THE SPINE JUNE 6, 2007
The Palestinians are desperate. That's old news. Yes, of course, the
occupation makes them desperate. But, hey, the occupation of Gaza was
liquidated almost two years ago. Not a single Israeli soldier is in Gaza,
except for the one captured last summer from over the Israeli
border. According to an article by the very savvy Isabel Kershner in
todays Times, even Mahmoud Abbas has averred that "the brink of civil
war ... internal battles were as dangerous to the their welfare as Israeli
occupation has been, if not more so."
The anniversary of the Six Day War was marked in Gaza by "fighting between
the rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah." This fighting, warned
Abbas, "is equal to the danger of occupation, or even more."
Much more interesting is the fact that "a few Palestinian columnists have
broken a political taboo by referring to the Israeli occupation as perhaps
preferable to the current chaos."
For example, Majed Azzam wrote in the Hamas-affiliated weekly Al Risala in Gaza that Palestinians "should have the courage to acknowledge the truth," that the only thing that "prevents the chaos and turmoil in Gaza from spreading to the West Bank is the presence of the Israeli occupation."
Another Palestinian writer, Bassem al-Nabris, a poet from Khan Yunis, in the Gaza Strip, wrote in the Arabic electronic newspaper Elaph that if there was a referendum in the Gaza Strip on the question of whether people would like the Israeli occupation to return, "half the population would vote 'yes.' But in practice," he continued, "I believe that the number of those in favor is at least 70 percent, if not more."
Perhaps the critics in the West who complain all the time about Israel should listen to those whom they purport to represent. These Palestinian journalists actually know of what they speak.