All Aboard the Gaza Bus!

We are on a bus at the station. Its destination is ‘Free Gaza’. My brochure tells me this is a demilitarized Gaza. The world has rebuilt Gaza so its people can live free and prosperously. It exports fruit, flowers and vegetables to Europe. Its beaches and hospitality are internationally famous. It partners with Israel to provide Arabic focused hi-technology services.

This is not the destination you want? Then you can catch a bus with a different destination. For example, the one that goes to ‘Israel Destroyed’ or the one that goes to ‘Gaza Destroyed ‘. Both places look really ugly to me.

If you’re not on my bus, I’d like to know: where is your’s going?

There is a choice of stops on my bus ride. There is a stop called ‘Ceasefire.’ I look out the bus window and see a crowd of people. Comfortable chairs, a free bar, Wi-fi. America is fighting with Israel. The PA and Israel are looking at each other nervously. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt look relaxed together. America has its arms around Qatar and Turkey. The UN is throwing excrement at Israel. Hamas is standing by itself shouting ‘Stop the occupation, kill the Jews, free our prisoners, give us lots more money.’

I read the Hamas charter on my iPad. ‘There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.’

I check my map. It looks like a dead end if I’m going on to ‘Free Gaza’. But maybe you would get off here. Why?

Ah! Here’s another stop that is called ‘Lift the Siege’. I see that Egypt unilaterally opened the borders to Gaza and Israel lifted its restrictions on military imports and cement. America has assured Israel that peace will come for those that take risks. And maybe it’s even a settlement freeze I see in the distance. And, of course, the UN has put Israel on trial for war crimes.

I read the history on my iPad. Hamas was firing rockets for years before the Israeli ‘siege’ started. I call Moshe in Sderot, a small town in Israel near the Gazan border. Moshe tells me that in 12 years jihadists from Gaza have fired one rocket at the town for every four inhabitants.

He advises me this a very dangerous stop. Are you getting off here? Why?

The driver tells me this is really a magic bus. She can even make an unscheduled stop at a place called ‘Where We Were’. I remember that even when Israel was not at war with Gaza there had been over 10,000 projectile attacks, many attempts to kill and kidnap Israelis. And the Gazans I see through the window shake their heads: they are the non-Hamas elite who are still suffering.

In spite of my misgivings I agree to get off at  ‘Where We Were’. But the driver tells me the doors are locked for this stop.

However ‘Stop War Now’ is just around the corner so we go there. Ex-president Peres is beckoning me, Haaretz columnists are writing furiously, ex-heads of Mossad are whispering in my ear.

Hamas is there also, claiming victory as its leaders crawl out of the bunkers and 5 star hotels to look at the devastation. I check my iPad again. Their definition of ‘stop the occupation’ reads ‘Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day.’ Sounds like a clear threat to me about their intended fate for Jews. 

It doesn’t sound a good idea for non-Jews in Israel or Muslims in Gaza either. Sharia law, as interpreted by Hamas’ ideological brothers ISIS have shown in Iraq and Syria, starts by killing all those Muslims not committed to fundamental Sunni Islam.

So I don’t leave the bus at  ‘Stop War Now’. But do you? Why?

Next on my route map is a place called ‘Eradicate Hamas’. This looks like an attractive destination in the brochure. Gaza is free. Israel is safe. The world gets the message that Islamic fundamentalism and terror can be defeated. To get there the map shows we have to drive over the bodies of thousands of soldiers and civilians, Israeli and Gazan.

I tell the driver I cannot allow her do this, Would you? Why?

So I tell  the driver I want to stay on to the final destination. To ‘Free Gaza.’ She laughs. ‘This is the desert. You were misinformed. No way the bus can get there from here.’

About the Author
Born in UK. Migrated to Australia. Now retired and living in Jerusalem.