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Patrick Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
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Lift the Siege of Gaza

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In June 1948, our wartime ally imposed a blockade on Berlin, cutting off and condemning to death or Stalinist domination 2 million Germans, most of whom, not long before, had cheered Adolf Hitler.

Harry Truman responded with the Berlin airlift, in perhaps the most magnanimous act of the Cold War.

For nine months, U.S. pilots flew into Tempelhof, carrying everything from candy to coal, saving a city and earning the eternal gratitude of the people of Berlin, and admiration everywhere that moral courage is admired.

That was an America that lived its values.

And today, President Obama should end his and his country's shameful silence over the inhumane blockade of Gaza that is denying 1.5 million beleaguered people the basic necessities of a decent life.

Time to start acting like America again.

That bloody debacle in the Eastern Mediterranean last Sunday was an inevitable result of Israel doing what it always seems to do: going beyond what is essential to her security, to impose collective punishment upon any and all it regards as hostile to Israel.

Israel claims, and film confirms, that its commandos rappelling down onto the Turkish ship were attacked with sticks and metal rods. One was tossed off a deck, another tossed overboard into a lifeboat.

But that 2 a.m. boarding of an unarmed ship with an unarmed crew, carrying no munitions or weapons, 65 miles at sea, was an act of piracy. What the Israeli commandos got is what any armed hijacker should expect who tries to steal a car from a driver who keeps a tire iron under the front seat.

And the response of these highly trained naval commandos to the resistance they encountered? They shot and killed nine passengers, and wounded many more.

But we have a blockade of Gaza, say the Israelis, and this flotilla was a provocation. Indeed, it was. And Selma was a provocation. The marchers at Edmund Pettus Bridge were disobeying orders of the governor of Alabama and state police not to march.

Yet, today, liberal Democrats who regard Martin Luther King as a moral hero for championing nonviolent civil disobedience to protest injustice are cheering not the unarmed passengers trying to break the Gaza blockade, but the Israelis enforcing the blockade.

Where were these fellows when "Bull" Connor really needed them?

Comes the retort: Israel is a friend and ally, and we stand with our friends.

But is not Turkey a friend and ally of 50 years, whose soldiers died alongside ours in Korea and who accepted Jupiter missiles targeted on Russia, even before the Cuban missile crisis? Was it not Turkey whose citizens were wounded and killed in the bloody debacle?

Why are we not at least even-handed between our friends?

On the trip to Israel where he was blindsided by news that Israel would build 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, Joe Biden told Shimon Peres, "There is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel's security."

And that is the problem.

America is a superpower with interests in an Arab world of 300 million and an Islamic world of 1.5 billion — interests Israel treats with indifference if not contempt when it comes to doing what she regards as necessary for her security.

While Israel had a right to build a wall to protect her people from terror attack, did she have a right to build it on Palestinian land?

While Israel had a right to go after Hezbollah when her soldiers were shot on the border and several kidnapped, did Israel have a right to conduct a five-week bombing campaign that smashed Lebanon, killing hundreds of civilians and creating upward of a million refugees?

While Israel had a right to go into Gaza to stop the firing of crude rockets on Sderot, did she have a right to smash utilities and public buildings and kill 1,400 people, most of them civilians?

Is whatever Israel decides to do in the name of her security fine with us, because there is "absolutely no space" between our interests and hers, our values and Israel's values?

Even with Winston Churchill's Britain, there was "space" between us on strategic goals and national policies.

Israel has a right to secure Gaza to deny Hamas access to weapons, especially rockets that could reach Israel. But that does not justify denying 1.5 million people what they need to live in decency.

According to The Washington Post, "80 percent of the population (of Gaza) depends on charity. Hospitals, schools, electricity systems and sewage treatment facilities are all in deep disrepair."

With our silence, we support this. And we wonder why they hate us.

Obama should tell the Israelis that Joe got it wrong. There is space between us. The Gaza siege must end. And America will herself be sending aid, but will also support Israel's right to inspect trucks and ships to see to it no weapons get through to Gaza.

Let's start behaving like who we once were.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

9 Comments | Post Comment
check out youtube: Roots the Club, Gaza and Despite the Blockade: Life in Gaza
Comment: #1
Posted by: avraham
Fri Jun 4, 2010 3:23 AM
I don't think Turkey is exactly as pro-American as it once used to be. Both Turks know it, and both Americans know it; and implicitly, this may well be a part of why there is much silence on the death of Turkish citizens. Unfortunate, but US seems to be making either new enemies or uneasy friends.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Prateek Sanjay
Fri Jun 4, 2010 4:18 AM
Your article is biased and inaccurate
Comment: #3
Posted by: nahum
Fri Jun 4, 2010 8:51 AM
Turkey is a member of NATO who we have a treaty with to side with them when attacked, all Israel is, is a dependant of the U.S. ,suckling the taxpayers for cash and political cover when they commit crimes
Comment: #4
Posted by: James Reinhardt
Sat Jun 5, 2010 12:29 PM
Buchanan's right on here.
I saw a scurrilous reference to this column in the right-wing blogosphere, from the all-too-prevalent Israel-can-do-no-wrong camp, falsely accusing Pat of hating Jews. Apparently, in some quarters, if one proposes the notion Palestinians are worthy of the same territorial & human rights as Israelis enjoy, as Pat does, you are automatically deemed an "anti-semite"!

Pat was also falsely accused of possible "senility" because of the "contradiction" in Pat's piece where in one place he mentions peace activists reportedly used " sticks & metal rods " on Israeli commandos, and elsewhere Pat describes the ship as "unarmed".

There's no contradiction. Pat's right, the ship WAS unarmed. I heard activists from the ill-fated ship interviewed who said some on board defended themselves with ordinary ships' gear they could quickly lay hands on, such as iron bars, ship chains, knives from the kitchen, etc. These weren't weapons brought on board to be used as weapons, just regular ships' gear. If the crew had planned to be armed, presumably they would have brought real weapons on board: guns, etc. In fact, these were forbidden from the out set.

In the face of the fact the ship was unarmed, it's laughable to hear Israel spin a line that the activists on
board are linked to terrorists! But wouldn't terrorists be sure to have their ship well stocked with REAL terror weapons: guns, cannons, bombs, etc.? These were humanitarian peace activists desperately defending themselves against Israeli commandos committing piracy, brutality& murder against them in international waters, by using ships' gear.

A truth-telling article. Thanks Pat.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Hermesacat
Sat Jun 5, 2010 12:56 PM
Our government and main stream media are mum on anything to do with Israel. It's as if they are deathly afraid that uttering a word of criticism of Israel will get them thrown out of office or lose their high paying job at the anchor desk. It's a mania that is the cause of terrorism against our country and will ultimately lead to our demise as a respected power in the world.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Elwood Anderson
Sun Jun 6, 2010 10:13 AM
Pat is right again.
As to our VP's and others' infatuation with Israel whether real or faked out-of-fear, it is definitely un-American, according to our first president George Washington.
Quoting MJ Rosenberg's reply to Glenn Beck from the jewishjournal.com:
" A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification….And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation."
We should also not forget that just recently Dr. Alan Sabrosky, a former director of studies at the US Army War College accused Israel of complicity in 9/11. (and he is definitely not alone in this)
www.veteranstoday.com/2010/03/19/22329
Comment: #7
Posted by: Phil Gardener
Sun Jun 6, 2010 12:42 PM
Pat has the same world view as Mel Gibson.When will we see "the Mel and Pat Tour:Why the Jews start all the Wars"
Comment: #8
Posted by: bob levine
Tue Jun 8, 2010 8:14 AM
Of course whenever someone like Mr Buchanan writes what is right exposing Israel's crimes ,the zionists and Israel's 5th column in the US rush to discredit and muddle the water.Americans need to wake up and not let Israel firsters like pearl,Wolfowitz , Cohen ,D pipes etc... drag it to war and have its children die so that a a jew can come from any where kill and ,displace and occupy Palestinian land.
\Americans must wake up and take heir country back
Comment: #9
Posted by: Frank Walker
Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:33 AM
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