The embargo has meant the Gaza Palestinians were forced to choose between terror or economic success, without the fallout of a total humanitarian crisis, he writes. Statistics bear out that the primary victim of the embargo has been the economic livelihood of the Palestinians and their infrastructure, without generating hunger or other shortages of basic needs. The overflowing displays at area supermarkets, thousands of live smuggled goats for the sacrifices of Eid ul-Adha, and a population clamoring for Coca-Cola and automobiles all seem to contradict the notion that there is any starvation in the Strip.
Moreover, even Hamas has admitted that the blockade has had its intended effect. Deputy Finance Minister Ismail Mahfouz admitted that Hamas has been unable to meet its payroll, because Hamas is "having difficulties in getting the money in because of the siege." Mowbray notes January data from respected pollster Nabil Kukali of the Palestinian Center For Public Opinion, which found that Gazans' support for Hamas had dropped by 22% - making Hamas less popular in the territory than its counterpart Fatah.
Breaking the ability to maintain terror and economic success simultaneously was precisely the intention of the blockade, which only took effect following the 2006 election and 2007 coup of Hamas. Ironically, Mowbray writes, the international community, which initially did not oppose Israel's efforts, used the same measure to break the back of South Africa's apartheid regime.
An end to the embargo will be spun as a victory for Hamas, in the same way that Israel's unilateral withdrawals from Gaza in 2000 and Lebanon in 2005 were wins for Hamas and Hizballah respectively. Even more so, if the deaths of the violent flotilla martyrs are the straw that breaks the Israeli blockade, then the international community is effectively telling Hamas that its message has been right all along – martyrdom leads to victory.