Monday, January 12, 2009

War of Words, Gaza and Israel (Part 1)

We live in a world where getting the story first often takes priority over getting the story right. It is great to get up to the minute news. There is pressure to publish stories based on conjecture before there is time to verify the facts. The problem is that people remember the original story but very rarely take note of corrections made after the fact. Years later these stories will be quoted back forgetting some of the important details that were uncovered after a proper investigation. With the war in Gaza and Southern Israel, Eye on the UN, Muqata and Elder of Zion are just some of the reliable websites that are trying to sort out fact from fiction.

There is certain words that have deep routed and powerful meaning. By using them they invoke certain images and create an emotional response. Using this language can get an idea stuck in the listeners psyche that they will simply accept it as fact without any type of critical analysis. One example is calling somebody you don't like a Nazi. In the online world this has lead to the widely accepted use of Godwin's law. If you call somebody a Nazi you automatically lose the debate.

In the attack against the current war in Gaza this graphic language has been used to condemn Israel. The terminology creates a certain image for casual followers of history and current events of Israel without truly reflecting the reality on the ground. This popular terminology needs a second look.

Israel needs to stop occupying stolen land.

During the end of the 18th century France and Britan began getting out of the colonization business. France abandoned Quebec in in 1759 allowing it to fall to the British. The United States was the beneficiary of the Louisiana sale. England lost control of the 13 colonies and allowed Canada to gain independance without an ounce of a fight.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire left the British and French in control of large territory that they had no desire to keep. The land was devided and given away based on their own interests. The British used the land as reward for allies during the WW1 and promissed to give the Palestinian Mandate to be a Jewish State. As more promises were made than land available the Palestinian Mandate kept shrinking and given away to others. Trans Jordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were all created in this manner.

In 1947 the question of how to resolve the Palestine Mandate was handed over to the United Nations. They decided to endorse a two state solution. The land would be split between a Palestinian State and a Jewish State. Jerusalem was to be an international city that anybody could access. The Arab world rejected this solution and declared war on Israel within 24 hours of declaring independance. Israel survived the war and established more secure borders than the original mandate. The Gaza strip fell into Egyptian hands and the West Bank and East Jerusalem fell into Jordanian hands. Jews were expelled from the Arab lands. Jews were expelled from the Old City in Jerusalem and the Arova Synagouge was blown up. Arabs were welcomed to stay in the new state. Many of them choose to flee to their Arab neighbours instead.

In 1967 Egypt had launched a blockade on Israeli ports. Peacekeepers complied with Egyptian orders to leave. Israel responded with a pre-emptive strike. 6 Days later Israel had captured the Sinai Penninsula and Gaza from Egypt, the Golan Heights in the North. Jordan refused to heed to Israel's demands not to enter the war. Israel captured Jerusalem and the West bank.

Arabs were not forced to leave. There are 100,000 Arabs in East Jerusalem that have a fairly good deal. They have voting rights, freedom of movement with the having to do army service. There are Arab parties in the Knesset, although they refuse to vote in municipal elections. Israel left the Temple Mount in muslim control. The Arabs in Hevron had prepared to leave expecting the same fate brought upon the Jews in the 1933 Hevron massacre. They were convinced to stay. Jews wanting to claim their own homes back had to sneak past the army in order to take possesion of their homes that were lost in 1948.

The whole premise of the peace process is that if Israel returned to their 1967 borders they would live in peace. Israel has refused acknowledge their enemies would put down arms on such simple terms. Protests in the last few days have labeled Israel as occupiers and in possession of stolen land for 60 years. Israel did not control Gaza until 1967. Protesters are no longer hiding behind thinly veiled cover that they are in protest of land captured in 1967. They want Israel to cease to exist. Anything less will be unacceptable and justify grounds to continue the war against Israel. There can never be peace if Israel has to negotiate with a body that believes Israel should not exist.

Other topics still to be examined: War Crimes, Targeting Civilians, Genocide/Holocaust, Blockig
Humanitarian Aid, Disproportionate Use of Force.

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