Sunday, June 06, 2010

Blockades Hurt Potential Friends

I have long thought the blockade of Cuba was a bad idea. If we had had vigorous trade relations with Cuba from the outset of the Castro regime, they would be turned into a democratic market society no later than 1989, and probably long before. Isolating Cuba from the strong appeal of freedom and freely available stuff just pushed them into the arms of the Soviets and strengthened the Communist regime. I look forward to visiting democratic Cuba soon after we end this foolish policy. Aid and trade wins friends among ordinary people, even if the regime never likes us. In the long run, even in the medium run, that friendship and ordinary intercourse matters more.

The blockade by the Israeli government of Palestine is a bad idea. If they had vigorous trade relations with one another, and all the other kinds of intercourse normal between two intertwined nations, Palestine could turn fully into the democratic market society that it almost is already. Isolation pushes ordinary Palestinians into the arms of Hamas and the violent extremists. Fomenting permanent fear has a similar effect on ordinary Israelis and their equivalent extremists. Aid and trade wins friends among ordinary people, even if the regimes never like one another. In the long run, even in the medium run, that friendship and ordinary intercourse matters more.

14 comments:

Susan Perkins Weston said...

And that's aside from the feeling that if we wish more people had opposed the Warsaw Ghetto, we ought to ask who's going to oppose the Gaza incarceration.

D- said...

Mrs G,

As far as I can tell at both on the governmental and popular level, pretty much every nation but Egypt, the US, and Israel (and perhaps a Euro country or two) oppose the Gaza blockade. I don't really know how much more international opposition a policy could have.

Anonymous said...

So what do you propose to do about the missiles being shipped into Gaza as "aid" which are then launched into the civilian population of Israel?

randy said...

if the palestinians, hamas, fatah, whoever, would just stop firing those dinky,useless rockets into israeli houses, and blowing people up w/IEDS and suicide bombs...israel would look SO BAD they would HAVE to relent on gaza, HAVE to stop the settlements.

but things have gone too far now. after Cast Lead, after Lebanon in '07...the arab world will never, can never forgive the jews. its too late. the arabs are only biding their time for when they really will try to push every jew, every israeli anyway, every zionist, into the sea.

i VERY MUCH fear that the seeds of shoa 2 have been sown. may it not come to pass...but israel's only friend in the world is america. if they EVER LOSE that...

well, they do have nukes.

Gruntled said...

Anonymous, I think the Israeli government should take the lead in supplying the construction material that Palestine needs to rebuild, especially for the houses that the Israeli government knocked down. They should allow those Israeli citizens, Jewish and otherwise, who want to build peaceful relations with Palestine to go themselves and help rebuild Palestine.

Anonymous said...

"updated 7:25 p.m. PT, Tues., Sept . 13, 2005
NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip - Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.

American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.

Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said."

Seems like the Palestinians aren't all that interested in rebuilding or improving their lot in life.

Anonymous said...

The news article in the previous post was from the Associated Press, found by me on the MSNBC website...just in case anyone wanted to argue that it was only raving right-wing nuts writing a story like that.

MS said...

That's right Previous Anon, the Gazans probably looted a GREEN HOUSE because they're either hopeless losers or terrorists. I bet those weapons-grade hoses and lengths of plastic sheeting are going to be hurled at Israelis. I'm sure they didn't loot the only place in Gaza that had new stuff because they have no other way to get some basic construction materials.

These people are desperate. They are fully reliant on aid, and there isn't enough of it. We aren't talking about a free country, the people there have no ability for "improving their lot in life". As a people they compete with North Koreans for the bottom of the upwardly mobile barrel.

Sheila said...

Gruntled were you for the boycott of South Africa?

You have no true understanding of Hamas if you think this is about economics. None.

If the enemies of the Jews laid down their arms today there would be no war. If the Jews laid down there arms today there would be no Israel.

I am astonished to hear you say you think this is about "trade relations".

I think even Helen Thomas would would disagree with you on this one.

Anonymous said...

There has been massive amounts of ail sent to Gaza for years, much of it from U.S. Jewish donors, but it has made little difference.

Let us posit for a moment that the Palistinians are in poverty, and that nobody has lifted a finger to help them. Isn't it strange that other impoverished people live peacefully, instead of spending their time killing civilians? What could be different about the Palistinians that cause them to act so violently?

MS said...

Anon, while a good and venerable thing, aid doesn't bring people out of poverty, Africa should tell you that. As Gruntled says, isolating nations is a usually a bad idea, and Israel (and Egypt's) blockade of Gaza has had disastrous consequences for all people living there.

Pearl said...

Mrs. Weston are you comparing the Israelis to Hitler? Do you consider this to be a centrist view? Shame on you.

Black Sea said...

In analyzing the ─░sraeli Palestinian conflict, one must come to grips with the fact that not all conflicts are amenable to peaceful resolution. In other words, not every problem has a solution. The Isreali Palestinian conflict will end someday, because everything eventually does, but I don't think it will end in justice, peace, cooperation, or mutual tolerance. No matter how it ends.

randy said...

i'm afraid you're right, black sea.