This week, an Israeli report co-authored by retired Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy came to the conclusion that the occupation of Palestinian territories was not actually an occupation. This news must have been met with wide-spread celebrations within the occupied territories, or as they shall now be known, the territories. I’m pretty sure if these territories had streets, the Palestinians would be partying in them after discovering that all this time they had simply imagined being oppressed.
The Levy Report’s findings mark a radical new direction for foreign policy. If the international community condemns the actions of your nation, simply deny that those actions are the actions everyone thought they were. FW De Klerk has been at the forefront of this technique as applied to the past, when he went on the telly saying that black people under Apartheid actually had a whole bunch of rights all along (they must have been toyi-toying for the exercise).
It’s pretty easy to remix history, but remixing the present is something trickier, braver (yet not without appeal). Our world becomes a happier world – a world where cute puppies frolic in meadows under rainbows, while Greensleeves is played on pan-pipes in the background – if we simply make it law that any bad things that are going on aren’t actually occurring. In a world where a man can spend his free time getting high on bath salts and eating the face off of a homeless guy for no apparent reason, or where a couple of whiskeys are enough to make a COPE politician try to open the door of an aeroplane mid-flight, who wouldn’t want to sugar-coat things?
I should have done the proper Jewish thing and studied law so that I could apply this revolutionary method of getting out of trouble to all spheres of my life. This technique will come in handy in the likely event that some South African Jews get upset about this column because I’m undermining what our grandparents taught us about Israel always being right, no matter what. To those people I say: this is not actually a column. I do not actually have an opinion. I am not actually a writer (a significant number of Daily Maverick readers would not dispute this last point at all).
Legally declaring things to not actually be the things they are is genius, and can even be used as a handy tool in our daily lives. That weed I’ve been smoking? Not actually weed. Contrary to empirical evidence, there isn’t actually a large family of illegal Malawians paying a grand a month to live in my shed. And next time I get stopped for drunk driving? “Well, you see, officer, the thing is that the alcohol I ingested wasn’t actually alcohol, and furthermore, the car I’m driving isn’t actually a car. In fact, you are not actually a policeman, I am not actually a civilian, and reality itself is actually an illusion. Now can I please go home?”
With the right lawyers, I am confident that I could have a range of my crimes legally declared null and void. Only problem is, I wouldn’t actually be fooling anyone. DM
The web in Israel instantly went crazy after the report was released, with a whole bunch of memes satirising the idea that there was no occupation. Check out a collection of some of the best ones here.