Yet another American political voice calls to lift the Gaza blockade. From yesterday’s NY Times:
The United States should break Israel’s blockade of Gaza and deliver badly needed supplies by sea, a U.S. congressman told Gaza students.
Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, also urged President Barack Obama’s Mideast envoy to visit the Hamas-ruled territory to get a firsthand look at the destruction caused by Israeli’s military offensive last year.
Rep. Baird’s statement on Gaza, from his website:
(Rocketing) from Gaza doesn’t necessarily mean that any response, regardless of scope, target or impact on civilians, is necessarily justified, moral or strategically prudent. This kind of misleading duality itself reflects the thinking, on both sides, that can make peace so hard to achieve and violence so easy to justify. The fact is, there were and are many alternative responses possible and it is a false dichotomy to suggest, as some have, that if one criticizes the actions taken by Israel in Gaza and the West Bank then one is necessarily ignoring the rocket attacks from Gaza or somehow siding with or enabling terrorists.
In my judgment what has happened in Gaza and what goes on in the West Bank every day endangers U.S. integrity and security and ultimately strengthens hard line extremists at the expense of moderates and to the detriment of long term Israeli security. I also believe, having traveled and met with people throughout the region, that this adverse effect is not confined to Palestine but extends to varying degrees throughout the Islamic world and beyond.
I understand that people may disagree strongly with this perspective, but I am certainly not alone in expressing it. Many people have contacted my office to convey support for what we have said about our visit and this includes many friends of Israel within our own country.
Click here to thank Rep. Baird for his courage.