Sometimes, all I can do is shake my head…

…when I read items such as this, from the Guardian:

Israel is considering plans to build an artificial island off the coast of the Gaza Strip to house a sea and airport, and encourage tourism in the area.

Yisrael Katz, the Israeli minister for transport, said the plan had been under consideration for many months and had been encouraged by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. He said it would also relieve Israel of the obligation to be the transit point for goods into the enclave.

Forget for a moment the absurdity of such an idea, or the the fact that such a project would be an environmental catastrophe, destroying the coasts along Gaza and Israel.

The real head-shaking element is that such a proposal is being offered as a surrogate for the fact that Gaza’s airport has been destroyed and it has no effective port.

This proposed island would be under international control, and would, according to a spokesman for the Israeli transportation ministry:

…improve the quality of life for Palestinians in Gaza while ensuring Israel’s security. “The island would be three square miles and it would be linked to Gaza with a three mile-long bridge which could take vehicles, trains and pipes for oil and gas. The island would have hotels, tourist areas, a marina with yachts and an airport and a seaport.”

Yachts. A marina. A three-mile bridge. In the middle of the ocean. Rather than in Gaza. To improve the Palestinians’ quality of life.

I have no words.

Look, I understand security concerns. I support Israel’s right to secure borders and a secure existence. I desire it. But this idea has so many astonishing contradictions that all I can do is laugh.

And it’s not funny.

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About David Harris-Gershon

David Harris-Gershon – a blogger for Tikkun magazine and a freelance writer on Israel, the Middle East and America’s role in the region – has recently published work in The Jerusalem Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, AlterNet, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Colorado Review and elsewhere. His memoir – What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife? – is forthcoming from Oneworld Publications (2013). He received his MFA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and has worked extensively as an educator, teaching creative writing and Israeli History / Jewish Studies in university and high school classrooms. Follow David on Twitter @David_EHG

Posted on March 31, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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