Letter: Focus on Israel
The following remarks from Sherrill Hogen’s July 28 piece caught my attention:
“We must remember that it is Israel that has taken Palestinian land and occupied it with the force of arms.”
I’m sure Ms. Hogen knows that Israel is not currently occupying Gaza, although it certainly is the case that Israel controls what goes in and out of Gaza (i.e. blockade). Indeed it can be argued that if Israel had not withdrawn from Gaza in 2005, we would not be seeing the carnage we’re currently witnessing (that’s not a call for re-occupation, although I fear that’s where Israel may be headed).
“… but I dare say there are many Americans who would use such methods of resistance to defend this country were we to find ourselves in a similar situation.”
Ditto Israelis, who live in a country the size of New Jersey. If rockets from neighboring New York or Vermont were flying into Charlemont, what would Ms. Hogen say?
Despite its many flaws, Israel is a democracy (at least as far from perfect from the one Ms. Hogen and I live within). Gaza, on the other hand, is ruled by un-elected strong-man oligarchs, whose leader Meshal lives comfortably in Qatar, not Gaza, backed up by a masked militant wing that undemocratically seized power by military force in 2007 and seeks to impose an absolutist theocracy on the Palestinian people. It’s my hope that critics of Israel prone to draw comparisons with Palestinian society will start drawing more attention to these aspects of Palestinian society in future commentaries.