Monday, 24 November 2014

... the world hasn’t the slightest interest in the fate of Palestinians, other than as a battering ram to use against Israel.

Think about this: Israel closes the major crossing point into Gaza. Thousands of Gazans are stranded in other countries and cannot get home.  In Gaza a thousand more people, in need of medical treatment outside, cannot get out. They are "suffering from medical problems including kidney failure, cancer and blood-related diseases [and] seek urgent treatment or further diagnosis…." A health ministry official says "If the closure continues, their health conditions will deteriorate and we may start to witness some deaths."

Another report states that "Officials of the Palestinian Authority say they are growing increasingly resentful….for continuing the closure of the…border crossing…which has now been closed for over a month." This report says the number of stranded Palestinians is now 3,500, in addition to the thousand inside Gaza who need medical care outside.

Front page news? "Israel Turns Gaza Into Prison." UN Security Council resolution? "Urgently demands that the Government of Israel open the passage and permit those needing medical attention to reach doctors and hospitals." The U.S. State Department? Perhaps it says "We are deeply troubled by the humanitarian dimension and believe the passage should be opened immediately…." Marches and demonstrations in European capitals? "This is Genocide!" signs say.

Nope. Because the crossing in question is Rafah crossing, between Gaza and Egypt not Israel, and the country keeping it closed is Egypt. The Palestinians are "resentful," in that story, about the government of Egypt. The health conditions of the people who are "suffering from medical problems" are suffering because of Egypt.

The Egyptian official explanation is that security requires the closing.  Recently the Egyptian terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. In October, 33 Egyptian security personnel were killed by terrorists; last week, 5 more. Why these events require that people in need of medical treatment may not use Rafah, and how that closure enhances Egyptian security, may be debated.

My point is a different one: were it Israel keeping the key passage closed and simply saying security requires it, this would be a very big deal. The condemnations would be constant. Instead, near silence. Double standard? The usual uninterest in how Arabs treat other Arabs? The desire not to criticize General Sisi's government in Cairo? So it seems. A Palestinian would be justified in concluding that the world hasn't the slightest interest in the fate of Palestinians, other than as a battering ram to use against Israel. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Taken from here, I couldn't have said it better myself, so I didn't even try...

If the BBC wasn't institutionally anti Israel they might ponder why their coverage of the Palestinian people depends more on whose taking action against their terrorists than what the action is.

No comments: