‘Free Gaza’ Flotilla Fallout
New York City
You know, it’s funny. Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are all engaged in this blockade (which I strongly oppose). But if you read The Nation‘s June 21 editorial, "Free Gaza," you’d have to assume that they are all doing this because it’s fun or because they are big meanies or, at best, for no reason at all. There is no notion that any sane person in Israel or Egypt or the West Bank would ever have a problem with anything Hamas has ever done or have any reason for concern if it ruled the country on its borders and had the power to kill whomever it liked by whatever means it liked. You’d never know, either, that it is a regressive, totalitarian, anti-Semitic political movement opposed to liberalism in all its forms, particularly as it relates to women. This editorial, like most Nation editorials, assumes Israel is 100 percent at fault in this conflict and that whoever opposes it is 100 percent correct. It is the mirror image of the right-wing Zionist viewpoint it attacks. As such, it can have no relevance to the views of anyone who takes the complications of the conflict seriously in hopes of finding a solution that might one day be acceptable to the country The Nation consistently demonizes.
I disagree with every statement and position in your rabid condemnation of the blockade and biased support for the Arabs of Gaza. The gross failure to recognize that the raining of 10,000 rockets onto Israeli homes by Hamas for years and the express assertion of absolute enmity for Israel by Hamas and its commitment to the destruction of Israel certainly entitled Israel to blockade all weapons, just as the importation of rockets into Cuba warranted the US boycott of Cuba. You fail entirely to acknowledge that humanitarian supplies were permitted to enter Gaza, and this brands your diatribe as absolutistic, unreasoned hatred.
MILES J. LOURIE
New York City
It is too bad that the spill of human blood does not elicit the same response as the spill of oil. With oil, there is no question that it must be stopped. With blood, we find reasons it should continue. Only those capable of feeling the pain of others know that blood is thicker than oil. Those are the people who were part of the flotilla, who tried to stop the gushing well of pain in Gaza. These are the people the IDF labels "terrorists."
One point has been lost in conversations about the flotilla: Israel continues as a violent and oppressive regime partly because American Jews turn a blind eye to the inhumane acts perpetrated by the Israeli government. Jews who vote Democratic and champion progressive causes are too often the same Jews who support the actions of the State of Israel, implicitly and explicitly, by refusing to acknowledge its failures. If we want a Jerusalem not riddled with mortar shells, we Jews need to acknowledge that we have been oppressors. It is not 1948, and we can no longer use the terrible acts committed against us, or even the grave threats of extremists, to justify the terrible acts of violence we commit.