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Before October 7, Gaza was not “an open-air prison.” After it, it should be.

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by Lev Tsitrin(newenglishreview)

Mark Twain observed that “Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other.”

Yet, as with so much in life, “it depends.” You may be losing on both ends — or gaining on both ends. The question is, what kind of school are you talking about? I read somewhere about schools for pickpockets. If you allow them to stay open, be prepared to build jails. Close them down, and you don’t have to.

Another example of schooling that should lead straight to jailing is found in Gaza. Not many will disagree that Gaza has become one huge school of terrorism and hate — taught both in its schools (whether UNRWA-funded or otherwise), and outside of them, right at family dinners. The most distinguished graduates of the Gaza Schools of Hate and Terrorism wound up perpetrating the October 7 sadistic attack on Israel. Their classmates are now in Gaza tunnels fighting Israeli forces, the luckier ones sitting in Israeli jails. The real stars of Gaza education system are, as thought by their comrades-in-arms (for this is what’s taught in Gaza Schools of Hate and Terrorism — should we abbreviate their name to G-SH&T? or maybe, given how vocal its hate part is, we should denote this loudly rhetorical component of their schooling with an exclamation sign, so the resulting acronym reads G-SH!T? I am inclined towards this spelling as, semantically, the most proper) now enjoying the services of 72 virgins apiece at a location outside of our planet — a view G-SH!T students and graduates share with SH!T schools throughout the region (and, after Islamists migrated around the globe, throughout the world) — though the empirical evidence is lacking, nor is the 1,400-year-old text on which this assurance is based epistemologically reliable (and in fact, its epistemology is demonstrably unreliable — but in our ardor for multiculturalism and political correctness we in the West refuse to apply epistemological standards to what gets spewed out of the SH!T schools — and the professors and students of SH!T schools have never heard of epistemology. They are called SH!T schools for a reason!)

To put it in a less abstract and professionally-philosophical terminology, what we have in Gaza is a classic “garbage in, garbage out” situation. The heads of young Gazans are being crammed with garbage (garbage about history, because the implications of Arabs winding up in Palestine through the Arab conquest that was a clear-cut “settler-colonial” enterprise lead to the Jews rather than the Arabs being the indigenous natives to the land; garbage about religion, for the notion that Islam is the ultimate religious truth runs into the fact that there is not even a remotest possibility of having a proof that God talked to Mohammed — which is what the ponderous word “epistemology” that was used above refers to). This G-SH!T schooling unsurprisingly resulted in the sadistic and murderous action that made the people of conscience shudder on October 7.

Given that G-SH!T schools are exactly the kind of schools whose graduates should be instantly jailed, what to do? Build more jails in Israel — or may be, save money and turn the school itself into a jail?

In fact, before October 7 Israel, along with Egypt, was constantly accused of having turned Gaza into an “open-air prison.” It wasn’t true — even apart from procreation (which no prison in the world allows), the alleged prisoners had full freedom of action. They turned Gaza into an underground fortress and munitions factory, and accumulated huge quantities of imported weaponry smuggled through tunnels that run under the city of Rafah into Sinai. Prison? That’s no prison at all. No prison has a standing, well-equipped inmate army. The accusation is completely unfair.

But it does give an excellent idea of what Gaza (that is really one giant, open-air G-SH!T) should become from now on — it should indeed be converted to an open-air prison. The logic is inexorable: Gaza is a G-SH!T; and those in G-SH!T belong in prison. Therefore, it follows ineluctably that Gaza should be an open-air prison, saving Israel money on building prisons.

In practical terms, how to do it? Buffer zones surrounding Gaza on every side (Mediterranean coast, and the border with Egypt including) will help; as will the destruction of all the tunnels.

So here is the answer to Mark Twain’s school vs. jail dilemma when applied to Gaza: if you can’t stop a SH!T school, combine it with a jail. As long as Gaza is G-SH!T, it must remain an open-air prison.

Living in it may even give some Gazans second thoughts about the G-SH!T curriculum they teach and are taught. Who knows, with time they may decide to change it, and start teaching facts, not myths, both about the Arab settler-colonialism that got them into Palestine in the first place, Arab blindness to the implications of that history resulting in the history of rejection of the partition offers and of accommodation with the Jews, as well as about the impossibility of knowing whether Islam is the truth, downgrading it to a religious tradition like any other, and nothing more. Once Palestinians stop their G-SH!T school, Gaza’s status as an open-air prison should be reconsidered, too.

But not before.

Lev Tsitrin is the author of “The Pitfall Of Truth: Holy War, Its Rationale And Folly“

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