Viva Veritas!

This is a guest post by Jonathan HoffmanThe Guardian website today carried a report about the clashes between the aid convoy led by George Galloway and the Egyptian police. Of course the article demonised Israel:

Israel’s strict blockade of Gaza, which has been in place for more than two years, prevents all exports and limits imports to a few humanitarian items.

That’s simply a lie – no other word for it. In December alone:

  • Six more water desalination systems were transferred to the Gaza Strip;
  • 15 truckloads of cellular communications equipment were delivered to the Palestinian mobile phone carrier, Jawal;
  • Strawberries and flowers were exported;
  • Glass was brought in for home repairs and renovations in preparation for the winter;
  • 750 tons of aggregate were transferred for maintenance of the North Gaza Wastewater Treatment plant.
  • 2179 truckloads (48,237 tons) of humanitarian aid entered via the Kerem Shalom cargo terminal and the Karni conveyor belt.
  • 7,173,468 liters of heavy-duty diesel for the Gaza power station  and 2276 tons of cooking gas were delivered via the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Nahal Oz fuel depot.

The article goes on to report that Egyptian officials told the convoy that some of their trucks could not pass through Rafah but had to enter into southern Israel and then pass through an Israeli-controlled crossing into Gaza.

We refused this,” said Galloway. “It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza. Because nothing that ever goes to Israel, ever arrives in Gaza.”

This demonising of Israel is completely untrue. And there would have been no clash of convoy members with the Egyptian police if the aid had been delivered via Israel, as the Egyptian government requested. But then the publicity opportunities for Galloway would have been far fewer and he could not have laid into Israel. As the always astute Melanie Phillips observes:

It was instead merely yet another propaganda stunt whose aim was to defame and vilify Israel – a project whose aim the Guardian appears to share.

Elder of Ziyon has also blogged on this Guardian Report. He notes that the initial piece was even worse and it had to be edited (as acknowledged in the article history):

This article was published on at 09.24 GMT on Wednesday 6 January 2010. It was last modified at 16.43 GMT on Wednesday 6 January

PS Look what Juana Jaafar, a Malaysian convoy participant from Mahathir’s group, tweeted to her friends from El Arish:


It has been pointed out to me (on Harry’s Place by “Mr Danger”, 10:45 9/1, guest post by Sarah) that this Tweet was a continuation of an earlier Tweet:
Tweet 1: “Members sitting at gates. Someone leading a doa. Doa man crying while doa. I don’t understand Arabic but I know stuff being said bout
Tweet 2: “Yahudi” and am feeling uncomfortable. There are Jews in and supporting our mission …”
That obviously is a very different meaning from the one I thought at first (before connecting the two tweets). I am happy to set the record straight.
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