Israel and Palestine

Future prospects (Jan 09)

Most of the bombing of Gaza has now stopped. We can assume that most of tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt have now been destroyed. There were hundreds of these tunnels, and most of Gaza's food, fuel, medicine, building materials, agricultural equipment, livestock, etc. were imported through them. Presumably weapons, and some of the raw materials needed to construct the crude homemade rockets which were fired into Israel from Gaza were also imported through the tunnels. But the main purpose of the tunnels was not to import weapons but to import the necessities of life for 1.5M people.

The tunnels were necessary for survival because Egypt and Israel collaborated on closing off all routes for movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza. Israel blockaded all crossings into Gaza for over 1 year as well as preventing all shipments by sea. Israel also controlled the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt, through control of a narrow strip (called the Philadelphi corridor) inside Gaza on the Egyptian border. Israeli's control of the Gaza crossings, before the dec 08-jan 09 invasion and bombing campaign, is detailed here. We can now expect that Israel, the USA and the EU will now implement a new "peace plan" in which the full imprisonment of the Gaza population will be completed.

The bombing campaign and future strategy for Gaza were already anticipated in a 2007 Jerusalem Post interview by the influential Haifa university academic Arnon Soffer:

"..and if we return to Philadelphi, it will no longer be a mere 200 meters. It will have to be widened at the expense of the refugee camps in Rafah, which we will have to destroy, destroy and destroy."

The same academic said this in 2005:

"When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it's going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It's going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day."

Soffer clarified in the 2007 interview:

"We are living in a 100-year period of terrorism, and we have another 100 years of terrorism ahead of us. We will forever be forced to live by the sword."


"I didn't recommend that we kill Palestinians. I said we'll have to kill them."

I believe that Arnon Soffer accurately represents the long-term vision of Israel and its international relations that is the central strategy of almost all current Israeli politicians. This vision of the future is implicitly supported by almost all Israeli academics, and is fully supported by the elected political parties in the USA and the EU. Basically: it is understood, and regarded as permissible, that Israel will kill and kill and kill, all day, every day, for a hundred years.

The alternative is too horrible to contemplate for the vast majority of Israelis: namely, to abandon the idea of a racially-pure Jewish state, and share the land and its resources with the non-Jewish inhabitants.

Those who oppose relatively mild actions against Israel, such as an academic and cultural boycott, should consider these alternatives carefully. We cannot say that we do not know.