Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hamas leader says how great things are in Gaza - no occupation, booming economy, easy travel

The mainstream media, NGOs and the UN describe Gaza as:
  • Occupied by Israel
  • Under siege
  • An economic mess dependent on outside aid
  • A prison where no one can enter or leave without Israel's permission
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar tells Arab media a different story:
Seven years after Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip, several things have changed both at the political and the economic level, Hamas official Mahmoud Zahhar said Friday.

Speaking to Ma’an, Zahhar asserted that “Gaza is free of occupation, and contiguity with the outside world is easier as visitors from all over the world visited the coastal enclave.”

He said the economic situation has improved noticeably and the Gaza Strip became self-reliant in several aspects because lands in former Israeli settlements were planted. “We are self-dependent in several aspects except petroleum and electricity.”

Asked to comment on the protests in the West Bank against the deteriorating economic conditions, Zahhar said that was a natural result of economic reliance on the United States and Israel who completely control the Palestinian economy.

The Hamas official boasted that the economic conditions in the Gaza Strip are much better than in the West Bank; “people in Gaza receive full salaries, and all the money the Ramallah government transfers goes to Fatah supporters only.”

Asked whether or not he believes the Palestinian Authority has really collapsed, Zahhar said the replacement was ready. “The resistance program, which was originally replaced by the PA, is ready,” he said.
Of course, Zahar is a liar as well. The unemployment rate in Gaza remains higher than in the West Bank and there are no personal freedoms there. In fact, according to Palestine Press Agency, hundreds of young Gazans are desperately trying to move to Europe - some even asking for political asylum from Hamas thugs - and Hamas is stopping them from leaving.

But why does the media rush to trumpet any statement or report that says that Gaza is a humanitarian disaster under brutal Israel occupation and they ignore statements by Gaza's own leaders that say the opposite?

The Gaza meme is obviously more attractive than honest reporting.

(h/t Herb)