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Old 11-27-2012, 07:05 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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So why does Israel prevent Gaza exports?

Though I disagree with it, I can understand why Israel would block imports to Gaza. Israel must watch out for its own safety, but there's no question in my mind that these measures which are designed to be preventative are carried out in ways that are clearly punitive to the Palestinian people in the wake of their election of Hamas.

But blocking exports from Gaza?

The article at the very end posits a couple different reasons for this, one of which is that this is punitive, to punish the Palestinian people for their sins against Israel and their embrace of Hamas. And while that may play into it, I think the article's other explanation is easier to consider: allowing Gaza to participate economically with its neighbors would at least nominally enrich it, as trade always does. It will increase its ties with its neighbors, and allow the Gazans to effectively function a little more as an autonomous state.

All of which would only aid Palestinians in their striving for their own state.

So, clearly this must be stopped.

Please, tell me how I'm how wrong/supportive of Hamas/anti-Semitic I am in thinking preventing Gazan exports is yet more evidence of the Likud's total indifference to the two-state solution.

And please tell me how Israel isn't inching closer to full-on apartheid of the Palestinian people.

http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...ockade/265565/

The Mainstream Media's Biased Coverage of the Gaza Blockade
By Robert Wright
Nov 25 2012, 10:34 PM ET

There's reason to hope that the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel will lead to an easing of Israel's suffocating economic blockade of Gaza. The ceasefire text said that "opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods... shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire." But, more than 100 hours later, we're still waiting for word of actual progress.

Meanwhile, if you're wondering where to turn for background information about the blockade, I have this guidance: stay as far away from mainstream media as possible.

Sadly typical of the way the MSM covers the issue is a recent New York Times piece about the ceasefire by David Kirkpatrick and Jodi Rudoren (both of whom have done excellent work on other issues in the region). The piece described the blockade as "Israel's tight restrictions on the border crossings into Gaza under a seven-year-old embargo imposed to thwart Hamas from arming itself."

Putting it this way is a real time saver, not just because it fits into a single short sentence, but because, if you're too busy to actually write that sentence, the Israeli government's press office would be happy to do it for you. But this description of the blockade raises a question:

If the essential purpose of the blockade were indeed to "thwart Hamas from arming itself," wouldn't restrictions on imports into Gaza suffice? (And even then the import restrictions wouldn't have to be as draconian as they were when imposed, or even as tight as they are now, after some loosening.) What I'd like to see an enterprising MSM reporter ask is: How do Israel's severe restrictions on Gazan exports keep arms from getting to Hamas?

Kirkpatrick and Rudoren, later in their piece, do elaborate a bit on Israel's motivation for imposing the blockade. But not enough. After raising the prospect that Egypt may open the Rafah crossing into Gaza, they write that "Israel enforces its embargo on the other sides of Gaza, fearing that it would face an influx of refugees or end up with responsibility for the impoverished enclave."

Fearing "an influx of refugees" doesn't explain why Israel won't let Gazans put whatever goods they want to export on a ship and send them across the Mediterranean to Europe or Africa. Nor, really, does this fear explain the other side of the export restrictions--not letting Gaza export much of anything to Israel or the West Bank. Making sure that exports were confined to goods, and didn't include people, would be readily doable. Israelis know a thing or two about how to set up an effective checkpoint.

The closest Kirkpatrick and Rudoren get to a plausible reason for the export restrictions is in positing an Israeli fear of winding up "with responsibility for the impoverished enclave." But even here they're not putting nearly a fine enough point on it. Here's the fine-point version:

Recall that a very plausible motivation for Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 was to address "the demographic problem"--the fact that the number of Palestinians in the occupied territory, plus the number in Israel proper, was beginning to approach the number of Israeli Jews. That meant that if Israel's aggressive settlement program eventually led to Israel's absorption of the occupied territories, Israel wouldn't remain a Jewish state unless it were an apartheid state--i.e., unless it continued to deny Palestinian inhabitants of the occupied territories the right to vote. But once you remove Gaza from the equation, and define it as outside of the occupied territory, the math changes (though Gazans contend their territory is still, for practical purposes, occupied, since Israel controls the ports and airspace and the Israeli border and enters Gaza at will to kill Gazans). In this scenario--the divide and conquer scenario--the last thing Israel wants to do now is permit the sort of organic economic ties between Gaza and the West Bank that would make it easier to think of their Palestinian inhabitants as a single people.

There's one other possible motivation for Israel's severe restrictions on commerce involving Gaza: collective punishment. Maybe Israeli leaders want to keep all of Gaza impoverished as payback for the sins of Hamas. Maybe they even think that this impoverishment will lead Gazans to reject Hamas. If so, I have bad news: If Gazans reject Hamas, it will be in favor of Islamic Jihad or even more radical elements, in keeping with the general principle that imposing unjust suffering on people empowers extremists.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
To prevent money from ending up in the hands of Hamas?

To prevent Hamas from buying more rockets and weapons with that money?
Hamas gets their weaponry for free.

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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
You are making it much more difficult than it has to be....heck even Netanyahu , Obama , and Abbas understand this....

Hamas must renounce the Covenant, agree to negotiate, and give up the "jihad is the only solution" clauses in their platform. Period.

If they did that, I firmly believe Israel would have no choice but to acknowledge them as a state, and end the blockade.

Really, its up to the Palestinian people...
Then don't punish the Palestinian people, if they're so important. Don't intentionally impoverish them. Don't steal their land. Don't terrorize them. Don't cram them into a malnourished shanty town and cut them off from the planet.

Or do all of these things, and expect Palestinian radicalism, and a Middle East and an international community that holds you in contempt.

Because those are your choices.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:17 PM   #32
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Of course it's punitive.
Yup.

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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Indeed. Just imagine what new goodies they could throw at Israel with more funds.
The meager earnings a nascent market could gather are not going to get you anything advanced more than what they're already getting.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:17 PM   #33
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Direckshun, perhaps you could answer why you think Israel should completely end the restrictions?
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:20 PM   #34
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You keep referring to some Greater Israel idea that you attribute to Likud. Is there any kind of mission statement that you can point to to support your accusation like that to which Hamas critics point to support the contention that Hamas seeks to destroy the Jewish state?
When you engage in a series of actions designed to make the two-state solution less and less feasible, it's evident that you're not looking for the two-state solution.

Netanyahu and the Likud want all the land.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:20 PM   #35
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Sorry the thread hasn't gone quite the way you wanted it...
The only thread that doesn't go the way I want is the one that doesn't take off.

If we're talking, then most times I'm getting what I want.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:22 PM   #36
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Direckshun, perhaps you could answer why you think Israel should completely end the restrictions?
I'm not sure they should. I think exercising some restrictions is reasonable.

I do advocate a demilitarized Palestine, after all.

Here's the issue:



Israel agreed to 400 trucks leaving Palestine per day. They almost never let any, ever.

That's economic warfare.

Edit: It's also a symptom of apartheid.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:23 PM   #37
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Huh. Looks like the Qassam rocket is indigenously produced.

Sorry Direckshun.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:25 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I'm not sure they should. I think exercising some restrictions is reasonable.

I do advocate a demilitarized Palestine, after all.

Here's the issue:



That's economic warfare.
Oh good. Since Israel has eased the restrictions, you should be happy. Of course, it's just another good faith movement by Israel that won't be reciprocated.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #39
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Oh good. Since Israel has eased the restrictions, you should be happy. Of course, it's just another good faith movement by Israel that won't be reciprocated.
Israel hasn't lived up to their current restrictions.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #40
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Huh. Looks like the Qassam rocket is indigenously produced.

Sorry Direckshun.
You lost me.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:30 PM   #41
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Israel hasn't lived up to their current restrictions.
Well, gee, do you think that maybe the reason for that is that Hamas came to power in Gaza? Why should Israel empower and enrich a terrorist group which is a sworn enemy and who occasionally lobs rockets into Israel?
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #42
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You lost me.
You claimed that Hamas get their weaponry for free.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:33 PM   #43
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Well, gee, do you think that maybe the reason for that is that Hamas came to power in Gaza?
They weren't living up to their end of the deal prior to Hamas' ascent to power. Not even close.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:34 PM   #44
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You claimed that Hamas get their weaponry for free.
For the most part, they are. They have no real money to buy weaponry.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:38 PM   #45
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They weren't living up to their end of the deal prior to Hamas' ascent to power. Not even close.
Well, yeah. The paradigm changed obviously when the "Palestinians" foolishly elected in a terrorist group to lead them in Gaza.

You think Israel should have kept the AMA agreement even after Hamas was elected into power?
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