GAZA: BLOCKADED OR IN QUARANTINE?

GAZA: BLOCKADED OR IN QUARANTINE?

Howard Stern: Conflict Negotiator & Co-Founder Emmaus Group For many years, Israel’s opponents have filed endless allegations against its military blockade of Gaza. Rallies, protests and campaigns around the world cite Israel’s military blockade of Gaza as a serious contribution to the suffering of Gaza’s 1.7 million inhabitants. Gaza has been described as an overcrowded open air prison. In actual fact, its population density per square mile is less than the London Borough of Croydon. Whilst people rail against Israel’s so called “blockade,” rarely do they ask why it exists. What happened after Israel withdrew from the territory that mitigated such tight security measures being instituted? The question I raise is this: is Israel blockading Gaza, or is Gaza simply in a form of quarantine? A perfect case study of this is the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962 in which the US was forced to quarantine Cuba to prevent further ingress of ICBM nuclear missiles from Russia. Strong ideological links existed between Fidel Castro’s communist government and the Russians. Russia supported Castro’s regime in much the same way that Iran does with Hamas. Russia supplied Cuba with military hardware just as Iran has to Hamas. Over the past decade alone, numerous vessels have been intercepted in exactly the same way that the US intercepted Russian vessels carrying weapons to Cuba. In March this year, the Klos-C was stopped 930 miles from Israel’s coast carrying 400,000 rounds of ammunition and advanced Syrian M-302 missiles with a payload of 170kg and range of 200km.  InMarch 2011, another Iranian ship was intercepted, the Victoria, carrying 50 tons of Iranian weaponry. In 2009...