The Gullibility of ‘Incredible Hulk’ Mark Ruffalo on Gaza
Mark Ruffalo is a fairly famous actor, most well-known for playing The Incredible Hulk in The Avengers series.
Recently, he tweeted this:
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 1, 2015
A year after the devastating war on Gaza, thousands of children are still sleeping in the rubble of their homes.
Even though it is a clear violation of international law, Israel’s blockade has restricted basic building materials going in. But no child should be made to live in the ruins of their home, study with bomb blasts through their classrooms, or not get basic health care because clinics have been destroyed.
Who doesn’t support the rights of children to not have to sleep in the rubble? Obviously this is because of Israel’s “blockade” of Gaza!
Too bad that Avaaz is lying.
The most recent mainstream media article on the rebuilding effort in Gaza discusses in detail the lengthy process needed for Gazans to be approved to receive building materials, and Israel is part of that process, which by all accounts is not working tremendously well. But even that article, which is critical of all aspects of the process, shows that Israel is allowing huge amounts of cement and rebar into Gaza. Nearly 100,000 Gazans have received some or all of the building materials they need. The main bottleneck isn’t Israel – but the international donors who have reneged on their pledges:
The trucks coming into Gaza carrying materials are checked by the Israeli authorities. Gazan contractors must also have security clearance from the Israeli government. Once in Gaza, materials are stored in warehouses surrounded by high walls that are under 24-hour surveillance by inspectors and cameras. When the homeowners have money from international agencies to buy materials, it is disbursed in stages as the homeowner proves they are indeed using the materials to build houses. For larger projects the cement is also released in stages, out of concern that it might be sold off or used for non-civilian purposes.
UN staff accompany the materials to construction sites. Representatives from the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the body providing administrative support for reconstruction under the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism — an agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian governments brokered by the UN — even visit a sample of the construction sites to conduct spot checks.”
You don’t have to be an expert to see how easily this process could get hung up.
WHEN THERE’S CEMENT BUT NO MONEY TO BUY IT
Sometimes the goods don’t even make it to the construction site. There are 37,000 tons of cement sitting in warehouses in Gaza because the people to whom it is allotted don’t have the money to buy it. Cement has a shelf life of about three months — so if the funds don’t come through soon, all that would-be concrete becomes useless. The import process would have to start again from the beginning.
So far around 3,000 Gazans allotted construction materials have not yet claimed them, while another 28,000 have only taken part of their order because they can’t afford to buy it all.
“Homeowners were supposed to have received money to buy the materials but have only gotten about 5-6 percent” of what they were due, says Basil Nassar, acting head of the UNDP office in Gaza.
“There’s no guarantee that they will have the money to buy the materials,” he says.
The main problem is money, not materials, The materials that are there are not being purchased.
Avaaz is lying.
Hollywood stars want to seem like they are informed and sympathetic to world issues. Unfortunately, they are easy prey to fall for faux humanitarian appeals that are really smokescreens to demonize Israel, aided by years of false reporting about Israel’s “blockade,” which ignores the facts that Israel doesn’t stop any aid that is not on its very specific list of items that can also be used by terrorists. Anyone can view this list.
But that’s not the only way Avaaz lies.
Avaaz claims to have received more than 630,000 signatures for this initiative.
However, as we have proven once, Avaaz will inflate the number of signatures on its petitions by orders of magnitude.
But what self-respecting liberal reporter will go and investigate an organization like Avaaz that says it does such important, progressive work?
More about Avaaz’s sketchy history can be found in this 2011 UK Media Watch article.