The NY Times has published a piece today which tells the truth about Gaza: the inhabitants are getting screwed by both Hamas and Fatah — and by the Palestinian Arab culture of hatred and death. Of course the headline reads
Trapped by Gaza Blockade, Locked in Despair
and of course we all know whose fault that is.
But let’s see what they are despairing about. It’s not what the Hamasniks and “Free Gaza” dupes tell you:
There are plenty of things to buy in Gaza; goods are brought over the border or smuggled through the tunnels with Egypt. That is not the problem.
In fact, talk about food and people here get angry because it implies that their struggle is over subsistence rather than quality of life. The issue is not hunger. It is idleness, uncertainty and despair.
Any discussion of Gaza’s travails is part of a charged political debate. No humanitarian crisis? That is an Israeli talking point, people here will say, aimed at making the world forget Israel’s misdeeds. Palestinians trapped with no future? They are worse off in Lebanon, others respond, where their “Arab brothers” bar them from buying property and working in most professions.
No, the problem is something else. For example there is a severe shortage of electricity in the middle of a hot summer. Almost all the electricity is generated by Israel. But
As if the Palestinian people did not have enough trouble, they have not one government but two, the Fatah-dominated one in the West Bank city of Ramallah and the Hamas one here. The antagonism between them offers a depth of rivalry and rage that shows no sign of abating.
Its latest victim is electricity for Gaza, part [most — ed.] of which is supplied by Israel and paid for by the West Bank government, which is partly reimbursed by Hamas. But the West Bank says that Hamas is not paying enough so it has held off paying Israel, which has halted delivery.
Now keep in mind that the “West Bank” government is financed primarily by the US, and to a lesser extent by other Western democracies — that’s your taxes, people. The Palestinian Arabs in general receive by far more international aid per capita than any other group, including aid to the Palestinian Authority (the PA — the “West Bank” government referred to by the Times) and the huge amounts spent by UNRWA on the so-called ‘refugees’.
Hamas, the antisemitic and terrorist group that controls Gaza, also gets funds from Iran. But they (correctly) think the PA is a bunch of thieves:
“They are lining their pockets and they are part of the siege,” asserted Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader and a surgeon, speaking of the West Bank government. “There will be no reconciliation.”
Even the head of UNRWA — who certainly can be called a pro-Arab partisan at the very least — gets something right for once:
John Ging, who heads the Gaza office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, known as U.N.R.W.A., says the latest electricity problem “is a sad reflection of the divide on the Palestinian side.”
He added, “They have no credibility in demanding anything from anybody if they show such disregard for the plight of their own people.”
Disregard for their own people? So what else is new, John?
But if you think that maybe the people who elected Hamas (15 out of the Gaza Strip’s 24 seats in the PA parliament went to Hamas in the 2006 election) have learned anything, you’re wrong:
People here seem increasingly unable to imagine a political solution to their ills. Ask Gazans how to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — two states? One state? — and the answer is mostly a reflexive call to drive Israel out.
“Hamas and Fatah are two sides of the same coin,” Ramzi, a public school teacher from the city of Rafah, said in a widely expressed sentiment. “All the land is ours. We should turn the Jews into refugees and then let the international community take care of them.”
Things were better before the blockade, because Gazans were able to enter Israel and work there.
Jamil Mahsan, 62, is a member of a dying breed. He worked for 35 years in Israel and believes in two states.
“There are two peoples in Palestine, not just one, and each deserves its rights,” he said, sitting in his son’s house. He used to attend the weddings of his Israeli co-workers. He had friendships in Israel. Today nobody here does…
The young men sitting by the beach contemplating their lives were representative of the new Gaza. They have started a company to design advertisements, and they write and produce small plays…
“Our play does not mean we hate Israel,” said Abdel Qader Ismail, 24, a former employee of the military intelligence service, with no trace of irony. “We believe in Israel’s right to exist, but not on the land of Palestine. In France or in Russia, but not in Palestine. This is our home.”
The Palestinian Arabs have made their bed. Now they are lying in it.