Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Can we finally end the farce that Israel occupied Gaza? If Israel occupied Gaza, thousands of people would be alive today!

Josep Borrell,  European Union foreign affairs head and Vice-President of the European Commission, wrote an essay to defend funding UNRWA.

It is filled with plenty of deceptive language; pretending that the bulk of UNRWA budget goes towards critical medical needs and humanitarian aid when that is only a small portion, while most of its budget goes towards things that make no sense for the world to fund, like schools. If he wants to save UNRWA in Gaza when countries are suspending aid, he could easily recommend redirecting existing UNRWA funds away from the West Bank and Jordan, for example, where UNRWA maintains an entirely separate welfare infrastructure from the Palestinian Authority and Jordanian government for no good reason.

But one boilerplate sentence is maddening.

He writes, "Israel, as the occupying power, has responsibility for the wellbeing of the Palestinian people under the Geneva Convention."

The idea that Israel occupied Gaza was always a farce. It was an "international law" that was made up just for Israel. Outside of Gaza, every international law scholar agrees that occupation requires both an actual presence of armed forces on the territory and exerting authority ("effective control") over the territory. Only for Israel did they make up the idea that somehow controlling most of the borders constitutes "occupation."

In light of October 7 and the current war, the idea that Gaza was "occupied" by Israel has changed from farcical to grotesque.

Hundreds of miles of tunnels couldn't have been built if Gaza was occupied by Israel. Rockets and RPGs couldn't have been built in Gaza if Israel occupied the territory. Gaza lives wouldn't have been ruled by a terror group if Israel controlled Gaza.

If Israel occupied Gaza, there would have been no massacre on October 7 and no subsequent war. There would have been no wars in 2009, 2012, 2014 and the other shorter ones every couple of years.

If Israel occupied Gaza, thousands of lives - Jewish and Arab - would have been saved. 

The EU's policy towards Gaza is based on the lie of "occupation." Claiming that Israel occupies Gaza now, after the massacre, is an unimaginable insult. 

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