Can't be too careful
Governor Chris Christie, otherwise known as Governor Bridgegate, personally misspoke (he can't blame Bridget Kelly) at a Republican gathering in Las Vegas, otherwise referred to as the Sheldon Adelson Republican primary. The major potential Republican 2016 candidates were auditioning their ideas to some of the richest men in America, along with the richest, Adelson himself.
Christie referred to the "Occupied Territories," let it be said, in way wholly sympathetic to Israel. But the phrase is forbidden in Adelson land, and Christie quickly apologized for the slip-up--unlike some of the other slip-ups he's made. The territories, i.e., the West Bank, are not occupied because they belong to Israel from time immemorial, or so Adelson insists. Politico
The potential anti-Semitic fall-out from the whole meeting has been thoroughly discussed by J.J. Goldberg at The Jewish Daily Forward under the headline: A GOP Plan to Save the Jews: Buy White House.
Where is George Orwell when we need him?
Juan Cole offers five signs that the West Bank might be said to be occupied:
1. The UN General Assembly partition plan for British Mandate Palestine in 1947, which was extremely generous to the Jewish settlement community of the time, did not award them Gaza or the West Bank, where there were at that time virtually no Jews!
2. Israel militarily conquered Gaza and the West Bank only in 1967. Typically you refer to territories not belonging to a country, which it holds during wartime, as “Occupied Territories”
3. Israel is in violation of over 30 United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding what the UNSC explicitly calls the Occupied Territories....
4. Hebron has 180,000 Palestinians and some 500 fanatic Jewish settler families whose presence is illegal by the 4th Geneva Convention, and for the sake of the latter the Palestinians are regimented by the Israeli army.
5. There are 4.4 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. They are stateless. Those in Gaza are besieged by the Israeli military and forbidden to export most of what they produce, and also prevented from importing many needed goods, and denied both a sea harbor and an airport by the Israeli military. Those in the West Bank are under Israeli military rule, denied basic human rights and self-determination, and routinely have their land and resources stolen by illegal Israeli settlers. The Geneva Convention of 1949 forbids occupying powers from flooding their own citizens into militarily occupied territories conquered in war.
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.