Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Avi Shlaim on Gaza

This is a fascinating opinion piece by Oxford Professor of International Relations, Avi Shlaim. He served in the Israeli army and has been confident of Israel's legitimacy.

The assault on Gaza has him thinking differently. This is an excellent piece on the history of the Middle East and what is happening today:

Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.

Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. (Read More from the Guardian)
H/T Grace P

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