"Occupation Duty"  
Time Twisters.jpg
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance Time Twisters
Publisher DAW
Collected Atlantis and Other Places
Genre(s) Alternate History
Publication date 2007

"Occupation Duty" is an alternate history short story by Harry Turtledove, published in Time Twisters, (eds. Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg), DAW 2007; and in Atlantis and Other Places, NAL/Roc, December, 2010. It posits a world where the Philistines' champion Lord Goliath defeated the Israelites' champion Tabitas (David) in ancient days - with the ultimate result that the Philistines remained a distinct political power in the land up to the equivalent of the 21st century, when they possess modern civil and military technology.

The story takes place in the present day and concerns Pheidas, a 19-year-old Philistinian conscript, and his tour of duty in occupied Moab.

Literary Note[]

The story includes many hints and allusions to the OTL occupation of the West Bank by Israel, with an ironic reversal of roles: The Philistines, from whose name is ultimately derived the name of the Palestinians, have a role similar to that of the actual Israel: militarily strong and technologically advanced, living in the country's coastal strip and holding the mountains of the interior under military occupation. The Moabites, who include the Evraioi/Hebrews, are the rebellious, occupied people, similar to the actual Palestinians.

The similarity between the story's Philistines and the actual Israelis is particularly evident in the reference to the Philistine air force staging an air raid on a nuclear plant constructed by the Turks of Babylonia, similar to the Israeli Air Force raiding the nuclear plant of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the OTL analog of Babylon. 

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