Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"Belligerent Occupation"

Those are the words that Aharon Barak, chief justice of Israel's Supreme Court, used to describe Israel's presence in Judea, Samaria and Aza in his recent command to the Defense Ministry regarding the relocating of the "separation fence." Was the choice of the word " belligerent" arbitrary or carefully chosen? Does the fact that the definition of the word  "fascism" contains the word belligerent perhaps have anything to do with Barak's choosing it? 

Here is the definition of fascism as it appears in the fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary: 

a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. 2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Could Barak really imply that Israel is fascist? Yes, indeed -- he is a devoted and most powerful post-Zionist.

"The central contention of post-Zionism is that the idea of a Jewish state with its unique calendar, flag, anthems, rhythms, ethos, and history is atavistic, a throwback to the romantic nationalism of the nineteenth century that begat, among other things, fascism and Nazism. " -- from the World Zionist Organization. 
 It is interesting that the International Herald Tribune chose to quote the phrase "belligerent  occupation" when reporting on Barak's fence decision:

"The Palestinians will fashion the nonbinding ruling from The Hague into a political battering ram, but their greatest victory may lie in the similarities between the international court and the Israeli rulings. In his opinion, Aharon Barak, the Israeli High Court's president, agreed that Israel holds the West Bank "in belligerent occupation" and is therefore subject to international law. The court accepted, moreover, that Israel cannot build barriers on occupied land if their purpose is political or "motivated by the desire to annex territory." It held that Zionist ideology is not an acceptable justification for seizing occupied lands. These, in broad outline, are the same arguments the international court relied on."

 It  does not seem that the term "belligerent occupation" language was lifted from the Hague ruling but rather that it is Barak's choice of language. The IHT apparently approved and quoted it.


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