Even before Israel controlled Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha), it was denounced as an occupier by the Arab world, which tried everything from conventional warfare to terrorism to dislodge the Jews from the Middle East.
Diplomacy was not yet an option, as most of the West, the driving force behind today's land-for-peace process, still viewed Israel as a valuable and loyal ally in the fight against the Arabs' benefactor – the Soviet Union.
But after 19 years, the West's infatuation with Israel waned, awe over its military exploits turned to criticism, and in 1967 the Arabs found Yesha a convenient bone of contention.
If only Israel would give up Yesha for the creation of another Arab Muslim state there would be peace, went the new line.
This month, Israel met part of that demand, surrendering the Gaza Strip, a more than adequate test ground for determining the true intentions of the Arabs – peaceful coexistence with Israel, or perpetual conflict until Israel's ultimate demise.
Without missing a beat, the “Palestinians,” instead of getting to work on creating a stable self-governed and prosperous society in Gaza, found a new excuse for not choosing the path of peace – Gaza's borders.
Israel's audacity in insisting on guarding and controlling the flow of traffic through its border with Gaza means the strip is still occupied, declared senior PLO official Saeb Erekat.
Never mind the fact that the “Palestinians” want Gaza to be part of a sovereign and independent state, and that borders between sovereign independent states are not free passage zones.
Erekat points to Israel's intention to “undermine the territorial unity” of the geographically separated Gaza Strip and “West Bank” by not sacrificing its own sovereignty in the Negev as reason to prolong the conflict.
No peace without full surrender.
Furthermore, citing an obscure portion of the 1950 Nuremburg Tribunal, the PA asserts Israel is still occupying Gaza by virtue of its ability to militarily strike at enemy forces based in the strip.
What exactly the “Palestinians” are demanding of Israel here is unclear.
It is a simple fact that Israel has the military capability to attack targets within Gaza. Nothing short of dismantling the IDF will change that.
If Israel was threatening to use that military capability to adversely effect the local Arab economy or interfere politically, then the “Palestinians” would have a case.
But at present they have nothing more to complain about than Israel's threat to respond militarily to efforts emanating from Gaza to murder Israeli civilians – a right each and every nation on earth guards. That the threat must be vocalized at all is a result of the PA's longstanding failure to curb “Palestinian” terrorism against Israel's Jews.
This is all tantamount to Mexico claiming it is occupied by the United States because its citizens are not free to enter the US at will and the American military is capable of invading Mexican territory and striking targets there.
What the PA has done is create a platform from which it can perpetually accuse Israel of being an occupier, even after the establishment of a recognized “Palestinian” state, and thus justify or deflect attention away from its own noncompliance.