Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why is Gaza Getting More Aid Than Haiti?

So how are they doing over there in Gaza? After all, they are supposed to be under siege, with a blockade preventing necessary essentials from entering.

On March 18, Jacob Shrybman, Assistant Director of the Sderot Media Center, wrote:
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is set to arrive in Israel to visit the Gaza Strip amidst demands to end a so-called siege on the terrorist-controlled territory. Yet one has to ask what siege, or blockade, he is referring to, with 738,576 tons of humanitarian aid being transferred into the Gaza Strip in 2009.

Moreover, the UN has provided $200 million in Gaza Strip aid following a military operation that reportedly claimed 1,300 fatalities amongst a population of less than 1.5 million – meanwhile, notwithstanding plans to raise more funds, it has provided only $10 million to natural disaster victims in Haiti as of the end of January, an earthquake that claimed the lives of over 230,000 people and affected over 3 million. Of course, that is without mentioning that Haitians have not been attacking an innocent nearby civilian population for a near decade.
Haiti has obviously overlooked a sure way to get the attention and support it needs.

Meanwhile, Shrybman provides some more numbers:
The international community has bought into a bold-faced lie about an Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip while ignoring the facts on the ground. International humanitarian aid has been flowing rapidly into the Gaza Strip for years and in no way stopped after Operation Cast Lead, as 30,576 aid trucks entered the territory in 2009. In 2009, 4,883 tons of medical equipment entered the Gaza Strip. Just last month, a new CAT scan machine was brought into the Strip.
Rather than focusing on the facts, leaders who should know better are busy coming up with the most evocative phrases to describe the situation in Gaza. Often, such terms decry the density of Gaza (the area, not its terrorist leaders). Other times:
The Gaza Strip has also been referred to as “the world’s largest prison”, implying that residents are not being able to exit the territory. Yet in 2009, 10,544 patients and their companions left the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israel, and last week alone nearly 500 patients and companions from Gaza entered Israel for treatment.

Meanwhile, US government officials such as Congressmen Keith Ellison and Brian Baird, both of which visited Sderot with the Sderot Media Center, have promoted the idea of a “Gaza Siege.” They must be ignoring the fact that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $900 million in aid to be sent to the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead. A USAID and DOD report calculating the aid sent to the quake-raved Haiti noted that, as of last month, all US government programs provided just over $700 million in aid, nearly $200 million less than to the terrorist-controlled Gaza Strip.
But is it really so unusual to exaggerate how desperate a situation is in order to draw attention to it?

In a column in the Washington Post in June 2005, Pavel Litvinov, a dissident active in human rights causes in the Soviet Union who now lives in the United States, wrote:
Several days ago I received a telephone call from an old friend who is a longtime Amnesty International staffer. He asked me whether I, as a former Soviet "prisoner of conscience" adopted by Amnesty, would support the statement by Amnesty's executive director, Irene Khan, that the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is the "gulag of our time."

"Don't you think that there's an enormous difference?" I asked him.

"Sure," he said, "but after all, it attracts attention to the problem of Guantanamo detainees."
The question suggests itself as to whether there is anything that these people will not do or say to draw attention to Gaza.

In the meantime, we have 2 Gazas--
There is the one you can hear about and read about.
Then there is the one you can see pictures of in the Palestinian press


Meanwhile, looking at my blog, I just noticed that according to Qassam Count on Twitter, posted yesterday
Today, since Operation Cast Lead (Jan. 18,`09) - 333 rockets and mortars from Gaza have hit Israel.

But there is no steady flow of dignitaries and politicians through Sderot--not even idealistic groups volunteering to be human shields.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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