Gaza

I’m afraid anything I write about this will be taken the wrong way now or be embarrassing later.

If I had just a few seconds to chip in my advice about the situation there, it would be quit talking about the past. Talk about the future. This is not something I came up with as a teenager. This is not an idea that ignores the importance of history to non-Americans. Otherwise, it just turns into a pie fight. You’re terrorists. Oh, yeah? What do you call the Irgun? Blah. Blah. Blah. This is why I tell people that “Zionism” is a moot point. There are, in fact, several million Israelis living in the land. There are, in fact, several million Palestinians living in the land. Are we going to repatriate everyone to where they were 60 years ago? Are we going to put the Germans back in East Prussia? Are we going to sew Jugoslavia back together? Are we going to send Jews back to Yemen, Iraq, and Ethiopia (they have no ‘right of return’)?

Those eggs are cracked. They aren’t getting put back together again. People who think they are, well, they’re the naive ones to me.

Much of the world has come to associate Israel with Bushism, and I don’t think they’re wrong. But if we’re all speaking as members of countries, and not as individuals (then we would talk about individual Israeli ministers or generals, not “Israel”) then anyone in the US needs to think about what our country has done to Iraq before they judge.

One problem that can be avoided in the future is the continuing atomization of the Palestinians. 60 years ago, they were Arabs. Last year, they were Palestinians. This year, they are Gazans. Creating smaller and smaller new ethnicities to rally around is only going to make the situation worse. (It also belies the idea that Israel is the Goliath here.) “Gazans” appear to want their own microstate separate and apart from the West Bank, and separate and apart from Egypt.

I’ve written before—I’ll search for the link later—that a big problem with the two-state solution is that its more or less based on ethnic lines. There’s nothing about Gaza or the West Bank that makes them viable as nation states. The West Bank is land locked. Gaza is tiny an would always depend on the outside for food, water, and just about every other natural resource. Even larger Israel isn’t much in the way of natural resources. It depends on world Jewry. Therefore, it would seem Palestine will depend on Arabs or other friends. From this point of view, the so-called three state solution seems much more practical. Egypt gets sovereignty over Gaza (and Gaza is presumably then part of the Egypt-Israeli peace) and Jordan gets sovereignty over the West Bank (same with peace deals). To some ears, this again sounds naive. But Jordan has a sea port and highways. Egypt has huge natural resources.

Politically, there are problems there, of course. I just worry about what the failure of a Palestinian state would mean, if we even get that far.