Opinion forum weighs in on Gaza border strife
At issue: In a symbolic and desperate act engendered by Israel’s complete blockade and economic isolation of Gaza, Palestinian militants destroyed most of the Gaza-Egypt border wall, allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into Egypt to shop for food and other basic supplies. How will this affect the peace process that the West has formulated when Palestinians are being denied basic human rights?
Lift sanctions, then talk peace
The blockade of life-sustaining trade is a deplorable act of aggression. Even if Israel’s perspective of viewing Hamas as a criminal organization is valid, no complete population is a criminal aggressor warranting mass starvation.
Israel’s options are limited: put pressure on Cairo, Egypt to seal the border, reoccupy Gaza or negotiate. The latter is unlikely. No peace is possible if Hamas continues to resist calls to recognizing Israel.
The U.S. should stop supplying Israel and Egypt with arms and foreign aid that allow them to continue to avoid making peace. The U.S. should let these countries deal with this domestic issue on their own. If we don’t, we only make ourselves a terrorist target if such efforts fail.
The blockade and breaking down of the wall is a global signal that the Middle East peace process, kicked off by the conference held in Annapolis, Md., will provide no major breakthrough as long as the discussion continues to exclude Hamas. Hamas must be willing to come to the table, but this seems out of the question as long as the blockade remains intact. Once again, U.S. meddling has failed to make the Middle East a safer place.
More news of bloodshed seems to be coming in the weeks ahead.
Palestinians’ persecution a repetition of history’s brutality
It was only a matter of time before the wall between Egypt and the Gaza Strip would be torn down. People were, and still are, being denied their basic human right to live. The Israeli governments’ refusal to supply goods needed to survive not only seems inhumane, it puts a wrench in the ongoing peace talks.
It almost seems as if the Israelis do not want peace or even co-existence with the Palestinians. History is repeating itself.
It wasn’t that long ago the Jews were persecuted by Nazi Germany for simply existing in and around its borders. Jews were living in ghettos in Germany and Poland without the abundance of food, fuel and medicines they were accustomed to before the rise of the Nazi occupation.
Despite everything the Jews went through, Israel continues to impose sanctions and deny basic human rights to the people of the Gaza Strip.
Peace cannot exist unless both parties are willing to make sacrifices and compromise.
The Israeli government expects Egypt to "solve the problem" of the influx of Palestinians crossing the border, according to CNN.com.
But how does one expect the Egyptian government to deal with it when it is Israel that is imposing the sanctions, not Egypt?
Palestinians’ plight unveils truth to ‘peace’
It is symbolic that the West’s peace process is in tatters in the East. It is almost as if that title itself was sufficient reason to receive a cold shoulder from the Arab League, whose support is imperative for the success of any peace plans. The Arab League symbolizes the notion of Arab unity, and while it does seem sympathetic to its Palestinian brethren in its rhetoric, it is apathetic in its action.
On Israel’s side, this was one of its greatest blunders. Conventional wisdom – which, by the way, was brutally raped with the construction of Israel’s wall around the Gaza Strip – emphasizes that the one who wields all the cards has the most to lose. Instead of thus conceding, Israel denied Palestinians fuel and other supplies it was obliged to provide under the Oslo Accords. As a result, the worldwide sympathy this incident has garnered will empower the Palestinians in any future peace plan, leaving Israel to reel from the political repercussions of this moral embarrassment.
As for the West, one cannot help but notice the mesmerizing feeling the fall of the Berlin wall provoked… and its complete lack in the fall of the Israel wall.
Peace in the Middle East unlikely
The Western peace strategy of two states and one homeland will never go into effect. When a government puts people under unbearable pressure, the only result is for them to break out, hence the breaking down of the wall. The Palestinians bought in Egypt what Israel keeps out: water, fuel and medicine.
The feeling that there is no food to survive will activate basic human instincts. Palestinians wanted to stock up on food by crossing the border, and this is considered a threat to Israel.
The political response was as though a lion was let out of its cage. In the end, an inhumane policy is always a stupid policy, and when a mass of people have crossed a border in desperation it proves that the walls are ineffective.
The U.S. should see this as an eerie parallel to the construction of a wall on its own border. Yet the West intends to fix these problems in the Middle East. In failing to meet the needs of the Palestinians and completely disregarding them, Israel makes compromise with the Palestinian people nearly impossible.
Hamas, not the West, the barrier to peace
The latest movement in the Palestinian drama is that of a hunger-fueled and politically manipulated population breaking into Egypt for supplies, a breath of freedom and a test of wills. How will this affect the peace process in the region (for it will certainly do just that)? It depends on how skillfully the players plan their next move. Hamas has lost any leverage it might have had on the issue. It either does not control and cannot help its people, or it has no repairs to sending them banging and begging on their neighbor’s door.
Egypt on the other hand has its hands tied by the Camp David Accords and cannot bring the necessary force to the border, not that it would do so anyway for the bad publicity it would bring.
Israel and Fatah now have the upper hand. Israel’s position has strengthened and it can now make a gracious and calculated exit from a blockade policy that will not work, going back to selective killings and attacks that will no longer seem condemnable.
Fatah can come to the rescue of its brothers and sisters as the only faction worth talking to. The peace process will continue, but the results will remain elusive.