Speaking as a fan of Pat Bagley and as an American Jew who has no problem criticizing the Netanyahu government’s settlement policies that are a major obstacle to implementing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I must point out that Bagley’s July 19 cartoon on the tragic situation in Gaza gets its chronology exactly backwards in saying that Gazans’ desire to destroy Israel is a result of being crammed into refugee camps since 1948.
In fact, their desire to destroy Israel predates Israel’s creation and is at the root of their suffering. They wound up refugees in Gaza in 1948 and 1967 because they took up arms in opposition to the 1947 UN Resolution 181 supporting a two-state solution. Sixty years later, in 2007, long after the PLO/Fatah had come to accept UN Resolution 181, and a year after Israel evacuated both its settlements and its military from Gaza, Gaza residents (but not their brethren in the West Bank) voted to replace their PLO/Fatah government (that had come to accept Israel) with Hamas (who had not).
Once in control of Gaza, Hamas turned Gaza’s attention and meager resources from development to arming for new battles with Israel. Thus, Bagley’s cartoon, unfortunately, appears to betray ignorance of the important role that Gazans themselves have played in creating their tragic circumstances.
Salt Lake City
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