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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fisking the "human rights" organizations' report on Gaza

Der Spiegel reports:
A report sponsored by eight British-based aid agencies and human rights groups has described the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip as the worst in 40 years.
Isn't it interesting that they mention 40 years? Either they are claiming that things were probably worse under Egyptian administration, or they are far more likely to want to blame Israel than any Arabs for the Gaza situation.

Here are some interesting parts of the report, called "The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion" The bias against Israel is clear:
In the months prior to the tightening of the blockade around 250 trucks a day entered Gaza with supplies 2, now the Sufa crossing is only able to deal with a maximum of 45 trucks a day 3.
Did you spot the logical fallacy? Yup - there is more than one crossing into Gaza. On Tuesday, while still under rocket attack, Israel worked to send some 160 trucks of aid through three crossings, and the reasons that many supplies of aid were curtailed is because of Palestinian Arab attacks on the crossings themselves! Nowhere do these "human rights" organizations mention those facts, twisting facts to make it appear that Israel is hell-bent on refusing humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The blockade is destroying public service infrastructure in Gaza. The Israeli government prevents the repair and maintenance of the electricity and
water service infrastructure in Gaza by prohibiting the import of spare parts.
And perhaps this has to do with terrorists using water pipes to build rockets? Israel has had to find non-metal pipes to help keep Gaza's sewage infrastructure running, and Israeli workers risk their lives daily to help Gazans. Again, any facts that might balance the report are ignored.
Israel has the right and duty to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks against its civilian population, but the current policy fails to provide Israel with increased security and has led to increasing polarisation. As the head of UNRWA has pointed out, ‘Hungry, unhealthy, angry communities do not make good partners for peace.’
And the reason that Gaza overwhelmingly supported Hamas and rejected peace before the Israeli sanctions was because....?
The contention by Israeli officials that Israel is no longer bound by the laws of occupation since it redeployed its forces to the perimeter of the Gaza
Strip in 2005 is a fallacy. Israel retains effective control of the Gaza Strip, by virtue of the full control it exercises over the Gaza Strip's land border, its air space and territorial waters, and the movement of people and goods. Hence, the Israeli authorities are bound by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the welfare of the Palestinian population in the OPT.
Besides the fact that this legal analysis is wrong, this also contains the small lie that Israel controls the Egyptian border with Gaza. By this logic, Egypt is also an "occupier" of Gaza - yet Egypt is barely mentioned in the report.

The "human rights" organizations go into uncharted bizarre waters when they blame Israel for falling grades in UNRWA-run schools:
In September 2007, an UNRWA survey in the Gaza Strip revealed that there was a nearly 80% failure rate in schools grades four to nine, with up to 90% failure rates in Mathematics. In January 2008, UNICEF reported that schools in Gaza had been cancelling classes that were high on energy consumption, such as IT, science labs and extra curricular activities.
This appears to be the "kitchen sink" philosophy in writing reports condemning Israel.
In January 2008, the British government stated that it did not support Israel’s closure of all crossings into Gaza as it prevented the delivery of vital supplies.
Israel never closed all the crossings into Gaza. The reference given was to “Gaza: Joint FCO and DFID statement”, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 8 February 2008 - which says no such thing. (It meant to refer to this document.)
In January 2008, up to half of Gaza’s population poured across the border into Egypt in what some commentators described as a “jail break.” Driven by need and diminishing supplies, it was an expression of the desperation felt by 1.5 million Palestinians who have been effectively imprisoned in Gaza over the past eight months.
Does this mean that every nation must let anyone who desires to enter their country? Gaza does have another border with Egypt. This report admits that Israel does let most Gazans in need of medical attention to leave. Israel also allowed Gazans to leave for the Hajj, only to be rewarded with more terrorists being let back in by Egypt. All of these facts are missing as the "even-handed" human rights organizations offer no alternatives to Israel, but blame it for everything it does.
In the absence of a functioning economy in Gaza, international aid is simply a stop-gap measure. Millions of pounds of European money, including that of UK taxpayers, is being spent, not on recovery, development and peace-building initiatives but on sustaining basic survival in Gaza. Meanwhile, Israel has one of the best performing economies in the world with steady 5% growth rates per annum for the last four years.
Now, why is that last fact relevant? Is it to imply that Israel is so rich that it should be giving supplies to those who want to see it destroyed? Or is it just to make Israel - alone among any successful nations - appear to be an ungrateful neighbor of the pleasant Gazans?
The Israeli government prevents the repair and maintenance of the electricity and water service infrastructure in Gaza by prohibiting the import of spare parts.
The report conveniently doesn't mention the fact that Israel has gone out of its way to fix Gaza electricity problems, or that Israel has allowed entire generators to enter Gaza.

It also doesn't mention anything about Gaza fuel companies refusing deliveries.
The international policy of isolating Hamas has not reaped any benefits. On the contrary, it has led to increasing polarisation across the Occupied Palestinian Territories and resulted in a political stalemate with Israel....

We ask that once a representative national authority has been created that it is recognized by the UK government, the international community and the Israeli government as a legitimate party.
Forget the fact that Hamas is sworn to destroy Israel and treat them as if they are a respected nation with no repercussions for their actions. Because human rights doesn't apply to Israelis in Sderot and Ashkelon.