Crisis? What crisis?

You may have difficulty learning about it — or even understanding that it’s happening — if you rely on the major media in this country. But if you check, say, the British newspapers, like the Independent, you may come to believe that yes, there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Now.

After six days of Israeli bombardment, aid agencies say that Gazans are facing a humanitarian crisis with air strikes causing severe problems in getting food, medicine and fuel supplies to the besieged civilian population.

The assessment, by several international relief organisations, contradicts the statement by the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, during a visit to Paris yesterday that “there is no humanitarian crisis in the Strip, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce”.

Livni’s comments were in response to the European Union’s call for a humanitarian truce. Nice of the EU to take a stand, but the EU really does not have much clout in the Middle East. Also without much clout, but with a great deal of credibility, are the relief organizations which characterized the situation as a crisis. Among them, the International Red Cross, OxFam, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

And the United States, which, as a doting godfather to the state of Israel must be presumed actually to have some clout in the region, where does the United States stand on this issue? Word from the White House, as conveyed by Administration spokesman Gordon Johndroe, is that it probably isn’t a real crisis. That, anyway, is how I’d interpret his wishy-washy reply to the question.

The Israelis are reporting that Hamas hordes the humanitarian supplies and doesn’t allow them to reach the people of Gaza to create the idea of a humanitarian crisis.

See, it’s not a humanitarian crisis; the Israelis told us so, and they wouldn’t mislead anyone. It only looks like one because people are not getting food, water, medical care, or fuel.


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