Rep. Mike Pence delivered a strong challenge to Barack Obama on the House floor this morning on his handling of foreign policy, which is especially timely on the day after Obama announced a $400 million aid package for the Palestinians and held a photo session with Mahmoud Abbas — just a few weeks after deliberately refusing to hold one with Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel offered to lift restrictions on spices and snack foods, but the Palestinians want “spare parts and electronics,” which the Israelis might well believe would have less-than-peaceful purposes.  Besides, while Hamas continues to use Gaza for a launching pad and refuses to release Gilad Shalit after holding him hostage for four years, is the next move really Israel’s?  Pence wonders whether Obama intends to support our ally in the region at all:

“We all grieve the loss of life that occurred last week when a flotilla designed to challenge Israel’s effective blockade of Gaza ended in military confrontation. But Israel has a right to defend itself.

“The history is clear in that region; Gaza is controlled by a terrorist organization known as Hamas. Hamas used Gaza as a launching pad for thousands of rockets that killed innocent civilians in Israel. Israel responded with military force and has instituted a blockade that has saved lives in Gaza and in Israel. And there’s no humanitarian crisis. Ten thousand tons of food and medical supplies are transferred into Gaza every single week.

“Remarkably, yesterday the president said it was time for Israel to sharply limit its effective blockade in Gaza, saying ‘the situation in Gaza is unsustainable.’

“The truth is, Mr. President, your policy in Israel is unsustainable.

“The American people are on the side of Israel and Israel’s right to defend herself.

“Mr. President, whose side are you on?”

Cubachi also notes the lack of context presented in the media these days regarding Israel:

Israel does send tons of aid to Gaza and are falsely painted as spreading hunger and misery to the region which is certainly not the case.

Just look at these pictures and information about what really goes on in Gaza which the media and the left conveniently leave out of their partisan news reports. Does this look like a region in hunger or strife? No.

No one begrudges peaceful people their success.  However, Gaza’s de facto government (Hamas) continues to conduct acts of war against Israel.  Israel has the right to defend itself, including using a blockade to pressure Gazans into getting rid of the terrorists running the territory.  If they want an end to the blockade, then Gazans need to put an end to Hamas’ rule.  When that happens, then we can talk Israel into normalizing its relations, but while the rockets fly, Gazans will continue to reap the spoils of a war that Hamas relentlessly wages.  And we should not be asking Israel to weaken its defenses simply because of a PR stunt funded in part by the same enemy we’re fighting in Afghanistan through their front group IHH.

Update: Bruce Kesler compares economic models.