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Friday, July 28, 2006

Who's pushing who into the sea now?

I went downtown after work and joined in the daily protest against the various wars. My friend Gloria gave me a card with that graphic on it (more or less--the card said "2005"). On the back of the card was this quote from Ariel Sharon, speaking to Winston Churchill's grandson in 1973:
We'll make a pastrami sandwich out of them. We'll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years' time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.
Many want to view the Israel-Palestine situation as the refusal of the Palestinians and their supporters to recognize Israel's right to exist. To be sure, there are many in both groups who feel that way. But for decades now, Palestinian and Arab leaders have agreed to accomodation with Israel--Sadat, Arafat, Abbas. They have been willing to live with the pre-1967 borders, and even negotiate beyond that. But Israel has continued, without pause, taking more--especially the most valuable land with access to water. Last year's supposed "land for peace" stunt in Gaza was accompanied by yet further grabs in the West Bank and Jerusalem--and basically turned Gaza into a free-fire zone. Sharon's statement has been Israeli policy pretty much since he said it, and they used Camp David and Oslo only to further that purpose, with no intention of abiding by the provisions they didn't like.