The Frustration of John Holmes

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes is frustrated.

NOT this John Holmes

The UN humanitarian chief warned Thursday of an impending humanitarian disaster if Egypt  succeeds in blocking the tunnels that pass under it’s border into the Gaza Strip.

John Holmes said that as bad as the hundreds of tunnels that bypass the Israeli blockade are, Gaza would have difficult surviving if Egypt succeeds in blocking them because they are a conduit for badly-needed food, medicine and commercial goods.

He repeated calls for Israel to end its blockade of the Palestinian territory.

“If those tunnels were blocked, however undesirable they may be, and however undesirable the effect they’re having on the Gazan society and Gazan economy, the situation without the tunnels would be completely unsustainable,” said Holmes, who visited the region for four days earlier this month.

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Holmes said it was “very frustrating” to see that there has been almost no rebuilding in Gaza, as a result of the Israeli blockade, since the three-week conflict  that ended in January 2009, leaving 13 Israelis and almost 1,400 Palestinians dead.

“What people in Gaza want to see is the opening of the crossings … not only for goods but for people because they are living … in a large open-air prison,” Holmes said.

Holmes said the blockade is not helping Israel’s security or weakening Hamas’ hold on the Palestinian territory.

“The blockade of Gaza does not serve any purpose in my view in security terms for Israel because anything can come in through those tunnels at the moment, nor is it weakening the hold of Hamas on Gaza,” he said. “That’s perfectly clear when you’re there.”

No word yet on whether this is as frustrating to him as sharing a name with an infamous pornographic actor.

And while we are on the subject of frustration, do you know what I find frustrating? The fact that people like Holmes make no effort to understand Israel’s security concerns. Notice how the only “undesirable effect” of the tunnels is the effect “they’re having on the Gazan society and Gazan economy.” Forget about the smuggling of weapons used against Israelis.

John Holmes, you share more than a name with the porn actor. You both lack a moral compass.

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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