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A Vindication for Cynicism

10.18.2005

Todays most depressing read for myself was the vindication for cynicism that was todays Guardian report on the status of Isreali Settlements in Gaza. The graphic, not posted to the web highlights the fact that the Gaza Strip consists of 19 square miles as opposed to the 23 square Miles appropriated in the West Bank since july. I remember writing about the cynicism that greeted the withdrawal from Gaza, how many saw it as an opportunity for Isreal to deal with its demographic headache and focus on settlements in the West Bank.
My opinion then was;
"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...
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."
This remains my full opinion and I deplore the activity of the Isreali government in damaging the prospects for peace generally and their security in particular. This could be the most foolhardy piece of policy in a long history of bravado moves. The potential for sidelineing moderates within the PLO and broader Palestine movement can only add grist to the mill of Hamas and others who believe violence is the only way.
If another intifada breaks out, it is likely that Isreal will return to occupy Gaza under a very different set of circumstances than it left, controlling vast swathes of the West Bank around East Jerusalem. Those of us who dared to hope for a peaceful trend to emerge in the long and bitter struggle, stand left down by the actions of bad faith and bad reasoning. Land grabs are indefensible, only facilitated by a weak international community stifled by an inability to secure valid Security Council action.
As a leftie, I confess to not suffering from a myopic preoccupation with the issue of Isreal/Palestine, however when the infalmmatory gestures loom so large and the threats to peace become so real, it is difficult to remain a detached observer. Many stand to die in the coming years unless Isreal has the willingness to stand up to the settler movement and tendency in society and government.
The need to co-exist is never more necessary than at this juncture in relations between the west and the middle east. Yet our reasonable arguments and desire for self preservation fall at the last hurdle and victory for the cynical seems assured.
RR
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