“a new tack is needed on Gaza…” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/world/middleeast/03policy.html?hp
The official Israeli reasons behind the Gaza blockade:
1. Our defense. If we don’t have a blockade starving and emaciating the whole (1.5 million person) population of Gaza, then they would smuggle guns in with their food and kill us all. Don’t you remember those suicide attacks in the 90s, when dozens of Israelis were killed? Don’t you remember the occasional homemade rocket that, launched over the border, hit Israeli property and damaged it? This is why we need to have a blockade: they would kill us all! They are essentially a bunch of terrorists, don’t let their civilian defenseless women and children act fool you.
2. Our defense. If we don’t blockade Gaza…(insert things here to make your imagination run wild, be very afraid, use tricks from Bush2’s playbook about the anonymous terrorists waiting to suck the blood from our children’s hearts if we don’t bomb and shoot and blockade them to death first).
…Iran will bring nuclear bombs. Or other scary things.
…Hamas or Hizbullah will try to overthrow us.
Things not to think about when considering this issue:
1. Israel’s “security” is not at stake. At all. Israel is an unrivaled local superpower. They have the largest airforce in the region by far, one of the largest in the world. They are one of the chosen few to possess nuclear bombs (hundreds of them). They get billions of dollars a year for free from US taxpayers. They have supernew high-tech (US taxpayer donated) tanks, Apache helicopters, 2,000 lb. bombs, state of the art antiaircraft defense systems, a world-renowned spy agency (Mossad), naval gunships, fighter jets by the dozen, and on and on. The Palestinians have, in this order: knives, machine guns, homemade rocket launchers (about 10lb. missiles that suck), and the occasional smuggled-in missile or two. Now, does Israel really have something to fear here, or is this just a rhetorical strategy to legitimize a local, ruthless, hegemony?
2. Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people. Back in 2006, there were elections. Everyone was very excited, because the Palestinians were gonna be a democracy. Let freedom ring. There were many international observers to verify the fairness of the process, headed by President Jimmy Carter. He affirmed afterward that the elections were as fair as it gets, perfectly honest. Who won? Hamas won. But oh, no, we didn’t actually mean democracy. We only meant sham democracy, to install a US-Israeli puppet like Abbas. So immediately after Hamas fairly won the perfectly democratic election, Israel and the US imposed a ruthless embargo on the Gaza strip where Hamas was based, and shortly thereafter tried to overthrow Hamas in a coup to install Abbas. This coup failed, and the embargo has gone on. In the name of “Israeli defense.” But let’s forget that Hamas has democratic legitimacy of the sort so embarrassingly lacking in America’s recent pet projects in Afghanistan (where international observers called the elections a shame and a joke and an insult to democracy) and Iraq (where puppets succeed puppets, while the people suffer).
3. The UN security council, which represents a global consensus on what should be done, is crystal clear: Israel must lift the blockade, dismantle settlements on occupied Palestinian land, and withdraw to pre1967 borders. There’s not confusion here, no argument, the hundred plus countries all agree perfectly, along with the highest court in the world, the International High Court, what justice will look like. The only countries that have a different opinion are, you guessed it: the US and Israel.
(following from http://www.ifamericansknew.org/: )
|Israel currently has 223 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land. (View Sources & More Information)|
|0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 24,145 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967. (View Sources & More Information)|
|During Fiscal Year 2009, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $7.0 million per day in military aid and $0 in military aid to the Palestinians. (View Sources & More Information)|
|124 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,441 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)|