How should the world react when a supposedly democratic state can’t acknowledge a 40-year-old occupation?
When US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel during a visit this weekend, he was playing into this mass delusion, and mouthing the official position of the American Zionist lobby. It is a fallacy that runs right through Israel, self-described as the Middle East’s only democracy, where a recent government-backed report by retired Supreme Court judge Edmond Levy found that its decades-long occupation of Palestinian land wasn’t an occupation at all. The report granted quasi-legal justification for illegally moving Jews into the West Bank. There are now at least 600,000 Jewish colonists squatting on Palestinian land in direct contravention of international law. But for the Zionist state, the occupation is merely a God-given right to populate land.
The lie was proved when Israeli officials, leaders and dutiful Zionist lobbyists in the West spent decades claiming the occupation was temporary and arguing that Palestinian land and natural resources for Israeli use were solely motivated by security concerns. The occupation can apparently be ignored forever. Soon enough, a person like Levy will be found to create a legal fiction and legitimise what the whole world knows to be illegal. The US issues muted criticism, while Australia doesn’t have an independent foreign policy when it comes to Israel, meekly following American and Israeli dictates, and colonisation continues apace.