Those who demonize the blockade of Gaza should be careful what they wish for

Those who complain about Israel’s and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza should stop and think about what the alternative would actually look like.

Imagine this. No blockade, just like in 2005 when Israel withdrew from Gaza. Without the blockade, Hamas and other terrorist groups would be able to bring in much more advanced rockets and other weapons.

Having far more advanced weapons, Hamas and their allies would be able to undertake far more deadly attacks against Israel. Currently, attacks rarely result in Israeli deaths, but with more deadly attacks, Israel would be forced to respond with enough force to stop the attacks much more quickly (which is the definition of proportionality). Therefore those responses would likely be far more devastating than current IDF attacks that typically destroy only infrastructure.

Despite Israel’s tougher responses, the terrorist attacks would continue anyway because the terrorists are not likely to ever willingly give up their goal of destroying the Jewish state. Israel would then be forced to re-occupy Gaza, undertake house-by-house searches to destroy its terrorist network, and install an Israeli authority over Gazans.

But those who complain about the blockade do not reach this conclusion. In their minds, terrorists are freedom fighters, and Israel has no right to defend itself. In their minds, when Israel is attacked by Hamas, it should hand over the state of Israel to Hamas and call it “Palestine”.

People who are honest with themselves, on the other hand, recognize that the blockade is in fact the most humane approach that Israel could have used in response to terrorist attacks from Gaza. Short of capitulating unconditionally to terrorists, it was the response that was least likely to result in Palestinian casualties. Even at the United Nations, a body that is widely known as an unfair critic of Israel, an “investigation has backed Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza as legal.”

Since dismantling its settlements in Gaza (the IDF had to drag many settlers out by force) and evacuating it unconditionally, Israel has used the utmost humane, ethical, and restrained responses to never-ending terrorist attacks from Gaza. As US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said, “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has”.

Israel deserves to be supported unequivocally in its defense against attacks from Gaza, and the lack of support by much of the world makes one wonder. Should Israel end the blockade and let the Palestinians suffer the consequences?

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere. Fred Maroun writes for Gatestone Institute.
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