BBC censorship of Gaza humanitarian appeal

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2009-01-28

A conversation with Ron Weiner:

Annette, I continue to believe that a large segment of possible donators will remain distrustful of Hamas; I continue to believe that these people need assurances that the funds do go to the Gaza Palestinians.

Ron, the independent groups that are supporting humanitarian aid to Gaza are not the Hamas -- besides, It seems strange that all of the press and government commentary about interdicting weapons to Hamas say nothing about the support, military and otherwise that Israel is receiving from the U.S. Even in the middle of the bombardment and invasion the U.S. announced another shipment of bombs to Israel -- for purely "defensive" purposes, of course.

Annette, you are "preaching to the choir," here. My perception is that you feel I am on Israel's side in this awful situation; not so! All I said was that I can see that there is bound to be mistrust over the fact that Hamas may control the distribution of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians and that some would suspect that government would continue to smuggle arms along with that aid, after which you began to send emails that seem to say that I am in favor of Israel's actions, which I am emphatically not!

Ron, no, I don't for a minute think you are on Israel's side. My real and only objection was your apparent acceptance (it seemed to me) of the "reasonableness" of one of the arguments that the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] put forth -- that the Hamas might continue to smuggle arms in with the supplies if they controlled any distribution of the humanitarian aid -- and therefore the BBC was acting correctly to withhold advertising an appeal for aid.

I found that line of BBC argument misleading and jingoistic, hawkish even -- (you said I was naive in believing otherwise) -- and in the face of the horrible conditions the people of Gaza were being left in, a heartless non-sequitur of right wing propaganda, put forth as only the Israeli government and other right wing hawks know how to do.

It should be for reasonable people to not accept this kind of specious thinking -- (and I don't know if you do or don't) -- or think it MAY have merit.

Because, first of all, it should be recognized that the appeal was put out by an aggregation of traditional European and American humanitarian groups -- what comes to mind are Save The Children and the American Red Cross, and several others, all recognized, prestigious, etc. etc., -- not "political" in any sense. Secondly, could anyone suppose that the aid would not also be delivered into Gaza by them? Or by the U.N.? Or that the Israeli military -- which already monitors everything coming into the checkpoints would not also be monitoring the new aid?

And if Hamas could somehow get Kassam rockets (or the materials to make them -- they are said to be home made) packed in with the food and other supplies, and could somehow get them to the 1500 or so fighters they have, that the Hamas MIGHT think it was less important that the population continue to go hungry and more important that they suddenly end the truce, get the Israeli invasion again, lose whatever credibility they have, etc.?

For the BBC to allow or use that as a credible argument is obviously absurd and morally repugnant. That was my beef.

Annette, you make excellent points all along the way.I guess I don't have a lot of trust in Hamas either (albeit I may be influenced by the MSM [main stream media].)