More on Occupation

Following up on ED’s post (and the sad 60 Minutes video), here is another video on the Occupation.  Called Checkpoint by Israeli filmaker Yoav Shamir it simply leaves the camera’s rolling in daily interactions within the West Bank.  It’s brutal to watch.  Not because any absolutely horrible thing happens, but just the daily grind of occupation.  You see Israeli soldiers trying to be human beings, some of them increasingly de-humanized by their participation in this militarization of society.  And you see something of what it is like from The Palestinian side.  If something like this documentary were shown on US tv in primetime (which it never will), then maybe opinions would change.  What is so brilliant in my mind about it is that there is no commentary from the directors.  No viewpoints are inserted.  Just cameras and human beings interacting.

This is the first of eight parts (all of which are on YouTube):

Sadly my own view (like those in The 60 Minutes piece) is that the two state solution is increasingly a dying prospect.  And, what Gershom Gorenberg called in his brilliant book on the subject, The Accidental Empire (i.e. the occupation of West Bank) is at the heart of that failure.  It’s not the only reason but it is a central one.

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15 thoughts on “More on Occupation

  1. It’s such a sad, frustrating, endless nightmare. The Israeli policies seem increasingly short-sighted. Perhaps militarization of a State does this to its lawmakers. The answers increasingly become more authoritarian, less humane. I still believe in the dream of Israel, though. And the dream of Palestine, too, for that matter.

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  2. Ah, indeed, Freddie. And the settlers might be considered somewhat Oedipal. They have killed the original dream of Israel and are f*cking their motherland.

    Sorry, that’s my crude take on Greek Tragedy as it pertains to Israel.

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  3. Didn’t you fail to mention the Palestinian terror that has plagued Israel, necessitating such security measures? How would you suggest that they deal with this, then? Why was the Wall built, do you think?

    Can you separate your emotions, which are being willfully manipulated by this 60 Minutes episode, from your analytical ability?

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  4. That’s a good one, Freddie:

    Tragic in the classical sense, meaning that it isn’t just some twist of fate, but a function of the traits, and philosophy, of the people involved.

    You’ve got the makings of a real analysis here. Seriously. If you could describe these traits and philosophies of all the people involved, that would be a good read.

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  5. Don’t listen to ED Kain, Freddie. He’s just trying to make a Freudian quip at the Israeli’s expense. It’s not analysis to call people “motherfuckers,” is it?

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  6. ED Kain: Who is proposing that Israel become “a total police state?” How does this answer the question I posed above? My comment here is basically a critique of the 60 Minutes broadcast. They present the security measures Israel is taking without showing why they’re doing it. They appeal solely to emotion. I’m just asking for a little analysis, that’s all.

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  7. That’s a shallow call for analysis, though. Obviously there’s terrorism against Israel. Obviously the security measures are for security. The larger question is how to end the need for those measures, and the surest way toward that is to end the settlement of the West Bank.

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  8. Now I’m shallow. Fine. But wallowing in emotion doesn’t even reach that depth. The surest way to end the need for those measures is for the Palestinians not to promote the extermination of Israel as their goal and to accept the two-state solution. Simply withdrawing from the West Bank will not accomplish this as long as Palestinians adhere to their genocidal goals.

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  9. Oh right. That’s practical, Roque. “If they just accept the two-state solution” there will be peace. Really? If horses grew wings they’d be able to fly. Right. So you expect the whole peace process to go through by relying on the Palestinians to unilaterally accept the “two-state solution” which just so happens to include a West Bank overrun with Israeli settlers. How does that work, exactly? That “acceptance” you speak of?

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  10. So you think that acceptance of the two-state solution by Palestinians is as likely as horses growing wings? We agree on that. But as long as they don’t, then what solution do they propose, according to your reading? Yes. Really. If Palestinians didn’t want to exterminate Israel, then there would be no need for any security measures. It would be a sure thing. It’s the “surest” way, not precipitous Israeli withdrawal,which would only lead to another cycle of attacks and retaliation. As long as Palestinians refuse to accept the two-state solution, Israel will need security measures to protect itself, whether they withdraw from the West Bank or not. But it isn’t unilateral because Israel has accepted it for twenty years. If they did accept it, then I’d expect the whole peace process to go through to the conclusion of a viable Palestinian state on the former British mandate. How can you call this “unilateral?” Israel accepts it. The US accepts it. The EU accepts it. The Palestinians don’t accept it. This includes the dismantling of the settlements.
    Are you asking me how to get Palestinians to accept the two-state solution and thus desire to live in peace with Israel and Jews? Palestinians need to be unequivocally defeated. But—first, I want to say that I do not propose a military defeat (that’s already happened), much less ethnic cleansing, genocide, massacres. “Defeat” here means that Palestinians have to give up the goal of exterminating Israel. It only means accepting the two-state solution. I think that diplomatic pressure would do the trick in a minute, if that pressure was coming from Europe and other Arab states. If they made it clear to Palestinians that they lost and the two-state solution is the only solution, then Palestinians would have no other way out. As it is, though, Arab states and Europe use the conflict in Palestine/Israel for their own ends, so that isn’t very likely.

    I’m using an analogy between WWI, WWII and this conflict as a basis for this. Germany was defeated in WWI but they were not forced to recognize it. This left the door open for the “stab in the back” theory, where Germany was actually winning and was betrayed by Jews and Commies. After all, Germany was never occupied after WWI and there were never ever any foreign troops on German territory. WWII was the result. Roosevelt and Churchill used this knowledge to formulate the “unconditional surrender” doctrine that guided Allied diplomacy in WWII. It worked, didn’t it? Germany accepted peaceful relations with its neighbors after that. I can’t see how this reasoning fails—maybe you can tell me—but I have to emphasize that I’m not saying I want to see carpet bombing of the West Bank. I’m saying that Palestinian defeat can be accomplished by solely diplomatic means and I would not support anything that even resembled mass murder.

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