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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Congratulations! The siege is over!

Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing "indefinitely."

Since yesterday, the Egyptian Red Crescent sent through 7000 blankets, 107 tents, 13 generators (through which 4 yesterday and 9 today), 250 pillows, 20 Scouts operations room, 70 cartons of clothes, 20 cartons of shoes, 67 gallons of honey, and 5 ambulances. Sounds like about two truckfuls of goods.

So shouldn't the activists who have agitated for the siege to be lifted be ecstatic? Shouldn't the Rachel Corrie ship, now headed for Gaza to be intercepted by Israel, change course to Egypt so its goods could be transferred to Gazans as quickly as possible? Shouldn't we be seeing Free Gaza and other groups quickly organize convoys to send all those much-needed supplies to poor Gazans?

A day after I first asked that question, we are still hearing nothing from these groups that supposedly care so deeply about Gazans so as to risk their lives for them. Egypt's opening of the border is not huge news being greeted by celebration, but rather it is being ignored by the Western "humanitarians."

Egypt's opening of the border is not likely to last, either, which makes the entire lack of Western humanitarian effort to take advantage of the opening even more incongruous.

Cement is not being allowed through Rafah, however.

Palestine Today adds that "it is unlikely that Egypt will open the crossing permanently and for all commodities because they are afraid that this will lead to the flouting by Israel of any responsibility for the sector."

But wouldn't the activists be much happier if Egypt would take responsibility for their fellow Arab brethren and allow them to bring in all the supplies they want? Shouldn't they be demanding Egypt build a much larger terminal in Rafah to handle all the tons of aid they plan to send to Gaza?

The lack of interest by the activists in shipping goods through Egypt seems to indicate that concern for Gazans is not uppermost in their minds. They seem to have an entirely different agenda, one that the Western media is very reluctant to highlight.