Peter Beinart has a relentless rebuttal to several of the talking points by defenders of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza. Since it’s paywalled – but you can get around it by clicking the link in the tweet above – here’s my brief summary.
Myth Number One: Israel left Gaza in 2005. It didn’t in any meaningful way, maintaining control over all of Gaza’s borders, identification of all citizens, and squeezing still further the small space Gazans had to live in. It evacuated a small number of settlers in order to pre-empt any serious two-state negotiation based on the then-operative Saudi and Geneva plans. That’s why the US official position is that Gaza is still under occupation – an occupation that somehow allows Israel to pummel it at will, as if it were a foreign country.
Myth Number Two: Hamas seized power. Nope, it won an election, fueled in part by widespread opposition to Fatah’s corruption and incompetence. Now think about that: the Arab world held a free and fair election … in Gaza. The US reacted by fomenting a Fatah coup against it – that led to Hamas’ seizing power in response. That’s how the US reacts to Arab democracy if the Israelis don’t like it.
None of this excuses Hamas’ war crimes, its rocket fire purposefully directed toward civilians, its extreme theocratic essence and its rabid anti-Semitism. But it sure doesn’t excuse Israel’s brutality and contempt and propaganda either.