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Gaza dispatch: 'Death will come and life will go on'

In the tragedy that is the Middle East, we Palestinians have played two roles – the victim or the vilified. But Gaza is changing all that. Gaza is fighting back.

“You want to go where?”

My colleague and I have just boarded a taxi and named our destination– Rafah. Two days after the Israeli military had sealed Gaza’s southernmost town, claiming Hamas fighters had kidnapped one of its own, few images had emerged of the ensuing destruction. We wanted to see for ourselves.

We were not alone, of course. Thousands of families displaced from points north, east and south along Gaza’s border with Israel have seized any lull in the bombing to try and return to their homes, to survey the damage and salvage what they can from the rubble. That day, the Israelis announced that they would grant a limited respite – everywhere but Rafah.

Abu Deema, our driver, hears the word, tightens his grip on the steering wheel, and nods his head. “Ok,” he says, “yallah.” The Arabic expression is a conjunction of sorts, two words made one, meaning literally: “Oh, God.” In day-to-day conversation, though, yallah means “let’s go.”

Palestinians carry a body recovered from destroyed houses in the village of Khuza'a, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, August 1, 2014. Hundreds of residents returned to Khuza'a at the beginning of a ceasefire to recover bodies and salvage possessions. Khuza'a has been cut off from the rest of Gaza Strip and occupied by Israeli soldiers. It emined a closed military zone, and only International Committe of the Red Cross managed to secure a few brief incursions into the village to evacuate some of the injured, killed and the civilians. A large number of residents have been killed and injured, and many homes were destroyed. Most residents fled the Israeli attacks. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinians carry a body recovered from destroyed houses in the village of Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, August 1, 2014. Hundreds of residents returned to Khuza’a at the beginning of a ceasefire to recover bodies and salvage possessions. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The day-to-day here is filled with the makeshift tactics of civilians in war. The aim is simple: to survive. Before he shifts into drive, Abu Deema reaches over my knees and into the glove compartment, pulls out a roll of red tape, and hops out of the car. He is marking the hood, the doors, the trunk, the roof – all with the letters “TV.” This and a simple prayer – “in the name of God, the merciful, the gracious” – are his contingencies. We make haste, the sea to our right, the F-16s in flight.

I have been to Gaza before but never under these circumstances. This time, as a group of journalists and I walked the long stretch between the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the Erez crossing, we could hear tanks shelling Gaza City, where we would be staying. On the bus ride in, we saw entire neighborhoods abandoned in the so-called buffer zone. And as we approached our destination, long lines of people queued to buy bread, their cars plastered with the same two letters – to try and spare them from the machines overhead.

To the outsider, nothing about the scenes is ordinary. But to the 1.8 million people of Gaza, this is the look of life going on. There is a lesson here, I think. In the tragedy that is the Middle East, we Palestinians have played two roles – the victim or the vilified. But Gaza is changing all that. Gaza is fighting back.

Scene: I am standing in the rubble of the Munasra family home, within earshot of Israeli tanks that, a week earlier, had gutted it. The pockmarked walls are charred and peeling. Two schoolbooks – one on the life of Muhammad, the other Moses – are lying atop a mound of crumbled concrete and dust.

As my colleague and I survey the damage, a young man, the family’s first-born, brings us juice. It’s an act of hospitality so leavened in the Arab mind that it leaves him blind to the irony. “I’m sorry,” he says. “There’s nowhere to sit.” My colleague and I catch each other’s eyes. There are tears welling. The young man sees this and smiles: “What are we supposed to do? Bow down?”

This is Shejaiya, the eastern Gaza town that has endured some of the most devastating Israeli shelling these past weeks. With so many landmarks leveled – the mosque at the corner, the vegetable vendor by the curb – even its longtime residents can’t make out where the streets used to be.

And yet there they are, excavating what’s left – a photo album, a plastic vase, an apron their mother, now martyred, used to wear. Again, I think: If there’s one thing abiding in this battered place, it is this. Gaza’s Palestinians refuse to be victims.

The Al-Susi Mosque lies in ruins in Shati' Refugee Camp following Israeli attacks, Gaza City, August 2, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The Al-Susi Mosque lies in ruins in Shati’ Refugee Camp following Israeli attacks, Gaza City, August 2, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Another colleague, a 22-year-old freelance journalist, awoke on the 27th day of this war-of-one-army and decided to get dressed. Lara donned a purple-petaled blouse, washed her hair in unheated water and painted her nails peach. She traced her lips, just so, in pink, and stiffened her lashes black. And then she waited – waited for the next attack.

Beside her is Assad, who rarely speaks. He, too, is listening to the drones overhead and waiting for the coming airstrike. His brother, Jehad, is standing at the window, eyeing the sky and listening for the F-16s. Sometimes, they fly so low you can hear the approach – which is good, because it helps you brace for the blast.

Assad is scrolling through the photos he’s taken so far. One prompts him to speak. “The day they hit Shati,” he says, referring to a strike on the refugee camp there, “I was at the hospital and saw the kids.” There were eight of them that day, the first day of Eid. And one, Assad tells me, had his head blown off. “But in his hand, his small right hand, he still held a shekel” – his fare for the carousel ride he never took.

Assad doesn’t cry. He just stares off into the middle distance.

Later that night, around 4 a.m., we hear two “knocks” on the empty university building across the street. Jehad and Lara grab their cameras, and I join them at the window. A missile is coming. It’s just a matter of minutes now. We joke about who will keep their hands steadiest. Lara pokes fun at my thick-rimmed glasses.

When it comes, it hits 150 meters away. Jehad captures it best, but Lara gets to post it. As day breaks, we contemplate sleep. There is no need for alarms. Soon enough, the bombs will wake us. Death will come, and life will go on.

Lara Aburamadan, a 22-year-old freelance photographer, has lived through three full-scale assaults on Gaza. She'd never seen the Israelis use this many flares, though. "It was daytime at night," she tells me. "Very weird." (photo: Assad Saftawi)

Lara Aburamadan, a 22-year-old freelance photographer, has lived through three full-scale assaults on Gaza. She’d never seen the Israelis use this many flares, though. “It was daytime at night,” she tells me. “Very weird.” (photo: Assad Saftawi)

When I’m asked how people cope here, I think of these situations and struggle to convey them. Part of the struggle is about not wanting to simplify things or presume too much. The horrors, after all, are also deeply personal. But everywhere I have been, the Palestinians of Gaza have insisted their story be told. And so here’s another:

Today, north of here, there is a family – one of thousands – sitting beneath a tree that is across from the rubble that was their home. There are three children there: two Ahmads, one 10, the other eight. And Hala, who is six. If they had no safe-haven from the bombing before, they have even less of one now. And yet they survive, somehow.

And in that way, they, too, are fighting back.

As bombs fall, the Kafarnah family is camped across from where their home used to stand in Beit Hanoun (photo: Samer Badawi)

As bombs fall, the Kafarnah family is camped across from where their home used to stand in Beit Hanoun (photo: Samer Badawi)

Related:
Gaza’s half-million internally displaced
How will Gaza’s children carry their scars into adulthood?
Gaza dispatch: Why the destruction in Beit Hanoun is different

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    COMMENTS

    1. Whiplash

      Samer, it is time to stop the crocodile tears. Your people built a war machine and unleashed it on Israel. Instead of killing thousands of Israelis with rockets and tunnel invasions, Gazans have brought down yet another catastrophe upon their own heads. They are now suffering the inevitable consequences of their actions.

      The young man in your story said

      “What are we supposed to do? Bow down?”

      Yes they should bow down and ask forgiveness. Then they should rise up in the hundreds of thousands as Egyptians did to get rid of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

      Start taking responsibility for your own peoples’ actions.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Goldmarx

      “Your people built a war machine…”

      Rockets without guidance systems are a war machine?

      “Yes they should bow down and ask forgiveness.” That sounds like the next demand Israel will make of the Palestinians if they recognize the “Jewish State” demand.

      “Then they should rise up in the hundreds of thousands as Egyptians did to get rid of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

      Oh, and how is that working out under dictator Sisi?

      Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        Israelis go by the rule of thumb we went by in the Cold War: democrat or not, whoever is against the enemy is a friend. They are far too narcissistic to believe everybody deserves democracy, and to simultaneously comprehend any reason at all for people to dislike Israel beyond “anti-semitism.”

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          “They [Israelis] are far too narcissistic to believe everybody deserves democracy, and to simultaneously comprehend any reason at all for people to dislike Israel beyond “anti-semitism.

          Oh no, Reza it is antisemitism alright.

          Wanna know why? Because you feel that a Jewish country has no right to defend itself from attacks.

          Nowhere else is such hatred heaped on a people who are “guilty of” defending themselves. You single out the Jewish country for unique hatred. That is anti-Semitism.

          Reply to Comment
          • Eliza

            JohnW ‘No where is such hatred heaped on a people who are ‘guilty’ of defending themselves.

            But its not hatred is it. It is contempt that is being heaped upon Israel. And the real crime being committed by Israel is that of great stupidity.

            The stupidity of thinking that bombs and sniper fire can ever break the spirit of the Palestinian people. Trying to tighten the controls on Gaza, ably assisted by Egypt, will not defeat the legitimate Palestinian cause. Yes, there is untold suffering for the Palestinians in Gaza but life is not so good for the Palestinians living under Israeli military rule in the West Bank either.

            I think Samer is saying that despite the bombing, death and suffering, the people of Gaza refuse to give up on their humanity. Each and every story needs to be told – I hope that Samer and his like are able to engage in oral history – these stories need to be gathered, told and held for the future.

            I hope this happens – and there is no bomb or fighter plane that can defeat this.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Well guess what Lizzie.

            We are here too. Your Palestinians don’t want us to have our own independent state so they have been at us for nearly 100 years.

            And they will not break our spirit either. Israel is here to stay for as long as humanity exists. Even if they and you and Reza and like minded people rupture yourselves, we will still be here. Rest assured, we reciprocate, their and your contempt.

            Try as you might, we will not allow your kind to get under our skin. We will do whatever is necessary to live our lives. We are at least as resilient as your Palestinian Arabs who are driven by hatred. We on the other hand are driven by our knowledge that our cause is just. We have as much right to survive as anyone else.

            Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “Rockets without guidance systems are a war machine?”

        Well at the mere hint of a danger, European and American airliners ran for cover from those rockets.

        Yet an extreme leftist American kibitzer wants us to put up with it? You are obscene.

        “That sounds like the next demand Israel will make of the Palestinians if they recognize the “Jewish State” demand.”

        Didn’t you say that you are a Zionist, Goldie? So why are you putting the words “Jewish state” in quotation marks as if it is just a non existent concept? What kind of Zionist are you? Or did you just lie about being a Zionist?

        “Oh, and how is that working out under dictator Sisi?”

        Have you heard complaints coming out of Egypt, other than from the Muslim brotherhood? Would you prefer to see the Muslim brotherhood back in charge?

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          “Well at the mere hint of a danger, European and American airliners ran for cover from those rockets.”

          –> That still doesn’t make those rockets a war machine. Werner Von Braun’s V2 rockets? Now THAT was part of a war machine.

          “Yet an extreme leftist American kibitzer wants us to put up with it?”

          –>As long as Israel refuses to negotiate with its own creation, damn straight. The Israelis have to deal with shattered nerves; the Gazans have to contends with shattered bodies and shattered families and shattered buildings.

          Israel state policy since at least 2007 confirms ret. General Amos Yadlin’s preference for Hamas (Israel’s creation) to be in charge of Gaza so it has a convenient excuse to treat Gaza as an enemy state:

          http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4002043,00.html

          “So why are you putting the words “Jewish state” in quotation marks as if it is just a non existent concept?”

          Putting a phrase in quotation marks does not necessarily imply nonexistence. In this case, it mocks the phony demand made by an Israeli government desperate to shift the goalposts when Palestinian leaders call its bluff.

          “Have you heard complaints coming out of Egypt, other than from the Muslim brotherhood? Would you prefer to see the Muslim brotherhood back in charge?”

          –>Under many dictatorships, complaints are not heard. That is what you prefer, obviously. I prefer democracy.

          Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “That still doesn’t make those rockets a war machine. Werner Von Braun’s V2 rockets? Now THAT was part of a war machine.”

            War machine, shmaarmachine. If American and European airliners are concerned about it, then we can be too.

            “As long as Israel refuses to negotiate with NOT its own creation, damn straight. The Israelis have to deal with shattered nerves; the Gazans have to contends with shattered bodies and shattered families and shattered buildings.”

            Yes and that is Hamas’s choice not ours. So why don’t you blame Hamas?

            In 2007 Hamas ousted the PLO who signed the Oslo accords. Those accords prohibited the importation of additional weapons into Gaza. But Hamas clearly said that it is not willing to abide by any past agreements between Israel and the PLO. They also continued lobbing rockets on Israel.

            So Israel had every right to slap on a blockade on Hamas to stop Hamas from importing more lethal rockets.

            “Israel state policy since at least 2007 confirms ret. General Amos Yadlin’s preference for Hamas (NOT Israel’s creation) to be in charge of Gaza so it has a convenient excuse to treat Gaza as an enemy state”

            There is nothing convenient about Hamas. Hamas is as convenient for us as Al Quaida is to you.

            “Putting a phrase in quotation marks does not necessarily imply nonexistence. In this case, it mocks the phony demand made by an Israeli government desperate to shift the goalposts when Palestinian leaders call its bluff.”

            Phony demand to have Israel recognised as the nation state of the Jewish people by those who have been fighting a 100 year war to stop the existence of the Jewish state?

            What is phony about it? Our demand is that by recognising the Jewish state they show that they are now willing to end their war against us. How is that unreasonable?

            “Under many dictatorships, complaints are not heard. That is what you prefer, obviously. I prefer democracy.”

            No, you are the one who prefers dictatorships. You fall over yourself defending Hamas.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Yes and that is Hamas’s choice not ours. So why don’t you blame Hamas?”

            –> No, that was Bibi’s choice. He started this conflict by having Israel fire into Gaza moments after the PA and Hamas (Israel’s creation) formed a unity government. More importantly, he then had Israeli forces kill members of Hamas (Israel’s creation), as well as other Palestinians, on the West Bank on the pretext of looking for the three Jewish teenagers that he knew were already dead. Only after all those provocations did Israel’s creation, Hamas, fire rockets.

            Given all the hullabaloo about its charter, its restraint has been remarkable.

            “In 2007 Hamas ousted the PLO who signed the Oslo accords.”

            –> In 2006, the PLO was defeated in a democratic election in Gaza by Israel’s creation, Hamas. With the support of the US and Israel, Fatah attempted to launch a coup to overthrow Israel’s creation, Hamas. The coup failed, and only in that context was the PLO ousted.
            It’s not clear why anything the PLO signed should have been automatically respected by the elected Gaza leadership.

            “So Israel had every right to slap on a blockade on Hamas to stop Hamas from importing more lethal rockets.”

            –> Except that the blockade had started in 2006, when Gaza fisherman had to deal with new Israeli restrictions on their livelihood.

            “There is nothing convenient about Hamas”

            –> As long as Israel’s creation, Hamas, is at loggerheads with the PA, there will be no united leadership to advocate for a two-state solution. Since Bibi is opposed to such an arrangement, then Israel’s creation, Hamas is very convenient for him.

            “Phony demand to have Israel recognised as the nation state of the Jewish people…”

            –>It’s phony because Israel’s leadership never made this demand until 2007. All countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel recognize Israel as the state of all its citizens. That is not the same thing as the “nation-state” of the Jewish people, a concept that accords privileges in many major walks of life to Israel’s Jewish citizens not accorded to its Gentile citizens.

            “No, you are the one who prefers dictatorships. You fall over yourself defending Hamas.”

            –> Israel’s creation, Hamas, was democratically elected in 2006. It is not a dictatorship. General Sisi, whom you appear to admire – who elected him, exactly?

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “No, that was Bibi’s choice. He started this conflict by having Israel fire into Gaza moments after the PA and Hamas (Israel’s creation) formed a unity government. More importantly, he then had Israeli forces kill members of Hamas (NOT Israel’s creation), as well as other Palestinians, on the West Bank on the pretext of looking for the three Jewish teenagers that he knew were already dead. Only after all those provocations did Israel’s creation, Hamas, fire rockets.”

            Nope. Hamas broke the truce first by firing rockets into Israel because they have been isolated internationally (even by Egypt) and they wanted to shake things up.

            “Given all the hullabaloo about its charter, its restraint has been remarkable.”

            You call firing rockets into Israel, restraint?

            “In 2006, the PLO was defeated in a democratic election in Gaza by NOT Israel’s creation, Hamas. With the support of the US and Israel, Fatah attempted to launch a coup to overthrow NOT Israel’s creation, Hamas. The coup failed, and only in that context was the PLO ousted.”

            Whatever spin you put on it, the fact remains that Hamas ousted the PLO

            “It’s not clear why anything the PLO signed should have been automatically respected by the elected Gaza leadership.”

            Fine but then Israel had the legal right to establish a blockade to prevent Hamas from bringing in more lethal rockets.

            “Except that the blockade had started in 2006, when Gaza fisherman had to deal with new Israeli restrictions on their livelihood.”

            Nope, the blockade started in 2007. Which was after Hamas ousted the PLO.

            “As long as NOT Israel’s creation, Hamas, is at loggerheads with the PA, there will be no united leadership to advocate for a two-state solution. Since Bibi is opposed to such an arrangement, then NOT Israel’s creation, Hamas is very convenient for him.”

            Is it? Then if Hamas would be clever, they would disband. Unless of course they WANT Bibi to have convenience?

            “It’s phony because Israel’s leadership never made this demand until 2007.”

            So what? In 2007 they woke up to the fact that the Palestinian Arabs are just playing word games with the word “recognition” so they tightened up the onus on the Palestinian Arabs. Why should we give up tangible strategic assets (lands) for mere words? Especially when it became obvious that the PalestinianArabs were just playing games?

            “All countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel recognize Israel as the state of all its citizens.”

            Two thirds of the UN membership recognized Israel as the Jewish state in 1947 when they voted for UN resolution 181.

            “That is not the same thing as the “nation-state” of the Jewish people, a concept that accords privileges in many major walks of life to Israel’s Jewish citizens not accorded to its Gentile citizens.”

            It only accords privileges to Jews with regards to immigration. A “Zionist” like you should be able to live with that. No?

            “NOT Israel’s creation, Hamas, was democratically elected in 2006. It is not a dictatorship.”

            Israel’s leadership too was democratically elected but you are incapable of accepting that fact.

            “General Sisi, whom you appear to admire – who elected him, exactly?”

            Where did you see me saying that I admire him you liar?

            You on the other hand make Excuses for the Hamas dictators who summarily execute opponents by throwing them off the roofs of buildings and drag their bodies behind motor cycles. They also execute homosexuals and suppress the rights of 50% of their population, women.

            Oh and I forgot to mention what they do to Christians. Some democracy, huh? When was Hamas elected last? In 2006. No new elections in 8 years? Some democracy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Nope. Hamas broke the truce first by firing rockets into Israel.”

            –>Wrong. Israel broke the truce first by firing into Gaza (hitting a motorcycle) moments after the Unity Government was formed. The Gazan government did not strike back at the point, even though it could have. That is restraint.

            “Whatever spin you put on it, the fact remains that Hamas ousted the PLO.”

            –>So if Likud loses the next election, would you say that it was ‘ousted’?

            “Fine but then Israel had the legal right to establish a blockade to prevent Hamas from bringing in more lethal rockets.”

            –>Several UN bodies have found the blockade to be illegal – only the Palmer committee thought it was. If Israel was really concerned about the Gazans not observing prior PLO agreements, all it would have taken was a simple phone call to start negotiations over that issue.

            “Nope, the blockade started in 2007.”

            –> Wrong. The economic aspect of the blockade preceded the military one by a year. Mya Guarneri has written several articles on this site a few years ago, in which she documents that Gaza has been subjected to a gradual blockade since 1991.

            “Then if Hamas would be clever, they would disband.”

            –> And then Israel would change a pre-existing Palestinian group to fulfill the same role, or create a brand new one. Avner Cohen can testify that Israel has experience with this sort of thing.

            “So what? In 2007 they woke up to the fact that the Palestinian Arabs are just playing word games with the word “recognition”

            –> They did? When did Israel make the announcement of this ‘discovery’?

            And if Palestinian Arabs are engaged in a diabolical conspiracy to play word games, why couldn’t their recognizing the “Jewish State” of Israel be passed as off as just another word game?

            “Two thirds of the UN membership recognized Israel as the Jewish state in 1947 when they voted for UN resolution 181.”

            A recognition that was not legally binding. Only when each of those countries established diplomatic ties with Israel did they recognize it as the state of its citizens – nothing more. Off-handed references to Israel as ‘the Jewish state’ were just poetic license.

            “It only accords privileges to Jews with regards to immigration. A “Zionist” like you should be able to live with that. No?”

            Yes, I can. But the doctrine of State Zionism accords privileges to Israel’s Jewish citizens far beyond immigration (and for this, I fault Ben Gurion, since he started that policy). This goes against Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Recognizing Israel as a “Jewish State”, rather than simply as the homeland of the Jewish people, enshrines State Zionism and invalidates the Democratic Zionism of the Declaration.

            “Israel’s leadership too was democratically elected but you are incapable of accepting that fact.”

            –> Really? Where have I stated that it was not democratically elected?

            “Have you heard complaints coming out of Egypt, other than from the Muslim brotherhood? Would you prefer to see the Muslim brotherhood back in charge?”

            From the above quote, it is accurate to say you ‘appear to admire’ Sisi, since he squelches
            omplaints and keeps the Muslim Brotherhood suppressed (and most importantly to you, works with Israel to maintain a chokehold on Gaza)

            “You on the other hand make Excuses for the Hamas dictators who summarily execute opponents by throwing them off the roofs of buildings and drag their bodies behind motor cycles.”

            –>The Fatah people thrown off roofs were trying to do the same to the democratically elected Gazan leaders as part of the US- and Israeli-backed 2007 coup. Election winners have the right to defend themselves against sore losers who resort to violence.

            “When was Hamas elected last? In 2006. No new elections in 8 years? Some democracy.”

            –>The length of a term of office has no bearing on the legitimacy of a political democracy.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Wrong. Israel broke the truce first by firing into Gaza (hitting a motorcycle) moments after the Unity Government was formed. The Gazan government did not strike back at the point, even though it could have. That is restraint.”

            No! You are wrong Goldie. [1] The IDF continued calling up additional reserves on 8 July, stating plans to call up 40,000 or more.[2] Due to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the Israeli government closed all summer camps within 40 km (24 miles) of Gaza and universities canceled their final exams;

            “So if Likud loses the next election, would you say that it was ‘ousted’?”

            Yep. Democratically ousted. Unlike the way Hamas ousted Fatah from Gaza which now has only one party, Hamas. And no more elections.

            “Several UN bodies have found the blockade to be illegal”

            According to the UN, everything Israel does is illegal. The UN is a corrupt parasitic body whose policies are dictated by the Islamic bloc, when it is about Israel.

            “only the Palmer committee thought it was.”

            Fancy that. The Palmer committee recognized the fact that if two parties sign an agreement and if subsequently the other party, the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza renege on the agreement, then Israel has the right to enforce the agreement.

            To people like you Goldie, such a concept is rocket science.

            “If Israel was really concerned about the Gazans not observing prior PLO agreements, all it would have taken was a simple phone call to start negotiations over that issue.”

            Yep, and Hamas would have immediately obliged, right?

            Tell me Goldie, if you have a written contract with someone and he does not abide by it. Do you renegotiate the contract and give him more? Or do you enforce the existing contract?

            To be continued.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Wrong. The economic aspect of the blockade preceded the military one by a year. Mya Guarneri has written several articles on this site a few years ago, in which she documents that Gaza has been subjected to a gradual blockade since 1991.”

            Nope, you are wrong Goldie. Even Al Jazeera admit that the blockade started in 2007. This is what they say:

            “The Israeli policy of actively laying siege to the territory, tacitly supported by Egypt under the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak, has been in place since Hamas violently took over power from Fatah in 2007 after it had won elections a year earlier.”

            Google it, Goldie.

            “And then Israel would change a pre-existing Palestinian group to fulfill the same role”

            Yea, in your fantasy. But why not at least try? You are saying Hamas is Israel’s tool? Take that tool away then. No? Why not? What have the Palestinian Arabs got to lose?

            “or create a brand new one. Avner Cohen can testify that Israel has experience with this sort of thing.”

            Yea, can Avner Cohen testify that you Americans made use of Al Quaida to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan, and Al Quaida then bit you on your bum?

            But nobody says that you guys created Al Quaida. They just say that you miscalculated.

            “They did? When did Israel make the announcement of this ‘discovery’?”

            Before Bibi introduced the new demand, silly.

            “And if Palestinian Arabs are engaged in a diabolical conspiracy to play word games, why couldn’t their recognizing the “Jewish State” of Israel be passed as off as just another word game?”

            Because if they do and Isral spanks them for it, more people will side with Israel. Of course, people like you never would, even though you claim you are a Zionist.

            To be continued.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “A recognition that was not legally binding.”

            But it was still a recognition.

            “Only when each of those countries established diplomatic ties with Israel did they recognize it as the state of its citizens – nothing more. Off-handed references to Israel as ‘the Jewish state’ were just poetic license.”

            The Palestinians are not willing to give even off handed poetic licence type of recognition. What does that say about their intentions?

            I think it says that they still don’t accept us being here and it worries me as a Zionist. You say you are a Zionist too Goldie. So how come it does not worry you too?

            “Yes, I can. But the doctrine of State Zionism accords privileges to Israel’s Jewish citizens far beyond immigration (and for this, I fault Ben Gurion, since he started that policy). This goes against Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Recognizing Israel as a “Jewish State”, rather than simply as the homeland of the Jewish people, enshrines State Zionism and invalidates the Democratic Zionism of the Declaration.”

            Ben Gurion was right. With Israel only as a homeland for the Jewish people, we Jews could become a minority in our own state. That would just get us back to square one whereby we could be oppressed by the majority as we were in the Galut. Not good enough and it is definitely contrary to the vision of Herzl.

            “Really? Where have I stated that it was not democratically elected?”

            You have not stated it but you literally show a hatred towards the government which was elected by the majority of Israelis. Ergo, you show hatred towards the majority of Israelis.

            J:“Have you heard complaints coming out of Egypt, other than from the Muslim brotherhood? Would you prefer to see the Muslim brotherhood back in charge?”

            G:”From the above quote, it is accurate to say you ‘appear to admire’ Sisi, since he squelches
            omplaints and keeps the Muslim Brotherhood suppressed (and most importantly to you, works with Israel to maintain a chokehold on Gaza)”

            It isn’t obvious at all. I neither admire him nor dislike him. The only thing that is obvious is that I dislike the Muslim Brotherhood.

            “The Fatah people thrown off roofs were trying to do the same to the democratically elected Gazan leaders as part of the US- and Israeli-backed 2007 coup.”

            The US and Israel had nothing to do with the fight. That is again just your fantasy.

            Moreover, you are contradicting yourself. Previously you asserted that Hamas is convenient for Bibi. So which is it Goldie? Did Bibi want Hamas or didn’t he? Make up your mind.

            “Election winners have the right to defend themselves against sore losers who resort to violence.”

            As for the fight between the PLO and Hamas, I don’t really care who does what to whom. They are both bad for us.

            “The length of a term of office has no bearing on the legitimacy of a political democracy.”

            No? Then in your opinion, once a party gets democratically elected, they can remain in power indefinitely by not holding further elections?

            LOL, you haven’t got the foggiest about how democracy works. It figures. I am not surprised. You definitely displayed totalitarian inclinations in your arguments with me.

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    3. The Trespasser

      Jeez, Arabs don’t like being reminded that the four hundred millions of them are not capable to produce enough food to feed themselves. That’s funny.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Byron

      “, I think: If there’s one thing abiding in this battered place, it is this. Gaza’s Palestinians refuse to be victims.”

      Really? That seems to be the best non-violent activity the Palestinians excel at

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