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Lifting the Gaza Blockade: Practical Issues

donsutherland1

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Some, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have suggested that Israel should lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip. The maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip was put in place to avoid the smuggling of weapons, weapon components, and other materials that could be used for military applications to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Like any other state, Israel has an inherent right of self-defense and the blockade represents a passive means of self-defense. At the same time, Israel continues to permit humanitarian aid to flow into the Gaza Strip.

If the blockade is to be lifted, advocates of doing so have the burden of offering a mechanism that would serve Israel’s security needs. Therefore, they would need to develop or offer an alternative mechanism that would be at least as effective in preventing weapons, weapon components, and materials that could be used for military applications from flowing into the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the mechanism would need to be credible. Mere promises without robust and detailed enforcement mechanisms would not suffice. After all, following the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah fighting, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1701 that called for, among other things, “full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon…” It also required:

…that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft: (a) The sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories…

In other words, that resolution prohibited the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah and required its being disarmed. Some four years later, Hezbollah has replenished its arsenal and is arguably in a stronger armed position vis-à-vis Lebanon’s military forces than in 2006. In other words, the resolution lacked enforcement machinery and its implementation proved hollow. Given its security needs, words alone are not acceptable. Israel should not accept any framework that lacks an adequate enforcement mechanism to fulfill the purpose served by the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, in the recent past, the UN Security Council took no substantive measures to rein in Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. As a result, Israel was left alone to defend the lives and wellbeing of its citizens. That past lack of responsiveness by the UN adds to the need for any framework aimed at lifting the Gaza maritime blockade to contain strong and credible enforcement mechanisms.

On a separate matter, Turkey’s foreign minister suggested that his country would “normalize” its ties with Israel were Israel to end the Gaza blockade. Even as such a proposition might sound attractive, it is not.

Relationships rest on interests. What Turkey is proposing, in effect, is to restore a relationship it had ended, but only if Israel pays a price. Any partner that breaks a relationship and then insists on payment to restore the status quo ante is an unreliable partner. If Israel meets Turkey’s condition, there is no assurance that Turkey might not repeat the cycle down the road, downgrading relations and then asking for new payment for a restoration of those relations. Instead, if the relationship is to be restored to its earlier standing, interests alone should drive that development.
 
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bub

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People who support the blockade say that it brings security to Israel.

But what security?

Does the blockade prevent the Hamas from getting weapons? No

Does the blockade weaken the Hamas? No, actually it is the contrary: because of the siege, the economy of Gaza is ruined, its people live in misery and many of them suffer from the lack of food and lack of medicines, which radicalizes them. Furthermore, since the Hamas controls the tunnels, it controls anything that enters Gaza.

Did the blockade allow the liberation of Shalit? No

What are the other consequences of the blockade? An humanitarian crisis that is denied only in Israel, that shocks the entire world and slowly isolates Israel, which lost its single ally in the ME 3 days ago.
 

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People who support the blockade say that it brings security to Israel.

But what security?

Does the blockade prevent the Hamas from getting weapons? No

Does the blockade weaken the Hamas? No, actually it is the contrary: because of the siege, the economy of Gaza is ruined, its people live in misery and many of them suffer from the lack of food and lack of medicines, which radicalizes them. Furthermore, since the Hamas controls the tunnels, it controls anything that enters Gaza.

Did the blockade allow the liberation of Shalit? No

What are the other consequences of the blockade? An humanitarian crisis that is denied only in Israel, that shocks the entire world and slowly isolates Israel, which lost its single ally in the ME 3 days ago.
It does help prevent weapons from getting in the hands of Hamas. Does all flight security prevent every bomb, weapon, and knife from getting aboard an airplane? No. So should we stop airline security? No.

Hamas does weaken Hamas, it prevents them from obtaining weapons through the Sea. There are only 3 ways weapons could get in, through airl, land, or sea. I believe that Gaza has no working airport and it would be easy to shoot down planes trying to illegally land in Gaza. The other method would be by land. Israel and Egypt have a border wall with border checkpoints to prevent weapons from being smuggled into Israel. Border security is tight, and this helps prevent weapons from getting in. The only useful means of Hamas getting weapons was by smuggling them through underground tunnels from Egypt, which were collapsed and shut down. The third option would be by sea. Having a blockade and searching everything entering Gaza prevents weapons from getting in. All of these things are implemented to prevent Hamas from being armed while allowing Gaza to receive aid. If the Gaza Strip wasn't ruled by a militant terrorist organization then maybe these things wouldn't be as necessary.

The blockade does help keep weapons from Hamas. It severely hinders one of their three means of obtaining weapons. The blockade must stay, and Israel needs to step up the security even more if there are new tunnels through Egypt. I think it's time that Israel go in and finish the job that they started with Operation Cast Lead. Hamas must be destroyed for there to be peace.
 

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People who support the blockade say that it brings security to Israel.

But what security?

Does the blockade prevent the Hamas from getting weapons? No

Does the blockade weaken the Hamas? No, actually it is the contrary: because of the siege, the economy of Gaza is ruined, its people live in misery and many of them suffer from the lack of food and lack of medicines, which radicalizes them. Furthermore, since the Hamas controls the tunnels, it controls anything that enters Gaza.

Did the blockade allow the liberation of Shalit? No

What are the other consequences of the blockade? An humanitarian crisis that is denied only in Israel, that shocks the entire world and slowly isolates Israel, which lost its single ally in the ME 3 days ago.

MICHAEL OREN: I think Hamas is appreciably less popular among the population of Gaza today than it was three years ago.

People of Gaza look across at what's happening in the West Bank, where there's an annual growth rate of between 11 and 8 percent, a very, very high growth rate, where there are tens of thousands of new jobs, where there are talks going on between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, where the Israeli government and the Israeli army has withdrawn from major Palestinian cities and Palestinian security forces have deployed, they look at everything that's happening on the West Bank. None of that is happening in Gaza.

And they conclude the only reason that's not happening is because of the regime that is ruling Gaza. And the minute that regime either disappears or ceases its war to destroy the state of Israel -- and that is its expressed intention -- it's actually in the covenant of Hamas -- then there's no need for a blockade. There's no reason for any restrictions whatsoever. There will be an open border.

Israeli Ambassador: Soldiers Had 'No Choice But to Defend Themselves' | PBS NewsHour | May 31, 2010 | PBS
 

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Does the blockade weaken the Hamas? No, actually it is the contrary: because of the siege, the economy of Gaza is ruined, its people live in misery and many of them suffer from the lack of food and lack of medicines, which radicalizes them. Furthermore, since the Hamas controls the tunnels, it controls anything that enters Gaza.
Under thing to note is that the blockade only angers the Gazan youth more. Keep in mind that the majority of the population is below 20 years old. They will turn to Hamas because Hamas can offer something no one else can. A job that pays. Whether they become a Hamas policeman or a Hamas militant of the al-Qassam Brigades will likely depend on how badly they are suffering under the siege of Gaza.

Yet people still maintain Israel is committed to the peace. What partner of peace only allows the bare minimum of humanitarian aid into a place in a humantiarian crisis? What partner of peace forcefully boards an aid vessel instead of using the incoming aid to show it really is commited to peace? Israel's actions have always spoken louder than their words.
 

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What partner of peace forcefully boards an aid vessel instead of using the incoming aid to show it really is commited to peace? Israel's actions have always spoken louder than their words.

Over the past several days, Israel has been engaged in intense diplomacy to try to convince the participants in the flotilla to transfer the humanitarian aid in their cargo holds to Israel.

Israeli Ambassador: Soldiers Had 'No Choice But to Defend Themselves' | PBS NewsHour | May 31, 2010 | PBS
 

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So, should all governments be so accommodating to groups that are openly defying their authority?
 

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An Israeli citizen perspective:

It was well before my time, but history tells us that President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba when it was discovered that Russian missiles capable of targeting US cities were being delivered and activated on Cuban soil. Mind you, not one of these missiles had ever been fired at the United States. Nevertheless, Kennedy considered this act as a direct threat to US national security and ordered the blockade. Every ship approaching Cuba would be intercepted by the US Navy, boarded, and the cargo inspected. Kennedy considered this principle so critical that he risked a nuclear confrontation with the USSR. Khrushchev eventually backed down and all missiles from Cuba were removed. To this day, the US government still imposes an economic boycott on Cuba.

Israel blockaded Gaza in most part due to infiltration suicide-attacks and rocket barrages constantly fired into nearby Israeli towns and villages. No US president would put up with such mayhem inflicted on American citizens, and no Israeli PM would put up with it either. The Egyptian government has also blockaded its portion of the border with Gaza and restricts the ingress/egress of people and materials.

Some have suggested that the blockade is a security failure. This a patently false. Suicide-bombings in Israel are now virtually nil and have been for many years. Rocket and missile parts have been smuggled in through tunnels, but this activity would have increased a thousand fold without the blockade.

The most vocal objection to the blockade resides on foundational pillars of humanitarian-concern and collective-punishment. To some extent, I can agree with these concerns. The problem is, no one has offered a viable/workable alternative. One only has to look at Lebanon and the re-armament of Hizb'Allah to appreciate that the United Nations is totally inept at preventing or even curtailing the delivery of missiles. Hizb'Allah even boasts publicly that its missile inventory has trebled since the UN brokered cease-fire agreement of 2006. The UN sits there and does little to nothing. But when the **** hits the fan, you can bet the farm that they will blame Israel and then scurry away like frightened rodents.

Israel has stated many times that the blockade would be virtually removed if Hamas ceases rocket/infiltration attacks on Israel and the captured Israeli soldier (in captivity since 2006) is released. Hamas says it cannot guarantee the former. Israel has released hundreds of prisoners already to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, but it is never enough. There are always additional insatiable demands.

So I ask. If not a blockade, then what? What mechanism? I want a real/viable proposal that satisfies both major concerns; (a) satisfying Israeli security concerns and (b) increasing the flow of legitimate staples and non-corruptible materials into Gaza. Don't even bother with UN/EU monitors. Neither is particularly competent nor trustworthy.
 

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People who support the blockade say that it brings security to Israel.

But what security?

Does the blockade prevent the Hamas from getting weapons? No
Wrong, the blockade prevents and has prevented tens of thousands tons of weapons from being transferred to the Hamas.
Read about the Karine A and Francop affairs:
Francop Affair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Karine A Affair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Does the blockade weaken the Hamas? No, actually it is the contrary: because of the siege, the economy of Gaza is ruined, its people live in misery and many of them suffer from the lack of food and lack of medicines, which radicalizes them. Furthermore, since the Hamas controls the tunnels, it controls anything that enters Gaza.
The objective of the blockade is to protect the civilians of the Israeli state.
Did the blockade allow the liberation of Shalit? No
Unfortunately Hamas prefers to have a blockade against Gaza rather than let the Israeli soldier go, but that's Hamas' fault.
What are the other consequences of the blockade? An humanitarian crisis that is denied only in Israel, that shocks the entire world and slowly isolates Israel, which lost its single ally in the ME 3 days ago.
Turkey has stopped being Israel's ally because of the Gaza War, not merely the blockade.
 

bub

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Under thing to note is that the blockade only angers the Gazan youth more. Keep in mind that the majority of the population is below 20 years old. They will turn to Hamas because Hamas can offer something no one else can. A job that pays. Whether they become a Hamas policeman or a Hamas militant of the al-Qassam Brigades will likely depend on how badly they are suffering under the siege of Gaza.

Hamas also gives them the food, since it controls it.

That's the way Egypt turned Islamist.
 

bub

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An Israeli citizen perspective:

It was well before my time, but history tells us that President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba when it was discovered that Russian missiles capable of targeting US cities were being delivered and activated on Cuban soil. Mind you, not one of these missiles had ever been fired at the United States. Nevertheless, Kennedy considered this act as a direct threat to US national security and ordered the blockade. Every ship approaching Cuba would be intercepted by the US Navy, boarded, and the cargo inspected. Kennedy considered this principle so critical that he risked a nuclear confrontation with the USSR. Khrushchev eventually backed down and all missiles from Cuba were removed. To this day, the US government still imposes an economic boycott on Cuba.

...and Khruschev wanted to install missiles in Cuba because the USA had just installed similar missiles in Turkey, so it was only a symetrical move, yet there was no "Turkish missiles crisis". But the real interresting thing is that Kennedy did not dare to call it a "blockade" because he knew it was an act of war, he called it a "quarantine".


Israel blockaded Gaza in most part due to infiltration suicide-attacks and rocket barrages constantly fired into nearby Israeli towns and villages. No US president would put up with such mayhem inflicted on American citizens, and no Israeli PM would put up with it either. The Egyptian government has also blockaded its portion of the border with Gaza and restricts the ingress/egress of people and materials.

Some have suggested that the blockade is a security failure. This a patently false. Suicide-bombings in Israel are now virtually nil and have been for many years. Rocket and missile parts have been smuggled in through tunnels, but this activity would have increased a thousand fold without the blockad

Yet the "few smuggled rockets" were enough to provoke a huge retaliation raid that killed hundreds of civilians. So basically, there is security when people try to justify the blockade, and suddenly there is no security anymore when the same people want to justify retaliation raids.


The most vocal objection to the blockade resides on foundational pillars of humanitarian-concern and collective-punishment. To some extent, I can agree with these concerns. The problem is, no one has offered a viable/workable alternative. One only has to look at Lebanon and the re-armament of Hizb'Allah to appreciate that the United Nations is totally inept at preventing or even curtailing the delivery of missiles. Hizb'Allah even boasts publicly that its missile inventory has trebled since the UN brokered cease-fire agreement of 2006. The UN sits there and does little to nothing. But when the **** hits the fan, you can bet the farm that they will blame Israel and then scurry away like frightened rodents.

Israel has stated many times that the blockade would be virtually removed if Hamas ceases rocket/infiltration attacks on Israel and the captured Israeli soldier (in captivity since 2006) is released. Hamas says it cannot guarantee the former. Israel has released hundreds of prisoners already to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, but it is never enough. There are always additional insatiable demands.

So I ask. If not a blockade, then what? What mechanism? I want a real/viable proposal that satisfies both major concerns; (a) satisfying Israeli security concerns and (b) increasing the flow of legitimate staples and non-corruptible materials into Gaza. Don't even bother with UN/EU monitors. Neither is particularly competent nor trustworthy.

It's still the only solution. You can not have peace as long as nothing changes in Gaza, and you can not win against the Hamas with a blockade. That's as simple as that.

In the end Israel will have to negociate with everyone (and I do not blame Israel only for the failure of the negociations) including the Hamas and the Hezbollah.
And in the short term, I think people would still accept an Israeli control over the borders of Gaza if they merely check (like in an airport) and let everything enter (not the weapons, but all the food, including luxury goods like macaronis, coffee or chocolate). This way it would not be a collective punishment anymore and I think most people would be satisfied.
 

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...and Khruschev wanted to install missiles in Cuba because the USA had just installed similar missiles in Turkey, so it was only a symetrical move, yet there was no "Turkish missiles crisis". But the real interresting thing is that Kennedy did not dare to call it a "blockade" because he knew it was an act of war, he called it a "quarantine".
Kennedy did in fact remove the missiles from Turkey.

Would it make any difference at all if Israel and Egypt called it a quarantine?

Same difference. Israel and Egypt are either being more honest or less astute than Kennedy.

Yet the "few smuggled rockets" were enough to provoke a huge retaliation raid that killed hundreds of civilians. So basically, there is security when people try to justify the blockade, and suddenly there is no security anymore when the same people want to justify retaliation raids.
From mid-December to mid-January of 2009, dozens of missiles were hitting Israel every day. That is more missiles per day than Germany even fired at Britain during WWII. No country in the world would put up with that sort of barrage.

It's still the only solution. You can not have peace as long as nothing changes in Gaza, and you can not win against the Hamas with a blockade. That's as simple as that.
Israel could easily clear the Gaza Strip and deport everyone to Kathmandu. That is not the objective. We simply want to be left alone. It's as simple as that.

In the end Israel will have to negociate with everyone (and I do not blame Israel only for the failure of the negociations) including the Hamas and the Hezbollah.
As long as Hamas and Hezbollah refuse to sit down and negotiate, that failure is on them.

And in the short term, I think people would still accept an Israeli control over the borders of Gaza if they merely check (like in an airport) and let everything enter (not the weapons, but all the food, including luxury goods like macaronis, coffee or chocolate). This way it would not be a collective punishment anymore and I think most people would be satisfied.
I agree with you here. I think the list of allowed items is too restrictive. But you have to be aware that many items - fertilizer for example - are dual use items. These can easily be morphed from civilian commodities to weapons or weapon components.
 

bub

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Kennedy did in fact remove the missiles from Turkey.

Yes, as a part of the agreement to remove the missiles from Cuba, several months later (and anyways they didn't need those missiles anymore, they had submarines)

Would it make any difference at all if Israel and Egypt called it a quarantine?

Same difference. Israel and Egypt are either being more honest or less astute than Kennedy.

It just shows that even in the eyes of the Americans, blockades are an act of war.

From mid-December to mid-January of 2009, dozens of missiles were hitting Israel every day. That is more missiles per day than Germany even fired at Britain during WWII. No country in the world would put up with that sort of barrage.

So the blockade is inefficient


Israel could easily clear the Gaza Strip and deport everyone to Kathmandu. That is not the objective. We simply want to be left alone. It's as simple as that.

You have to bear in mind that deporting Palestinians is not a possibility anymore. They'll be your neighbors, so you have to make peace with them, and You can not have peace as long as nothing changes in Gaza, and you can not win against the Hamas with a blockade. That's as simple as that.


As long as Hamas and Hezbollah refuse to sit down and negotiate, that failure is on them.

It's a bit too easy to blame everything on one side.

I agree with you here. I think the list of allowed items is too restrictive. But you have to be aware that many items - fertilizer for example - are dual use items. These can easily be morphed from civilian commodities to weapons or weapon components.

Then let everything enter except the items that may have a dual purpose. Aren't there substitutes for these items?
 

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Yes, as a part of the agreement to remove the missiles from Cuba, several months later (and anyways they didn't need those missiles anymore, they had submarines)
So did the Russians.

It just shows that even in the eyes of the Americans, blockades are an act of war.
There is no quantitative difference. If there is, explain it to us.

So the blockade is inefficient
I know of no counter-terrorism mechanism that is 100% efficient and foolproof. Do you?

You have to bear in mind that deporting Palestinians is not a possibility anymore. They'll be your neighbors, so you have to make peace with them, and you can not have peace as long as nothing changes in Gaza, and you can not win against the Hamas with a blockade. That's as simple as that.
I don't really care what Hamas does in Gaza as long as it remains in Gaza. Probably how most folks feel about the Taliban and Afghanistan also. In short, keep the circus in your own tent.

It's a bit too easy to blame everything on one side.
Undoubtedly. The flotilla boarding (what you call a raid) is a good example.

Then let everything enter except the items that may have a dual purpose. Aren't there substitutes for these items?
Let's take a simple everyday item... construction nails. While I agree that such an item is necessary for reconstruction, I also know that Hamas loads nails into the nosecone of its Qassam missiles.

So then bub. A simple everyday item is weaponized. What is one to do?
 

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While one can easily understand and sympathize with Israeli security concerns it is also clear that the current policy is not working. The blockade is not only providing militant groups with a ready supply of angry young men who have no other prospects than joining the Hamas - it is also constitution a collective punishment. Being a Jewish state Israel should have learnt from 2000 years of Jews being collectively punished for having killed Jesus that this kind of punishment is an insult to justice.

There has to be a mechanism that inspects shipments into Gaza and stops weapons from entering while allowing other goods to pass freely. However this mechanism should be outside of Israeli control, as a way to scale down the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It would thus be preferable to have an international force being responsible for these inspections.

Regarding other good than weapons that might be used for military purposes like fertiliser there are valid problems. On one hand these goods can be used for weapons but on the other hand fertiliser is necessary if there has to be a significant growth in the agricultural sector of the economy. Economic growth in Gaza should be the prime goal of Israeli security policy. People who have good jobs and see a future for their children are not desperate enough to blow themselves up or becoming militants. So maybe banning fertiliser from entering is actually causing more security problems than it solves.
 

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While one can easily understand and sympathize with Israeli security concerns it is also clear that the current policy is not working. The blockade is not only providing militant groups with a ready supply of angry young men who have no other prospects than joining the Hamas - it is also constitution a collective punishment. Being a Jewish state Israel should have learnt from 2000 years of Jews being collectively punished for having killed Jesus that this kind of punishment is an insult to justice.
This is not a collective punishment of Gazans, it is an action taken against Hamas.

Evidence being that Israel and Egypt have only enforced the blockade on Gaza once Hamas came to power, not a moment before it.
 

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This is not a collective punishment of Gazans, it is an action taken against Hamas.

Evidence being that Israel and Egypt have only enforced the blockade on Gaza once Hamas came to power, not a moment before it.

Exactly how is banning import of ginger and chocolate into the Gaza strip stopping Hamas from attacking Israeli territory? The blockade goes far beyond the legitimate military needs of Israel.

The desperate situation in the Gaza strip is an outright humanitarian disaster, engineered by Israel to punish the people for having voted for the only alternative to the corrupt and inefficient Fatah. You can call the blockade whatever you want - its easily foreseeable results still are that the economy of Gaza is completely destroyed, that virtually no rebuilding can take place and that ordinary Palestinians suffer.
 

bub

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There is no quantitative difference. If there is, explain it to us.

Just remembering everyone that blockades are acts of war



I know of no counter-terrorism mechanism that is 100% efficient and foolproof. Do you?

Peace?

I don't really care what Hamas does in Gaza as long as it remains in Gaza. Probably how most folks feel about the Taliban and Afghanistan also. In short, keep the circus in your own tent.

Well the problem is that your actions affect negatively the lives of the Palestinians. It's as if you listen to music very loudly and then don't understand why your neighbor hates you.



Let's take a simple everyday item... construction nails. While I agree that such an item is necessary for reconstruction, I also know that Hamas loads nails into the nosecone of its Qassam missiles.

So then bub. A simple everyday item is weaponized. What is one to do?

You have to be reasonable when you make the list. Everything could be used as shrapnels for the Qassam, I guess small pieces of metal like coins would have the same effect, and you can't reasonably prevent all these things from entering Gaza.
 

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The blockade must end because not only is it causing health problems within the Gaza population it is creating a climate where what is not normal is becoming more and more the norm. Most of the population have not even met an Israeli and so to them an Israeli is simply what they have seen and been told. From a program I saw of youngsters there, their belief was simply that the Israeli's hated them, why they did not know but that is what they thought. Some of them already had ideas of fighting them when they grew up and one said that although Israeli's hated them and he did not like Israeli adults, he had nothing against Israeli children. It was not their fault he said, they were not involved, so if he met an Israeli child, he would not hate him, he would talk to him and try to get an understanding of why Israeli's hated them so much.

We are dealing here with a population of human beings who are just as human as you or I. My concern is that this continuing blockade, if it continues for much longer is building a situation where peace may indeed be difficult.

My interest is for a just peace in the region. This will only happen when the views of the extremes on both sides are ignored and both sides see that peace is in their interest.

On views. Israelis claim they cannot be friends with Gaza because of the Hamas charter....b ut Mark Tomsen claims

Unquestionably however, the Hamas document is a response to the Likud Party Platform of 1977 that reflected similar thoughts of many Israelis, particularly West Bank settlers, when it rejected any two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis:
"The right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is eternal and indisputable and
is linked with the right to security and peace; therefore Judea and Samaria will
not be handed to any foreign administration; between the Sea and the Jordan
there will only be Israeli sovereignty." D4

http://www.christianzionism.org/Article/Thomsen01.pdf

There is a serious difficulty with both sides dehumanising the other and that has to stop.

I understand caution about simply opening the blockade as no doubt there will be some people desperate to do what they have been fantasying for some time.

The first thing is to open Gaza's sea port. The EU has already offered to give supervision to make sure bomb making material and so on is not brought through.

Next I think at the very earliest a way has to be made so that there is freedom of access between Gaza and the West Bank.

I think this should be arranged and supervised Internationally.

Working towards peace. Exchanges of goodwill between people in Gaza and/or Palestine. Israeli child spends time with Palestinian family goes to their school and the opposite - the usual sort of thing. Working towards getting proper and diverse education for the people of Gaza and wanted things for them to work to achieve.

Working towards a lasting harmonious peace with the people of Israel which will result in much interaction and mutual benefit.

It needs to begin with the sea port being opened, with no blockade of goods which necessitate Gaza becoming a black market country and with Gaza and the West Bank at the earliest being united for free and easy access between them.

Ordinary people everywhere want peace. Ordinary people need to see that peace is preferable to strife. At the moment I do not think this is so for the Israeli population. I think they benefit from the strife getting more land and so on. Israel is the stronger one. Israel has all the power. What has Israel to gain from improving the situation - very little.

For this reason I think the International Community must come out strongly against Israel in some ways. Against the blockade, against settlements and so on.

So for me, start with opening Gaza's port under EU supervision, stop the blockade of all items except obvious weapons, get Gaza and the West Bank reunited at the earliest, end all new settlements and start bringing people out of some and the International Community should shout and shout and do sanctions if necessary until the ordinary Israeli understands peace is better than what they have now.

Yes, there will be a few bombs or rockets. This unfortunately will happen but this should not stop the one pointedness towards a just and lasting peace.

Keep at it and that is exactly what there will be and Israel will be able to live harmoniously with their neighbours to both their benefits.

For a while we must work both of the physical level (ending blockades and so on) but also on the psychological level of both sides.

The end outcome will be worth it to both.
 
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Apocalypse

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Exactly how is banning import of ginger and chocolate into the Gaza strip stopping Hamas from attacking Israeli territory? The blockade goes far beyond the legitimate military needs of Israel.

The desperate situation in the Gaza strip is an outright humanitarian disaster, engineered by Israel to punish the people for having voted for the only alternative to the corrupt and inefficient Fatah. You can call the blockade whatever you want - its easily foreseeable results still are that the economy of Gaza is completely destroyed, that virtually no rebuilding can take place and that ordinary Palestinians suffer.

The list of approved goods into Gaza is being changed and updated all of the time.
Israel considers every probable use of the goods it approves/disapproves into the Gaza strip.

There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the kids there look quite healthy to me, so I don't know what's the UN talking about.
Just watch the videos from Gaza and judge by yourself.
Kids don't become unhealthy just because chocolate isn't being let in.
 

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Exactly how is banning import of ginger and chocolate into the Gaza strip stopping Hamas from attacking Israeli territory? The blockade goes far beyond the legitimate military needs of Israel.

You asked a question that will never be reasonably answered. Yet still no pro-Israel is willing to admit that that action (banning the import of chocolate) is part of a collective measure that does not distinguish between civilian and military. Banning rockets, or materials to build rockets, is aimed at stopping the arming of Hamas. Banning shoes? That is just ridiculous.
 

donsutherland1

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So I ask. If not a blockade, then what? What mechanism? I want a real/viable proposal that satisfies both major concerns; (a) satisfying Israeli security concerns and (b) increasing the flow of legitimate staples and non-corruptible materials into Gaza. Don't even bother with UN/EU monitors. Neither is particularly competent nor trustworthy.

That's the key issue. From past precedent, neither UN/EU monitors nor an arrangement along the lines of UNIFIL (Lebanon) would be adequate.
 

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Another thing just came to mind bub. Do you think JFK ever thought it would be appropriate if Cuban children didn't get chocolate and shoes? Clearly a missile cannot be launched from Cuba if a single child isn't eating chocolate or not wearing shoes :rolleyes:
 

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That's the key issue. From past precedent, neither UN/EU monitors nor an arrangement along the lines of UNIFIL (Lebanon) would be adequate.
Exactly. And no one on this thread has been able to conceive/suggest a better alternative.
 
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