Home Perspectives Opinions ‘Israel is not an occupier:’ An open letter to Israel’s consul general

‘Israel is not an occupier:’ An open letter to Israel’s consul general

Israeli Air Force (IAF) flies over the country during Independence Day. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The following is an open letter to Galit Baram, Israel’s consul general in Toronto, written by some members of the Canadian Jewish community.

Dear Consul General Baram,

Many people were shocked to read the open letter published in the July 20 edition of the Canadian Jewish News that supported the Arab-Palestinian propaganda machine lie that Israel “occupies” Judea and Samaria. This lie is spread by anti-Israel forces in the Middle East and around the world. It perpetuates the myth of Palestinian-Arab victimhood. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel is based on this notion of “occupation” and stands as a glaring example of the attempts to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the very existence of the Jewish state.

The fact is that Israel is unquestionably an owner and not an occupier. Historically, it is universally recognized that Jews have dwelled in the Land of Israel for well over 3,000 years. In recognition of the Jewish patrimony, Israel was granted the legal rights to Palestine in 1922. This is enshrined in the United Nations Charter and remains valid, regardless of the passage of time.

Israel is not an occupier, nor is Israel to be blamed for the terrorism perpetrated against its people. By contrast, terrorism is celebrated and rewarded by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, who is a noted Holocaust denier. Israel is the rightful owner of the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. It liberated Judea and Samaria in 1967 from Jordan, which had illegally occupied it for 19 years.


Where is the call among the so-called “progressives” for the PA to stop paying salaries to murderers and naming schools after terrorists? Where is the call for it to stop teaching their children to hate and kill Israelis? Where is the call to have EU countries and Western media stop spreading lies and distortions about Israel and Israelis?

Why aren’t those who are rallying against a non-existent “occupation” condemning the PA for days of rage leading to violence on the Temple Mount and the slaughter of innocent civilians in their own home on Shabbat?

The signatories of the letter published in The CJN calling for an end to the non-existent occupation do not live in Israel. They are not facing genocidal death threats. They are wilfully naive if they believe that all Jews should evacuate Judea and Samaria, our historic homeland, to have less security and face a greater risk from those who would totally destroy the one and only Jewish state.

Shame on anyone who thinks Israel is to blame for the decades-long stalemate in the peace negotiations. It is self-evident that the PA and its partners – including Fatah, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas – continue to actively support the declaration made by the Arab League in Khartoum in l967: “No recognition of Israel. No peace with Israel and no negotiation.” 


Andria Spindel           
Jennifer Badani             
David Nitkin                         
Cleo Ceron               
Yehudit Shier Weisberg      
Ari Weisberg

Joel Goldman             
Stephen Posen             
Michael Baigel                       
Janet Corey-Skobac       
William Switzer

Gerald Diner              
Goldie Steiner                
Dora Usher

Elena Ashkenazi            
Etta Kaner                   
Sarah Bee

Ruth Muskat              
Robert Walker                
Stuart Kamenstsky

Rochelle Wilner           
Jeffery Todd Schwartz         
Jacob Steinberg

Doris Epstein              
Beverley Sheckter             
Kenneth Ryesky

Stella Schindler            
Alex Steinberg                
Cathy Horowitz

Joel Margolis              
Claire Benezra                 
Alan Herman

Molly Neufeld             
Mendl Malkin                 
Geoffrey Clarefield

Debbie Rose               
Sally Zerker                   
Fred Krantz

Jack Zincler                
Viviane Spieglelman            
Irving Weisdorf

  • Confused

    Question for the authors of this letter: if Jordan “illegally occupied” the West Bank from 1948-1967, how isn’t Israel “occupying” it now? Also, you can condemn incitement from the PA, as well as anti-Israel biases, while also criticizing Israeli actions. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    • d gitalgravity

      It legally belongs to Israel, the area has been confirmed and mapped as a legal part of a Jewish state from as far back as 1920’s Conference of San Remo, (same conference which also established borders for Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, and nobody is question the legality of those borders.) There were several other legal agreement that confirmed these same legal borders….the Arab part of Palestine on east side of Jordan River the Jewish part on the west side. The same borders were written into the Article 80 of UN charter.
      All these legal document are as valid today as on the day they were signed.
      Arabs have no legal claim ( or any similar claim that Israel has) to the land in West Bank at all, period.

  • Confused

    Also on the Balfour Declaration- it called for the establishment of a Jewish State ‘in Palestine’ rather than ‘of Palestine’

    In 1922 White Paper, Churchill wrote that “the terms of the declaration referred to, do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded ‘in Palestine.’

    • Michael Mann

      Once Jordan was created in 1922, the remaining 23 percent of the Mandate territory — everything west of the Jordan River — made the difference between “in” and “of” irrelevant.

      Israel lawfully occupies the territories. There is nothing illegal about it. Jordan’s occupation was unlawful as Jordan had no claim whatsoever to the area.

      You can criticize Israeli action, I suppose. Israel makes tactical errors and sometimes does stupid things; but as to the occupation, generally, Israel is beyond reproach as a matter of law. The IDF administers the territories per the security exceptions in the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 64 to 78. Measures such as preventive detention, check points, barriers, home demolition are permissible — even mandated — for reasons of security.

  • Beer Baron

    Israel is a shining star of freedom in a region, sadly, largely devoid of it.