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Monday, June 27, 2011

NY Times looks for excuses to keep Gaza an issue

Even the New York Times' Ethan Bronner reports that there is a construction boom in Gaza.
Two luxury hotels are opening in Gaza this month. Thousands of new cars are plying the roads. A second shopping mall — with escalators imported from Israel — will open next month. Hundreds of homes and two dozen schools are about to go up. A Hamas-run farm where Jewish settlements once stood is producing enough fruit that Israeli imports are tapering off.
And with the construction boom come jobs and a drop in unemployment.
“Things are better than a year ago,” said Jamal El-Khoudary, chairman of the board of the Islamic University, who has led Gaza’s Popular Committee Against the Siege. “The siege on goods is now 60 to 70 percent over.”

Ala al-Rafati, the economy minister for Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, said in an interview that nearly 1,000 factories are operating here, and he estimated unemployment at no more than 25 percent after a sharp drop in jobless levels in the first quarter of this year. “Yesterday alone, the Gaza municipality launched 12 projects for paving roads, digging wells and making gardens,” he said.
But that's not enough for Hamas - nor for its shills at the New York Times.
So is that the news from Gaza in mid-2011? Yes, but so is this: Thousands of homes that were destroyed in the Israeli antirocket invasion two and a half years ago have not been rebuilt. Hospitals have canceled elective surgery for lack of supplies. Electricity remains maddeningly irregular. The much-publicized opening of the Egyptian border has fizzled, so people remain trapped here. The number of residents living on less than $1.60 a day has tripled in four years. Three-quarters of the population rely on food aid.
Where are all those people whose homes were destroyed living? Maybe here:
Karim Gharbawi is an architect and building designer with 10 projects under way, all of them eight- and nine-story residential properties. He said there were some 130 engineering and design firms in Gaza. Two years ago, none were working. Today, he said, all of them are.
And by the way, at the end of the article we're told that - gasp - Israel isn't even to blame for those missing elective surgeries.
The hospital supply crisis is a direct result of tensions with Fatah in the West Bank, which has kept the supplies from being shipped here.
And in fact, medically and educationally, Gaza is better off than many of the countries who are sending representatives on the flotilla of fools.
In assessing the condition of the 1.6 million people who live in Gaza, there are issues of where to draw the baseline and — often — what motivates the discussion. It has never been among the world’s poorest places. There is near universal literacy and relatively low infant mortality, and health conditions remain better than across much of the developing world.

“We have 100 percent vaccination; no polio, measles, diphtheria or AIDS,” said Mahmoud Daher, a World Health Organization official here. “We’ve never had a cholera outbreak.”
But all that becomes just another excuse to blame Israel, because, after all, things could be better.
Israel’s critics say the fact that the conditions in Gaza do not rival the problems in sub-Saharan Africa only makes the political and human rights crisis here all the more tragic — and solvable. Israel, they note, still controls access to sea, air and most land routes, and its security policies have consciously strangled development opportunities for an educated and potentially high-achieving population that is trapped with no horizon. Pressure needs to be maintained to end the siege entirely, they say, and talk of improvement is counterproductive.
The truth is that Israel wouldn't be doing those things but for the fact that the 'Palestinians' number one desire is still to destroy Israel. In fact, the most recent 'Palestinian' rocket attack on Israel was on June 21, just six days ago.

Oh and then there are the cars. I'm sure you'll be just shocked to hear that many of the newest ones are stolen.
Another result of the regional changes is the many new cars here. Israel allows in 20 a week, but that does not meet the need. Hundreds of BMWs, pickup trucks and other vehicles have arrived in recent months from Libya, driven through Egypt and sold via the unmonitored tunnels. Dozens of white Kia Sportage models, ubiquitous on the street, are widely thought to have come from the same dealership in Benghazi, Libya, that was looted after the uprising there began.
Israel is supposed to be a wealthy country. Most of us cannot and do not buy new BMW's. At the moment, I'm hoping to be able to buy a car that was made in this millenium.

But hey - don't let that disturb the New York Times' narrative. After all, if Gaza is doing fine, they'd have to find a new club with which to beat Israel.

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