Just been watching an Israeli spokeswoman.  If the aid is humanitarian – let it go through Ashdod, otherwise it’s “provocation”.  So let’s just have a look at ‘provocation’.   Was the original Rachel Corrie being provocative when she stood in front of an Israeli bulldozer to try to prevent the destruction of yet another Palestinian home?  What is it that takes a young American woman with her whole life before her to Israel, her country’s ‘close ally’, and defy the municipal/military authorities in full view?  What is it that sees the death of this young woman as acceptable ‘collateral damage’?

Whatever your answer to the above it is worth looking at a few simple facts: First, and relatively recent, the blockade on Gaza was not imposed because of Hamas rockets, it was because Hamas, having won a genuinely free and fair election took over control of the Gaza Strip.  So who provoked whom?  Israel, in imposing the blockade, or Hamas for winning the election.  (Note – you can’t say, as do some Israelis, it’s the people of Gaza for electing Hamas, because that leads to the inevitable conclusion that Israel is engaging in Collective Punishment; which is contrary to international law)

Going back a little:  was it Hamas who provoked Israel during the 1st Intifada, which most observers regarded as ‘non-violent’?  That would involve some interesting time-lines, since Hamas was born during and after the 1st Intifada.

Further still, avoiding the very pertinent question of why Hamas was created,  might the events of 1967 when Israel invaded Gaza, the West Bank & Egypt, (sorry, guys, yes they did), be regarded as a provocation.  Or, what of the events in the preceding period going back to, say, 1910 ish?

If we fail to see the historical context we lose perspective; and that must include our own, European, part in the persecution of Jews, the holocaust, and the creation of the rogue state that is Israel.

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