Wednesday, July 23, 2014

They Keep Using Those Words

Those on the side of Hamas in the war with Israel insist that Hamas (or whatever uncontrollable "militant wing" is firing those rockets at Israeli civilians) is justified because Israel has Gaza "blockaded" and under "siege." That notion is wrong.

I've gone on before that lopsided civilian casualties is not indicative of who is waging war lawfully. It's more complicated than the body count in weighing guilt.

(Although you wouldn't know that if you rely on the New York Times for your news.)

Turkey's Erdogan is a fool if he thinks Israel is the side with the small moustaches in this fight.

But I'm not here to discuss the ridiculous notion that Israel's response is "disproportionate." That concept as defined by the pro-Hamas side is nowhere to be found in the laws of war.

No, I want to discuss the so-called Israeli "blockade" of Gaza that has the Palestinians under "siege."

One, Israel borders Gaza on three sides, controlling the southern, eastern, and northern sea borders.

Egypt controls the western border of Gaza.

You don't have to be a geometry genius to undrstand that even if Israel was instituting a total blockade of Gaza, that whatever Gazans could buy could flow through that western border.

So right off, there is no blockade and no siege based on that simple fact of geography. Whatever difficulties Gazans face are not solely the fault of Israel.

And what of those difficulties?

By Israel's account, they only try to limit Gazan imports of materials that could be used to wage war. Concrete and other materials that can harden bunkers and such.

The launch of more than a thousand rockets (imported whole or the raw materials to build them in workshops) plus an infrastructure of reinforced underground bunkers and tunnels demonstrates that the Israelis have been unsuccessful in that narrow objective of limiting imports.

But perhaps the blockade has only been unsuccessful in this narrow range of materials while the larger siege is squeezing Gaza to death.

I don't need to even look into the details of what is going into Gaza. I'll just note that Israel has had a blockade on Gaza for at least 7 years of siege.

You'd think that in 7 years of siege that there wouldn't be a Gazan alive in that food-deprived wasteland.

But no. Gaza's population, as a spokesman for Hamas noted today, is 1.8 million.

In early 2009, just after the last ground war, the population was 1.4 million.

In what alternate world does a population "under siege" because they are "blockaded" grow by close to 30%? In America, our birth rate dropped from the recent recession yet Gazans have the 13th highest population growth rate in the world?

Look, I don't like that Palestinian children are being killed. But Hamas is dangling children in front of the Israelis counting on Westerners to care more about Palestinian children than Hamas does. Hamas wants a higher child body count to shield them from Israeli military power.

Palestinians have survived the so-called blockade of Gaza.

Surviving Hamas' rule is another thing when no Palestinian body count is too much for Hamas to pay in order to kill or capture even a single Israeli.