Jim Moran signed a letter back in January 2010 calling for Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza, even though the Hamas government that rules the Gaza Strip openly and continuously calls for Israel’s destruction. (Joe Sestak also signed the letter, by the way.) The text of the letter is here. That letter had no conditions on Hamas — for example, calling for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped and held hostage by Hamas for four years. Shalit has never — not once — been visited by the International Red Cross in the four years of his captivity. Not a mention in Moran’s letter. Nor does the letter mention the fact that rocket fire from Gaza into Israel — one of the main reasons the blockade was imposed — had been cut down significantly since the imposition of the blockade.
In addition, as noted by the Forward, the letter misrepresented the situation in Gaza, as Israel does not ban entrance of aid workers to Gaza and does not block transfer of medicine to the region or access to clean water as the letter falsely suggested. Indeed, the Israelis permit aid to go to Gaza — and offered to let the aid aboard Sunda’s flotilla go to Gaza — after being inspected to make sure no weapons are part of the shipment.
Of course, over the last 48 hours, this blockade has come into sharp focus after the Israeli raid to stop a six-ship flotilla from running the blockade that resulted in violence aboard one of the ships that left several flotilla sailors dead or wounded and several Israeli soldiers wounded.
It now appears, based on video released by the Israeli Defense Forces (see here) and the pictures of the weapons aboard the ship, the Mavi Marmara, seized by Israel, that the soldiers were viciously attacked — indeed, lynched — by a mob of terrorists aboard the ship armed with clubs, metal poles, slingshots, and possibly guns.
Did Congressman Moran call for Hamas to release Gilad Shalit? Is Congressman Moran prepared to denounce the violence against the Israeli soldiers — the beating with clubs, metal poles and stones — in what was obviously a planned ambush this past Sunday?
The sad fact is that Congressman Moran’s Middle East policy is hopelessly wrong — letters like his only emboldens terrorists who think they can score propaganda points with credulous media and politicians with stunts like Sunday’s ambush.