The people on the press staff of the Israeli Foreign Affairs
Ministry are talented science fiction writers. Almost nothing that they write
has any bearing on reality, and it seems that they use Orwell�s 1984 as
a guidebook for news dispatches. All that they need to do is look at the facts
on the ground (terminology that was invented by the Hasbara Committee, more
than likely, because it is something different than reality. It has a bit of
the sense of imposition of a negative reality that cannot however be challenged
by �ordinary� people), and turn them on their heads. War is peace, freedom is
slavery, ignorance is strength. That�s exactly how the Israeli PR staff
represents reality with their warped mirror.
I do suggest, for those who, like myself, find some pleasure
in reading nonsense, to subscribe to their newsletter or to read it on their
site. It is just about as absurd a thing one can find to read. The trouble with
it is it�s taken seriously by the Big Mass Media and a lot of the dispatch
services never verify any of the information that is released. If you wonder
just why everyone is so wrong about Israel and Palestine, look no further.
On 7 May, this was their press release. I will deconstruct
it. Their original is in italics.
the Headlines: Hamas holding civilian population in Gaza hostage
How�s that for a shock headline? It is as if the people of
Gaza are in a concentration camp and kept hostage. Well, they are, of course,
but it�s not Hamas who has locked them in and thrown away the keys, but this
does not matter. Israel KNOWS that people are going to notice sooner or later
that Gaza has become the place on earth where the greatest number of people are
confined and held hostage, but passing the stick to Hamas is going to resolve any
nasty questions about who is keeping them prisoner.
By seizing the fuel, food, and medical supplies that
Israel is transferring to the Gaza Strip, and using the supplies itself, the
Hamas terror organization is basically holding the civilian population of Gaza
Ah, so all of these wonderful things have been delivered by
generous Israel to Gaza? No one has seen any of it, so it must be the bad guys
of Hamas who have diverted all of it and probably are storing everything in
warehouses, or selling it on the black market. The crossings have all been
closed, but no one should become aware of the fact, unless they wonder how a
million and a half people can get by without replacement of the material that
is consumed. Naturally, it�s not a good idea to indicate to people that a
blockade has been made in order to break the resistance of these people, which
at least are classified as civilians by the people who bomb them
indiscriminately when it suits them. But for Israel, all that material has
arrived, in fact, Israel itself is transferring it to the Gaza Strip! But since
things have a material presence, they don�t just disappear, the culprit for
these enormous quantities of goods simply NOT BEING THERE has got to be the bad
guys. Hamas can�t let anyone see all the truckloads of material, including fuel
that Israel is donating. Seizing it for political purposes, so they can justify
the uprising. Well, of course, none of that is true. Since the siege started
last fall, little to nothing has entered into the Gaza Strip, and very little
has gotten out. The population is indeed being held hostage, but Israel is
doing a three-card shuffle -- blame it on Hamas (repeat as well that they are a
�terror organization�) so that it�s easier to insert in a copy and paste
Israel has continued to supply fuel, food, medical
supplies and other humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip, despite Hamas
attacks precisely on those crossings Israel must use to transfer the supplies.
Israel has supplied nothing, nor have they let anyone else
do so. Yet, to deny material sustenance would be a crime against humanity,
because the occupier is obligated to provide for the people who are being
occupied. However, Israel will state that they no longer occupy the Gaza Strip.
�We left! The settlers are gone,� they say. Well, one does not have to have
colonial presence to exact control over a territory. All that needs to be done
is to control its borders, and Israel does just that: stick them in the prison
and let them fight it out between themselves is the policy that Israel has
decided to enact in order to bring Gazans to their knees or, failing that, make
them beg for Fatah to take control of the elections Hamas won, therefore,
giving Israel the electoral results they wanted but were denied. Israel
controls the air space, territorial waters, offshore maritime access, and the
border between Israel and Gaza, with most of the crossings being closed even
for those needing medical assistance. Egypt controls the southern border. This
means that they are committing crimes against humanity by denying Gazans aid,
food, fuel and freedom of movement. But, they won�t admit it. In fact, that�s
what the lie about Hamas taking the materials is there to cover.
It is apparent that Hamas is targeting the crossings in
order to prevent the transfer of humanitarian aid to the civilian population,
thus both needlessly depriving its own population as well as causing an
artificial humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Clearly, Hamas wants to create
a crisis in order that international pressure will be placed on Israel.
It is apparent to those who invent this lie, and it is
tragic that many believe it! Hamas does not have any control over the crossings
of incoming goods. Nothing has been turned back or stashed away for the simple
reason that nothing has been delivered! The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is far
from artificial. It is real and evident to anyone who has access to view it.
Clearly, the crisis was created by Israel, but passing the buck of the
�international pressure� is the only remedy that Israel can come up with. They
have no intention to break the siege. It is in their interests to continue it
to the bitter end. Unfortunately, neither Gazans nor Hamas can do anything to
change this. We are going to see a long, hot summer ahead, and Israel is doing
Recent reports indicate that not only is Hamas depriving
the civilization population, it is allocating the supplies for its own use.
Then, we get a flaming sub-headline:
Hamas steal fuel from the civilian population
A Jerusalem Post report, on the 29th of April, ( )
states that Hamas stole 60,000 liters of fuel from the civilian population of
Gaza. This was confirmed by the head of the Palestinian Authority�s gas agency,
who added that Hamas gunmen had raided the Palestinian side of the Nahal Oz
fuel terminal, stealing at least 60,000 liters of fuel meant for the Gaza power
station, for use in their own vehicles.
Of course, this quote is in quite a few papers, all of
them stating that Mohahed Salama stated as such to Israeli Radio. I�ve been
unable to find any other source to confirm this. As a matter of fact, Israel
doesn�t like to quote him when he stated something much more sinister:
Salama, head of the PA Petrol Agency in Gaza, said that fuel imports Sunday
showed a 40 to 50 percent reduction in diesel and benzene supplies and a 12
percent reduction in fuel for Gaza�s power plant. �We sent the supplying
company the same daily requests, but they said they were sorry and that because
of the new imposed sanctions they could only send us a reduced quantity,,�
Salama told Reuters. A spokesman for Dor Alon, the Israeli energy company that
supplies Gaza, said the company had �received instructions� from the Defense
Ministry and was �acting according to those instructions.�
So, who is stealing fuel from the civilian population? Ask
the Israeli Defence Ministry all about their instructions.
Of course, these international reports are very worrying if
one takes them by the soundbites provided by Israel. Take the London
The London Independent reports on the
artificial crisis caused by Hamas, which even caused the UN to suspend food aid
to 650,000 refugees in the Gaza Strip after running out of fuel for its
delivery vehicles. An emergency tanker sent to the Nahal Oz terminal was turned
back by demonstrators, and was forced to return empty. EU condemns Hamas
actions which lead to further suffering of the Palestinian population.
Now, that sounds really awful. But, if someone actually did
read the article they would find this:
"Both sides agree that storage tanks on the Gaza side
of the terminal are full, with stocks of up to 1 million litres of fuel. But
Mahmoud Khozendar, the distributors� vice-chairman, said that was only enough
to meet three or four hours� demand. They needed at least 10 times as much as
Israel was prepared to deliver."
Did you see what I saw? That last line kind of sticks like a
pin in the cheek. They needed at least 10 times as much as Israel was prepared
And this from the same article:
"Last night Hamas proposed a six-month cease-fire with
Israel, saying the Gaza Palestinian group would stop firing rockets into the
Jewish state if Israel lifts its blockade of the coastal strip at the same
time, Egypt�s state run Mena news agency reported.
"The report came after a day of closed-door meetings
between Egypt�s powerful intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who has been
mediating between Hamas and Israel, and Hamas� strongman, Mahmoud Zahar.
"Under the international boycott imposed after Hamas
seized Gaza by force last June, Israel�s declared policy has been to allow in
enough fuel, food and medical supplies to keep people alive, but not enough for
them to live well."
So, even the best article that Israel propaganda experts
could fine from an independent source points out something that doesn�t make
Israel look too wonderful:
Namely, Hamas has offered a cease-fire of the Qassam Rockets
(which at any rate cause limited damage). It is willing to come to a solution
to have the blockade lifted. Evidently, while this is what Israel claims is
behind the blockade, when action is taken to do so, they refuse to accept it
and blame Hamas of being terrorists and depriving their own people of things
they need to live. Ah, but remember, Israel admits it will KEEP PEOPLE ALIVE,
at some level of survival, but they are going to have to suffer. Sounds like
Auschwitz to me.
On 24 April, the Presidency of the EU
stated that Hamas activities were obstructing and even preventing humanitarian
work by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
This is terrible news. Let�s see what else is on that press
statement by the EU: " . . . the Presidency urges regular and unrestricted
delivery of fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip in order not to aggravate further
the humanitarian crisis there. The Presidency reiterates the EU�s call on all
parties to work urgently for the controlled re-opening of the crossings in and
out of Gaza for both humanitarian reasons and commercial flows."
In other words, they are calling on Israel to put an end to
their policies and to urgently act so as not to aggravate the humanitarian
crisis that everyone knows is in full swing.
But let�s conclude this press release.
Hamas nationalizing fuel supplies meant for the civilian
populationIn another report, Nissim Keinan of Israel�s Second Radio channel
reported on 4 May that Hamas was in fact holding the civilian population
Who is this reporter? I never heard of him, but he�s very
famous in Israel. Here is something to give us an idea of who our source is:
Keinan, nationally famous for his Voice of Israel broadcasts from the Sderot
and Gaza regions, told Arutz-7 the IDF Gaza offensive accomplished a �drop
in the ocean� of what needs to be done.
"Nissim Keinan is the voice heard several times a day
on national radio, reporting from the south on Kassam rockets in Sderot,
terrorist activity from within Gaza, and nearly everything else that goes on in
that area of the country."
Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine on Monday[[11/07/06], Keinan said, 'Yes, it
was a successful operation, but it appears that the terrorist activity will
simply revert right away to the way it was before. We�re talking about looking
for a needle in a haystack - because Beit Hanoun, where the offensive took
place, is just a small town of 30,000 people; but what about Beit Lahiya and
all its terrorists? And what about Jebalya, and the entire area of the Shati
refugee camp, and the Khan Yunis area, and Dir el-Balach - I mean, the entire
place is swarming with terrorists. Just because you took care of one place and confiscated
weapons and ammunitions, it still doesn�t mean that you've achieved the goals.'
�'In any event,' Keinan continued without stopping, 'it's
strange to hear the army talk of such great successes, when really it was just
a routine operation. They moved the Kassam launchers southward, true -- but you
can fire Kassams from the south too, you know, and they also fire them from the
north. Yes, the accuracy of the firing has been impaired, but they were never
accurate; they just shoot and it hits wherever it hits.'�
The Summer Rain Offensive was a Drop in the Ocean of what
needs to be done? So, Keinan thinks that 197 civilians and 48
children killed by the IDF is a good and positive thing? Sounds again, a
hell of a lot like Auschwitz to me. So, I leave you to speculate on his final
He stated that Hamas has nationalized all the fuel
supplies transferred by Israel for the civilian population, and for operation
of the electricity plant, and is using it solely for its own purposes. In
addition, food sent by the donor countries is allocated in accordance with
Hamas instructions. Of the thousands of tons of grains, food and fuel that were
transferred, none was able to reach the civilian population.
All of a sudden, he cares about the civilian population of
Gaza? And I am Santa Claus.
Mary Rizzo is an art restorer,
translator and writer living in Italy. She is a co-founder of Palestine Think Tank. She also contributes as a translator to www.tlaxcala.es.