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2 Mar, 2010 05:52

Criticism of Israel is not “anti-Israel” - or worse, says US congressman

The deplorable humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank demands immediate attention - says US Congressman Brian Baird.

Dialogue over both Israel’s and the US stance on Gaza and the West bank is largely hampered by the politicization of the issue, argues the American politician from the state of Washington.

“There has been this attitude that if anyone “sides with” any issue on the Palestinian side, or criticizes any conduct of Israel, that you are somehow anti-Israel or even worse, anti-Semitic, or somehow disloyal to your own country,” says Baird. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Baird notes that such policies are, most importantly, counter-productive to Israel’s own security interests. He also believes that it should be America’s prerogative to provide assistance to Palestinian civilians.

“In the case of Gaza we could bring immediate relief to citizens without asking Israeli permission,” says the US congressman. “We just roll the ships up, take the aid to the people who most need it and show them that we care about them and get real tangible quality of life improvements in the process without empowering extremists on either side.”