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Monday, November 07, 2011

Juan Cole isn't very "informed" about Gaza

I stumbled across this piece of stupidity by Juan Cole where he takes already suspect statistics from HRW and elsewhere - and twists them even more:

Truckloads of goods per year allowed by Israel into Gaza today: 1,000

Truckloads of goods per year allowed by Israel into Gaza in 2005: 2,500

Exports from Gaza to the rest of the world allowed by Israel: 0
HRW's numbers are per week, not per year. One would think that a celebrated academic would know the difference.

Beyond that, the number of truckloads to Gaza is now about 1250 a week - 25% higher than Cole says. And a few events happened between 2005 and now, which Cole and HRW don't address, that make security an issue.

Israel allows exports of strawberries and flowers from Gaza, and did this year as well. Growing season ended in May. HRW says this, Cole ignores it. Cole is lying when he says that the amount of exports from Gaza are "zero."

Moreover, Israel requested a one-time export of tens of thousands of palm fronds in September, which was refused by Hamas. Does Cole approve?
Percentage of Palestinian children in Gaza who are stunted from malnutrition: 15%
In fact, the latest Lancet study showed:
6% of 1883 children who were assessed were stunted (8% of 930 boys vs 3% of 950 girls, p=0·01), less than 1% had wasting, 2% were underweight, 11% were anaemic (7% of boys vs 14% of girls), and 15% were overweight and obese (11% of boys vs 20% of girls; 11% were overweight, and 4% were obese).

Moreover, a higher 11.5% stunting rate was considered a fantastic achievement in a recent World Bank report, and the stunting rate in Gaza is small compared to many other Arab countries!
Number of key medicines which have gone out of stock in Gaza because of the blockade and consequent money problems: 163
There are no restrictions on importing medicine into Gaza. None. Any shortage of medicines is because of the PA (not Hamas) not paying for them. The blockade has nothing - nothing at all - to do with this.

Poor Juan, so blinded by hate that he is forced to bend statistics and believe unreliable sources to push his agenda.