FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Breaking of the Gaza Wall

by ALLAN NAIRN

The breaking of the Gaza-Egypt wall is clearly a good thing, and a rare example of the moral — and also wise — use of violence in politics. (For the logic and effects of the Israeli cordon of Gaza see posting of December 7, 2007, “Imposed Hunger in Gaza, The Army in Indonesia. Questions of Logic and Activism”).

Most all political violence consists of clear wrongs , like murder or unjustified war, but sometimes, sadly, disgustingly, some violence is justified as a last resort, and sometimes — as a subcategory of that — some of that justified violence is also wise, tactically.

Once you get far outside the murder and the crimes of war and those against humanity, some of the choices regarding whether or not to use some violence can be legitimately tough and debatable.

But the Gaza wall-breaking was an easy call: no people were killed, some may have been saved, and the spectacle of an exodus into Egypt effectively dramatized a gross injustice.

It’s ironic that this was apparently done — its not yet clear from what level — by or with some Hamas people, since that’s a movement that has, in its bombings of Israeli civilians, been immoral, criminal, and tactically stupid, turning the oppressed into oppressors, in many eyes, and turning some victims into actual murderers.

But this use of violence — against mere bricks in a wall — was right and a stroke of genius. The legend of all-knowing Israeli intelligence notwithstanding, some of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces)/ Shin Bet/ Mossad/ Cabinet killers must have been stunned, and temporarily shaken.

This was, after all, the first big, smart Palestinian move since the David and Goliath stone intifada, which pitted mere stone-throwing teenagers against Israeli tanks and body-armored soldiers, and exposed the Occupation, twenty years ago, putting Israel’s regime on the defensive. (Not that it lasted long enough to produce results. The Peace Laureates Rabin and Arafat killed it; Rabin with knee-breaking — “force, might, and beatings” was his order, which, for a while, made Israel look still worse, but then Arafat shut the teen Davids down since they were winning without his approval).

The poor Washington Post was clearly stunned and shaken by this wall breach in Gaza.

They were reduced to accusing Hamas of “exploit[ing] [Israel’s] temporary shutdown of fuel supplies” — i.e. by telling people about it (aren’t newspapers supposed to encourage that?), and were cornered into the unfortunate position — if one accepts their logic — of seeming to support the denial of rights to Darfur refugees. (“As thousands stream across the border to Egypt, Hamas blockades the peace process,” The Washington Post, January 24, 2008).

The Post asked rhetorically: “Would Mr. Mubarak allow tens of thousands of Darfur refugees to illegally enter Egypt from Sudan, where a real humanitarian crisis is underway?,” the expected answer from the reader being a realistic, shameful (for Mubarak) “No,” and then demanded that Mubarak apply exactly that shameful standard by likewise barring uninvited Gazans.

So in order to keep the Palestinians out (or, more precisely, keep them cooped-in), you seem willing to bar the Darfuris too?

When you reach for arguments like that, it’s a sign that your side’s case is in trouble.

So what would happen if some Palestinians decided to break the West Bank wall, too? Say, tens of thousands of teens one morning, at dawn, turning up with picks and crowbars?

Would the IDF destroy people to save concrete?

Quite possibly.

They feel entitled.

As then–Justice Minister Haim Ramon put it, “we have the right to destroy everything” (Gideon Levy, Little Ahmadinejads, Haaretz, 10/06/2007), and though he was talking about Lebanon ’06 (Final rough tallies: 1,000 Lebanese civilians killed, 40 Israeli civilians, and 4 million mainly-US cluster bomblets scattered by IDF in southern Lebanon) he could have been articulating the broad moral/criminal law philosophy of today’s Israeli/US establishments, and — when it comes to Israel — much of today’s Israeli/US society.

But if they did, if they opened fire, Israel-Palestine history would begin anew, and though many Palestinians would die, as usual, this time they might not die in vain, since many in the world — including the US — would see who’s oppressing whom.

Incidentally, Israel’s leading newspaper, Haaretz, recently carried an airtight critique of the security rationale behind the vast complex of barriers that seal-in West Bank villages — a complex of which the wall is only the final, tallest, manifestation.

The stated reasons for these barriers, that divert and slow Palestinians, making them fade and die in ambulances, is that they keep suicide/homicide bombers from attacking, in-and-of-itself, a good objective.

But Haaretz reporters found that, incredibly, 475 of 572 roadblocks were unmanned, and then posed the logically clinching questions: What? Suicide bombers can’t get through here? They’re not willing to step over the unmanned barriers that stop ordinary people (and ambulances)?

The Haaretz analyst reached the reasonable conclusion that the sealing-in has a different function:

“Is it seriously contended by anyone that a mound of earth, a ditch or a series of concrete blocks can stop terrorists from moving around? Do these barriers serve any function other than embittering the lives of the Palestinians? The sick and the elderly, pregnant women and people carrying shopping baskets undoubtedly find it more difficult to get in and out of their barricaded towns and villages. Indeed both B’Tselem and the organization Physicians for Human Rights have documented cases of sick people being unable to receive treatment because they couldn’t reach their doctors or clinics–while anybody planning a terrorist attack can easily clamber over the mounds, traverse the ditches or circumvent the blocks…”

“Nobody I’ve spoken with,” continued the writer, Daniel Gavron, ” has a convincing military explanation for the unmanned roadblocks. In fact, people familiar with Israeli military thinking have convinced me that the main object of these barriers is to fragment the territory, effectively preempting the ‘contiguous Palestinian state’ recently touted by U.S. President George Bush. Nothing I have heard has convinced me that the unmanned roadblocks increase the security of Israelis in Israel, or even of the Jewish settlers in the territories.” (Daniel Gavron, “Start with the unmanned roadblocks!,” Haaretz, December 23, 2007, which also refers to earlier Haaretz reporting ).

And as the veteran Israeli correspondent Amira Hass points out, there seem to be other, non-barrier/wall, factors behind the recent decline in bombings; that is, bombings by walking Palestinians; bombings by flying Israelis have increased (see Amira Hass, “Where are the suicide bombers?,” December 2007 | Kibush.co.il , translated from Hebrew by George Malent. Hass notes that some Palestinians, desperate for work, slip the wall into Israel daily. If they can do it, so could suicide bombers, if they personally or politically wanted to).

And, at any rate, the settlers and the Occupation are illegal, as is the wall, according to the World Court — and not surprisingly, the Palestinians are justly unhappy with them all — , so the best security solution is to simply remove them.

But the Israeli regime seems to want perpetual war tension. It now sustains their political culture.

That’s fine. They can want whatever they want.

But they don’t have the right to impose it.

And neither do the Palestinians, of course. They just have the right to their rights.

And since one of them is to have that illegal wall breached, and Mr. Olmert doesn’t want to do it, maybe some Palestinian teens can do it for him.

He can meet them at the wall, at dawn.

Tell him to bring a pick.

 

 

 

 

 

ALLAN NAIRN writes the blog News and Comment at www.newsc.blogspot.com.

More articles by:
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
Andrew Levine
Why Not Hillary?
Paul Street
Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé
Chris Floyd
Twilight of the Grifter: Bill Clinton’s Fading Powers
Eric Mann
How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools
Jason Hirthler
The West’s Needless Aggression
Dan Arel
Why Hillary Clinton’s Camp Should Be Scared
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Flunks Decontamination
David Rosen
The Privatization of the Public Sphere
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Civil Rights Hypocrisy
Chris Gilbert
Corruption in Latin American Governments
Pete Dolack
We Can Dream, or We Can Organize
Dan Kovalik
Colombia: the Displaced & Invisible Nation
Jeffrey St. Clair
Fat Man Earrings: a Nuclear Parable
Medea Benjamin
Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows in the New Middle East
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail