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Irish Letter: Gaza Flotilla Is NOT Humanitarian

Red Cross in Gaza: ‘No humanitarian crisis in Gaza'.

Irish Letter:  Gaza Flotilla Is Not Humanitarian

 

To: Irish Examiner

22 June, 2011

 

Dear Sir,  

                            
Sarah Stack's piece on the Gaza flotilla (21 June) lacked only one thing: a statement from the Israeli side. To deny Israelis and their supporters a voice only allows the myths surrounding Gaza and the Palestinians to multiply.  A couple of months ago, the Deputy Director of the Red Cross in Gaza stated publicly, and I quote, ‘There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza'.

 

Red Cross in Gaza: ‘There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza'.

 

Let me repeat that: ‘There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza'. Gaza has two large shopping malls packed with luxury goods. It has swanky restaurants and country clubs. Not all Gazans share these benefits, but it's not the Israelis who prevent them. The markets are full to bursting with foodstuffs, not just basics but ice cream and baklava and other sweets. Every week, Israel (that great big bogeyman) sends 40,000 tons of produce into Gaza.  Israel has a well-deserved reputation as a provider of international aid missions to regions hit by earthquake, flood or famine. It brings thousands of Palestinians to its hospitals for treatment every year. It is a generous country, as Haitians and Japanese can amply testify. There is one and only one reason for the cordon Israel places round Gaza: Hamas (deemed a terrorist entity by the US and the EU) has built and is still building a fearsome arsenal of weapons, including missiles, which it has clearly stated it will one day use to destroy the state of Israel.

 

If the Irish Republic had suffered years of rocket fire from the North, would we really just lie back and say ‘let it come'? Those who participate in these flotillas do so for political reasons, not to bring aid. If they have any worthwhile aid to bring (most of last year's boats did not), there is a simple, honourable, and honest way to do so: take your goods to Ashdod, where they can be inspected (I take it you have heard of Customs) and then sent to Gaza by road. It has happened many times before.

In 2005, Israel left the Gaza strip entirely, pulling out its own people from their homes. The only thing left behind was a collection of greenhouses that were destined to be the basis of a prosperous future for the Gazans. They were worth over $16 million, paid by Jewish benefactors. Within a day or two of Israel's departure, not a scrap of those greenhouses remained: they had been torn to shreds, their state of the art equipment turned to rubbish. Next, an armed terrorist group took control through elections held at the barrel of a gun and proceeded to murder dozens of its opponents. The scene was set for everything that has happened to the people of Gaza since then. Was any of that Israel's fault?

 

So why do those who scream about the evils of the ‘Zionist entity' like the devotees of a demented cult, single out for all the blame the one country that has tried hardest to improve the lives of Palestinians, and never see wrong in the moral cesspit that is Hamas?

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Denis MacEoin
Former lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies

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