A Brief History of Gaza
In its most recent assault on the defenseless population of Gaza, Israel is claiming to be “defending itself”, a preposterous claim parroted by the ever-so-subservient White House and Congress. To anyone with even a shred of knowledge of the facts, it seems outlandish that anyone would believe this absurd Orwellian language that turns oppressor and occupier into victim and victim into aggressor. So let’s review briefly Gaza’s history and put things in perspective:
Who are the Gazans and who are the real bad guys? Most Israelis are not aware that most Gazan Palestinians are refugees from what is now Israel, created during the 1947-1949 ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist forces. The Zionists – fresh colonial immigrants from Europe to Palestine under British colonial rule – aimed to create a “Jewish state” on a land populated by an overwhelming majority of non-Jews (Muslim and Christian Palestinians). They achieved this through violent expulsion in what is known as the Nakba (Palestinian catastrophe). Gaza is the small strip of land into which a large number of refugees from historic Palestine were herded. Thus most Gazans have land and property deeds which have been confiscated from them by the newly established Zionist state and were prevented from returning to their homes for the only reason of not being Jewish.
To this flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention, Israel added by shooting thousands of unarmed refugees who attempted to return to their homes (the Palestinians were then as they are now – a defenseless, mostly rural society without an army or a state). It later razed to the ground hundreds of Palestinian villages and wiped them off the map with the intent purpose of erasing the history and the people of Palestine.
The ethnic cleansing of Palestine created a surreal situation where the newly established Zionist state claims to be “defending itself” from the people it just dispossessed – a situation that continues to this day (imagine someone one day showing up at your door step, then forcing you out of your house where you and your family have been living for countless generations, and then when you try to reclaim it, convinces himself and others that he is a victim of your “irrational aggression”). And indeed, hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in houses that were confiscated from their legal owners who are now destitute stateless refugees languishing in refugee camps only a few miles away, while the refugees are being vilified for trying to reclaim what’s legally theirs.
Adding insult to injury, in 1967 Israel conquered the Gaza strip and then overnight the refugees came under the rule of the same state that had dispossessed them 19 years earlier. A happy reunion of the people and their land? Not so much. Then began a chapter known as Israel’s permanent “occupation” – a brutal regime of military repression and colonization in which Palestinians have no basic human rights, are allowed to work only as day laborers on their former land in menial jobs, and are subject to permanent military occupation where 6000 Jewish settlers planted by force in their midst by the Israeli colonial state are allocated 30% of the land of tiny Gaza and 70% of its scarce water resources. Israel creates a system of Apartheid, in effect to this day: one civilian law for Jewish settlers and another harsh military law and courts for Palestinians who sometimes live only a few hundred yards away.
In 2005, after having tortured (I know, I heard the screams of tortured Palestinians in the interrogation rooms of Israel’s notorious security services) and killed thousands of Gazans and leaving scorched earth behind, Israel decided that the cost of maintaining 8000 Jewish settlers in a handful of colonies was too high and decided to “disengage”, removing the settlers and soldiers from within Gaza but at the same time turning it into a giant ghetto, surrounded by walls and remote controlled machine gun turrets, a 300 yard death zone within the fence and a “warden” who even monitors the calorie intake for the 1.5 million inmates. “We put them on a diet” joked one of Israel’s top political advisors.
Once again, a permanent siege on a civilian population with scarce resources with an average income of $1/day, that prevents imports and exports. The entire world watches on and stays indifferent as humans locked in a giant ghetto resort to digging tunnels in order to smuggle food and basic necessities.
The bottom line: Israel expects Gazans to accept their fate and live peacefully behind walls and barbed wire, without an economy, future or slight hope for returning to their original land and homes, while the warden liquidates people as he pleases and shoots anybody who approaches the fence and continues his colonization drive in the West Bank.
As the horrors of the Jewish State start leaking into the world’s consciousness, Israel has embarked on a massive propaganda campaign to blame Hamas for Gaza’s misery, with the Western press generally going along for the ride, as it usually does when it comes to Israel.
But of course, such propaganda that takes advantage of the ignorance of the general public can be easily demolished by pointing out two stark facts: the colonization, torture, apartheid and military oppression lasted for 4 decades before Hamas came to power and in fact long before Hamas existed. In addition, the Zionist propagandists ignore the fact that in the West Bank the “moderate” Abbas is in charge, where he vehemently fights terror, jails Hamas activists and obeys every order he receives from Israel’s military echelon. Did Abbas get a state? No. Did Israel stop its apartheid, military occupation or colonization of the West Bank? No. In fact it has been accelerating them. This just proves that Israel, the colonial apartheid state keeps doing what it’s been doing, i.e. ethnic cleansing, colonization, oppression and apartheid, regardless of who represents the Palestinians or what they do. Israel is the embodiment of the Zionist ideology which aimed to create a “lebensraum” for Jews in Palestine on the expense of the Palestinians, something which has been done continuously since Israel’s establishment and has not stopped for one day ever since.