By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
In my column on February 15 I look at the new myths about the Gaza strip that are being sung in Israel. Some of these relate to a neo-colonial “civilizing mission.” The article looks at several quotes and analyzes why views on Gaza are so-misguided and received wisdom so wrong. One thing no one ever asks is what Gazans want.
“We left the Gaza Strip and didn’t give it to the Palestinian Authority, we gave the keys to Hamas, we didn’t let the PA move forces there. It was irresponsible.” – An off-the-record comment by a former senior defense official
“continuous dehumanization of the Hamas organization and its supporters as one homogeneous terrorist entity…most Israeli Jews do not know that Hamas was originally founded by the Israeli authorities to provide an alternative to the national Palestine Liberation Organization.” – Israeli professor Daniel Bar Tal
“Hamas [has produced] incredible social service agencies building schools and hospitals and caring for the forgotten population. Hamas grew out of a response to Israeli oppression during the First Intifada and was originally supported by Israel.” – US author Alice Rothchild
“[Hamas is a] social movement that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of the global left.” US scholar Judith Butler
“[Israel must] rebuild the Gaza Strip big-time…we must use Israeli water technology, the best in the world, to build desalination plants on the shore…we must make use possible of Israel’s newfound offshore fields of natural gas to provide these neighbors with an unlimited supply of cheap energy…[L]eave no stone unturned…fundamentally change the quality of life.” -Israeli journalist Ari Shavit
“Gaza City could be Singapore of Middle East.” – Martin Gouterman, letter to NYT in 1988