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Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

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Human Rights in Ireland
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End Game in Gaza?

category international | rights and freedoms | opinion/analysis author Tuesday August 26, 2014 00:29author by Billy Fitzpatrick - I am former president of TUI (now retired). TUI supports call for BDS against Israel.author address Ashfield Park, Terenure, Dublin 6Wauthor phone 0872646484 Report this post to the editors

Israel's colonial project in Palestine is, in fact, old-style European.
Sad that Ireland, with its anti-colonial history, should today hide behind the old bully-boys of Europe.
Respect: the success of Gaza's meagrely - armed resistance as it sees Israel again reverting to attacks from distance.

For a while it seemed we were witnessing the end game of what has been called the last, ‘old style’ colonial project in modern history – the displacement and removal of an entire people from their homes and ancestral lands, by an overwhelming force of new arrivals. An upbeat Moshe Feiglin, the Knesset’s deputy speaker supplied the details on ‘Israel National News’: ‘maximum force’, he said, would be used to eliminate all resistance in Gaza, following which all surviving Palestinians would be encouraged to leave ‘for Sinai’ (the desert). Gaza would then ‘become part of sovereign Israel and be populated by Jews – this will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel’, he said.

Though this looks, on the surface, like a straight lift from Mein Kampf and other tracts outlining the Nazi Lebensraum (‘Living Space’) plan, this is not quite so. Lebensraum envisaged confrontation with modern armies of various strengths and resources, a striking departure from the European tradition, and an aberration which inevitably doomed the project.

The Greater Israel plan (formally incorporating the Palestinian territories, in its initial phase) is, in fact, more traditional and old-style European, in that the natives are first rendered defenceless before final clearances are effected. This would be in line with the fates visited upon the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Australia and New Zealand and, indeed, with the ‘To hell or to Connacht’ chapter in our own country.

It is no surprise, then, that the EU group is maintaining a ‘stiff upper lip’ in support of the colonising power – despite the on-going level and nature of Israel's atrocities. The sad thing from an Irish point of view is that a country, with a reputation for having spearheaded the anti-colonial drive of the last century and subsequently pursued a constructive and independent foreign policy, should continue to hide so abjectly behind the backs of the old bully boys of Europe.

The high casualty rates suffered by its ground forces sees Israel again attacking from distance as it concentrates on high-rise residential buildings and other ‘soft’ targets – indiscriminate and bloody, but not so effective militarily. For the moment at least, it appears that Moshe Feiglin’s dream has been thwarted – by the incredible resilience of a tormented people, living for a long time on the verge of extinction, the meagre hand-held arms of their resistance recalling the blowpipes of an earlier era.

Billy Fitzpatrick

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