If you read one article on the IJN website this week, make sure it’s the editorial Turning the truth upside down in Gaza. Commenting on the State Department’s calls for a “new framework” with Gaza, the editorial diagnoses the latter with Alzheimer’s. Why? Because sadly its memory is faulty. Do our leaders in international affairs not recall that a new framework was instituted when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza? Back in 2005 Israel did away with its Gaza settlements and literally closed up shop on the Strip, embarking on a new path of Israel-Palestinian relations. Look how well that turned out. But heck, out with the old, in with the new, wait a couple years, out with that too, and round and round it goes.
Despite this, Israel made the right choice by easing the terms of the blockade. First of all, this will only affect the delivery of civilian goods. But the primary reason really is about PR. Right or wrong Israel is currently getting a lot of flak, about the blockade, the flotilla, etc. We realize that neither of these are as simple as much of the media portray, but unfortunatley Israel isn’t in much of a bargaining position with either enemies or friends. So making nice is the right tactical move.