Thursday, August 18, 2005

In which your humble correspondent shows no sympathy for the Jews being cleared out of Gaza.


Having watched the ridiculously sensationalistic, incessant video of Jewish settlers being (finally) evicted from the Gaza strip, some observations.

First, regarding the hundreds of protestors who barricaded themselves inside a synagogue, there's really no need for Israeli police to have to go in to remove them by force. Just make sure they have no access to food or water. They'll be out shortly, I guarantee it, and with far less risk of violence or injury to settlers and police alike.

Next, we have the apparent plan by the Israelis to bulldoze the settlers' houses. Ostensibly, this is for "security" purposes. The Palestinians should find this sadly familiar given that, over the years, their communities were bulldozed into the ground on a regular basis, justified either by trumped-up rationales of security, or just out of revenge:

In the southern most part of the Gaza Strip a Palestinian man sits near his young daughter and tells me that the Israeli military gave him no notice before demolishing his home. His neighbor pounded on his door shouting that the soldiers were coming. The man says all he had time to do was gather his children and run out of the house. It was one o'clock in the morning. He stood on the street with 75 other newly homeless until 5 am, not knowing where to go. He says that all of his family's belongings are under the rubble. They are left with nothing.

One might, just might, suggest that, perhaps, the Israelis might leave those settlers' houses standing as just a wee bit of compensation to the Palestinians whose homes they bulldozed into rubble. Fat chance.

And, finally, there's the issue of "compensation" to the Israeli settlers for the loss of their (illegal) homes:

Exact levels of compensation have yet to be determined, but reports say the average family could receive up to $US300,000 ($A430,000).

What's interesting is that, in some cases, the bulldozing of the settlers' homes doesn't appear to have anything to do with security. One settler promised that, after stripping her house bare of anything of value, she would have it demolished simply to keep any Arabs from living in it. To which I propose the following formula for compensation -- every Israeli settler should be compensated for precisely the value of their house based on the condition in which they left it. If they destroy it out of spite, they get fuck all.

We now return you to your regular coverage of that unprincipled, America-hating traitor, Cindy Sheehan.

8 comments:

Mark Francis said...

It is amazing how many people don't seem to realize that these homes were built on stolen territory.

I recall a protest years back with Palestinians et al waving worhtless deeds to land that the Israelis had expropriated.

Think they got compensated? Ha!

I undertsand more settler homes are being built on the West Bank now. They are closign asettlements there too, but seem to be moving people to another location, behind the barrier, I think.

All the foreign land behind the wall, Israel has annexed, by the look of things.

Luke said...

I was wondering if any of the progressive bloggers were going to have the balls to post about this.

I couldn't agree more, but this is just a drop in the bucket. Gaza, though symbolic, is irrelevant. It's too small and less than secondary in this struggle.

BTW, I like the idea of compensation being directly proportional to the condition of the house being left.

an MP said...

This is the best progblog post that I have read in a long time.

Needless to say, I completely agree.

PR said...

I guess you couldn't find it in your stone and partisan heart to extend congratulations to the Israelis for pulling out of whatyou believe to be occupied territory?

Ever the mindless ideologue I see.

Luke said...

Peter, you're perspective is quite narrow. Maybe if I invade your home, force you to live in a corner of the basement and than after a while decide to give you the whole basement back, that might put things in perspective.

Maybe more importantly, you're comment about ideology rings particularly hollow.

CC said...

"Peter, you're perspective is quite narrow. Maybe if I invade your home, force you to live in a corner of the basement and than after a while decide to give you the whole basement back, that might put things in perspective."

You neglected to mention destroying the garden, imposing draconian travel restrictions and, every so often, massacring the occasional family member with an Apache attack helicopter.

Yes, it's those details that really make the story.

Junker said...

Question for Mark:

Are our homes here in Canada built on "stolen land"? You might go back hundreds of years to answer this one.

On the Israeli question, you might go back thousands. Its a less then simple question to delve into. One thing I do know, a Palestinian state has never existed in any formal way.

I've sympathy and discontent for both sides of this more then complicated issue. However, I can't help but shake the feeling that here there is sympathy and understanding for one side alone.

Do the Jews get any credit for this at all? Are the Israeli's the only ones doing the killing? Do 'innocent' Israeli's exist in the equation?

CC said...

"Do the Jews get any credit for this at all? Are the Israeli's the only ones doing the killing? Do 'innocent' Israeli's exist in the equation?"

Sure, but let's be clear about the substance of the Palestinian's complaint. If you go here again and scroll down near the end, notice the layout of the so-called "security fence", and how it's about as contrived a bit of construction as you're ever likely to see (think "gerrymandering"). Note how the fence makes travel even inside Palestinian territory incredibly inconvenient in places, and doesn't even leave the Palestinians with contiguous land.

Note also how, over time, the Palestinians keep getting less and less land:

The UN Resolution of 1947 allocated 45% of British Mandate Palestine to a Palestinian State. In 1948, Israel occupied 78% of the land, leaving just 22% – the West Bank and Gaza – to the Palestinians. This is all they have been demanding since 1993. Now, Israel is robbing more than the better half of these 22% left.

Are you starting to understand the frustration?