Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tell Me This Isn't A Silly (Stupid?) Thought Process

U.S. envoy George Mitchell said on Thursday that opening the Gaza Strip to commercial goods would help to choke off the smuggling that Israel fears could replenish Hamas's weapons stocks.

But he said the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas must help to supervise the crossings, a demand that has been a major sticking point in Egyptian-brokered negotiations with the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers for a long-term ceasefire.

"To be successful in preventing the illicit traffic of arms into Gaza, there must be a mechanism to allow the flow of legal goods, and that should be with the participation of the Palestinian Authority," Mitchell said after meeting Abbas.


If I have that right, we're supposed to open the crossing wide and that will stop smuggling?

Smuggling goes on either because one can get a higher price for something or because it's illegal: like guns, bullets, mortars, rockets - you know, the "luxury goods".

So, it doesn't make a difference if the border is open for the smuggler unless, of course, with the border open, it'll be easier to get the war materiel in. More places to hide it.

6 comments:

Peter said...

He was talking about smuggling of the basic goods into Gaza, which happens not because it is illegal or higher prices, but because of the blockade, and which is the main use of the tunnels. So, by opening the crossings, you are going to eliminate the main motivation for building the tunnels. While it will not solve the problem of the tunnels entirely (the weapons will still need to be smuggled) it will make it more manageable.

galia said...

You know that bombing tunnels and civilians is not a solution to the smuggling weapons, so they are trying something different.
But in any case, Hamas is a government of people, democratically elected. They need means to protect their people, just as any government would do.
What you need to do is to discourage them to use this weapon, and that is by giving them rights and stop occupation. The smuggling problem then will be solved by itself.

galia said...

And to answer your question it isn't silly thought process. It is constructive, unlike your thought process which doesn't offer any suggestions for moving on peacefully into the future, but only focusing on how much you hate Arabs, and Americans, etc etc.

Ron Russell said...

I don't know how worthy my opinion is on this subject as I am far removed from the problem being a non-Jew living in the deep southern part of American, but I feel a need to express it. George Mitchell, I'm sure, has good intentions---but he is like many in his party in that he sees the world in shades of gray and not in black and white (good and evil). Weapons will be smuggled into the Gaza Strip no matter how open the border becomes---in fact, openless will in all probability, led to more weapons coming into Gaza. I've noticed in my numerous years that the more you give in to someone the more they seem to want.

I have watched the struggle of the Jewish state since its beginnings in the 1940's and admired the courage of its peoples and their determination to establish a better life for themselves and their childern. But there are forces in this world that view Israel as a child of 19th century colonialism and in this age of raphant nationalism and radical Islam Israel has more of a struggle now that it did in the past. I would not presume to have the answers, but I do know that to show any weakness to these forces would be disastrous. The forces of radical Islam know no boundries and are geared toward a protracted stuggle with the Jewish state and the rest of the western world. A new order will come out of that stuggle and we must make sure it is the right one.

galia said...

Ron all you said would be completely right and understandable,only if the same last 60 years wouldn't have been the years of expulsion of Palestinian people and occupation of Palestine, only if 1300 people mostly civilians wouldn't be killed in few last weeks by Israelis with lots of excuses and no responsibilities, only if Israel would be treated by the same standards that every democracy is treated and abide by international laws.
I am not Jew either and i am far away from middle east, but the injustice is obvious.

http://www.btselem.org/English/ for more information

Peter said...

This is how the tunnels are flourishing:
We are standing on the hill from which he had watched exitedly as Israeli planes pounded the houses in Palestinian Rafah, close to the border. Salah knows that a decline in the number of tunnels in that area increases the price of goods.
[...]
Another group of smugglers approaches in a jeep.[...]
The smuggling has to be revived and they have to check which goods are not allowed through the crossings from Israel, so they can start moving those items into Gaza. Weapons smuggling? Salah does not deny it, but he won't volunteer any details."