The deadly confrontation between the Israeli military and activists off of Gaza’s coast should not be turned into another stale debate between “pro-” and “anti-” Israel activists. Rather, we should use this moment to ask what can be done to improve the situation.
At the root of this disaster is the effort to restrict the flow of people and goods to Gaza. This effort was initiated by Israel (and supported by the Bush administration) after Hamas came to power. This policy failed to improve Israeli security. Nor did it weaken Hamas.
It is time for the Obama administration to show leadership on this issue. It should work with the international community—including Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority—to create a new security regime for Gaza.
Mechanisms that guarantee Israel’s security needs are possible, like crossing points monitored to prevent arms smuggling by international forces. What is needed is the political courage to admit failure and to try a new path. —Aurora Marquez
The day after Israeli troops attacked the Free Gaza flotilla on May 31, 2010, Israeli Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli-Yoel Edelstein explained, on the Charlie Rose Show, that the cement supplies carried on the flotilla were blockaded by Israel because they would be used for “building bunkers” in Gaza.
And, according to Edmund Sanders of the Los Angeles Times, “Israel has been reluctant to allow…cement into Gaza, saying [it] could be used to build bomb shelters.” (June 5, 2010).
Why doesn’t the Israeli government want bomb shelters and bunkers in Gaza? How can shelters which protect Gazan civilians possibly be a military threat to Israel? Is the Israeli government opposed to bomb shelters in Gaza because it does not want Gazan civilians to be protected from Israel’s bombs? Is it because the Israeli government believes that the more Palestinians it kills, the safer Israel will be?—Clive Leeman
Guess what lightly defended ship on international waters refused to let Israeli commandos descend from helicopters to storm its decks? On Memorial Day, did we all remember the 34 dead on spyship USS Liberty? Who’s to blame if we didn’t, since the cover-up by government and big media was well executed?
Fortunately, the Anti-Defamation League has not yet managed to “tame the Internet,” as Director Abe Foxman proposed to do when speaking in Hope Ranch last year. Google will blow your socks off.Adonis Tate, Lompoc