They Say, We Say: "Criticizing Israel over its blockade of Gaza is wrong"

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

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What about Hamas and Gaza?

They Say:

Criticizing Israel over its blockade of Gaza is wrong. Gaza is under the control of Hamas, a vile terrorist organization. Israel has every right to take whatever steps it deems appropriate to make sure that Gaza is not a threat.

We Say:

Years of boycotts, embargoes, and blockades, have neither ousted Hamas from power nor forced it to accept international conditions (known as the Quartet conditions). Instead, these policies contributed to creating a miserable humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip - conditions that have sparked harsh criticism of Israel throughout the world. Israel's refusal to significantly loosen the siege is widely recognized as collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population of Gaza.

Israel has learned through painful experience that military force alone cannot eliminate all threats or "solve" the problem of Gaza. The U.S. should stand with Israel in demanding that Hamas end or prevent rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. At the same time, it should also press Israel to finally end the siege on Gaza, while supporting reasonable Israeli measures to block the import of weapons into the area. Most importantly, the U.S. must get the peace efforts back on track. In the absence of a credible effort to reach a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, extremists - including those far more extreme than Hamas - will inevitably gain popular support.