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Monday, May 16, 2016


Last week, Egypt opened up the Rafah crossing to allow a trickle of Gazans to leave the sector. Out of some 30,000 people waiting to leave, only 747 were allowed to cross before Egypt closed the border again.

One Palestinian writer unwittingly referred to an old Yiddish story about the man who complains that his house is too cramped, and the wise man told him to put animals from his barn in the house as well, making things worse. Then when he was told to remove the animals he felt much better. He said that when Egypt opens Gaza for a token number of Gazans, the Gazans feel the same way as the homeowner in the story when Egypt opens up Rafah once every few months.

In March, partly as a response to Egyptian refusal to allow any significant number of Gazans to leave, Israel started allowing Gazans to go through Israel and to Jordan - with one catch: they would have to stay abroad for at least a year before they could return via Jordan. This would allow students and businesspeople an option that was simply not available any more from Egypt.

But something has happened since then. At first, without explanation, Jordan started delaying the amount of time to respond to travel applications from Gazans from two weeks to two months.

Now, Jordan has now severely restricted Gazans from entering its territory altogether. The official passes that Gazans need to travel through Jordan (which are different from those of most West Bank Palestinians) are becoming harder and harder to get.

No official reason is being given, but reports say that Jordan is not interested in taking up the slack from Egypt. In addition, there have been some political conflicts between Jordan and the Palestinian political leadership that has aggravated the issue..

Israel allows some humanitarian cases from Gaza to travel to Ben Gurion airport, but it has no plans to allow masses of Gazans to travel abroad via Israel because of both security and logistical concerns.

Now we see that the Arab world, which rises up in protest at every Israeli action that is perceived to be against residents of Gaza, has no interest in helping them.

Talk is cheap but when Arab nations have the actual opportunity to help Palestinians, they largely refuse.

And this endemic discrimination against Palestinians within the Arab world is ignored by the "progressive" community that claims that they care so much about Palestinians. If Israel isn't involved, then no one cares about them.

(h/t Ibn Boutros, Yoel)


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