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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Gaza Strip and Peace

There are many views about the Gaza Strip, about the Palestinians and about Israel.

Here is Powerline looking at the question.

Before anyone suggests that I think this is the "right" view of the situation, there is no right view.  That said, in one way Helen Thomas was right.  Many of the people in Israel are from Germany or descendants of people from Germany.  They left after 1932, when they were shoved out.  Some lucky ones came to the US—Billy Wilder or Bruno Walter or Otto Klemperer, for instance.  (See Richard J Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich).

Others German Jews went to Palestine.  Frankly, there were not a lot of nations taking in Jewish immigrants during the 1930s.  The Jews in Poland didn't find themselves being pushed out by their Government during the 1930s, not until after Germany and Russia invaded Poland in 1939, and then in 1941 Germany invaded the rest of Poland.

So, why would people want to go back to a place from which they had been thrown out, or where most of their family had been murdered by direction of the Government?  And if millions return to Germany and Poland and other places, who is going to guarantee that anti-Semitism won't join them there?  And what will that guarantee look like?

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  When I say lucky I mean that (1) this is a wonderful place for artists and (2) they got a visa when visas were not that easy to get.


ncrossland said...

I'm thinking back to Leon Uris's blockbuster book, "Exodus."

The Jews have been hated since the earliest records of history. That may be a slight bit of hyperbole, but not by much. So, it isn't a matter of them "occupying" Palestine, rather, it is a tribal conflict that extends as far back as recorded history allows us to see. The borders of what is considered Palestine are fixed by the British Mandate just after the conclusion of WWI, but have been quite fluid over time...and refer to "The Land of the Phillistines" per Egyptian records....when the present day Jews were building pyramids for Egypt. In point of fact, the British Mandate setting out the borders of Palestine include present day territories of Lebanon and parts of Syria. Thus, the Palestinian claim to the turf is at best arguable as is that of the Israeli nation....which by the way was provided for in the British Mandate.

Suddenly, we have a new "nation-state" complete with cultural "traditions" embodied by what the world press has found to label, "Gazans." Of course, given the lack of even short term memory of the world's population, the press has made it seem as though these so-called "Gazans" have been forceably deprived of ancestral lands in ways much more egregious than America's confiscation of Indian tribal lands in the 1800's.

Nothing like a bit of revisionism to justify a political position.

The explanation of how this all came about does nothing regarding the international importance of the current and chronic conflict of the region. It is a dry tinderbox of immense explosive potential.....a characteristic that could embroil the entire world in a matter of hours in what has been Biblically foretold as Armagheddon.

But that is another discussion.

Craig H said...

Agreed, with the important distinction to observe that Gaza is, for all intent and purposes, a refugee camp containing millions of people who did not deserve the fate to which they are now sentenced.

I try as much as possible to think about families who are NOT part of the culture of violence in the region, and who do not care about nation states and ideologies as much as simply wanting the freedom to live their lives and raise their children. Everybody else wants to make it about Hamas and about the (illegal) settlers who hate and destroy for their own selfish gains. Nobody is making this about families and children of all religions and nationalities who are suffering and dying. Which is to say, people firing rockets on BOTH sides need to be arrested for their atrocities, and the sooner we find a way to respect the loss on both sides, and see the need for progress on both sides, the better.

Colonialism rarely leaves peace in its wake, and it clearly didn't here.

ncrossland said...

Precisely....and I would only extend your observation to encompass the peoples of all governments in the world. We in America are at least able to suffer the illusion that we have a voice...some control...and to a greater extent than many...we do...but all governments act in their own self interest and rarely...if ever.....on behalf of the people they purport to represent.

When I was younger and perhaps much less cynical, I wondered what the poor rice farmer in a hamlet outside of the cities of VietNam must have felt while Uncle Ho's forces tangled with the forces of numerous and transient heads of the SVN government....aided and abetted by the very, very heavy fist of American Imperiolists......and we were.....make no mistake....I imagine that as he tended his rice paddies, he only wanted to be left alone in the peacefulness of his immediate world...unimpressed by or interested in the universe that lay beyond.

It is one of the reasons that today's American military person has my absolute respect and reverence. To be sent off to kill and die in a country that one personally has no stake in must take a rare sense of courage and duty.

I am reminded of a story told me by a Major who flew F-106's out of Kingsley Field, OR. I knew him as a result of my flying for a company that was resident on the civilian side of the field. He told me about intercept missions he flew and flying in formation with the Bears until they changed course. He told me that often the windows of the Bear were filled with personal cameras as the crewmen took pictures of the American fighter pilot...who was of course taking pictures of those taking pictures. On one mission, he said that a crewman in the blister behind the wing held up a picture in the window....and it resembled (from a distance) that of a family.

It is a strange brotherhood of arms in which men of opposing forces will kill each other because they are directed to do so, but deeply lament having to follow those orders.

It isn't men who cause and prolong is those members of parochial governments and big businesses who do so out of greed.

C R Krieger said...

I know we are drifting from the subject, but Neal's comment about BEARs and F-106s reminded me of a story I heard about the F-102s out of Iceland.  Apparently when the month turned over the intercepted BEAR aircrew would have, and display, the latest Playboy centerfold for the F-102 pilots to look at, out of the side blister.  It appears that when the magazine hit the streets in Washington a copy was dropped in the diplomatic pouch and sent to Moscow, from where it was dispatched to the bomber base—and the transit time was less than that of the APO system from the US to Iceland.

Even if it isn't true, it should be.

Regards  —  Cliff