Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, June 07, 2010

If you're too lazy to write a blog, the Israeli Government will do it for you, apparently.

I was about to draw your attention to another piece of rubbish on Gaza from Uncle Jimmy, but to be fair I became confused (as I was doubtless supposed to) by the fact that most of his prolific posting for the past several days has consisted of cut-and-paste jobs from either Israeli government sources or from Cif Watch (which is the same thing in effect). Here, then, is a particularly unpleasant lie cheerfully propagated by Uncle "oooh no, it's not me at all, somebody else wrote it and I just posted it all" Jimmy.

It comes just after the bit where he/CifWatch/the IDF say that:

I can say that when the goods were unloaded from the Marmara at Ashdod, toys were immediately transported , along with much of the rest of the cargo except outdated medicines (a favorite “gift” of the Free Gaza crowd) and proscribed materials to Gaza, where Hamas refused to allow the goods in:

Flotilla aid refused by Hamas

“Hamas has refused to allow those trucks to go in,” the [Israeli] official said, “and if the aid is so urgent, my question is, why are they not allowing it into Gaza?”

which, as we have already seen, means the toys (proscribed materials) were unloaded from the Marmara and not transported anywhere, except presumably into the local IDF/corrupt Israeli bureaucrats' pockets. As for Hamas refusing to allow the goods in, the source for this is the immensely believable "Israeli official" , probably the same one who ensured that the goods were never taken to Gaza in the first place. But poor naive Jimmy takes it all as gospel (sorry, Torah) truth.

Next he copies this piece of unpleasant innuendo:

Then Irvine adds an enormously over-the-top citation form (sic) Mary Robinson:

“Their whole civilisation has been destroyed. I’m not exaggerating … It’s almost unbelievable that the world doesn’t care while this is happening.”

“Civilization destroyed”? Really? Well, not exactly – perhaps she said that while selecting her food from the 15 page menu at the exclusive Roots Restaurant, unaware that for a fraction of the price she could get a felafal round the corner from a more representative, and still flourishing, member of the Gazan traditional “civilization”. Or purchase a Mercedes Benz smuggled in via the tunnels after a hard day bargaining in the souk.

As for the “world doesn’t care”, this crowd of parasites on the world’s largesse has been supported for over 60 years by UNRWA, the only organization ever set up to provide global assistance to just one particular group of people.

I only know one "group of parasites" supported by the UN for over 60 years, and that is the state of Israel. And as for the UNRWA being the only organisation set up to provide global assistance to just one group of people, Israel does that for Jews from all over the world (if they wosh to relocate to Israel) , and for nobody else. I don't have a problem with either in principle: however it appears that for CifWatch and Jimmy, taking the world's money and giving it to one group of people is OK as long as it's Jews and not Arabs.

But that's not the unpleasantless I was referring to, though it tells you all you would ever want to know about the creeps at CifWatch. It was the reference to the Roots Restaurant. Its funny they should happen to mention that just after an Israeli government propaganda piece pointed it out to them. But then, Jimmy steals from CifWatch, CifWatch steals from the Israeli goverment and nobody gives a shit whether any of it is true because it's critical of Muslims, so it must be valuable, right?

Here, for the hard (or in Jimmy's case, absent) of thinking, is a post describing blogosphere reaction to the flotilla attack. Note especially the following remarks by Ashley Bates quoted in a comment:

The flotilla story has ignited a fierce debate, particularly within Israel, about the extent to which Gaza is suffering a humanitarian tragedy. Articles about the elaborate menu offerings at a high-end Gaza City restaurant called the Roots Club widely circulated in the Israeli media this week. Today, I visited the Roots Club for the first time. It was nearly empty (except for five patrons, including me) at 7 p.m. on a weekend night and has not turned a profit in four years, according to co-owner Wael Al Shorafa (pictured above). “I believe we have the best food in Gaza—better than Ramallah and Israel—but we don’t have customers,” he said. “You can see that we have no customers. Most of the people who have money aren’t [in Gaza] anymore. We pay our workers pocket money.”

Gaza’s economy has been devastated by two intifadas against the Israeli occupation, by the 2007 civil war between Hamas and Fatah, by last year’s war between Israel and Hamas, and by the continued Israeli blockade. I’ve met no one who is starving here (most Gazans receive staple foods from UNRWA) and many items forbidden under the blockade—including cement— come into Gaza through the tunnels.

Most Gazan families cannot afford the smuggled luxury items, nor can they afford a meal at the Roots Club. While the specific numbers are disputed, the unemployment rate is astronomical. Those who do work usually share their income with their extended families. Many, including children, have resorted to dangerous, back-breaking work ferrying goods through the tunnels or collecting rubble from destroyed, unstable buildings. Among the highest paying jobs are those with the alphabet soup of NGOs and development organizations currently operating in Gaza.

There is a housing crisis in Gaza. Everywhere I go, I meet people whose homes have been destroyed by Israel and not rebuilt. Some moved in with relatives and live in cramped quarters. Others rent apartments that they can barely afford. And many, including the three sisters pictured above, live in partially destroyed houses. And it should go without saying that there is a crisis of psychological trauma in Gaza, particularly following last year’s war.

However, a minority in Gaza—including me—do live in comfortable apartments and dine in Gaza City’s coffee shops. My one-bedroom apartment came with a fully furnished living room and bedroom, a satellite television, wireless internet, electricity, and a hot water tank. It had not been rented in over a year when I moved in, I signed no extended contract, and I pay only $300 per month. Since the power goes out in my building (and across Gaza) for at least eight hours per day, I’ve purchased an electric generator that gives me electricity whenever I need it. Most Gazans cannot afford these generators and have structured their lives around the electricity schedule. Some Gazan children have died when faulty electric generators smuggled from Egypt overheated and exploded.

And again:

One such location, the Roots Club, was recently featured in an Israeli government press release on the better-than-reported living conditions in Gaza. It highlighted the restaurant’s posh atmosphere and elaborate menu offerings. Last week, on a weekend evening at 7 p.m., only five patrons dined at the Roots Club. Co-owner Wael Al Shorafa said the restaurant has not turned a profit in four years and pays its workers “pocket money.”

No doubt the Israeli authorities, while banning the import of fresh meat, vinegar, cumin or ginger for the general population , make use of the totally arbitrary nature of the prohibitions to allow the Roots Restaurant to have the ingredients for its "elaborate menu offerings". No matter that it has no customers and loses money: they can then point to it as a success story. Hell, I expect Tony Blair will be taking personal credit for it soon.


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