Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Free Gaza—from Hamas

November 28, 2012 1:54 am 1 comment

Child in Hamas Festival in Gaza. Photo: wiki commons.

Under the façade of human rights, anti-Israel campaigners have been promoting the theme of “Free Gaza,” falsely alleging that Israel’s blockade is responsible for the suffering of millions of Palestinians. They organized “humanitarian aid” flotillas (carrying almost no aid) in order to provoke violent confrontations with the Israeli Navy, and held hateful protests at universities around the theme of Palestinian victimization and the invented slogan of “collective punishment.”

In the second Gaza war, the promoters of the Free Gaza campaign share major responsibility in producing and marketing this tragedy. With their backing, the Hamas leadership was confident (overly confident, it turned out) that it could escalate attacks on Israelis, and count on international media and political campaigns to prevent Israel from maintaining a strong counterattack. This strategy worked for them in the first Gaza war (December 2008 to January 2009), as it did for Hezbollah in 2006. The stream of “flotillas” and accompanying publicity created a fabricated image of Israeli aggression and Palestinian suffering which Hamas leaders have successfully exploited for many years.

One of the most active groups involved in the “Free Gaza” industry is an Israel-based NGO known as Gisha (“Legal Center for Freedom of Movement”). Gisha has waged a media campaign to promote what they portray as Israel’s policy of starving the population of Gaza and preventing them from unencumbered imports and travel. In their public relations efforts, Gisha and its allies have largely erased all traces of Hamas—including their brutality against their own people, and the acquisition of thousands of rockets hidden in schools, mosques and homes.

Anyone who is actually concerned about the welfare of the people of Gaza, and does not belong to the church of “it’s all Israel’s fault” would have focused the generous resources provided by foreign donors (including the New Israel Fund and anonymous European government officials) on liberating Gaza’s citizens and Israelis from Hamas.

But instead they constructed a fictitious Gaza, based on the total disconnect (overlooked by journalists committed to the Palestinian victimization promoted by NGOs) between the image of deprivation and the huge sums spent on rockets and missiles to attack Israel. According to the IDF, in the past decade, more than 13,000 rockets and mortars—an average of three per day—were launched against Israel. More than 1,500 were fired in the eight days of this conflict, beginning Nov. 14.

The missile industry—the biggest in Gaza—consumes huge resources and tens of millions of dollars, pounds, euros and dinars. How many school lunches, prenatal and infant care medical checks and other social welfare measures could this money have been used to buy, if only the Hamas overlords of Gaza were so inclined?

Similarly, according to media reports, Gaza has “15,000 Qassam fighters who are responsible for most of the rocket blitzes.” Thousands more were involved in building and operating over 200 tunnels that were dug under the border between Egypt and Gaza—many large enough to bring rocket sections through—in order to maintain the war against Israel.

While some societies encourage their best and brightest to go to universities, become scientists, build businesses and create jobs, in Gaza’s Palestinian society, the best jobs are making, smuggling and shooting rockets to kill Israeli civilians.

All of this is erased in the distorted universe of the NGO human rights network and their funder-enablers, such as the New Israel Fund and hidden European government officials. In their absurd, patronizing and morally inverted version of reality, all responsibility and blame lies with Israel.

Another radical fringe group with a major bank account calls itself “Breaking the Silence” ($523,342 by the NIF from 2006 through 2011; additional funds from Europe). BtS plays a central role in the dissemination of false “war crimes” accusations against Israel, including in the notorious Goldstone report of 2009.  Now, BtS is seeking to repeat this process by drawing comparisons between the fictitious “crimes” of four years ago, and the current Israeli operation in Gaza. As in the case of Gisha and many others, there is no mention of Palestinian war crimes (such as every rocket attack) and the intimidation through which Hamas controls Gaza. On these issues, the silence is deafening.

There are many more examples selling more or less the same defective product. In contrast, a real and moral Free Gaza movement would close the missile industry and help Israelis and Palestinians in liberating themselves from the tyranny of Hamas. With yet another ceasefire, the “human rights activists” have another opportunity to do the right thing, and demand that instead of investing massively in restocking rockets for another round of warfare, Palestinian leaders invest in the welfare of their own people.

Gerald M. Steinberg is president of Jerusalem-based research institution NGO Monitor and is professor of political science at Bar Ilan University.

1 Comment

  • Why doesn’t Israel expell the so-called Palestians from Israel? They are not really Palestians because they come from all over the Arabic lands; Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon; their own country didn’t want them, so now Israel has to deal with them. They all could live very peacefully and prosperously in Israel. The war lords ar warmongers. It’s a big business and where atr they getting all this money to buy weapons? If anybody is to be called Palestians, it should be the Israelians since they are the ancient people who have returned to their homeland

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Features Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    JNS.org – About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on a Thursday night, scouting out seats and picking at the kosher pizza in the back of the lecture hall. Miyelani Pinini knows the drill. A former student president of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, she’s attended and even organized her share of free-pizza events. But now she and a fellow South African student leader were the stars of this […]

    Read more →
  • Food Spirituality/Tradition The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    JNS.org – It’s widely known that Israel has penetrated the wine market, with some of its sophisticated Israeli blends surpassing historically excellent wines from areas such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But what about beer? For decades, Israel has offered solely the Maccabi and Nesher brands. Not anymore. “There is a huge push of people making beer at home. The country is approaching over 30 craft breweries in the last year or two, making nearly 200 beers,” says Avi Moskowitz, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Actor Zachary Levi said casting directors have denied him roles for being “too Jewish,” despite the fact that he is not a Jew, the New York Daily News‘ Confidenti@l reported on Wednesday. “I guess they were looking for more of a corn-fed, white boy look,” he said. “My family is from f****** Indiana! Come on, I’m like dying here!” The Thor star clarified that he is Welsh, and that Levi is actually his middle name, while his real last name is Pugh. He said he […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Spirituality/Tradition Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    The secret of Chabad’s worldwide success is revealed by veteran Chabad shliach (emissary) Rabbi David Eliezrie in his new book, The Secret of Chabad. The Chabad movement was founded by Rabbi Schnur Zalman of Liadi, Belarus, in 1775. Years later it came to the US with the arrival of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn in 1940, after his escape from Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Upon his arrival in New York, a number of his co-religionists advised him that there was no place for traditional […]

    Read more →