Let Them Eat Jam

I normally try to stay away from expressing an opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, except to say that it’s bad and I’m against it.  Most people with an opinion are very passionate about it, and the facts have been incredibly muddied, so I generally think it’s best to avoid the topic and save yourself some grief.  But, the news coverage of the Gaza flotilla raid has been so retarded that I have to weigh in.

The pro-Israel people are right that Israel has a legitimate interest in inspecting goods that are being sent into Gaza to keep weapons and weapon making supplies out.

The pro-Israel people are also right that the flotilla was designed to provoke an incident with Israel, and video of the raid clearly shows the flotilla crew attacking Israeli soldiers.  But, it was an incident that probably should have been provoked.  I don’t agree with attacking the soldiers as they were boarded, but I’m fine with these people drawing attention to what’s going on in that part of the world.

The blockade of Gaza, as it exists, is not designed to keep weapons out of Gaza.  It is a punitive blockade designed to make life in Gaza suck.  Yes, Israel will allow basic humanitarian aid items in, but that’s pretty much where it stops.

On the long list of things Israel will not allow Gazans to import are paper, computers, cumin, or potato chips.  These are all things you can bring on an airplane in the US.  Shoes, combs, and tahini were only first allowed in April of this year.  Canned fruit and chocolate are still banned.

If you want to punish Gazans, then just admit that’s what you’re doing.  But, don’t act like you’re keeping notebooks and donkeys out of Gaza because they pose a threat to your national security.

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