A large majority of Israelis were born into a situation in which their country is occupying the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. A new poll shows that many Israelis don’t know the basics of that situation – for example, that Israel has never annexed the West Bank, or that settlements like Ariel and Maale Adomim are not under Israeli sovereignty. Oded Haklai, a Canadian-Israeli scholar who conducted the poll demonstrates how the occupation-ignorance tipping point among Israelis is the age of 50, and explains why. For more on Haklai’s poll, read his Washington Post article here.
On January 3rd, an Israeli military court convicted sergeant Elor Azaria of manslaughter for killing a young, severely injured unarmed Palestinian who moments earlier stabbed and injured one of Azaria’s fellow combatants in the West Bank town of Hebron. The Azaria trial was about much more than the conduct of one soldier and the IDF’s rules of engagement in the West Bank. It ended up being about the relationship between Israeli society and the IDF, about the rule of law, about the cynical way in which the IDF has been politicized by demagogical politicians – and, of course, about the occupation. IDF Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Amos Guiora, the former commander of the IDF’s School of Law, suggests a several contexts in which to examine the verdict and what it means.