Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Read This Story Carefully

By now, many of you know what happened earlier today in Israel. A quick recap: Israeli police shut down parts of the country and engaged in a high-speed chase between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, chasing a van of Palestinians that had a large bomb inside. The Palestinians were on their way to carrying out an attack.

So how did such a thing happen, just a week before Israeli elections? Israel has locked down the borders with Gaza and the West Bank specifically to stop something like this from happening during the lead into elections - how did they get in? Oh, that's right - because of Israel's humanitarian gesture:
Reflecting the jitters, Israel has banned Palestinians from entering the country until after the March 28 election, and greatly restricted movement through the Gaza Strip's main cargo crossing. With the closure causing shortages of bread and other essential items in Gaza, Israel allowed the crossing to temporarily reopen Tuesday.
This is not the first time such a thing has happened - not by a long shot. Go through Ze'ev's archives, he has noted this many times in the past 6 months. And yet, Israel continues to make such gestures, despite their continuing reprecussions on the people of the State of Israel. The question is: Why?!

The simple answer is: the United States of America.
Amid concerns of violence, Israel reopened the Karni crossing, the main gateway for Gaza's imports and exports, for a second straight day in an attempt to alleviate a food shortage in the area. The crossing was opened on Monday, but closed after about 30 minutes due to Israeli security concerns. Militants have attacked Karni in the past. Israel has closed the Karni crossing for most of the past two and a half months, warning of more attacks.
Under an agreement brokered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in November, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to boost cargo traffic through Karni. The accord was meant to give momentum to peace efforts after Israel's summer pullout from Gaza. But the deal was never implemented.

The United States, concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, has been pressing the sides to work out an agreement on Karni's opening.

Ah, but the humanitarian side in Israel? People getting blown up for going to the mall, getting a slice of pizza? Apparently, that's not as important.