The ethical, essential and imperative yet mythical blockade of Gaza

By Jonathan Feldstein

Days after more than 1300 people in Israel were slaughtered in the most vulgar way, men, women, elderly, entire families, children and babies; raped, burned alive, brutally tortured, beheaded, and impaled, the world has started to complain about Israel’s “siege” and “blockade” on Gaza, the territory ruled by the evil Iranian backed Islamist terror organization, Hamas, that perpetrated these attacks.

Let’s get some things straight. Israel has not just the right, but the need and obligation to defend itself and its citizens.  Israel has unleashed its air force to begin the destruction of Hamas. By the time you read this, a ground invasion may have begun as well.  Considering that Israel was attacked by land, sea, and air on October 7, militarily it is necessary to prevent anything getting into Gaza that will enable them to continue to threaten Israel.  It’s critical that nothing will get out that might do so either, as Hamas continues to fire thousands of rockets at Israeli communities. 

Heeding Call, Heading Out. Heeding Israel’s call to leave areas that are to come under imminent Israeli attack to expunge the Hamas cancer  from Gaza, civilians are on the move. (Photo Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

During war, Israel’s first, second, and third priority must be the well-being of its citizens, especially in the wake of the massacre that took place on 10/7.  Proportionally in the US, this is equivalent to more than 25,000 people killed on 9/11, whose official death toll is recorded at 2,977 people. 

Militarily, this is not just a solid and legitimate tactic, but it is also ethical and essential.  This week I hosted a webinar “Fighting an Ethical War Against an Unethical Enemy.” Both our expert on military tactics and on military ethics concurred. 

Fighting an Ethical War Against an Unethical Enemy

Above the essential and imperative military response, there are many other facts that need to be understood to debunk the myth of an illegal Israeli blockade, as if Israel has a moral, ethical, or legal responsibility to Gazan Palestinian Arabs.

While Israel has closed its border crossings, Gaza shares a border with Egypt. Transport of medical needs, fuel, food, and civilians can take place via Egypt, as well as through the terror tunnels Hamas controls under that same border.

Israel has no obligation to provide water, electricity, fuel, or anything else to a neighboring state, much less an enemy entity that has its sworn goal the destruction of Israel.  It’s a policy that should have been reevaluated long ago, but for now, Israel has shut it down.

Had Hamas truly cared about its own people, they would have used their pristine coastal real estate to create a Middle Eastern Singapore.  Had Hamas truly cared about its own people, they would have invested in sewage treatment plants, and recycled and desalinated water. They would have set up solar energy fields to power it all. Rather, they’ve stockpiled weapons, mastered smuggling, and built a vast terror infrastructure. They have absconded with billions of international funds intended to help the people upon whose lives they trample upon.

Hamas built the equivalent of a city under the homes of millions of Gazan Palestinian Arabs, a network of terror tunnels and bunkers to smuggle weapons, terrorists, and even human trafficking for the well-being of the terrorists, to command this, and as a launching pad for terrorist attacks like what they did on 10/7.

Out of Harm’s Way. Hopefully when these Gazans return, it will not be under Hamas occupation. (Photo Hatem Ali/AP)

Hamas could have stockpiled thousands of tons of food, medical equipment, and water, just as they were planning this attack for months. But they didn’t. If there are any such stockpiles, they are only for the Hamas terrorist leaders, not the average Gazan Palestinian.

One can feel sympathy for Gazan Palestinian Arabs.  Indeed, they were hijacked in a bloody coup against the PLO, a competing terror organization, and have lived under the heal of this evil Islamic group since 2007.  Indeed, we all pray that they will be freed from the occupation of millions in Gaza – the occupation by Hamas.

If the Islamist terrorists of Hamas really cared about building a country rather than destroying ours, they would not use their own people as human shields.  That’s why Israel warned hundreds of thousands of Gazan Palestinian Arabs to evacuate.  Israel needs to take care of business and destroy Hamas’ infrastructure and leaders.  Israel does so morally, not targeting civilians or wanting them injured by accident. While contrary to any possibility of a surprise attack, and giving terrorists the opportunity to flee along with civilians, Israel has dropped flyers and broadcast in Arabic telling Gazans to evacuate, and what the safe evacuation routes are. Yet today, Hamas is physically blocking Gazan Palestinian Arabs from fleeing from areas that Israel has warned them to leave, doubling down on the war crime that they have been committing for years. Why is nobody protesting this blockade?

But as bad as one may feel for the average Gazan Palestinian Arab, they are also complacent if not complicit as well. At any time since 2007, Gazan Palestinian Arabs could have ousted Hamas and taken control of their society. They could have risen up and expelled Hanas and Islamic Jihad, and created a society and culture to be proud of, not one of extremist Islamic hate, evil personified. It would have been bloody, but they haven’t, and they are culpable.  Their blood is on their own hands.

Defying Hamas. Despite Hamas trying to block their own population following Israel’s warning to seek safer ground,   people are leaving. (Photo Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

However, it’s not clear that most Gazan Palestinian Arabs want change, or think that Hamas is bad, for them much less for Israel. It must be emphasized that recent polls by respected Arab pollsters show 57% of Gazan Palestinians supporting Hamas.  As much as that is a strong majority, it should be noted that those which receive even higher levels of popular support are even more extremists.

Blaming Israel for all the woes of Gazan Palestinian Arabs might feel good to Israel haters, looking for any opportunity to criticize and blame Israel for any problem, real or fabricated.  Yet it is false and dishonest. It does not place sole responsibility for the well being of Gazan Palestinians where it belongs – on Hamas.

It brings to mind an adaptation of a phrase that ‘people who live in terrorist houses should not throw grenades,’ or fire rockets, or slaughter, rape, burn alive, behead, or kidnap and hold hostage innocent civilians from babies to elderly women.

As the world will begin to condemn Israel for an ‘unjust blockade’, even if it’s fictitious, who, in their right mind would expect a country under attack to give up anything for a terrorist entity that is doing the attacking, or to divert any effort that takes away from Israel’s responsibility to protect its citizens, destroy Hamas, and restore deterrence so nobody will ever think of doing anything like this again. With most international airlines not flying to Israel, and shipping companies skittish about unloading their ships in Israeli ports, meaning cargo and supplies from overseas are limited, and with hundreds of thousands engaged solely in the war effort and not at work in critical infrastructure positions, how and why is it even reasonable to expect Israel to do anything different?

The brazen and disgusting notion that Israel should allow any shipments of anything to enable a terrorist entity when Israel is fighting a war against an enemy that is so inhuman is an absurdity of Biblical proportions.

About the Writer:

Jonathan Feldstein ­­­­- President of the US based non-profit Genesis123 Foundation whose mission is to build bridges between Jews and Christians – is a freelance writer whose articles appear in The Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Townhall, NorthJersey.com, Algemeiner Jornal, The Jewish Press, major Christian websites and more.

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).

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