Though they have provided only limited comment on the blockade since the Sunday night Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship, the White House today called the blockade “unsustainable” and said it must be changed.
The comments were virtually a verbatim reiteration of comments from the administration earlier in the week and similar to other comments made in the past. It is unclear, however, how much backing the statement actually has.
Though the Obama Administration has often given lip-service to policy changes it wants the Israeli government to make it has generally refused to take any concrete action to encourage such changes from Israel.
The US has provided Israel not only with diplomatic cover for the blockade for years, but provided much of the military hardware Israel has used to enforce the blockade, including the helicopters used in the attack on the Turkish aid ship.
The fact is not lost on opponents of the blockade, and in many ways it is seen as an “American blockade” as much as an Israeli one. The Obama Administration’s calls for change must inevitably be seen as disingenuous as long as they continue to give Israel the means to maintain it.