Israel Eases Gaza Blockade

By Nathan Schneider 06-21-2010

The New York Times reports, "Under intense international pressure after its commandos killed nine activists aboard an aid flotilla trying to breach its blockade of Gaza last month, Israel on Thursday announced what it called 'adjustments' in its policy, promising to ease the entry of civilian goods by land while maintaining its naval blockade. The announcement, which offered few details, said that the security cabinet had decided to 'liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza' and to expand the inflow of construction materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision."

Israel has still barely budged on the Gaza blockade since the Freedom Flotilla incident, but Israelis are at least beginning to recognize that their standing among the international community in the future depends not on accusing activists of terrorism but on changing their profoundly repressive policies toward Palestinians. To the extent that the actions of the activists have cast light not on themselves and on the Mavi Marmara disaster but on the conditions that are undermining the prospects of peace, they are successful. The more they eschew violent resistance in the future, the more powerful their message will be.

Nathan Schneider writes about religion, reason, and violence for publications including The Boston Globe, Commonweal, Seed, Religion Dispatches, AlterNet, and others. He is also an editor at Killing the Buddha. Visit his Web site at This article appears courtesy of a partnership with Waging Nonviolence.

+Read more about nonviolence in the Middle East.

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