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Breaking the Israeli-Egyptian Seige of Gaza

The Huffington Post - Now, over four years later and one year after the Israeli assault which killed 1,440 Palestinians (330 of them children) and 14 Israelis, the Palestinian people in Gaza continue to suffer under the inhuman Israeli-Egyptian siege. It bears emphasizing that this state of affairs cannot exist without Barack Obama's complicit approval; collective punishment indelibly mars his legacy. Collective punishment is a war crime.

Previous sea-borne attempts to break the siege were met by an aggressive Israeli navy. Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was one of the activists arrested by the Israelis in 2009 after attempting to access the Strip that way. She released an audiotape from an Israeli prison, declaring:

This is Cynthia McKinney and I'm speaking from an Israeli prison cellblock in Ramle. [I am one of] the Free Gaza 21, human rights activists currently imprisoned for trying to take medical supplies to Gaza, building supplies -- and even crayons for children, I had a suitcase full of crayons for children. While we were on our way to Gaza the Israelis threatened to fire on our boat, but we did not turn around. The Israelis high-jacked and arrested us because we wanted to give crayons to the children in Gaza. We have been detained, and we want the people of the world to see how we have been treated just because we wanted to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.

According to Ha'aretz, the "Defense Ministry is refusing -- on security grounds, it says -- to reveal why Israel prohibits the import into the Gaza Strip of items such as cilantro, sage, jam, chocolate, french fries, dried fruit, fabrics, notebooks empty flowerpots and toys, while allowing cinnamon, plastic buckets and combs."

Any thinking person understands that cilantro is not an implement of terror or militancy. Therefore, the siege is a punitive measure directed at a weak and penurious population. It is both immoral and illegal. The Israelis, Egyptians and Americans seem to be saying, "Exercise democracy and you and your children will suffer the ugly consequences." Read more.

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