Mr. Kuttab begins by telling some personal stories. But then check this out:
"Only when the Turkish led multi-ship flotilla had challenged the blockade and embarrassed the Israelis who were blocking jam and coriander (among other things) did the blockade ease on food items, and not on any other materials needed for the conduct of a normal life."There were flotillas before the MM one. It's just that none of them succeeded in getting their own people killed. If Mr. Kuttab wants to explain that "peace activists" getting themselves killed for the cause was what really caused Israel to back down, he would be making a good point and he would probably agree. But the flotilla simply "challenging" the blockade would not have made a difference. Just look at the other peaceful flotillas if you don't believe me.
Furthermore, what is this about "any other materials needed for a conduct of a normal life?" Can Mr. Kuttab be more specific? According to news reports (which I know can be unreliable) construction materials and weapon-making materials are the only things no longer allowed in. From the outside it certainly appears like normal life is happening. Even Hani Almadhoun admitted that water, electricity and the Internet were available, just not easy to get. Maybe this depends on what we mean by "a normal life."
Then Mr. Kuttab spins this story like crazy:
"One of these results was the victory of the pro Hamas reform and change parliamentary list. Among those who won parliamentary seats were four Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. By running in the elections, they broke no Israeli law, but by winning a free and fair elections that was supervised by respected international observers such as former US president Jimmy Carter, they seem to have broken an unwritten law. This mysterious undeclared law seems to say that by winning the Jerusalem seats, because they had an Islamists persuasion these elected Islamists are doomed for life.This is a perfect example of when certain people try to make a political issue into a legal issue. Hamas and Israel are still at war. Hamas is still a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction. So just because Hamas members live in East Jerusalem and were elected into their position does not mean that Israel is obligated to leave them alone. If anything I am surprised that Israel did not arrest them immediately.
For a while after the elections they were left alone, one of them Khaled Abu Arafeh was even made minister in the Palestinian Authority for the affairs of Jerusalem. But the moment that an invading Israeli soldier was captured in Gaza, these legislatures and others in the West Bank were rounded up and put in jail. Recently and after being released, they are about to loose their rights to reside in Jerusalem."
It's also interesting that Kuttab claims that it was "because they had an Islamist persuasion" Israel mistreated them. Not because they were leaders of a genocidal terrorist organization. Does this strike anyone else as an attempt to play the race card? Even though Islamism is not a race?