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December 30, 2008

The Lighter Side Of The Bombardment Of Gaza

The funny thing about the Israeli attack on Gaza following its long blockade is that Israel's original justification for taking over Gaza in 1967 was that Israel was being subject to a blockade. This is from the official Knesset history of the Six Day War:

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser blockaded the Straits of Tiran on May 21st and 22nd to all shipping from and to Eilat; the area was open to Israeli ships under UN supervision since 1957, and Israel repeatedly stated that such a blockade will be considered as casus belli (justification for acts of war).

Of course, there are many differences between the two situations. Just for instance: (1) Israel could still receive shipments by water via the Mediterranean, and (2) Israelis are human beings, whereas Palestinians are wolves in human form.

In any case, I expect this provides Gaza residents with quite a chuckle as they ponder whether their wounded children will succumb first to their injuries or to their intestinal parasites caused by contaminated water.

THANK YOU, MEMORY HOLE: As best as I can tell with Google News, no journalism has drawn this obvious parallel.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at December 30, 2008 03:29 PM

sorry if the answer to this has been posted somewhere else, but why wont egypt take the palestinians out of gaza and into egypt>?

Posted by: sloweducation at December 30, 2008 03:47 PM

Weird mental bloc on my part. I knew that about the Six Day War, but didn't think of it today, at exactly the same time, when I said at another blog comment section that a blockade might be a cause for war. I was thinking of the Cuban missile crisis, but totally forgot 1967.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at December 30, 2008 03:47 PM

Thanks Donald...sorry to be a pain, what about pre-hamas palestine...makes sense why they would not want Hamas.

Posted by: sloweducation at December 30, 2008 04:28 PM

RS: Does this mean that your usual links aren't?

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at December 30, 2008 04:38 PM

the only true justifiable case for war is "educational merit."

Posted by: hapa at December 30, 2008 05:13 PM

this is why all the best countries invest in military academies.

Posted by: hapa at December 30, 2008 05:15 PM


"Does this mean that your usual links aren't?"

My question to you is, "What do YOU think?"

And my answer is...Of course not. My usual links are related to my comment, as a reference. This particular one has MORE than reference to my comment. And I do understand that every reader may not be able to read all the links.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at December 30, 2008 05:49 PM

Great post Jonathan, it is always so important to erase history as well as dehumanize one's target.

Posted by: Rob Payne at December 30, 2008 05:54 PM

I like the way the Times' big article today about how Hamas broke the peace treaty mentioned the Palestinian elections that are coming up sometime in the next couple of years but failed to mention the Israeli elections in February.

Posted by: Guest at December 30, 2008 07:13 PM

Egypt wasn't taking Palestinians because they were a much better PR image against Israel stuck in Gaza.

And, yeah, if Gaza were an independent country (as it should be) then the Israeli naval blockade would certainly be an act of war. Of course, if Gaza were an independent country, then rocket fire into Israeli towns from Gaza would also be an act of war. If the Middle East is oversupplied with anything, it is oversupplied in justifications for warfare. It seems to lack justifications for peace.

Posted by: Fritz at December 30, 2008 09:14 PM

RS: I think your usual links are worth reading, so it sounded funny to see you say, "This one is worth reading."

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at December 31, 2008 05:30 AM

Incidentally, the blockade of Eilat was pure propaganda. The Egyptians did not have the capacity to close the Straits of Sharm el Sheikh in 1967 (or in 1956, when Israel launched another war with much the same pretext).

So, not really such a good parallel. But at least showing some understanding of the history of that part of the world. Most commentators seem to have trouble remembering what happened last week, or even last night, in that part of the world.

Posted by: MFB at December 31, 2008 05:45 AM

I am glad, you find my links worth reading.
This particular one was special as my comment was about 'cockroaches and cancer' but the article has beautiful, poetic language, hence my special mention.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at December 31, 2008 01:06 PM

Rupa Shah:

Why only wolves? They have been called COCKROACHES, CANCER and many other things.

My link was actually to something George Washington said about American Indians. So it was a quiet little joke about the similarities between the two situations.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 31, 2008 01:32 PM

Jonathan Schwarz
Yes, I did get it. I did check your link and read about George Washington's sentiment towards the original inhabitants of this land and the similarities between the situations.
I guess, I should not have said "Why only wolves?"
I should have said, " If Palestinians have not been called beasts of prey, they certainly have been called worse things like cockroaches ( real low life ), cancer, etc. I can not imagine what it must feel like to be called names like that.

ps may be I am not great at articulating my thoughts!!!!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at December 31, 2008 02:29 PM


'Benny Morris used to be a "Young Turk", but now he's become an old jerk with a vengeance.' —Avi Shlaim

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at January 1, 2009 01:30 AM

Is Israel enforcing a naval blockade of the Mediterranean or just closing their land borders crossings? If Israel was sinking ships or laying mines, I could see your analogy, but just closing your borders isn't a blockade.

In either case, wouldn't Gaza/Hamas have an equally valid casus belli against Egypt?

Posted by: some guy at January 3, 2009 02:38 PM

some guy,

Yes, Israel is imposing both an air and naval blockades. No ships can come into Gaza, no ships from Gaza can go out for more than a few nautical miles to fish (fishing in the shores being not very productive as fish is depleted):

They are being shot for fishing. I suspect the reason is that Fish if kept outside of refrigeration can be used as a Weapon of Mass Gastroenteritis. Israel has clearly a right to defend itself against potentially bad Cebiches sold by Palestinians, and clearly the only way to do this is by shooting at fishermen.

Posted by: another at January 4, 2009 11:27 PM