Since 1967, the Israeli media has hid the ugly, everyday reality in the occupied territories. But even if they really knew, would Israelis still choose to end 50 years of military rule over the Palestinians?
By Yizhar Be’er
According to the democratic-liberal-utopian model, let us assume for a moment that every citizens has access to all the information about the reality that surrounds us. In this world, Israelis would know everything about what is being done in their names in the territories occupied in 1967. And what would happen then?
Over the past few months I have been producing a radiophonic project on the first years in the Gaza Strip after 1967, as part of a series of podcasts I host on Israeli myths. I interviewed, among others, two of the military governors who oversaw Gaza in the first years of the 1970s. At that time the IDF took harsh action against Gaza, and had soldiers been caught on camera by the likes of B’Tselem (which did not exist back then), the world would have come down hard on us.
Lieutenant Col. Ini Abadi, who was then the military governor of the Gaza district, castigated me when I asked him about the army’s “policing activities” vis-a-vis the Palestinian population in the Strip. “These were not policing activities… this was terror! Israeli terror against civilians!” he nearly yelled at me, “and I was in charge of it!” How many Israeli journalists would ever dare speak this way, then and now, not to mention politicians?
Champagne in exchange for dead terrorists
There should be no doubt: Israelis should have known what kind of trouble “holding on to the territories” would bring in the first two to three years after the 1967 War. If only journalists and the local media would have delivered the proper information.
As I gathered more information for my project, I discovered terrible things — some of them yet unknown — that the IDF did in Gaza under the Ariel Sharon, who headed the Southern Command at the time. In an interview with former Major General Yitzhak Pudak, who served as the military governor of Gaza and northern Sinai at the time, he told me about a bound prisoner who was taken from his cell in Gaza so he could point out the exact spot where he had hid weapons in an orchard. After revealing the hiding spot to his interrogators, they...Read More