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President Obama should muster the courage and shows his good will toward Israel and the Palestinians and put an end to the cycle of violence, end the siege of Gaza by allowing America and NATO to manage and operate the port making sure people in and out of Gaza, constructions materials, food suppliers and consumers goods comes through the port, with a staging area in Cyprus under a joint US/NATO and with a secure sea corridor between Gaza and Cyprus. Rafah crossing should also open for people and goods. Israel can close all of its crossing to Gaza. Mr. Obama and world leaders should know as long as the people of Gaza are held hostage, imprisoned and under siege, Israeli will not have the peace and security they want and demand.
Israel’s criminal and ongoing war on the people of Gaza is met with muted response in Western capitals with ministers and heads of states justifying the killings in Gaza while denying the right of the people of Gaza to defend themselves. It seems even the least intelligent persons in power in the West forget the cycle of violence is rooted in the illegal and criminal siege of Gaza by Israel.
It has been 4 years since Israel ended its Operation Cast Lead on Gaza, cheered on by Israelis and American Jews in major US cities and cheered on by George Bush and Condi Rice. It has been 3 years since the Gaza Donor Conference concluded in the City of Sharm El-Sheik. The conference attended by more than 70 countries, pledging more than $5 Billions exceeding any and all expectation. Of course this sum of money and the US pledge of $300 millions is dwarfed by the $30 Billions George Bush pledge to Israel in arms and weapons. Since that time, Israel made sure nothing happens and that Gaza and the more than 1.5 million Palestinians remain hostage and prisoner of Israel arrogance and defiance. Not even the US is able to do any thing about it.
Then and now, and as expected very few head of states or government officials dare to criticize Israel as it continues to wage war on the people of Gaza. Every one cares about Israeli lives bit no one gives a damn about Palestinian lives.
The Gaza Reconstruction Conference in its closing statement called on Israel to open with immediate effect all crossing for all humanitarian aids and for construction materials needed for the massive work ahead. Somehow every one forgot the geography of Gaza and that Gaza has some 50 km of shoreline and has a seaport, and no Gazans want to purchase materials from Israel.
However Israel, given the angry, unhappy nation it is, full of hate and contempt for the world and human value, (I presumed Judeo-Zionist values) is a country that will not even consider world opinion because it does not give a damn about the world public opinion to begin with. It has refused to open the border crossings and has refused to allow the opening of the seaport of Gaza for normal operation, allowing the tunnels to continue with business as usual with no proper control.
Israeli and international newspapers carried accounts of the secret list of forbidden or restricted items Israel concluded as threats to its own security including “pasta, pasta sauce, lentil and hearing aids”. Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee had to inquire with Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister why “pasta” is a restricted item?
This should tell us and the world how pity this nation is, “the only killing democracy in the Middle East” and I will not be surprised if Israel added Humus, Favabeans, falafel and kinafeh (pastry) to the list of forbidden items. One has to imagine if the Palestinians wants to import heavy construction material or cement. Perhaps Israel has new building technology made up of bagels, motzaball or corn beef as construction material. Israel needs serious mental help.
What I am most surprised about is the call by almost every one attending the conference, from Mahmoud Abbas, to Hillary Clinton, to Nicolas Sarkozy, to Hosni Mubarak, almost begging calls for Israel to open the border crossing. I say hell with Israel and its border crossing with Gaza, Let Israel builds its own 1000 meter high Apartheid Wall between it and Gaza. Who needs Israel and who needs its product and services?
Israel is giving the impression to the world it is doing the Palestinians a big favor when it allows fuels and food supplies to come into Gaza, For God sake Israel and Jewish suppliers get paid for every thing that comes through to Gaza, at much higher prices, nothing is for free, so why bother with Israel when Gaza has access to the sea and has a port much older than any Israeli ports?
Let Israel go to hell, and let Israel keep its borders crossing closed and let the people of Gaza open their port and import every thing they need and wants through the Port of Gaza. No need to reward Israeli suppliers with billions of supply contracts.
I know the world is concerned about Hamas smuggling weapons, and all I can say is that Hamas is simply too stupid to smuggle any thing of significant threat to Israel such at RPJs and other serious weapons of significant risk to Israel.
In more than 6 years under siege Hamas has managed to smuggle enough material to produce useless, and militarily insignificant Qassam rockets that are at best useless and are of no significant threat to Israel’s security. The so-called rockets have more psychological impact on Israeli citizens than any thing else. I will even go further and suggest that many of those within Hamas militias are also on the payroll of Israel’s Shin Bet. The answer lies in the deadly accuracy in which Israel is able to target and kill key Hamas military officers.
Though I believe the issue of weapon smuggling is more political and a powerful propaganda tool than strategic issue for Israel, nevertheless I concede that something has to be done to make sure that Hamas or any one else does not use the opening of the Port of Gaza for weapon smuggling. Beside, I am not convinced Hamas way of resistance is the answer to liberation. Hamas political leadership should take complete and absolute charge of all military operation and not leave the safety and security of the people of Gaza in the hands of the militias.
I am sure the Americans and the Europeans will be very pleased if Hamas political leadership, the president of Egypt and the Arab League announced to the world their willingness to entrust the management and operation including security operation of the Port of Gaza to the Americans and perhaps some European partners, with a staging point in Cyprus under total control of the US and NATO.
Let American and the Europeans break the siege of Gaza and end once and for all the Israeli Occupation of Gaza that has lasted some 42 years. Let America and Europe operate all of the security measures, not to Israel’s satisfaction but to the American and European satisfaction.
With Hosni Mubarak in military jail, and with Mahmoud Abbas chasing rainbows at the UN, let us close all of the smuggling tunnels and put the mafia that operates the tunnels out of business and let Egypt new government open the Rafah Crossing presently.
Let the US and Europe open and operate both the Sea Port and Airport of Gaza. Let the world this time end the siege of Gaza. Israel must not hold the people of Gaza hostage to criminal policies and its funding raising activities (when the blood flow, the money flows). Hamas too must not hold the people hostage to its own agenda. And yes, let the US Navy, NATO and US Coast Guard patrol the coastlines off Gaza for good measure.
Sami Jamil Jadallah is an international legal and business consultant and is the founder and director of Palestine Agency and Palestine Documentation Centerwww.palestineagency.com and founder and owner of several business in technology and services. Sami also runs an online website (Jefferson Corner). His articles are also featured on PalestineNote andVeterans Today.
Articles on RamallahOnline by Sami Jamil Jadallah