Peter Beinart is so upset over David Friedman that he feels that he must counter Friedman’s rhetoric with his own peculiar brand of “facts.”
Friedman writes, quite accurately, that Palestinians in the West Bank “have freedom of speech, the right to free enterprise, the right to worship freely, the right to elect their leaders.”
Palestinians in the West Bank live inside the state of Israel. The Israeli army—and the army of no other country—can enter any square inch of the West Bank any time it chooses and arrest anyone it wants, including officials of the Palestinian Authority. Thus, the real “leaders” of West Bank Palestinians are the leaders of Israel. But West Bank Palestinians cannot elect them because they cannot vote in Israeli elections. As non-citizens, West Bank Palestinians live under military law. This dramatically restricts their freedom of speech, worship and their right to pursue free enterprise. Under Military Order 101, for instance, West Bank Palestinians need Israeli military permission to hold a political gathering of more than ten people, even if it is occurring in a private home.
So, according to Beinart, Palestinians live “inside the state of Israel.” Not under occupation, not in any autonomous areas, but “inside the state of Israel.” I guess if you are going to claim that Israel is an apartheid state, you have to start making up lies to support that claim.
Let’s look at this awful Military Order 101. When was it written?
In August 1967.
Before, of course, the Palestinian Authority had control of Area A and partial control of Area B. Where some 97% of Palestinians live. And where Military Order 101 – and the other thousand of them – do not apply.
Beinart is claiming, absurdly, that this parade by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades two years ago in Qalandia was approved by some Israeli military officer.
And so was this speech by the PA prime minister last week.
And so is the weekly Palestinian Authority cabinet meeting.
And so is the lighting of the Bethlehem Christmas tree, which includes anti-Israel rhetoric every year.
And so was the Fatah Conference last month with hundreds of attendees.
And every ceremony where they name a new school or square after a terrorist.
And so is every other of the hundreds of gatherings that take place every month in the PA-controlled areas.
Beinart believes that Israel controls and approves every one of those gatherings, many of which are explicitly anti-Israel. Because they all take place “inside the State of Israel,” in Beinart’s absurd view.
Beinart’s attempt to refute Friedman relies on absolute falsehoods.
But what can you expect?
Maybe Beinart will next claim that Argentina is part of the State of Israel as well. After all, the brutal, apartheid Israeli regime had kidnapped, arrested, tried and executed someone from that country in 1960.
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