Forgetting Gaza…

Qassam on SderotDear Peace Activists,

On June 8, 2007, you will be rallying your good hearts out in Rome for an end to the “illegal military occupation of”–what was it again?–oh, “Gaza, the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem.” Gaza? Need I, neither expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict nor historian, remind you that Israel left the Gaza strip in the summer of 2005? Yet surely there will be those at the rally who believe with all their might that Israel must leave the Gaza strip to its rightful owners: the Egyptians. Just kidding. For almost two years now Gaza has been bereft of Israelis and all traces of Zionist Occupation most likely erased with great zeal by its new, righteous inhabitants. For once, the Palestinians are able to show the world just what they can do for themselves if left on their own to govern. The results? It may be too soon to tell, but clearly the Qassams fired on Sderot have only multiplied, Palestinian factions have fallen grotesquely into near civil war with themselves, and Hamas has not come one inch closer to recognizing the State of Israel. In fact, if you bother to read the Hamas Charter you will see that they have no intention of ever doing so, and that “illegal occupation” slyly refers in their lingo to all of the land from the river to the sea. Here is a taste of what you may not know you are fighting for:

Article Eight: The Slogan of the Hamas
“Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.”

This doesn’t sound much like working together for peace, does it?

Anyway, can you try not burning any Israeli or American flags this year? I know that it’s always a crowd-stopper to see red, white and blue burn in the same flames as the blue-and-white, but it really does your cause more harm than good. It makes it go up in smoke.

From a Concerned Fellow Citizen,

Marc Alan Coen – also in the NEWYORKERS column of this blog.


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