Wednesday, July 21, 2010

  • Wednesday, July 21, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
For years, the Western media has been enamored with Gaza's tunnel industry. Reporters were keen to be lowered into the tunnels, lionizing the industry to sometimes outrageous degrees. 

The articles barely mentioned the fact that Hamas smuggled weapons as well through the tunnels. Even when Egypt would confiscate large caches of weapons in Rafah meant to be shot at Israelis, or when Hamas themselves bragged about the amount of weaponry and explosives they managed to bring through the tunnels, the mainstream media steadfastly downplayed that aspect of the industry and instead romanticized it.

The media also loved to characterize the smugglers as heroes of Arab capitalism, and ignored the fact that Hamas had de facto control over the tunnels and taxed them for its revenue - revenue that went towards more weapons, as Gaza's infrastructure was being paid for by clueless Westerners.

It looks like the love affair between the media and the smugglers is not over yet.

Now that Gaza is awash in consumer goods from Israel (that the media tried to downplay as well,) the new stories are about how horrible this development is - to the smugglers.

One very telling example comes from The Atlantic:

[A]t the Egyptian border, in the heart of Gaza's tunnel industry, there's little if any rejoicing at the blockade's dismantlement. As Israeli consumer goods saturate Gaza's markets, the tunnels have lost their clientele. Smugglers understand that their days are numbered, but there's nothing to replace the jobs the industry provided.

"Work has run dry. Every day is getting worse and worse. It's the end of the tunnel period," says Abu Mohammad, a tunnel owner who has made millions from the industry. "It's not just me suffering. It's everyone in this business. ... No one knows what will happen to us."

The resilient industry survived Israeli bombings, Egyptian gassing, and flooding. Days after the end of Israel's 22-day offensive in January 2009, activity in the tunnel zone was frenzied--generators hummed, pulleys screeched and loading trucks banged. Most recently, smugglers drilled through the steel subterranean wall Egypt began to construct last December.

Today, though, the tunnel district is eerily silent. Market traders have either bought Israeli or stalled orders in anticipation of new goods from the Jewish state. An estimated 10 percent of the tunnels are still operating, but even those work sporadically.

Most tunnels are concentrated about half a mile from the Egyptian border, in an area five miles long and less than two miles wide. They open up in neat rows, shaded by white and black plastic tents.

Abu Saber's tunnel is at the front line, closest to the Egyptian border. Rolls of smuggled iron sheet are stacked neatly at the passageway's entrance. The haul is Saber's first shipment in 10 days.

The sandy floor of his tunnel slopes downward, easing into the ground. Buttressed inside by iron walls, the tunnel is about five feet wide and high enough to walk only slightly hunched. Inside, it's muggy and dank, pungent with the smell of earth and human sweat.

Before the blockade was eased, Saber's tunnel, like many others, operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week and employed 10-12 people for each 12-hour shift, carting everything from chocolate to refrigerators. Now, Saber says, he's barely making enough hauling iron, steel, and ceramics--products that remain embargoed. And even profits on those have dropped dramatically.

"Before one ton of iron sold for $400 [U.S.], now it goes for between $150 and $200. These prices are not good enough for labor and expenses," Abu Saber laments.
How many ways can a single article make smugglers sound heroic? Gaza's economy has improved dramatically in a few short weeks, people who hate Israel are happily buying Israeli items - and the Atlantic spends 12 paragraphs talking about how the media's heroes are coping at the loss of their illicit businesses.

This is just a further example of how much the mainstream media is at the mercy of memes. Once a narrative is established, reporters act like sheep in following and expanding it - but rarely challenging it. This is why the stories out of Gaza all the same - poor Palestinian Arabs, heroic smugglers of consumer goods, Israel blockading essential goods, a looming humanitarian crisis.

Almost invisible are the stories about the upper and middle class Gazans, going to spas and even building mansions, eating out and working out and playing. Even rarer are the stories of Hamas' intimidation of ordinary Gazans, increasing religious legislation in the sector, tortures and killings.

The journalists are happy to follow but loathe to challenge. Hamas may be threatening and intimidating them but it doesn't take much to make journalists toe the line.

If you don't believe me, just try to find an article by a journalist that tried to find any weapons smuggling tunnels in Gaza. You won't. Grad missiles and anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons just magically appear in Gaza - but from reading the media you just couldn't figure out how.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 12 months


Nominated by EoZ readers

The EU's hypocritical use of "international law" that only applies to Israel

Blog Archive