Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gaza: More Than Just Fancy Restaurants And Malls

To counter the tired propaganda points about Gaza being "the worlds largest outdoor prison" or that Gaza is facing a "humanitarian crisis" we often point to a fancy restaurant in Gaza or the Gaza malls.

But Evelyn Gordon writes that the issue goes further, and talk about poverty in Gaza and the harshness of Israel's defensive blockade still avoid the truth:
First, the new iPhone 5 – which isn’t even available in Israel yet – is selling like hotcakes in Gaza, despite prices ranging from $1,170 to $1,480, roughly double what they are in the U.S.  This, you’ll recall, is the same Gaza that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon characterized in an address to the UN Human Rights Council last month as suffering “unremitting poverty” due to Israel’s “harsh” blockade, a humanitarian crisis so grave that he devoted more of his speech to Gaza and the Palestinians than he did to the slaughter in Syria, where the death toll is over 30,000 and rising daily. It’s also the same Gaza that a UN report in August said would be “unlivable” by 2020 if the blockade continued.

Second, Palestinian doctors recently opened a cystic fibrosis clinic in Gaza that now treats 80 Palestinian children – thanks to Israel. The story began a few years ago, when an Israeli doctor, Eitan Kerem, saw a Palestinian cri de coeur on the Internet: After Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, it began strongly discouraging Gazans from seeking treatment in nearby Israel, sending them instead to Egyptian clinics located much farther away, and cystic fibrosis patients were finding the 24-hour journey unbearable. Kerem promptly joined forces with an Israeli nonprofit to organize a program to train Gazan specialists at Israel’s Hadassah Hospital, thereby enabling them to start treating cystic fibrosis patients in Gaza instead.
Read the whole thing.

Considering the obvious failure of the UN to put a stop to the massacre being perpetrated by the Assad regime, we can sympathize with Ban Ki-Moon's need to regurgitate the required talking points about the dire and hopeless situation of Gazans.

But there is a difference between difficult and hopeless.

And if Ban Ki-Moon and the UN actually do have a serious desire to address the problems in Gaza, it is past time for them to make good on the UN mandate -- and they can start by being honest about the role of the terrorist government of Hamas.

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