In a July 20 news report about how activists in the Lower Mainland of Delta British Columbia were setting up pickets against an Israeli shipping company, a local newspaper, the Delta Optimist, falsely claimed that the Gaza Strip is an “occupied and blockaded Palestinian territory.”
For quite some time now, a popular myth has been promulgated by Israel’s enemies and has unfortunately been accepted as fact by the Canadian media. The myth is that of Israel as the “occupiers of the Gaza Strip.”
Contrary to the claim stated by reporter Jessica Kerr, occupation implies being able to impose your will on the occupied and as Israel disengaged from Gaza, removing over 8,500 settlers in the summer of 2005 and as it doesn’t have any soldiers on the ground, this claim doesn’t have any merit. Although Israel does carry out military incursions to thwart and disrupt terror cells, this does not qualify as “occupation,” nor does any other claims that because Israel controls the sea/air access to Gaza that it’s an “occupier.”
Currently, the only non-Palestinian force in Gaza is the UN and we don’t presume that the media would claim that the UN is “occupying” the Gaza Strip. After HonestReporting Canada informed Detla Optimist editors of this error, the online news report was amended and the following correction was issued today:
For more information on this matter please see this scholarly analysis by Washington lawyers David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey entitled “The Myth of Occupied Gaza” as published in the Washington Post.