There Has Been No Sixteen-Year Israeli Siege of Gaza

There Has Been No Sixteen-Year Israeli Siege of Gaza
Rafah Crossing, Gazans

Israel provided well-paying jobs for 20,000 Gazans in an attempt to help.

By Hugh Fitzgerald, Frontpage Magazine

Omer Bartov, a professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Brown University, has publicly denounced Israel as being responsible for the attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7: “‘Genocidal Intent’: Brown University Holocaust Professor Blames Israel for Hamas Terrorism,” by Alec Schemmel, Washington Free Beacon, December 6, 2023:

Even if Hamas were somehow removed from Gaza—as the Palestine Liberation Organization was removed from Beirut—there is no known plan by the Israeli government as to what would happen next,” Bartov wrote. “The Israelis do not want responsibility for governing an additional 2 million Palestinians; nor does Egypt.” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the nation’s military will control Gaza following the war.

There is no “known plan” about what happens in Gaza after Hamas is destroyed, or rather, there is no plan known to Professor Omer Bartov. There is the stale and unworkable notion — it’s hardly a plan — pushed by the Bidenites, for a “two-state solution” that will never come to pass. I suspect Bartov likes that the best, because this so-called “solution” would force Israel to be squeezed back within the now indefensible 1949 armistice lines. There are those who have other ideas.

The one I keep proposing here at Jihad Watch is this: after the fighting ends, the IDF takes a few months to search for, and destroy, every last tunnel, and every last weapons storehouse, above or below ground. At the same time, even before Israel’s task of destruction of tunnels and weapons is complete the UAE and Saudi Arabia could be persuaded to take on the task of ruling Gaza, at least as long as the Strip is undergoing reconstruction with funds largely provided by those two surpassingly rich countries.

In addition to Bartov, Brown professor of Palestinian studies Beshara Doumani has endorsed the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to wage economic warfare on Israel. The movement’s founder, Omar Barghouti, has touted BDS as a way to “end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state” and “turn Israel into a pariah state.”…

I see that “Palestinian studies” are well represented at Brown. Not only is there a professor of Palestinian studies — who wants to wage economic warfare against Israel — but even the professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies seems more interested in supporting the Palestinians and denouncing Israel than in supporting the Jews in their attempt to head off a second holocaust.

Professor Doumani has been working behind the scenes, helping the Brown chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) compose their response to the October 7 Hamas attack, which attack Doumani — and the SJP students — have the maddening gall to blame not on the perpetrator Hamas, but rather on the victim, Israel.

There is fear on the Brown campus, but it is one-sided. None of the SJP students are fearful. They know that they will suffer no consequences from the administration for their blaming Israel for “causing” the attacks on October 7. No hordes of Jewish students will chant slogans against them, or try to attack them. At Brown, it is the Jewish students who are now in a permanent state of fear. The campus for them is unsafe.

The professor of Holocaust studies, whom one might have expected would display solidarity with Jews after experiencing the largest antisemitic attack since the Nazis, and show sympathy for Jewish fears on campus, instead has taken the side of Hamas, blaming Israel for the current conflict.

Remember what he claimed in a recent article: “If you keep over 2 million people under siege for 16 years [sic], cramped in a narrow strip of land, without enough work, proper sanitation, food, water, energy and education, with no hope or future prospects, you cannot but expect outbreaks of ever more desperate and brutal violence,” wrote Bartov.

There has been no 16-year “siege,” but only a narrowly-tailored blockade of “dual-use” materials, such as cement and steel rods, that can be used to build tunnels and bunkers. The fact that there is not enough work in Gaza is hardly Israel’s fault; it is due entirely to the corruption and mismanagement by Hamas itself, three of whose leaders (Khaled Meshaal, Mousa Abu Marzouk, Ismail Haniyeh) have stolen from the aid meant for Gaza the colossal sum of eleven billion dollars.

Israel has tried to alleviate the problem by providing well-paying jobs for 20,000 Gazans — a number it was about to increase before October 7, but of course since then, no Gazan workers have been allowed into Israel, given the belief that some of those guest workers provided intelligence to Hamas about the layout of both kibbutzim and the house shelters, and the placement of security details.

Contrary to Bartov, the Israeli “siege” never included food or medicine; Israel also had been supplying Gaza, until October 7, with food, water, and 50% of its electricity. None of this is taken into account by Omer Bartov. It is entirely possible he knows none of this, but more likely, he is counting on his audience not knowing.

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