Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Flour In The Streets

The mean Israelis have done it again. They have cut the flour ration for Gaza.

The Boston Globe has just run an op-ed under the headline "Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza." The authors are Eyad al-Sarraj, identified as founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and Sara Roy, identified as senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The bias of the op-ed speaks for itself, and I won't even dwell on it. But I do want to call attention to this sentence:
Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.
How about we do a little math. There are about 1.5 million people in Gaza (or were - some have decamped for Egypt). So before the Israeli cut back Gazans were getting about 900 lbs. of flour a day each. Now the ration from Israel is about .1 lb a day each.

So are the Israelis thanked for helping Gazans go on a diet and lose all those ugly pounds? Not on your life. Are they thanked by the Gazans for reducing the flour in the street problem? Nope.

How about a more realistic look. Tunnels from Gaza to Egypt were a huge business for some Gazans living near the Egyptian border until the recent destruction of the border fence. What were they smuggling? Food? Nope. Weapons. So it would appear that Gazans have a taste for cold steel and hot lead. Obviously the Israelis have been sending in the wrong commodities. I hope they respond more to market demand in the future. It can only improve the place.


1 comment:

LarryD said...

Sigh, I hate to say it, but maybe the problem is that the Israelis are too squeamish to heed Gen. Sherman:

War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over.

This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.

Sherman would have forcibly evacuated Gaza and razed everything to the ground. And probably plowed the ground and sown it with salt.

I'm not sure that even that would be enough.