Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 19, 2012

AP Whitewashes Israel's Deliberate Starving Of Gaza

The Associated Press is whitewashing the intentional slow starving of the people in the Gaza strip due to Israel's economic blockade.

After a legal battle the Israeli government had to release a paper which it had used to calculate the nutrition need of the people in Gaza for the purpose to restrict imports into Gaza to a certain level.

As the AP writes it:

In the January 2008 document, Israel determined how to ensure that Gazans eat 2,279 calories of food each day, a figure in line with World Health Organization guidelines.

It broke down the calorie allocation by various food groups, and in minute details. It said that males aged 11 to 50 required 316.05 grams of meat per day, and women in the same age group needed 190.47 grams of flour. The analysis also included adjustments for locally grown farm products as well as an assessment of the kinds of food imports that would be needed to sustain the population.
Israel controls the only official cargo crossings into Gaza, and greatly limited the flow of goods into the territory following the Hamas takeover.

Here is the point that AP is missing. The Israelis calculated the minimum needs of the Gazans and then deliberately delivered less than what was needed. As Haaretz noticed in its report on the issue:
Altogether, therefore, COGAT concluded that Israel needed to allow 131 truckloads of food and other essential products into Gaza every day ...
The point of the "red lines" document was to see if this number of trucks in fact met Gaza's needs. But according to Gisha, UN data shows that the number of trucks allowed into Gaza each day often fell below this level.

That is something the AP does not mentioned at all. Its readers will believe that Israel delivered what it calculated. It did not. Israel intentionally delivered less than the minimum quantity it had calculated the people in Gaza would need.

Instead AP gives us lots reminders that Hamas is a terrorist organization that fires home made rockets, but there is not a word in it about frequent Israeli bombing attacks on Gaza or of operation cast lead.

Then the AP inserts a serious lie:

Despite the shortages and hardship, at no point did observers identify a nutritional crisis developing in the territory, whose residents rely overwhelmingly on international food aid.

Even a cursory search for "Gaza malnutrition" gives these organizations which wrote reports about the nutritional crisis in Gaza and the related headlines:

Many organization again and again pointed to rising malnutrition in Gaza. Even AP reported on their findings. How then can AP now declare that "at no point did observers identify a nutritional crisis"?

Posted by b on October 19, 2012 at 14:47 UTC | Permalink


b: How then can AP now declare that "at no point did observers identify a nutritional crisis"?

Because if the AP, or anyone else, publicly criticizes Israel it would be considered to be "new anti-semitism," a journalistic crime.

The new anti-Semitism
US State Department, Mar 13, 2008

The distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that—whether intentionally or unintentionally—has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis, and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 19 2012 15:12 utc | 1

The fact that it is well known that Israel has this kind of control and is able to dictate how a few million people living under these conditions can survive is in itself a sick reflection on the UN and HRW. Both organizations who openly disregard these conditions and therefore lose their legitimacy.

Posted by: ana souri | Oct 19 2012 15:37 utc | 2

@ ana souri #2

Yes, the United Nations was formed to eliminate aggression in all its forms, and to promote peaceful cooperation. The United Nations was chartered to promote international peace and security, to develop friendly relations, to achieve international co-operation and to harmonize the actions of nations has instead been used by the major powers who first chartered it to promote conflict and insecurity against their appointed enemies. But no. The UN is now merely an imperialist tool and is not a conciliation organization, and so it has lost its legitimacy.

UN Charter:
The Purposes of the United Nations are:

To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 19 2012 16:15 utc | 3

The midday meal consisted of one portion of soup measuring about three quarters of a litre, with a value of 350 –400 calories. For supper the prisoners were given about 300 grams of bread and something extra in the shape of about 25 grams of sausage or margarine, or a spoonful of jam or cheese. The food value of supper came to about 900 – 1000 calories

- Auschwitz Concentration Camp Holocaust Research

So the Gaza rations come in at 879 calories more than Auschwitz, but as B writes even that alloted amount is regularly under-delivered.

Thousands of starved prisoners in the last stages of emaciation strove at every opportunity to get something to eat, unable to restrain themselves from rummaging in the refuse bins outside the kitchens. The eating of raw peelings and rotting cabbage, turnip or potatoes instead of appeasing hunger pangs, brought on hunger-induced dysentery

- Auchwitz Concentration Camp Holocaust Research

Impoverished Palestinians on the Gaza Strip are being forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps to survive as Israel's economic blockade risks causing irreversible damage, according to international observers.

- Gaza City The Guardian 2008

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Oct 19 2012 17:35 utc | 4

The Science of a Siege...

Btw, why would Hariri accuse Assad for the car bomb in Beirut...?

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 19 2012 19:28 utc | 5

@Colm O' Toole #4

There you go, drawing an Israel/Nazi comparison, which is one of the indicators of the "new anti-Semitism."

from the US State Department:
--Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 19 2012 19:35 utc | 6

@5, Well, I guess Hariri couldn't very well accuse the FSA "rebels" he has been supporting.

That said, if Hassan has been facilitating the transfer of weapons to terrorists attacking Syria, then it is possible Assad is sending a message, while hindering the enemy supply chain. That's pure speculation. I don't know enough to say. It is also possible it was a false flag intended to blame Syria.

And it could even be factions with the FSA with one angry that he was arming a competing faction.

In short, it will be impossible to know for sure, though obviously Assad/HA will be blamed by the usual parties regardless of evidence or cause.

Posted by: Lysander | Oct 19 2012 19:47 utc | 7

@7 From RT earlier... Israel, Syria, Iraq: Who benefits from the Beirut blast?

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 19 2012 20:24 utc | 8


"That said, if Hassan has been facilitating the transfer of weapons to terrorists attacking Syria, then it is possible Assad is "

more likely Israel could also be the suspect, as this will promote the sectarian divide,which suites israels interests.

"A 2010 investigative piece published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that UN investigators scrutinized al-Hassan as a possible suspect in the Hariri assassination. The investigators considered his alibi to be "weak and inconsistent...[he is] a possible suspect in the Hariri murder."

Al-Hassan said he was studying for an exam at the Lebanese University on the day of Hariri's assassination, and therefore excused himself from tending to his bodyguard duties. Phone records showed that al-Hassan made 24 calls in the morning of the assassination, though he claimed he was studying"

Posted by: Rd. | Oct 19 2012 20:27 utc | 9

Angry Arab today:

Flash: Wisam Hasan targeted in Beirut explosion
Update: he is dead. It has been confirmed that Hariri security chief (and coordinator of Saudi intelligence work in Lebanon), Wisam Al-Hasan has been targeted in Beirut explosion. A reporter on the scene reports that Hasan has been seriously injured. Al-Hasan has been tasked with Saudi intelligence of facilitating arming and funding of Free Syrian Army from Lebanon. His name has been linked with the ship, Lutfallah II, which was intercepted as it carried arms to Syrian rebels in Lebanon. This former bodyguard of Rafiq Hariri quickly rose in rank and became the head of a predominantly Sunni security apparatus (Shu`bat Al-Ma`lumat, or Intelligence Branch) which has received tens of millions in US covert funding. Hasan was first suspected in the Hariri assassination because he was absent that day and because he had long-standing ties with Syrian intelligence. He told the Hariri investigators that he was studying for an exam that day.

PS Western media will NOT report another angle to the story: that Hasan's Intelligence branch has been responsible for catching scores of Israeli spies and terrorists in Lebanon.

PPS This is the third assassination (or attempt) to target chiefs of the Intelligence Branch.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 8:46 AM

Posted by: absinthe | Oct 19 2012 22:39 utc | 10

The Gaza relief ship Estelle will probably be forcibly boarded by Zionist thugs tonight.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 20 2012 1:38 utc | 11

@donbacon #11.

This taken fron the Independent here in the UK, first appeared around 11am GMT.

"Israeli naval vessels have stopped a pro-Palestinian boat attempting
to reach Gaza in defiance of Israel's blockade of the territory,
military officials said.

The ships diverted the Estelle to the nearby port of Ashdod after passengers refused to steer the vessel off its course, the military said in a statement. There were some 30 passengers on board, who did not offer any resistance.

"A short while ago, Israeli naval soldiers boarded the Estelle en route to the Gaza Strip attempting to break the maritime security blockade," the statement said.

Victoria Strand, a spokeswoman for Ship to Gaza in Sweden, which sent the Estelle, said that armed, masked soldiers boarded the boat and cut their communications when they were some 30 nautical miles from Gaza. She said activists on board told her that some six naval boats surrounded their vessel.

"This is a demonstration of ruthlessness," Ms Strand said.

The Swedish-owned, Finnish-flagged Estelle left Naples, Italy, on October 7 with about 30 people from eight countries, carrying items such as cement, basketballs and musical instruments.

They were trying to challenge Israel's blockade, imposed since the militant group Hamas seized the coastal territory in 2007.

The ship was the latest in a series of activist-manned boats challenging Israel's blockade on Gaza. Activists have sent a series of blockade-defying vessels to Gaza, most of which have been similarly diverted to Ashdod.

In 2010, an Israeli naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla left nine Turkish activists on board dead, sparking international condemnation that forced Israel to ease much of its blockade, although it maintains restrictions on key exports and imports of raw materials."

Posted by: billyboy | Oct 20 2012 14:09 utc | 12

Notice how the Independent states that Hamas "seized" control of the strip. I suppose it was seized in the same way as Bush seized control of the US in 2000.

Posted by: billyboy | Oct 20 2012 14:13 utc | 13

"I suppose it was seized in the same way as Bush seized control of the US in 2000."

nope -

Bush was appointed by the courts which actually stopped the counting of votes on the basis that continuing to count the votes would be detrimental to Bush's claims to have won

HAMAS on the other hand actually WON their election fair and square *(according to international observers)

Posted by: SF | Oct 20 2012 16:11 utc | 14

Yeah, that's true. I was being sarcastic. Didn't come across too well though.

Posted by: billyboy | Oct 20 2012 16:37 utc | 15

my mistake then . . .

Posted by: SF | Oct 20 2012 16:40 utc | 16

The Israeli highjacking of the Gaza relief ship SV Estelle in international waters, and the kidnapping of several European members of parliament, seems to be a non-story in the western press. Now if another country did this . . .

But we mustn't criticize Israel. It's "the new anti-semitism." Israel can do whatever it wants, apparently.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 21 2012 15:08 utc | 17

As b points out, it was known for a long time that Gaza was being ‘starved’, from the situation on the ground.

Incl. by international orgs who documented it. I even remember some reports of trucks being emptied and thrashed at the border, and worse, to add insult to injury. Plus there is all the ‘illegal’ imports (vital and necessary) going on, for which ppl can be arrested, like feeding a family is...criminal.

Juan Cole’s post (1) on this matter made it to the front page of Reddit (2 > present front page) - the biggest US/>OECD/in English/ board for young ppl in the world.

The calorie counting and restriction evoke the Nazis and Communism, so provokes indignation..and even fear. In a way ‘the horror news’ even stigmatizes Palestinians, like, how can that exist? Both victims and perps must be to blame. (Not all posters of course.)

On Rxxxx in top or pop posts, the terms WW2 and Holocaust are practically interchangeable, as if WW2 was just about killing Jews. The large majority of posters are well-meaning US citizens aged 13- 28 or whatever. Scary...

How then can AP now declare that "at no point did observers identify a nutritional crisis"?

Because Israel has a-hem a special status. A ‘nother topic.



Posted by: Noirette | Oct 22 2012 14:51 utc | 18

Btw, US prisons, children’s homes across the world, and food policies for poor ppl (e.g. US “food stamps”), and many others, calculate calories and restrict them in similar ways.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 22 2012 15:02 utc | 19

Btw, US prisons, children’s homes across the world, and food policies for poor ppl (e.g. US “food stamps”), and many others, calculate calories and restrict them in similar ways.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 22 2012 15:02 utc | 20

and your point is?

Posted by: mooser | Oct 23 2012 23:18 utc | 21

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