Columbia, SC — Charles Krauthammer is self-confined by blank-check support of Israel’s controlling (defensive) behavior with respect to “occupied” Palestinian territories (“Why was there war in Gaza?” Nov. 25).
Has Krauthammer ever visited the Gaza Strip penal colony, enclosed by concentration-camp barbed wire? Have any Israelis other than IDF soldiers four years ago? Israel does need forceful means of security, perhaps now all the more following the altercations of the Arab Spring. But if, as Krauthammer observes, densely populated Gaza has now been left a self-sufficient “independent entity” by Israel’s withdrawal of its well-watered settlements, then so is CCI here in Columbia. “In effect,” he writes of that withdrawal seven years ago, “Israel had created the first Palestinian state ever, something never granted by fellow Muslims.”
In fact, its chockablock residents cannot be blamed for a human urge to break free of long-imposed restraints, denied as they are travel to the West Bank or to Jerusalem, that pilgrimage site for Muslims as well as Christians and Jews. Briefly they had a small airport in the southern part of the strip, but Israel reckoned it should be torn up. Now they can fish a little further out to sea, but not far. Effectively, they cannot leave.
Hamas’s inflammatory rhetoric and its tunnel-imported longer-range weaponry cannot be the answer short- or long-term. But neither can Israel’s refusal to recognize and engage the full humanity of Gaza’s incarcerated residents. Krauthammer will keep playing his disingenuous blame game. Take him with a grain of salt.