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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

July 30, 2011

Some People Choose Bad Bedfellows for Their Summer Vacation

It may become a Rite of Summer: dedicated dissidents trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza with a flotilla of ships. Gazans themselves are not asking for such aid, claiming that they are not lacking daily necessities, so that is not the issue. Egypt has opened their port near Gaza to permit all legitimate aid to be brought in. Israel has never cut off humanitarian aid, and for the past year have been permitting more material to enter Gaza.

According to Juliane Von Mittelstaedt, Pakistan Press, July 10 (no friend of Israel), imports to Gaza have increased by 87%, 15,000 sick people and their attendants have been permitted to travel to Israel and the West Bank for medical care, and 1,271 cars, 28,000 tons of electrical equipment, and 163 tons of building materials have been imported. Street markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Gaza, unlike the West Bank, lacks investment money for a viable economy. Gaza is suffering from a self-inflicted choice: a “democratically” elected government that has brought them nothing but grief. This government, Hamas, guaranteed that there would be no second election (one man, one vote, one time) by hunting down and killing all the opposition Fata party members after the election. They also looted and burned Israeli businesses, left behind when the Israelis pulled out, in the vain hope that they could benefit Gaza. Businesses such as modern greenhouses had provided decent work for Gazans and a ready market to sustain them. But they were trashed.

Hamas considers its main business lobbing missiles into Israel and crushing any opposition or protest among their subjects. Who wants to invest in such a place? The result is that Gaza remains economically bereft, surviving largely on UN and European Union handouts.

In “A Letter to the people of Gaza” (Sentinel, July 24, the columnist bemoans the failure of the flotilla to reach “the children of Gaza,” who live in such misery. Where is sympathy for the children on the other side of the border who are attacked by missiles sent by the fathers of these Gaza children? Nor does she wring her hands over all the numerous worse places in the world that deserve her attention? Try Sudan, for example: far worse than Gaza. Why this passion for the Palestinians?

The real issue is that this radical left movement is following the old Arab philosophy: “The Enemy of My Enemy is Our Friend.” The perceived enemies of the radical left are the United States, capitalism, and Israel. Since these are also the enemies of the radical Muslim world, this is a relationship made in heaven. Lenin used to call such people “willing dupes.”

Note some of the luminaries who are Gaza flotilla fanatics: Media Benjamin (Code Pink, a gang that tries to noisily disrupt Congressional Hearings), Amy Goodman (Democracy Now, and best buddy of slimy anarchist Julian Assange, Wikileaaks, who likes to hack government mail and publish it), and (to my surprise) Alice Walker, author of Color Purple. Consider the implications of their attachment to Hamas and Hezbollah, both engaged in international terrorism and Islamo-fascism, while excoriating Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

They chafe bitterly that even Greece, once hostile to Israel in true Euro-socialist style, is preventing their flotilla from leaving port. France is doing the same. Something is changing in the Middle East and Europe that suddenly makes Israel look better to responsible European governments. These governments are now facing internal immigrant troubles that until now only Israel faced-militant Islam.

Christopher Hitchens, who writes with wit and intelligence, has posed a few questions for the flotilla activists: why are they supporting Hamas, whose military wing is run out of Damascus (murderers of Lebanon's president and peaceful demonstrators) and Hezbollah (tool of Iran with an international track record of terror and assassination)? What do they see in Gaza, a theocratic fascist state? Are these appropriate bedfellows for liberals?

“Something,” Hitchens says, “does not meet the smell test.” Indeed it doesn't.

673 wordsDr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of “How Do You Know That? Contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.