The political and economic situation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, and the daily suffering of Palestinians living there due to a crippling blockade, only breaks into the headlines during wars or incidents like the Israeli raid on the “Freedom Flotilla.” But other than that, Gaza remains ignored.
Events this past weekend brought no renewed attention to Gaza, and it seems as if no one wants to acknowledge the suffocation that Gazans feel after years of closures and blockades.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a much anticipated address on the “peace process” last Friday at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. A mere three paragraphs were spoken about Gaza–with the qualification that the U.S. is “pleased with Israel’s recent decision to allow more exports from Gaza which will foster legitimate economic growth there.” But Israel’s recent decision is limited in scope, and the changes to the blockade that were announced after Israel killed 8 Turks and 1 American on the May 31 aid flotilla have done little to change the situation in Gaza.
The news media has been no different. Last Sunday, Christine Amanpour, the host of ABC’s This Week, had on Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni. No one mentioned a word about Gaza.
Livni was foreign minister during Israel’s brutal 2008-09 assault on Gaza. As such, she bears responsibility for the 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, who were killed by Israel during “Operation Cast Lead.” Livni had to cancel a trip to Great Britain in December 2009 after an arrest warrant was issued for her complicity in what the U.N. and many other international organizations have called war crimes.
Will the two-year anniversary of Israel’s assault on Gaza continue to go unnoticed?