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Friday, October 17, 2008

Some UN bias for you

One UN agency is called the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Occupied Palestinian Territories.

OCHA is not nearly as overtly anti-Israel as other UN agencies. Even so, and even as it tries mightily to project an unbiased front, its hatred for Israel is clear in its very mission (which, by definition, is not concerned with any Palestinian Arab violation of Israeli human rights) as well as its reports.

A new slick OCHA report on the situation in the "OPT" in September provides a number of examples of the overarching bias, bordering on hatred, that the UN has against Israel.

Three times the report states:
Israel’s closure of Gaza crossing points continues, with only a slight increase in the number of truckloads allowed entry... The number of truckloads of imported goods allowed into Gaza increased slightly compared to August 2008....imports for the month were slightly up from the August figures.
And what does "slightly" mean? It means that the number of truckloads of goods increased from 3565 to 4049, an increase of 13%.

Somehow, I don't think that a 13% monthly increase in, say, inflation or the stock market would be characterized by anyone as "a slight increase." But in its zeal to make Israel look bad, the UN will trivialize Israel's efforts to increase aid while maintaining its own security.

And then the UN chooses specific types of goods that decreased:
There was a noticeable decline in the number of truckloads carrying hygiene and cleaning supplies (82% less than in August), industrial/electrical appliances (33% less) and the non-edible consumables (39% less).
If that is true, it must mean that some other goods increased more than the 13%, but the UN doesn't bother to break those down. It is apparent that Israel increased the amount of food, cement, gravel and fuel sent to Gaza significantly, but the UN doesn't mention this fact in its attempts to make Israel look as bad as possible.

Another section of the report praises smuggling tunnels:
In light of the inability of many Gazan businessmen to conduct trade through Gaza official crossings (Karni, Sufa and Kerem Shalom), Rafah tunnels have become a vital lifeline to obtain needed goods over the last year. Media reports estimate the number of tunnels to be in the hundreds, employing up to 6,000 Palestinians. On 25 September, the Hamas authority police introduced new regulations to control trade through the tunnels. A list of conditions were announced, among which was that all tunnel operators must meet certain standards in order for their tunnels to be licensed and allowed to operate. Numerous tents covering tunnel entrances are visible in the Rafah area and the industry is increasingly becoming open and controlled. The extent of the tunnel network is a direct result of the continued restrictions on access.
Notice how the UN carefully refuses to mention the possibility of Egypt allowing trade to occur legally through Rafah.

Also note that not a word is mentioned about another major tunnel industry - weapons and explosives. Egyptian forces regularly find caches of dynamite and weapons in the Sinai around Rafah, meant for transport in these same tunnels that the UN considers a "lifeline."

Well, that is true if you don't consider the lives of Israelis who are the ultimate targets of these weapons to be worth anything.

Another indicator of bias, as the UN couches what should be considered good news into expectations of Israeli evil:
While the number of settler-related incidents decreased in September, there are concerns that settler violence will increase during the October olive harvest as has been the case during past harvests.
Invariably, if something good happens the UN spins it to make Israel look bad.

Incidentally, the UN's definition of "settler-related incidents" includes unverified reports that the UN encourages Palestinian Arabs and NGOs to submit using a handy form.

Another example:
On 15 and 16 September, Erez crossing was closed, except for emergency medical and humanitarian cases, in response to the firing of a homemade rocket from Gaza towards Sderot.
The adjective "homemade" is purely meant to trivialize the threat of the rockets towards Israel, and the implication is that Israel must not bother to defend itself.

I wonder, if Palestinian Arabs would firebomb UN workers in Gaza, if the UN report would refer to the means of attack as "homemade Molotov cocktails."

And yet another:
Access for more than 60% of the Palestinian population to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was denied during the holy month of Ramadan (1-29 September). Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were denied entry, while the access of West Bank ID holders was regulated by a special permit regime, valid only on the four Fridays during the month.
The absurdity of counting Gaza residents as part of the "60%" who were denied entry to Al Aqsa is self-evident, but it serves to make Israel once again look evil - for not allowing a large, unrepentantly hostile mass of people to cross though Israeli territory.

But this is the UN, and when UN staffers are tasked to only support one side of a conflict as they are in this case, one can expect that they will be singularly biased.