When Brian Walt and I initiated the Jewish Fast for Gaza last year, advocating for a lifting of the Gaza blockade was not a particularly popular thing to do. I’m gratified to see that situation is beginning to change.
I’ve already reported on the Ha’aretz editorial; and now MJ Rosenberg, a respected Mideast analyst/columnist has recently made a forceful call to end the blockade as well. In the political arena, 77 members of the British House of Commons have done the same through the introduction of an Early Day Motion. Here in the US, 54 members of Congress recently wrote a letter to President Obama that called for a lifting of the blockade, citing its dire strategic and humanitarian effects:
The unabated suffering of Gazan civilians highlights the urgency of reaching a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we ask you to press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza as an urgent component of your Middle East peace efforts.
Several American Jewish organizations have publicly supported the letter and I was happy to learn that J Street actively lobbied members of Congress to sign on. Take a look at all 54 signatories of the letter – if your Rep is not on the list, please consider contacting him/her to express your disappointment. (For my part, I’m very disappointed that my Rep, Jan Schakowsky – an active and vocal supporter of J St. – chose not to sign on).
Finally, if you agree with the sentiments expressed above, please sign on as a supporter of Ta’anit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza. Our next fast day is Thursday, February 18.
I am extremely thankful for your initiatives in efforts to lift the blockade and am glad to see that there is movement in the right direction.
As someone who has been implementing humanitarian aid programmes in the Gaza strip for the past two years I am really hoping for the blockade to be lifted very, very soon because the suffering of civilians there of whom most are not even adults – 50 per cent of the Gaza strip’s population of about 1.5 million is 18 or under – is inhumane.
Keep up the good work!
You can get all the “progressive” bloggers in the world to complain, you can sign up 400 members of Congress, you can conduct all the demonstrations you want…..neither Israel nor Egypt will lift the partial blockade as long as the HAMAS regime maintains its self-proclaimed war against Israel. There is NO “humanitarian crisis” there, there is a enough food and medical supplies for everyone, BUT, Israel is NOT obligated to make sure everyone there has a comfortable life. If people are unhappy with the situation there, then they should take their complaints to HAMAS. Have you noticed that even the Palestinian Authority has not conditioned renewal of talks with the lifting of the blockade and they have also come out in support of Egypt’s building the metal barrier at the frontier. The international community is also keeping mum. Those who understand the true situation know that there is no alternative to maintaining the blockade until the regime in power in Gaza is committed to peaceful relations with Israel.