Saturday, July 21, 2007

Double Crossing Standards

Melanie Phillips takes up where this blog left off in an earlier posting concerning Gaza and the crossings.

Her lengthy posting is titled Guns and Butter, which discusses the looming humanitarian disaster awaiting Gaza supposedly because Israel is not allowing food through the crossings.

For those with a long enough memory, this warning of a looming humanitarian disaster comes on the heels of prior warnings of looming humanitarian disasters in Gaza.

These warnings were given by various interested parties (Hamas, UN staff, NGOs, fellow travellers) blaming Israeli actions. For example, 'the occupation', checkpoints, boycotting Hamas after their election win, last summer's conflict after Corporal Gilad Schalit's kidnapping
to name a few.

Phillips really hits it out of the park (that's 'a six' for Aussies and Brits, and 'a home run' for Americans) about halfway through her piece:
So while Gazans are reportedly starving in a humanitarian crisis (caused by the fact that they themselves are preventing the arrival of food and essential supplies) they are nevertheless managing to supply themselves at the same time with ‘import’ dimensions of weapons with which to murder Israelis (and each other). And how are they managing to do this, since the crossing point from Israel is shut? Why, across the other border with Egypt (despite the fact that that crossing point is also officially shut). So if they can import the means to kill people from Egypt, why can’t they import the means to feed them by the same route? Why aren’t Mr Erlanger, the York Times, the UN and all the rest of them demanding that Egypt ensure that essential supplies go through? Why isn’t Egypt being accused of turning Gaza into a ‘prison’?
With that in mind, how timely is it to see Ha'aretz report the words of the one and only Palestinian spinmeister Saab Erekat:
Palestine Liberation Organization chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said over the weekend that all options must be examined for resolving the issue of thousands of Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.


Erekat said he personally asked Egypt's Assistant Intelligence Chief Mohammed Ibrahim to reopen the crossing, saying his request was denied on the grounds that Egypt cannot reopen the crossing without Israel's consent.
Erekat blames Egypt. Egypt blames Israel. Nothing unusual so far.

Until one reads the next couple of paragraphs:
On Tuesday, however, Haaretz reported that Palestinian sources said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas asked Israel and Egypt to prevent the movement of people from Egypt to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing, after Hamas' mid-June takeover of the coastal strip.

The sources said that Abbas said if the crossing is opened, Hamas will be able to let in thousands of people without supervision into Gaza - including activists who could strengthen the group, which rival Abbas' Fatah movement.
So for Hamas, weapons to kill Jews trumps food for its own people.

Whereas for Abbas, stopping Hamas trumps food and his own people.

But for the UN, the New York Times and Australia's ABC, it still remains Israel's fault.

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