The Palestine Entries: Hillary Clinton, first you fell for your husband’s lies and now you fell for Israel’s

// Entry #10

A destroyed house in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, Palestine

In the limited internet access I’ve had over the course of the last few days, I’ve seen Hillary Clinton’s name attached to almost every tweet concerning the incoming Freedom Flotilla. In a recent statement delivered by Clinton on 23 June, she apparently gave Israel the green light to attack the Flotilla once it enters “Israeli waters”.

First she fell for her husband’s lies, and now she’s falling for Israel’s.

As Ali Abunimah breaks down in his post, these are not “Israeli waters”. The coast and its attached sea-space is in fact part of the Gaza Strip’s territory — territory that is under both siege and occupation but is not within Israel’s internationally-recognized sovereign control. This misconception is one that is perpetuated at Clinton’s front desk, and she falls for it always.

But then she fell for an even greater lie. In the same statement, she said that “there will be construction materials entering Gaza and we think that it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions”. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Non-violent, progressive activism for equality and inalienable human rights does not rest on the actions of a state predicated on stunting the economic, social, and political growth of its neighbors “out of self-defense”.

We’ve all seen and heard the lies.

Regarding the idea that construction materials will be entering Gaza, it’s too little and much too late. Two and a half years after watching Israeli missiles and tanks demolish their homes, the Palestinian people have discovered ways to create the construction material so important to humankind’s livelihood and security. The rubble of homes is collected and ground into light gray cement. Bent metal rods are reshaped; irreparable rods are melted and remade. Spent metal shells and car frames are collected and packed into tight cubes to be molded into metal piping or other necessary building equipment. The buildings in the Gaza Strip are truly ‘100% made in Palestine’. Not a single tile or ounce of mortar is from Israel. None has been let through the Erez Crossing. Clinton knows this better than anyone else.

And hasn’t Israel already made this promise before? Just over twelve months ago, Israel pledged that it will allow construction material into Gaza so long as it won’t strengthen Hamas’ activity. Then it promised again in January of 2011. Nineteen vans — not trucks but vans — were prepared to travel through the Karem Abu Salem crossing into Palestine. They were loaded with cement and gravel to be used only for German and United Nations development projects. None of the construction material was to be used for damaged or destroyed Palestinian homes.

This is the Gaza Strip’s current standing. It is still in dire need of construction material, but to restrict it and then “promise” to allow it to enter in order to appease Palestinians and activists is blackmail. Clinton’s lies are not welcome here, and even if truckloads of construction materials are allowed into Gaza, we will still be expecting the Freedom Flotilla.

Sami Kishawi

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