Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mango Wars

If there ever was a Palestinian Nation, it no longer exists. What has replaced it are warring tribes.

A little over a year ago, on a Saturday afternoon midway through the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, a one-kilo mango deal went sour at a Gaza Strip fruit stand. Since that fateful day, when Shaker Abu Taha refused to give fruit seller Ashraf al-Masri the exact change, 14 Palestinians have been killed and dozens more wounded in running gun battles, drive by shootings, and gangland-style murders.

The feud between the Masri and Abu Taha clans, who live side-by-side in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis, continues to burn 13 months later, exploding into a downtown shooting that a rights group said left five dead on November 4. In lawless Gaza, where police are powerless, Palestinians are increasingly resorting to tribal ties and a primitive, often brutal, form of street justice.

The deteriorating situation has been further enflamed by a Western aid freeze slapped on the Hamas-led government in March, which has sent Gaza’s already miserable economic fortunes spiraling and exacerbated unemployment. “It’s either the rule of law or the rule of the jungle, and right now it’s a jungle,” said Jaber Wishah, deputy director of the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which keeps tabs on the tribal bloodshed in Gaza.

Often sparked by something as trivial as a misunderstanding, the feuds quickly snowball, as out-of-work youth, hopped up on the torrent of illegal guns pouring into the Gaza Strip, take the law into their own hands. “The youth have nothing to do so they start problems with each other,” said Ayub al-Kafarneh, a tribal elder in the north Gaza town of Beit Hanun. Until recently, his family was embroiled in a deadly war that began when a teenage relative crashed his car into another family’s donkey cart.

“The kids fight and it becomes a problem between families. “Because of the terrible conditions, because everyone has guns nowadays, and because of the absence of any law and order, a simple problem can get so much worse.”
And yet there is talk of reviving this or that peace plan or creating a new one. It can't possibly work for the same reason we are having trouble in Iraq. Without national unity, there is no nation.


Anonymous said...

Quite curious that the word lawlessness is being used in reports about Gaza:

Genesis 6:11:

וַתִּשָּׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ, לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים; וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ, חָמָס.

VaTishachet Ha'aretz lifnei Ha'Elohim Vatimale Ha'aretz 'Hamas'

"And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with lawlesness/violence."

The biblical hebrew word for lawlessness/violence is Hamas. Coincidence?

israeli said...

Peretz reaction to Kassam !,7340,L-3331835,00.html

I feel safe already !

M. Simon said...

The Peretz thing is funny.

Here is a clickable link.

israeli - Peretz is such a mouse. On the other hand perhaps he now feels enough of his fellow citizen's pain to act.

israeli said...

Peretz lives in Sderot. He and his family experienced all the rockets and sirens for the past six years. A few days ago one of his bodyguards (24 years old) lost his legs when a Kassam hit next to Peretzs house.

Every day Peretz has a chance to tell the Hanunian to leave. Every day he can turn Beit Hanun into a large parking lot.
Who gets so many chances?

I don't see him act. The people of his town had high hope he will stop the rockets.

I don't think one needs to be a General in order to manage the security of Israel. One needs to be a good manager and a leader.

If you have seen them launch the Kassams, you will know they hid behind trees or small hills.
Why isn't that territory not flattened? Its all sand. Where have all the D9 bulldozers go?

israeli said...

I think I used a double negative. I meant to say:
We should flatten that area. No trees, no hills, not empty buildings.

M. Simon said...


I was unaware that Peretz lived in Sderot.

My take on the D9 is similar to yours. Why doesn't Israel flatten Gaza?

If I was PM I'd tell the rocketeers that Israel will flatten any area used for firing rockets. Including any houses within 500 m.

An incentive plan.

israeli said...

Sad but true, Peretz lived all his life in Sderot.
A defence minister who is in immediate danger of enemy attacks. His life depends on himself to solve this.

I think it is the first time a defence minister has been in such a situation.

If he does not end the enemy the enemy will kill him.

Could be extremely funny if it wasn't reality.

linearthinker said...

"...Could be extremely funny if it wasn't reality."

Sounds familiar.

My take on the D9 is similar to yours. Why doesn't Israel flatten Gaza?

I suspect when the D9s are found, they'll be sprinkled with Rice...with more Rice in the fuel filters...

I saw a quote yesterday that might apply here:

− If you get the objectives right, a lieutenant can write the strategy. (General George Marshall)

The solutions are so obvious even I can grasp them. So who's messing with the objectives? Is there a realist whispering in someone's ear?

israeli said...

This solution takes courage and the ability to sell it to the public.

Olmert and Peretz lack talent.