RAMALLAH, June 6 (JMCC) - It is not the backing of the United States or relative weakness of the European Union that allows Israel to maintain its policies, writes Ilan Pappe in the Independent
. It is Israeli thinking itself.
The official thinking in Israel, therefore, is that Hamas is a formidable obstacle for the imposition of such a peace. And thus the declared strategy is straightforward: starving and strangulating into submission the 1.5 million Palestinians living in the densest space in the world.
The blockade imposed in 2006 is supposed to lead the Gazans to replace the current Palestinian government with one which would accept Israel's dictate – or at least would be part of the more dormant Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In the meantime,Hamas captured an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, and so the blockade became tighter. It included a ban of the most elementary commodities without which human beings find it difficult to survive. For want of food and medicine, for want of cement and petrol, the people of Gaza live in conditions that international bodies and agencies described as catastrophic and criminal.Read
As in the case of the flotilla, there are alternative ways for releasing the captive soldier, such as swapping the thousands of political prisons Israel is holding with Shalit. Many of them are children, and quite a few are being held without trial. The Israelis have dragged their feet in negotiations over such a swap, which are not likely to bear fruit in the foreseeable future.
But Barak and Netanyahu, and those around them, know too well that the blockade on Gaza is not going to produce any change in the position of the Hamas and one should give credit to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who remarked at Prime Minister's Questions last week that the Israelis' policy, in fact, strengthens, rather than weakens, the Hamas hold on Gaza. But this strategy, despite its declared aim, is not meant to succeed or at least no one is worried in Jerusalem if it continues to be fruitless and futile.
more at the Independent