Following the debate around Gene’s post on Hamas’s latest pronouncements, it does seem to pose the vexing question: where is Palestine?
I remembered reading an article in a newspaper I picked up on the train a few weeks back that provided an answer, so after rummaging in the recycle bin, I found it.
The a (cr)edible answer comes via a story in the Camden New Journal.
According to the article, the Camden School for Girls has twinned with a school in Abu Dis and recently hosted a group of Palestinian pupils, who, according to the organisers of this exchange, were able to enjoy activities like swimming, music and cinema – which one presumes are forbidden by the Israelis.
One such activity was baking a pizza in the shape of Palestine.
The sharp-eyed amoung us will observe that the shape of Palestine now appears to take in all of Israel and much of Jordan.
Indeed, some readers have complained.
The fact that neither the school nor the local newspaper seems to have noticed this leads me to predict that a move is afoot to popularise the notion that all of Israel (or the ‘Zionist Entity’ as it may more pupularly become known in the near future) is an occupation. The “occupation” will soon refer to much more than the West Bank (and previously Gaza).
Those who use to good effect the fact that Israel is in violation of UN resolutions often do so dishonestly. They do not say that compliance with the UN resolutions would not be sufficient for them to end their campaign against Israel. Most sensible people would agree that a two-state solution grounded on the 1967 borders would provide the best way forward to peace and justice, which is why, I think, there is popular support in this country for “an end to the occupation”.
But perhaps it is now time to be more insistent when asking the question “what do you mean by ‘the occupation’?”
I think we may well find that there is a difference between what the average person (including myself) understands by “the occupation” – and rightly opposes – and what Hamas’s fellow travellers mean.
But clearly there is a move to now extend the meaning (and assumptions) of “occupation” in the public’s mind – and hope that nobody notices so that the cognitive shift will be organic.
How better to promote this narative than via the smiling faces of young girls around their EZ-half-baked oven?