In a September, 2015 speech to the United Nations, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas revealed that he doesn't see the Israeli ‘occupation’ the same way the West sees it. Indeed, as he spoke in Arabic, he demonstrated what Jews who follow the PA have known for decades: what Abbas says in English is not what he says in Arabic.
So far as the West is concerned, Israel’s ‘occupation’ of ‘Palestinian’ land began in 1967 when, during the defensive Six-Day War, Israel took over Gaza, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. But in that 2015 UN speech, Abbas spoke of Israel as occupying ‘Palestinian’ land since 1948. This means to say that, as soon as Israel was created, it automatically ‘occupied’ ‘Palestinian’ land. The land Abbas ‘wants back’ is all of Israel.
That’s what he said in Arabic at the UN. The English translation didn’t have those 1948 references. They’d been sanitized from the speech.
If you search for that September 30, 2015 UN speech, you might discover that, as the Times of Israel indicated at the time, an English translation of the speech was “submitted to the UN [emphasis mine]”. Then, that submitted translation was posted on the UN’s website (“Full text of Abbas’s 2015 address to the UN General Assembly”, timesofisrael, September 30, 2015).
Nobody said who had submitted that English version to the UN. But as the website Palestinian Media Watch (palwatch) discovered, that translation wasn’t the same speech Abbas gave. It had been edited (Ari Yashar, "Abbas lets slip: all of Israel is 'the occupation", arutzsheva, November 2, 2015).
Palwatch found three references deleted from the English text.
(1) Abbas didn’t refer to land taken by Israel 48 years earlier (1967), as the West does. He spoke of Israel's "67-year occupation", which meant that Israel’s so-called ‘occupation’, began in 1948, the moment Israel was founded (Yashar, ibid). Abbas was objecting to Israel’s entire 67-year existence.
(2) In case his audience didn’t get what he meant, he repeated that 67-year reference. He said, “Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, haven't you wondered: For how long will this protracted Israeli occupation of our land last? After 67 years [i.e., since Israel's creation]--how long?” (ibid).
(3) He continued his attack against Israel’s existence with an (untrue) accusation. In a long sentence about Israel’s brutality, he said, "[The] holy sites which have been desecrated every other second again and again for seven decades…”. Seven decades meant ‘since Israel’s founding’.
This ‘occupation since 1948’ theme carries forward to all levels of the PA. Fatah, Official Facebook pages, TV, print and speeches, always tell its public that all of modern Jewish Israel is ‘occupied’ territory, just as Abbas suggested in his UN speech before it was sanitized. Indeed, Palwatch has reported that the PA often sanitizes speeches and statements—to make them more palatable to Western ears (Yashar, ibid).
Palwatch tracks Palestinian media sites, speeches and news outlets. It regularly finds statements that include such phrases as:
-"Good morning, the beach of occupied Ashkelon" Facebook page of the PA National Security Forces, Oct. 27, 2015
-"Good evening, occupied city of Haifa" Facebook page of the PA National Security Forces, Oct. 25, 2015
-"Good morning, occupied Acre" Facebook page of the PA National Security Forces, Oct. 24, 2015 (Yashar, ibid).
As recently as last week, an Official PA outlet referred yet again to far-Western Israeli cities as ‘occupied’. This latest misrepresentation came in the form of a crossword puzzle:
-“PA crossword puzzle: Israeli city Haifa is port in occupied Palestine”, (Itamar Marcus, Palestinian Media Watch [called, palwatch], August 21, 2016, as found in the Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Aug. 20, 2016).
As Marcus explained, PA media and political infrastructure always avoid granting legitimacy to Israel within any borders. It replaces ‘Israel’ with the term, ‘occupied Palestine’ (ibid). The PA, in Arabic, defines all Israeli cities as “occupied” (ibid).
The same PA daily (above) reminded us of another invention for Israeli cities. The paper described Arab students at the Jewish University of Haifa as ‘Palestinian students from the Interior [emphasis mine] that was occupied in 1948’ (ibid).
You can find such characterizations virtually every month, if not every week, in PA media, speeches, Facebook and TV programming.
If you’ve never been to Israel, the cities of Ashkelon, Haifa and Acre are nowhere near 1967 lines, east of which lies the land the world wants Israel to give to Abbas because it’s supposedly been ‘occupied’ since 1967. Ashkelon, Haifa and Acre are cities on the Mediterranean coast, as far West as one can get from the 1967 lines. Calling these Western-most cities ‘occupied’ reinforces the anti-Israel chant, ‘From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free’. The River is the Jordan, Israel’s eastern-most border. The Sea is the Mediterranean, Israel’s Western-most border. The meaning of this chant is clear: all the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan (the entire Jewish Israel) is ‘occupied’. That’s the land that must be liberated.
This is what BDS and Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) mean when they talk of ‘occupied Palestine’. This is why the map of ‘Palestine’ published by the PA is the map of Israel relabelled as ‘Palestine’.
This new Arab ‘Palestine’ will remove Israel from the map of the world. As Israel is erased, ‘Palestine’ is liberated: ‘Palestine’ becomes ‘unoccupied’.
True to form, Abbas, BDS, SJP, and all PA media outlets are ‘on the same page’. They all promote the ‘Palestinian Cause’: all of Israel is ‘occupied’. All of this ‘occupied’ land must be liberated. For ‘Palestinian’ justice, Israel must disappear.
Keep this in mind the next time you read, Israel is ‘occupied Palestine’. What that phrase means is that Israel must cease to exist.
Is that what you want?