Monday, September 01, 2008

Hamas seems to have learned that it can do whatever it wants in Gaza without any fear of serious international concern.

Over the past week, hundreds of doctors in Gaza have gone on strike to protest Hamas' taking over their hospitals. Hamas has responded with an unprecedented crackdown, arresting hundreds of doctors, threatening many others and attacking clinics.

The attacks have been expanded into shootings and threats also against ambulance drivers, nurses, lab techs, clerks and other health-care workers.

Although this has been happening for a week now, I can find no mention of these events in the Human Rights Watch or Amnesty sites. Nothing at the Doctors Without Borders website. Not even the PCHR, which normally does a decent job on stories like this. Certainly no words of condemnation from the "Free Gaza" volunteers who stayed behind.

However, Amnesty did manage last week to write yet another report condemning Israel for its "blockade" of Gaza, without once mentioning the increase of goods that Israel has allowed since the "calm" agreement, nor mentioning the continued rocket attacks that still come from Gaza and blaming Israel alone for deaths in Gaza for medical reasons without mentioning Egypt once.

This is the sort of one-sided support that Hamas can expect from supposedly unbiased NGOs. While they will mention some terrorist abuses here or there, one gets the impression that they are doing it more to forestall accusations of bias rather than any real belief that the Arab side does anything wrong when Israel is concerned. Israel has been and remains the major evil in the Middle East if you believe the reports of Amnesty and HRW.

The accusation that Israel has been "starving" Gaza has been around for years now, and I have yet to find a single victim of starvation. Yet even while Israel ships in food and money and medicine and clothing and concrete and dozens of other items, that meme still exists in the thoughts of these supposed "human rights" workers.

We'll see how long it takes for them to grudgingly admit that, yes, Hamas has gutted the entire medical infrastructure in Gaza, perhaps buried in the middle of yet another diatribe against Israel.

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