In today’s editorial, November 14, 2023, Marco Travaglio discusses the controversy surrounding Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and the current situation. He highlights some readers’ misperceptions regarding Israel’s alleged continued state of occupation of Gaza, providing a brief historical overview of events since 1948. He also criticizes some professors’ calls for a halt to academic collaborations with Israeli institutions, highlighting the lack of similar appeals for countries with similar problems. He also raises questions about the consistency of the requests based on international law.
For a few days, I have been discussing with several readers who demand my recantation on the fact that in 2005 Israel withdrew its army and settlers from Gaza, which has since no longer been occupied but heavily guarded at the borders and has been governed by Hamas since 2006. Unfortunately, I cannot please them: Il Fatto exists to tell the facts. All of them. In fact, since 7 October he has been reporting on the Hamas pogrom and Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Once the facts are fixed, there is total freedom of opinion. No scandal if four thousand university professors ask the Italian government to “immediately interrupt collaborations with Israeli universities and research institutions”. We thought that universities were free and sacred zones and we don’t remember calls to break with those of Iran, Syria, Arabia, Qatar, and other cradles of democracy, but everyone is free to think what they please. As long as you respect the facts. Instead, the professors invite us to “consider and understand the determinants and antecedents of this violence” [the Hamas massacre of October 7th], to be found in the illegal occupation that Israel has imposed on the Palestinian population for over 75 years, through a form of segregation racial and ethnic”. And there must be at least one typo here: in 1948 Israel was born on the basis of UN resolution 181 which divided the former British Mandate into a Jewish and a Palestinian state.
The first was born within the UN borders without taking up an extra millimeter. The second was not: the Arab governments and the Palestinian leadership violated the UN resolution and waged war on Israel to drive the Jews back into the sea. They lost it and Israel spread into Eastern Galilee, West Jerusalem, and a slice of the Negev desert. But in ’49 he withdrew from Gaza, occupied by Egypt, and from the West Bank, annexed by Jordan. Then Egypt and Jordan occupied the Palestinian territories until 1967, when they lost them in the Six-Day War along with others, including Sinai. Israel in 1978 returned it to the only Arab state that signed peace, Egypt. However, it did not want Gaza back, occupied until 2005. In 1993, when the PLO and Jordan also signed peace, Oslo’s path to the West Bank began, cut short by the assassination of Rabin, by Arafat’s no to Barak and by Abu Mazen to Olmert, from Sharon’s stroke and from the opposing extremisms of Hamas and Netanyahu. Is it possible that among the four thousand professors there isn’t one in History who corrects “over 75 years” in 38 for Gaza and 56 for the West Bank? But one professor of Logic would be enough: if Gaza has always been occupied, why are the UN, US, and EU asking Netanyahu “not to reoccupy it”? And if UN resolution 181 which legitimizes Israel is not valid, how can an abusive state be ordered to respect other UN resolutions? Or does international law work on and off?
Il Fatto Quotidiano , November 14, 2023
Read here the original Italian article