This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
The ceasefire did not hold or was allowed to lapse so Israel and Hamas are at it again – asymmetrically. “After the ceasefire before the next ceasefire” is another form of politics. The families of Palestinians who die during this political dueling should be so advised.
As in: “Your loved ones died so we could continue to negotiate the next round of suffering. Thank you for your service to our great cause.”
During the ceasefire several diplomatic initiatives were announced. The United Nations declared it was willing to oversee the building of Gaza once again. That was the carrot.
The UN’s stick? This would be the last time. Which means that if Israel destroys Gaza once again, it will be left as it is.
Should Israel see this as a threat? A threat that forces it to sign on the dotted line?
The European Union’s proposal is more detailed. Reportedly the EU is offering Israel a way out of the Gaza situation by, among other things, opening a route for Gazans to travel and trade through Cyprus.
Cyprus is an intriguing option. It’s Europeans thinking out of their box. Or it’s Europe thinking European-style.
Is Europe trying to solve the Israel-Palestinian impasse through Europe or at least on the border of Europe?
What Gazans want is an open border with Israel and Egypt and a real connected Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Perhaps another time.
Think of the difference in power and hope. Germans provide Israel with submarines that are then nuclearized by Israel. The European Union wants to placate Gaza – and Israel – with a sea corridor through the Mediterranean.
I doubt Gazans will travel by nuclear submarines. Perhaps they will travel by wooden boats protected by Viking-era, European Union, warships.
Thinking thusly, my mind wandered to the 1958 movie, The Vikings. Many hope that the Palestinians will come up with their version of Nelson Mandela – the Palestinian Mandela. Perhaps they would be better served looking for a Palestinian Kirk Douglas.
Diversion is the name of the game. The international community wants the slaughter stopped. The international community doesn’t want to do the heavy lifting necessary to accomplish this goal.
One can’t afford to be cynical. There’s way too much suffering. With the international “actors,” however, a little satire might save the day.
Lest Gaza be left in ruins the next time – as it is today.