Wednesday, June 02, 2010

There's no humanitarian crisis in Gaza? Really?

There are times I shake my head in wonderment at the rhetoric people put out there to try to justify the needless suffering and murder that is taking place. What's happening right now with Gaza is a perfect example.

The House Republican Conference just sent out an email that highlights what U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference said to CNN, one part of it:
And let's be clear, there's not a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Israel allows to be transferred or transfers 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza every week. The hospitals are fully stocked. The food markets are fully stocked. This flotilla was embarked on a mission to challenge the blockade. Security forces, Israeli defense forces challenged it, and violence ensued. But ultimately Israel has a right to defend itself.

Pence is not alone in that mantra, as this blog post by Sarah Posner points out.

It seems just about everywhere but in Israel or the U.S. it's realized that the Gaza blockade is causing a humanitarian crisis and it's wrong. From Brookings:
Third, the strong international reaction was in the first place connected to the circumstances of the episode itself: the use of force by a well-trained army against a flotilla of civilian international activists in international waters. However, the depth of the reaction cannot be divorced from the context: The blockade of Gaza has been almost universally opposed in the international community as being inhumane, and the Israelis who have argued that removing the blockade would reward Hamas have rejected the requests of everyone else, including the United States. While Gaza has not been front-page news in the United States since the end of the Gaza war in January 2009, the issue remained center stage, certainly in Arab and Muslim countries, but also elsewhere. It is hard to see that how the issue of the attack on the flotilla can be addressed without addressing the blockade itself.

It seems the way to avoid addressing the blockade itself is to try to perpetuate the myth that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza...

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