Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Persistance of Blindness
A few days earlier, photographs emerged of young residents relaxing on folding chairs as they watched the bombing. Some smoked water pipes; others had brought popcorn. On one level, the “Sderot cinema” sums up the asymmetry of this so-called conflict: of Gazans huddled in terror as a military superpower pounds their overcrowded, besieged open-air prison camp; while on the other side of the border, Israelis joyously celebrate their country’s military might, whatever fear they have of Hamas rockets eclipsed by the thrill of bombs detonating in the near distance. It is also illustrative of how occupations corrupt the occupier. “What a misfortune it is for one nation to subjugate another,” Friedrich Engels wrote in 1864, referring to Britain’s oppression of Ireland. “All English abominations have their origin in the Irish pale.” And so it goes with Israel and Gaza.The "open air prison camp" of Gaza once was occupied by Ottoman Turks for centuries then by WWI winners, then by Egypt, from 1948 until 1967, that is, from the first attempt of the Arabs to destroy Israel to the second. And when I use the word 'occupy' I use it in its plain, everyday meaning, which is, actually to have troops of the occupying country in the occupied country. Israel occupied Gaza through the third attempt to destroy Israel in 1973, when Israel captured all of the Sinai while defeating Egypt et al. decisively. There was finally a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979 and Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt. They offered to return Gaza too, but the Egyptians didn't want it back. The Israelis left Gaza in 2005. That's actual history.
Let's skip to the last paragraph, which contains the cognitive dissonance which is the result of pretending non-occupation is occupation.
For those who want peace – including an end to the occupation and the dismantling of every settlement – it is tempting to demonise Israeli supporters of this latest offensive. But it is futile and self-defeating. The occupation will not end until the rationales that sustain it are understood. As Palestinian children are killed, that may seem like a lot to stomach, but it is no less necessary.Mr. Jones says that those who want peace in the area want an end to the occupation and the dismantling of every settlement, among other things. But that is exactly what Israel did with Gaza in 2005. They ended the occupation and dismantled and removed every Israeli settlement. Did they get peace? Or did they get thousands of rockets and mortar rounds launched into Israel?
I am willing to bet a mortgage payment Jones doesn't realize how history and this last paragraph thoroughly guts his entire argument, if not his peculiar Weltanshauung.