"But U.S. and Western officials complain the limited list of humanitarian goods that Israel allows into Gaza changes almost daily, creating major logistical problems for aid groups and donor governments which are unable to plan ahead."Weapons banned. That's debatable. Jam, cheese, toilet paper, pasta, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, among other items on an ever-changing imaginary list??? That is a deliberate attempt to starve people, confuse the aid work, and hold up the peace process.
Israeli defense official Peter Lerner said in response: "I'm not aware of any problems with toilet paper, toothpaste, dairy products ... and other food stuffs. Basic necessities are being met and are going in on a daily basis."
And of course Israel is "unaware of any problems" and says goods are moving freely. Free is apparently a relative term. Basic, necessity, problem, being met, going in may also beg some serious clarification. Either Israel is incompetent or they are lying to our face. Either way we need to do more than complain. We are a superpower and all we propose to do about Israel terrorizing Palestinians and blocking the peace process is beg and plead??? Why not take $1000 a day from our $4bn gifts until Israel respects international law and commits to a one or two state solution? Or give them 3-4 chances, knocking off $1bn each time? Or cut them off totally? They aren't entitled to our money, they don't need it, and if they break our laws it makes more sense for them to pay us! Sanctions, anyone?
This issue is significantly different from other conflicts. Other times, we are generally will at least sympathize with the oppressed, if not help them. This is not to say we haven't supported and trained some opposition groups that have done much harm (i.e. School of the Americas), but we never have supported a group that continually defies international and our own laws so openly and to the extent we have Israel. We do give aid to Palestinians, the oppressed, but we give so much more to those who are increasingly more vocal about their opposition to peace and desire to starve/kill/whatever Palestinians if it means keeping Israel Jewish (always cast as an existential threat to their lives, rather than the truly racist goal).
We always have said we support Israel because they are committed to peace, while Palestinians aren't, they value freedom and equality like us and Palestinians elect terrorist and corrupt leaders. We really have no basis for the distinction we have made in the past- whether or not it is true. Israel's current leaders aren't committed to the previous agreements, two- state solution, freedom and equal rights for all. We are currently funding terrorism- or what has been referred to as collective punishment, occupation, apartheid. Israel is punishing all for the crimes of a few and is using basic necessities, health and starvation as a method to change the Palestinian political landscape to one it likes better. With Lieberman, the card-carrying, State Department-identified terrorist as FM this should now be more than clear. Shall we nip this in the bud now, or wait until he sets up gas chambers?? They've already got the concentration camps.
(Here's my other bit on Avigdor Lieberman.)
We are funding this nonsense!!
Especially with our nation looking for extra dollars these days, could we not make better use of this money that's funding massacres, Israeli terrorists, the starving of Palestinians, and promising to run peace negotiations off course???
"Items banned by the Israeli authorities last week included jam, biscuits and tomato paste, resulting in 498 boxes of USAID cargo and 2,488 boxes of World Vision cargo stopped from delivery to Gaza. According to COGAT*, food parcels containing these foodstuffs, as well as tea, sweets and date bars, will be rejected in the future."
*COGAT - [Israeli military] Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories
FIELD UPDATE ON GAZA FROM THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs