Tuesday, April 11, 2006

There is no hunger in Gaza

For those of you who care, I'm sure you know there's been much ado about food shortages in Gaza recently.

Thankfully, however, Gideon Levy informs us that "talk about a 'humanitarian disaster' is exaggerated."

He explains:

The use of the term "humanitarian disaster" is actually proof of the dehumanization of the Palestinians. There's no flour? "Humanitarian disaster." There is flour? Then there's no disaster. There's an assumption that all the Palestinians need is a daily serving of food so they won't be considered disaster victims. It's enough that they have water and food in their troughs to conclude that their situation is fine. But human beings, including the Palestinians, have a few other basic needs as well.

The real humanitarian disaster in the territories began a long time ago, and it is not hunger. Those who regard the neighboring people as human beings know this very well. It is true that the dimensions of the disaster are worsening, but that's been taking place over years, and the food index is not the only measure. The cessation of the flow of funding since the rise of Hamas might threaten to depress the economic situation even further, but the thought that if they only have enough food, their needs will be satisfied and our conscience can be clear, is outrageous.

...Those who have been silent until now can remain enveloped in their silence. Those whose conscience doesn't torture them and whose sleep is uninterrupted by Israel's behavior in the territories can continue resting in peace. There is no "humanitarian disaster." Israel will find a solution to the food crisis, and the stores in Gaza won't lack for flour. But those who regard the Palestinians as only requiring basic food should remember that even in the zoos, where the animals presumably don't lack for a thing, people are often shocked by the conditions of their imprisonment.