Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gaza: Humanitarian Crisis in the Eyes of the Beholder

The Jerusalem Post today offers two contradictory stories related to Gaza, confirming that parallel universes do, indeed, exist -- depending on how you view Israel's right to defend itself will determine which one you prefer to live in:

Recent grand opening of luxury shopping mall in Gaza.
1Red Cross: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza: "The Gaza Strip is not suffering from a humanitarian crisis, the deputy head of the Red Cross in Gaza said this week."

"Mathilde Redmatn, who had been assigned to Congo and Colombia in the past, said that the “fabric of life” in the region was problematic. 'There are two peoples, one living under closure and one living under daily rocket fire, which violates international law. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach. The problem is mainly in maintenance of infrastructure and in access to goods, concrete for example. Israel has the legitimate right to protect the civilian population; this right should be balanced with the rights of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip,' she said."

IHH President Yildrim enlisting potential
flotilla martyrs?

2. Fatah officials to board upcoming Gaza flotilla"Senior Fatah officials will be allowed to take part in the aid flotilla, Nabil Shaath -- Senior Fatah Central Committee member -- told Radio A-Shams, because it is a humanitarian effort meant to lift the blockade on Gaza." 

"The flotilla is planning to set sail at the end of May, marking the one-year anniversary to the Mavi Marmara incident – the first Gaza flotilla where nine Turks were killed when they attacked IDF commandos trying to keep their from reaching Gaza’s shores.

"Earlier this month, IHH President Bulent Yildrim said that his organization and the Mavi Marmara ship would participate in the flotilla.

"This is not Israel's Mediterranean Sea," Yildrim said, according to Turkish newspaper Zaman. "We are not afraid to become martyrs."

If there is no humanitarian crisis, and which organization better to monitor this than the Red Cross, doesn't it follow that all the proposed 'humanitarian' flotillas are really just provocations looking for a fight? Who better to believe than the IHH's Yildrim when he says, "We are not afraid to become martyrs"? It is also rather amusing that Fatah wants to get in on the act so it can share in the limelight especially if there is bloodshed. I just hope Israel grants neither IHH nor Fatah its wish. 

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