My piece on Egypt and Gaza, at ME Channel

… is here.
I rather like the title they put on it, “Tahrir’s journey to Palestine”. In fact, the journey that the “spirit of of the Tahrir uprising” has to make before it gets to Palestine is just about as long and difficult as the journey that anyone needs to make to get from the outside world to the Gaza portion of Palestine. We can see the terrible and in one case at least, potentially lethal) measures that someone (presumably Israel) has been taking to prevent the current “Stay Human” flotilla from reaching Gaza. And we saw the lethal (and very intentionally mendacious/libelous) lengths to which the Israel “Defense” Forces were prepared to go in this regard on May 31, 2010.
If you can’t get to Gaza by sea, then you have to go either via Israel, through the Erez checkpoint, or via Egypt through Rafah. Erez has long been closed to everyone except a small group of humanitarian-aid workers and a very small number of Gaza Palestinians requiring urgent medical care at hospitals inside Israel. (But the medical patients are have very frequently been required to become informers for the Israelis as a “quid pro quo” for being allowed to transit Erez, as PHR-Israel has documented in detail.)
Passage through Rafah is almost equally as difficult, whether for “Gaza residents”– that is, that small portion of the Palestinian people whom Israel graciously “allows” to reside in, or visit Gaza– or for anyone else.
It is quite outrageous that an entire population can be collectively punished with illegal restrictions on their freedom of movement and freedom of association in this way. Bill the spouse and I were only able to respond positively to the invitation we received to visit Gaza because we had high-level backing from the Egyptian government. But if a school or community group in Gaza wants to invite anyone they want from Egypt, other Arab countries, Europe, or the United States, to go and take part in a seminar or to sit on the beach with them enjoy the fine Gaza sunset, they can’t do that! Why?????
Because Israel has long had carte blanche from the U.S. government to kick around the Palestinians in any way it wants, with no accountability required.
Time for a change.
Let’s bring the spirit of Tahrir here, to the United States!

One thought on “My piece on Egypt and Gaza, at ME Channel”

  1. I loved your piece in FP. I think any reasonable person can agree that there is every reason to be outraged at the blockade and disappointed, to say the least, at the lack of progress on opening the Rafah crossing. Let’s hope the activists in Tahrir keep pushing!

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