Thursday, May 27, 2010

What If Israel Published a Gaza Guide Book?


Another convoy of tender-hearted international activists are headed for Gaza, this time in a 9-boat flotilla. Omni Ceren at Mere Rhetoric has marked the occasion by publishing a faux Gaza Travel Guidebook for the Pro-Hamas Flotilla. What is remarkable is that the only faux aspect of the Guidebook is its purported authorship by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All of the other information and photographs are genuine, and totally demolish the mass media portrayal of Gaza as "the world's largest concentration camp." Among the facts that Ceren provides:

*During the blockade, Israel has shipped millions of tons of food and aid to Gaza. "Just last week we handed over 810,209 liters of heavy duty diesel fuel, 21 truckloads of milk powder and baby food, 897 tons of cooking gas, 66 truckloads of fruits and vegetables, 51 truckloads of wheat, 27 truckloads of meat, chicken and fish products, 40 truckloads of dairy products, 117 truckloads of animal feed, 36 truckloads of hygiene products, 38 trucks of clothing, 22 trucks of sugar and 4 trucks of medicine and medical equipment." Incidentally, this must be the first time in history that a nation undertook to feed, clothe, and provide clean water, fuel and electricity to people engaged in an active military campaign whose objective is to destroy that nation. More surprisingly, instead of international praise, Israel has received only international opprobrium for its conduct. It is truly absurd.

*"Gaza’s markets are simply overflowing with goods supplied by hundreds of smuggling tunnels, from food and clothing to widescreen TVs and even live cows. The depth and breadth of the selection is so astounding that smaller tunnel operators are actually getting run out of business because they can’t compete with the scale of the larger operations."

*"Tourists hoping for bargains may nonetheless find themselves disappointed, however. Gaza’s relatively healthy per capita income – higher than India’s as a result of being the world’s largest per-capita aid recipient – keeps demand robust and prices stable."

Ceren's text and slide shows acquaint the reader with the luxury hotels, beach resorts (photo above left) and restaurants (patronized by the Hamas, UN, and international NGO elites), and the fully stocked markets and stores, found in Gaza. They exist and they are in the plain sight of any enterprising reporter who might want to write a story with a theme other than the cruel oppression of the Israeli siege. Of course, none of Western journalists who visit Gaza, even the ones who lodge the luxury hotels and dine in style at the high-end restaurants, are interested in telling that story.

[HT: Doris Wise Montrose, Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors]

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