Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another one for the Twilight Zone: Israel "eases embargo" to allow snack food (but not concrete, wheelchairs, musical instruments, fishing rope...)

Members of Congress apparently aren't the only ones living in a Twilight Zone. Reuters this morning reports (emphasis added):
"Israel is easing its Gaza embargo to allow snack food and drinks into the Palestinian enclave, Palestinian officials said Wednesday, following an international outcry over Israel's raid on an aid flotilla."
Here's the list of prohibited items from Gisha, the Israeli Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, which includes cement, plaster, tar, wood, glass containers, dried fruit, coriander, fishing rods, nets, rope, size A4 paper, sewing machines, toys, fresh meat, cattle, chicks, newspapers, musical instruments, writing implements.... The absurdity of this list of items would almost be funny, if it wasn't so sickening, so obviously intended to collectively punish an entire population, if the situation in Gaza wasn't so horrendous. Tell Congress and the White House that this monstrous blockade must end by clicking here. Gisha notes that "It is not possible to verify this list with the Israeli authorities because they refuse to disclose information regarding the restrictions on transferring goods into Gaza," and highlights the fact that the the "ban on the entry of raw materials into the Gaza Strip is part of the policy Israel calls "economic sanctions" or "economic warfare", and which human rights organizations call "collective punishment."