Friday, June 12, 2009

No prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis

Ha’aretz has an interesting (but long) story about the Gaza blockade, designed, the Israelis say, to ensure “no prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis.” Israeli bans the import of “luxury” items, but whether, say, a pumpkin constitutes a luxury changes “from week to week, and sometimes from day to day”, depending, not on Palestinian nutritional needs of course, but on which sectors of the Israeli agricultural industry need propping up. “[S]ince the start of the blockade no list of permitted and prohibited items has been relayed to the Palestinian side. The DCO spokesperson says there is no such list and that the Palestinians ‘know what they’re allowed to bring in.’”

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