Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan PollardPhoto: INN

Just before Hamas’ invasion of southern Israel this past October, I saw a remarkable poll that indicated that over 60% of the Palestinians residing in Gaza wanted to permanently leave as soon as possible. This was not because of the so-called Israeli “siege,” but because of the dictatorial rule of Hamas, which was making life impossible for the average Gazan.

Since our invasion of Gaza, it’s not surprising that the number of Gazans wishing to leave has significantly risen. However, we should note that this is not just because of Hamas’ use of the civilian population as involuntary human shields, but also because of Hamas’ hijacking of the humanitarian aid shipments and selling it on the black market at greatly inflated prices. This is the actual reason why so many Palestinians are finding it hard to aquire affordable food - not because we’re restricting its distribution as a bargaining chip, as the cognitively-impaired President Biden recently charged.

Clearly, the majority of Gazans would like to flee the war zone Hamas has placed them in. But where can they go? Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, has indicated that its troops will gun down any Gazan attempting to enter their territory. And if Egypt’s border fortifications are breached by hordes of Gazans fleeing our impending assault on Rafa, Cairo has built a concrete pen capable of corralling them in what amounts to an open air concentration camp.

Of course, what’s surprising is that nobody has seen fit to bring to the International Criminal Court’s attention the fact that Egypt’s refusal to open its border to refugees fleeing a war zone is a clear violation of humanitarian law. What’s not surprising, though, is the fact that the Biden Administration has failed to condemn Egypt’s actions. This is because is the Americans actually want to employ these refugees as human shields protecting Hamas from our assault on their last stronghold in Rafah. However, there may be a wrinkle in this American plan.

With the Biden Administration having demanded the right to build a temporary pier on the Gazan shore in order to supply humanitarian aid directly to its supposedly starving population, Washington may have opened itself up to the charge of violating international law if it refuses to evacuate Gazans seeking to leave the war zone. Indeed, one can only wonder what would happen if we blanketed Gaza with exit leaflets instructing people to go to the pier to be evacuated free of charge. Not only would the optics be bad if the Americans refuse to evacuate the Palestinian refugees trying to escape “genocide,” but it’s likely that the delivery of humanitarian aid would be shut down due to the crush of desperate people trying to save themselves. However, this would be only the beginning of Washington’s problems.

Let’s keep in mind that neither the American aid nor any other country’s aid is to be checked for military or dual use material. We can only imagine what Turkish aid supplies would include. Then there is the possibility that with an EU maritime route to this American pier now established, radical pro-Palestinians from any number of European states may land and suddenly appear as human shields all over Gaza. And who, exactly, is going to provide security for this pier? The IDF? The minute we try to maintain order over this facility and someone is either killed or injured, which is a certain eventuality, who is going to be blamed and raked over the coals? These are just three of the potential problems Washington’s temporary pier may create.

In order to prevent any of these problems from happening, we should make three demands of the Americans: Firstly, that all aid has to be inspected by our personnel in Cyprus before it is offloaded in Gaza. Secondly, that the IDF will create a special security zone where the aid will be transferred by us to unarmed Gazans. And thirdly, that the pier will only be allowed to be built if the Americans permit Palestinians to use it to leave the war zone. If the Biden Administration refuses to agree to these three very reasonable requirements, we should not allow them to install their temporary pier. And if Mr. Biden wants to have a “come to Jesus” discussion about this matter with Bibi Netanyahu, he’ll be more than welcome to hold it after he loses to Donald Trump in the upcoming US presidential elections.”