Seven Years of Hamas Rule Have Left Gaza Isolated and Impoverished

Before the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, thousands of Palestinians worked and did business in Israel. But years under the harsh thumb of Hamas have stifled the area’s economy and left it increasingly cut-off from the outside world, including not only Israel but Egypt. In theory, Hamas now rules Gaza in conjunction with the Palestinian Authority, but neither is able to maintain basic services. These dire circumstances were by no means inevitable, writes Armin Rosen:

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The $35-million Israeli border terminal at Erez looks like an international airport, with a soaring wave-like dome reaching over an inviting glass facade. When it opened in 2005, Israel was about to withdraw its soldiers and civilian settlers from the Gaza Strip, formerly Egyptian-occupied land which it had held since the Six-Day War in 1967. Each day more than 15,000 Palestinians were expected to use the terminal—not an unreasonable assumption, given that more than 110,000 Palestinians from both Gaza and the West Bank crossed into Israel for work every day in the late 1990s.

But since the takeover by Hamas, a U.S. and EU-listed terror organization, traffic has precipitously declined. Erez now sees only a few hundred users a day, mostly aid workers and journalists along with Palestinians with rare permission to enter Israel for passage to the West Bank or Jordan or to visit relatives in Israeli hospitals.

Read more at Business Insider

More about: Egypt, Gaza, Hamas, Rafah crossing

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland