22
Dec
09

Can Israel’s Gaza blockade be justified?

Aid agencies have released a report criticising the world for not doing more to stop the Israeli blockade of Gaza. It’s been picked up around the world by bloggers and mainstream media. All of this rests of course on the belief that the blockade is a ‘collective punishment’ that is unwarranted. Would you agree with that? And would you want more pressure applied to Israel to end it?


80 Responses to “Can Israel’s Gaza blockade be justified?”


  1. 1 Petr
    December 22, 2009 at 11:06

    I guess the BBC staff with their too obvious agenda must suffer from a withdrawal syndrome if they don’t publish some sort of article bashing Israel one way or the other at least once a week.

    • 2 stephen/portland
      December 23, 2009 at 07:46

      So what’s the reason for the anti Jewish conspiracy at the BBC? What great powers are at work here? Is it part of the same anti Jewish conspiracy that stole the sign at Auschwitz, an obvious example of anti-Semitism that still exists in Europe? Again, part of an Anglo European conspiracy to discredit and degrade Israel? Not more than five seconds after that sign was reported missing the Israeli Pr machine was already blaming Anti-Semites with their statement: “I call on all enlightened forces in the world who fight against anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and the hatred of the other, to join together to combat these trends.”

      Of course it couldn’t be possible that it was some broke Polish scrap metal merchants trying to make a quick buck?

      You should be offended by the stories that are coming out of the west bank and not blame the reporters. The BBC knows how Israel treats others and reports it with no bias. Not like the do in the United States.

      I for one will get my news where I can trust it. GO BBC!

  2. 3 Ibrahim in UK
    December 22, 2009 at 11:48

    The blockade by Israel and Egypt is collective punishment and a crime against humanity. The occupation of Gaza’s seas and airspace forbids goods from enterting too. Israel justifies it’s occupation by blaming the resistance for fighting against the occupier. In the West Bank, there is no resistance. Yet there is still occupation of the West Bank, the settlements are still growing, Arab land is still being taken, water is still being siphoned off, the walls, the checkpoints etc are also illegal. All these crimes are sponsored by the US taxpayer and supported/assisted by the US military and political machinery. How can you give weapons and immunity to a nation, then wonder what kind of pressure to apply.
    The Goldstone report is a good starting point which removes the shield of immunity and wants to make nations/groups accountable for their crimes. The US is blocking this once more, and instead of “pressuring” Israel to ease the blockade on Gaza, it is pressuring the pro-US dictator in Egypt to tighten the blockade and punish the people of Gaza even more.
    It is time for the Arabs to break the blockade themselves inspite of dictators, superpowers and occupiers. (Breaking the dictatorships and occupation would be even better).

    • 4 Moshe
      December 25, 2009 at 20:07

      Ibrahim states that the “blockade” by Israel & Egypt of the terrorist base of Gaza is a “crime against humanity”.
      By the same logic i presume he considers imprisoning mass murderers a “crime against humanity”.
      No. It is the protection of humanity

  3. 5 steve
    December 22, 2009 at 13:25

    Why do you neglect to mention that Egypt is blockading Gaza as well?

  4. 8 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    December 22, 2009 at 14:16

    Blockading any country indefinitely is totally imoral and those who do so should sort out their own mess instead of confining others into a pogrom and starvubg them to death when they themselves have enough to eat – its shame.
    Palestians condected a democratic elections which the Hamas wone legimately only to be told that they were not supposed to win. What crap! Israel continues to treat Palestinian territory as if its were its own where it conducts what Olmert once told us that it was ‘a routine raid’ despite the fact that this exercise ended with four lives shamelessly lost.
    What does Israel and its supporters fear through having palestinians go for supplies in Egypt. Egypt itself we know is true supporter of the state of Israel and won’t allow weapons to be smuggled through its own territory.

  5. 9 Frank in the USA
    December 22, 2009 at 14:55

    I second Steve’s comment. Egypt is also blockading Gaza. Your failure to even mention that leads one to question your objectivity, and wonder what else you are omitting when convenient.

    If the Palestinians aren’t happy with the blockade, perhaps they should rethink their attitudes toward Israel, Egypt, and the rest of the civilized world. They have created this situation themselves and now whine like spoiled children. They need to accept reality. The solution lies in their hands.

  6. 11 Mohammed Ali
    December 22, 2009 at 15:01

    Preventing innocent people from getting their daily bread can be equated to crimes against humanity. But in the case of israel and their backers, they are fighting terrorism. in the eyes of the israelis, every single palestinian citizen is a terrorist and therefore should be subjected to abject poverty and hunger. In the future when we all get to realize the wicked doing of israel, we may probably describe it as HOLOCUST.

  7. 12 Roberto
    December 22, 2009 at 15:16

    RE “” Blockading any country indefinitely is totally imoral “”
    ————————————————————————–

    ———— Same old crusty chestnut dredged up yet again as a talking point.

    Palestinians have no country, they have territories of people in anarchy. They last turned down internationally sanctioned statehood in 2000 when there was plenty of prosperity, free access to Israel and Egypt, and there were no conflicts.

    So, for the umpteenth time, Palestinians not only turned down statehood, but also restarted the intifada with hundreds of suicide bombers into Israel which begot current hostilities and the current blockade.

    Gaza has been receiving plenty enough aid to survive, but as long as Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel, they will be blockaded. When they stop, Israel will have no right, indeed, no need for the blockade.

    Would be “End Of” except for Hamas.

  8. 13 Tony from Singapura
    December 22, 2009 at 15:34

    This state of affairs disgusts me, what makes me angry is that for every accusation against Israel, a simple denial is always issued – and always the denial is a bare faced lie.

    Recently we had Israel denying the use of white phosphorus against civilians while the wounds of the injured were catching fire in the hospitals due to this substance. Liars

    Israel denied harvesting organs from Palestinians, now the truth is out that they did… Liars

    Now we have Israel making statements that it is acting in a humanitarian way towards the Gazzans in response to this recent criticism. In reality Gazzans are actually starving because of this blockade. Liars.

    The State of Israel needs withdraw to it’s correct borders, start obeying International Law and stop committing acts of terrorism and torture and against innocent civilians. If they do I am sure that the Gazzans will stop lobbing fire crackers over the fence onto their own land.

    The State of Israel is giving Judaism a bad name.

  9. 15 Tony from Singapura
    December 22, 2009 at 15:37

    @frank

    Sorry Frank – the Palestinians did not create this situation themselves, they were dispossessed of their land by refugees from Europe during WWII. It all went downhill from there. How soon we forget.

    • 16 Asher
      December 23, 2009 at 22:35

      Sorry Tony – The Palestinians were NOT dispossessed. The basic reason for their plight was caused by the British Labour Government of the 1940’s
      King Abdullah of Jordan came to an agreement after the Israel War of Independence regarding the position of the Arab Refugees.
      The British at that time – who ruled Jordan prevented the agreement’s implementation.
      The reason being that such a situation would be to Britain’s advantage.
      Because Jordan was – as described by the Soviet Union – ‘A puppet of Britain’
      Jordan was not able to join the U.N. until King Hussein dismissed ‘Glubb Pashah ‘
      as head of the Arab Legion. that Jordan was allowed U.N. Membership.

      One is bound to ponder if Israel is that bad – why is it treating Gaza citizens who are suffering with Swine Flu in their hospitals.? despite the fact Hamas is holding as hostage sgt, Gilad Shalit?

  10. 18 A R Shams
    December 22, 2009 at 15:38

    All the global countries should morally inform Israel that the blocade it does in Gaza is unjustified on humanitarian grounds.

    • 19 Mark Longton
      December 25, 2009 at 19:13

      I can see you are well-meaning Shams, but Israel is actually extraordinarily kind to Gazan’s, despite the horrific way Hamas treat Israel. All people who care about the life and wellbeing of the Palestinians, the Israeli’s and all world inhabitants should inform the Palestinians that it is perfectly reasonable to expect the blockade to continue until such time that they vote into government leaders who speak of and act towards living in peace with Israel and welcoming them as equals and legitimate members of that neighbourhood the Middle East.

      Right now we do a great disservice to Palestinians by pretending that the cause of their ills has to do with anything other than their leaders’ hateful rejection of Israel.

      Israel is the land of the Jews, and I’m proud that my government and my country were among those who returned that land to the Jews, after our political ancestors – the Romans – removed the Jews from there.

      Merry Christmas all!

  11. 20 s
    December 22, 2009 at 15:43

    @ Tony

    That’s completely right if you ignore the fact that the arab nations rejected the partition of palestinian, invaded, and then occupied the west bank and gaza without giving the palestinians indepedence. They in fact annexed those lands. But if it’s easier to entirely blame Israel, then more power to you.

    • 21 Tony Harrison
      December 22, 2009 at 22:08

      The other Arab nations have always behaved pretty disgracefully towards the Palestinian people, you only have to look at the way they are treated in those countries to see this. They pay lip service to the cause but do nothing, for various reasons.

      However, it is currently Israel that is currently causing their suffering.

      As regards the 1948 Partition plan, why should tha Arabs have accepted it? At the time the Jewish population was the minority by a huge margin, yet they were offered the majority of the land, which included nearly all of the most fertile land and the best water sources. Any wonder the Arab side rejected it?

  12. 22 audre
    December 22, 2009 at 16:21

    Blockades can never be justified by a civilized society!

    • 23 Mark Longton
      December 25, 2009 at 19:28

      Israel has no responsibility to support the Gaza economy when the majority of its citizens have voted into power a ruthless gang of murderers who proclaim glibly their desire to annihilate Israel. Given this context, Israel is extraordinarily kind to Gazan’s by allowing them access to humanitarian aid, water etc.

      It is all of us who contribute to de-civilisation by not making the above very clear to Palestinians so that they can be helped to recognise their errors and make progress towards becoming a constructive society of people who wish well unto others.

  13. 24 patti in cape coral
    December 22, 2009 at 16:42

    Here we go, the same arguments being lobbed back and forth like a tennis match, and the situation is always the same. Just stop killing each other! Just stop, that’s all. It’s that easy and that impossible.

  14. 25 t
    December 22, 2009 at 16:42

    Everyone has a right to their opinion. Having said that, here’s a challenge for all Israel supporters.

    Set aside all of your Foreign MInistry approved talking points and try this. Give us one factual and rational reason why Israel’s blockade of Gaza should contnue. I don’t think you can do it.

  15. 26 t
    December 22, 2009 at 16:46

    Here’s a question. Many people think that the U.K. and U.S. support of Israel’s blockade is terrorism. Imagine then if some country decided to set up a blockade of the U.K. Is this justified? Under current intl. law, Israel’s blockade is illegal.

  16. 27 Ibrahim in UK
    December 22, 2009 at 16:50

    The 2000 Camp David proposal was effectively a legalised occupation:
    The refugees would not be allowed back. The returned Arab land would be disconnected and divided by Israeli roads and settlements. Palestine was to be demilitarized with Israel maintaining control over Palestinian airpsace and Palestinian water supplies, and retaining the right to deploy troops into Palestine. It fell well short of international law let alone a peace treaty.

    I don’t think a 2-state solution is the remedy. This will maintain the status quo of 2-sides. Jews and Arabs each having different reasons to beleive they have the right to all of Palestine. Each reason creating suspicion of the other side.
    I would prefer a one-state solution. Both living on all of Palestine. The issue of refugees, settlements, walls, rockets, Jerusalem, dissolve. I think this approach needs more serious investment from all sides.

  17. 28 Tom K in Mpls
    December 22, 2009 at 17:10

    All groups involved are equally guilty of mutual abuse by common consent. As long as they keep it to themselves, they should all be left alone to do as they choose. Sanctions should be enacted against any nation supporting any group involved, especially the US.

  18. 29 s
    December 22, 2009 at 17:41

    @ T

    Because Gaza is run by a terrorist organization that’s trying to amass weapons to attack israel with, which they’ve been doing for the past couple years. Launching rockets at Israel is attacking Israel. Are you going to deny that Hamas has been doing that? Would ANY other nation accept as tolerable being rocketed by your neighbor?

    Why are you again singling out Israel? Egypt is blockading Gaza as well. If your argument is solely based out of hatred of Israel, you don’t have much of an argument.

    • 30 Tom K in Mpls
      December 22, 2009 at 18:23

      In this case, the term terrorist group is unfair even if it is mostly accurate. They don’t have the means to establish a ‘legitimate’ military of any real effect. So they do what they can. Judge both sides by the targets they choose to hit more than on the accuracy of the weapons. Or perhaps ask, what are any accurate weapons, on both sides, hitting?

    • 31 Mike in Seattle
      December 22, 2009 at 18:23

      What part of the Geneva Conventions justify collective punishment of an entire people based simply on the actions of it’s government? I don’t recall the allies starving Germany during the second world war, despite the Nazi death camps.

    • 32 Jan
      December 22, 2009 at 19:08

      I agree completely with this post. Unfortunately there are too many people blinded by hatred for Israel (call it anti-semitism, it’s the same thing). I know first-hand what is going on there, and what you read in the papers isn’t the reality of the situation. Someone on here wrote about Israel ‘harvesting Palestinian organs’ as if there were factories set up to grow them. The truth is people who died (in all sorts of circumstances and including all religions and none) contributed organs – albeit sometimes not known by the families – towards scientific research for the good of humanity. No-one was killed on purpose. This is the usual age-old blood libel.

      Does anyone remember Alderhey hospital in England? The same situation. The newspaper which ran the story re Israel is known for it’s anti-Israel stance. Need I say more?

  19. 33 viola
    December 22, 2009 at 18:07

    A blockade is much like a siege. This blockade could be labeled a defensive siege that attempts to prevent the blockaded entity, Gaza, from acquiring weapons to use against another entity, Fortress Israel. Many nations consider it wise to keep weapons out of the hands of overzealous militants. If Hamas in Gaza wants the blockade lifted, they need to stop torpedoing all attempts at mediation between them and Fatah

    If Gazans are not getting their daily bread, why aren’t they all dead? How long does it take to starve to death? And, no, I am not suggesting they should.

    Canada

    • 34 Mike in Seattle
      December 22, 2009 at 18:26

      They need more than simply bread. They need concrete so they can rebuild infrastructure, such as water and sewage treatment facilities.

      Furthermore, Hamas doesn’t equal Gaza. Like I said above, there is no legal or moral justification for harming an entire population just because you don’t approve of their government. The Allies in WW2 didn’t collectively punish the citizens of Germany after the war, they helped to rebuild.

      Why can’t Israel do the same?

      • 35 viola
        December 23, 2009 at 00:33

        Different war, different protagonists, different issues, different world alignments. One of the things done to help the Germans rebuild after the war was to forbid nazi symbolism and the nazi party, and encourage strong democratic government., possible only because Germany lost the war and the rest of the world could see no good reason to demonize the allied powers for their victory, as it has done and is doing with regard to Israel. Nobody came in and said “Hey, those Nazis were only fighting for their homeland and everybody should be understanding toward them and hate the bad allied powers for whipping poor little, mistreated Germany and occupying them and making them be a democracy against their will.”

        Should the world do the same in Gaza and the West Bank? That is, forbid radical Islamist militant groups and all expressions of radical Islamist propaganda that includes teaching little children to hate? Maybe then the world would be able to effectively help Gazans and West Bankers.

        Part of Abrahamic teaching is the concept of “choosing”, not just the concept of being “chosen.” In other words, all of us can choose a path that leads to life or we can choose one that leads to death and destruction.

    • 36 Ibrahim in UK
      December 22, 2009 at 18:37

      They are dying. They are starving to death. They are dying from easily treatable diseases. Starvation and disease kill quietly, not like loud bright phosphorous explosions. How many must die before it becomes unnacceptable?
      Why would anyone deny the right of resistance, the right to fight against occupation, and set it as a precondition to progress? Why are we not demanding an end to the occupation as a precondition? Or in the case of the first Gulf War when Saddam occupied Kuwait: “Unconditional Withdrawal”. (Let alone our stance against the Nazi occupation of Europe in WW2).
      Are we saying here that Israel is treated preferentially, and as an occupier has a greater right of self-defence than the occupied palestinians have to resistance?

      • 37 Mark Longton
        December 25, 2009 at 20:04

        Ibrahim, why are the Palestinians resisting? Why have they not celebrated from the very outset the return of the Jewish people to their rightful homeland? It is appreciable that Islam claimed that land as part of its territory many centuries ago, but aren’t those who use this as a delegitimisation of Israel in the name of Islam acting out of fear and out of a lack of the barest gratitude to the Jewish people for carrying the values and the inspiration that led directly to the creation of Islam with all its beautiful values and who have continued to contribute to Islam since then.

        This is what puzzles me and I look forward to your thoughts.

  20. 38 viola
    December 22, 2009 at 18:16

    Here in Canada, there are territories, also, taken over by conquest by foreign occupying powers. There is the territory called The Yukon and the territory called The Northwest Territories, and one other.

    I feel certain that if the occupants of these territories started advocating for the destruction of Canada and local militants started waging war against Canada, that the Canadian government would take steps to stop them.

    In Canada it is perfectly acceptable for persons from Canada to go live in the Territories, though some aboriginal people don’t like it.

    What’s so different about Israel?

  21. 39 Agotre innocent
    December 22, 2009 at 18:22

    This blockade is what causes Hamas to fire rockets into isreal and is a stumbling block to peace talks.i don’t know why isreal cant realise this,and i hate the way egypt is being compromised.

  22. 40 gary
    December 22, 2009 at 18:28

    The blockade is ineffective. Weapons arrive in this prison of Gaza, yet its children are punished for the crime. This suggests mutually inept leadership. Where arises the right of Palestinians to smuggle munitions in preference to their equal weight of medicine or food? Is it Israel’s defense for being a cruel warden the fact that it is also an incompetent one? I do understand both sides; but this understanding inspires little sympathy for either. For a thousand and one irritations, this conflict has proven the cause rather than the salve. Thus, as US engagement has not proven conducive to solution, perhaps complete disengagement is the answer.
    g

  23. 41 s
    December 22, 2009 at 19:24

    @ Mike

    The Allies in WW2 didn’t collectively punish the citizens of Germany after the war, they helped to rebuild.

    Why can’t Israel do the same?

    —–

    Tell that to people in Eastern Europe about their treatment by the Soviets after WW2. The west helped Germany to rebuild due to unconditional surrender and the total destruction of Germany.

    To compare Israel to the treatment of Germany is interesting. Has Israel conducted anything like Dresden, firebombing acity, killing 10s of thousand sof civilians that had no military value at all? Israel does help the west bank a lot, gives them farming techniques, etc… Gaza is run by fanatics that want to destroy Israel.

    • 42 Mike in Seattle
      December 23, 2009 at 16:39

      You still haven’t answered my primary question: why is it that civilians in Gaza are being punished by having access to food, water, medical attention and building materials strictly limited or eliminated all together?

      Where in the Geneva Convention does it say that this is legal? Where in your heart does it say that preventing people from living and developing their own means to survive and prosper is morally right?

  24. 43 Kim
    December 22, 2009 at 19:39

    Hi.am kim from Nairobi,kenya.the Gaza blockade is a classic latter day symbol of racism,oppression,slavery and hypocrisy.occupying power literally cuts a people from the outside world,limits the flow of goods to a list that doesnt include baby milk!and what does the rest of the free world do?occasional noises,pronounced silence and generally vain impotence.meanwhile,a whole generation of palestinians is wasting away.its all a horror show that some in the world can only wish away.during a war christened Cast Lead,israeli citizens came with binoculars to watch as their vaunted army battered am enemy with as much power as a high school riot!its total sadisim.nothing lasts forever and my prayer this season is that somehow,someway people of Gaza will break the chain of modern captivity.thank you

  25. 44 Elias
    December 22, 2009 at 20:18

    Unless the palestenians refrain to continue their terrorist activities, Israel has no choice but to blocade Gaza and restrict their activities. Any law abiding country would do the same. Egypt has built a fence at great costs on its border with Gaza for the simple reason to stop arms smuggling by the palestinians. It is high time they realise there can be no peace if they coninue being belegerant.

    • 45 Mike in Seattle
      December 23, 2009 at 16:40

      So every citizen in Gaza is to blame for the rocket attacks? Do they take turns firing them off, one at a time?

  26. 46 Ingle
    December 22, 2009 at 21:59

    Everyone living in Israel has the right to live in peace as most Europeans have done in the last sixty years. Looking however at the borders of Israel today and comparing them with those of 1948, one can only have one honest answer to this question. It is the expansion of Israel which has caused the problems within Palestine. It is wrong to blame the victims for defending their human rights.

  27. 47 mat hendriks
    December 22, 2009 at 22:59

    “It is not now justified and never wil be”.

    America- EU- Rusland-China-Great Britain-Arabic and all the other nations.
    do you all justify such treatment?

    Why, in Gods name why, tell me why?

  28. 48 Saut
    December 22, 2009 at 23:04

    How old is this conflict? 60 years old or so! It has beed so long and like a bad commercial, by now, I am so anaesthetised to whatever is going on between Israelis and Palestinians. Soon it will be 2010, my new year wish is for these two groups of belligerents will just keep their homicidal deeds strictly in their own neighbourhoods.

  29. 49 Gal, Israel
    December 22, 2009 at 23:17

    I get no joy from the blockade and I don’t wish it to continue any more than it has to. However, I believe that it’s necessary. While it doesn’t stop all weapons smugglings, it significantly reduces them, and it limits the smugglers to small weapons, which are obviously not as dangerous as their larger relatives.

    Israel allows humanitarian supples to come in, and thus the blockade is legal under international law, as it is preventing unnecessary deaths without causing any.

    Furthermore, I believ it is also moraly justified. The Palestinians have elected Hamas. That’s very well, but when you elect a party whose agenda is to attack your neighbour’s civilans you can only blame yourself for the consequences. Furthermore, if hamas decides to obey international law – Compromise with fatah, stop terrorism, release Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit – the blockade will be removed, just like there’s no blockade on the Palestinians in the west bank.

    And just a final historical note – A blockade is a legitimate military tactic. Britain itself has used it during both world wars, as did many other countries (and unlike Israel very few allowed in humanitarian aid, not to mention provided electricity and water to their enemies). Why is it only when Israel uses it that it’s considered wrong?

    • 50 Kim
      December 23, 2009 at 16:39

      Its macho to batter a defenceless enemy,i’d guess.but what joy is there in subjecting a whole population to utter hell all in the name of ensuring peace and security to a few people living on stolen land.its a devilish mis-match-crude rockets and stones vs satellite guided smart bunk busting bombs and white phosphorus!one day its gonna game to an end.then i wonder where the next self-gratification is going to come from

    • 51 Mike in Seattle
      December 23, 2009 at 16:45

      Why do you see this blockade as being effective? From my perspective if those in Gaza were actually able to develop an economy and were free to work without being harassed at various border crossings they’d be more likely not to radicalize and down the line elect more moderate political leaders.

      This is common sense. If you have a roof over your head, and one is able to take care of one’s family, people are generally happy. When basic needs are taken away or severely restricted, that’s when people take more drastic measures.

  30. 52 Insan Mukmin
    December 23, 2009 at 03:01

    Israel does an injustice to the victims of the Holocaust and to the founding fathers of Israel by not living up to its basic obligations under international law. Is Israel so short of land that it has to confiscate land from the West Bank and Gaza which was never part of the Israel created by the United Nations? Don’t forget that many other countries have genuine land shortages such as Japan and Singapore but they compensate this by building high rise towers and by land reclamation projects on their coasts. Israel may argue that it has a problem with terrorism. So too has Thailand, the Philippines, Spain etc have problems with terrorism. But none of these countries impose a blockade on the towns and villages where the terrorists come from. Denying people the basic rights of water, electricity, food, medicine, the right to trade and earn a living is inhumane.

  31. 53 t
    December 23, 2009 at 06:13

    @S,

    A few points:

    When did I ever deny that Egypt is blockading Gaza?
    Why is it that many other countries agree that Israel is commiting war crimes?
    Do you seriously think that literally every other country in the world (excluding the States) is part of a “conspiracy” to destroy Israel?
    How do you explain the many American Jews who agree that Israel is commiting terrorism against Gaza thru it’s blockade?
    I want peace for both sides in that region. In all of my posts here, have I ever once said otherwise?

    The point here is that sadly you’re playing the “he’s a anti-semite” card. Just because I disagree w/you. Also keep in mind U.K. defamation law. If I wanted to (based on your blatant errors), I could sue. But since it’s the holidays, I’ll leave you with a suggestion instead. Please do your research first BEFORE you post.

  32. 54 steve
    December 23, 2009 at 15:41

    @ T

    You really should stop putting words in people’s mouths. Have you not just defamed me for saying I called you an antisemite whenI did not? I said you hate Israel.

    And you make these claims like “many jews in the US think that Israel is committing terrorism”. Yes, I could find a few radical leftists who think that, but that’s not remotely close to majority opinion. Just like i can find some arabs who don’t want there to be a Palestine and prefer Israeli rule..

    All the points are “look, israel has expanded since 1948”. Maybe if the arabs didn’t attack, that wouldn’t have happened. But WHY is Israel the only nation ever to have existed that is expected to return lands won in wars it did not start?

  33. 55 Corinna
    December 23, 2009 at 16:04

    I try again – maybe 3rd time lucky! – very annoying when one spends time writing and then for no reason given it is not posted.

    Firstly I ditto Gal and Elias.
    @Ingle
    Its nothing to do with expansion its to do with Israel’s right to exist which is the problem – the arabs dont want a Jewish state in the middle east and are using the Palestinians for this purpose and this pupose only. The arabs liviing in this area before the state of Israel were offered half the land and they declined. In 1948 war was made against Israel and Israel won. Unless you are very naive no one really believes that if Israel went back to the 1967 borders there would be peace – what signs have you ever seen that makes you believe this? You forget Gaza very quickly.

  34. 56 A R Shams
    December 23, 2009 at 17:03

    Blocading Gaza for any sort of communication or transportation by Israel seems and sounds as quite immoral on the basis of humanitarian causes.

  35. 57 viola
    December 23, 2009 at 18:31

    The blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt (and other nations?) can be justified easily in the same way the police of any country are justified when they disarm someone waving a weapon around in a bar or elsewhere and threatening to go on a rampage against his perceived enemies. If there are no police or if the police are unwilling or unable to disarm the weapon-waving and threat-making individual, who will? If no one will, those threatened by the weapon-waver should not be obliged to wait until someone dies before they take action.

    Part of this whole problem is caused by some not understanding that threats are not harmless. Threats signal intention. If threats do not signal intention in a culture, that culture must recognize that they certainly do in other cultures.

    There is a saying: When you’re in a hole you can’t get out of, stop digging. When you threaten others, you’re still digging.

  36. 58 JanB
    December 24, 2009 at 10:29

    Yes, because essential supplies could come in if the “Arab brothers” in Egypt opened their border.

    Then again, history has proven Arab leaders care less about the Palestinians than the Israeli’s do.

  37. 59 Corinna
    December 24, 2009 at 11:56

    No innocent person should suffer the ugliness of war but when you purposely vote in a government that you know wants to destroy another country then how at the same time can you cry when that country that you want to destroy puts a blockcade on you. Still with the blockade you have ample food – medical supplies and you are treated at no cost in Israeli Hospitals. Your terrorists held in Israeli prisons receive a salary – receive an education and conjugal rights. Israel’s solider Gilad Shalit that was kiddnapped inside of Israel and is being held hostage has been given no rights – not even the Red Cross has been allowed to visit him. Gazans if you want respect you need to give it first.

  38. 60 Simra Thonkla UK
    December 24, 2009 at 11:59

    Israel is utterly immune from International law enforcement.The norms and ethics of International law,that coherently stated that any individual that commit War crimes and Crimes against Humanity must be prosecuted in the ICC will never cover or be enforceable against the State of Israel.The Gaza blockage is a disgrace to the ECHR and it is another aparthied that our brothers and sisters endured in South Africa and Germany during the dark ages of their countries history.That is said,Hamas rockets targeting Israeli children and families could be a defence to Israel and could legitimise their blockage.

  39. 61 Corinna
    December 24, 2009 at 13:04

    Can anyone name me one country that under the same circumstance as Israel is in would act differently.

    I believe no other country would of had the patience that Israel has shown – no other country would of let its citizens be subjected to rocket bombardments for 8 years without reprisals of the very harsh kind. You know I am right!

  40. 62 steve
    December 24, 2009 at 15:50

    @ Corinna

    Also, Israel is the only nation in history expected to return lands won in wars it didn’t even start. There is a double standard, what everyone else can do (China invaded and occupies Tibet) yet nobody is talking of boycotting china, or singling out China for criticism like they do to Israel. Russia invaded George and took South Osettia. Not Israel, so who cares?

  41. 63 A R Shams
    December 24, 2009 at 17:04

    Israel may please reconcile and reconsider its moves around that go against human welfare.

  42. December 24, 2009 at 22:16

    Justification is relative to the party proclaiming it. While Israel may believe that it has the proper rights to blockade off Gaza, I believe that the majority of the rest of the world disagrees. It’s ongoing conflict with the Palestinian population cannot be allowed to continue and proliferate due to violence and segregation-oriented moves like building a wall. Israel should resolve to choose peace and solve its issues with the Palestinian people instead of provoking them, regardless of who bears responsibility.

    • 65 Moshe
      December 25, 2009 at 23:24

      Israel has been striving for peace for decades.
      The Palestinians have rejected Peace. The Hamas leadership has repeatedly stated that “under no circumstances” will they ever recognise Israel or have a peace treaty with it.
      Leon, You should adrress your request to the Palestinians

  43. 66 helen
    December 25, 2009 at 00:38

    The blockade of Gaza and the disproportionate war conducted against it is relevant to most western nations in that it fans the fires of extremism. What many seem to forget is that if were they put in the same position as the people who lived in Palestine in 1948, namely bbeing forcibliy moved off land their families had owned for centuries, to accommodate an influx of immigrants, they might react strongly too.(Note the growth of the BNP in regard to increased immigration here).Now I dont condone the use of rockets to further an argument, but where people feel that their vioce is ignored and where there is a strong sense of injustice often violence is the result. Several prominent Israeli’s have argued that they must continue to illegally build on Palestinian land (illegal even by Israel’s laws),in case the palestinian population expands faster than the Israeli’s. Israel ignores U.N. directives, just as Saddam Hussein did. A case of double standards? The best solution is one state with the contentious issue of Jerusalem being solved by taking it from both and putting it under U.N.control as a world heritage site. While I understand Israel’s paranoia its security is best served by living in freindship with its neighbours

    • 67 Mark Longton
      December 25, 2009 at 19:37

      Helen, you make well considered arguments, but I will refer you to my other comments. The Jewish people are not ‘foreigners’ stealing that land. They are returning to their land – theirs according to all known histories – and were endorsed in their return by the political descendants of the Romans who removed the Jews from Israel in the first place. Our inability to support the Middle East peace process is synonymous with our inability to help Palestinians understand what I have outlined above, and to encourage them to participate in celebrating this great justice that has been done by us to the Jews: returning their land to them after 2000 years!

    • 68 Moshe
      December 25, 2009 at 23:27

      Helen, what you choose to “forget” is that the “Palestinians” are migrants from Arabia. The Jews are returning to their homeland.
      No one is saying that the migrants from the Arabian peninisula should leace Eretz yisrael, only that they should stop trying to kill Israelis.

  44. 69 A R Shams
    December 25, 2009 at 13:49

    Israel’s Gaza blockade should never be considered as justified.

  45. 70 David from Jerusalem
    December 25, 2009 at 18:30

    Only the UK could have such a twisted headline as “Israel’s Blockade”. If my geography serves me correctly, Gaza lays between Egypt and Israel. Egypt ruled Gaza for 20 years & in fact would not sign a peace treaty with Israel unless it DID NOT get it back. Israel had to accept Gaza as part of the deal of the peace treaty with Egypt. It has always been the Arab desire to do nothing for their Palestinian “brethren” but to enjoy Israel suffer in dealing with them. Egypt, the Arab, Muslim country bordering Gaza, is currently building a iron wall around along its entire border with Gaza. Where is the UK Press going crazy & sending its kids to protest ala Israel’s wall on the West Bank? The total lack of objectivity on the part of the British Press is becoming perversely clear to any reader of actual “objective” press such as in the US. The reality is that the people of Gaza are suffering and that neither Egypt nor Israel has any desire to help them make things better as long as they have a taliban style fanatic government that is doing nothing for its people but forcing them back 60 years in economic & social standards, and 1000 years in civilized behavior. As long as the Hamas government promises to destroy the Jewish state & intensify its relationship with psychotic Iran, NO state in the region – Egypt nor Israel nor anyone else – will have any interest in building up the structure of such a dangerous entity. The fact that the Gazans themselves are leaving by the droves is testament to the failure of that government. A more thoughtful objective analysis might have made bare mention of these inconvenient facts. Then again, Fleet St is located in Londonistan, and many things in London are not what they used to be. That the professionalism of the British press is now one of them, is truly sad. – David

  46. 71 Alec Paterson
    December 25, 2009 at 19:28

    Can Israel’s Gaza blockade be justified? This is the wrong question. Why not ask the question “Why should Israel lift a blockade on a regime whose charter’s aim is your destruction? It is a classical Islamist document, with principles such as “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).The main issue is Islamic. The principal problem regarding Israel is that its existence within land that Muslims claim for Islam is considered to be an insult to Islam. Hamas, Hizballah and the rest will never be satisfied until Israel is erased from the map. Further concessions to the Palestinians will not bring peace; like the withdrawal from Gaza, such concessions will only embolden the jihad groups to press harder for the total destruction of Israel.
    The Egyptian regime is now building a wall. They are worried that the cohorts of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, will gain from any shoring up of the Islamist regime in Gaza.

  47. 72 helen
    December 25, 2009 at 21:04

    Mark
    Thanks for your response but your argument that the land is being returned to israelis after two thousand years is a dubious one. If all peoples of the world claimed land because their ancestors lived there 2000 years ago, and this was upheld as a valid argument there would have to be a considerable redistribution of the worlds peoples. Do you really see the present peoples of Europe making room to “repatriate ” all the peoples who now call the Americas their home? In addition, the decendants of Abraham took the land mainly by force when they were driven out of their original homeland in what is now Iraq/Iran. Can you comprehend the paradox that two groups of people who are ethnically from the same roots, should be so intent on engaging in violence with each other. I still maintain that a single state, in which all citizens, whether Muslim or Jew,Christian or Atheist have the same rights and the same opportunities as each other, and work together toput the bitternesses of history behind them and move forward to make the little bit of the world they share an example of human dignity and acheivment. If they could only rise above the rhetoric of blame and bitterness, they could defuse so many of the world’s present troubles, and both parties could regain some of the respect both have lost by their current actions

    • 73 Mark Longton
      December 28, 2009 at 13:23

      Helen,
      Thank you for your reply. As you well know, European countries have no need to make repatriations to people of Americas because there is no such desire by Americans. Do you know of an ancient people anywhere who have maintained a distinct cultural identity connecting them to the land of Israel, claiming that ancient Jews forcibly removed them from that land 3,500 years ago? I don’t. Instead, one finds a cultural identity (Islam) explicitly built upon Jewish tradition and values but whose modern adherents thank Jewish contributions of introducing fairness and equality before a written law (read, for example, the sociologist Talcott Parsons’ book “Societies: evolutionary and comparative perspectives” for a discussion on law evolution) by denying any Jewish connection to a land for which Jewish people have always maintained an affiliation and a desire of return. Hamas are the epitome of this tragic display of ingratitude and continued human injustice, and Gazan’s voted Hamas into political power. Whilst Israel leadership seems to endeavor in most cases to go against odds and put the bitterness of history behind them by trying to build a multi-cultural equal-opportunity society, Hamas and their ilk seem to consistently force bitterness to remain; thus ensuring that your excellent proposal remains off the table. I will always maintain that those who build walls of hatred upon foundations of lies we should actively refute: those who seek peace we should support and encourage.

  48. 74 viola
    December 26, 2009 at 16:23

    I think it’s really cute how people who think Israel is a big, bad bully ignore or make up “facts” about Israel and are shocked and outraged that everyone else in the world doesn’t agree with their conclusions.

  49. 75 Paul-Bracknell-UK
    December 27, 2009 at 00:30

    There is only one question here. How damaged does your moral
    compass need to be to defend enclosing one and a half million people in a ghetto dependent on getting many of their essential needs through underground tunnels? If you can defend it, then you need to view your own morality very closely. Israel has lost the moral arguement. When you lose that,it is a sure sign of a states demise.

    • 76 Mark Longton
      December 28, 2009 at 13:44

      Read, for example, Nietzsche’s “On the Genealogy of Morality” to explore the concept ‘morality’. When you’re read that I will be interested in learning more about the moral compass you refer to.
      Whilst the Hamas Constitution calls for Israel’s total demise, Israel continues to allow thousands of truckloads of food and medicine into Gaza through various border crossings. Thus I think for people who value life, equality, rational knowledge and human co-existence Israel has long won the debate and it is only a matter of time before those religious and political leaders who create a sense of identity based on hatred and who thus lead Palestinians towards self-destruction are told to stand ‘in the corner’ as the Palestinians rise up to become constructive members of the human family.

      • 77 Hugh McDavid
        December 28, 2009 at 18:50

        On January 9, 2008, almost 2 years ago, in my comment on Have Your Say, I expressed: quote “Any US President can stop the Mideast crisis provided he had the courage to defy the Jewish presence in the US Houses, Congress and Senate. Stop providing Israel with six billion dollars anually of taxpayers’s money. At last count it was 139 billion” unquote. Today, it must be over 200 billion.

        I am beginning to become disillusioned with US President Obama. He seems to be more talk than action. Israel depends on US aid to survive. Without US financial support, its economy will be bankcrupt and the country will be like an unfinished skyscraper, just waiting to be toppled by the wind. That Israel can continue building settlements, with plans to build 700 more, on Palestinian lands in defiance of the United States and the International Community, plus its continuous disregard of the people of Gaza, bombing them with impunity, show who is BOSS -President Netanyahu,of Israel or other World leaders? I rest my case. HMcD

    • 78 viola
      December 28, 2009 at 19:19

      It’s not difficult to defend. It’s a tactic. In a game of chess if your opponent gets trapped in a corner he doesn’t even think of hollering “Unfair. You lost your moral compass.” Much the same concept here. Think the Arabs in 1948 would have paid any attention to such an argument from Israelis, had they been able to put Israel in that position? Don’t think so, but who knows? Maybe their moral compasses would’ve led them to welcome Israel into the family of nations had they been able to chase all the Israelis into the sea instead of it all ending up in this long, drawn-out conflict.

      So I wonder how many people think suicide bombers and the people who launch them have “lost their moral compass”?

  50. 79 Hugh McDavid
    December 28, 2009 at 18:54

    My commentary on January 8, 2008 was written under the nondeplume CA. I should have mentioned this. HMcD

  51. 80 farhan chaudhary
    December 28, 2009 at 19:41

    on a sidenote..i am utterly amazed that there is not a word on the entire bbc website about the gaza aid convoy which is being blocked from entereing gaza by the egyptians…and not the israelis…from entering into gaza…..can someone please educate me how medical supplies,ambulances,food stuff and other aid material be a “terrorist threat”…sic


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