Friday, April 24, 2020

  • Friday, April 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Beth Oppenheim is Director of International Relations at the Israeli Gisha NGO, which is dedicated to improving the movement of people and goods in and out of the Palestinian territories. She just started her job there in February.

"Director of International Relations" apparently means "bashing Israel in international forums."

Gisha calls itself a human rights group, yet when it comes to criticizing Egypt or Hamas for their own restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in Gaza, they are restrained and muted. The vast majority of their pretense of defense of Palestinians is aimed at only one target: Israel.

In her first article for her new employer, Oppenheim curiously chose the Arab News as the forum for yet another article about how Israel is not living up to its responsibility for Gaza. Why the Arab News? Do Arabs not hate Israel enough for Gisha? Or perhaps she was just getting her feet wet and trying to establish credibility to get into the Guardian.

Oppenheim pretty much parrots the many similar articles that we have debunked in recent weeks. She doesn't say a word about Hamas' responsibility for keeping Gazans safe and their choice to fund weapons tunnels instead of hospitals, or how Hamas indeed uses medical facilities for terrorism. She doesn't mention that the PA has been withholding needed medical aid from Gaza for years, including now (according to Hamas, but probably true.) Instead, she falsely claims that Israel is legally obligated under the Geneva Conventions to directly provide aid to Gaza, not just facilitate aid.

I commented on only a couple of points:
Repeating a falsehood over and over does not make it true. Gaza is not occupied under international law. The legal definition of occupation by every jurist in history (before Israel left Gaza) requires "boots on the ground." Making up new international law for only one nation is not valid.

That being said, Israel is indeed keeping Gaza in mind in its coronavirus planning, for example when it is acquiring ventilators. Every ounce of aid donated to Gaza is being allowed by Israel. It is not in Israel's interests for an epidemic in Gaza. Your organization Gisha knows all this.

Gisha also knows very well that any shortage of medical supplies in Gaza is from the Palestinian Authority not sending Gaza its fair share of aid out of the tens of millions already donated. For some reason, while unwarranted criticism of Israel is amplified, the actual attempts by the PA to block all aid to Gaza is virtually ignored by your NGO.
Is your priority to help Gazans - or to bash Israel?
Arab News, that bastion of free speech, did not allow my comment to be published.

Isn't it interesting that a supposed human rights organizations chooses to publish anti-Israel articles in forums where free speech is a joke and censorship is the norm?

Gisha doesn't care about human rights. If it did, it would pay as much attention to Palestinian suppression of their own people's right to movement as it does for Israel. If it did, it would publish articles abut Egypt's restrictions on Gaza. If it did, it wouldn't choose to publish articles in newspapers that don't allow any contrary opinions to be published.

No, it is not a human rights organization. It is an anti-Israel organization. And this is par for the course for anti-Israel NGOs.




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