stuck in the in-between space

Clearly, the kind of virulent Arab anti-Semitism, or rather anti-Israel easily spilling, absurdly, into a kind of biological racism is not endemic to the Arab world in the same way that characterized the Jewish experience in Europe from east to west. In fact, Jewish existence in the Arab lands was, despite the recent writings trying to justify the cobbled Judeo-Christian tradition praxis, marked by much tolerance and leniency. The current wave of Salafist kooks, fundamentalists, Jihadists, religious charlatans and the entire industry of Holy Men wallowing in Islam’s worst dogma is a recent phenomenon.

In the longer arc of time, there is no justification for the demonization of the Arab vis a vis Jews and in fact may even be convenient pretext for a Christian West to vent anti-semitism towards a softer Semitic target. In fact, by 1945 the Arabs had proposed to the Jews full citizen rights in Palestine, complete equality and freedom, with a population allowed of two million, but no statehood. At the time there were five hundred thousand Jews to rise to two million by independence.

This was refused by Ben Gurion et. al., but according to the Jewish Oral Law,Torah interpretation,  that refusal was certainly debatable. To the Jews of that time, the only forms of rebellion available was Zionism and Socialism; they could not go back, or “return, ” law of, to the traditional Jewish life, the “galut” mentality, exile, since to the Zionists, these traditions and markers of “belonging” were of dubious value, and questionable in light of nation building and the dysfunctional project of building the “new Jew.”

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(see link at end)…Former Israeli national security advisor Gen. Giora Eiland, on the other hand, made an amazingly forthright statement about what should be the outline for a fair resolution of the current impasse in Gaza. For that reason, of course, it will be ignored by those in power. But it still deserves a fair hearing:

“Israel’s bottom line interest toward Gaza is a security issue – that they won’t fire at us,” said Eiland, who also served as the head of Israel’s National Security Council. “Consequently, if we can reach an arrangement, it’s preferable to give ground on certain political issues in exchange for a better security arrangement.”

This sort of agreement would include “a mutual cease-fire and an Egyptian guarantee of not just quiet, but also that no weapons will enter Gaza,” Eiland said, adding that “this arrangement would be guaranteed by additional parties, for example, Qatar and Turkey.”…

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Among the political compromises that could be made in exchange for such a security arrangement, Eiland listed lifting the naval blockade of Gaza “so that the European Union member countries could send under supervision dinghies into Gaza’s port.”

Eiland also suggested that Israel recognize Gaza as a state under Hamas’ rule. “This is a country a ruled by an elected government and I expect that this government will act in a responsible manner, like a state would,” Eiland said.

“It’s not enough to say ‘Hamas will surrender,’” Eiland continued. “We need to give something, if not to Hamas, then to others. It’s impossible to reach a point where one side will surrender. Sometimes we become captive to slogans like ‘We won’t talk with Hamas.’ I say the opposite. It’s a fact that Hamas rules Gaza and that Gaza is a stat

strong> We need to recognize this and utilize the advantages this situation presents.”

The thinking is that if Israel recognizes Hamas as ruler of Gaza, it will place the onus on the Islamist group to run Gaza and fully control what happens there. In effect, Eiland is saying to make Hamas put their money where their mouth is: you want to rule this place–do it. And if you don’t, we and the world community who are enforcing this agreement will hold you accountable….

—An Israeli and Jordanian soldier stand guard outside of Al-Aqsa mosque shortly after the Six Day War.—Read More:

There is also a strategic element to his thinking that is unspoken. If Israel breaks Palestine into two entities, then Palestinian strength and aspirations for statehood will be even more fragmented than they are now. Hamas will have less interest in creating a coalition government with Fatah because it will control its own fiefdom in Gaza. The West Bank and Gaza may be permanently severed. That part of Eiland’s strategy is pernicious in the long-term. But it doesn’t mean that much of what he’s saying wouldn’t make things better than they are now in Gaza itself.Read More:


(see link at end)There were few if any visible tears at the intense, chaotic, lengthy funeral on Monday of Jamal and seven relatives, among 12 people killed the day before in the single deadliest attack since the latest hostilities between Israel and the Gaza Strip began Wednesday after months of Palestinian militant rocket fire into Israel. Instead, there were fingers jabbing the air to signal “Allah is the only one,” defiant chants about resistance and calls for revenge, flags in the signature green of Hamas and the white of its Al Qassam Brigades….

Raden Saleh. Read More:

…Much of the militant pageantry most likely was meant as a message for the news media, and thus the world, given how the Dalus had instantly become the face of the Palestinian cause. But the tone, far more fundamentalist than funereal, was also a potent sign of the culture of martyrdom that pervades this place, and the numbness that many here have developed to death and destruction after years of cross-border conflict.

“This blood which was provided by your family will not go in vain,” a Hamas minister told the mourners at the mosque. “The rights of these children, the rights of these little flowers, is on our neck….

—Against desperate Egyptian attempts to block his southern drive, Adan managed to sever rail and road connections to Suez City and move his forces back through the agricultural strip to the southern bank of the canal in the final hour before the cease-fire was to take effect. Attempts by Third Army units to resist after the cease-fire deadline meant resumption of the fighting in Adan’s sector.
Southern Command was ambiguous about attacking Suez City, which lay on Adan’s side of the canal. It was a major logistical base for the Third Army, the bulk of which was in Sinai on the other side of the canal. Southern Command told him to take the city “provided it doesn’t become a Stalingrad.”
During the previous two days, Egyptian soldiers had been surrendering in masses, including many officers. Adan believed that the fight had finally gone out of the Egyptian army. It was an assumption he would have cause to deeply regret.—Read More:

“We are all going to die, today or tomorrow,” he added. “But those who died yesterday are martyrs and not any dead.”…

…But while political leaders and human rights advocates have called the deaths a massacre and a war crime, the mourners, except for a few close relatives inside the mosque, were neither overcome with emotion nor fed up, perhaps because the current casualty count pales in comparison to the 1,400 lost four years ago when the Israelis invaded Gaza.

Many of them aspire to what they see as martyrdom in the struggle for a Palestinian state. Such funerals are a punctuating rhythm of life here, the bodies taken from the morgue to the family home, then to the mosque and on to the cemetery in processions that attract large crowds.

“We got used to it; we got used to the killing,” said Emad Al Dalu, 35, an accountant and cousin of the dead. “Every one of us has seen one of his relatives, one of his neighbors has died. We’re defending our rights. We can take more.”

The three-hour ritual was a nearly all-male affair. Several dozen women did briefly view the bodies in a home near the rubble pile, one of them collapsing in grief. But even close female relatives did not attend the service at the mosque nor the burial.

So it was the men who carried the bodies: the grown-ups on stretchers over their shoulders in pallbearer style, and the children, cradled in their arms as they walked, then ran through the normally traffic-clogged city’s now-empty streets. Some were wrapped in white sheets, others in Palestinian or Hamas flags. One’s bare head lobbed backward and needed to be steadied at times.Read More:

…The source of all the anger and resentment? You could blame symptoms like settlers on the West Bank hilltops, but a good starting point may be the whole concept of Chosen People and receiving the Torah in Sinai that left the other monotheistic faiths to settle for religions based on prophets. Somewhat cynically, Yitzhak Shamir said anti-Semitism was in the mother’s milk, and although one could say we are more developed and advanced today than previous epochs there is something absurd and inexplicable when five year olds can say dirty jew and follow that with other groups and nations down or up the pecking order. It is odd when there are hundreds of journalists in Gaza recording every Gazan that trips over a stone while between 150 to 200 people die each day in Syria, without getting into the public executions and tribal wars elsewhere. This only reinforces the colonialist, Orientalist tack that life is cheap, considered of disposable value, so its not worth pontificating about.

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