Monday, January 10, 2011

Gaza Got Exactly What It Deserved

Earlier this week, I reported on the release of a Wikileaks cable that set out Israel's strategy for dealing with Gaza.

"As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge," one of the cables read.

Israel wanted the coastal territory's economy "functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis", according to the Nov. 3, 2008 cable.

Writing in the National Post, Barbara Kay agrees with me that Israel had every right to keep Gaza 'on the verge' of a humanitarian crisis.

There should be nothing controversial or newsworthy in that statement. All it tells us is that Israel treats dangerous, sworn enemies on its borders with a lot more compassion than other countries would in the same circumstances. Of course Israel wants Gaza to suffer, as well Gaza should suffer.

The full 2007 blockade came about for a good reason. Hamas still refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist; its militants have fired thousands of rockets inside Israeli territory, wounding and even killing Israeli citizens and demoralizing the country; Hamas refuses to return soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted from an Israeli border post in 2006. Most important, Hamas has given the world no assurances whatsoever that their ambition to drive every Israeli into the sea has abated.

In keeping Gaza “on the brink of collapse,” a phrase also cited in the leaks, Israel was acting in its own self-interest, as any normal state would and should. What Israel did for three years on Gaza’s borders is precisely what U.S. and EU sanctions aim to do with Iran in order to make them back down from nuclear weaponization: starve the economy without actually starving people. Rational people tend to get a message when their economy is suffocating, and surely economic pressures are preferable to bombs.

In fact this “news” should redound to Israel’s credit. Clearly it is well within Israel’s power to cause a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Contrary to international accusations, this it refuses to do, and never wanted to do. The cable backs up that claim. So much for the Israel-haters’ frequent, favourite comparison of Israel with Nazi Germany.

Indeed. We have nothing of which to be ashamed.

Labels: Barbara Kay, Gaza plenty, Wikileaks

posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 1:08 AM

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