Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Doesn't Israel Control Gaza?

According to the front page of Haaretz this morning, Israel is vexed over Egypt letting militants into Gaza. Apparently the Egyptians struck some sort of deal with Hamas in Gaza whereby the Gazans handed over to the Egyptians someone wanted, perhaps an Al-Qaida operator, and in return the Egyptians let some 80 Hamas figures into Gaza. Israel is vexed, but doesn't seem to have many options beyond kvetching. Actually, Haaretz reminds us, Israel hasn't controlled the main entrance to Gaza, from Egypt, since late 2005. (After the Israelis unilaterally left Gaza, they toyed with the idea of continuing to control its border with Egypt, but the Americans disabused them of that notion). Moreover, when in June 2007 Hamas forcibly took over Gaza, the EU observers who had been at the border crossing at Rafah also left, and this meant that Israel lost what little influence it still had. (The EU observers didn't work for Israel, but they did listen to its objections and could choose to act accordingly, or not).

Keep all this in mind next time you're told by whomever that Israel still bears responsibility for everything bad in Gaza, because Israel still controls Gaza.


Lydia McGrew said...

The constant chorus of blame of Israel for whatever happens in Gaza confirms what I have said for a while: There is literally nothing, short of ceasing to exist as anything recognizably like itself, that Israel can now do that will cause its critics to stop blaming it for whatever happens to the Palestinians. Nothing. The Palestinians are now a burden around the neck of Israel forever and ever, world without end, amen. Withdraw from the West Bank, driving all the settlers out in a short window of time? Give them a formally recognized sovereign state? If you do that, they will still blame you for whatever poverty follows for the Palestinian people in those regions. The Palestinians will _never_ be recognized by Israel's critics as responsible for what happens to themselves. Israel will be told it has to open its borders, allow free traffic from the Palestinian areas, support the electricity, water, and any other infrastructure needed, while rockets fall around the ears (and daycare centers). The litany of blame will never end, and the demands that Israel carry the Palestinians on their shoulders will never end, no matter what they do, and no matter what demands you accede to, until and unless Israel becomes an Arab state.

I know this sounds harsh, but the way Gaza is spoken of is just one small piece of evidence to this effect.

Yaacov said...

You forget that we'll be required to rebuild the villages their great-grandparents lived in, in the precise form that family traditions will have passed down their descriptions: large, roomy mansions with gardens. And once we've done that, we'll still be blamed for the emotional turmoil caused by the temporary 4-generation absence.

Actually, however, the interesting question is where this implacable enmity comes from - and as a student of antisemitism, I pose this as a serious question, one I have no easy answer to. Because the "criticism-of-Israel-is-not-antisemitism" gang has indeed - at least to an extent - invented a new form of antisemitism, one not yet fully explained.