Think of Gaza as a hospital patient whose lips have been stitched closed. Israeli doctors point to an IV drip and say: “Look. We are taking great care to make sure the patient stays alive.” American consultants suggest that it would really be better to remove a couple of stitches so that a tube can be inserted in the patient’s mouth. It would look much more humane. Right.
The United States has suggested to Israel that easing the Gaza blockade would help counter the fallout from the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead a year ago.
Friday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present a report to the General Assembly on the implementation of the report’s recommendations by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The U.S. message on the blockade was relayed last week when a Foreign Ministry delegation met in Washington with senior officials from the State Department and the White House. Much of the meeting dealt with steps that Israel could take to help the United States and others block the Goldstone report and prevent it from reaching the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Heading the Israeli delegation was the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director for international organizations, Eviatar Manor. The delegation met with officials including the U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, Michael Posner, and President Barack Obama’s adviser on human rights, Samantha Power.