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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Half of Gaza wants to leave

A surprisingly fair article in the Sacramento Bee asserts that half of Gazans would like to leave, that Hamas is the main party at fault for the miserable situation in which many Gazans find themselves, and that Egypt has less justification to blockade the terror base than Israel does.
What political concessions has Hamas offered that might have enabled it to make repairs, improve the lot of its people? None. So, poverty and malnutrition are growing so fast that these pernicious blights are reaching epidemic status. The United Nations reported this fall that one in five Gazans now live in what it called "abject poverty." That is why many parents are no longer sending their children to school. They need the pennies their children can earn at menial jobs to buy food.

Their chieftains don't seem to care. I have interviewed the leaders of Hamas many times over the years, and all of them offered one consistent refrain, time and time again: We are patient. Our resistance will continue as long as it takes - even centuries - until we reach our goal, full control of Palestine.

Of course, that includes the state of Israel. One of them, Ismail Abu Shenab, now deceased, once told me: "There are plenty of open areas in the United States that could absorb the Jews." Even Shenaeb, zealot that he was, must have known that nothing like that was going to happen even in his grandchildren's lifetimes - if ever. But he and all his colleagues, then and now, pursued that ludicrous goal in exclusion of all else, and now it is leading to the social destruction of their own people.

Israel and Egypt have locked the gates to Gaza. Israel's closure is more understandable than Egypt's, given that Cairo pretends to be the Palestinian's greatest friend and protector. In any case, it's impossible to know just how many Gazans endorse Hamas' chimerical, single-minded, objective.

The majority of Gazans I have met want to live peaceful lives and provide for their children. Sure, all of them would love to turn the clock back to 1967, before Israel won control of Gaza. That's why most of them still choose to live in decades-old refugee camps, to show that they refuse to accept the current state of affairs.

But now a growing number - half the population, according to recent polls - is trying to get out of Gaza, escape from Hamas control and the deprivation that comes from its rule. In one famous case early this month, a healthy man joined the thousands who are fleeing to Egypt and Israel with bribes and fake medical reports, by pretending to be dying of cancer. He didn't get away with it.

Now, a year after the Israeli invasion of Gaza, it's time to stop blaming Israel for the desperate plight of Gaza's people. Now, without question, it's Hamas' fault.
Read the whole thing. Maybe there's hope that the world is waking up to reality?


At 7:09 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - don't get your hopes up. The UN gave Hamas a clean bill of health in the Goldstone Report. There is no sign of Hamas changing its policies towards Israel. Just the opposite. What has restrained them is not beautiful words but Israel's application of military force. The only way to bring about a permanent change would be to destroy the Hamas regime. In the meantime, Israel can help to encourage Gazans to leave for other places to live.


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