Imprisonment 3

Occasionally there is a moment of revelation, when an image makes plain an underlying truth. I think the Palestinian breakout through the Wall from Gaza into Egypt is such a moment. The joy of the ordinary Palestinians as they poured through the gap to do simple things like stretch their legs and shop, brought home graphically a truth which the Western media has been hiding for years: that an entire population is imprisoned in Gaza.

The images were so obviously reminiscent of the joy at the fall of the Berlin Wall, that it is going to be difficult to convince public opinion in most of the world that it is a good idea to wall the Palestinians up again. Only the most purblind can fail to realise that this terrible imprisonment and degradation is a major cause of Islamic radicalism, not only in the rise of Hamas but worldwide. It is essential that Egypt now resist pressure from the US and Israel to intern the Palestinians again.

Where is Tony Blair, the Middle East “Peace Envoy”? Not speaking out for the Palestinians right to freedom, certainly.

No doubt Aaronovitch and the Times will now call me anti-Semitic again.

Meantime back at home the government blindly pushes ahead with increasing Muslim grievance with yet another “Anti-terror” bill designed to curb our civil liberties still further. There is no possible justification for the desire to introduce internment at home. This will merely stoke still further the sense of grievance and alienation that can lead a tiny minority into violent reaction.

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3 thoughts on “Imprisonment

  • Cide Hamete Benengel

    Well, anyone who thinks Craig is rude about Israeli politics should read what some Israelis write.

    The veteran journalist Uri Avnery (veteran as in old enough to have been a refugee in 1933) wrote a typically perceptive article a few weeks ago about a little-noticed aspect of this whole saga: the ambivalent position of the Egyptians.

    On the one hand, Egyptians presumably are horrified by what they see happening in Gaza. On the other hand, they are under tremendous pressure to keep the border sealed, and anyway Egypt is poor and cannot contemplate the prospect of 1.5 million refugees. Though an exodus into Egypt could be exactly what the Israeli right wants.

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