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Ignore the spin, the siege of Gaza endangers everyone, Israelis included, so end it now

Palestinian children sit on a horse cart in Gaza [file photo]
Palestinian children sit on a horse cart in Gaza [file photo]

Save the Children reckons that the Israelis have delivered a major project in record time, with the Gaza Strip described in the NGO’s latest report as “unliveable.” The United Nations made its own prediction in 2012, giving the territory until 2020 before it would be at that inhospitable stage.

As autumn wears on and some three years ahead of the UN deadline, the Israeli government has turned basic essentials such as food, water, hospital access, education and shelter into luxury items in an enclave that the state and its supporters still claim somewhat disingenuously to have “withdrawn” from in 2005.

Of course, Save the Children and the UN aren’t to be trusted; it you pay heed to the pro-Israel lobby you will know this. The lobby has a convenient conspiracy theory that the UN is engaged in “anti-Semitism” rather than reasonable criticism of the Israeli state and its policies. Much of this lobby nonsense comes from mysterious pro-Israel organisations like “UN Watch”, which routinely derides UN predictions and announcements the moment that they are made public.

Another such group is “NGO Monitor”; it has already dismissed the Save the Children report as a “renewed anti-Israel campaign.” Which, of course, it is, and rightly so. This group condemns the respected NGO for daring to publicise the suffering of children, and suggests that Save the Children “should return to a policy of providing aid without adopting the Palestinian political narrative.”

Telling NGOs what they can and cannot do and say is in vogue in Israel, much as it is in autocratic Turkey or Hungary, but the illogical positions of NGO Monitor are still worth exposing. Consider this: “[Save the Children] also called on Israel to blindly ‘lift the Gaza blockade’ without acknowledging the rationale behind it.” NGO Monitor claims that the siege is in place, “to prevent weapon smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza.”

We should test this thesis that it is all the fault of Hamas, and the Israeli-led blockade of Gaza is simply the state acting in self-defence.

Oslo: 24 years of Palestinian losses

Fifteen year old Ali suffers from cerebral palsy, and is an example of the kind of problems engulfing a Palestinian youngster which NGO Monitor cannot have missed because his story was included in the press release which accompanied the charity’s report. Ali’s mother Yara told Save the Children:

“My son is dying in front of my eyes. He can’t sleep most nights, and suffers from continuous pain. We don’t have enough power to get his electric wheelchair and mattress fully charged. If his wheelchair doesn’t get charged, he suffers psychologically, as he sees people around him move and walk but he can’t. He feels depressed and often fights with other children. When the wheelchair runs out of battery, Ali becomes totally paralysed. He also needs constant showers as he is wearing diapers, but there is no water. We don’t get water unless there is electricity. If I don’t change his diapers and wash him regularly he will suffer from skin rashes and other problems. We have not had any tap water for two days. I feel suffocated.”

The problem here then, as with so many of the problems outlined in the report, is primarily one of electricity, or the lack thereof. This is why Ali is growing up soaked by his urine and faeces, is unnecessarily paralysed and is suffering psychologically as he grapples with one of the world’s most cruel medical conditions.

In April, Gaza’s sole power plant was forced to shut down after completely exhausting its fuel reserves; the company which runs the plant was unable to obtain fuel due to a shortage of funds. How this makes Israel any safer is unclear, but its government claims that the blockade is all about security. Having 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza in darkness surely doesn’t make Israelis more secure, does it?

Likewise the contamination of Gaza’s water supply. The Palestinian Water Authority and the UN have now warned that the territory’s fresh water aquifer, shared by Israel and Egypt, may be “completely contaminated” by the end of this year. Israel says it won’t let in more aid or spare parts to repair the water treatment plants that it destroyed in its 2008/9 military offensive. Why? Because of Hamas. That, though, doesn’t explain why Israel has repeatedly refused to allow UN Environment Programme inspectors to assess the water situation and try to improve it.

Read: Poverty rate hits 80% in Gaza

As yet another curious pro-Israel lobby organisation – the American-Israeli Co-operative Enterprise (AICE) – puts it, “There is indeed a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but it is not to be blamed on Israel.” Thus does the lobby acknowledge the pain that is being caused, and yet it denies that its favoured state, Israel, has anything to do with it, despite controlling everything that goes into or comes out of the Gaza Strip. “Israel has consistently sent aid in many forms through the border,” claims AICE, “and the blockade will be lifted once the violent Hamas government is ousted and the people of the Gaza Strip are ready to live in peace with Israel as their neighbour.”

There is no suggestion by the lobby that Israel, which is the relative newcomer in the neighbourhood, might decide to live in peace with the Palestinians. It is, after all, Israel which has repeatedly broken ceasefires, before telling the world that Hamas started firing rockets. It is also a fact that Hamas can be remarkably quiet when given the choice. Every few years, however, the Israelis re-invade Gaza unnecessarily, launching massive military offensives with accompanying death and destruction, and then withdraw, killing, maiming or traumatising a million children in the process.

The reality is that the siege of Gaza is a manifestation of Israeli military weakness. There is no chance that Israel will re-take Gaza from Hamas by force; the resistance movement not only enjoys general popular support amongst Palestinians but, more importantly, is also expert in the kind of guerrilla warfare that the founders of Israel used to such devastating effect themselves not so many years ago. Conventional armies of the kind that Israel deploys never, ever, win against Middle Eastern militias, particularly those with a religious mindset faced with a Western-backed enemy.

WHO: Israel hinders 40% of Gaza patients’ access to health care abroad

The siege tactic is the only option that the Israeli government can resort to. Ten years on, it appears to be working. As making somewhere “unliveable” is essentially a form of ethnic cleansing by what claims to be a democracy, a coterie of propaganda organisations and lots of media-spin groups are required to defend Israel and gloss over that very distasteful fact.

Perhaps these spin doctors should be asking their government why it can’t defend its citizens, who all pay for the Israel Defence Forces. The answer – or their own conclusion – might then be, because the increasingly right-wing governments of Israel which control the military are stubborn and stupid. They alone are endangering the people of Israel every day through their thankless and pointless siege. So ignore the spin, the siege needs to end now, not in 2020; that will be too late for all concerned.

ArticleIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestine
  • Fasdunkle

    Hamas should pay the fuel bills then they can have electricity but they won’t because suffering Arabs are far more politically useful for them

    Gaza also has a border with Egypt

    • Helen4Yemen

      They are Palestinians!

      The word “Israeli” is a fake word that was invented only the day before foreign Jews declared a state on stolen Arab land. It was created by using the word “Israel” + I which is an Arabic suffix. All the nationalities that end with the letter I are Muslim countries except for this fake state who had to borrow an Arabic suffix to create a fake identity.

      Afghanistani … Azerbaijani … Bahraini … Bangladeshi … Iraqi … Kazakhstani …
      Kuwaiti … Kyrgyzstani … Omani … Pakistani … Qatari … Saudi … Somali …
      Tajikistani … Turkmenistani … Emirati … Uzbekistani … Yemeni …

      Suffix .. Origin
      -ian .. Latin
      -ean .. Latin
      -an .. Latin
      -ese .. Latin → Italian
      -er .. Latin → Germanic
      -ic .. Latin → Germanic
      -ish .. Germanic
      -i .. Arabic

      • Robert Logan

        According to your argument, Palestinians would be fake because they don’t fit the trend you’ve outlined above. You lose.

        • Helen4Yemen

          Palestinians are not Lithuanian, Hungarian, German …

          • Robert Logan

            “Palestinians” also didn’t exist until 1976. They also were not faced with genocide/ethnic cleansing by the ruling power simply because of their religion the way Jews were prior to 1948 throughout Europe and after 1948 throughout the Middle East.

          • charliematerne

            Just a suggestion and entirely up to you. If you reply to Hellen, she will fill your inbox with assorted posts that have no point such as listing American Jews and claiming they are not really Jews because they are “white’. My suggestion, do like I finally did and ignore her and her other persona Tecumseh unchained. They are one and the same

          • Helen4Yemen

            Look at Alan Dershowitz’s DNA results.
            1) Europe is highlighted to trace his 99.9% European ancestry.
            2) Africa is highlighted because he has 0.1% African ancestry.
            3) Asia is highlighted because he has 0.1% Asian ancestry.
            4) The Middle East is totally left blank because they found
            no trace of Middle East ancestry – not even 0.1% – nothing – zilch!

          • Helen4Yemen

            Please tell me how the Ashkenazi is connected to the region?

            Please tell me what the Ashkenazi believes to be his racial make up.

            a) 100% European

            b) 100% Israelite

            c) 50/50% European/Israelite

            d) 75/25% European/Israelite

            e) 25/75% European/Israelite

            f) 99/0% European/Israelite

            g) 0/99% European/Israelite

            Only one is the correct answer. Which one?

          • Robert Logan

            How far removed must your genes be in order to be seen as non-indigenous? Run the DNA of Palestinians and you’ll see they fit into Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian DNA sequences. There is no such thing as Palestinian DNA. Do they have more of a right to this land because they are Arab? If so, then what about the millions of Arab Jews?

          • Helen4Yemen

            The Palestinians score 90% Middle East ancestry vs 0% for the Ashkenazi. Study this chart and if you need more, just ask. I have hundreds of these DNA charts/


          • Helen4Yemen

            For over a thousand years, there were no Jews living in
            Palestine. In 1882 when European Jewry arrived in
            Palestine as Zionist colonial settlers, they found:

            • 400,000 Arabic-speaking indigenous Palestinian Muslims (78%)

            • 40,000 Arabic-speaking indigenous Palestinian Christians (6%)

    • Robert Logan

      They’re too busy investing all of their resources on building terror tunnels to kill little girls in their beds while they sleep. Not enough left over to purchase fuel and save Ali from having a powerless wheelchair and dirty diapers.

      • Helen4Yemen

        The Lithuanian, Hungarian, German, Russian little girls are
        much safer back home in Lithuania, Hungary, Germany,
        Russia, are they not?

        • Robert Logan

          What about the Moroccan, Yemenite, Iraqi, Persian, etc. Jews? They don’t count? Even though they compose >27% of the population?

          • Helen4Yemen

            Palestine was not invaded for the sake of Arab Jews, was it?
            It was the European Jew who was hated back home in Europe.

            Question: Is the Ashkenazi of European or Middle East ancestry?
            Is Palestine his grandma’s land?

          • Robert Logan

            There was no country called Palestine that ever existed, nor was this land invaded by European Jews. It was partitioned for Arabs who worked and lived on the land, and the Jews who ALWAYS had a presence. This is the ancestral land of the Jewish people. Whether they left Spain or Poland, Iraq or Morocco, this land has been the home of Jews for millennia. Arabs didn’t call themselves Palestinian until 1967. They had no attachment to this land until they decided it was more feasible **politically** to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem as opposed to Mecca. They pray with their backs towards Jerusalem. The only reason Palestinians fight against Israel and everyone cares is because they’re Jewish. If it were Arabs killing Arabs, the world would continue without a care. It’s happening today – Palestinians are being killed by Syrian forces. But nobody says anything about it because they’re not Jewish.

          • Helen4Yemen

            Theordor Herzl Complete Diaries – page 1017

            “One of its releases says that the Turkish
            government is prohibiting the Israelites from
            entering Palestine, because the Zionist movement
            wants to set up the Kingdom of Judea. This is an
            absurdity. All the Zionists want to do is to settle the
            country of Palestine, under your sovereignty, with
            peaceful workmen who are too unhappy elsewhere.
            You and your whole Empire would derive enormous
            benefits from this. But you don’t want to? That’s all
            right, too! Nobody can or will force you to be a friend
            to the Jews. But since the Jews have nothing to hope
            for from you, you no longer have anything to expect
            from them either.”

            1. The Hungarian Jew was referring to Palestine as a
            country, was he not? He did not say, “the region of
            Palestine, did he?

            2. The Hungarian Jew was referring to purebred Europeans,
            the Ashkenazi as “Israelite”. But that Ashkenazi has not even
            a trace of Middle East ancestry. Where did it go?

          • Helen4Yemen


            Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves, politically
            we are the aggressors and they defend themselves…
            The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their
            view we want to take away from them their country.

            If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an
            agreement with Israel It is normal; we have taken their
            country It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs There has
            been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but
            was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have
            come and we have stolen their country Why would they accept that?

          • Robert Logan


            In our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us. But let us not ignore the truth among ourselves. I insist on the truth, not out of respect for scientific but political realities. The acknowledgement of this truth leads to inevitable and serious conclusions regarding our work in Palestine… let us not build on the hope the terrorist gangs will get tired. If some get tired, others will replace them.
            A people which fights against the usurpation of its land will not tire so easily… it is easier for them to continue the war and not get tired than it is for us… The Palestinian Arabs are not alone. The Syrians are coming to help. From our point of view, they are strangers; in the point of law they are foreigners; but to the Arabs, they are not foreigners at all … The centre of the war is in Palestine, but its dimensions are much wider. When we say that the Arabs are the aggressors and we defend ourselves — this is only half the truth. As regards our security and life we defend ourselves and our moral and physical position is not bad. We can face the gangs… and were we allowed to mobilize all our forces we would have no doubts about the outcome… But the fighting is only one aspect of the conflict which is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves. Militarily, it is we who are on the defensive who have the upper hand but in the political sphere they are superior. The land, the villages, the mountains, the roads are in their hands. The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside. They defend bases which are theirs, which is easier than conquering new bases… let us not think that the terror is a result of Hitler’s or Mussolini’s propaganda — this helps but the source of opposition is there among the Arabs.

          • Helen4Yemen

            Are you telling me the Polish Jew David Ben Grun just

            wanted to share the land of the Arabs with the Arabs.

            Ben Gurion Chomsky, Fateful Triangle”” Page 291″

            “A partial Jewish state is not the end, but only the beginning…
            I am certain that we will not be prevented from settling in the
            other parts of the country, either by mutual agreement with
            our Arab neighbors or by some other means… [If the Arabs
            refuse]we shall have to speak to them in a different language.
            But we shall only have another language if we have a state.

            Ben Gurion – Letter to his son – 1937

            .. it is possible that the Arabs will follow the dictates of sterile
            nationalist emotions and tell us: “We want neither your
            honey nor your sting. We’d rather that the Negev remain
            barren than that Jews should inhabit it.” If this occurs, we
            will have to talk to them in a different language—and we will
            have a different language—but such a language will not be
            ours without a state.

          • Helen4Yemen

            Ben Gurion: “after we become a strong force, as the result of the
            creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the
            whole of Palestine… The state will only be a stage in the
            realization of Zionism and its task is to prepare the ground for our
            expansion into the whole of Palestine by a Jewish-Arab
            agreement… The state will have to preserve order not only by
            preaching morality but by machine guns, if necessary.”
            Chomsky, “Fateful Triangle” Page 290

          • Helen4Yemen

            Please provide the exact source for the above quote.

          • Helen4Yemen

            Ben Gurion May 1948

            …we should prepare to go over to the offensive
            with the aim of smashing Lebanon, Transjordan and Syria… The
            weak point in the Arab coalition is Lebanon [for] the Moslem
            regime is artificial and easy to undermine. A Christian state
            should be established, with its southern border on the Litani river
            [within Lebanon]. We will make an alliance with it. When we
            smash the [Arab] Legion’s strength and bomb Amman, we will
            eliminate Transjordan too, and then Syria will fall. If Egypt still
            dares to fight on, we shall bomb Port Said, Alexandria, and
            Cairo. Chomsky, “Fateful Triangle” Page 292

          • Helen4Yemen

            Ben Gurion Jan 1, 1948
            “There is no question as to whether a reaction is
            necessary or not. The question is only time and place. Blowing up
            a house is not enough. What is necessary is cruel and strong
            reactions. We need precision in time, place and casualties. If we
            know the family— [we must] strike mercilessly, women and
            children included. Otherwise the reaction is inefficient. At the
            place of action there is no need to distinguish between guilty and
            Chomsky, “Fateful Triangle” Page 324

          • Helen4Yemen

            Ben Gurion … “I am opposed that any proposal for transfer
            should come from our side. [But] I do not reject transfer on moral
            grounds and I do not reject it on political grounds. If there is a
            chance for it [I support it]; with regard to the Druse it is possible.
            It is possible to move all the Druse voluntarily to Jabal Druse [in
            Syria]. The other [Arabs] – I don’t know. But it must not be a
            Jewish proposal . . .”

            Source: Benny Morris –

            The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited – 2004

            page 55

          • Helen4Yemen

            “From our point of view, they are strangers; in the point of law they are foreigners; but to the Arabs, they are not foreigners”
            WOW! The Ashkenazi was saying this? His white European feet never

            touched that soil until he came as the predator colonial settler. Just

            imagine that his white man also was trying to be a colonial settler in

            Angola and Uganda. Just imagine this white man saying the

            Ugandans are not native to Uganda but he is. And what is even more

            shocking is because the Ashkenazi is one of the purest of any

            European groups at 99.9% European ancestry.

            Alan Dershowitz DNA
            99.9% European
            0% Middle Eastern


          • Helen4Yemen

            If Palestine was the ancestral land of the Ashkenazi who is at 0% Middle East ancestry, why is it not also the homeland of the Eskimos who also have 0% ancestry to Palestine?

            Tony Kushner DNA
            99.9% European
            0% Middle Eastern


          • Helen4Yemen

            From Herzl’s Complete Diaries

            “In the evening Newlinsky and I sat by ourselves in the dining car,
            and I outlined for him the financial plan based on the 20 million
            pounds – of which two millions would be earmarked as an
            immediate advance for the cession of Palestine, and 18
            milions for the freeing of the Turkish government from the
            Control Commission.” (page 369)

            “Newlinsky thinks we could not possibly dare to offer the Sultan
            20 million pounds for the land of Palestine. That was its
            mere commercial value, so to speak; but we would have to pay a
            premium.” (page 369)

          • Helen4Yemen

            From Herzl’ Complete Diaries – Volume 4 – page 1522

            Aug 10, 1903

            Day before yesterday, in the morning, with Plehve
            (Russian Minister of the Interioir) only a brief wait, a
            man of sixty, rather stout, steps quickly forward,
            greets me, bids me be seated and begins to talk. He
            has a shallow, grave countenance, grey hair, white
            mustache, and remarkably youthful, energetic brown
            eyes. He spoke in French, not brilliant but not bad, he
            begun by clearing the ground.

            Plehve: “What sort of help then do you ask of us?”

            Herzl: Russian intervention with the Sultan, in order
            to secure a charter for colonization of

            In the course of our talk when I explained to him the
            need for Russian intervention with the sultan,
            because Palestine was the only place that
            attracted us, I added some remarks on the difficulties
            of being admitted into other countries, even England
            and America.