Friday, January 25, 2008

Watching Gaza

[This post is being relocated in the archives to appear convenient to the preceding one because the map is so good. Google searches are returning the whole of August, 2005 in response to searches for that map, so maybe this will help. The reader is reminded that the post is two and a half years out of synch with the rest of the Gaza narrative. It seems in retrospect that Sharon's removal of Israeli "settlers" in Gaza was precient. It is becoming clear to me that Palestinians in Gaza are importantly distinct from Palestinians in the West Bank, although Washington and Tel Aviv (and most of the world, for that matter) want to lump them all together as a single political entity. Every year that passes shows deeper separations among these two well as a third population of Palestinians in South Lebanon.

Leila Abu-Saba is keeping up, too. Her blog has good links about what's happening in Gaza.]

This morning Jewish settlers in the Gaza strip are being given official notice to leave. And the world is watching.
Rafah Pundits points to an excellent overview of the story by Linda Grant they describe as "a good one, lucid, classy even!" Harry's Place (a kind of left-echo of LGF, but not to be confused with the famous Hoot's Place) also points to the same post as "an important guest post up at Normblog."

I very much agreee.

Again, as they say, read the whole thing.

Both the settlers and the far left believed that the disengagement could not take place because each group was gripped by a fallacious belief system, in which contradiction or dissent was impossible. The settlers believe that God gave them the land in perpetuity and would not permit it to be removed. The far left's doctrine was no less impervious to reason. They thought that Zionism was a colonial expansionist movement that would not give up an inch of what it regarded as eretz-Israel, the Promised Land. Not only would it not give up any land, its intention was to acquire more. During the Iraq war I received an email telling me that while the world's press was diverted by the invasion, Palestinians would be loaded on to trucks and 'transferred' to Jordan, in a final 'cleansing' of the West Bank. Now, I am led to believe by the same sources, under the cover of the withdrawal, Israel will perpetrate a massacre in Gaza. There are some, not many, gullible enough to be taken in by this implausible hysteria, always justified on the grounds that there is no evil that the 'Zionists' can't realistically be suspected of. Look at Sabra and Shatila.

She mops up conspiracy theories from both sides. And here is a perfect little nut that nobody can crack:

We should not mistake Sharon's plans for anything other than whatthey are: realpolitik - the scheme of a master tactician intent on political survival.

Take a moment to read what she says.

Jonathan Edelstein has an interesting footnote to what is happening.
It seems there is a remnant of the remnant arguing that they represent an "indigenous group" seeking "self-determination."
This is interesting only in that it illustrates the extreme edge of thinking that has been part of the dynamic all along.
Edelstein's comment is conclusive:
"I doubt that the international community will see Gush Katif as an entity that can be legally separated from the rest Gaza for purposes of self-determination. More to the point, the Israeli government isn't going to take Yitzhaki seriously, and he doesn't have anywhere near the numbers to take on the IDF and the Palestinians."
It's hard to imagine that an area so small can be so important. A better version of this map is available that can be enlarged for closer viewing.
I find it interesting that Gaza City, closest to Israel, is mentioned in the press more than Rafah, near Egypt, which looks on the map to be much bigger.

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