Fabulous statement by outgoing-Washington congressman Brian Baird today after his third visit in the last year to Gaza. He calls on Obama to break the Gaza blockade to honor his promises to the Palestinian people. Excerpt:
President Obama in his June 2009 Cairo address, Secretary of State Clinton in numerous statements and the international community all pledged to help the Palestinians. What I have concluded on my recent visit is that those pledges have not materialized and the Palestinian people have little hope for the future.
One year after the bombing stopped, and five years after the wall was erected around Gaza the people have little hope in the future. This lack of hope will eventually foment into radicalization. And radicalization breeds terrorists, which will threaten the security of not only Israel but also the United States. We need to reverse this spiral of despair.
Here is what I propose:
Special envoy Mitchell should visit Gaza to determine first-hand humanitarian needs.
The blockade should be circumvented by the United States; much like we did when we circumvented the Berlin Blockade. We would accomplish this using roll-on/off ships supplying the needed material for Palestinians to rebuild their society.
We must find a just and lasting peace not with only words but actions.
This will provide the people of Gaza hope and fulfill the commitment made by President Obama.