Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Forbidden fruit on the Israeli blacklist...

Today President Obamarama meets with the Yahoo from Israel to try and rebuild a tattered relationship. It might prove the first opportunity in a while for a saucy photo-shoot. Don't forget, that the Israeli PM's last attempt to visit the White House was thwarted by the foolish Flotilla raid.

The calculus in the region, still has not changed, and this meeting is not likely to have any significant consequence, except perhaps in the very short-term. Another meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak with Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad may be the beginning of more direct talks. The two of them were engaged in close negotiations during the latter years of the Bush Administration, with Salam even visiting Barak's house.

The PM does go to America with a change in Israel's policy towards Gaza, in easing the blockade. A number of restrictions, however, remain. Let's take a look at the items still remaining on the list of forbidden items beyond weapons:

- Navigations aides
- Diving equipment
- Parachutes
- Equipment drawing water from excavated sites
- Carbon fibre or fibre glass
- Certain types of meta, fertilizers, and water purifiers
- Anything else considered 'dual use' under the Wassenaar Agreement

Additionally, all construction materials for private use are still banned unless they are for projects by international aid agencies; thus rebuilding private houses, creating a new storefront, and revitalizing the private sector will still be on hold.

Fundamentally Gaza will remain an isolated, poor, and stagnant economy, which only strengthens the hold of Hamas and prevents true growth and modernization. At the same, time, Israeli politicians should be lauded for a moment of sanity in a year of otherwise insane policies. Israeli FM Lieberman must not be getting much sleep over this decision by his government.

Anyways, I believe change is possible. Do you? Take a look at this video for an example:

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