Thursday, February 04, 2010

Himes signs letter to end Gaza blockade

(devastation in Gaza; article reposted
from My Left Nutmeg - by Jon Kantrowitz)

Jim Himes (CT-04) was the only member of Congress from Connecticut to sign a letter calling on the United States to press for the lifting of the blockades imposed by Israel and Egypt on Gaza.

The Jewish Daily Forward has the story:
The congressional letter, sent to the White House on January 21, expressed deep sympathy with the residents of southern Israel who were under rocket attacks from Gaza and stated that Israel's siege on the region was imposed "out of a legitimate and keenly felt fear" of terrorism. But it calls on the president to "press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza" via a list of measures that include allowing movement into Gaza and out of it, and by enabling citizens to gain access to food, building materials, fuel and other products that are now restricted...

Jewish groups from the left, including J Street, Americans for Peace Now and Rabbis for Human Rights, supported the letter with J Street actively lobbying members of Congress to sign it. The initiative also was backed by Arab and Christian Middle East advocacy organizations.
It was the right thing to do, and let's hope the moral courage Jim Himes has displayed here isn't a passing illusion.

CT Bob: While there is likely to be strong opposition from the White House and many in Congress, the only way to build a lasting peace will be by providing an opportunity for the shattered area to rebuild and give hope to the residents. It's a matter of simple human dignity. Israel and the United States shouldn't punish the innocent civilians in Gaza because we don't agree with the party in power.


iBlogWestHartford said...

Agreed 1,000 percent.

Nopartisan said...

And who elected hamas as the governing party in gaza? Who allows hamas to continue to provoke with rocket firings? That would be .......?

Nopartisan said...

Perhaps a real way to lasting peace would be for the arab countries to say Israel has a right to exist.

Perhaps they would scale back their armies and spend more on their peoples needs including aid for the palestinians.

The situation in gaza was created by one group alone that would be hamas. Israel warned time and again for them to stop the rocket attacks. Why didn't those who support the palestinians try to stop them?

The answer is really quite simple, palestinian suffering is good for the despotic islamic governments and their useful idiot enablers in the west to rally the islamic people around the flag of jewish hatred.

Don't think so? look up the events of BLACK SEPTEMBER discover for yourselves how many palestinians were killed by Jordan. Hama syria 1982 up to 20,000 palestinian civilians killed by syria.

How many palestinians have died because the billions in aid for the palestinians over the years have been stolen by their "leadership".

Yet, yeah it's Israels fault there is no peace. Ask Bill Clinton if he thinks the palestinian leadership really wants peace. Ask him about the peace talks of 2000.

So open the border, how long before hamas does something to provoke Israel again? They will because dead palestinians are hamas's best propaganda tools.

saveyourselfNOWbob! said...


This argument could go on for, like, 1,000 years.

And the "a-s" tag will get thrown around well before then....

as reason and fairness make their disappearence.

CT Bob said...


Yeah, I'm going to wait and see if anyone else joins in the discussion.

And then I'll be there, standing off to the side, with a gallon of gasoline handy. And a fan.

lakezoarian said...

Those are some pretty bizarre comments up there, Bob. Except for #1 anyway.

So now let me put in my own two cents worth:

Time for the US to stop sending aid to Isreal. We need the money here, so turn off the spigot now.

Time for the Israelis to end their brutal apartheid tactics. And sick acts like cutting down olive trees or pumping their sewage into Palestinian farmland is about as screwed up as it gets.

All people are equal, there is no one race that is superior. The idea that there has ever been such a thing as "God's chosen few" is ludicrous.

I'm not "anti-semitic," but I sure am anti-zionist.

There, that oughta do it, and now I flick my bic.

Nopartisan said...

Actually it has gone on for about 60 years. It can end tomorrow if the avowed enemies of Israel, drop their weapons, recognize Israel and pitch in and help the palestinians with REAL aid, not weapons and propaganda.

It really is that easy. If the arab states stopped giving weapons to hamas, hezbollah and others, they would not be able to attack Israel.

But if for a second you believe that palestinian "leadership" wants the blockade lifted then you are on a different planet.

Study the history of what happens when Israel makes concessions.

It's easy to live in the west and judge a nation under the gun such as Israel from the safety of your homes. It's easy to sit there and think why oh why does Israel have to respond to rocket and terrorist attacks with force. But then again you can go for a walk, send your kids to the playground, go to a nightclub eat dinner out and not have to wonder if the guy next to you has a bomb strapped on.

As to the proportionality of Israel's response in gaza or Lebanon, if hamas and hezbollah stopped hiding and shooting amongst civilians then the civilian casualty rate would plummet. But then there would be no propaganda coups to exploit.

As to you lake zoarian disprove anything I wrote. Let me guess LZ, in your mind the history of the arab countries treatment of the palestinians is a zionist plot to further their world dominance. Perhaps LZ you should put down the protocols of the elders of zion stop listening to KKK radio, alex jones and others who make a fortune of the brain enfeebled and just look at the history of the last 60 years and who wants to destroy who.

West Haven Bob said...

"Reason and fairness"????

Isn't that kinda like "fair and balanced"?

Nopartisan said...

"Reason and fairness"? Arabs recognize Israel, stop supplying hamas and hezbollah with weapons instead of food and peaceful aid to palestinians. Israel then pulls back to pre '67 borders. Diplomatic relations are established and a palestinian state is created. Hamas, Hezbollah and those in the islamic world who adher to a 6th century mindset will NEVER allow it.

West Haven Bob said...

ok...Here we go:

Point #1: Israel will never agree to the pre-1967 borders, as it would require giving up Jerusalem; plus, it leaves her more vulnerable than the status quo;

Point #2: There will always be nut cases...on both sides, who will blame the other side for injuries sustained. On the Palestinian side, these nuts will continue lobbing rockets; for the Israelis, they will build settlements on lands owned by displaced Palestinians. Either way, emotions will be inflamed, and reason will take a back seat.

You can point to atrocities, attacks, aggressions, and so on, on behalf of your favored side: each has given their opponents more than ample examples. (I like that alliteration!)

What is needed - and what is not available - is the courage on all three sides to put aside - for now - the past, and work for the future.

Nopartisan said...

As long as one side calls for the destruction of the other, and refuses to recognize it's right to exist, how can anything get done?

Hamas,hezbollah, iran etc. will never accept Israel.

The palestinians puppet masters need the palestinian people to suffer to incite hatred against Israel.

I do agree about the settlements though, they are counter productive.

vagabondblogger said...

There's an idea that's been tossed around and in the news here in Egypt. The thought is to open a trade free zone on the border with Gaza so that the people who live there can come into Egypt, buy goods at a decent rate, and return home. Not sure how this is going to go over, but it's an alternative to the tunnel bombings (by Egypt), and riots going on at the border here.

CT Bob said...

VB, how would you like to do a guest post on the socio-political situation in Cairo and the surrounding region? It sounds like you have some deep insights that would be good to share, especially because so much of our opinion is often based on slanted MSM stories. Think about it?

And as I've mentioned before, I really enjoy your blog. I'll make an effort to visit more often. Your photos are just terrific!

Jonathan Kantrowitz said...

Wow - you get all the comments on my post - at least nobody has called me anti-Semitic!

Jonathan Kantrowitz said...

Please spell my name right, by the way. Thanks!

CT Bob said...


Yeah, this topic always gets a lot of discussion here.

vagabondblogger said...

The idea I mentioned came from an interview with Mohamed ElBaradei (remember the weapons inspector who said Iraq had no weapons of destruction & was completely ignored) in an interview with Foreign Policy. I think there was another aired here in Egypt on an Arabic speaking channel.

Here's the quote:

"FP: Does that mean you would stop the construction of this underground wall that is currently being constructed between Egypt and Gaza?

ElBaradei: As I said, I don't really know the details, but if this [border area] has been used for smuggling, drugs, weapons, or extremists, then Egypt has the right to make sure it protects its security. But what Egypt can also do is use the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt to allow Gaza to have humanitarian assistance. For example, one idea I have is to create a free zone in the Egyptian part of Rafah [the border town]. I don't see why we can't have a free zone there where people from Gaza go and buy their own basic needs. So there is a difference between protecting national security, which no one questions, and providing humanitarian assistance."

And here's the link for the article:,0

As for doing a Middle East / North Africa post - not sure I'm savvy enough. I would have to seriously think about that. Thanks though.

For more local (Egyptian) blogs on politics, check out "Rantings of a Sandmonkey" & "Egyptian Chronicles". That will give you a taste of the climate. These are in English. There are (and have been) other blogs, unfortunately the political climate does not accept dissension & several bloggers are in jail, and have been for several years.

CT Bob said...

Thanks VB! I hope to write a longer post based on that link sometime soon. But right now we're gearing up for a winter storm that's going to drop about a foot of snow here on the Connecticut shore, so I need to stock up.

vagabondblogger said...

I really miss snow and thunderstorms when I'm overseas. Enjoy.