Eyeless in Gaza


Dubai - What Israel and the Gaza Strip should be

Dubai – What Israel and the Gaza Strip should be

Eyeless in Gaza

… by  Uri Avnery,    … Gush Shalom


Gaza is now the World's Tar baby

Gaza is now the World’s Tar baby

[ Editor’s note:  An American version of how Uri describes the Gaza conundrum as this point would be the tar baby in the briar patch children’s story from the Uncle Remus book, published in 1881.

The doll made up of tar and turpentine was used to entrap Br’er Rabbit, where he got more entangled the more he fought.

But there are two Br’er Rabbits in the current and very real story… Zionist Israel, and semi-Zionist America. We have an American President who is not a Tar Baby lover, but has a Congress who is, so he can only get the tar off his hands a bit at a time.

We had two victories in the current tragedy, missed by the dyed-in-the-wool Obama haters — Ben Gurion Airport was boycotted for a few days in response to the rude stiff-arming the Zios had given Kerry, Obama, and the American people who were funding the current Gaza human turkey-shoot.

Israel parried that move by deploying its substantial Congressional sock-puppet brigade. But as world outrage continued to grow, there was a shift in the earth’s orbit. Britain said it would discontinue arms export licenses to Tel Aviv if hostilities resumed. And then Obama played a huge card… announcing a freeze on Hellfire missile shipments to Zio-land.

Hellfires are popular for their accuracy and hitting power

Hellfires are popular for their accuracy and hitting power

This so shocked the Lobby that their response was delayed for a bit, but they counter-attacked, as usual. No American president had played the weapons boycott card, not even on one weapons system, to make a point. Obama did it, with election season right around the corner.

The idiots who call him a Zionist puppet are either idiots themselves or controlled opposition for the Lobby.

If Romney had won, he would have had live-action TV screens in the waiting rooms of the White House offices so visitors could watch the live Gaza slaughter to see what a good job he was doing.

Most of us at VT are livid at Obama’s Syria and now Ukraine debacles, but not over what he has done so far at resolving the Iran nuclear standoff and this attempt to not be completely neutered by our own Zionist Congress. We see no point in broad-brush bashing. We would tell him all this to his face, and we would be credible… Jim W. Dean




–  First published  …  August 16, 2014  –


Signing Oslo Accords

Peace can be achieved

The trouble with war is that it has two sides. Everything would be so much easier if war had only one side. Ours, of course. There you are, drawing up a wonderful plan for the next war, preparing it, training for it, until everything is perfect. 

And then the war starts, and to your utmost surprise it appears that there is another side, too, which also has a wonderful plan, and has prepared it and trained for it.

When the two plans meet, everything goes wrong. Both plans break down. You don’t know what’s going to happen. How to go on? You do things you have not planned for. And when you have had enough of it, and want to get out, you don’t know how! It’s so much more difficult to end a war than to start a war, especially when both sides need to declare victory. That’s where we are now.

How did it all start? Depends where you want to begin. Like everywhere else, every event in Gaza is a reaction to another event. You do something because the other side did something. Which they did because you did something. One can unravel this until the beginning of history. Or at least until Samson the Hero.

Samson, it will be remembered, was captured by the Philistines, blinded and brought to Gaza. There he committed suicide by bringing the temple down on himself and all the leaders and people, crying out: “Let my soul die with the Philistines!” (Judges 16:30)


Gaza Occupation beginning 1967

A young Uri with Ben Gurion in the Knessett

A young Uri with Ben Gurion in the Knesset

If that’s too remote, let’s start with the beginning of the present occupation, 1967. There was a forgotten occupation before that. When Israel conquered the Gaza Strip and all of Sinai in the course of the 1956 Suez war, David Ben-Gurion declared the founding of the “Third Israeli Kingdom”.

But a few days later he had to announce in a broken voice that he had promised President Dwight Eisenhower to withdraw from the entire Sinai Peninsula. Some Israeli parties urged him to keep at least the Gaza Strip, but he refused. He did not want to have hundreds of thousands more Arabs in Israel.

A friend of mine reminded me of an article I had written less than two years after the Six Day War, during which we occupied Gaza again. I had just found out that two Arab road-construction workers, one from the West Bank and one from the Gaza Strip, doing exactly the same job, were paid different wages. The Gaza man was paid much less.

Being a member of the Knesset, I made inquiries. A high-level official explained to me that this was a matter of policy. The purpose was to cause the Arabs to leave Gaza and settle in the West Bank (or elsewhere), in order to disperse the 400 thousand Arabs then living in the Strip, mostly refugees from Israel. Obviously this did not go so very well – now there are about 1.80 million there.


The Israeli Navy regularly attacks Gaza fishermen

The Israeli Navy regularly attacks Gaza fishermen

Then, in February 1969, I warned: “(If we go on) we shall be faced with a terrible choice – to suffer from a wave of terrorism that will cover the entire country, or to engage in acts of revenge and oppression so brutal that they will corrupt our souls and cause the whole world to condemn us.”

I mention this not to blow my own horn, but to show that any reasonable person could have foreseen what was going to happen.

It took a long time for Gaza to reach this point. I remember an evening in Gaza in the mid-90s. I had been invited to a Palestinian conference (about prisoners), which lasted several days, and my hosts invited me to stay with Rachel in a hotel on the sea-shore. Gaza was then a nice place. In the late evening we took a stroll along the central boulevard. We had pleasant chats with people who recognized us as Israelis. We were happy.

I also remember the day when the Israeli army withdrew from most of the Strip. Near Gaza City there stood a huge Israeli watchtower, many floors high, “so that the Israeli soldiers could look into every window in Gaza”. When the soldiers left, I climbed to the top, passing hundreds of happy boys who were going up and down like the angels on the ladder in Jacob’s dream in the Bible. Again we were happy. They are probably Hamas members now.

That was the time when Yasser Arafat, son of a Gaza Strip family, returned to Palestine and set up his HQ in Gaza. A beautiful new airport was built. Plans for a large new sea-port were circulating.

A big Dutch harbor-building corporation approached me discreetly and asked me to use my friendly relations with Arafat to obtain the job for them. They hinted at a very large gratuity. I politely refused. During all the years I knew Arafat, I never asked him for a favor. I think that this was the basis of our rather strange friendship.

If the port had been built, Gaza would have become a flourishing commercial hub. The standard of living would have risen steeply, the inclination of the people to vote for a radical Islamic party would have declined.

Proposed safe routes between Gaza and the West Bank - click to enlarge

Proposed safe routes between Gaza and the West Bank – click to enlarge

Why did this not happen? Israel refused to allow the port to be built. Contrary to a specific undertaking in the 1993 Oslo agreement, Israel cut off all passages between the Strip and the West Bank. The aim was to prevent any possibility of a viable Palestinian state being set up.

True, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon evacuated the more than a dozen settlements along the Gaza shore. Today, one of our rightist slogans is “We evacuated the entire Gaza Strip and what did we get in return? Qassam rockets!” Ergo: we can’t give up the West Bank.

But Sharon did not turn the Strip over to the Palestinian Authority. Israelis are obsessed with the idea of doing things “unilaterally”. The army withdrew, the Strip was left in chaos, without a government, without any agreement between the two sides.

Gaza sank into misery. In the 2006 Palestinian elections, under the supervision of ex-President Jimmy Carter, the people of Gaza – like the people of the West Bank – gave a relative majority to the Hamas party. When Hamas was denied power, it took the Gaza Strip by force, with the population applauding.

The Israeli government reacted by imposing a blockade. Only limited quantities of goods approved by the occupation authorities were let in. An American senator raised hell when he found out that pasta was considered a security risk and not allowed in. Practically nothing was let out, which is incomprehensible from the “security” point of view of weapons “smuggling” but clear from the point of view of “strangling”. Unemployment reached almost 60%.

The Strip is roughly 40-km long and 10-km wide. In the north and the east it borders Israel, in the west it borders the sea, which is controlled by the Israeli navy. In the south it borders Egypt, which is now ruled by a brutal anti-Islamic dictatorship, allied with Israel.

As the slogan goes, it is “the word’s largest open-air prison”. Both sides now proclaim that their aim is to put an end to this situation. But they mean two very different things.

The Israeli side wants the blockade to remain in force, though in a more liberal form. Pasta and much more will be let into the Strip, but under strict supervision. No airport. No sea-port. Hamas must be prevented from re-arming. The Palestinian side wants the blockade to be removed once and for all, even officially. They want their port and airport. They don’t mind supervision, either international or by the Palestinian Unity Government under Mahmoud Abbas.

Secretary Kerry with Egypt's al-Sisi

Secretary Kerry with Egypt’s al-Sisi

How to square this circle, especially when the “mediator” is the Egyptian dictator, who acts practically as an agent of Israel? It is a mark of the situation that the US has disappeared as a mediator. After the futile John Kerry peace mediation efforts it is now generally despised throughout the Middle East.

Israel cannot “destroy” Hamas, as our semi-fascist politicians (in the government, too) loudly demand. Nor do they really want to. If Hamas is “destroyed”, Gaza would have to be turned over to the Palestinian Authority (viz. Fatah). That would mean the re-unification of the West Bank and Gaza, after all the long-lasting and successful Israeli efforts to divide them. No good.

If Hamas remains, Israel cannot allow the “terror-organization” to prosper. Relaxation of the blockade will only be limited, if that. The population will embrace Hamas even more, dreaming of revenge for the terrible devastation caused by Israel during this war. The next war will be just around the corner – as almost all Israelis believe anyhow.

In the end, we shall be where we were before. There can be no real solution for Gaza without a real solution for Palestine. The blockade must end, with serious security concerns of both sides properly addressed. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank (with East Jerusalem) must be reunited. The four “safe passages” between the two territories, promised in the Oslo agreement, must at last be opened.

There must be Palestinian elections, long overdue, for the presidency and the parliament, with a new government accepted by all Palestinian factions and recognized by the world community, including Israel and the USA. Serious peace negotiations, based on the two-state solution, must start and be concluded within a reasonable time.

Hamas must formally undertake to accept the peace agreement reached by these negotiations. Israel’s legitimate security concerns must be addressed. The Gaza port must be opened and enable the Strip and the entire State of Palestine to import and export goods.

There is no sense in trying to “solve” one of these problems separately. They must be solved together. They can be solved together. Unless we want to go around and around, from one “round” to the next, without hope and redemption. “We” – Israelis and Palestinians, locked for ever in an embrace of war. Or do what Samson did: commit suicide.

Editing:  Jim W. Dean  and  Erica P. Wissinger

Sunset over Tel Aviv


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18 Responses to "Eyeless in Gaza"

  1. John Kirby  August 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    “Eyeless in Gaza ” Samson Agonistes, Milton. I am old enough to have learned that at school.

    The Palestinians now have that kind of hatred and they will bring down Israel, by any means.

  2. Friar Newborg  August 17, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Here’s a Question, that no one has dared to ask the Israelis

    If it can be proven that Mossad and Israel planned and executed 9/11,

    Does America have the right to defend itself, in exactly the same way that Israel has claimed as its right ?

  3. Detlef Reimers  August 17, 2014 at 2:30 am

    In Germany now, they take any opportunity to produce so called antisemitism. Their last achievement is the profound technique of “false flag commentars” which have been produced by stooges, this time in the leading liberal paper “Die Zeit”. All of the absolutely disgusting comments have been systematically whiped out after a short time, but – like magic – they all reappeared soon afterwards on the rabiat zionist site “Die Achse des Guten” of the leading zionist journalist Henryk M. Broder.

    He used it there it to smear the germans as rabit antisemites. The interesting thing is that they used an article about the death of Robby Williams in the “Zeit” to stage this massive false flag commentar attac.

    • Charlotte NC Bill  August 18, 2014 at 1:47 am

      You Germans should have resisted the way the Iraqis did…still should…1945 was a long time ago and you’re still occupied!

  4. BP  August 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    The argument in the article *Eyeless in Gaza* rests on the premise that there are *two sides to a war*. This premise is flawed simply because there is a third one the side of truth and justice that history tells us is ultimately decisive; so, if you believe, the biblical Samson appears to have been on two sides — not only his own.

    The Samson reference is apt; for one thing, through his death (suicide!), he brought down the other side.

    Being the oppressive regime du jour on one side, Israel cannot be on the side of truth and justice, which leaves us to assume rightly that the other side (Palestinians) could be also on the side of truth and justice; if so, the Israel/Palestine issue will be resolved not by a negotiation between the two sides; more importantly, the side of truth and justice that is surging all across the planet, demanding an end to the Apartheid regime of Israel, is telling that the war is not about Israelis and Palestinians. It’s about the world claiming back its humanity and sanity.

    The proposed two-state solution that the article seems to lean on is a proven living nightmare for not only Palestinians; however, we are breaking slowly out the embrace of Zionism, a cancerous entity hiding behind deception and manipulation.

    The article’s title, *Eyeless in Gaza*, should be re-worded to *One-eyed in Israel*!

  5. Charlotte NC Bill  August 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    No.. Tel Aviv should never look as good as Dubai…they deserve to look like Dresden 1945..

    • Charlotte NC Bill  August 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      At this point it definitely seems to make sense for Hamas to fade away and be absorbed by Fatah but I don’t see that changing the outcome…Why? Because the Synagogue of Satan will always be the SoS until they renounce the evil Talmud and learn to not hate the goy so much…But they won’t…Their whole identity is based on racial supremacism….exploitation and manipulation of the goy, acquiring and controlling….it’s what they do…It’s like the story of the scorpion and the frog…”But why did you sting me? Now we’ll both drown..” Replied the scorpion; “Because that’s what I do…I’m a scorpion..”

  6. Charlotte NC Bill  August 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    After watching this unrelieved, unmitigated massacre of Gaza it’s just insane that Hamas is designated a “terrorist org.” and not the IDF…

    • davor  August 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      Check out CNNs way of expressing simpathy with the victims of Israeli bombardment, even posted under title “innocent victms”. http //edition.cnn.com/2014/08/18/world/meast/gaza-zoo-destroyed/index.html?hpt=hp_c2
      Ultimate humiliation of murdered Palestinians

  7. Charlotte NC Bill  August 16, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    That picture of crypto Jew Kerry and al-Sissi tells a story as they say….they almost look like they’re about to go to Brokeback Mountain..

  8. Brian  August 16, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    From the article The idiots who call him a Zionist puppet are either idiots themselves or controlled opposition for the Lobby.

    Really? With much respect, Obama the man who kept saying Israel has the right to defend itself as it intentionally blew up women and children and vital utilities.

    Obama the man who on behalf of Israel

    Placed evil unwarranted economic sanctions on Iran.
    He was going to blow up Syria until Putin came to the rescue.
    Destroyed Libya.
    Supported Israel during the evil Operation Cast Lead
    Says nothing as Israel steals more land in the West Bank.
    Says our friendship with Israel is unbreakable.

    Based on what I read the White House and the State Department just have to give approval for munitions requests for Israel, this is pathetic; Obama is no hero to the Palestinians.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Netanyahu told Obama to claim he has to give his permission for more weapons for Israel so later on Netanyahu can look like a hero to Israelis as he humiliates Obama when he gets the munitions he desires.

    If Netanyahu actually wants to attack Iran, he is just waiting to see if the harsh economic sanctions destroy the economy and cause huge human suffering in Iran, on old strategy.

    I think Obama is an Israeli blackmailed evil stooge sashaying in the White House.

    This article and the one Gordon recently wrote about the same topic are a bit much for me. I’ve had a great time at VT and I still admire VT but I’m done commenting here.

    • Alananda  August 16, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      I completely agree, Brian.

      Something seems amiss — Mr. Duff endorsing Hillary Clinton, etc.

      I too shall visit to read, this is my last post. Mr. 40% truthful Duff will be pleased, I have no doubt.

  9. William St. George  August 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Kade RO, 43 Shocking Photos Left, Germany 1940, Right, Gaza 2014 is as you say profoundly distressing. There is no difference. The same violence, deafness to pleas, mercilessness . . . especially shocking is that young men can be so trained as to cease being human. Men without chests–no heart. Nazi Germany is what the Israel gov and educational systems have impressed on their children. Take no prisoners. Did Israel intend to become a Jewish Nazi state? If not they have certainly made one of history’s greatest mistakes. I am not sure they can recover from that. Nuremberg is next in their destiny.

  10. William St. George  August 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Israel now represents Jews like Eli the Weasel–but not the best Jews, which is a great shame. In this beautiful and deeply moving article by Susanne Weiss we have a fine example of the latter kind–“Not In My Name Condemning the Massacre of Palestinians in Gaza Statement of Jewish Holocaust Survivors” http //www.globalresearch.ca/not-in-my-name-condemning-the-massacre-of-palestinians-in-gaza-statement-of-jewish-holocaust-survivors/5396248
    And in the ads placed by the Weasel in the NYT, &c. we find the former who give innocent Jews around the world a bad name and stimulate anit-Semiticism. Wiesel is certainly of the criminal type; he stole someone else’s identity to profit and has become very rich. He is a professional liar and con man. Israel in the meantime has become a criminal state with generous help from the USA. In our name Congress which is clearly a Confederay Of Dunces has betrayed the American people. A good start for us would be to reward them for their treachery. If only they could all be put in a stockad and given Gazan rations for a few years . . . Barring that really just treatment we can at least kick them out of office as soon as possible. If they voted to support “Israel’s [non-existent] right to defend itself” let them know by withholding support this autumn and in coming years. They should become exiles in their own nation.

    • Friar Newborg  August 17, 2014 at 8:40 am

      “Anti-Semitic”? Call it what you will, but the only sensible, and human response to the War Crimes in Gaza is to be loud and vocally anti-Israeli. The Zios are up to their usual scvm-sucking tricks in trying to turn things backwards, and label those who criticize War crimes as the problem, when the problem is Israeli bad behavior. So, if they dare to call you “anti-semitic”, then wear it proudly, and know that the Palestinians are the semites, not the land-stealing Khazarians.

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