Not an occupation!
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Not an occupation!

Texas originally belonged to Mexico. It permanently became part of the United States as a result of the Mexican–American war, which officially ended when the government of Mexico, under duress, signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Similarly, Gaza and the West Bank were taken in war by Israel in June of 1967, and treaties were signed by Egypt and Jordan ceding those areas to Israel, respectively 12 and 27 years later, without duress. Since agreements signed without duress have greater legitimacy than those signed under duress, and since no one refers to Texas as occupied territory (except, perhaps, some citizens of the Lone Star state who abhor the federal government), it is incorrect to refer to Gaza and the West Bank as occupied territories.

Additionally, the fundamental law of contracts, applicable to the realms of both politics and commerce, states that if an offeree rejects an offer, that offer is off the table, and if the offeree subsequently accepts it, the offerer is under no obligation to act on it. In 1947, the U.N. offered the Jews and the Arabs a partition plan to divide what was left of Palestine between them. (About three-quarters already had been given by the British to the Hashemite Kingdom.) The Jews accepted the offer, but the Arabs rejected it, deciding that ownership of the land would be decided by warfare. The Jews had no choice but to play by Arab rules, those of violence and the law of the jungle.

By rejecting the U.N. partition plan, and by losing the wars of 1948 and 1967, the Arabs forfeited their right to claim independent political control of any part of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the U.S. Congress and declared “we are not occupiers,” he was stating a fact. Therefore, anyone who refers to the West Bank and Gaza as occupied is either displaying ignorance of that fact or is purposely distorting the truth. That a Jewish periodical that ostensibly supports the State of Israel would editorially defend the use of such terminology is almost beyond comprehension.

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