Feeding the Hand that Bites You: Israel and Gaza
Feeding the Hand that Bites You: Israel and Gaza

During the second week of March, 2012, while the Gaza regime directed more than 300 lethal aerial attacks towards southern Israel, driving one million people to cower in shelters, Israel announced to the world that it was bolstering that same Gaza regime with sustenance, dispatching 180 trucks filled with Israeli merchandise crossing into Gaza under fire that week, with Israel emphasizing that massive amounts of building materials were crossing into Gaza under fire.

So there you have it. Israel facilitates growth in an entity is in a full scale state of war with Israel, whose avowed national purpose is to overthrow the Jewish State.

To explain such an anomaly, Israeli Defense Ministry’s civil administration spokespeople repeat the mantra that Israel aids Gaza because it distinguishes between terrorist organizations and a civilian population in need

However, that distinction does not take into account that the all of Gaza is ruled by a terrorist organization, which is even defined as a terrorist organization by all members of the very Quartet that barters Middle East negotiations

These gestures were designed to demonstrate that hostilities did not impede the transfer of humanitarian goods into Gaza

The merchandise, however, did not consist solely of such items as food and medical supplies.

What this means is that Israel facilitates development in an entity that is openly in a state of war with Israel.

Yet the western mind and certainly the Israeli business mentality would believe in the notion that Israel’s business investments in an Arab entity would produce grateful Arab support for the Jewish state.

Indeed, it is hard to fathom that people who do business with Israel would still want to maintain their war with Israel. Yet that is what is going on here

A case in point: During the summer of 2009, two seminal conferences took place in Bethlehem.

Our agency covered both conferences.

The first conference was convened by the Fatah its first gathering in more than twenty years, where Fatah, no longer a PLO in exile in Tunisia used the occasion to reiterate the renewal of the armed struggle to liberate Palestine, albeit in stages. As senior Israeli security cabinet minister, Z'ev Benyamin Begin, often quips, the Palestinian Authority promotes a two stage solution, not a two state solution.

The second conference was a massive gathering of Israelis and Palestinian Authority business people who promoted business cooperation.

Almost three years later, that Israel-PA business cooperation witnesses more than 25 billion shekels in Israeli exports to the PA - a lucrative relationship for both sides, especially for those individuals whose business interests are guaranteed to net them a substantial profit.

At the second conference, we asked PA business people if they favored the conclusions of the other conference, which promoted the armed struggle to liberate Palestine.

The universal answer from PA business people, all of whom do business with Israel, was that they indeed supported the armed struggle to liberate Palestine, all of Palestine, and that they could not see any contradiction between a war to liberate Palestine and a business like relationship, in the interim, with Israelis.

One day last December, Israel Defense Ministry declared that it was facilitating the construction of more than 20 UNRWA schools in Gaza.

However, two days later, the same Israel Defense Ministry declared that schools in Gaza are breeding grounds for terrorists.

However, such a determination of hostility in Gaza schools did not stop Israel Ministry of Defense from building PA schools.

If this is acknowledged to be the case, why would Israel facilitate the building of these schools?

What is more, why allow building material to go into Gaza when there is solid reason to believe that 1) not all building materials necessarily go to construction of schools, and 2) the Gaza economy-which is to say the Hamas economy-is indirectly enhanced in other ways by virtue of this material?

It would be instructive to look at one clause in the PR that Israel puts out about its exports to build the Gaza schools and to build the Gaza economy: All the building materials come from Israel, and all cement for this construction emanate from Nesher, the Israeli corporation that controls 90% of the Israeli cement industry.

In early February, 2012. Israel’s Channel TEN TV reported on the practice at Nesher of employing former high-ranking officials of the Israeli Defense establishment and ex. politicians, including ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and ex-Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, to gain a foothold into the Palestinian cement market.

Israel could...stop the monthly Brinks cash trucks into Gaza from Israel which Hamas uses to pay for smuggled munitions
However, Israel is responsible to its citizens to prevent the Gaza regime from being capable of launching lethal attacks against Israel.

Israel could take that first step by bombing hundreds of tunnels that smuggle munitions into Gaza.

Israel could take the second step by stopping the monthly Brinks cash trucks into Gaza from Israel which Hamas uses to pay for those smuggled munitions.

Yet such sanctions would have an adverse effect on major Israeli corporations, as well as on the financial windfalls for Israelis connected to this lucrative trade.

The question which needs to be asked and answered is how can Israelis, especially those from the defense and political arena, can justify continued aid to a regime which uses the materials provided by them to launch aerial attacks against Israeli citizens?

Does commercial mendaciousness triumph over common sense and concern for the safety and welfare of Israel's civilians?

Israel’s first responsibility is to its citizens. It is past time for a public examination of all of the parameters of this situation in order to learn whether that responsibility is truly being met.

There are consequences to feeding the hand that bites you.