Gaza is being “cleansed” of Jews to the sounds of a jeering media. The punditocracy has cheered the evacuation of the descendants of the Hasmoneans and heralded a takeover by the spiritual scions of Hamas.
The celebrating Palestinians, who stand foursquare behind Hamas, flooded the streets of Gaza sporting T-shirts emblazoned, “Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem.” (United Nations of Benetton funded the fashion.) On them, commentators heaped homilies.
To the “settlers” (the New York Times’ James Bennet prefers “colonizers”), the media extended contempt. They were lampooned as “Jewish nationalists (omigod), who “dance around sacred Torah scrolls in a display of religious fervor” (o-m-i-g-o-d).
A Qassam rocket away from where Gush Katif, rest in peace, once bustled dwell the Mawasi Arabs. Despite the fertile coastal land they own, the precious ground water they sit on, and generous international assistance, Mawasi homes have remained wretched. There are no flower nurseries, museums, recreational facilities, and hotels on their real estate.
The Mawasi have channeled their wretchedness productively, as the perennial attacks on the Gush-Katif settlement of Kfar Darom would indicate. (Kfar Darom dates back to 1946, when it was annexed by the Egyptians during the War of Independence. Jewish Gaza dates back to the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac. The ancient community hung on for dear life through the centuries, but was finally wiped out in 1929 by the “oppressed,” yet insuppressible, Arabs. Don’t expect James Bennet to mention all that.)
Mawasi is a microcosm of Gaza, where, despite unstinting international aid, GDP per capita is $558.02 per person and 81 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Apologists for lackluster Palestinian productivity blame Israel—the few thousand “settlers,” especially. Socialists will do that. Their zero-sum economics dictate that one person’s plenty is another’s poverty. The very opposite is true. The benefits of the businesses created in the Harvest Belt (English for Gush Katif)—and the attendant jobs—redounded to all.
Still, when it comes to explaining the plight of their plucky protégés, Palestinian supporters prefer Marxist theories. Marxism notwithstanding, an inanimate land mass doesn’t produce abundance; human ingenuity does. People transform raw resources into usable and desirable goods—export-quality flowers and produce, in the case of Gush Katif. And voilà: a demand for labor ensues. Once the Jews are evicted, the industries they created will wither—as will the demand for Arab labor.
Counterfeit capitalists were not the only silent witnesses to the unfolding injustice. Lockean homesteaders haven’t exactly protested the confiscation of the “settlers’” property. That is, with the exception of WND’s Joseph Farah:
“These Jews took no one’s land; Gush Katif land was all uninhabited, miles away from any deeded Arab property.” [They] … developed an arid wasteland unused for decades and made the desert bloom. …And it provides some of the only decent-paying jobs to Arabs in Gaza besides the high-turnover positions of suicide bombers.”
A contemporary property theorist called Murray Rothbard would have (or ought to have) concurred: “If any land has never been transformed, no one can legitimately claim its ownership… Title to an unowned resource (such as land) comes properly only from the expenditure of labor to transform that resource into use,” Rothbard wrote in The Ethics of Liberty. The “settlers” transformed uninhabited land in spades. Mr. Sharon and the Palestinian plunderers are “criminal aggressors,” having ousted them by force and taken what is theirs.
And handed it to Hamas.
For Gaza is Hamas territory. And Hamas is a rib from the Muslim Brotherhood’s rib cage, a fraternity that has pledged to solve the Jewish problem, once and for all. (A consensus at its World Assembly was that Jews are “humanity’s enemies.”)
Hamas’ spokesman promised his group would “not lay down [its] weapons after the Zionists withdraw from Gaza because the road ahead is long.” The territory gained, the spokesman said, would be used to sustain attacks against Israel. His message to Abu Mazen (The Holocaust-denying PA President): “butt out.”
In fairness to Abu Mazen, he too has called for the liquidation of the Jewish State, albeit gradually, through the right of return of all self-styled Palestinian refugees to Israel proper. To wit, the official Palestinian Authority map of “Palestine” that Abu Mazen hangs above his desk includes all of Israel. See for yourself.
Clucking in outrage, a Fox News reporter angrily demanded of a young “settler,” “Don’t you feel bad about living among Arabs and compelling the Israeli army to protect you?” The young man, whose life was disintegrating around him, answered with magnificent alacrity: “By your logic, Israel, which is surrounded by 21 Arab countries, with over 350 million people, should pack up and leave.”
And by logical extension, the Arab citizens of Israel proper, they’re surrounded by a Jewish majority. Shouldn’t they “feel bad” about living among Jews? Shouldn’t they be “encouraged” to pack up and relocate to the Palestinian Authority? Evidently not. For one, their civilized, peace-loving Jewish neighbors have accepted them and granted them full citizenship rights. Writes Joseph Farah: “They vote. They elect leaders to the Knesset. They publish Arabic-language newspapers. They preach anti-Semitic hate sermons in their mosques. There is almost no limit to the freedom bestowed on Arabs of any faith within Israel.”
What’s good for the Palestinian goose is clearly no good for the Israeli gander. Genuine “peace,” we are informed, turns on a unilateral evacuation of productive and peaceful Jews from Gaza and the West Bank. … And then from Jerusalem and from what remains of Israel. Just as Israel’s partners to peace have promised.
©2005 Ilana Mercer