Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Get Back in Your Cage

Two days ago, Palestinians blew up the wall separating them from Egypt, and tens of thousands of refugees streamed across the border into nearby Egyptian towns--on foot, in donkey carts, a few in private cars--to purchase food, blankets, and clothing, and to celebrate their momentary liberation. Authorities instructed hotels not to accept Gaza refugees as guests, so private citizens opened their homes, and thousands slept on the streets.

Israel doesn't want to deal with the mess. They "withdrew" from Gaza two years ago and have since closed all the checkpoints, effectively creating the world's largest concentration camp. Now some cabinet members say that if the border with Egypt stays open, Israelis can finally cut off all electricity and supplies, as they have wanted to do for years.

Pious Arabs mouth the usual denunciations, but they don't want to have to deal with a million starving Gazans either. Egyptian police moved in today with rolls of barbed wire, water cannons, armored cars, and human chains in riot gear to shut the border again. But the Palestinians fought back. They fought back hard enough to force the Egyptians to re-open one of the three main gates.

It is an outrage that this tragedy receives so little coverage. One wonders if the Western media outlets are so tired of covering all the human misery that they wish the Gazans would just go away. An opportunity for real change is being squandered by the hour. For if images of refugees streaming over a wall to freedom cannot move Western hearts to help them, nothing will.

9 comments:

The Law Talking Guy said...

There's another element going on. Hamas has been trying to undermine the border for months now. Apparently this was a huge operation they carried out that resulted in large breaches in the wall. The main purpose of Hamas is, of course, to bring in guns and rockets to use on Israel - the Gazans are just pawns in this. Egypt wants to control the situation the way the US wants to control its border. And the US is putting massive pressure on them to try to stem the flow of weapons into Gaza.

I agree that the plight of the Palestinians is terrible and usually ignored by America's pro-Israeli press and government. But there was nothing spontaneous about this border issue. And I think it's a bit hyperbolic to say that Gazans were starving.

USWest said...

I have long suspected that no one really wants to solve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. It makes a good bat with which to smack the US. It makes presidents look good if they can call a conference and set a few modest goals. When the Arab world wants to bitch about US policy, they can point to the Palestinians. When terrorists want to rally fighters, they point to Palestinians. The Palestinians are pawns- long suffering pawns. The world has solved many thorny issues across the globe, but not this crisis.

To its credit, Jordan has done the most to help Palestinians. It is also taking Iraqi refugees and getting precious little help from the world for its trouble. This has been covered off and on in the U.S. Media. The King of Jordan has appealed to the US and the UN to offer more financial assistance to help support these people. The Gulf countries also take many of them. I know several Palestinians who spent time in Kuwait and the U.A.E.

Raised By Republicans said...

This story underscores something that the anti-Israeli left often glosses over. The plight of the Palestinians is not just the restult of Irsraeli and American policies. People forget that the short lived Palestinian state after the 1949 partition was obliterated not by the Israelis but by the Egyptians and Jordanians. It was only 20 years later that Israel took over those territories.

This situation underscores that Egypt's government is ambivalent at best about the Palestinians. Jordan has actually fought a shooting war with the PLO.

Oh, and while we're talking about hyperbole...Not too many concentration camps in WWII had their own airports, port facilities, and armed forces.

The Law Talking Guy said...

There's an old joke about trying not being able to find baggage handlers for the Palestinian airport...

USWest said...

Well, let' snot forget either that were it not for the Cold War and Nasser's Pan Arabism, the crisis might have been solved a lot sooner.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Thanks to what the World Food Bank calls a "seven-month economic blockade" of Gaza they now provide food to 665,000 non-refugees living there. But thanks to blackouts and fuel shortages, they warn, "Lack of electricity, coupled with
lack of cooking gas, makes it impossible to cook and process food... Although WFP has nearly two months’ food supply for
its beneficiaries in Gaza, without power or cooking gas, most of this food cannot be used."

Meanwhile, UN Relief and Works agency provides food for 860,000 living in Gaza. They have warned they will have to stop distributing food if the blockade continues for another week.

"Concentration camp" is hyperbole. "Gaza Ghetto" (a la Warsaw) would be better. And "starving" is only inaccurate because of the determined efforts by UN agencies to feed a million people. It is hard for us in America to imagine how difficult life is in Gaza.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Sounds like Baghdad...

Raised By Republicans said...

It's hard for Americans to imagine much of what life is like in the rest of the world.

I like to point out to my Globalization students that it's not uncommon for earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons etc to kill tens of thousands of people in a single event several times a year in places like Bangladesh or the Phillipines. But 9/11 kills 3,000 people and we completely restructure our government agencies, suspend our constitution and invade two countries.

ilona2israel said...

i am sorry but its all between gaza and egypt why should israel take a part in this?