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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nicholas Kristof"s "Burrowing Through a Blockade": Biased or Just Plain Dumb?

In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, describes his visit to some of the 1,000 tunnels bringing goods from Egypt to Gaza. After explaining that the tunnels are barely hidden, Kristof tells us that Israel's decision to ease its blockade is creating turmoil among the tunnel operators, which employs thousands of workers, and concludes, quite expectedly, that Israel should altogether eliminate its blockade of Gaza:

"The tunnel owners are aghast that Israel is talking about easing the siege and grumbled that they are already facing a huge drop in orders as a result. A significant number of tunnels have had to suspend work for the time being.

I wish Israeli and American officials could see these tunnels, too.

* * * *

Visiting Gaza persuaded me, to my surprise, that Israel is correct when it denies that there is any full-fledged humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The tunnels have so undermined the Israeli blockade that shops are filled and daily life is considerably easier than when I last visited here two years ago.

That makes it especially silly of Israel’s leadership to have squandered nine lives and its global reputation by seizing ships on the high seas — when the freight on that flotilla was probably less than what passes through the tunnels in a single hour.

* * * *

It’s time not just to ease the siege of Gaza, but to end it once and for all."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/opinion/04kristof.html?hp

No shortage of goods in Gaza, and hence, no need for "flotilla" aid? Tunnel operators suffering from less expensive access to goods from Israel? Hamas suffering from diminished taxes on goods brought in via the tunnels? Already told you so (e.g., http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/06/netanyahu-takes-wind-out-of-sails-of.html).

But entirely eliminate the blockade and allow the free flow of missiles by sea from Iran into Gaza, as demanded by Kristof? No way, Jose. Had Kristof spent any time whatsoever in Sderot, perhaps his left-leaning lobes would be a bit more sensitive to Israeli civilian suffering. As is, the world has allowed Hezbollah to ignore UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and bring 50,000 rockets and missiles from Iran and Syria into Lebanon. This is not going to happen also in Gaza.

Kristof wishes that "Israeli and American officials could see these tunnels". Is he really stupid enough to believe that he is the only one who has seen them?

Kristof also suggests that the tunnel operators "may be tempted to lob missiles at Israel if peace threatens to break out." More inanity. The tunnel operators are profit driven and do not engage in rocket attacks against Israel. On the other hand, with the flotilla PR ploy scuttled, Hamas has resumed rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel, and this is apt to intensify, given Hamas frustration with 8% GDP growth in the Fatah controlled West Bank, which has not gone unnoticed by Gazans.

Nick does mention the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and the "unconscionable refusal of Hamas to allow him Red Cross visits." However, this is where Kristof's attempt at objectivity ends. No mention of:

• discrimination against women;
• honor killings;
• the grisly murder of Hamas opponents;
• discrimination against homosexuals;
• discrimination against Christians;
• the Hamas charter which calls for the murder of all Jews;
• ten thousand rockets, missiles and mortar rounds fired into southern Israel.

Unlike the tunnels, none of this ugliness finds its way into Kristof's column. Predictable and sickening . . .

3 comments:

  1. • discrimination against women;
    • honor killings;
    • the grisly murder of Hamas opponents;
    • discrimination against homosexuals;
    • discrimination against Christians;
    • the Hamas charter which calls for the murder of all Jews;
    • ten thousand rockets, missiles and mortar rounds fired into southern Israel.

    PERFECT SUMMARY.

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  2. What is so odd is why Kristof suddenly shifted his focus to Israel. Not a Kristof reader, but he usually focuses on human trafficking, Darfur. really strange he became an 'expert' on palestinians in the past week.

    K2K

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  3. So, let's see if I get this.... Kristoff expresses sympathy for tunnel operators and their employees while advocating the lifting of the blockade which would hasten the elimination of tunnel operators and their employees.

    This tunnel system may be the inception of infrastructure so long as all that's moving is food and goods. "Aid" doesn't stimulate a real intrinsic economy. It stifles it. The tunnels are what seem to be the means for economic trade. Am I mistaken?

    ReplyDelete