I read the article at the link below just now, and couldn’t help responding. The author is an Egyptian journalist stationed in Jerusalem. His contentions and conclusions bothered me, especially since they are presented as “fact” and “logic”, which they are not.
I find this article factually lacking (or worse), and the writer’s assumptions are just plain wrong.
He correctly marks the fifth anniversary of the blockade, noting that the lives of ordinary Gazans have been made worse by it. He does NOT mention that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 (2 years or so before they started the blockade) or that the blockade was implemented to prevent heavy weapons from being imported en masses, or that Israel’s withdrawal precipitated years of massive rocket attacks on Israel. He also doesn’t mention that Israel allows massive amounts of supplies into Gaza on a daily basis, something that most countries would not do for their enemies.
His contention that the blockade has done nothing for Israel is simply wrong. Israel has stopped several ships with huge cargoes of arms meant for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which would certainly have been used against Israel.
He says the legality of the blockade is questionable – not true. It has been held to be legal, since Hamas has formally declared itself to be in a state of war with Israel. Blockades have been around as a tool of warring nations for thousands of years, and their legality is well-established.
He fatuously points out that Hamas, which won 44.5% of the popular vote, had to work with Fatah, and is now more powerful and supported because of Israel. He does NOT mention that Hamas consolidated their power in Gaza by killing and maiming (including throwing them off roofs!) Fatah officials and members, expelling them, and generally taking over Gaza by force. He says:
“Tightening the screws on Gaza led from a situation in which Hamas won 44.45% of the votes and had to share power with Fatah to one in which it became the only show in town in Gaza. This is partly because, as Israelis well know from personal experience, a people which feels that it is unfairly under attack tends to close ranks and band together.”
Really? They (Hamas) “became the only show in town” because of Israeli attacks? Seriously? They became the only game in town because they staged a military coup and massacred their Fatah “buddies”.
He also demands that Israel should “engage with Hamas”, as if this is something that is possible.
What country “engages” with an implacable enemy who swears at every opportunity to wipe them off the map, kill all members of their religion, and frequently shoots rockets and mortars at their population centers?
He says that lifting the blockade is the “principled” thing to do, and that it is in Israel’s best interests.
Just like uncaging a hungry lion would be in the interests of the visitors to the zoo, right?
Sorry, but what an ass.