Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sderot and The UNRWA

At this point, seeing that the nascent Jewish state was to survive, the United Nations began to regret its earlier recognition, and began a policy of naked hostility towards Israel which has lasted from 1949 to this day. Since that time, roughly one of every three United Nations resolutions have been near unanimous condemnations of Israel, and roughly one third of the United Nations’ budget is dedicated towards indirect financial support of groups opposed to Jewish independence.

The last toehold of Egypt on Israel, a small strip of land ten miles wide by twenty five miles tall surrounding the city of Gaza, became known as the Gaza Strip. Traditionally a port city, Egyptian Gaza was now isolated from the surrounding farms, which became a part of Israel. Without natural resources, agriculture, or an educated class, flooded with refugees from Israel, with its people prevented from entering Egypt by its Egyptian occupiers, Gaza became a swamp of misery.
The Human Swamp of Gaza, 1948

Meanwhile, the shame and humiliation of having failed to exterminate the newborn Jewish state, a nation of second-class infidels in the heart of Araby, weighed heavily upon the Arab psyche. Throughout the Arab world, riots and massacres of indigenous Jewish populations resulted in a huge immigration to Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Jews from Bagdhad to Cairo to Tunis all washed up on Israel’s shores during the 1950’s. Fearing another Egyptian invasion from the south, Israel began building settlements and kibbutzim (agricultural collectives) along the border of the Gaza Strip. One of these settlements, Sderot, was established in 1953 near the northern corner of the Gaza Strip.
Sderot on the map
The city seal of Sderot
Home to waves of Jewish immigrants from Persia, Kurdistan, and Morocco, the city was labeled a “development town.” Like many in Israel’s south, the town was home to simple, working class people.
Not starving but certainly not wealthy, the town plodded along, never breaking out of its “development” status to become a shining jewel of Zionist achievement, but it was a comfortable home to decent, hard working families.
Selling flowers before Shabbat in Sderot
One of the nicer neighborhoods

Back in Gaza, the United Nations stepped in, founding the UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency.) Despite its ambiguous title, implying a global mandate of humanitarian assistance, the UNRWA is exclusively dedicated towards providing international welfare, free of charge, to the refugees of 1948. UNRWA became the greatest single employer within the Gaza strip. UNRWA schools, at the behest of the occupying Egyptian power, became centers for indoctrination of hatred, terror and anti-Semitism.

UNRWA School Textbook "The Star Team Martyrs"

Raids of Fedayeen, Gaza Arabs on suicide-murder missions, crossed the border to harass and terrorize the Jewish communities throughout the 1950's and early 60's, until Israel's capture of the Gaza Strip as part of the Six Day War in 1967.
To be continued...

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