I took a good look at the writing of the Tom Gross and found him to be ferociously pro Zionist/Israeli. This article appears in dozens of pro Israeli newspapers and magazines including the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal.
That being said, I thought his page here would be a fine example of the current Israeli propaganda out there to defame the international flotilla to Gaza carrying much needed goods to the people.I also noticed this evening, a film from Egypt showing how much they allow into Gaza from their checkpoint. Heavily laden truck after heavily laden truck flowed through. Considering that Egypt is owned more or less by Israel at this point in time, I figure it to be more pro Israeli propaganda.
And tonight, the Israelis have killed and injured at least 50 of the peaceful activists. If all their words were true, there would have not been any problem and these people could bring in their supplies for the Palestinians.
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
In recent days, the international media, particularly in Europe and the Mideast, has been full of stories about “activist boats sailing to Gaza carrying desperately-needed humanitarian aid and building materials.”
The BBC World Service even led its world news broadcasts with this story at one point over the weekend. (The BBC yesterday boasted that its global news audience has now risen to 220 million persons a week, making it by far the biggest news broadcaster in the world.)
Yet the BBC and other media fail to report on the fancy new restaurants and swimming pools of Gaza, or about the wind surfing competitions on Gaza beaches, or the Strip’s crowded shops and markets.
Not that much cooking takes place: Mrs Jabber and her family take meals daily from a charity. “For every day of work, there are 10 without,” she said. Mrs Jabber and her family fall well below the poverty line, which in Israel is calculated as under half the median household income, or, for a family of five, a bit less than Dh5,100 a month.
According to a report on Monday by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), nearly 65 per cent of Palestinian families in Jerusalem share Mrs Jabber’s fate.
Life for Palestinians in Jerusalem is “a continuing cycle of neglect, discrimination, poverty and shortages”, said the report, one of the most comprehensive studies of the socio-economic situation in East Jerusalem released in recent years.
The numbers are dramatic: just under 75 per cent of Palestinian children live in poverty; 160,000 people, over half of Jerusalem’s Palestinian population, have no suitable connection to clean running water, while East Jerusalem currently lacks 50km of sewage lines; school dropout rates stand at 50 per cent, as young Palestinians flee overcrowded schools to seek menial work to support unemployed parents.
Growing poverty, unemployment threaten Palestinians' ability to feed their families
OXXFAM Poverty in Palestine
I think I would take the word of international aid groups such as Amnesty International or others than that of a writer who does have a very sharp axe and a target to chop away at.
Of course there is poverty in Gaza. There is poverty in parts of Israel too. (When was the last time a foreign journalist based in Israel left the pampered lounge bars and restaurants of the King David and American Colony hotels in Jerusalem and went to check out the slum-like areas of southern Tel Aviv? Or the hard-hit Negev towns of Netivot or Rahat?)
Actually the poverty is Israel has been a current hot topic in the media. So what is his point?
ISRAEL POVERTY, ONE IN THREE CHILDREN IS HUNGRY ~ Over 1.4 million people, or 22.4 percent of the Israel population, were classified as poor last year. That number included 652,000 children, representing 30.8 percent of the country's children. After six years of stability, the number of poor families rose sharply last year from 18.1 percent to 19.3 percent of all families.
This is great news to those who have seen the BBC's actions on Palestine before.
* While prominent Western media continue to lead their viewers and readers astray with accounts of a non-existent “mass humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, fancy restaurants (video below) and an Olympic-size swimming pool open there
* Most Israeli towns don’t have Olympic-size swimming pools
* Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live a middle class (and in some cases an upper class) lifestyle that Western journalists refuse to report on because it doesn’t fit with the simplistic story they were sent to write
* If you drop into the Roots Club in Gaza, according to the Lonely Planet guidebook, you can “dine on steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu” (video, photos below)
* UN-run summer camp for Palestinian children burned to the ground for being “un-Islamic”; UN staff there threatened with murder; UN Security Council fails to react
Above: A part of the restaurant’s 12-page menu, which includes a wide range of meat, poultry and seafood dishes. The restaurant is popular with Gazans holding weddings and other celebrations, UN and NGO workers, and foreign journalists.
Above: A Palestinian newspaper photo (May 18, 2010) shows Gazan children in the newly built Olympic-sized swimming pool which opened earlier this month, despite continuing claims by some Western journalists and NGOs that there are no building materials and a severe shortage of water in Gaza.
Perhaps it is because this pool is brand spanking new and the word just has not gotten out to the world yet? NO one ever mentions the swimming pools in the Nazi Camps either. I wonder why that is.
If you drop by the Roots Club in Gaza, according to the Lonely Planet guidebook for Gaza and the West Bank, you can “dine on steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu”.
The restaurant’s website in Arabic gives a window into middle class dining and the lifestyle of Hamas officials in Gaza.
And here it is in English, for all the journalists, UN types and NGO staff who regularly frequent this and other nice Gaza restaurants (but don’t tell their readers about them).
Please take a look at the pictures on the above website. They are not the kind of things you see in The New York Times or CNN or in Newsweek, whose international edition last week had one of the most disgracefully misleading stories about Gaza I have ever seen, portraying it in terms which were virtually reminiscent of Hiroshima after a nuclear blast.
And here is a 2005 promotional video of the club restaurant:
In case anyone doubts the authenticity of this video (which is up on the club’s own website), I just called the club in Gaza City and had a nice chat with the manager who proudly confirmed business is booming and many Palestinians and international guests are dining there.
STARVED OF WATER AND BUILDING MATERIALS?
While Western media, misled by corrupt and biased NGOs, continue to report on a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports on the Olympic-size swimming pool that opened in Gaza last week. (Article below).
As reader Joy Wolfe of Manchester, England, a subscriber to this list, points out to me in an email: “How does an area that claims to be starved of water and building materials and depends on humanitarian aid build an Olympic size swimming pool and create a luxury lifestyle for some while others are forced to live in abject poverty as political pawn refugees?”
Another reader, Barry Shaw, writes from the Israeli town of Netanya:
“Gaza City recently opened an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Netanya does not have a municipal Olympic pool. Neither does Ashkelon, or Sderot. Gaza City is part of the Palestinian territory operated by the Islamic terror regime, Hamas. Netanya has been hit by repeated Palestinian suicide attacks, car bombings, and terrorist gunmen that have left over fifty of its citizens dead and more than three hundred injured. The Palestinians receive record amounts of international funding. The victims of Palestinian terror get nothing.”
Another subscriber, Michael Horesh, points out, “The Financial Times of London, a leading media beacon in international money matters and no friend of Israel, observes that ‘Branded products such as Coca-Cola, Nescafé, Snickers and Heinz ketchup are both cheap and widely available in Gaza… [as are] Korean refrigerators, German food mixers and Chinese air conditioning units.’”
AN INDUSTRY OF LIES
While middle class Palestinians plead poverty and receive excessive amounts of international funding, elsewhere in the world (in places like Congo and Zimbabwe and Bangladesh) millions of children really are dying of starvation and disease, all but ignored by those very same governments and aid agencies that pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the Palestinian coffers.
Of course, there is a whole industry of people (UN and EU staff, NGO workers, journalists) who make their living and have a vested interest in continuing to propagate lies about Gaza and West Bank.