Embargoes and sanctions do not work. Groups of experts on international sanctions commissioned by the UN and the US concluded this fact a decade and a half ago.
A 1997 study by the Institute for International Economics found that since 1970, unilateral U.S. sanctions had achieved foreign policy goals only 13 percent of the time. The study also concluded that sanctions are costing the United States $15 billion to $19 billion annually in potential exports.
However, smart sanctions may have a chance of working. By targeting the leadership not the people, smart sanctions hurt those in power and not those who are powerless on the ground. Saddam (and the US) cared not if jaundiced babies died due to lack of light bulbs. UNICEF’s 1999 study that a half million children had died directly because of the sanctions was met with equanamity by the US as being "worth it".
When asked on US television if she [Madeline Albright, US Secretary of State] thought that the death of half a million Iraqi children [from sanctions in Iraq] was a price worth paying, Albright replied: “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.
The express purpose of sanctions is to pressure populations to overthrow governments. The UN sanctions on Iraq, which were initially engineered and subsequently kept in place by the US abetted by the UK, were doomed to failure because of the powerlessness of the Iraqi population. The sanctions did not hurt Saddam who was allowed to trade his country’s oil under the noses of US ships and import luxuries for himself and his cronies.Libyan sanctions were held up as a success when Gadhafi turned over the suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pam Am Flight 103. This “success” occurred a full eleven years after institution of sanctions.
The Gazans are being punished because of their democratic election of Hamas. Hamas cares more about its power than its people. It is a struggle between leaderships while both the Israeli and Gazan populations suffer.
NOTE: The topic in this blog is SANCTIONS and/or EMBARGOES not Anti-Semitism or the relative merits of Israeli and Palestinian claims or the relative degree of evil actions among nations. Obfuscate and you are gone.