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Israel Shares Responsibility For Gaza's Cultural Deficit

Israel’s restrictions on movement are doing as much to hinder Gaza’s cultural and intellectual development as any Hamas Islamization policy.
A Palestinian refugee boy walks between the narrow alleys of Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip May 14, 2013. Palestinians will mark "Nakba" (Catastrophe) on May 15 to commemorate the expulsion or fleeing of some 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in the war that led to the founding of Israel in 1948. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTXZM8H

In recent years, a lot of blame has been put on Hamas for the worsening educational and cultural conditions in the Gaza Strip. This notion fed well into Western media and was instantly, and predictably, adopted by politicians and diplomats in Israel and the West as fodder for their campaign against terrorism and Islamism.

However, Israel's own intrusions on cultural and intellectual freedoms are almost completely omitted from any discussion concerning culture and education in Gaza. This, of course, plays into the hands of Israel, which falsely depicts itself as the sole beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

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