Book of the Month

Muslim Brotherhood Continues to Blockade Gaza

The conventional meme I gather is that Israel is blockading Gaza for the simple reason that it is mean and wants to punish the Palestinians there for no reason at all, and that security concerns are mere pretext for the blood-thirsty, civilian slaughtering military of the Jewish State. 

The notion that Israel is and always was starving the Gazan people, is of course an absolute lie and a blood libel in many instances.  But to my principal point this morning, I submit to you that Israel, and only Israel, is the one nation-state in the history of the world that would be accused of maintaining a prison of an entire population when that population has a border with another country that Israel has no control over.  That nation is Egypt and it is run by the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Here are the facts.  Egypt continues to prevent the free flow of goods and people into and out of Gaza.  Let me put it another way: Egypt, led by the latest sectarian dictator or sectarian dictator-puppet to enter the world stage, continues to blockade Gaza as Mubarek did.  And, to make matters "worse" (or not), Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, is now flooding the tunnels between Egypt and Gaza with sewer water to shut down that trade, and they are doing so for--get this, security reasons.

There is so much to be sad about in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  There is so much to be sad about when it comes to Israeli policy specifically.  But personally and to the extent I represent other Jews who cannot be accused of not listening to other viewpoints-- I just will continue without apology to turn off folks who lead with false charges of Israeli blockades or genocide or whatever.  That dog don't hunt, and reacting to that dog is what I find myself doing more often than not.  And that's cool, because we play with the hand we're dealt.

 

 

Read the full article at http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/tunnel-vision/

Meanwhile, Issandr's co-blogger @ arabist.net, Ursula Lindsey, wrote Feb. 16 about how depressing and scary Cairo has become, for The London Review of Books.

It is hard to say what this news says about the "conventional meme" that Israel is punishing Gazan people because it can or has to or what have you.

The news certainly does show that the often made connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas needs to be reconsidered.

Here's the start of an article that the Times just posted on its website on the Egyptian use of raw sewage to shut down tunnels to Gaza:

The Egyptian military is resorting to a pungent new tactic to shut down the smuggling tunnels connecting Sinai and Gaza: flooding them with sewage. Along with the stink, the approach is raising new questions about relations between Egypt’s new Islamist leaders and their ideological allies in Hamas who control the Gaza Strip.

 “Awful,” said Abu Mutair Shalouf, 35, a Palestinian smuggler on the Gaza side, watching workers haul buckets of sewage-soaked soil from the shaft of a tunnel flooded by the Egyptian military 15 days ago. “I don’t know why they did this.”

   

Advisers to the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, say the answer is simple: they are determined to shut the tunnels to block the destabilizing flow of weapons and militants into Sinai from Gaza — a vow Mr. Morsi made with evident passion in an interview five months ago.    

 

Making it perfectly clear:

Egypt’s Army Says It’s Determined to Block All Tunnels to Gaza, by Salma El Wardany, Bloomberg News, Feb 21, 2013.

Also,

Egypt's' National Security advisor told Reuters a few days ago that controlling weapons smuggling was his top priority:

...."Everybody has noticed that since the collapse of (former
Libyan leader Muammar) Gaddafi's army, the amount of weapons
smuggling across the whole region has really increased
dramatically," he said.

"This is something that is really alarming because you don't
know who will be getting these arms. And when you see there are
anti-aircraft missiles inside Egypt and anti-tank weapons inside
Egypt ... you will question who is doing this and why.

"That is why we want to strengthen our western border,"
Haddad said, adding that this was the government's top security
priority now....

also interesting from that interview:

....Haddad made clear that President Mohamed Mursi would
scrupulously respect Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel, and
that daily cooperation with the Jewish state continued as
normal, even though there were no contacts at a presidential
level....

 So the Palestinians find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Which is Israel, is it the rock or is it the hard place? You acknowledge Israeli abuses but you seem to be suggesting that the blockade by Israel is justified, or at least should be understood and should not be held against them, and you base that idea on some immoral equivalency with a whacko religiously controlled authoritarian regime which is doing the same thing on Palestine's other border. I disagree. Palestine's only innocent border is with the uncaring sea.

 Who do you see advancing some meme that says  that Israel is blockading Gaza for the simple reason that it is mean and wants to punish the Palestinians there for no reason at all? Is there really anyone with any credibility anywhere saying that?

"I just will continue without apology to turn off folks who lead with false charges of Israeli blockades or genocide or whatever."

 Did you misspeak? What is false about charging Israel with blockading Palestine? And, how do you intend to "turn off" folks who comment on the nature of that blockade if you don’t happen to agree completely with the way they see it? A related question is: How, do you think, should people whom you see as deserving of being "turned off" in fact be "turned off"? And finally, another question: Is it fair, for an American citizen living in the middle of America and who is concerned with the I/P situation and trying to understand it, to give some credence to conclusions/opinions of Israeli Jews who have lived their lives and held respected positions of authority and action right in the middle of that situation as it played out over the years?

“Jewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such an extent that we fail to see what’s right in front of our eyes. It’s simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practices its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.” Shulamit Aloni, Minister for Education under Yitzhak Rabin, January, 2007.

 “[In 1967] We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one – progressive, liberal – in Israel; and the other – cruel, injurious – in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.” Michael Ben-Yair, Israel’s attorney general from 1993-96, March, 2002.

 


 

How do I turn folks off?  I seem to have turned you off pretty easily.  

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