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The truth about the occupation

Op-ed: It’s been 50 years since Israel gained control of the territories, and figures show that the Palestinians have actually experienced a major improvement over that period. In most areas, their situation is much better than that of Arabs in neighboring countries. The lies about a genocide and destruction must therefore be shattered.

soldiers in the IDF (photo credit: IDF flickr)

I doubt there is a more common phrase than “the occupation corrupts.” A large number of organizations, activists and writers go to the trouble of filling this slogan with content. Nobel Prize laureate José Saramago argued in the past that “what is happening in Palestine is a crime we can put on the same plane as what happened at Auschwitz.” Auschwitz of all places?

The more moderate version justifies the boycott proposals with claims about “the destruction of education.” That was the argument voiced, for example, by Prof. Lawrence Davidson to justify his support for the boycott. Author Yitzhak Laor went as far as writing that “gas chambers are not the only way to destroy a nation. It is enough to develop high rates of infant mortality.”

There are thousands of comments and publications of this kind, which describe the Palestinians' lives as a living hell. A significant part of these publications is produced by Israelis. Some of them are evil people. Others, the more moderate ones, distort the facts in a bid to “open the world’s eyes” and save Israel from itself.

A lot of Europeans, by the way, believe these horrific accounts. Different surveys show that many residents of European countries, sometimes even the majority, believe that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews. The propaganda of horror is winning.

From ‘fake news’ to ‘fake academia’

Where does the truth lie? Let’s start with education. Is higher education really being crushed? Well, according to the testimony of the former president of Bir Zeit University, Gabi Baramaki, “Before June 5, 1967, no universities existed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” Today, there are more than 50 higher education institutions in the territories.

Moreover, according to a study commissioned by the Palestinians, “Palestinians now have the highest per capita rate of university graduates in the Arab world.” So this is what “a systematic destruction of education” looks like, according to Prof. Davidson and the other demonization publications. We’re moving from “fake news” to “fake academia.”

    This article has been republished with permission by www.ynetnews.com. Click here to continue reading.

Ben-Dror Yemini, Ynet News

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