Towards a Geography of Peace: Whither Gaza?
Ilan Pappé, The Electronic Intifada, 18 June 2007
In Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, a man sits next to a wall that reads in Arabic, “No to internal fighting. Yes to fighting the occupation.” 16 June 2007. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)
The Gaza Strip is a little bit more than two percent of Palestine. This small detail is never mentioned whenever the Strip is in the news nor has it been mentioned in the present Western media coverage of the dramatic events unfolding in Gaza in the last few weeks. Indeed it is such a small part of the country that it never existed as a separate region in the past. Gaza’s history before the Zionization of Palestine was not unique and it was always connected administratively and politically to the rest of Palestine. It was until 1948 for all intents and purposes an integral and natural part of the country. As one of Palestine’s principal land and sea gates to the world, it tended to develop a more flexible and cosmopolitan way of life; not dissimilar to other gateways societies in the Eastern Mediterranean in the modern era. This location near the sea and on the Via Maris to Egypt and Lebanon brought with it prosperity and stability until this life was disrupted and nearly destroyed by the Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948. READ MORE