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Isreal and Gaza

8.19.2005

The worlds media has descended on 2% of old palestine to see a historic process of handing 20% of palestinians back 2% of their land. I am not a curmudgeon, this is a process with some good points. It simply seems that the media circus taking place in Gaza is intended to create the feel good factor which opens the door to solidifying Isreali presence on the West Bank.
Theories abound and clearsightedness is lacking.
No one seems to be getting a chance to catch their breath in the whirlwind of human interest stories sweeping the news channels, tales of Jew against Jew and celebratory Palestinians make good stories of Journalists from all sides. Yet the picture is at best opaque and from the palestinian side, uncovered.
In totality this is an exercis in limited gift giving. Whatever is given is done so on condition and with strings attached. The exercise of pullout from Gaza has been cited by some as an exercise in curing the 'demographic problem', by others as a conspiracy to cantonise the West Bank and focus on the building of the security barrier.
I readily submit to being sceptial of the actions of hte isreali state. This is not a position that is indefensible, however the myopic palestinian=good isreali=bad strain of such thought leaves many questions unanswered.
Looking across the board at coverage of the momentus and historic decision, we can see that there is deeprooted belief that the removal of Gaza settlers strengthens Isreal's hand in ignoring the Road-Map, by keeping steps ahead and remaining uni-lateral.
If we were to consider for a moment the new political reality being entered into by the Palestinians, liberation may not be the most suitable word.
In the most sceptical of commentary sentiment is hardline toward media coverage;
"....In the 5 years of Israel's brutal suppression of the Palestinian uprising against the occupation, I never once saw or heard a segment as long and with as much sentimental, human detail as I did here; never once remember a reporter allowing a sympathetic young Palestinian woman, whose home was just bulldozed and who lost everything she owned, tell of her pain and sorrow, of her memories and her family's memories; never got to listen to her reflect on where she would go now and how she would live." from Counterpunch
The pullout from Gaza, is a withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza to the border, retaining the capacity to first strike, sending in airgunships or whatever the weapons of mass civilian destruction are called these days. In returning land to Gaza the Isreali's are maintaining their imperial stranglehold by controlling borders and ports. Life in Gaza is stifling through economic decay as much as Isreal intervention militarily.
To quote from the IPS regarding the duplicity of the pullout;
" The average compensation packet for an Israeli settler home is around a quarter of a million dollars. But to that has been added a bonus payment, two years free rent at the new location, help to set it up, removals expenses, compensation for loss of land and redundancy compensation. For some families the compensation package is closer to half a million dollars.

On the other hand, the World Food Programme (WFP) has been busy stocking food to make sure that poor Palestinians in Gaza do not starve as the settlers move out."

The WFP is concerned at the manner in which roads and infrastructure will be shut down to facilitate the pullout and this will cut off palestinians from their land and livelihood.
The occupation of plaestinian land has impoverished and imprisoned many of those in the Gaza strip.
From the counterpuch article;
"
The World Bank reported in December 2004 that both poverty and unemployment will rise following the "Disengagement" even under the best of circumstances because Israel will retain full control over the movement of goods in and out of Gaza, will maintain an enforced separation of the West Bank and Gaza preventing the residents of each from visiting one another, and will draw up separate customs agreements with each zone severing their already shattered economies-- and yet we are forced to listen day in and day out to news about this historic peace initiative, this great turning point in the career of Ariel Sharon, this story of national trauma for the brothers and sisters who have had to carry out the painful orders of their wise and besieged leader."

The belief that the disengagement represent a moment of historical progress seems delusional, life in plaestine looks likely to get harder as it reamins occupied de facto the lack of contiguity cited by some NGOs in palestine is in contravention of the Road Map and other international agreements reagrding the state of palestine.
Diatribes against Isreal achieve little, it has the full support of the super-power in its actions and a large messianic movement influencing settler policy. Life in the middle east is going to change following the disengagement but how and whether it is for the better is not certain.
Human RIghts must begin to be offered to Palestinians, life must be allowed to improve and the evidence of occupation removed.
Palestine is oft-quoted as an influence for extremists, in the 21st century with human rights at the forefront of international action, to abandon palestine is no longer tolerable.
The palestinian issue is one of the best arguments for abloishing the veto of the security council of the UN.
While the media gets carried away in human interest stories, life on the ground is to change forever in the middle east, if we allow the break down of contiguity between Gaza and the West Bank, we may have out third Intifada.
RR

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  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:56 p.m. |  

    Your a moron. Isreal rocks. Fuck the Muslim scum fucks.

  2. Blogger Cian | 3:36 a.m. |  

    and you had all the balls to hide behind anonymity, your a very impressive piece of work. You and that considered opinion of yours.

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