(nablopomo day 30)
What humanitarian crisis? What lack of material goods? What poverty and starvation? I'm certain that is going on, but it is not caused by the Israeli embargo. It is caused by the current rulers of Gaza, Hamas, and their extremely uneven distribution of goods, services and money. Gaza is now Hamastan, folks.
Here is a current example of what is going on in Gaza, told to us by none other than Ashraf Abu al-Houl, an Egyptian journalist (what? you've never heard of him? How about Tom Gross. Heard of him?), who was surprised to discover (GASP!) that Gaza is rich with abundant goods at low prices. Wow. Who woulda thunk it.
If you'd like, you can even buy Zionist clothes (-and who wouldn't want to be seen wearing those?) at really affordable prices, in the new luxury mall. Then, after you bought all your cool Jew-clothes, go cool off at a water park.
Oh, but wait--although "supply is greater than demand," you may not be able to partake of these. Well, let's see: are you a member of Hamas? Are you at least, an associate of Hamas, like a close friend of a member, perhaps? Are you a member of UNRWA? Or maybe, do you happen to own a smuggling tunnel to Egypt? 'Cause if you do, then you can definitely enjoy all these amenities--come on down!
What? You're just an ordinary. . . citizen? Well then, sorry--forget it. Can't use 'em. You're also probably unemployed (at the rate of 45%), anyway.
The evident prosperity is not enjoyed by all, or even most, of Gaza's residents, according to Al-Houl. The problem is the vast differences in the distribution of wealth. The luxury resorts and wide range of consumer goods are enjoyed by “only a few groups,” he said, primarily those who own smuggling tunnels to Egypt and those who work for international organizations such as the United Nations' UNRWA and who do not include or aid the rest of the population.(Didn't I just write something about this, here?)
Most of the new resorts “are owned by members, or associates, of Hamas,” he reported. “In addition, the Hamas municipalities charge high fees, in Gaza terms, for the use of public beaches,” he added.