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Schock: Mountain of Hypocrisy Needs to Be Exposed

There are some vital points being overlooked in the international coverage of the Israeli response to the Gaza flotilla that need to be set straight, as well as a mountain of hypocrisy that needs to be exposed with facts.

[IMGCAP(1)]Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and every Arab foreign minister were in adamant unison that Hamas not be allowed to control the southern Gaza border crossing with Egypt after Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in 2007. Yes, Egypt has blockaded the Gaza Strip under Hamas’ control as much as the Israelis have — and with the widespread support of Arab governments and the P.A.

Where’s the outrage? I have not heard about the Arab-backed Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza, only the Israeli.

Arab Palestinians are supposedly in a humanitarian crisis, and yet no Arab or Islamic government has demanded Egypt open its border with Gaza? Hello, Turkey?

When Israel pulled out completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it imposed no blockade.

It was only after Hamas began an evil terror campaign with 10,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians that Israel and Egypt imposed this blockade — with P.A. and Arab support. No Arab government wanted an inherently terror-prone Hamas to flourish in Gaza, let alone spread elsewhere.

One needs to ask: If the Kurds or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) across the Turkish border in Iraq rained down 10,000 rockets on Turkish civilians, what would the Turks do? After all, the Kurds have legitimate disputes with the government of Turkey and have been viciously repressed.

What if international nongovernmental organizations decided to airlift humanitarian supplies to PKK Kurdish refugee camps in Iraq, with those shipments containing dual-use materials — civilian equipment that can easily be made into weapons?

Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish republic in Northern Cyprus. What would the Turkish military’s response be if organizations from nations that do not recognize the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus decided to take action to break that military occupation?

Again, regarding Turkish hypocrisy, the prime minister of Turkey received the international pariah who leads Sudan — President Omar Hassan al-Bashir — a man who has committed genocide. The International Criminal Court has an arrest warrant out for him on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Not only has the Darfur region of Sudan experienced genocide directed by Bashir and his government, but other regions of southern Sudan have as well.

During their visit in mid-August of last year, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he did not believe that Bashir was guilty of the war crimes for which he was indicted. And here is how the prime minister justified that widely disputed contention of his: “It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide,” he said. Erdogan deems Bashir innocent. End of story.

The Turkish foreign minister recently called the flotilla episode Turkey’s 9/11. Shame on you, sir. No American should ever forget such an insult.

This brings me to the reason for the blockade of Gaza, including the Israeli naval blockade. Some of the items on the ships in the flotilla were dual-use, with both civilian and military uses. For instance, there was rebar for a small amount of cement. Heaven knows Gaza needs a lot of rebuilding, but this tiny amount is insignificant for construction but is a nice supply of iron to be converted into weapons.

If the Israeli naval blockade is ended, does anyone really think Hamas won’t be importing a wide array of weapons? If the ships don’t have to go through checkpoints, arms shipments would resume without a doubt — and so would the rocket attacks.

What nation on Earth would sit back and allow arms to pour in to a close neighboring territory that will certainly be used in thousands more attacks on its people? If the blockade ends, arms shipments into Gaza will resume, and rocket firings into Israel will resume. It’s that simple.

None of the plethora of United Nations peacekeeping organizations and observers has kept out the importation of sophisticated weapons by Hezbollah into southern Lebanon — despite absolute U.N. assurances to do so. No similar observers are capable of standing in the way of Iranian arms shipments to Hamas, either. Only Israeli and Egyptian checkpoints can do that.

Again, I ask, would Turkey allow similar organizations to ship uninspected cargo to the suffering PKK Kurds in Turkey and Iraq?

Hamas leaders need to negotiate with their estranged brothers of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, get their unified act together and commit themselves to peace and recognition of Israel. Then peace and prosperity will prevail.

Let’s get the facts straight and the hypocrisy exposed as this debate proceeds.

Rep. Aaron Schock is a Republican from Illinois.

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