Thursday, February 12, 2009

A little love

Found on Sign and Sight:

In an article titled "Bitter Victory" Israeli writer Abraham B. Yehoshua takes stock of the war in Gaza. Israel's image certainly took an international bashing and the conflict, which is officially referred to not as a war but as a "military operation", did not bring victory but at most "abatement". "The rest of the world does not see the Israeli operation as principally legitimate if de facto brutal, because of its justifiable anger about Israeli settlements on the West Bank. An independent Gaza Strip is not a prison. In theory at least there is opening to the world on the Egyptian border. (...) I am all for opening the checkpoint to people and goods travelling to Israel in order finally to guarantee a ceasefire in Gaza. Even if Hamas refuses to recognise the state of Israel, it is our moral duty and in our political interests to allow the people of Gaza to meet their brothers on the West Bank and to work and trade freely in Israel."

I'm not sure I agree that it is a "moral duty" to facilitate the path of Palestinians who wish and plan harm to Israelis to travel freely in and out of Gaza. It is much less than moral duty; it is a benign gesture which may insert some good vibes into this otherwise malignant conflict.

This morning I read that:

Israel has granted permission for 25,000 flowers from the Gaza Strip to be sent to Europe for Valentine's Day.

The flowers will be Gaza's first exports for a year, as Israel has intensified its blockade of the strip since Hamas took control in June 2007.

The blockade allows in aid but exports are banned with few exceptions.

The move was made after a request by the Dutch government and Gaza farmers. Israel says this does not mean any overall change of policy.

Israeli military spokesman Maj Peter Lerner said the flowers would leave Gaza through an Israeli cargo crossing and were due to reach the European market by Valentine's Day on Saturday.

Well, no harm in spreading a little love. The final word in this becoming more regular, however, is in the hands of Hamas:

Israel has said it will not reopen the crossings fully unless Hamas frees a captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

By the way, I noticed more recently that Sign and Sight which used to be pretty neutral and even tilting towards the Israeli view, has changed its editorial sensibility of late. Now there are many more Israel-bashing articles linked to. I wonder if the site's editor in chief was replaced.

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