Starving Gaza

Killing Sheikh Yassin and a half-dozen innocent bystanders was not enough for Israel, which is also intensifying its efforts to starve the population of Gaza. After the UN Special Rapporteur for food last year warned that a fifth of the children in Gaza are malnourished and that the situation is getting worse, a BBC story of a few days ago describes how “the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) said an Israeli ban on moving empty containers out of Gaza had forced it to suspend delivering 11,000 tons of food.” Why? Because, according to an (unnamed) Israeli spokesman, suicide bombers might be hiding in the food containers… this after UNRWA had already cut rations from 60% to 40%, where unemployment is total, 2/3 of the families are below poverty, and the town of Rafah is being razed to the ground. And that’s not all…

The UNRWA spokesperson, Peter Hansen, said “If the new restrictions in Gaza continue, I fear we could see real hunger emerge for the first time in two generations”. The Israeli spokesman said that “At the moment we cannot trust anything, especially since the death of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.”

To clarify: because Israel engaged in a major attack against Gaza, killing civilians by dropping a bomb in the middle of a city, Israel is now forced to starve the population of Gaza.

An Israeli professor, Lev Greenberg of Ben Gurion University, has accused the state of Israel of genocide. Greenberg was imprisoned as a refusenik. The Minister of Education for Israel, Limor Livnat, was not impressed: “I am not authorized to interfere in academic affairs”, she said, “but I call on the president of the university and the academic community to take issue with and denounce anyone who attacks and opposes the government of Israel”.

And last, while we’re on the topic, it turns out that Israel believes that the BBC is biased — against Israel!

“Natan Sharansky, Israel’s minister for diaspora affairs, complained that Guerin had portrayed the army’s handling of the arrest of Hussam Abdu, who was captured with explosives strapped to his chest, as “cynical manipulation of a Palestinian youngster for propaganda purposes”. He said this revealed “a deep-seated bias against Israel”.”

ZNet published an article by Tim Llewellyn a few months back on the BBC’s coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict that rather disagrees with Sharansky.

The pieces on Gaza and Greenberg came via the News Insider, an indispensable source for any blogger.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.