The Gaza Port Plan Is Foolish and Dangerous

June 29 2018

In recent months, the suggestion to build an offshore port for the Gaza Strip has been circulating in think tanks and among Israeli officials. Ostensibly the port would allow the territory to import and export goods more freely while also enabling Israel to monitor shipments for weapons. Initially, the idea was to build an artificial island a mile or two off Gaza’s coast; now Cyprus has been proposed as a possible location. Martin Sherman argues against both plans:

[First], how would Israel monitor the use of dual-purpose materials like fertilizer (also ‎used to make explosives), metals (used in ‎rockets), and cement? Even today, despite strict ‎supervision, about 90 percent of the cement delivered into ‎Gaza is appropriated by Hamas for non-civilian ‎purposes, such as the construction of terror ‎tunnels. ‎. . . And in the ‎Cyprus version, how would Israel be able to prevent ‎military equipment from being smuggled onto a vessel ‎left ‎unsupervised after it departs Cyprus and begins traveling to Gaza? . . .

[The primary] reason offered in ‎support of the idea is that the proposed Cyprus port ‎would ease the economic hardship in Gaza and therefore diminish the violence ‎against Israel, and also that it would be contingent on the ‎return of two Israelis and ‎the remains of two IDF soldiers ‎held by Hamas.

The first argument essentially validates the false Palestinian ‎narrative that terrorism is the result of the ‎‎“occupation” and therefore Israel is responsible for ‎it. [But] if [Palestinians] ‎want to improve their situation in Gaza, all they ‎have to do is to stop trying to murder Jews and ‎allow Israeli entrepreneurship and creativity to ‎help Gaza prosper. ‎

The second argument essentially fuels Palestinian ‎extortion. If holding bodies and live captives gets ‎the Palestinian a port, why wouldn’t they see it ‎as a clear invitation to continue with this policy?‎ [Furthermore], Gaza already has a ‎port: Ashdod, an Israeli city closer to Gaza ‎than it is to most other Israeli cities. The Ashdod port ‎can easily meet all of Gaza’s needs. Besides, in the ‎event of war, does anyone really want the ‎Palestinians to have access to a port?

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Cyprus, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israeli & Zionism, Israeli Security, Palestinian economy

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter