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January 08, 2009

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Whatever was the intention of Israel -- security or territorial expansion -- in occupying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip after the 1967 war, the fact remains that Israel unilaterally ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005. And what did it get in return?

At the time of the withdrawal, many in Israel and elsewhere argued that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip would increase Israel's security problems as it would give Hamas an unmonitored base from which to attack Israel. It appears there was more than a little basis for their concern.

To add to the the above comment and speaking of lessons from history, given that Israel's dismantling of its setttlements and withdrawal from the Gaza strip in 2005 increased rather than decreased its security, what lessons do you think Israel has now learned about the likely consequences of a withdrawal from the West Bank?

"...the fact remains that Israel unilaterally ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005..."

Fact? If Russia controlled the entrances and exits to the U.S., the airspace over us, and imposed collective punishment on our citizens through a brutal blockade (Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician, said that the architecture of segregation that he saw in the West Bank and Gaza in 2007 was "infinitely worse than apartheid"), no sane person could say that Russia had "ceded sovereignty" to us, as Israel claims. You've got to start reading something to the left of Lieberman and Wyden. I used to be opposed to BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction), but people like you have convinced me that there's no other road to justice.

Ditto Harry.

Many --maybe most-- of the Palestinian residents of Gaza, arguably the most densely populated place on the planet, are refugees from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank with no place else to go. Now they're sitting ducks for IDF airstrikes.

Get one thing straight. I am in no way opposed to the "existence" of Israel. I am opposed to its government and the collusion of the U.S. government in Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.

So are many Israeli citizens. Amy Goodman --an American Jew-- writes about some of them, Neve Gordon, for example. Gordon says this about Gaza:

"The problem is that most Israelis say Israel left the Gaza Strip three years ago and Hamas is still shooting rockets at us. They forget the details. The detail is that Israel maintains sovereignty. The detail is that the Palestinians live in a cage. The detail is that they don’t get basic foodstuff, that they don’t get electricity, that they don’t get water. And when you forget those kinds of details, all you say is, ‘Why are they still shooting at us?’ That’s what the media here has been pumping them with, then you think this war is rational. If you look at what’s been going on in the Gaza Strip in the past three years and you see what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, you would think that the Palestinian resistance is rational. And that’s what’s missing in the mainstream media here.”

And here, too, I might add.

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