Already stateless, forced to travel through Israeli checkpoints just to get around their 'country', and pressured to hide rockets in their homes by extremists among them (lets' not talk about using civilians as human shields), the Palestinians are now to be walled in another side - along Gaza's border with Egypt. The 6 mile-long wall will extend "18 metres below the surface", as this border is notoriously used for smuggling (be it food or munitions). Interestingly, this 'impenetrable' wall is not even expected to stop smuggling, only force smugglers to dig deeper, which begs the question 'why bother'? Maybe if you spent the money from the wall giving Gazans some of the things they can't have under the Israeli embargo (among them the most threatening of all foodstuffs - chocolate), you wouldn't have such a smuggling problem to begin with.


Is it not reasonable to assert that the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip are as much victims of their own leaders as they are of restrictions imposed upon them by Israel? Can one be a democrat and privilege the arguments of armed extremists over those of a democratically elected government?    

So in what way am I privileging the arguments of extremists?

I even cite the activites of extremists as another pressure on Gazans - thereby implying that I am opposed to such activity.

When the activites of a democratically elected government are expressly designed to deprive people of food, for seemingly no other reason than to collectively punish them, being opposed to them merely means standing up for other human beings' right to life.

That there are 'extremists' among the people deprived of food (ie, people who use illegal violence to further their cause) does not mean that I privilege the arguments of such extremists. They are opposed to the embargo on some foodstuffs, as am I, but their solution is but one - and I do not accept it in any way. So their arguments have not been privileged, or even considered, by me in coming to my opinion.

Also, if extremists are defined as I have above, then there is a large body of evidence to prove that the actions of Israel put it in that category too.

Unfortunately, there are no clean hands in this conflict, nor any child born without theirs being bloodied by the indelible history of both sides, relived each and every day.

My comment was not directed at you personally, John.  My point is that many of the most assertive supporters of the Palestinian cause think and argue within a paradigm in which the Palestinian people are always victims and never responsible for their own plight. I find this  unhelpful. There are many steps the Palestinian leaderships in Gaza and the West Bank could take to amelioriate their people's sufferings. The victim paradigm is nigh universal and it is one of the major barriers to progress.   

Another wall for the Palestinians