Mark Jenkins is quite a fine film reviewer and a good writer, and his remark concerning the nonviolent resistance of the Jews of Gaza during their expulsion as shown in the documentary film “5 Days” (“Splice of Life,” 6/9)—“the ironic spectacle of Ghandian tactics used in support, rather than in defiance, of empire”—was clever. It also happens to be wildly inaccurate.
The Gaza Strip was liberated from Egypt by the Israeli army in 1967 during a defensive war in which Egypt and some other Arab countries were attempting to obliterate Israel. That is hardly imperialism on Israel’s part. There is, though, a more fundamental point. Zionism is not about empire but the return of the Hebrew nation to sovereignty over its homeland (and Gaza is historically a part of the Land of Israel). Centuries ago, the Armenian Stephan Orbelian stated, “I love my country because it is mine.” That sentiment, not imperialism, is the heart of Zionism.