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Israel’s aid blockade affecting more than just the Gaza strip

<p>What do chocolate, cookies, A4 paper, potato chips, toys, jam, dried fruit, nutmeg and goats have in common?</p>

What do chocolate, cookies, A4 paper, potato chips, toys, jam, dried fruit, nutmeg and goats have in common?

If you’re a moderate, they have absolutely nothing in common. But if you’re a hard-line Israeli politician, they’re all potentially dangerous goods that could threaten Israel’s security and are, therefore, prohibited from entering Gaza.

It’s not all doom and gloom in Gaza, though. Many items are allowed in: mops, egg cartons, glass cleaner, hair combs and lentils. So what are the 1.5 million Gazan people complaining about?

On the Freedom Flotilla were 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid. Aid Gazans desperately need to survive the 1,000-plus days of illegal blockade that has crippled Gaza and reduced it to an open-air prison.

Although stunned at the recent outrageous attack, I’m not surprised by it. It’s just another upshot of a political dogma fermenting in Israel, one which states that to exist, it must redefine what is acceptable, and redraw the lines of international law.

This path is fraught with dangers for us all. These radical policies debar Palestinian value and, by extension, human value. Inflicting violence on an innocent majority to punish the guilty few now seems “necessary.” More frustrating is how Israel defends its actions: denouncing criticism as anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic. Israel fails to understand that the problem is its policy, not its PR.

So, the Gazans lose out: 80 percent of them live below the poverty line. The Israelis lose out: rejected by a third of countries in the U.N., shunned by much of the global community. And moderates lose out: people like me who dared to believe the road to peace wasn’t a lonely hike.

– Rania Al Abdullah is the queen of Jordan.

Her parents were Palestinian refugees.

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