Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing, allowing Gazans to cross freely for the first time in four years. As Agence France Presse reported:
“The border has remained largely shut since June 2006 when Israel imposed a tight blockade on Gaza after Palestinian militants snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is still being held.
The blockade was tightened a year later when the Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the territory, ousting forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.
The United Nations has called the blockade illegal and repeatedly demanded it be lifted.”
That’s correct – “illegal.” The illegal embargo was enforced by a compliant Egyptian regime and Israel, backed by the United States, and Fatah. When the Israelis raided the Mavi Marmara last year, for example, Pres. Obama didn’t call either the raid or the blockade either illegal or immoral, but “unsustainable.”
And why is it “unsustainable?”
“Regardless of the details of the flotilla incident, sources say President Obama is focused on what he sees as the longer term issue here: a successful Mideast peace process.
‘The president has always said that it will be much easier for Israel to make peace if it feels secure,’ a senior administration official tells ABC News.'”
Ahhh I see. Israel’s security trumps Gazans.
Well, I make this prediction – the Arab Spring uprisings Obama just supposedly championed will now see him actively working to undermine Egypt’s path to democracy. Before, Washington opposed it, then held it up when it became impossible to contain. Now, with Hamas benefiting from the border opening, as well as other political developments that included a continued active role of the military in public affairs, it’s continued repression of activists and Obama’s established precedent betraying Arab revolutions, look out for some major reversal of the democracy already struggling to get on its feet, brought to you by the change we can believe in.