T Nation

"Real" Conditions in Gaza Strip

I live in Canada and I have to say that a significant majority of the news coverage that we get regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue is very critical of Israel. The “boycott, divest and sanction” movement has considerable traction on campuses and in 1 or 2 of the main political parties here. This article, while not exactly praising Israel in regards to the Palestinians, definitely paints a picture of their status being fairly good in comparison to their Arab neighbors since Israel’s creation. For those not familiar with it, the National Post is a conservative-leaning newspaper. While it is always good to consider the source of an article, most of the statistics the article references are drawn from international bodies such as the World Bank that are usually held in high regard. I have both Israeli and Palestinian friends and I am sympathetic to the arguments that both groups raise. However, if the conditions in the article are accurate, I definitely feel that Israel is not being treated fairly in the Western media. It often feels as if Israel gets hammered in the West for very minor “offenses” whereas deplorable actions by their neighbors have a blind eye turned to them by these same people. Very much a double standard.
Thus, my question is to people on T-Nation who have either live in Israel or the Middle East or who have firsthand knowledge of the situation there; how accurate is this article in regards to the Palestinian conditions?

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Well, the first demand the Palestinians have to let go of is the total annihilation of Israel. That’s one of those non-negotiable items. Running the streets of Jerusalem red with the blood of the Jews doesn’t sit well with a Jewish state.
The second thing the Palestinians have give up is violence and terrorism against Israel. Once those 2 conditions are met, the peace process will pick up pace rapidly. But those two things are in the Palestinian Charter.
@Jewbacca is always very insightful in these things, he’s the right guy to ask.
I am to biased in favor of Israel.


Eh, that would mean giving up Islam.

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Probably very accurate. But it’s a biproduct of starting shit in the absence of said shit.

Israel’s first and only responsibility is to the people of Israel. Where they ‘came from’ doesn’t mean jack.

I sure as shit hold Israel to a higher standard than it’s Arab neighbors. It’s a First (capital F) world country culturally, socially, economically. Just cause Palestinians get treated worse elsewhere doesn’t exhonerate Israel when they do bad shit.

You hold them to a higher standard than Saudi Arabia and Jordan who are extremely wealthy countries with nuclear weapons?
Sorry just sounds like you don’t like Israel.


I think Israel holds itself to a higher standard than its neighbors.

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Wait, what? Did I misread or did you say Jordan and the Saudis have nukes?

And hell yeah I, and likely the large majority of Israeli citizens hold Israel to higher standards than it’s neighbors.

@Jewbacca has given us many first-hand insights on these issues over the years…

Hopefully he will pop in…

You did not misread that, I said it and I was wrong. Apologies.

No, there is a particular strain of of political Islam that is like that, which is (admittedly) the dominant strain of Islam.

My best friends growing up were Bedouins in Israel (in Gush Katif); they didn’t participate in any of this happy horseshit and are quite happy being Israeli.

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I really didn’t know where to put this story, but it’s so bizarre I had to put it some place. I had to read it twice, because I didn’t think it was possibly true.

I’d say pretty accurate. To put it into some perspective, I have a good Arab-Israeli friend who is making tons of money in Gaza selling essentially Nutri-system – because people are so damn fat they need to do something about it.

Just to back up, it’s a bit of a weird situation: Gaza is literally the best beach area in the middle east, great weather, clear water, close to infrastructure. It’s strategically located by two of the best tourist locations in the world – ancient Egypt and Jerusalem. They could totally make a killing (of a different kind) with tourism.

Their leaders are just total dicks that have screwed them over by refusing to live up to a basic deal.

One thing that the article misses is there really is no “Palestine people.” As I’ve said here 100 times, there was the Ottoman Empire. It fell apart for a long time, but totally went to heck after WWI. The Brits and French decided to carve it up into two areas: (1) Jordan, which was largely Muslim/Arab (which is not the same thing – lots of Arabs are Nazarene or Druze and lots of Muslims in the area are not Arab, but rather Syrian or Egyptian) and (2) Israel, which was largely Jewish.

A sub-set of the Muslims in the area did not like the idea of the Jewish people being independent (spurred on by Germans and later the Soviets).

And that’s really the crux of the issue.

The “Palestinians” are people who refused to live with Jewish people and who the Jordanians or Egyptians thought were trash and didn’t want them in their borders.