Saturday, May 29, 2010
A tale of two flotillas: Dunkirk and Gaza
Note: This flotilla to Gaza is a sham-we send more tonnage every week than this so-called peace trip is doing with its 8 ships. This is nothing more than a photo op-let's see if the MSM and blogosphere report the truth-here are the facts
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the retreat of British forces from the beaches of Dunkirk. A heroic flotilla of small ships left English ports to rescue as many troops as they could whilst under fire and bombardment by Nazi forces.
On this day 70 years later a smaller flotilla of just eight or is it nine boats is heading for Gaza with the expressed aim of breaking the blockade and bringing much needed relief to one and a half million starving Gazans. Unlike the brave-hearts of Dunkirk, this flotilla will succeed whatever the outcome.
But it’s a big lie, a huge con trick whose underlying intent is not to help Gaza but to demonise Israel and provoke it to take action which will will further damage its reputation. To that extent, it’s little different than a missile fired at Sderot. Yesterday IDF Colonel Moshe Levi declared “No Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip”
We do not know of a shortage in any field, and we enable the entrance of various different goods, and also the export of agricultural products from the Gaza Strip. Anything that would help Hamas to increase its military power is obviously not permitted to enter,” said Col. Levi. In addition to that he demonstrated the data collected by the Gaza DCO that shows that 6,000 Palestinians exited the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in Israel and Jordan..
Some blockade but it gets better: take a look at the IDF blog for 25th May 2010. I’m sorry, but it’s worth quoting in almost its entirety, it’s just too good to miss:
Food Products and Clothing:
1. Most types of food are allowed into the Strip, and are transferred by the private sector or by international organizations.
2. During 2009, 30,920 trucks containing 800,000 tons of supplies were transferred into Gaza. This included fruits and vegetables, meat products, poultry and fish, dairy products, sugar, rice and legumes, flour and yeast, oil, and more. Furthermore, 10,871 heads of cattle were transferred for the Muslim holidays of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha.
3. In the first quarter of 2010 (January-March), 94,500 tons of supplies were transferred in 3,676 trucks to the Strip: 48,000 tons of food products; 40,000 tons of wheat; 2,760 tons of rice; 1,987 tons of clothes and footwear; 553 tons of milk powder and baby food.
4. In 2009, 572 trucks containing approximately 5,000 tons of medical supplies entered the Strip.
5. In the first quarter of 2010 (January-March) 1,068 tons of medicine and medical equipment were transferred in 152 trucks.
6. In 2009 two elevators were transferred to hospitals in Gaza, as was a CT imaging system (to the Red Cross hospital), and equipment for a mammography machine (which checks for breast cancer).
7. During the first quarter of 2010 four trucks with special supplies for a project of the “Al Quds” hospital were transferred to the Gaza Strip, and an additional 13 trucks are scheduled to cross.
8. Due to fears of a swine flu outbreak, three Israeli hospitals were assigned to treat cases in the Gaza Strip and 44,500 immunizations were transferred to the Strip.
Equipment for Essential Civilian Infrastructure:
1. In 2009 Israel transferred 41 trucks of equipment for the maintenance of the electricity grid, and the state continues to provide approximately 60% of Gaza’s electricity.
2. In 2009 over 105 million liters of fuel were transferred to Gaza’s power plant and over 3.2 million liters of gas were transferred for UNWRA operations.
3. In 2009 127 trucks containing more than 3,000 tons of hypochlorite entered the Gaza Strip for water purification purposes. Moreover, 48 trucks of equipment for improving the sanitation infrastructure led to a substantial reduction in the Beit Lahya facility’s waste levels.
4. As part of the preparations made for winter, 3,607 tons of glass was transferred to the Gaza Strip. According to UN reports, windows in all education and health institutions were repaired.
5. In the first quarter of 2010 Israel transferred:
* 250 trucks with equipment for the UNWRA summer camp, including: arts and crafts equipment, swimming pools, inflatable toys, ice cream machines, musical instruments, clothing, sports equipment, etc.
* Seven trucks with equipment for upgrading the sewage pumping station, which was carried out by UNWRA.
* 74 empty containers for UNWRA for use in classrooms and bathrooms
6. Certain types of materials, such as cement and iron, are more restricted. These products are openly used by Hamas for developing its arsenal, building bunkers and launching sites, and making rockets and mortars.
7. Despite the risk, the transfer of these items is also permitted under supervision, once it has been cleared that these materials are for civilian purposes only. Already in the first quarter of 2010, 23 tons of iron and 25 tons of cement were transferred to the Gaza Strip.
Movement of Residents in and out of the Gaza Strip
1. Despite the inherent dangers involved, Israel permits Gazans and visitors to travel between Gaza and Israel, from Gaza to Judea and Samaria, and abroad for medical treatment, religious pilgrimages, and business trips. Whenever possible Israel allows for diplomatic activities as well as trade and commerce with the Gaza Strip.
2. Here are a number of examples from 2009:
* Delegations from abroad: 21,200 activists from international organizations from over 400 diplomatic delegations were permitted entry into Gaza, and 2,200 Palestinians employed by international organizations were given exit permits from the Gaza Strip.
* Education, Vacations and Pilgrimages to Holy sites: 147 permits were given to Palestinian students for academic studies around the world. During the Christmas holiday approximately 400 permits were given to visit Bethlehem from Gaza as well 100 permits to travel abroad.
* Business: 257 permits were given to businessmen from Gaza to facilitate business operations.
* Sports: Special permission was given to Gazan footballers to train in Judea and Samaria and compete in international matches abroad.
Trade and Commerce
Israel has taken measures to support trade and commerce, the banking system, and the existing financial market in the Gaza Strip:
* In 2009 1.1 billion NIS was transferred to the Gaza Strip for the ongoing activity of international organizations and to pay the salaries of Palestinian Authority workers.
* 40 million damaged bank notes were traded for new bills, and at the request of the Palestinian Monetary Fund, 282.5 million shekels were transferred from Gazan to Israeli Banks.
# In February 2010 an agreement was reached with the Palestinian Authority’s National Insurance Department to ensure that pensions reached those formerly employed in Israel. The funds were deposited in banks in Judea and Samaria, while the Palestinian Authority was given the responsibility of distributing the funds to the pensioners in Gaza.
So, you see, there is no blockade of real essentials. And add to this little lot the stuff still coming through the Rafa tunnels. If you want to see real poverty and starvation take a look at Sudan or Zimbabwe.
And if you want more proof then take a look at the Roots club website and the video therein. Someone is doing well in Gaza.
As I’ve said before, there is still hardship and suffering, I do not deny or belittle it, but it’s no worse than many other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, and it would be a whole lot better if Hamas were not in charge. But they were democratically elected, of course, just like a certain Austrian who was responsible for Dunkirk.
But according to the Viva Palestina website:
[Israel] has turned Gaza into a prisoner [sic] camp and has been carrying out a genocide. This camp and genocidal acts very much resemble Hitler’s actions in history.
So there you go. You can have a slap up meal in top-class restaurant in Gaza City just like the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Surely they can hardly believe their own blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric. Israel is committing genocide just like the genocide the Palestinians deny ever happened. Sure takes some warped thinking and an egregious view of history to come to that conclusion. More like quadruple-think than double-think.
Hamas have killed more Gazans than Israel ever did and the only genocide in the region under contemplation is the one that Hamas and Hizbollah want to commit against the Jews of Israel and beyond, and the first step in this plan is to destroy Israel by all and any means military, propaganda and legal.
The flotilla knows it is in a win-win situation: if Israel blocks it they have their propaganda coup and if they get through they have a victory against Israel. No doubt this flotilla will be followed by several more. It’s lucky for the Palestinians that Israel isn’t North Korea or they might have their boats torpedoed; all Israel will do is impound them or let them through.