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The Tunnels of Gaza


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#1    Yamato

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

The tunnels of Gaza are a lifeline of the underground economy but also a death trap.   For many Palestinians, they have come to symbolize ingenuity and the dream of mobility.

For as long as they worked in the smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip, Samir and his brother Yussef suspected they might one day die in them. When Yussef did die, on a cold night in 2011, his end came much as they’d imagined it might, under a crushing hail of earth.

Read more:
http://ngm.nationalg...els/verini-text

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#2    and then

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:33 PM

It will be interesting to see if the tunnels are closed for "general commerce" in the aftermath of the last Gaza dust up.  Since the border restrictions are to be eased they may not be as necessary  - except for weapons smuggling of course.  But that is probably a relatively small percentage of the business they do.  I hear they are lucrative.

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#3    MichaelW

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:50 PM

I've always like National Geographic. It's sad that they are desperate enough to do this in order to get basic essentials through. Although, I am surprised that Morsi hasn't acted about this.

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#4    pallidin

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:00 PM

Great article. Thanks for sharing.
Took me a little while to read all of it, but it was worth it.


#5    meryt-tetisheri

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:56 AM

The article did not mention how lucrative the tunnel business actually is. As a matter of fact, nothing is mentioned about the other end of the tunnels nor about the repercussions of this wide-scale smuggling scheme on the economy of Egypt. These tunnels do not open in a rich country with a prosperous economy, but in a country with an economy in tatters, unable to fully meet the basic needs of its own citizens. The goods which are smuggled are mostly subsidized, paid for by Egyptian tax payers of whom at least 47% live under the line of poverty. The whole operation is leading to chronic shortages and soaring prices in Egypt. The shortage of these gas (butane) canisters quadrupled their prices, and their main consumers are the poorest people in Egypt. It is not only the 'basic' merchandise which is being smuggled, but also illegal luxuries like stolen cars, wildlife...etc. Merchandise should pass through regular channels, with taxes paid at the border instead of profiteering.

Before anyone accuses me of being insensitive to the plight of Gazans, let me remind you that the numbers of the impoverished in Egypt far exceed the total population of all Gaza, and so does the degree of poverty, particularly during the last two years. It used to be said that no matter how poor, no one went to bed hungry in Egypt, this is no longer the case. I recently saw the picture below on Facebook, and it broke my heart, I had travelled all over Egypt, including shanty towns and the 'city of the dead', but even there I had never come across anything resembling the state of this boy. Until he, and others like him, are guaranteed one half decent meal a day, these tunnels remain a Robin Hood operation in reverse, taking from the poorest to give the better off!  

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#6    Yamato

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:55 AM

I don't accept the verb "smuggling".  The use of these tunnels is fighting crime, not doing it.   An illegal blockade has no authority to make this "smuggling", obviously.  

Actually supporting violent government oppression of entire populations of children, closing off their family's freedom to move and trade and live is the most morally disgusting Statism I've ever seen.  This deplorable brand of state-terrorism makes Josef Stalin's Iron Curtain look like Cinderella.

This siege needs to end so the tunnels go out of business and Gaza can trade openly, on the free market, with the entire rest of the world who would do so if it wasn't for Israel's illegal blockade.  That will be as beneficial to Egypt as it is to Gaza.  The humane solution of freedom is the solution to this problem too.   I will hold Palestinians accountable for their own actions when they have the self-determination and civil liberty to make their own decisions from a morally acceptable set of options.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#7    Yamato

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:00 AM

View Postpallidin, on 04 December 2012 - 11:00 PM, said:

Great article. Thanks for sharing.
Took me a little while to read all of it, but it was worth it.
Thanks for reading.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#8    meryt-tetisheri

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:58 PM

View PostYamato, on 05 December 2012 - 04:55 AM, said:

I don't accept the verb "smuggling".  The use of these tunnels is fighting crime, not doing it.   An illegal blockade has no authority to make this "smuggling", obviously.  

Actually supporting violent government oppression of entire populations of children, closing off their family's freedom to move and trade and live is the most morally disgusting Statism I've ever seen.  This deplorable brand of state-terrorism makes Josef Stalin's Iron Curtain look like Cinderella.

This siege needs to end so the tunnels go out of business and Gaza can trade openly, on the free market, with the entire rest of the world who would do so if it wasn't for Israel's illegal blockade.  That will be as beneficial to Egypt as it is to Gaza.  The humane solution of freedom is the solution to this problem too.   I will hold Palestinians accountable for their own actions when they have the self-determination and civil liberty to make their own decisions from a morally acceptable set of options.

While I agree with you that the seige should be lifted, I disagree with regards to the use of "smuggling".  Let us call things by their names without sugarcoating, it is the only appropriate word to be used. Goods could be transported above ground through crossing points legally, but smuggling creates more profits for Hamas at the expense of Egypt. You are ignoring that the tunnels are run, and taxed, by Hamas to generate around 10% of their revenue. Even the Palestinian authority is backing the closure & destruction of the tunnels which helped create 600 new millionaires in Gaza! Hamas, though once elected, is a ruthless tyrannical authority which is oppressing its own people and are responsible for increasing their suffering. Backing the rights of Palestinians should not necessarily mean defending the illegal actions of those who have added to their misery.

The reality on the ground totally contradicts your statement that " The use of these tunnels is fighting crime, not doing it". Hamas snipers shot and killed civilian Egyptians in Tahrir during the 2011 demonstrations, they burned down prisons, shot Egyptian police officers, stole police & civilian cars (13,000 in 2011), smuggled weapons into Egypt, shot and killed 16 Egyptian army soldiers while they were eating (unarmed) in Sinai, are responsible for repeatedly blowing up the gas pipes in Sinai, and are even admitting in the NG article to capturing and trading in endangered wildlife...etc. How is any of that 'fighting crime', or even moral? Are the lives of Egyptians of less value than Palestinians? While cities in Egypt blacked out last summer due to fuel shortages, 500,000 liters of subsidized fuel were smuggled into Gaza EVERY DAY!

Look again at the picture of the starving Egyptian boy, and there are millions of him in Egypt, then ask yourself if it is moral or humane to deprive him even more in order to provide for those who are not experiencing this degree of poverty, just to defend the failed policies of Hamas. Read also the article linked below to see the reality of Hamas' lucrative tunnels.
http://www.asharq-e....tion=1&id=30885

Edited by meryt-tetisheri, 05 December 2012 - 01:59 PM.


#9    Yamato

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:32 AM

View Postmeryt-tetisheri, on 05 December 2012 - 01:58 PM, said:

While I agree with you that the seige should be lifted, I disagree with regards to the use of "smuggling".  Let us call things by their names without sugarcoating, it is the only appropriate word to be used. Goods could be transported above ground through crossing points legally, but smuggling creates more profits for Hamas at the expense of Egypt. You are ignoring that the tunnels are run, and taxed, by Hamas to generate around 10% of their revenue. Even the Palestinian authority is backing the closure & destruction of the tunnels which helped create 600 new millionaires in Gaza! Hamas, though once elected, is a ruthless tyrannical authority which is oppressing its own people and are responsible for increasing their suffering. Backing the rights of Palestinians should not necessarily mean defending the illegal actions of those who have added to their misery.

The reality on the ground totally contradicts your statement that " The use of these tunnels is fighting crime, not doing it". Hamas snipers shot and killed civilian Egyptians in Tahrir during the 2011 demonstrations, they burned down prisons, shot Egyptian police officers, stole police & civilian cars (13,000 in 2011), smuggled weapons into Egypt, shot and killed 16 Egyptian army soldiers while they were eating (unarmed) in Sinai, are responsible for repeatedly blowing up the gas pipes in Sinai, and are even admitting in the NG article to capturing and trading in endangered wildlife...etc. How is any of that 'fighting crime', or even moral? Are the lives of Egyptians of less value than Palestinians? While cities in Egypt blacked out last summer due to fuel shortages, 500,000 liters of subsidized fuel were smuggled into Gaza EVERY DAY!

Look again at the picture of the starving Egyptian boy, and there are millions of him in Egypt, then ask yourself if it is moral or humane to deprive him even more in order to provide for those who are not experiencing this degree of poverty, just to defend the failed policies of Hamas. Read also the article linked below to see the reality of Hamas' lucrative tunnels.
http://www.asharq-e....tion=1&id=30885
Murder is smuggling?  I never conflated those two different things together.  I didn't say that shooting civilians is fighting crime.   Don't obfuscate like that.  Egyptian authorities who get paid US taxpayer wealth to keep their mouths shut and their borders closed are worth taking to court and prosecuting for their accomplice roles in this crime.  And Egypt isn't under siege; its government like every government s responsible for its own domestic problems.   This business of trying to smear the people under siege with the impoverished people from another nation who aren't is ludicrous.

Goods "could", if it wasn't for an illegal siege.  Israel has no right to violate international law and commit illegal blockades and illegal collective punishment on populations full of innocent children.   Israel must be made accountable for its crimes.  Egypt is incidental.  I don't care where the tunnels go; the point is, people deserve civil liberty and that's what's worth defending.  If we can't defend them in Palestine, we will wake up one day and realize we can't defend them here either.   Have some principle with me and defend Palestine so we don't look like hypocrites when we realize our own liberty is at stake.

When Statists who support the elimination of free markets get their way, when prohibition is the rule, black markets always develop.   If you want a world of closed, secretive, "criminal" black markets, then just prohibit something and that's what you'll have.   Gaza, like everywhere else.   I know we like to forget about who we are (freedom loving Americans) every time Gaza becomes the subject, but I don't forget.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#10    meryt-tetisheri

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:00 AM

What do you call 'sneaking' snipers and weapons through underground tunnels into another sovereign country to shoot its civilians and officers of law? Help me out Yamato, after all English is not my mother tongue! As a matter of fact, at this very moment while both of us are sitting in the comfort and safety of our homes the same thing is happening again: 'freedom loving' young Egyptians are being shot with live bullets and bird shot by the militias of the beleaguered MB and its daughter organization Hamas on the streets of Cairo. Four have died so far, at least 211 injured. You want me to have 'principles with you' and consider them and Egypt 'incidental'?! How can 85 million people become 'incidental' under any guise of morality, principles, or ethics? Did you read the article I linked before relegating the damage caused by the tunnels to the Egyptian economy to the 'domestic problems' status? The fortunes of those 600 Gaza millionaires were amassed from the livelihood of the poor in Egypt, and garnered from the large margin of profit in the difference of price they impose on the poor of Gaza. The smuggled goods are not donated by Hamas or even sold at cost in Gaza. A 25% tax also is sometimes imposed. So I repeat my question: why do you keep confusing Hamas with Palestine? "Closed, secretive, "criminal" are apt descriptions of not only the black market, but the organization which is running it also.

You insist on conflating Palestinians and Hamas, and persist in ignoring the suffering of Palestinians under their rule in the name of defending Palestine. What is ludicrous is you accusing me of 'smearing' Palestinians because I stated facts which you cannot deny; or lecturing me on the necessity of defending Palestine. You forget I am Egyptian, my family like almost every other Egyptian family, has suffered repeated losses in defense of Palestine. Since 1948 members of my family have been killed, injured, captured or went MIA for Palestine, so please don't adopt a 'holier than thou' attitude with me. Humane principles can only be applied as a whole, without cherry picking. You cannot toot how you will not forget 1 1/2 million while brushing off close to 24 million under the carpet as 'incidental'.


#11    Yamato

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:17 AM

View Postmeryt-tetisheri, on 06 December 2012 - 02:00 AM, said:

What do you call 'sneaking' snipers and weapons through underground tunnels into another sovereign country to shoot its civilians and officers of law? Help me out Yamato, after all English is not my mother tongue! As a matter of fact, at this very moment while both of us are sitting in the comfort and safety of our homes the same thing is happening again: 'freedom loving' young Egyptians are being shot with live bullets and bird shot by the militias of the beleaguered MB and its daughter organization Hamas on the streets of Cairo. Four have died so far, at least 211 injured. You want me to have 'principles with you' and consider them and Egypt 'incidental'?! How can 85 million people become 'incidental' under any guise of morality, principles, or ethics? Did you read the article I linked before relegating the damage caused by the tunnels to the Egyptian economy to the 'domestic problems' status? The fortunes of those 600 Gaza millionaires were amassed from the livelihood of the poor in Egypt, and garnered from the large margin of profit in the difference of price they impose on the poor of Gaza. The smuggled goods are not donated by Hamas or even sold at cost in Gaza. A 25% tax also is sometimes imposed. So I repeat my question: why do you keep confusing Hamas with Palestine? "Closed, secretive, "criminal" are apt descriptions of not only the black market, but the organization which is running it also.

You insist on conflating Palestinians and Hamas, and persist in ignoring the suffering of Palestinians under their rule in the name of defending Palestine. What is ludicrous is you accusing me of 'smearing' Palestinians because I stated facts which you cannot deny; or lecturing me on the necessity of defending Palestine. You forget I am Egyptian, my family like almost every other Egyptian family, has suffered repeated losses in defense of Palestine. Since 1948 members of my family have been killed, injured, captured or went MIA for Palestine, so please don't adopt a 'holier than thou' attitude with me. Humane principles can only be applied as a whole, without cherry picking. You cannot toot how you will not forget 1 1/2 million while brushing off close to 24 million under the carpet as 'incidental'.
What do you call 'sneaking' snipers and weapons through underground tunnels into another sovereign country to shoot its civilians and officers of law?

I would call that murder, not "smuggling".   If they came across an open border "legally" and shot your civilians and police, would that make any difference to the dead and their families?  That's conflating murder with "smuggling" and you know it.  Should Palestinians do whatever they can to arm themselves to fight the criminals who strangle them?   Of course they should.  Don't expect me to suddenly stop advocating for self defense because that's not gonna happen.  Pointing weapons at Egyptians has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.   Why do I constantly find myself having to defend every sin a Palestinian commits at any point in time in history before we can all get on the same page and insist on equal human rights for all of humanity?   Palestinians are not going to be an exception to that.  No factoid or barely relevant tangent is going to change that.  I hope you agree with me on that.   But I don't think you do.  I think you've got a big dog in this fight for the same reason I do, because it affects OUR OWN FAMILIES, and friends, and neighbors, and countrymen.   I suspect that you want the status quo in Gaza to continue.   My rhetorical question for you remains:  If things are so bad over there, why ask for more of it?

Egypt is incidentally Gaza's neighbor, yes.  It doesn't matter what country is on the other end of the tunnels, it could be any country, the principle remains the same.  The extent to which I care remains the same.  I don't pick and choose which humans I care more about because of their individual characteristics.  I believe that people are the same everywhere you go.  Some people unfortunately get wrapped up being ruled by horrible governments.   Egypt is one of my must-see places before I die; I'd love to see Israel too.  But honestly, the entire history of that place since 1948 doesn't motivate my inner tourist.

You insist on conflating Palestinians and Hamas
I'm not conflating Palestinians with Hamas.  Wow where did that come from?  That's what you're doing; it's what and then is doing.  I am talking about Palestinians, period.   I can see the people through their government.  Some people can't.  I haven't even peeped two positive words together in support of Gazan bureaucrats or Palestinian bureaucrats in general.  I have contempt for Hamas and as I've said numerous times, the siege on Gaza just paralyzes the political process in Gaza.   They can't exercise any manner of democracy over there with this siege in place!.  This horrible situation is putting Egypt and Americans both at the mercy of a status quo neither of us want.  

I think governments in the Middle East are psycho as a rule.   I'd have the whole world in chains if I was going to play the game of punishing people for their governments or their society's criminals.  So therefore I don't conflate that with in any way tarnishing/blemishing the Egyptian people as a whole or suggesting that collective punishment on every Egyptian is any manner of valid response.  My goodness. I wouldn't do that to Palestine either, and so here I am.

What is ludicrous is you accusing me of 'smearing' Palestinians

Let's try "blurring" then.  Sorry but 800,000 Palestinian kids have nothing to do with impoverished Egyptians.  My sentiments for Palestinians aren't distracted from the topic here because of that, sorry.   If you think that there are negative consequences of having a closed border between two states, welcome to every other closed border.  That this one happens to be shared with Egypt is incidental.  I'm not being cold by using the word "incidental", I'm being sympathetic to people on both sides of that border.  

Your bureaucrats accepting this annual bribe money from my taxpayers isn't going to make your country the place you want it to be.   I know you're against this Egyptian revolution but that too is another direct result of the toxic political biosphere in this region that I am the last one on the forum that's going to support.

I think Palestinians need a lot LESS help from Egypt, and they need to be given the chance to help themselves.  If I were an Egyptian leader I would be driving Palestinian statehood as the most important issue facing your country today.   Egyptians getting killed by criminals crossing your border wouldn't deter me.   Egypt and its shills for American cash are useless allies towards change and  the perfect allies to keep the status quo intact.  I hope that with the political changes Egypt has gone through, the relationship between Egypt and Israel will change sufficiently to birth Palestinian sovereignty and world acceptance.  

As for the US, the welfare roll Egypt has enjoyed for far too long on the backs of my countrymen must come to an end, as Israel's, as Palestine's, as the rest of the Middle East, as the rest of the world.   We can't afford to pay people for agreements signed by someone else decades ago.   If countries demonstrate to me that they're worth trading with, I'd like to trade with them.  It's really that simple.  Let people decide; not a few goons in suits sitting down together across a table and signing nation-sized bribes to be paid out indefinitely.  

When the flow of goods and services across borders end, the flow of arms begin.  That pattern's been repeated far too many times throughout history to start making a special exception here.  I respect your opinion.  We can agree to disagree on this one.

Edited by Yamato, 06 December 2012 - 09:15 AM.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#12    meryt-tetisheri

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:23 AM

I will only touch on some of the points you raised without going into details because frankly, I am too preoccupied with the current events in Egypt to go into any discussion about Gaza in depth.

Yes Yamato, we agree to disagree, after all this has become the established tradition whenever we ‘meet’ in a discussion. I think if we ever agree on something, the shocking novelty might actually make me tumble off my chair and faint!
Before you inform me that I am against the Egyptian revolution, why don’t you go back to what I posted during January and February 2011? I am against the revolution, and the country, being hijacked by cynical Islamists and their militias, and I am not alone in that. I am just one of millions who share the same view. Watch the news of the crisis in Egypt.

I am not trying to appeal to your sentiments with ‘factoids’, but your analysis flips the situation and ends up putting the cart before the horse! Palestinians cannot have a democracy not because of the siege, but because of Hamas and its lethal policies. The tunnels are the means used by Hamas to entrench themselves and fill their coffers at the expense of both Palestinians and Egyptians. On the other end, the Egyptian economy simply cannot continue to provide, and charity starts at home. How can you state that American aid must stop because the USA cannot afford to continue giving it, but lambaste me for saying the same thing about poorer Egypt?

Palestinians are the victims of Hamas which has absolutely no compunction in killing them, raiding their houses, or torturing those who are haphazardly arrested. Compare the situation of Gaza with that of the West Bank. Yes, the siege should be lifted and the two-state solution is the best; Palestinians have the right to protest and resist, but not through counter-productive means which are not thought out like lugging rockets only to have even more Palestinians killed and their homes destroyed. There is a difference between resistance and throwing a self-destructive tantrum.

As for the American aid to Egypt (your ‘big dog’) bear in mind that no one pays millions of dollars over decades while getting or expecting nothing in return. Whether the objective is beneficial or not, or the usefulness of the policy, is decided upon by US politicians and pundits, and they do not make small mistakes! You are complaining about money and aid, an increasingly large number of Egyptians are also complaining about the present administration’s consistent, overt and covert, backing of the MB’s ascent to power in return for giving Sinai or parts of it to Gaza. I actually came across a debate among young Egyptians on Fb arguing how to send Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton the message: ‘leave Egypt alone’ (someone suggested Twitter)! When it comes to the criticism of the US foreign policy, you are not alone, you have a large company next to you, and their numbers are increasing.

I am leaving this discussion now; there is too much going on at the other end of the tunnels!

Edited by meryt-tetisheri, 07 December 2012 - 12:23 AM.


#13    Yamato

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

View Postmeryt-tetisheri, on 07 December 2012 - 12:23 AM, said:

I will only touch on some of the points you raised without going into details because frankly, I am too preoccupied with the current events in Egypt to go into any discussion about Gaza in depth.

Yes Yamato, we agree to disagree, after all this has become the established tradition whenever we ‘meet’ in a discussion. I think if we ever agree on something, the shocking novelty might actually make me tumble off my chair and faint!
Before you inform me that I am against the Egyptian revolution, why don’t you go back to what I posted during January and February 2011? I am against the revolution, and the country, being hijacked by cynical Islamists and their militias, and I am not alone in that. I am just one of millions who share the same view. Watch the news of the crisis in Egypt.

I am not trying to appeal to your sentiments with ‘factoids’, but your analysis flips the situation and ends up putting the cart before the horse! Palestinians cannot have a democracy not because of the siege, but because of Hamas and its lethal policies. The tunnels are the means used by Hamas to entrench themselves and fill their coffers at the expense of both Palestinians and Egyptians. On the other end, the Egyptian economy simply cannot continue to provide, and charity starts at home. How can you state that American aid must stop because the USA cannot afford to continue giving it, but lambaste me for saying the same thing about poorer Egypt?

Palestinians are the victims of Hamas which has absolutely no compunction in killing them, raiding their houses, or torturing those who are haphazardly arrested. Compare the situation of Gaza with that of the West Bank. Yes, the siege should be lifted and the two-state solution is the best; Palestinians have the right to protest and resist, but not through counter-productive means which are not thought out like lugging rockets only to have even more Palestinians killed and their homes destroyed. There is a difference between resistance and throwing a self-destructive tantrum.

As for the American aid to Egypt (your ‘big dog’) bear in mind that no one pays millions of dollars over decades while getting or expecting nothing in return. Whether the objective is beneficial or not, or the usefulness of the policy, is decided upon by US politicians and pundits, and they do not make small mistakes! You are complaining about money and aid, an increasingly large number of Egyptians are also complaining about the present administration’s consistent, overt and covert, backing of the MB’s ascent to power in return for giving Sinai or parts of it to Gaza. I actually came across a debate among young Egyptians on Fb arguing how to send Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton the message: ‘leave Egypt alone’ (someone suggested Twitter)! When it comes to the criticism of the US foreign policy, you are not alone, you have a large company next to you, and their numbers are increasing.

I am leaving this discussion now; there is too much going on at the other end of the tunnels!
I wasn't aware that having a democracy was even an issue.   The form of government isn't important.  Human rights are.   The issue here is about having a State.   Eliminate Palestine, and you eliminate the Palestinians as a people.   Don't be so coy as to think I will support ethnic cleansing because of your internal problems in Egypt which are so tertiary to this issue and to the principle that we might even forget that human rights apply equally to every Egyptian, American, and Palestinian alike.

Politicians get elected and their policies are poison.  Hamas isn't alone in that.  If we're going to blame governments, there's plenty of blame to go around in this issue and neither yours nor mine are immune to it.

I'm all for people freely giving to Egypt if that's what they choose to do with their money.   Not bribe money to make your bureaucrats dance how we want them to dance.   As I'm all for charity, "Greatest aid to the greatest need" isn't a bad motto.  

Is Egypt a concentration camp surrounded by hostile foreign military forces or are your domestic problems your own responsibility?   That's the thing about statehood:  With sovereignty comes great responsibility.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#14    meryt-tetisheri

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

Quote

I wasn't aware that having a democracy was even an issue. The form of government isn't important. Human rights are. The issue here is about having a State. Eliminate Palestine, and you eliminate the Palestinians as a people. Don't be so coy as to think I will support ethnic cleansing because of your internal problems in Egypt which are so tertiary to this issue and to the principle that we might even forget that human rights apply equally to every Egyptian, American, and Palestinian alike.

Re-read what you wrote in post # 11:"They can't exercise any manner of democracy over there with this siege in place!", then make up your mind whether democracy is an issue or not. You also need to re-read my previous post where I stated that a two-state solution is the best, before you start arguing about the elimination of Palestine. Where did you get that I am for 'ethnic cleansing' let alone trying to convince you to support it? Let me re-iterate my position: I am against the seige, for an independent state; regard Hamas as a ruthless tyranny, & am totally against the tunnels, as are the majority of Egyptians.  

Quote

I'm all for people freely giving to Egypt if that's what they choose to do with their money. Not bribe money to make your bureaucrats dance how we want them to dance. As I'm all for charity, "Greatest aid to the greatest need" isn't a bad motto.

It seems that with regards to the tunnel issue, a point needs to be clarified. Numerous aid caravans to Gaza are routinely organized as private iniative by Egyptians. What they are against is the organized bleeding of scarce resources for the benefit of Hamas black market traffickers, and the constant flow of weapons and terrorists into Egypt. The contribution of the tunnels to the 'domestic problems' of Egypt is not regarded as tertian by the people who are at the other end of these tunnels. Your argument is based on idealized theory adopted from the comfort of a distant reality which is totally divorced from the on the ground reality of the Middle East, yet you lavish condemnation right and left and preach to the choir about the human rights of Palestinians."Greatest aid to the greatest need" applies to Egypt also.  

As for your use of words such as 'coy', you are insinuating that I'm being less than honest and this is unacceptable. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree, any discussion must be based on mutual respect. I do not do derogatory remarks or personal insults and I do not accept them either. I participate in threads to discuss issues, not to convince any particular person to take any specific stand. Your convictions are simply that: YOUR convictions!


#15    Yamato

Yamato

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:32 PM

View Postmeryt-tetisheri, on 07 December 2012 - 02:10 PM, said:

Re-read what you wrote in post # 11:"They can't exercise any manner of democracy over there with this siege in place!", then make up your mind whether democracy is an issue or not. You also need to re-read my previous post where I stated that a two-state solution is the best, before you start arguing about the elimination of Palestine. Where did you get that I am for 'ethnic cleansing' let alone trying to convince you to support it? Let me re-iterate my position: I am against the seige, for an independent state; regard Hamas as a ruthless tyranny, & am totally against the tunnels, as are the majority of Egyptians.  

You brought up democracy first.   If you think democracy is so important (you must, you brought it up), you should have accepted my point that democracy is impossible in Gaza with that siege in place.   I then told you that their democracy isn't what's important.  And that's because people should have liberty regardless of what form of government they have.   You should be able to agree with that.   There is no contradiction here.

Egypt has every right to stop killers from harming its citizens, from within its borders and without.  And no, bending for US bribe money in support of Israeli policy isn't a necessary component of that effort.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela




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