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Old 11-27-2012, 07:05 AM  
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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, 06:10 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Wait, I missed this part. Israel DID allow flow of trade and Hamas chose to attack the crossing.
Israel allowed a fraction of what it said it would allow, which even then was paltry.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:12 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
I may have asked before, and if so, I apologize. But, what concessions do you want "the Palestinians" and Hamas to make?
I desire a two-state solution, '67 borders with landswaps. Full recognized statehood for both parties with flowing commerce, and a demilitarized Palestine.

So, whatever concessions Palestine needs to make for that to happen.

Edit: Forgot to mention a shared Jerusalem.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:16 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I desire a two-state solution, '67 borders with landswaps. Full recognized statehood for both parties with flowing commerce, and a demilitarized Palestine.

So, whatever concessions Palestine needs to make for that to happen.

Edit: Forgot to mention a shared Jerusalem.
A full unequivocal right to exist by the Palestinians towards Israel would be a great start and not cost them anything.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:17 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Hamas chose to attack it because Israel wasn't living up to their end of the bargain, and it was further impoverishing Palestinians who grew to despise it.
Link or source for that assertion?
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
So, whatever concessions Palestine needs to make for that to happen.
Like what? Please be specific.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
A full unequivocal right to exist by the Palestinians towards Israel would be a great start and not cost them anything.
It'd cost them a bargaining chip. You have to think of it as a negotiator.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
A full unequivocal right to exist by the Palestinians towards Israel would be a great start and not cost them anything.
ya, that messy little detail gets in the way when you think the blame is on Israel, and that ALWAYS gives the Arabs a pass for thousands of rocket attacks.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:32 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Link or source for that assertion?
It's the most sensible explanation for why it was targeted. What do you think the attack was about?
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Like what? Please be specific.
I post about moves I think Palestine needs to make all the time. I'm not going to do a full song and dance here.

I believe Palestine needs to be demilitarized, and recognize Israel's right to exist, and agree to share Jerusalem.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:39 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
It's the most sensible explanation for why it was targeted. What do you think the attack was about?
As you've said, Hamas doesn't WANT peace with Israel.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:39 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I post about moves I think Palestine needs to make all the time. I'm not going to do a full song and dance here.

I believe Palestine needs to be demilitarized, and recognize Israel's right to exist, and agree to share Jerusalem.
Cool, thanks. I agree.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:46 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
It'd cost them a bargaining chip. You have to think of it as a negotiator.
I'd think they'd gain a bigger bargaining chip by doing so.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:10 PM   #103
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I'd think they'd gain a bigger bargaining chip by doing so.
I don't quite think you know how negotiating works.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:27 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I don't quite think you know how negotiating works.
I KNOW you don't know how negotiating works.

And the Palestinians don't either. If they did, they would have taken the deal Clinton brokered 12 years ago, and they would have their own nation.

But since they cannot compromise on a simple thing like letting Jews live, they got nothing.

If the Palestinians want to engage in free trade, they need to stop lobbing rockets into Israel and advocating the wiping out of the Jewish race. By doing so, they would lose nothing, and would gain support for their cause from around the world.

When one can gain and give up nothing, and they pass on the opportunity, well one can easily bring their ability to negotiate under scrutiny.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Hamas gets their weaponry for free.
That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard....

There is nothing free.
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