The other day Christopher Hitchens declared that Israel needs to end the occupation of the territories before it can "be part of the West." I'm not going to go through his comments, because for the most part they are pretty fair, nor am I going to comment on when exactly Hitchens became the gatekeeper for the West.
What I wanted to talk about is how so many people (on both sides of the issue) talk about "ending the occupation" just like that. Many anti-Zionists claim that they are merely "anti-occupation" and often accuse people who disagree with them of being "pro-occupation."
It's quite funny: I like to think I have talked with many people about this issue, including from all perspectives and ends of the political spectrum. But I have not met one who was "pro-occupation," who thinks that military occupation is a good thing that should continue. I have met people who think the occupation should continue until there is peace, and people who don't agree. Christopher Hitchens appears to be one of them.
I find this kind of attitude toward the occupation to be, although good intentioned, just another sign of the double standard that is prevalent among Westerners approaching this issue: Israel is responsible for doing everything, and if the Arabs don't reciprocate then it's because Israel didn't go far enough. For people who take this viewpoint to heart the endless calls of "end the occupation" probably makes a lot of sense but Israel isn't just going to do that unilaterally...again. For your average HPer to make that mistake is understandable, but Hitchens is well informed about the situation. He should know better.