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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

hole in the wall « Previous | |Next »
January 25, 2008

It's probably impossible to be objective about the Israel/Arab stand off and next to impossible to understand the various contributing bits of the problem. The more it's debated the more complex historical grievances are aired, the longer the debate goes on, the more historical grievances get piled on, the worse and more complex the problems get.

Still, it has to be one of the more miraculous historical events around when half of an entire population pops next door to do some shopping. Of course it's not seemly to be so flip about what's going on, but in the middle of a catastrophe that's so hard to comprehend the footage of Gazans doing the same thing a lot of Australians did on Boxing Day is something you can get your head around.

Israel hasn't gone out of its way to endear itself to it's neighbours or the rest of the world, so punishing a whole country for going shopping is hardly a good PR move.

"President Shimon Peres has rejected accusations the blockade is designed to punish ordinary people.

"We wouldn't want to see the people suffer," he told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"All these stories about collective punishment is nonsense. For us, children are children whether they are Palestinians or others. We would like to see them living in peace.

"The problem is really Hamas... They want to destroy. There must be an all-embracing effort to prevent them from doing it. They are making the Gazan people suffer, totally unnecessarily and totally without hope." "

Maybe it is Hamas, but that's not what it looks like from here. From here it looks as though one country nicked up the road for a bag of groceries and another country punished them for it by shutting down their power supply. Israel has said it's sick of the whole thing and would like Egypt to take care of Gaza.

You couldn't have picked a worse moment to reintroduce Wolfowitz, but then, it's hard to be objective about the Israel/Arab stand off.

| Posted by Lyn at 3:05 PM | | Comments (4)


Once it was Jews who were locked up in ghettos in Europe and slowly starved to death by European nation states. Now the Israeli nation state is doing the same to Palestinians.

It's an interesting reversal that many Israelis cannot see. They claim that Israel is a Western-style liberal democracy and not a colonial power.

According to this article in The Guardian

the consequence of the longer-term blockade of the Gaza Strip - measuring just 40 kilometres by 10 - has been a far-reaching social fragmentation going deeper even than the political and clan violence that plagued Gaza before Hamas took power. For as the economic screw has been turned by Israel on Gaza, domestic violence, divorce and child abuse have increased to levels previously unheard of in a society where the family is a basic building block.

The Egyptian government closed the Rafah border on 9 June when Hamas took over Gaza)and has kept it closed since, thus colluding with the US, the EU and Israel in their blockade of the Palestinians of Gaza.

I'm just back from reading the piece you linked to in the no comments Gaza post. The comments are a perfect example of the discursive bog this has become. There's one by Evelyn109 that does a Lakoff-style analysis of the Israeli argument that's interesting.

On the spam thing, Rolan at Boomtown Rap has done a follow up post on his own problem, which turns out is probably spam related.

I have trouble getting my head around the scale of both the cruelty and suffering. I read a report somewhere that lefty Israelis are piled up on their side of the border with trucks of supplies for Gaza. They haven't been let through but it's that kind of thing, and people surging to do a simple thing like shopping, that I find comprehensible.

This article in Asia Times Online argues that the feeling in Arab capitals is that the Americans have decided to wipe out Hamas, via Israel, while the Arab world is watching. The siege to starve Palestinians is aimed at destroying Hamas.