Gaza, Gaza, on the wall
I have just finished reading Janine Zacharia's report on Gaza in the Washington Post from which I learned little I didn't know. It's notable, however, that Zacharia was unable to parrot the usual absurd line that Gazans were starving (though she does complain about the lack of coriander) or even significantly deprived. They evidently have pharmacies more copiously supplied than RiteAid.
If you look at that video, the bounty is rather astonishing. The Gazans seem to be doing quite well without their coriander. Perhaps they have one of those iPhone apps you can get that suggest recipe replacements if you can't get a particular ingredient at your local supermarket. What's also interesting in the video is that you see Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh and the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas looking very chummy while dining together among a crowd of attractive local women. (I thought they were supposed to be shooting each other.)
But no matter. This is far from the only record of the Bounty of Gaza. The pictures at this link show us more.
The problem for the Gazans, however, according to Zacharia, is that they have no jobs. Those nasty Israelis are not delivering enough concrete, because they fear, for some obscure reason, that the Gazans might want to build bunkers from which to lob missiles at nursery schools.
But that's not the worst of it. Again according to Zacharia, "Once an exporter of fruits and other goods, Gaza has been turned into a mini-welfare state with a broken economy..."
What Zacharia neglects to tell us -- perhaps because it does not fit with her weltanschauung -- who knows? -- is one of the main reasons agricultural items are no longer being exported. Thirty seconds on Google verified what I remembered from 2005 when the dreaded Jewish settlers were pulling out of Gaza. From MSNBC:
NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip - Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.
American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.
Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.
Oh, well. It must be the Israelis' fault. Everything else is. Just ask the British.
NOTE: For those interested, apparently the total of goods for Gaza brought by the flotilla equaled only one-fourth the amount normally delivered by Israel to Gaza every day.