Tag Archives: Haaretz

On human compartmentalization (Haiti/Gaza)

… and by compartmentalization I’m not even attempting a clever pun on the people of Gaza being stuffed into a physical compartment, which they are, of course. It’s about how the human mind can split its perception of two similar things and feel quite different about either one. Or how one can be totally concerned by one problem on the other side of the globe and forget there’s much the same going on outside my own home, but nah, let’s file that under “forgettable.”

Haiti: disaster, misery, Israeli cargo plane with goods and doctors goes out to the rescue. Bravo.

Now let’s see how that works with this strip of land at Israelis’ doorstep. Not the same now, is it? Or is it?

Israel’s compassion in Haiti can’t hide our ugly face in Gaza
by Akiva Eldar

Who said we are shut up inside our Tel Aviv bubble? How many small nations surrounded by enemies set up field hospitals on the other side of the world? Give us an earthquake in Haiti, a tsunami in Thailand or a terror attack in Kenya, and the IDF Spokesman’s Office will triumph. A cargo plane can always be found to fly in military journalists to report on our fine young men from the Home Front Command.

Everyone is truly doing a wonderful job: the rescuers, searching for survivors; the physicians, saving lives; and the reporters, too, who are rightfully patting them all on the back. After Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon became the face we show the world, the entire international community can now see Israel’s good side.

But the remarkable identification with the victims of the terrible tragedy in distant Haiti only underscores the indifference to the ongoing suffering of the people of Gaza. Only a little more than an hour’s drive from the offices of Israel’s major newspapers, 1.5 million people have been besieged on a desert island for two and a half years. Who cares that 80 percent of the men, women and children living in such proximity to us have fallen under the poverty line? How many Israelis know that half of all Gazans are dependent on charity, that Operation Cast Lead created hundreds of amputees, that raw sewage flows from the streets into the sea?…

The missiles that Israel Air Force combat aircraft fired there a year ago hit nearly 60,000 homes and factories, turning 3,500 of them into rubble. Since then, 10,000 people have been living without running water, 40,000 without electricity. Ninety-seven percent of Gaza’s factories are idle due to Israeli government restrictions on the import of raw materials for industry. Soon it will be one year since the international community pledged, at the emergency conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, to donate $4.5 billion for Gaza’s reconstruction. Israel’s ban on bringing in building materials is causing that money to lose its value…

Even the images of our excellent doctors in Haiti cannot blur our ugly face in the Strip.

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Bibi says…

“If Israelis can’t build homes in the West Bank
then Palestinians shouldn’t be allowed to either.”

– Benjamin Netanyahu

The EU wants to improve relations with Israel on condition that the latter take concrete steps toward facilitating a Palestinian state. Which, by nature, means that Israelis would eventually need to haul ass out of the occupied territory which is the West Bank. But Topolanek, the Czech PM and this half-year’s president of the EU, has announced he won’t let that happen… Talking about window seats in history class. My suspicion is Topolanek made it through school on a sports scholarship…

Actually, Topolanek isn’t even the real Czeck PM anymore. He’s bout to get thrown out of his office after losing a vote of no confidence, but still in power as a “caretaker prime minister” until the new one moves in. Even the Czech don’t want him anymore. In terms of foreign policies, what Topolanek should do at this point is keep his mouth shut and get packing.

And Bibi’s ignorance and fanatism really starts to show through now (not that we’re surprised)…

He told the Czech leader he has no intention of halting the expansion of existing settlements. “I have no plans to build new settlements, but if someone wants to build a new home [in an existing one], I don’t think there’s a problem.” He characterized the West Bank as “disputed territory” over which negotiations must be held.

From Haaretz

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