The spectacle of a border fence being pulled down as a population streams over its ruins inspires memories of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the farce enacted along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip last week is anything but a liberation play.
The plight of Gaza's inhabitants is dire, but if it is, as they say, a "prison," then it's one of their own making. After Israel's complete withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, it hoped for quiet, if not peace. But rather than concentrate on the enormous task of bettering their situation, Gazans voted for a Hamas government (which then seized complete control of the area in a putsch last summer) and watched as terrorists used the place as a launching pad for incessant rocket attacks on Israel. Whenever Israel retaliates or attempts to use its economic leverage against a government that insists it is at war with the Jewish state, the Israelis are globally labeled as heartless.
That this view of things is pure bunk was further illustrated by Hamas' decision to knock down the border fence that separates Gaza from Egypt. The only thing that is imprisoning Gazans is their loyalty to a group and an ideology that cannot abide peace. If they were willing to stop firing on Israel, then there would be no need for any walls around Gaza. But Hamas' priority is to keep the conflict hot and to ensure that Palestinians look like victims.
While the flood of Gazans into Egypt to buy cheap goods made for a good news story, the flow of armaments and military material into Gaza for use against Israel has flown beneath the media's radar screen. The real possibility that the Egyptian Sinai will now be used for terrorist infiltration into Israel is also being ignored, which brings to mind what happened in the 1950s, when terrorists used Sinai and Gaza as a launching point for atrocities long before Israelis could be blamed for "occupying" any territory.
Rather than reinforcing the false narrative of Israeli oppression and Arab victimization, recent events are evidence that the war on Israel is continuing by other means. The world should focus on that reality, as opposed to using it as another excuse to judge Israel.