Last night, The Nation Institute hosted a debate between former congressman Brian Baird and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and moderated by The New York Times’s Roger Cohen about the UN-commissioned Goldstone Report, which documented alleged war crimes committed by both the Israeli military and Hamas forces during the 22-day long “Operation Cast Lead” conflict in Gaza in 2008.
At one point during the debate, Weiner began to say that the West Bank was more relatively prosperous than Gaza in part because there is no Israeli occupation there (although there is an enormous blockade).
Cohen pointedly asked Weiner if he was really serious in claiming that Israel is not currently occupying the West Bank, which is the position of the international community and the United States. Weiner repeatedly insisted that there was no occupation there, even going as far as telling Cohen he agreed that there was “no IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] presence there”:
WEINER: You can see a difference in the development in the West Bank with 11 percent year over year growth, with no Israeli occupation there either, with increasing access to checkpoints.