No Atonement

No Atonement

The new Ten Commandments for Israel’s national policies.


1. Dominate thy neighbor. No atonement necessary for an occupation that deprives the Palestinian population of life, liberty and even brief moments of happiness. We’ll continue violating every international law and convention that stands in our way.

2. Nothing succeeds like success. The 37-year-old occupation continues in full force and will remain in place. With lands confiscated and settled, the territories as we knew them in 1967 no longer exist. And with every Israeli under 50 raised with the occupation in the background, the territories are no longer “occupied”—a term that suggests an interim condition—but rather transformed into areas permanently and irreversibly controlled by Israel. Incidentally, this process follows closely the “creation of facts” that took place in pre-state and immediately post-state Israel.

3. Deceive the world. Talking about redeploying occupation forces and removing a few fringe settlements while actually expanding many others across the West Bank will further strengthen our conquest and make the occupation ever more effective.

4. Apartheid rules. As many foreign visitors testify, the territories closely resemble South Africa’s apartheid rule: limited, segregated areas (many totally devastated) for Palestinians, who no longer control their lands and natural resources, where the population struggles for bare livelihood, experiencing widespread child malnutrition and lacking health services and employment. Add to this roads for Jews only, and the picture becomes clearer.

5. Thou shalt assassinate. The occupied territories have become a free-range shooting gallery for military occupation forces and for settlers. Israel continues to use various assassination techniques on a daily basis—from a one-ton bomb dropped on a densely populated neighborhood to rockets aimed at moving vehicles—both constitute executions without a trial and both, routinely, result in the killing of innocent bystanders, including children. Palestinians react by trying to blow themselves up in areas frequented by Israelis or by occupation forces, typically stating what each act is in retaliation for. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem ( reports that between September 29, 2000, and September 15 of this year 2,859 Palestinians were killed by Israelis, among them 561 minors under the age of 18. During the same period, 916 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, among them 110 minors under the age of 18.

6. Deny, deny, deny: Never acknowledge any connection between a “terrorist act” and our own deeds, or the occupation itself: Theirs is “terrorism,” ours is “defense”; theirs is “hate,” ours is a “desire for peace”; theirs is wrong, ours is right. Always.

7. We have a God-given right to all of the biblical Land of Israel. Their right for a Palestinian state is, at most, conceptual—clearly, it does not apply to even 22 percent of historical Palestine—the areas generally known as the “occupied territories.”

8. “No” to Palestinian statehood. To prevent them from achieving statehood, we will continue to carve out the territories so as to make an independent state no longer possible, and to crush their pre-state institutions: their infrastructure—roads, airports, hospitals, police stations, and jails; schools and universities; computer systems containing demographic and medical records, and much more. The very same civilian institutions that enabled us to transition into statehood smoothly in 1948.

9. Money is no object, especially since it’s American. We will devote most of our national resources to the occupation, at the expense of everything else, including social services to our own Jewish poor and needy, school lunches and the quality of education, and the very lives of our youth.

10. Our “Only True Friends” will continue to help us. Republican and Democrat alike will compete in offering us their unqualified “support.” With such support our “occupation” can expand, everything else notwithstanding. We will continue to methodically transfer the land and natural resources to our own hands and, by further tightening the noose, force the undesirable Palestinian population away to distant places.

Nothing to atone for, or repent. We’re always right.

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