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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gaza 2012

I guess I have a few things to say about this, though I haven't had a ton of blogging time lately.

I was listening to David Ignacius talk about Gaza on NPR yesterday- update, who will win, etc. Of course I heard some things that made me think and get a little angry...

(Here is a much better explanation of events, in my opinion... http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/11/16/john-mearsheimer/a-pillar-built-on-sand/ )

Who will win?? Such a stupid way to describe it- no one wins in war. Have you not heard that quote about winning a war being like winning an earthquake? 

And anyway, you know who will win. Who is the 4th strongest military power and backed unconditionally by a superpower? Uh, yeah. No contest. And the winners write history. So that was easy.

Now let's talk about facts. Here are some links to help you out if you like facts and context like I do:

5 Lies the Media Keeps Repeating About Gaza

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omar-baddar/5-lies-the-media-keeps-re_b_2160239.html


Israel's 'right to self-defense' - a tremendous propaganda victory
http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/israel-s-right-to-self-defense-a-tremendous-propaganda-victory.premium-1.478913?localLinksEnabled=false



When the Smoke Clears in Gaza
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/11/after-gaza-a-single-state.html




Back to the radio-- a truce is spoken of, but not the one Israel interrupted with bombing in the first place...

Ignatius did mention that Clinton will only be talking to Israeli officials, PA (who have nothing to do with Hamas), and Morsi in Egypt. Congress has declared Hamas a terrorist group, so we "can't" talk to them... I think it's a good point on why our policy is messed up, but others will of course see it as why Palestinians are wrong, not a partner for peace, pick your own cliche...

Rocket attacks from Gaza are said to be the cause of this conflagration. Funny how Israel is always responding, never ever starting anything. Yeah, that's believable. Everything happens in a vacuum over there. I keep forgetting!

I've been told I'm drinking the Kool-Aid, when in fact, I just want to shake people and get them to stop drinking it. I guess it's easier to be strong in your convictions the fewer facts (context, etc) you bother yourself with.
 
NPR also mentioned how Israel wants a respite for its elections. Boo hoo. How about not putting all those innocent people in an open air prison, limiting movement, raiding them, limiting food by arbitrary embargo, counting calories so they are "put on a diet, but not killed" (sounds familiar, no?), and creating a pressure cooker situation where you keep putting the lid on and it keeps blowing up in your face. Find the solution, don't just keep putting the lid back on!

Oh by the way, Gaza doesn't have bomb shelters or sirens like Israel- they aren't allowed to dig (?!?!)- and their infrastructure is targeted in bombing. What comes to my mind is that Romney theory on why Israel is more prosperous than Palestinians- he said culture when in fact it was the occupation and Israeli boot on their necks. It's kind of the same here. It is Israeli policies that get in the way of development and, uh, not starving to death, not whichever group you want to label terrorists in this particular decade.

Think freedom, whether one state or two, reparations, reconciliation; not "surgically" targeted political assassinations in which hundreds or thousands of innocents also happen to perish, too. Let's face it, it's closer to policy than accident to kill more Palestinians. Extra-judicial assassination is not a long term solution. Compete for power the way democracies do it- not with walls, occupation, and guns.

Some of the articles above address the thorny issue of self-defense, how people play fast and loose with this term, so I won't say much more than is only one side allowed the right of self defense, existence and freedom?

Another phrase that gets thrown around in these discussions is Israel's right to exist. I have a few words to say about existence. That has also become a code word of sorts...

If you are talking about living, living in peace, fine. Existence is great. Jews have a right to exist. Palestinians have a right to exist. But what you may not realize is that when the Israeli government and many others speak of Israel's right to exist, they are talking about a very different concept. Existence to these people means a Jewish majority at any cost (research demographic threat- Arab birthrate being higher than the Jewish one)- killing, "transfer", raids, assassinations, visa trouble, family reunification trouble, building permit trouble, general daily harassment (checkpoints, closures, settler attacks, availability of goods) that makes people want to move if they have the means. 

This type of existence is code for ethnic cleansing and it is wrong. Everyone should be against it.




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