Goal of Gaza flotilla is not aid

Mike Fegelman of HonestReporting Canada responds to Jim Stachow's letter about Jim Manly and the Freedom Flotilla.

Editor:

Re: Jim Stachow: Former MP will challenge Gaza blockade (Oct. 2, 2012)

Earth to Jim Stachow; Hamas itself readily admits that “there is no starvation in Gaza.”

In reality, Gazans have ample supplies of basic necessities and consumer goods and are currently experiencing an economic boom and good standards of living.

Israel’s well-documented position is that it was well within its rights in enforcing a legal maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of Hamas terrorists. This position is widely accepted by the international community, United Nations and world-renowned jurists.

The blockade is a legal measure to prevent arms being smuggled ashore from Iran and Syria, the wisdom of which has been repeatedly demonstrated. For example, in March 2011, Israel seized 50 tons of weapons aboard the Syrian vessel, the Victoria.

It should be noted that even while enforcing the blockade, Israel has facilitated a regular flow of enormous amounts of humanitarian aid into the territory. According to COGAT — an Israeli unit that co-ordinates governmental activities in the Palestinian territories — in the last month alone, 39,795 tons of goods and gas entered the Gaza Strip from Israel in 1,256 truckloads.

As to the so-called perils of Gaza, the Strip boasts five-star restaurants, boutique hotels, vibrant and well-stocked markets, first-class shopping malls, theme parks, luxury restaurants, sports cars, scenic beaches and Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Also not mentioned in this article is that over the past 10 years, Hamas has fired more than 12,000 rockets at Israeli citizens.

If Mr. Stachow is genuinely interested in human rights, he should direct his efforts to aid beleaguered Syrian citizens who are currently being detained, raped, tortured and murdered in the tens of thousands by the Assad regime.

After all, the point of this misguided flotilla exercise is to provoke a dangerous confrontation with Israel in the hope of generating international headlines, again.

Cynically, only by causing injury will the same notoriety be accomplished. Therefore, contrary to Mr. Stachow’s assertion, the goal is confrontation, not aid; violence, not peace. The Flotilla-ists are provocateurs, not activists.

What remains to be seen is if the myth of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza will produce the ultimate casualty: the distraction of the world from real humanitarian disasters. The signs thus far are not encouraging.

Mike Fegelman

Executive director, HonestReporting Canada,  Toronto

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)
Vancouver pot shop owner ordered to pay $40K for copying Subway

Store’s mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled smoking sandwich

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read