By Barry Rubin
A new Wikileaks document is being spun by some media to imply something critical about Israel’s policy in the Gaza Strip. In fact, the secret cable shows the exact opposite. It also shows that what I’ve been writing on the subject was 100 percent accurate.
The U.S. State Department cable dated November 3, 2008, says that the goal of Israel’s sanctions on the Gaza Strip was to keep Gaza’s economy functioning at the lowest possible level without causing a humanitarian crisis.
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1. Israel wanted to keep the economy weak in order to reduce public support for the Hamas regime to the minimum possible level.
2. Israel wanted to keep the economy weak in order to keep Hamas as weak as possible so that it could not easily stage war on Israel or expand its influence into the West Bank or Egypt.
3. Israel did not want the people of Gaza to face hunger or serious deprivation based on existing living standards.
That all makes sense. It is in line with centuries of precedent and the policies of all democratic nations facing adversaries in a wartime situation.
Moreover since Hamas is a repressive, terrorist, genocidal-intended group that is a client of Iran and seeks to subvert almost all Arab governments, that policy does a service for the people of Gaza, Arab governments (notably the Palestinian Authority and Egypt), and Western interests.
BUT now that the sanctions have been minimized due to Western pressure and the urgings of well-intentioned but badly informed people:
–Hamas will be in power forever in Gaza.
–It will repress women, chase out Christians, and teach young people to grow up to be terrorists and suicide bombers.
–It will siphon off money for revolutionary subversive activities.
–It will block any possible negotiations for Israel-Palestinian peace.
–It is better able to subvert and perhaps some day take over the West Bank.
–It is better able to help revolutionary Islamists and terrorists in Egypt.
–The Hamas regime gives Iran a client state on the Mediterranean.
This is a step forward? A humanitarian victory? Don’t think so.
So far, every single Wikileaks document–released by people who hate Israel (at least one of the Wikileaks staffer being a known extremist antisemitic nut)–has made Israel look good and has proven that its analysis of regional politics has been correct.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict, and Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan), Conflict and Insurgency in the Contemporary Middle Eastand editor of the (seventh edition) (Viking-Penguin), The Israel-Arab Reader the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria(Palgrave-Macmillan), A Chronological History of Terrorism (Sharpe), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).