INTO THE FRAY: A PORT IN GAZA: PREPOSTEROUS & PERILOUS PROPOSAL

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:

A PORT IN GAZA: PREPOSTEROUS & PERILOUS PROPOSAL

(Kindly consider “liking”, sharing, tweeting – please use hash-tag ‪#‎IntoFray)

Hamas are not burrowing tunnels because Gaza has no port. They are burrowing them despite the fact it does not have one.

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):

ALGEMEINER: https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/07/14/a-port-off-gaza-a-preposterous-and-perilous-proposal/
ISRAELI FRONTLINE: http://www.israelifrontline.com/2017/07/fray-port-gaza-preposterous-perilous-proposal.html
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18936
ISRAEL NEWS ONLINE: https://israelnewsonline.org/into-the-fray-a-port-in-gaza-preposterous-perilous-proposal/#.WWfQyoiGM2x
ISRAEL RISING: https://www.israelrising.com/port-gaza-preposterous-perilous-proposal/
ISRAPUNDIT: http://www.israpundit.org/into-the-fray-a-port-in-gaza-preposterous-perilous-proposal/
JEWS DOWN UNDER: https://jewsdownunder.com/2017/07/14/fray-port-gaza-preposterous-perilous-proposal/
MEDIUM: https://medium.com/@martinsherman/into-the-fray-a-port-in-gaza-preposterous-perilous-proposal-4b9b39ed8e2
JEWISH PRESS: (TO BE POSTED)

Three short excerpts:

(a) Harebrained and hazardous
(b) Reinforcing the rationale for terror
(c) Port no panacea for poverty

(a) Harebrained and hazardous

Israel’s intelligence and transport minister has long pushed the idea of an artificial island off the coast of the Gaza Strip, with plans for a port, cargo terminal and even an airport to boost the territory’s economy and connect it to the world.A New Island in the Mediterranean… Just Off Gaza Reuters June 29, 2017.  

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.Attributed to Albert Einstein.  

Gaza-port 2A little over a year ago, I wrote a column harshly criticizing the proposal for the construction of a port of any sort for Gaza, particularly one to be located on a detachable artificial island, to be built 3-4 km off the Gazan coast. What I wrote then is just as pertinent today…The opening paragraph of the column was this: “Just when you thought that you could not possibly hear anything more preposterous on how to help resolve the  conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs, somehow someone always manages to prove you wrong—and comes out with a policy proposal so glaringly absurd that it transcends what you  mistakenly believed was the pinnacle of imbecility”… Sadly these caustic remarks are still as relevant today—as unbelievable as that may seem.

(b) Reinforcing the rationale for terror

Moreover, the very rationale for the port is damaging, playing directly into the hands of Israel’s detractors…After all, to suggest that by alleviating economic hardship in Gaza, Israel could diminish the motivation for terror is, in effect, not only inverting the causal relationship between the two, but it also implies that the victims of terror are to blame for their attackers’ aggression. Little could be more counterproductive—and misleading—for Israel…
Clearly, the onerous measures that Israel is compelled to undertake to ensure the safety of its citizens is not the reason for, but the result of that terror.  Equally if the latter were eliminated, there would be no need for the former—and far more rational solutions than a multi-billion dollar artificial island could be found to facilitate the flow of goods and people to and from Gaza…

…This prosperity-prevents-terror thesis is wrong on virtually every level. Firstly, it is risible to believe that Hamas, who has deliberately put its own civilians in harm’s way, gives a hoot about their economic well-being. After all, if it has scant regard for their lives, why should their livelihood be of greater concern? 

(c) Port no panacea for poverty

…in effect, Gaza already has a modern port at its disposal, under Israeli supervision, barely 35 km. north of it, far closer to it than many locations in Israel: The port of Ashdod.
Obviously, under conditions of peace (or even credible non-belligerency) Ashdod can supply all Gaza’s supervised civilian needs–without squandering billions on a fanciful floating island port…However, under conditions of on-going belligerency, even under the strictest Israeli supervision, there is no way—short of taking control of Gaza—to ensure that dual purpose material such as cement, fertilizer and steel will not be used for belligerent purposes…he severity of this problem—and the futility of a Gaza port as a means of solving—or even alleviating—it, was vividly underscored  by  a report from last year’s UN World Humanitarian Summit, which revealed that Hamas had been siphoning off 95% of the cement transferred into the Gaza Strip to rebuild homes, using it instead for military purposes/tunnel construction.

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,
Best wishes,
MS

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