Palestinians suffer under Israeli “occupation?” The facts beg to differ!
One of the most common myths about Israel is that it is an occupying force that systematically oppresses the indigenous Palestinian population, which suffers bitter subjugation, and when peace finally comes and the occupation ends, the Palestinians will be free to flourish.
Nobel Prize laureate José Saramago, for instance, charged that “what is happening in Palestine is a crime we can put on the same plane as what happened at Auschwitz.”
Many believe that what Israel is supposedly doing to the Palestinians is similar to the Nazi treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.
However, an examination of actual facts and statistics not only debunks this malicious libel, but shows that under Israel, Palestinians lead dramatically improved lifestyles.
Writing for Israel’s Ynet news, Ben-Dror Yemini compiled facts relating to various facets of life that have been enhanced since “Israeli occupation” began.
Israel Stifles Palestinian Education
Is Palestinian higher education being stifled by Israel? According to the testimony of the former president of Birzeit University, Gabi Baramaki, “before June 5, 1967, no universities existed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” Today, there are more than 50 Palestinian higher education institutions.
According to a study commissioned by the Palestinians, “Palestinians now have the highest per capita rate of university graduates in the Arab world.”
Israel Murders Palestinian Babies
Israel intentionally murders Palestinian babies? According to Dr. Wael R. Ennab, of Al-Najah University in Shechem (Nablus), the infant mortality rate in 1967 was between 152 and 162 per 1,000 live births. It dropped to 132 in 1974 and reached 53 to 56 in 1985. As “Israeli occupation continued,” the rate kept dropping, reaching less than 30 in 1993, when the Oslo peace accords were signed, this according to World Bank figures. It kept falling and currently stands at 18.
It is of significance to note that the sharp drop that occurred between 1976 and 1993 took place under direct Israeli rule. The drop continued under the Palestinian Authority (PA), but at a more moderate pace.
When compared to the rest of the Arab world, the infant mortality rate among the Palestinians is much lower than the global average of 31.7, and is significantly lower than the Arab world average—28.
Israel Conducts Genocide
Another common component of the “occupation” myth is that Israel systematically annihilates the Palestinian population.
In 50 years since the Six Day War, when Israeli “occupation began,” 11,000 to 12,000 Palestinians were killed, mostly terrorists, or civilians involved in violence.
This ongoing conflict has claimed the lowest number of victims, less than the global average of traffic-related deaths and a lot less than the victims of murders in most big US cities.
Jihad and Muslim-related massacres kill more than 20,000 people annually. This number excludes wars.
In general, the Palestinians’ life expectancy has risen from 48.6 in 1967 to about 73 (or 75, according to different sources) today. The population growth rate is among the highest in the world too—2.9 percent a year, according to World Bank numbers from 2015, compared to a global average of 1.2 percent and the Arab world’s average of 2 percent.
Israel Poisons Palestinian Water Sources
What about water access? In 1967, only four of some 700 Palestinian towns and villages were connected to running water. Today, 643 communities are connected to running water, 97 percent of the population.
The facts refute the lies.
“It’s been 50 years since Israel gained control of the territories, and figures show that the Palestinians have actually experienced a major improvement,” writes Yemini. “In most areas, their situation is much better than the situation of Arabs in neighboring countries. So the lies about Auschwitz and the destruction and the mass killing must be shattered.”
“We must refute the lies about what the Palestinians have experienced in the past 50 years under Israeli rule. That will only work to advance the discussion on the proper agreement, both for the Palestinians’ sake and for Israel’s sake,” he concludes.