very strong case to be made that they are not “occupied.” And since “occupation” is a major underpinning of the extremely damaging worldwide attacks on Israel, including deadly Palestinian terrorism, it makes sense for us to make this case, to the best of our abilities.
The liberation of West Bank Palestinians came about as the result of the 1993 land for peace Oslo Accords, which called for dividing the West Bank into Areas A, B and C. A was put under complete Palestinian control, B shared control and C, where all the settlement communities are located, was placed under Israeli control, subject to negotiated Israeli withdrawals.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of a Palestinian state, including Israeli withdrawals, was turned down by Yasir Arafat. Subsequent negotiations were rendered impossible by the Palestinian’s second intifada. Israel was forced to erect a security barrier, tighten checkpoints and undertake preventive incursions — legitimate defensive measures to which every country under attack is entitled.
Bottom line: The Oslo Accords effectively ended any Israeli occupation and put Area C, where all the settlement communities are located, under Israeli control. So it can be argued that occupation and settlements are not the impediment to peace and certainly do not explain or justify Palestinian terrorism, BDS, delegitimization and the all-out attacks on Israel. In addition, the largest and most populous settlement communities have always been seen as being swapped for land over the Green Line in a peace deal. Outposts are a problem, but not a major one.
I have attempted here to provide reasonable ammunition to go on the offensive in the public relations and BDS wars against Israel.