As the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza approaches, there will be several lengthy retrospectives. One of the better ones was, surprisingly, published by the NY Times today.
Nathan Thrall is a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group. He’s also the author of “The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine.” he makes a persuasive case that the Israeli occupation is on track to run another 50 years, aided and abetted by the US. The widely held misconception that the occupation is unsustainable and prone to collapse any minute now, under the weight of its own inequity and oppression is part of what keeps it going.
Israel, with the strongest army in the region, has repeatedly demonstrated that it can endure and outlast whatever bursts of resistance the divided and exhausted Palestinians can muster.
The next threats, too, came up empty. The rise of nominally pro-Palestinian powers like India and China has, to date, had no negative effect on Israel, which has strengthened ties with both countries. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, though noisy on some American campuses, has yet to make a dent in Israel’s economy or its citizens’ self-reported level of life satisfaction, among the highest in the world. — NY Times
The article is well worth your time. It doesn’t, however, directly contend with the NY Times and western media’s role in perpetuating the occupation. That is probably best captured by Malcolm X:
The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make the criminal look like he’s a the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. It will make the criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. — Speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem (13 December 1964)