Sunday, 13 June 2010

You know it makes sense: Strangle Gaza

Zaid Jilani writing for Think Progress has published a provocative report about Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who delivered a wide-ranging speech at an Orthodox Union event in Washington, D.C. The senator’s lecture touched on areas such as Iran’s nuclear program, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and several domestic policy issues. Jilani records that at one point the good senator
 ...turned his attention to the situation in Gaza. He told the audience that the “Palestinian people still don’t believe in the Jewish state, in a two-state solution,” and also that “they don’t believe in the Torah, in David.” He went on to say “you have to force them to say Israel is here to stay.”
What did the good senator mean by 'force'?
And to me, since the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, while certainly there should be humanitarian aid and people not starving to death, to strangle them economically until they see that’s not the way to go, makes sense.
Jilani observes,
Schumer is simply factually incorrect that the “majority” of Palestinians refuse to accept a two-state solution. Recent polling has found that 74 percent of the Palestinian population wants to see a two-state solution with an Israeli and Palestinian state side by side. It is also the position of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and there is evidence that Gaza’s Hamas rulers may be compelled to support such a solution as well.

As for the senator’s comments on economic strangulation making “sense” to produce better leadership in Gaza, they are as offensive as they are wrong. Schumer believes it is logical to economically harm the civilian population of Gaza — where 44 percent of the people under the age of 14 — for freely voting in an election the U.S. supported, then undermined, in order to change the territory’s government. The reality is that its leadership has only become further radicalized and entrenched as a result of the embargo. (HT: Mondoweiss)
Read the whole article here.