“An ignorant observer might conclude that the goal of the activists has little to do with helping Palestinians and everything to do with demonizing Israel.”
Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip, July 10 – Analysts are struggling to explain the puzzling absence of aid flotillas carrying precious fuel for the electricity-generating plants in this coastal territory, given the noise international activists have made regarding the horrors resulting from Israel’s naval blockade.
Israel ceased supplying the fuel when the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority stopped paying for it last month, in a move calculated by the ruling Fatah faction among the Palestinians to apply pressure on the Hamas movement that runs Gaza. While some internal Palestinian propaganda and other Arab media items have sought to blame Israel for the fuel crisis, as well as for Fatah’s refusal to allow medicines into the territory or patients out, the perfunctory anti-Israel rhetoric has convinced few Palestinians, let alone Gazans who stands behind the decision. With the welfare of Gaza residents so prominent in the hearts and minds of worldwide activists, experts find themselves at a loss to make heads or tails of both the silence on the part of those righteous individuals and groups, and the lack of efforts to organize maritime relief efforts.
“I’m not sure what lies behind this deafening silence,” wondered Avi Uss, a fellow with the Brookings Institution. “We know that human rights activists and groups place great emphasis on the welfare of Palestinians when Israel makes any move that might adversely affect them, so my colleagues and I expected those vaunted principles to come into play now that the Gaza Strip is suffering a massive electricity shortage right when the need for air conditioning is at its most acute. But crickets. We’re stumped.” The Middle East has seen nearly two weeks of unusually high temperatures.
When previous flotillas approached Gaza, Israel assured activists that any aid packages would be transferred to Gaza through Israel, and such a transfer would be accomplished more efficiently by delivering the goods via an Israeli port, rather than challenging the military blockade imposed to prevent Hamas from obtaining weapons to use against Israel. Journalists who attempted to contact activists who previously sought to organize aid flotillas could not manage to elicit straight answers as to why no such shipments have been arranged for the suffering Gazans.
“An ignorant observer might conclude that the goal of the activists has little to do with helping Palestinians and everything to do with demonizing Israel,” concurred Middle East Policy Analysts fellow Noah Duh. “But of course it would be ignorant to suggest that. Everyone who isn’t ignorant knows you’re not allowed to question the motives, sincerity, or rigor of human rights activists.”
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