So yeah, I’m a little bit angry. I (and I have said this before) don’t like to wade into politics because it undermines the casual silliness of this blog. But there comes a time when one cannot just sit on one’s hands. I reached my limit so I’m taking a sitting stand on current events. I apologize if I offend, but not that much. If you wish to engage me on this topic, feel free to post a comment.
First, to clear the air, I am an ardent Zionist. That’s a very complex concept and term but it boils down to my belief that Israel has a right to exist and to determine its future and policies. This doesn’t mean that it is always right in its decisions, but it means it can exist like any other country and has to be held to similar standards.
These days, along with the stale trend of vilifying the state of Israel, there is a series of protests at the border of the Gaza strip. The Gaza strip – a piece of land repeatedly given away by Israel and then taken back when those who move in insist on attacking Israel. Now the attack isn’t by tunnels or rockets, but by simply overrunning the border. Let me just say this – Israel has a border with Gaza. For all those people holding fast to a multi-state solution, states have borders and part of being your own country is not walking into the other guy’s country. That’s how borders work.
The videos have been clear. This isn’t about some sort of protest, because what are they protesting? That the border is closed? Two things – one, it is closed because Israel is another country (and even with closed borders, Israel sends in truckloads of humanitarian aid…yes, references available…) and two, it is closed with Egypt also but no one is burning tires there. This is about not wanting a separate country in Gaza, but about “from the river to the sea” – taking all of what is Israel. And this isn’t some hidden agenda. It is overt and stated outright. Israel is supposed to sit by and let another country invade?
The fence has been attacked. People have made it into Israel. Guns have been fired into Israel, explosives thrown. Tires are being burned (forget the ecological nightmare for a second) creating a smokescreen under which who knows what kind of demolition is being attempted on the fences. So here’s what I see as the possible ways this plays out:
1. Israel does nothing and the fence is breached. People stream in. Some are just looking for a better way of life and are illegal immigrants. Some have more violent goals, but one cannot see that thing from a distance so they all just move in and violence ensues. The world excoriates Israel, saying it caused this by having a border and when Israelis die, the world (a it has historically done) counsels Israel’s forbearance, reminding them not only of the higher standard to which they are held, but also of their also being the author of their own suffering by “occupying” a land they have no right to.
2. Israel does something and it causes a loss of life. Israel is to blame. How dare it fire on what could very well be civilians? The right to protest is really important. And if a couple of bad apples use the guise of protest to starm the gates and throw Molotov cocktails, what right does Israel have to respond?
The Arab government of the area doesn’t caution anyone or recommend staying away, quite the opposite – it encourages participation; it seems to be seeking casualties! If people die, it earns the world’s sympathy. It cannot be expected to exert any control over its people because Israel is going to be to blame no matter what. So if people get in, the Arab government wins. If people are kept out, the Arab government wins. If people die, Israel looks bad. If people don’t die, Israel suffers.
Sorry about this rant, but this all just sickens me. It sickens me that Israel is being put into this ridiculous and impossible spot but it also sickens me that the world turns a blind eye here. I mean, it often does, but this is just so egregious.