Can something good be coming out of the Israel-Gaza-blockade-flotilla mess? This lead story in today’s NYT indicates maybe so:
The Obama administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be untenable and plans to press for another approach to ensure Israel’s security while allowing more supplies into the impoverished Palestinian area, senior American officials said Wednesday.The officials say that Israel’s deadly attack on a flotilla trying to break the siege and the resulting international condemnation create a new opportunity to push for increased engagement with the Palestinian Authority and a less harsh policy toward Gaza.
“There is no question that we need a new approach to Gaza,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the policy shift is still in the early stages. He was reflecting a broadly held view in the upper reaches of the administration.
And later in the day, on the NYT website:
After insisting all week that its blockade of Gaza was essential to its security, the Israeli government is now “exploring new ways” of supplying the coastal enclave, an official said Thursday.In the face of unrelenting international outrage over a deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza this week, the official said that Israel was determined that every ship heading to the enclave be inspected to prevent the smuggling of rockets and other weapons. But at the same time, the government wants to facilitate the entry of civilian goods, said the official, who described the latest thinking within the government on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Could some real movement toward at least easing the siege, if not ending it, be underway? Could wisdom actually prevail? Or am I just reading tea leaves?