An inhumane and flawed Israeli policy literally had holes blown into it in Gaza. The reverberations of that policy and its failure are only beginning to be felt, and all the while, qassam rockets continue to rain down on southern Israel.
Some are trumpeting the destruction of the barrier separating Gaza from Egypt as the uprising of an oppressed people who finally threw off the yoke of an occupying power and took for themselves what they were entitled to and had been deprived of. While the image is romantic and alluring, the reality is that this was not a popular action, but one that was very much enacted by the ruling party in Gaza, Hamas.
The ordinary people of Gaza have found themselves even more in the middle of fighting between Hamas and Israel since the election of Hamas in 2006. Hamas has encouraged, and occasionally perpetrated, rocket attacks on southern Israel towns almost from the day of the elections. Apologists call the rockets retaliation, but there is no escaping that they are targeting innocent civilians for purposes that cannot be reasonably connected to self-defense.
The response to that 2006 election, which, it must be noted, was universally judged to be free and fair, began a chain of failed responses that came from most of the world. And the rockets, on the one hand, and the international isolation and increasingly draconian closure of Gaza by Israel and Egypt on the other, took the already impoverished Gaza Strip down the road to complete economic collapse, while international and Israeli isolation of Hamas only increased the risk to Israeli civilians. Continue reading