Knowing Gaza

Despite (or perhaps because of) our ability to access a seemingly infinite amount of information today, I feel that we are also losing our collective ability to put events into historical context. The news is constantly refreshing in order to give us the most up-to-date, the most outrageous, the most click-worthy. Unfortunately, this does not always correspond with pieces that are long, constructed, and contain relevant context.

While there are lots of areas where this is counter-productive, even dangerous (modern politics comes to mind), one place where I think this is particularly important, especially now, as we remember the one year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, is Gaza. It's almost as if Gaza's history has been erased prior to the election of Hamas in 2006, and it seems to be accepted that all of Gaza's current problems (the siege, the constant bombardment, the poverty, etc.) have stemmed from there. Ultimately, as with most modern crises, the roots are much deeper and more complex than that. 

Noura Erakat, one of the foremost contemporary Palestinian voices and scholars, brings light to this important history in a recent piece titled, cynically, "Israel Will Invade Gaza Again- the Only Question is How Soon." She provides a rich description of how the situation in Gaza got to where it is today, from long before Hamas ever entered the picture. I learned a lot, and it's an engaging read. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this conflict, or in historical context in general.