Is the Gaza embargo a crime?

by Russ Roberts on June 3, 2010

in Trade, Uncategorized

Tom Palmer writes (HT: David Henderson):

The trade embargo against the people of Gaza is itself a crime, and the incompetence and avoidable deadly violence of the Israeli authorities in dealing with the aid flotilla are further arguments that it should be lifted.

He then says:

How can the Israeli authorities expect peace from people who, in the end, feel that they have nothing to lose? Free the trade with Gaza and let the people there work, produce, and flourish. Let them trade with Israelis. Search for weapons, but do so with intelligence, not rank incompetence that results in the spilling of blood.

My first thought on this comes from someone who recently wrote on Twitter–if the people of Gaza exported fewer rockets, maybe they’d find it easier to import stuff.

Israel gave up sovereignty over Gaza. The result of leaving was an on-going series of rocket attacks on civilians in towns closest to Gaza. No doubt a prosperous Gaza is in Israel’s interest. But how to get there from here? Gaza is ruled by a party, Hamas, that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and promises its destruction. Hamas was democratically elected by the people of Gaza. They aren’t so good at the rule of law/prosperity thing.

Is the embargo a strategic mistake? Maybe, though it’s easy to encourage Israel to “search for weapons” while sitting safely in the United States. Is it a crime? I’d say the moral responsibility lies elsewhere.


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