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Posted by on Jun 13, 2010 in International | 0 comments

Which Palestinians Do You Support?

Critics of Israel’s blockade on direct shipments to Gaza insist that they aren’t anti-Semites, aren’t opposed to Israel, and aren’t supporters of Hamas. Rather, they insist, they only support the Palestinian people against a completely unjustified Israeli campaign of oppression.

Alas, it seems that the leader of the Palestinian Authority doesn’t agree with that reading any more than Israel’s defenders do. It is telling that the Israeli blockade only applies to shipments to Hamas-controlled Gaza, not all Palestinians. So those who seek to break the blockade should answer the straightforward question — which Palestinians are you supporting?

Breaking the blockade would only help Hamas, as it is certain that weapons shipments would immediately follow any “humanitarian aid”. The fact that Hamas routinely uses its smuggling routes from Egypt for weapons rather that food and medicine proves that Hamas’ priorities lie with killing Jews, not feeding and treating its people well. To force Israel to remove its restrictions on shipments into Gaza cannot be seen as anything other than a demand straight from Hamas’ playbook, with exactly zero consideration of Israel’s security needs.

Breaking the blockade is also unnecessary to purely humanitarian purposes, as Israel has proven itself willing to pass on most humanitarian cargo after inspection to ensure military and dual-use items are blocked. (It should be noted, however, that Israel should reevaluate its definitions to ensure that the blockade is narrowly tailored to meet its security needs.) It is also fascinating to note that humanitarian items in the controversial “flotilla” were few and haphazard — a pretense for a confrontation rather than a genuine humanitarian mission. The largest ship, where the violent confrontation occurred, apparently contained no humanitarian aid whatsoever, though a large amount of knives and other weapons were carried by the passengers among their personal belongings.

Moreover the head of the IHH, the putative “charity” which recruited activists and sponsored the mission to Gaza, was quoted on National Public Radio (not known as a pro-Israel outlet) as saying that the purpose of the mission was “the end of Israel”, a full-throated endorsement of Hamas’ goal of genocidal extermination rather than a statement of concern for everyday Palestinians.

Critics of Israel need to consider whether they are getting played by pro-Hamas propagandists who care nothing for everyday Palestinians except as cannon fodder.

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