[crossposted at BlogsofZion]
The violence raging in the Gaza Strip among the Palestinians, and spilling out into Israel, finally provides the empirical proof that the radical Left–and many Academics–were wrong about the “solution” to the problems afflicting the Palestinians, that being a simple ending of the occupation.
Yes, I realize that people will argue with the statement above from both sides. The Right will say, who needed proof anyway? The Radical Left will say, Gaza is still occupied because Israel controls the airspace. Both are wrong.
First, the Right is wrong because until we left the Palestinians to themselves, both we and the Palestinians themselves would never be able to know whether the mere presence of Israeli forces–at the least–was the critical factor. Second, the Left is wrong because, as many people have pointed out, a number of countries have had their airspace under another country’s supervision for an interim period and yet have not been considered by international law as “occupied.” One example is Iraq pre-War, whose airspace in the North was completely and violently controlled by the US and the UK, and yet functioned as a sovereign (tyrannical and evil) country until the American-led invasion.
Point being, that Gaza is now sovereign and failing, and the violence continues and might even get worse. (Here’s an idea–don’t take Hamas seriously when they say they’re going to stop attacks). One reason it seems to be failing is that, as Mobius points out at Jewschool, Palestinian president Abbas seems to be taking a “let Israel do the dirty work strategy.” This strategy will fail–I’d say it has already. And so, the Palestinians are left with no occupation of Gaza, no hope in the immediate future, no resolution.
Early Zionist thinkers realized this way back: that’s what Auto-Emancipation is all about. Main-stream Palestinian nationalists haven’t. Instead, the Palestinian Authority continues its strategy of Auto-Emasculation, hoping outside actors will tame the violence brewed up by the people in its midst.
This is where the Zionist Left should step in; no other movement or international body can help more than those who understand the need for compassion and equality of worth and yet the necessity of self-determination for all peoples. The radical anti-nationalist Left and the international organizations that act upon its ideology can’t, because they think that the nation-state should be a thing of the past, hoping in a quasi-Marxist way for the dissolving of the State. The Right certainly can’t, because it does not have the necessary empathy for the Palestinian people, forgetting sometimes that Palestinians are deserving of human respect–and responsibilities–too. It’s the Zionist Left, therefore, that needs to help develop Palestinian leadership of a new kind, just like people of the nations helped the fledgling Jewish community in the British Mandate develop the institutions it needed to build a state.