Models of Occupation, Israel is the key to Bush's Iraq Strategy
Date: Monday, April 11 2005
And this arrangement puts the faux government's security in the front lines and the occupiers are able to reduce their own casualties.
By NEVE GORDON
Israel is the key to understanding President Bush's strategy in Iraq. Not because it had any influence over the decision-making process leading to the 2nd Gulf War, but because the current Administration has adopted the "democratic occupation" model that Israel introduced in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
After the eruption of the first Palestinian Intifada in December 1987, Israel had to deploy a relatively large number of troops aided by tanks and armored vehicles to sustain the occupation -- exactly as the US is now doing in Iraq. This transformed the Israeli occupation from an economically profitable enterprise into a financial liability, leading Israel to come up with the ingenious idea of outsourcing the responsibility for the population while continuing to control the natural resources -- in this case land and water.
Following a series of negotiations, the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established; an entity that willingly took on the role of managing the daily lives of the inhabitants in the Occupied Territories, while Israel maintained control of more than 80 percent of the land. Within a matter of months the civil institutions needed to administer populations in modern societies -- inter alia education, health and welfare -- were passed from Israel to the hands of the fledgling authority, which was also given some limited form of sovereignty. Thus, without renouncing its right to rule the West Bank and Gaza, Israel transferred responsibility for the residents to a subcontractor of sorts -- the PA -- and in this way dramatically reduced the cost of the occupation.