Tuesday, July 05, 2011

AP joins the "Gaza isn't so bad but it is really bad" meme

Last week I mentioned how the New York Times resurrected the meme that started last year, saying that while Gaza is not in such bad shape it is still a really horrible place.

And then, like an obedient son, Reuters followed suit.

Today, little brother AP joins the party:

Maher Khoudari boasts that his Gaza grocery has a wide assortment of chocolates for sale — even some you couldn't find in the cosmopolitan Israeli city of Tel Aviv. The problem is, there is no one to buy them.
So AP actually believes that Gaza shopkeepers are so ignorant of basic economics that they import rare and expensive chocolates that no one in their market could buy???
Israel eased its blockade of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory a year ago and now allows virtually all consumer goods in, meaning there are no longer acute shortages of foods or basic household items. Tiny construction projects have begun sprouting up, and Gaza is awash in big ticket items such as cars and refrigerators.

But deep troubles remain....

"Israel has made much of the fact that there is no starvation in Gaza," said Gaza economist Omar Shaban. "But the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is not about food," he added. "The humanitarian crisis is about education, it's about development, about imprisonment."
Funny...everyone in Gaza gets a free education.

Amjad Shawwa, a development worker and anti-blockade activist, says the blockade has deprived nearly 7,000 Gaza fishermen of a living, and water, sanitation, electricity and road projects remain stalled.

"You probably won't find hungry people, but the feeling of injustice and frustration is pervasive in all homes," Shawwa said.
Of course, neither AP nor the other media have the imagination to go across the border to Rafah or El Arish and ask average Egyptians there what their lives are like - whether fancy chocolates and expensive cars are for sale there, whether they are getting free education and medical care, and whether they feel "frustrated." Because, apparently "frustration" is now the scourge that must be eradicated from people's lives.

Or is that only from some people's lives?