Major injustice needs a solution

By From page A10 | December 07, 2012

Gabe Lewin has used an analogy to explain why Israel has once again attacked the people of Gaza. Yes we would be “a little miffed” if Woodland began lobbing rockets at Davis. But perhaps we should think about why this was happening.

To carry the analogy one step further, suppose that the city of Woodland had for 2,000 years encompassed what is now the city of Davis. Suppose that 60 years ago some Davisites from Texas decided that they could lay claim to the portion of land that is now Davis. Suppose that the world had gone along with this, and stood by while the Woodlanders were forced from their homes into an area of land arbitrarily allocated to them by the federal government.

Suppose that the parts of Woodland not taken over by Davis had been occupied and administered by Davis for 45 years. Suppose Davisites had started to build colonies on some of that land, and the Woodlanders had seen the land they could use shrink and shrink. Suppose that the human rights of Woodlanders had been violated by the occupiers, and one small segment of Woodland had been isolated from the rest of the city, its commerce restricted by Davis, and its citizens unable to leave and visit relatives in the other parts of Woodland.

Perhaps neighboring towns would have seen the arbitrary decision to partition Woodland as unfair and tried to stop it, and would not the Woodlanders be angry, and frustrated. Perhaps some of them would become militant and desperately lob rockets at Davis. This, of course, would not solve the problem that current residents of Davis and Woodland were facing, but would it be surprising?

The Palestinians, by the way, are not frantically working on a nuclear weapon, nor do they want to chop up anyone and feed them to the fish. The Palestinians are justly angry because their land has been chopped up into small, unviable enclaves, and what they want is recognition of their human rights and the ability to live a normal life.

The current generations in Israel and Palestine are stuck with a problem that arose out of a major injustice that started 64 years ago, and the solution will only come when the harm that has been done to the Palestinians is recognized, acknowledged and addressed.

Joan Al-Kazily


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