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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Netanyahu Takes the Wind Out of the Sails of Future Flotillas: The End of Gaza's Tunnel Economy

Seemingly overnight, Netanyahu has scored a coup. Quick agreement has been reached with Quartet envoy Tony Blair (note the happy body language in Blair's pictures with Netanyahu), and restrictions on the overland import of civilian goods into Gaza via Israel are being lifted. As reported by the Jerusalem Post:

"Blair, according to diplomatic sources, was instrumental in drawing up the steps Israel took to reverse the restrictions on civilian goods into Gaza; each word in the security cabinet decision was vetted by him, and – by extension – had the approval of the Quartet he represents: the US, EU, Russia and the UN.

'Three days ago, Israel announced its intention to liberalize its Gaza policy,' Blair said. 'We have now agreed principles of implementation.'

'Let me state right at the outset that Israel has the complete right to protect its security and to keep arms out of Gaza.'

* * * *

Netanyahu said in private conversations Sunday evening that the significance of the decision was it meant there would not longer be a civilian closure on Gaza, but there would be a security blockade.

'And it will get tighter,' he said of the security blockade.

'We have taken away from Hamas the ability to blame Israel for harming the civilian population, and have received international legitimacy for continuing the security blockade of Hamas.'"

In a nutshell:

• Netanyahu has just taken the wind out of the sails of future Gaza flotillas organized by Turkey, Iran and the extreme Left.
• Netanyahu has the Quartet's backing for the security blockade of Hamas.
• The Gazan tunnel economy, which has funded Hamas, will likely implode.
• The Turkish flotilla has Europe silently questioning the moderation of Erdogan, and unbeknowst to many, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has been quietly seeking to contain the damage.
• Erdogan has undermined Iranian inroads into the Arab Middle East, and although the two former empires, i.e. Ottoman and Persian, may at present appear to be living in harmony, the stage is now set for a future confrontation between Erdogan and Ahmadinejad.


  1. Hi, Jeffery

    Would you, please, elaborate on the last two pints in your future posts?

  2. Yes, the happy body language between Netanyahu and Blair was wonderful to see.

    Hi Marina: this analysis has insight about those two points (within the limits of Turkey's Penal Code Article 301):
    "Danger signs in Turkey's strategic depth"
    By Ergin Yildizoglu Jun 22, 2010
    [Dr Ergin Yildizoglu is a university lecturer at Ankara University.]

    I assume Ankara is also reading the AsiaTimes online :)

    As to Iran's flotilla? Might have difficulty getting past the Somali pirates or the USS Truman carrier group now somewhere between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.