We must strive to understand the Zionist position, even when the rhetorical positioning and the actions are irreconcilable--which is invariably the case. An irony scarcely lost on ideologically detached observers is that the very core of the defensive complaints voiced by Israelis also translate to the strategies they agressively pursue. Living in Jerusalem for forty-plus years was a unique education in and of itself...it permitted many first-hand appraisals of Israeli policies, their dogmatic antecedents, and the opinions that widely accompanied them. Throughout the western media, Israel's so-called highly-touted withdrawal from Gaza was trumpeted as a "selfless and painful concession for peace" on the part of the routinely altruistic Israeli leadership, but the press dutifully ignored the actual conditions on the ground and chose to report only the empty formalities of withdrawal. After five years of a crushing, inhumane and illegal blockade of Gaza, we begin to understand that the pattern of abuse follows the identical strategies selcted by the Zionists...there are invariably a public face, and an antithetical set of actions to every Israeli position, and learning the Zionist arts of cosncious illusion plays a critical interpretive role...to this end when the Israeli leadership speaks of peace, we understand this to mean preserving the status quo..."defense and security" typically translate as harassment...provocation and progressive land-theft...followed routinely by announcements of more approved settlements on Arab land. This is the strategy, and so long as it maintains a viable currency, it will be retained.