Well, maybe he wasn't before the white phosphorus your tax dollars sent the Israelis to lay down upon his head engulfed him. But he survived. If you want to help him become something in this world after the trauma your money inflicted upon him degraded his life, you might end up in prison.
To limit his options, Obama chose this week to further limit yours to go beyond Obama and help him. He wants Americans seeking to lift the siege of this kid's homeland, which is the biggest prison camp in recent human history, to be subject to felony prosecution for materially supporting terrorism. The argument his administration is presenting is that the governing authority in Gaza is Hamas, which was elected to run the place after we pressured the Palestinian Authority to run free and open elections about five years ago. They actually did that.
The people had two alternatives: Keep the notoriously corrupt Fatah in power, or hope that the Islamist Hamas would improve their lot, which was miserable then.
They chose Hamas.
On Friday, the U.S. State Department announced that:
attempts to break the [Gaza] blockade are “irresponsible and provocative” and that Israel has well-established means of delivering assistance to the Palestinian residents of Gaza. It noted that the territory is run by the militant Hamas group, a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization, and that Americans providing support to it are subject to fines and jail.The threat to jail flotilla participants is important to me. The criteria Obama is applying here - delivering letters to people showing support that they might be liberated not just from Israeli besiegement, but from Hamas fundamentalism - cuts a wide swath.
My previous and ongoing human rights activities are well within the swath Obama seems to be indicating are subject to felony prosecution. I've raised money for organizations before Hamas took power in Gaza, that Hamas now administers. I've raised money since Hamas took control in Gaza, which Hamas has to oversee on some level or another - the rebuilding of the IDF-destroyed Anglican Hospital in Gaza Ciy, for instance. And I've materially contributed to the 2010 and 2011 Gaza flotillas. I'm no less involved in this than the flotilla participants themselves.
Am I ready to go to jail for this cause? Absolutely.
Is there much of a chance I will be prosecuted? No.
Am I reluctant to write about this after Friday's announcement? I'm writing about it.
But what do you think? Should the flotilla participants be prosecuted for materially supporting terrorism?