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Gaza blockade

  • The only real danger of Gaza flotillas

    Activists on the Freedom Flotilla must understand that the blockade on Gaza is constantly evolving, and that the tactics of yesteryear may no longer be relevant. Putting the spotlight on humanitarian supplies allows Israel to divert attention from the worst parts of the blockade. By Itamar Sha'altiel The truth is that after five years it’s getting a little old. Israeli naval commandos once again take over a boat to Gaza, and again, it happens without any fuss. The Israeli defense minister once again claims that there is no blockade on Gaza, and once again the prime minister tells the activists…

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  • Obama, Netanyahu and the Palestinian conflict: What's next?

    Something indeed changed in the Israel-U.S. relationship, the question is what actions will the U.S. take and how Netanyahu reacts — from the Security Council to Gaza. I just got back from the annual J Street conference. The atmosphere was very different from the 2013 conference. Back then it was all about the Kerry mission. This year, talk of peace was replaced by a certain state of shock from Netanyahu’s victory at the polls. Most of the conference participants get their information about those elections from the American media, which was in turn fed by the Israeli media, which presented…

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  • For the IDF, marriage isn't a 'humanitarian need'

    What kind of future is Israel offering Palestinian women when they can't even obtain permits to leave the country in search of a better life? Amira Hass published an article in Haaretz last week about the Israel government rejecting a request by a young woman from Gaza to travel to Turkey in order to get married and live there. The young woman turned to Israel's District Coordination and Liaison Office through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee for permission to exit through the Erez Crossing into the West Bank. From there should would first travel to Jordan before taking off for…

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  • Disengagement? Israel's interests in Gaza are stronger than ever

    There is something ironic and self-contradictory about the Israeli Right's plans for managing the conflict instead of solving it: Israel doesn't have a real interest in truly disconnecting from Gaza. And Gaza isn't going anywhere. By Itamar Sha’altiel Over the past several years Yoaz Hendel has been been positioning himself as a natural candidate to be Israel's prime minister. With a column in Yedioth Ahronoth, his own radio show and an opinion on everything, Hendel is everywhere. Among other things, he also has an opinion on Gaza. It's worth taking a look at: According to Hendel, Israel has only two option:…

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  • A siege of inertia: Israel's non-policy on Gaza

    One government inherits the siege from another, the prime minister admits it’s more harmful than helpful, the cabinet never formulates or even discusses a policy, and one minister goes as far as admitting that the only driving force behind Israel’s Gaza policy is inertia. By Itamar Sha’altiel There is something tempting about trying to connect all the dots, which show that every decision made by successive Israeli governments have just been part of one giant, logical process. It doesn't matter whether the final outcome is cold and cruel — at least we can find solace knowing that all the pain and…

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  • Seven years later, Israel decides Gaza blockade is ineffective

    After seven years of siege, the defense establishment has suddenly discovered that the blockade on Gaza is not helpful. It's no coincidence, of course, that this realization comes after a war that devastated the Strip and has the Palestinians focused on reconstruction.  "Israel now admits that the almost-airtight blockade of Gaza has done more harm than good." I am always amazed at the ease with which these sentences are written by this or that analyst. Written so nonchalantly to the point that it feels like the writer might as well just shrug and say, "Well that didn't work, let's try…

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  • 'Ending the siege is not a Hamas demand - it is a Palestinian one'

    How is this Gaza war different from all the others? Former New York Times correspondent to Gaza, Taghreed El-Khodary, speaks about her time covering the siege of the Strip, and why the international media is slowly coming around to the Palestinian story. By Moriel Rothman-Zecher “I don’t mind being interviewed. Let’s plan the timing,” wrote Taghreed El-Khodary, formerly the Gaza correspondent for the New York Times and currently an editor at fanack.com, ’’I just need to make sure my sister and her family managed to escape their building in Rimal area in Gaza City.” I had reached out to Taghreed…

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  • How journalists become complicit in Gaza's suffering

    Reporters seize upon the list of Gaza's most recent victims, only to parse their death certificates for proof that they, too, did not deserve to die. "Journalism," wrote the Swedish war correspondent Stig Dagerman, "is the art of coming too late as early as possible." The dictum resounds in Gaza, where an eight-year Israeli siege – which has left this land all but unlivable – went woefully underreported well before Gaza was is in the throes of war. As Palestinian families again count their dead, that journalistic negligence, say human rights workers, leaves much of the reporting here dangerously devoid of context. One…

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  • Why the Gaza port matters

    While prospects for a negotiated end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza remain bleak, making use of the existing sea passage to Gaza could offer a way forward for all parties, including Egypt. As negotiations to end the bloodshed in Gaza continue in Cairo, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said today that some 65,000 homes had been destroyed by Israeli bombing, leaving more than a quarter of the Gazan population seeking shelter – half of them at UNRWA schools. Aid organizations say the recovery effort will take years and, even then, only if Gaza has unfettered access to the…

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  • Debunking Gaza war lies

    The lies generated by the IDF spokesperson and the media on the Gaza war are still being endlessly quoted for the purposes of propaganda. By John Brown (translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) 1. "Hamas is forcing residents to stand on rooftops, leading to their deaths." The claim originated with the killing of six members of the Kware'a family and two others at 2:30 p.m. on July 8. According to the investigation, the family evacuated the house after receiving a phone call from the army, but returned after the "knock on the roof" missile was erroneously assumed to have been the missile…

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  • Protective Edge: The disengagement undone

    Israel's latest operation has brought about an end to the notion that Gaza can be separated from the rest of Palestine. The current war in Gaza demands we revisit the circumstances surrounding Israel’s “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Supporters of the war often claim that Israel left the territory and “got rockets in return.” The first rocket was fired from Gaza in 2001, but there is a more important point to be made here: one cannot evacuate a certain part of the occupied territories and expect the problem to be solved – at least in that particular area…

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  • Why do Palestinians continue to support Hamas despite such devastating losses?

    I know of many Palestinians who do not like Hamas. Yet for them, the Gaza war is about the siege - part of their own war of independence. Israelis refuse to get that. In The Fog of War, Errol Morris’ excellent documentary, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara speaks about a certain inability to understand the enemy – one that stems from a lack of empathy. In the film, McNamara, a brilliant systems analyst, who is today associated more than anything with the Vietnam War, says that part of President Kennedy’s successful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis was his…

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  • Gaza war diary: 'A second of silence, then the bombs go off'

    Despite the danger, Walid Abuzaid couldn't be separated from his home in Gaza for very long. And though coming home means facing possible death, he refuses to give in to hate.  By Walid Abuzaid Thursday, June 27 I was in Cyprus when it all started. When we heard about the kidnapped teens, we were thrilled by the possibility of another prisoner release. Hamas would be held responsible for the kidnapping, but we treat our prisoners well – at least the one prisoner we've ever had. It's my last night in Cyprus and one of so few in which I smile…

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