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Monday, March 22, 2010

What 'humanitarian crisis'?

The JPost has a review of claims by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that there is a 'humanitarian crisis' in Gaza. Even a cursory review of the claims shows that they are utter nonsense with manufactured standards not used elsewhere in the World. Here are a couple of highlights.
According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there is no shortage of most basic commodities in the Gaza Strip and anything can be brought in through the tunnels, although most Gazans do not have enough money to purchase these goods. The great catastrophe is not starvation, but the fact that 80% of the population are charity cases. In OCHA's eyes, Gaza is not Somalia, but there is a crisis of human dignity there.
If 80% of Gaza is charity cases, whose fault is that? Until 2000, many Gazans worked in Israel. In 2000, when Gazans started turning themselves into splodeydopes, Israel banned them from working within Israel and closed the 'security fence' except to persons seeking medical attention and persons accompanying them. Even then, Gazans were receiving millions of dollars in international aid and could have used that aid to build a self-sustaining economy. But they didn't. Instead, the spent the money on weapons and explosives and tried to destroy the State of Israel. And when Israel expelled all the Jewish residents of Gaza in 2005, that trend just accelerated. Why should anyone feel sorry for them?

In fact, 'international law' does not require Israel to provide Gazans with food, clothing, electricity and water.
Avraham Bell, a member of the law faculty of Bar-Ilan University, wrote two years ago that Israel is under no obligation to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“International law does not require Israel to supply Gaza with fuel or electricity or, indeed with any other materials, goods or services,” he wrote in an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. “Article 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention permits states like Israel to cut off fuel supplies and electricity to territories like Gaza. It only requires Israel to permit passage of food, clothing and medicines intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.”

In fact, aside from certain amounts of electricity, Israel does not directly supply humanitarian goods itself but allows UN trucks carrying them to cross its border into Gaza.
But here's the most amazing thing. OCHA cannot argue that Gazans are starving because they're not. So they've invented a new condition to describe what Gazans are ostensibly going through. They call it 'food insecurity.'
Even when it comes to food, OCHA maintained in a study published in August 2009 that Gazans are suffering from what it calls “food insecurity.” According to the organization, 1.1 million of Gaza’s 1.5 million population is food insecure, up from just over half in 2008.

“The main causes of food insecurity are the increase in poverty, the destruction of agricultural assets, and the inflation in prices of key food items,” it wrote.

“There has been a gradual shift in the diet of Gazans from the high-cost and protein-rich foods, such as fruit, vegetables and animal products, to low-cost and high-carbohydrate foods such as cereals, sugar and oil, which can lead to micro-nutrient deficiencies, particularly among children and pregnant women.”
In other words, they're not eating expensive Western diets. Or maybe they are - the fruit stand above is in Gaza and the picture was taken in November 2009. I don't believe their diets are deficient, but if their diets are so deficient, let them take vitamins. I'll bet if you took ten people off the streets of New York City half of them would have deficiencies in micronutrients.

Read the whole thing. The whole 'humanitarian crisis' is manufactured nonsense.


At 5:49 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel should stop shipping stuff in for free to Gaza and insist the Gazans begin paying for anything that is delivered. Israel shouldn't be in the business of subsidizing a hostile Arab population. Whether the Gazans make it or not should be none of Israel's concern.


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