by Christine Colbert
Israel’s deputy minister of foreign affairs Danny Ayalon recently released a video that discusses Israel’s legitimate presence in the West Bank. In this brief video, he discusses historically verifiable facts like Israel’s capturing the West Bank from Jordan in 1967. He points out that there was no Palestinian state at this time. Mr. Ayalon states that Jordan had no legal right to be in this area, and that it had changed the names of Judea and Samaria to “the West Bank.”
He states that Israel’s presence in the West Bank in 1967 was for the purpose of self-defense and provides historic details that strongly support his remarks. These facts are verifiable. He suggests that the term “disputed territories” is far more appropriate for the West Bank than “occupied territories.”
The video can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGYxLWUKwWo&feature=youtu.be
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat immediately responded by characterizing Israel as “pro-conflict,” occupying colonialists. He described the video as “not . . . amateur” and as presenting a “cynical and falsified account” of history and international law.
Mr. Ayalon has replied that PA representatives are “unable to challenge a single fact in the video and have completely avoided a legitimate and honest discussion on the issues.”
The video, released in late July, has already drawn more than 100,000 views. Mr. Ayalon has said he would be happy to present facts in a debate setting with any PA representative. “I now realize that there has been such a thirst for the truth, not just among Israel supporters, but also among the undecided, and its success has prompted me to think of doing a lot more in this area,” he said, referring to the video.
It seems that the kinds of historical dates, occurrences, and binding resolutions that Mr. Ayalon and Mr. Erekat address should be a matter of ascertainable fact. If one side has long been pulling the wool over much of the world’s eyes, it shouldn’t succeed in misleading or confounding many in the global community forever.
Is it possible that Israel doesn’t “occupy” Israel?
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