... we had a talk from a member who had been on a sponsored visit to Palestine
... is what Cherie opened with. Now it's nothing against the noble trade union movement or Cherie's tireless work for it but really, one needs to step back a moment and analyse that line. A trade unionist sponsored by Hamas, in the sense that he'd never have been shown around if Hamas had not approved, came back to Britain and gave an 'unbiased' assessment of the situation? Now what sort of conclusions would he be likely to bring back from his Hamas enabled tour?
Here is one of his observations:
Even the school’s windows were boarded up as protection from Israeli bullets. This meant the classrooms, with 45 children, were suffocating hot in summer. The Palestinian people are being all being slowly suffocated - culturally and socially, as well as economically.
Again, step back and analyse this. Why would the Palestinians keep the children in that building with boarded up windows on a stinking hot day? Why wouldn't they find a safe place for the children underground - there are many such semi-dugouts. Why keep them suffering? The answer's obvious, isn't it? It wasn't the comfort and safety of the children at issue here but the western visitor. So the emotive language in 'the Palestinian people are being all being slowly suffocated' tugs at the heartstrings like a Fenian ditty - pity it's not based on evidence though.
Now, anyone who knows anything about missiles knows that boarded up windows are hardly likely to stop one and rifles would go through them like butter. It's the very assumption that the Israelis would fire indiscriminately at the windows which betrays Hamas's own mindset. Hamas knew all this but the western trade unionist still swallowed the whole story, then came back and reported it. Was there anyone there to ask the questions I'm now asking?
If you need evidence, then there is this video. Now one sees the true Palestinian leadership - not the least concern about the welfare of the children. Why were schools targetted by Israel? Because they were using schools to fire rockets at Israel. Look at the video again.
Then there is this:
The airport also has a system of stickers for the luggage. Jews get a 1 or a 2, EU passport holders get a 3 and Arabs get a 6. Anyone with 6 label has to have both a luggage search and a personal search conducted.
Why are the Arab bags labelled differently? The immediate knee-jerk reaction is, 'Oh, it's apartheid'. Actually, it's because the Arabs can't be trusted, based on events of the past few decades, not to send suicide bombers and not to do this sort of thing. Please look at the way the children are treated by their own armed forces.
Again, not my words.
So, coming back to the luggage stickers, let me ask you a question. Imagine you're a customs official and you know that weapons are going through. Would you not take particular care to check over a people who have, among them, known offenders? Where is the Jewish equivalent to this? That's right - it doesn't exist.
I've no doubt there is a lot of brutality in the treatment and I've already commented at Cherie's site about what I think of the Jewish character. However, the issue here is what is really happening to those Palestinian children.
Naturally, Nakba [May 15, 1948] gets a mention by the pro-Palestinians but conveniently, the events preceding it are never mentioned. Wiki takes up the story:
After the rejection of the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine (UN General Assembly Resolution 181) that would have created an Arab state and a Jewish state side by side, five Arab states invaded the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine. Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria attacked the state of Israel.
Now be sure of this – the Arabs rejected it. Here was the Israeli response:
The Jewish leadership accepted the partition plan as "the indispensable minimum," glad as they were with the international recognition but sorry that they did not receive more.
Having recruited a few thousand volunteers, al-Husayni organized the blockade of the 100,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem.
Is that ever mentioned on the day of Nakba? Not on your life. Nor the next part:
On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the state of Israel, and the 1948 Palestine war entered its second phase, with the intervention of several Arab states' armies the following day.
That makes the day of the invasion May 15th, 1948. Anything just a teensy bit significant about that date to you, vis a vis Nakba?
What we've got here are highly emotional and unsubstantiated statements - systematic ill treatment, torture. Evidence?
“systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities.”
This comes from someone called 'Gerard' who has the run of the Palestinian land, something he would never have if he were to report the truth.
'harsh Israeli jail'
Not just 'Israeli jail'. When it's Israeli, the adjective 'harsh' must be used. Do you know of any jail which is not harsh?
This is an article by a woman who visited the area, neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Arab. She says aid must get through and Israel must open up the borders for the convoys but then adds:
She also stated that "Hamas must respect that humanitarian aid cannot be diverted."
Therein lies the real problem. This is what's really going on:
There was a bit of head-scratching going on recently in the hallowed halls of the UN.
After weeks of rebuking Israel for preventing humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza, UN officials were forced to cancel deliveries of aid into the Hamas-controlled territory after terrorists broke into a UN Relief and Works Agency warehouse and made off with 800 tons of blankets, food and other basic commodities to sell them to the highest bidders.
Israeli officials have been saying all along that Hamas routinely diverts humanitarian aid. In April, fuel trucks destined for UNRWA warehouses were overtaken. It was reported in August that Hamas gunmen had hijacked more than 10 trucks destined for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society full of food and medical supplies.
All that is only more ironic given the worldwide castigation of Israel for allegedly preventing humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza during the military operation.
At least 10 trucks with humanitarian aid sent to the Gaza Strip by the Jordanian Red Crescent Society were confiscated by Hamas police shortly after the trucks entered the territory on Thursday evening, according to aid officials in Jerusalem.
Eight trucks had food products and another two had medicines. They were reportedly taken to Hamas-run ministries.
Initial reports said the intended target of the aid was the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Gaza. Hamas and the PRCS had a run-in in the past, when the Islamic group diverted another aid convoy.
A spokesman for the Hamas police in Gaza said that the number of trucks was in fact 14 and they would be "delivered to Palestinians in need in the Gaza Strip."
Iran is even aware that the aid is not getting past Hamas.
What appeared in that trade unionist's talk was a highly slanted, Hamas approved take on what was happening, which simply does not accord with either the video or documentary evidence above [and that's but a portion].
Cherie's in a difficult position; she can say she's known these two people for a long time and they wouldn't lie. I'm not saying they are lying. I'm saying they've been duped because they wished to see the truth in these terms.
On the Egyptian side, 700 people and 10 trucks with medical aid from Arab countries were waiting to enter. Some 550 people waited to cross the other way, with priority given to those needing urgent medical treatment. Gaza has been blockaded by Israel, and much of the time by Egypt, for two years since Hamas took control there. Despite considerable criticism in the Arab world, the Egyptian government has kept Rafah largely shut since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007.
Interesting, eh? Why would Egypt, an Arab nation, supposedly in sympathy with the Palestinians, have done that for so long?