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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Inconvenient Questions and Answers About Gaza

Many bloggers and news outlets are using a graphic printed in The Economist to show that Israel prevents basic foodstuffs from entering Gaza, including Coriander and Chocolate.

Since the chart is in The Economist, most people accept it at face value, and mock any suggestion that The Economist could be inaccurate (emphasis mine):
I’m not about to get into a debate over whether there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza; you either think there is or you don’t, and facts won’t matter. So I thought I would simply post the following chart from that notorious left-wing propaganda outlet The Economist and let readers judge for themselves whether the blockade is designed solely to prevent weapon-smuggling.
The Economist, however, relies on a list provided by the Gisha Legal Center. But that list makes clear that it is anecdotal based upon what Palestinians have told Gisha. Even items supposedly banned, like chocolate, actually are not banned but are allowed to be shipped to the international organizations in Gaza which distribute food. (See my prior post.)

You will not hear this nuance, however, because none of the people using The Economist's chart bother to go to the source document for that chart.

By the way, the Israeli government's description of the supplies entering Gaza, issued a few days prior to the flotilla incident, is here.

All of this charting, however, misses the key point. Why does the Hamas focus on building its missile stocks, instead of its food stocks? Why does the Hamas loot NGO offices serving the poor in Gaza? Why does the Hamas burn down summer camps run by the U.N.?

The greatest question, however, is why don't the people using inaccurate documents to attack Israel ever ask questions about the brutal Hamas regime?

Answer: Because they are Useful Idiots.

Does raising such inconvenient questions and answers make me an "Israel-Firster"?

Update: Bruce McQuain at Q and O has a brilliant takedown of the claim being made by Matthew Yglesias and others, based on an article by a Palestinian activist, that Israel has cut the supply of electricity to Gaza. Turns out Hamas has other priorities ahead of restoring electric generating capacity or paying for fuel.

Related Posts:
How About Some Honesty From The Useful Idiots?
Soldiers With Pens In The Information War Against Israel
Pallywood Meets The Gaza Blockade (Or, "Did You Hear The One About How Palestinians Can't Eat Chocolate?")

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  1. The greatest question, however, is why don't the people using inaccurate documents to attack Israel ever ask questions about the brutal Hamas regime?

    Well, for openers when all the world is into Israel bashing, you wouldn't have readership.

    As a librarian, my question would also be why don't people look at footnotes or go further to check sources? The internet has all but obliterated footnotes or consideration of references so there is a lot of misinformation that gets replicated as the truth very quickly.

    Looting NGO offices is a documented act that says more about Hamas than any treatise with footnotes. As I always say, actions speak louder than words and that ended any consideration of their position from a humanitarian standpoint. The violated the rights and safety of civilians. But then the beneficiaries of the NGOs were women and children and they are throw away objects in their society. That also percolated up in my mind. Bast...s. Sorry such words on the Sabbath, Yaweh Elohim, but you know me by MY action. Oh oh, I have almost breached one of the commandments here. Over and out.

  2. If you look at the list of prohibited items you might note that this is similar to the list of prohibited items for entry into the US. Of course, some of it does not make sense out of context such as fishing line, unless fishing is restricted. But you could make the same argument that the US is restrictive and lacking in freedom (which it is).

    I just wonder why the hate for Israel.

  3. Hhaaretz is reporting that the Prime Minister of Turkey may not only send his navy to escort the next flotilla, he may be a passenger on one of the vessels himself.

    It is said Obama is trying to get him to cool off. Obama is good at cool or is he half dead - not sure.

  4. david7134

    Why the hate for Israel? You can start with the Old Testament and come up through the Middle Ages and to the holocaust, the formation of the state of Israel and the rise of terrorism in the Muslim world and their world view.

    Professor Jacobson may have some ideas in addition to people who know more about this than I on this blog.

  5. Sam,
    I am well aware of the attitude toward Jews through the centuries. My concern is that the position of the US and Europe has changed in the last few years. Europe never did offer much support, but was not openly hostile. Now the US, possibly as a result of Obama's attitude, is moving more to anti-Israel and possibly antisemitism.