Friday, December 26, 2008

Opening Gaza

Evidently, Israel has agreed to open Gaza to much needed food stuffs and energy supplies. But this opening will not last and will not be enough to lift the Gazans out of the dire straights they find themselves in today.

For some reason, the Israeli government feels that treating their Palestinian citizens, in much the same way the German government of the 1930s and 1940s treated their Jewish citizens will result in the Palestinian population welcoming their government with open arms. While Palestinians are not considered Israeli citizens by Israel, they live in the country, were born there, and their families have for many, lived their for hundreds of years.

For me this is extremely painful because growing up, I had the most tremendous respect for the Jewish people for standing up to and facing down the Nazi government, against all odds and without losing sight of the righteousness of their cause and their lives.

This was important to me because as an African American baby-boomer, this was fairly recent history and seemed to be a way to behave in the face of oppression and subjugation. But then, the year I turned 20, came the 1967 war and the start of the settlements.

I just read One Missing Word Sowed the Seeds of Catastrophe and could not believe that the lack of a word has changed the world.

Because after the start of the settlements I came to see the actions of the Israeli government to be much too similar to those of Germany in terms of collective punishment, stealing land (wasn't part of the rationale of the Germany government in invading Poland the need for land for their people?), and finally just being unfair.

I know this is simplistic, but there hasn't been anything since to make me rethink my early judgments.

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