Gaza’s misery does not make Israel safer. Peace is impossible until the blockade is lifted and people can regain their dignity.
Agreed. The question is who is making Gazans miserable? Is it their neighbours or is it the Islamist gang who have ceased control of the place and are using it essentially as a base to wage terrorism from? I suspect it is overwhelmingly the later and if this means Israel must intensify the misery and therefore the resentment of Abdul Q Gazan then that is a feature and not a bug for Hamas.
Israel rightly boasts a fine education system and world-class universities; next door, many children are denied basic schooling. Why? Because the conflict has led to the destruction of many school buildings, and the blockade denies Gaza the bricks and cement it needs to rebuild them or to replace the ruins that litter the countryside. The blockade hurts ordinary people, prevents reconstruction and fuels radicalism.
Does anyone honestly think Hamas will get their shipments of building materials and build schools? Nope it will be fortifications and bunkers. Anyway, keeping the populace in ignorance is another feature and not a bug. An educated populace might ask questions… I must re-iterate that Hamas are Islamists and Israel is just target one and Islamists don’t like education. Note that Hamas control all media in Gaza and use it primarily for propaganda. Especially kids TV shows. Remember that mouse character that on a kiddie show was tortured to death by the IDF? It’s not exactly Iggle Piggle is it?
But the blockade is not completely effective. Many goods are smuggled in through illegal tunnels, including rockets that are used to target Israel. Goods are destined not for those in need, but for those with money and clout. Far from improving civil society, these tunnels degrade it further.
The treatment of cancer is not always completely effective either - should we stop training doctors? And does the author honestly think that if Hamas had a higher import capacity it would use it all for food and medicines, maybe patio furniture and soft toys as well? Pull the other one! More rockets!
Meanwhile, as I saw for myself, normal, decent people, denied the chance to lead normal lives, become progressively more resentful.
Yes, obviously but they are blaming the wrong people! It’s like North Korea. They blame the US Imperialists for their woes. The answer lies much closer to home. It so often does.
Two questions arise. How can we improve the daily lives of the people of Gaza? And how can we enhance the security of the people of Israel? These questions must be answered together, for any attempt to answer them separately is doomed to fail.
Might I humbly suggest that the only answer to both starts with the overthrow of Hamas? That’s an absolute requirement. But they were democratically elected, Nick!. Well, one wonders how “democratic” it was… At our recent election I didn’t see anyone on the stump totting an assault rifle in a threatening manner. And it was hardly democratic to storm the Fatah building and start defenestrating the vanquished political foe afterwards was it? That’s medieval at best. For democracy to work some semblance of civilization must underpin it.
That is why I am seeking to reopen the crossings into Gaza, permanently, for humanitarian aid, commercial goods and civilians to and from Gaza. This is what the United Nations Security Council and the European Union have demanded; it is also what Israel agreed with the Palestinian Authority in 2005.
“Civilians” going in and out of Gaza have a habit of going Kaboom! on buses and in cafes. Quite what any of this conceivably has to do with the EU anyway is also beyond me. And as to the 2005 agreement. Fine if Hamas hadn’t kicked off again. But they did.
On my trip to Gaza I bought some fabulous handicrafts made by remarkable women who have overcome daunting conditions; I want an end to the ban that prevents their world-class rugs and scarves and ornaments being sold and enjoyed around the world.
Nobody minds the rugs and handicrafts being exported. If those rugs are that fine I might even be tempted to get one myself. But what else would they export? Note “remarkable women”. What would the men export? Not fruit and veg from the Zionist market gardens they trashed so nihilistically when Israel finally withdrew. The men will be exporting rockets, terror and murder.
Today I shall chair a meeting of the 27 Foreign Ministers of the European Union.
Bully for you. I hope some of them aren’t as naive as you. [collapses in giggles].
We shall examine a practical plan to allow the people of Gaza to bring in what they need. Instead of a list of a very restricted number of products, there should be a short, agreed list of prohibited goods about which Israel has legitimate security concerns. The European Union has trained staff on the ground who could help to implement this at Gaza’s border, letting permitted goods through and keeping banned goods out.
But it isn’t practical. This is the EU bunging them aid, right? The more aid Gaza gets the more it doesn’t have to do anything economically to the purpose which means they have more time to practice the Palestinian national sport of amateur rocketry.
Finding an agreed way to lift the blockade will not be easy. It needs the co-operation of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
That is a serious suggestion! Wow! Hamas have in their foundational charter as a key article their commitment to the total destruction of Israel. That’s like saying if we could’ve just got that nice Mr Hitler and that Nice Mr Churchill round the table in 1940… Coming from “the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy” that is staggering.
However, success would be a real prize for the cause of peace. It would certainly restore some normality in Gaza.
Yes, it would be a real prize for peace. And I wouldn’t mind winning the Lotto jackpot either. Utter wishful thinking and worse than that Hamas will see it as a partial victory, a concession and then they’ll want more whilst still doing the same old because that is normality in Gaza. Normality is hatred and war and staggeringly high unemployment. It’s not buying trinkets and rugs in the market you know. That’s for senior EU officials.
That, in turn, could pave the way to a serious peace settlement that is the only certain way to prevent further loss of life on either side.
Palestine must have more road maps by now than the Automobile Association!
We know what the elements for a lasting peace are. The time has come to start bringing them together.
Do you? Been gazing in the Plantir again? Actually that is unfair. I actually know. It is getting Hamas out and a government that actually wants peace. It’s that simple. And can we please forget the “two state solution”. Tying together two geographically separated Islamic entities with different economies and of different sizes has been tried before and it ended in tears. Three states might just work. Might
“We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us”.
I don’t know when Mrs Meier said that but she died in 1978.