Since 1967, Israel has maintained a presence on the West Bank, the Palestinian territory situated west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Although the United Nations Security Council has, since 1979, referred to the West Bank as "Palestinian territory occupied by Israel," Israeli governments have tended to prefer the less inflammatory term "disputed territory."
That is, until now. Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced the launch of its new "Occupy West Bank" campaign.
As Netanyahu explained, "The democratic spirit behind the American movement known as Occupy Wall Street was so markedly similar to the motivation behind Israel's ongoing mission for justice in the disputed territories that it only made sense to align the two movements. Occupy West Bank is, essentially, the Israeli version of Occupy Wall Street."
Netanyahu acknowledged that there exist a few trivial differences between the two movements. For one, the Occupy Wall Street movement aims to represent the "99%" of the general populace and prevent its subjugation by the 1% of Americans possessing the large majority of the nation's wealth and power. By contrast, Israelis account for merely 17% of the total population of the West Bank.
"For that reason," said Netanyahu, "we're staying away from the 'We are the 99%' slogan. We're also not as definitively pacifist as many Occupy Wall Street activists profess to be. We can't afford to be, because unlike the OWS demagogues, we have real issues at stake in our country's imperial destiny. But other than that, everything's pretty much the same."
Netanyahu stated that he had not personally been in communication with any Occupy Wall Street activists, and the OWS movement has not yet formally embraced the Occupy West Bank campaign. He noted, however, that as a large number of the New York City-based OWS activists are very likely Jewish, the solidarity between the two movements is apparent.