The US Needs to Ensure that the Israeli Siege of Gaza is Lifted

By Avner Gidron, Senior Policy Adviser at Amnesty International
(Originally posted on Huffington Post)

Israel’s rejection of an international inquiry into its deadly raid on the Gaza-bound ship is deeply disappointing, if not surprising. Judging by precedent, Israel is unlikely to provide the effective, independent and impartial investigation required to ensure truth, justice and reparations for victims and their families. But the truth is the outcome of an inquiry is unnecessary to reach the conclusion that Israel must end its siege of Gaza now.

The blockade violates human rights and humanitarian law, and it is politically senseless. It is past time that the United States and Israel’s other allies press for its immediate end.

For three years, the population of the Gaza Strip has been suffering the debilitating effects of Israel’s blockade imposed when Israel decided to treat the area as a “hostile entity” after Hamas ousted Fatah from Gaza. With the stated aim of preventing rocket fire by militants and pressuring Hamas, the blockade instead punishes the civilians in the Gaza Strip by restricting a vast range of goods and products that have no possible military use.

The firing of indiscriminate rockets into Israeli towns by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups (which, since 2001, has killed some 16 civilians in Israel) deserves unequivocal condemnation. But Israel’s closure of Gaza goes well beyond its security needs, penning one and a half million Palestinians into a tiny strip of land and condemning hundreds of thousands to poverty and dependence. The sweeping scope of the blockade and statements by Israeli officials about its purpose make clear that this siege is being imposed as a form of collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza, a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Gazans are trapped. Hundreds have been unable to attend university or take up jobs abroad, let alone in other parts of the occupied Palestinian Territories. For the population of Gaza, nearby East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank may as well be on the other side of the world. Critically ill patients in need of medical care that is unavailable in local hospitals are frequently prevented from leaving Gaza or delayed until it is too late. Since 2007 almost all exports have been barred, with the derisory exception of a few truckloads of strawberries and cut flowers. What security concerns can explain the general prohibition on exporting flowers?

Israel regularly continues to bar entry of materials for the reconstruction of Gaza after Operation “Cast Lead,” including spare parts for water works and other essential infrastructure. Delivery of food, fuel and other humanitarian goods remains subject to arbitrary restrictions – at various times food items such as pasta, biscuits and tomato paste have all been banned. The Kafkaesque absurdity of some decisions would be humorous if the consequences were not so serious.

In Washington, there appears to be a tentative acceptance of the need to put small amounts of pressure on Israel at last. The United States assented to a Security Council call for a “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent” investigation into the deaths. Secretary of State Clinton has spoken of the need for international participation in an inquiry.

Past experience suggests that the U.S. administration, faced with overwhelming Congressional opposition to any hint of criticism of the Netanyahu government’s actions, may relapse back into automatic support mode.

U.S. policy has been myopic, in this regard. To take just one example: Richard Goldstone, one of the world’s leading jurists, led a fact-finding mission on the “Cast Lead” offensive in Gaza that last year documented war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by Israel and Hamas. The United States was one of just seven governments that voted against a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling for credible domestic investigations into abuses committed by both sides, taking Goldstone’s findings as a starting point.

Israel’s allies have let this siege go on for far too long. Some states have colluded in the blockade, hoping that Israel would succeed in turning Gazans against Hamas. But if that is its purpose, the siege has been an abject failure. Hamas has consolidated power. Weapons as well as matches and coffee can enter through the tunnels.

The Israeli government either does not yet recognize the failure of this cruel policy or is unwilling to admit it. Secretary Clinton, meanwhile, has described the situation in Gaza as “unacceptable and unsustainable.” True enough. But will the U.S. government follow through? The idea that putting pressure on Israel to respect international law is somehow “soft” on abuses and crimes committed by the Palestinian side is a dangerous canard. This fallacy must be confronted more robustly.

The United States has more leverage on Israel than the rest of the world put together. Now is the time to use it.

Read the report Suffocating: The Gaza Strip under Israeli Blockade

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

26 thoughts on “The US Needs to Ensure that the Israeli Siege of Gaza is Lifted

  1. Avner:
    What a joke your post is, for not mentioning Egypt's staring role in the blockade of Gaza. You wrote such a long post on the blockade of Gaza without so much as even once mentioning the word “Egypt” even once. Why?

    After all, Gaza has a 20 kilometer long border with Egypt and most Gazans have close family relatives living over border in Egypt. The Egyptian-Gaza border is a 20 kilometer long concrete and steel affair, in many places extended a hundred feet or more underground to prevent tunneling. This “Apartheid Wall” the Muslim Arab Egyptians have built imprisons 1.5 million of their Muslim Arab brothers in Gaza. It is patrolled 24/7 by hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police with shoot-to-kill orders for anyone caught trying to cross from Gaza to Egypt. The Egyptians have only one small opening in the prison fence they have built around Gaza, called the Rafa crossing. Not one ounce of medicine, food or other humanitarian goods have ever once crossed directly from Egypt to Gaza over the Rafa crossing in 3 years, and absolutely no exports are permitted. Only pedestrian traffic is allowed through Rafa and this is extremely tightly restricted to only those with medical emergencies, and these only in very tiny numbers, a few hundred a month maximum all of whom must cross into Egypt only on the one day a month the Egyptians have agreed to open Rafa crossing at all for the last 3 years.

    At the same time, Israel, unlike Egypt, permits large amounts of medicine, food fuel and electricity to flow into Gaza under UN supervision. So Avner, how is it you did not even once mention this in your post ?

    For reference, here is the total humanitarian goods that crossed from Israel too Gaza in just the month of April 2010,

    source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian territory
    ======================================

    -April 2010: In total, 2,647 truckloads of humanitarian goods, (not including fuel imports), entered Gaza from Israel. -76 percent of all imports were made up of food supplies and hygiene and cleaning materials.

    -April 2010: 15 truckloads of aluminum and 25 truckloads of wood were allowed into Gaza for commercial purposes,

    -181 truckloads carrying approximately 117,600 sheets of glass have been imported to Gaza since Dec. 2009 through April 2010.

    -24 truckloads of electricity spare parts designated to the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) were allowed into Gaza since Jan 2010 through April 2010.

    -April 2010: Industrial fuel imports into Gaza designated for the Gaza Power Plant were approximately 5.2 million liters allowing it to produce 40 megawatts of electricity.

    -April 2010: 120 megawatts of electricity was transferred directly from the Israeli electricity power grid to the Gazan power grid.

    -April 2010: A total of 3,210 tonnes of cooking gas entered through the Kerem Shalom fuel pipeline into Gaza.

    -April 2010: 2,074 Palestinians left Gaza and entered Israel. The majority of the Palestinians who entered into Israel (over 60 percent) were patients and their accompaniments, while most of the remaining were people conducting family visits.

  2. I propose the following simple solution in complete accordance with international law : The international community and especially America which gives Egypt 1 billion dollars a year in foreign aid should pressure the Egyptian dictatorship and force it to open its border to Gaza.

    The Egyptian dictatorship should be forced to act with the minimal of human decency and tear down their evil "Apartheid Wall" and allow their Arab Muslim brothers in Gaza humanitarian aid and the ability to come and go. Once the Gaza-Egypt border is fully open, it cannot be any longer suggested Israel is still the occupying power in Gaza, and so Israel would no longer have any legal responsibilities whatsoever under international law for the welfare of the Gazans. After some humane waiting period to give the UN and other aid groups time to move out of Israel to Egyptian Sinai, since Israel can no longer be claimed to be still occupying Gaza, Israel can then legally under international law completely and permanently 100% seal its border with Gaza to all movement of persons or goods of whatever kind.

    All Israel-Gaza border crossings which now supply all humanitarian supplies and most pedestrian traffic to Gaza could be destroyed and replaced with impenetrable barriers. All fuel pipelines from Israel which now supply all cooking and industrial fuel to Gaza could be cut, and the numerous high voltage electric lines connecting the Israeli and Gazan power grid which currently supply 75% of Gaza's electrical needs could be disconnected. However Israel would still has the full right under the clauses in the UN Charter which give Israel the right to self defense to maintain control of Gazan airspace and a naval blockade of Gaza's coastal seas to prevent Iranian and Hezbollah weapons smuggling, since the Hamas government that has ruled Gaza since winning the bloody Palestinian Civil War 3 years ago has declared its self to be in a state of war with Israel.

    Under some future hypothetical peace agreement with the Palestinians the Israel-Gaza border could then be reopened if Israel chooses to.

  3. Avner:
    What a joke your post is, for not mentioning Egypt’s staring role in the blockade of Gaza. You wrote such a long post on the blockade of Gaza without so much as even once mentioning the word “Egypt” even once. Why?

    After all, Gaza has a 20 kilometer long border with Egypt and most Gazans have close family relatives living over border in Egypt. The Egyptian-Gaza border is a 20 kilometer long concrete and steel affair, in many places extended a hundred feet or more underground to prevent tunneling. This “Apartheid Wall” the Muslim Arab Egyptians have built imprisons 1.5 million of their Muslim Arab brothers in Gaza. It is patrolled 24/7 by hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police with shoot-to-kill orders for anyone caught trying to cross from Gaza to Egypt. The Egyptians have only one small opening in the prison fence they have built around Gaza, called the Rafa crossing. Not one ounce of medicine, food or other humanitarian goods have ever once crossed directly from Egypt to Gaza over the Rafa crossing in 3 years, and absolutely no exports are permitted. Only pedestrian traffic is allowed through Rafa and this is extremely tightly restricted to only those with medical emergencies, and these only in very tiny numbers, a few hundred a month maximum all of whom must cross into Egypt only on the one day a month the Egyptians have agreed to open Rafa crossing at all for the last 3 years.

    At the same time, Israel, unlike Egypt, permits large amounts of medicine, food fuel and electricity to flow into Gaza under UN supervision. So Avner, how is it you did not even once mention this in your post ?

    For reference, here is the total humanitarian goods that crossed from Israel too Gaza in just the month of April 2010,

    source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian territory
    ======================================

    -April 2010: In total, 2,647 truckloads of humanitarian goods, (not including fuel imports), entered Gaza from Israel. -76 percent of all imports were made up of food supplies and hygiene and cleaning materials.

    -April 2010: 15 truckloads of aluminum and 25 truckloads of wood were allowed into Gaza for commercial purposes,

    -181 truckloads carrying approximately 117,600 sheets of glass have been imported to Gaza since Dec. 2009 through April 2010.

    -24 truckloads of electricity spare parts designated to the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) were allowed into Gaza since Jan 2010 through April 2010.

    -April 2010: Industrial fuel imports into Gaza designated for the Gaza Power Plant were approximately 5.2 million liters allowing it to produce 40 megawatts of electricity.

    -April 2010: 120 megawatts of electricity was transferred directly from the Israeli electricity power grid to the Gazan power grid.

    -April 2010: A total of 3,210 tonnes of cooking gas entered through the Kerem Shalom fuel pipeline into Gaza.

    -April 2010: 2,074 Palestinians left Gaza and entered Israel. The majority of the Palestinians who entered into Israel (over 60 percent) were patients and their accompaniments, while most of the remaining were people conducting family visits.

  4. I propose the following simple solution in complete accordance with international law : The international community and especially America which gives Egypt 1 billion dollars a year in foreign aid should pressure the Egyptian dictatorship and force it to open its border to Gaza.

    The Egyptian dictatorship should be forced to act with the minimal of human decency and tear down their evil “Apartheid Wall” and allow their Arab Muslim brothers in Gaza humanitarian aid and the ability to come and go. Once the Gaza-Egypt border is fully open, it cannot be any longer suggested Israel is still the occupying power in Gaza, and so Israel would no longer have any legal responsibilities whatsoever under international law for the welfare of the Gazans. After some humane waiting period to give the UN and other aid groups time to move out of Israel to Egyptian Sinai, since Israel can no longer be claimed to be still occupying Gaza, Israel can then legally under international law completely and permanently 100% seal its border with Gaza to all movement of persons or goods of whatever kind.

    All Israel-Gaza border crossings which now supply all humanitarian supplies and most pedestrian traffic to Gaza could be destroyed and replaced with impenetrable barriers. All fuel pipelines from Israel which now supply all cooking and industrial fuel to Gaza could be cut, and the numerous high voltage electric lines connecting the Israeli and Gazan power grid which currently supply 75% of Gaza’s electrical needs could be disconnected. However Israel would still has the full right under the clauses in the UN Charter which give Israel the right to self defense to maintain control of Gazan airspace and a naval blockade of Gaza’s coastal seas to prevent Iranian and Hezbollah weapons smuggling, since the Hamas government that has ruled Gaza since winning the bloody Palestinian Civil War 3 years ago has declared its self to be in a state of war with Israel.

    Under some future hypothetical peace agreement with the Palestinians the Israel-Gaza border could then be reopened if Israel chooses to.

  5. Dear Mr Gidron,

    Thank you for your complete & accurate survey report of the Gaza siege.

    Judo Nimh, as ALWAYS, uses sideshows to draw attention AWAY from Israel's CENTRAL & LEADING ROLE in this unending hmanitarian catastrophe.

    What about Egypt, he always asks when we talk of israel's blockade.

    Egypt is just following her international masters. Mubarak wouldn't last a day if he stopped being useful to them.

    Judo Nimh still maintains israel ISN'T occupying Gaza — WHILE ADMITTING, israel's CONTROL of Gaza's land, borders, air & sea — which control is the ESSENCE OF CONTINUING OCCUPATION.

    But he then defends this control as "self defense" UNDER THE UN CHARTER — while this very control is DENOUNCED BY THE UN, INCLUDING ITS SEC GEN BAN KYI MOON, AS ILLEGAL & INDEFENSIBLE.

    Judo Nimh also doesn't mention that 46 % of Gaza's arrable land is additionally held by israel, denying their use by the desperate Gazans.

    Judo Nimh then lists all the items israel reportedly allowed into Gaza — while it is PRECISELY this PIECEMEAL, DROP BY DROP "AID" THAT IS REPLACING THE FULLSCALE ENTRY OF NECESSARY & IMMEDIATE AID that Gaza's urgent needs demand.

    Judo Nimh then throws out another red herring from his stockpile — that the siege is an arms embargo to stop HEZBOLLAH ARMS to Hamas.

    A recent secret israeli document states clearly the real aim of the blockade — that the blockade is israel's form of "ECONOMIC WARFARE" aimed at weakening & overthrowing Hamas, the SOLE ELECTED PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT.

    Ever the "humanitarian", Judo Nimh uses language implying horror at the "bloody Palestinian civil war" — while keeping quiet about israel's transporting of a massive arsenal of weaponry to the Abbas force being trained by the US in the West Bank, the very transfer of which was to fuel this civil war.

    Judo Nimh's use of bits of "revelations" is like israel's use of bits of aid — to keep the whole truth, like the full supply of untramelled aid, out of reach.

    Judo Nimh's use of these futile tactics doesn't help his "cause", but he uses them nonetheless, apparently to confuse the uninformed.

    The other day, when i defended Turkey's role in trying to defuse the Iran nuclear crisis & in clearing the aid flotilla, he rhetorically asked me if this meant i supported Turkey's suppression of the Kurds — a completely different issue.

    But at the same time Judo Nimh kept silent about israel's supply of aerial attack Herons to Turkey to help her fight the PKK, the Kurdish guerrillas.

    What sort of "tactic" is this, Mr Nimh ?

    And til when ?

  6. Yes, israel controls a "buffer Zone" of 46 % of Gaza's agricultural land.

    Plus Gaza's supply of electricity, oil & petrol.

    This is the meaning of israel's ongoing Occupation of Gaza.

  7. source:
    Reuters, Mon Jun 14, 2010

    "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Monday stocks of essential medical supplies were at an all-time low because of a halt in cooperation between authorities in Ramallah, the Fatah-ruled West Bank, and Gaza.

    "The state of the health care system in Gaza has never been worse," said ICRC health coordinator Eileen Daly. "Health is being politicised: that is the main reason the system is failing."

  8. Mr. Savage:

    For your information, far from being a “sideshow” as you put it, Egypt has a fortified, shoot-to-kill, 20 km long border with Gaza. Gazans, most of whom have close family living just over the border in Egypt have not been able to visit their relatives in three years. Even the desperately sick, needing specialized medical care not available in Gaza must navigate the triple bureaucracy of feuding rival Hamas and PA controlled Health ministries and the whims of Egyptian border guards to obtain one of the extremely rare exit permits to cross the border to Egypt. Egypt allows no food to enter directly into Gaza, not even UN emergency aid for the poor, no medicine for the sick, no building material for the homeless, and no exports have ever crossed into Egypt so the Gazans can bring themselves out of poverty.

    If Egypt is forced to reopen their border crossings into Gaza then Gaza is no longer in a blockade.

    Mr. Savage: how can you possibly disagree with this obvious statement?

    By the way, do you know that the Gaza City harbor is very shallow water so cargo ships could not even dock in Gaza without running aground, whereas El-Arish, Egypt, situated not more than a few dozen miles south of Gaza has a deep water port with modern cargo unloading facilities as well as an good sized airport easily capable of accepting cargo aircraft. Furthermore, an excellent road network connects the Gaza-Egypt border with El-Arish and beyond to the rest of the world. For example currently hundreds of Libyan fuel tankers make the 2 day drive from Libya to El-Arish every week bearing fuel that is loaded into Gaza by (illegal under Egyptian law) pipelines passing under the Egyptian border in smuggler tunnels.

    Surely it makes logical sense for the world to force open this artificial border separating brother Muslim Arabs from one another?

  9. Dear Mr Gidron,

    Thank you for your complete & accurate survey report of the Gaza siege.

    Judo Nimh, as ALWAYS, uses sideshows to draw attention AWAY from Israel’s CENTRAL & LEADING ROLE in this unending hmanitarian catastrophe.

    What about Egypt, he always asks when we talk of israel’s blockade.

    Egypt is just following her international masters. Mubarak wouldn’t last a day if he stopped being useful to them.

    Judo Nimh still maintains israel ISN’T occupying Gaza — WHILE ADMITTING, israel’s CONTROL of Gaza’s land, borders, air & sea — which control is the ESSENCE OF CONTINUING OCCUPATION.

    But he then defends this control as “self defense” UNDER THE UN CHARTER — while this very control is DENOUNCED BY THE UN, INCLUDING ITS SEC GEN BAN KYI MOON, AS ILLEGAL & INDEFENSIBLE.

    Judo Nimh also doesn’t mention that 46 % of Gaza’s arrable land is additionally held by israel, denying their use by the desperate Gazans.

    Judo Nimh then lists all the items israel reportedly allowed into Gaza — while it is PRECISELY this PIECEMEAL, DROP BY DROP “AID” THAT IS REPLACING THE FULLSCALE ENTRY OF NECESSARY & IMMEDIATE AID that Gaza’s urgent needs demand.

    Judo Nimh then throws out another red herring from his stockpile — that the siege is an arms embargo to stop HEZBOLLAH ARMS to Hamas.

    A recent secret israeli document states clearly the real aim of the blockade — that the blockade is israel’s form of “ECONOMIC WARFARE” aimed at weakening & overthrowing Hamas, the SOLE ELECTED PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT.

    Ever the “humanitarian”, Judo Nimh uses language implying horror at the “bloody Palestinian civil war” — while keeping quiet about israel’s transporting of a massive arsenal of weaponry to the Abbas force being trained by the US in the West Bank, the very transfer of which was to fuel this civil war.

    Judo Nimh’s use of bits of “revelations” is like israel’s use of bits of aid — to keep the whole truth, like the full supply of untramelled aid, out of reach.

    Judo Nimh’s use of these futile tactics doesn’t help his “cause”, but he uses them nonetheless, apparently to confuse the uninformed.

    The other day, when i defended Turkey’s role in trying to defuse the Iran nuclear crisis & in clearing the aid flotilla, he rhetorically asked me if this meant i supported Turkey’s suppression of the Kurds — a completely different issue.

    But at the same time Judo Nimh kept silent about israel’s supply of aerial attack Herons to Turkey to help her fight the PKK, the Kurdish guerrillas.

    What sort of “tactic” is this, Mr Nimh ?

    And til when ?

  10. Yes, israel controls a “buffer Zone” of 46 % of Gaza’s agricultural land.

    Plus Gaza’s supply of electricity, oil & petrol.

    This is the meaning of israel’s ongoing Occupation of Gaza.

  11. source:
    Reuters, Mon Jun 14, 2010

    “The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Monday stocks of essential medical supplies were at an all-time low because of a halt in cooperation between authorities in Ramallah, the Fatah-ruled West Bank, and Gaza.

    “The state of the health care system in Gaza has never been worse,” said ICRC health coordinator Eileen Daly. “Health is being politicised: that is the main reason the system is failing.”

  12. Mr. Savage:

    For your information, far from being a “sideshow” as you put it, Egypt has a fortified, shoot-to-kill, 20 km long border with Gaza. Gazans, most of whom have close family living just over the border in Egypt have not been able to visit their relatives in three years. Even the desperately sick, needing specialized medical care not available in Gaza must navigate the triple bureaucracy of feuding rival Hamas and PA controlled Health ministries and the whims of Egyptian border guards to obtain one of the extremely rare exit permits to cross the border to Egypt. Egypt allows no food to enter directly into Gaza, not even UN emergency aid for the poor, no medicine for the sick, no building material for the homeless, and no exports have ever crossed into Egypt so the Gazans can bring themselves out of poverty.

    If Egypt is forced to reopen their border crossings into Gaza then Gaza is no longer in a blockade.

    Mr. Savage: how can you possibly disagree with this obvious statement?

    By the way, do you know that the Gaza City harbor is very shallow water so cargo ships could not even dock in Gaza without running aground, whereas El-Arish, Egypt, situated not more than a few dozen miles south of Gaza has a deep water port with modern cargo unloading facilities as well as an good sized airport easily capable of accepting cargo aircraft. Furthermore, an excellent road network connects the Gaza-Egypt border with El-Arish and beyond to the rest of the world. For example currently hundreds of Libyan fuel tankers make the 2 day drive from Libya to El-Arish every week bearing fuel that is loaded into Gaza by (illegal under Egyptian law) pipelines passing under the Egyptian border in smuggler tunnels.

    Surely it makes logical sense for the world to force open this artificial border separating brother Muslim Arabs from one another?

  13. Mr. Gidron-

    Where do you live? I know one place you most certainly DO NOT live.

    Blame Hamas for the blockade. Israel just wants to be left alone whereas Hamas wants the complete and total destruction of the Nation of Israel.

    Lifting the blockade would have the same consequences of say… eliminating the FAA's security guards and metal detectors at all airports. Not a good idea and not going to happen.

    You are so anxious to feed Israelis to the wolves… Somewhere in the deepest recessions of your brain you must realize what happens NEXT (after the blockade is lifted). If not then you are extremely naive or you truly do not believe in Israel's right to exist.

    From Hamas:

    "Israel is not a legitimate entity, and no amount of pressure can force us to recognize its right to exist."
    "Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day."
    "Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don't recognize the state of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine. Palestine is an Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims."
    "Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination, but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing."
    "She [Hamas suicide bomber Re'em Al-Riyashi] is not going to be the last because the march of resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only over the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe."
    "To hell with you all."
    -Khalid al-Mish'al, leader of Hamas, speaking about German Chancellor Merkel's call for Hamas to recognize Israel

    It was HAMAS that openly declared WAR against Israel.

    Blame Hamas for the living conditions (even after TONS and TONS of aid makes its way to GAZA through Israel).

  14. Mr. Gidron-

    Where do you live? I know one place you most certainly DO NOT live.

    Blame Hamas for the blockade. Israel just wants to be left alone whereas Hamas wants the complete and total destruction of the Nation of Israel.

    Lifting the blockade would have the same consequences of say… eliminating the FAA’s security guards and metal detectors at all airports. Not a good idea and not going to happen.

    You are so anxious to feed Israelis to the wolves… Somewhere in the deepest recessions of your brain you must realize what happens NEXT (after the blockade is lifted). If not then you are extremely naive or you truly do not believe in Israel’s right to exist.

    From Hamas:

    “Israel is not a legitimate entity, and no amount of pressure can force us to recognize its right to exist.”
    “Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day.”
    “Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don’t recognize the state of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine. Palestine is an Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims.”
    “Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination, but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing.”
    “She [Hamas suicide bomber Re'em Al-Riyashi] is not going to be the last because the march of resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only over the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe.”
    “To hell with you all.”
    -Khalid al-Mish’al, leader of Hamas, speaking about German Chancellor Merkel’s call for Hamas to recognize Israel

    It was HAMAS that openly declared WAR against Israel.

    Blame Hamas for the living conditions (even after TONS and TONS of aid makes its way to GAZA through Israel).

  15. Judo Nimh —-

    What's the use of playing this game ?

    It's very late in the day, Mr Nimh .

    Why do you think the UN calls on ISRAEL ( not Egypt ) to lift the blockade ?

    Why does Ban Kyi Moon lament that israel ( not Egypt ) isn't listening to him ?

    Why does Amnesty identify ( like everyone else ) the blockade as an israeli one ( & not Egyptian ) ?

    Why is even the pro – israel mainstream media urging israel ( & not Egypt ) to reconsider the blockade in the face of israel's growing international isolation ?

    Because it is ISRAEL that's going to pay the PRICE when the dam of hate & loathing at her APARTHEID & ARROGANCE finally explodes around the world.

    Not Egypt.

    Make no mistake about this, Mr Nimh.

    Continue your game, & you & your kind will seal the unavoidable outcome.

    Et tu, Brian.

    By still quoting only excerpts of Hamas' fury at the Occupation, & deliberately suppressing her efforts towards normalisation of relations, you & your people are leaving only one way out for everyone.

    Congratulations.

  16. Judo Nimh —-

    What’s the use of playing this game ?

    It’s very late in the day, Mr Nimh .

    Why do you think the UN calls on ISRAEL ( not Egypt ) to lift the blockade ?

    Why does Ban Kyi Moon lament that israel ( not Egypt ) isn’t listening to him ?

    Why does Amnesty identify ( like everyone else ) the blockade as an israeli one ( & not Egyptian ) ?

    Why is even the pro – israel mainstream media urging israel ( & not Egypt ) to reconsider the blockade in the face of israel’s growing international isolation ?

    Because it is ISRAEL that’s going to pay the PRICE when the dam of hate & loathing at her APARTHEID & ARROGANCE finally explodes around the world.

    Not Egypt.

    Make no mistake about this, Mr Nimh.

    Continue your game, & you & your kind will seal the unavoidable outcome.

    Et tu, Brian.

    By still quoting only excerpts of Hamas’ fury at the Occupation, & deliberately suppressing her efforts towards normalisation of relations, you & your people are leaving only one way out for everyone.

    Congratulations.

  17. The Blockade (or what some call "occupation") only started AFTER Hamas took control of Gaza.

    If anything you say is true, then you should focus your fury at Hamas. If what you say is true, it is Hamas that continues to give Israel its "excuse". Without Hamas Israel would lose the remaining of it's support.

    They (Israelis) didn't dance in the streets after 9-11, they (Israelis) aren't notorious for strapping bombs to themselves and foolishly blowing themselves and bystanders up, they (Israelis) did not declare war on Palestine/Hamas, they (Israelis) do not want the "march of resistance to continue until the star of David is raised, not only over Jerusalem/Palestine, but over the whole universe.”

    You stop Hamas you stop the blockade.

  18. The Blockade (or what some call “occupation”) only started AFTER Hamas took control of Gaza.

    If anything you say is true, then you should focus your fury at Hamas. If what you say is true, it is Hamas that continues to give Israel its “excuse”. Without Hamas Israel would lose the remaining of it’s support.

    They (Israelis) didn’t dance in the streets after 9-11, they (Israelis) aren’t notorious for strapping bombs to themselves and foolishly blowing themselves and bystanders up, they (Israelis) did not declare war on Palestine/Hamas, they (Israelis) do not want the “march of resistance to continue until the star of David is raised, not only over Jerusalem/Palestine, but over the whole universe.”

    You stop Hamas you stop the blockade.

  19. So your question, Savage, is:
    Why are all these groups getting so angry at Israel?

    What is Israel doing after all ? Blockading war material and commercial traffic from strengthening the hands of Hamas, a group that has repeatedly declared war until the end of time itself on Israel, even though Israel is ensuring the civilian population receives according to the UN, on average per month, 3000 trucks of food, medicine etc. sent to Gaza from Israel, plus millions of gallons of fuel and hundreds of megawatts of electricity every month.

    Yet at the exact precise same time, just a few minutes away on Gaza's other border, Egypt, Egypt so completely similar in history, language, religion, and culture to Gaza, Egypt the country that militarily occupied and controlled with an iron fist every facet of life in Gaza from 1948 through 1967, Egypt the country where the majority of Gazans have close family ties, this country Egypt has grotesquely imposed on their brother Muslim Arabs, the Gazans a much harsher and more restrictive blockade than Israel has, a case of true collective punishment on the suffering poor of Gaza.

    And all those groups you mentioned, Amnesty International especially, totally ignore Egypt with not even a mention in the above post for example, all the while maintaining what amounts to a clinical obsession over Israel's blockade?

    Mighty weird isn't it?
    Like something out of a Kafka novel.

    From the British press:

    “Egypt too is complicit” (Editorial, Guardian, 1 June)

    “Israel, supported by Egypt” (Ian Black, Middle East editor, Guardian, 1 June)

    “…the blockade maintained by Israel and Egypt” (Ian Traynor and Dorian Jones, Guardian, 1 June)

    “Egypt…has largely enforced the siege that was imposed” (David Usborne and Donald Macintyre, Independent, 2 June)

    “Egypt, the junior partner in the blockade” (Seumas Milne, columnist and associate editor, Guardian, 3 June)

    “Egypt, which has supported Israel‟s blockade of Gaza” (Catrina Stewart, correspondent, Independent, 8 June)

    “Hosni Mubarak‟s hostility to Hamas is linked directly to his hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood, his principal domestic opponent.” (Ian Black, Middle East editor, Guardian, 2 June)

    “…the Islamists are allied to the Muslim Brotherhood, the chief internal threat to the regime.” (Editorial, Sunday Times, 6 June)

    “…aims to isolate the Hamas regime deemed to be a terrorist organisation linked to the Muslim Brotherhood party, banned in Egypt.” (James Hider and Alexander Christie-Miller, Times, 7 June)

    “Everything from windscreen wiper motors to camera parts have to be ordered from smugglers and brought from Egypt, whose police take a large cut, further pushing up prices.”
    (James Hider, The Times, 2 June)

    “Mubarak…is regularly attacked in the Arab world for effectively colluding with the Israeli blockade of Gaza.” (Ian Black, Middle East editor, Guardian, 2 June)

    “…a response to increasing Arab anger at what is perceived as Egyptian complicity in the blockade.” (Harriet Sherwood, Guardian 2 June)

  20. So your question, Savage, is:
    Why are all these groups getting so angry at Israel?

    What is Israel doing after all ? Blockading war material and commercial traffic from strengthening the hands of Hamas, a group that has repeatedly declared war until the end of time itself on Israel, even though Israel is ensuring the civilian population receives according to the UN, on average per month, 3000 trucks of food, medicine etc. sent to Gaza from Israel, plus millions of gallons of fuel and hundreds of megawatts of electricity every month.

    Yet at the exact precise same time, just a few minutes away on Gaza’s other border, Egypt, Egypt so completely similar in history, language, religion, and culture to Gaza, Egypt the country that militarily occupied and controlled with an iron fist every facet of life in Gaza from 1948 through 1967, Egypt the country where the majority of Gazans have close family ties, this country Egypt has grotesquely imposed on their brother Muslim Arabs, the Gazans a much harsher and more restrictive blockade than Israel has, a case of true collective punishment on the suffering poor of Gaza.

    And all those groups you mentioned, Amnesty International especially, totally ignore Egypt with not even a mention in the above post for example, all the while maintaining what amounts to a clinical obsession over Israel’s blockade?

    Mighty weird isn’t it?
    Like something out of a Kafka novel.

    From the British press:

    “Egypt too is complicit” (Editorial, Guardian, 1 June)

    “Israel, supported by Egypt” (Ian Black, Middle East editor, Guardian, 1 June)

    “…the blockade maintained by Israel and Egypt” (Ian Traynor and Dorian Jones, Guardian, 1 June)

    “Egypt…has largely enforced the siege that was imposed” (David Usborne and Donald Macintyre, Independent, 2 June)

    “Egypt, the junior partner in the blockade” (Seumas Milne, columnist and associate editor, Guardian, 3 June)

    “Egypt, which has supported Israel‟s blockade of Gaza” (Catrina Stewart, correspondent, Independent, 8 June)

    “Hosni Mubarak‟s hostility to Hamas is linked directly to his hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood, his principal domestic opponent.” (Ian Black, Middle East editor, Guardian, 2 June)

    “…the Islamists are allied to the Muslim Brotherhood, the chief internal threat to the regime.” (Editorial, Sunday Times, 6 June)

    “…aims to isolate the Hamas regime deemed to be a terrorist organisation linked to the Muslim Brotherhood party, banned in Egypt.” (James Hider and Alexander Christie-Miller, Times, 7 June)

    “Everything from windscreen wiper motors to camera parts have to be ordered from smugglers and brought from Egypt, whose police take a large cut, further pushing up prices.”
    (James Hider, The Times, 2 June)

    “Mubarak…is regularly attacked in the Arab world for effectively colluding with the Israeli blockade of Gaza.” (Ian Black, Middle East editor, Guardian, 2 June)

    “…a response to increasing Arab anger at what is perceived as Egyptian complicity in the blockade.” (Harriet Sherwood, Guardian 2 June)

  21. Thank you for those excellent ( albeit highly selective ) quotes, Mr Nimh.

    Do you HEAR what these quotes themselves are saying ?

    About the nature of the corporate media ?

    As well its acceptance of the truth about the primary role of israel ?

    & its popularity ?

    But continue on your usual path.

    Don't change with the changing situation.

    Heckuva job.

    Keep on .

    Keep on.

  22. Thank you for those excellent ( albeit highly selective ) quotes, Mr Nimh.

    Do you HEAR what these quotes themselves are saying ?

    About the nature of the corporate media ?

    As well its acceptance of the truth about the primary role of israel ?

    & its popularity ?

    But continue on your usual path.

    Don’t change with the changing situation.

    Heckuva job.

    Keep on .

    Keep on.