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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
(415) 356-7801


August 3, 2010

Life in Gaza is actually far better than in many other parts of the world

Dear Friend of FLAME:

Over the past six months, I have become exponentially more frustrated with the worldwide perception of the supposed humanitarian crisis in Gaza.  Is the situation there ideal?  Of course it isn't.  Are many Gazans unemployed?  Yes they are.  But to paint a picture of people living in Holocaust-like conditions and completely forgotten by the outside world is, in the kindest interpretation, a willful misrepresentation of the facts; in the worst case scenario it's a flat out lie.

As Jacob Shrybman points out in this week's short (but very much to the point) FLAME Hotline, life actually isn't so horrible in Gaza.  In fact, in the past couple of weeks a bright, shiny new shopping mall opened in Gaza (links to photos below). One wonders how that came about, since Israel has supposedly only allowed the most basic of necessities into Gaza.  Where did all that cement and other building material come from?  Concentration camps usually don't have building materials simply lying around, do they? 

On the same day that the mall opened, the EU once again criticized Israel for its treatment of Gaza.  This after the EU had already announced more aid for the Palestinians---to the tune of 71 million Euros for the "Occupied Palestinian Territory".  Perhaps the EU should have looked into the following statistics of life expectancy and infant mortality in Gaza versus, for example, Turkey (thanks to Tom Gross for providing these numbers, the source of which is the "CIA World Factbook").

  • Turkey: life expectancy is 72.23 and infant mortality is 24.84 per 1,000 births.
  • Gaza: life expectancy is 73.68 and infant mortality is 17.71 per 1,000 births.

Or how about life in Gaza compared to the millions of Africans that die each year from famine.  Life expectancy in Swaziland is less than 40 years, and in Zambia it is 42 years, not much better.

It would seem that the EU and the UN should be issuing proclamation after proclamation about the humanitarian crisis in Turkey, right?  Or better yet, perhaps the EU can send their millions of Euros to Africa, or send a flotilla to help the poor citizens of Turkey?

Earlier this year a new Olympic-sized swimming pool opened in Gaza as well.  It would be surprising if members of the world media missed this, but they certainly didn't widely report on it.  And they also apparently missed the full markets and fancy hotels and restaurants in Gaza.  Here are images of the mall, pool, and the Roots restaurant, and here are images of the markets.

Yet there are continued voiced intentions (most recently from Hizbollah/Lebanon) to send more flotillas to Gaza, to go along with the "emergency" funds announced by the EU and even the United States (President Obama recently pledged $400 million in aid for the West Bank and Gaza).  As is the norm when it comes to the Middle East, there is a disconnect between the facts on the ground and the image given to us by the media.

Clearly, there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.  Palestinians receive among the highest amounts of international aid in the world (here are the exact numbers from 2006-2008).  Also, this year alone Israel has itself delivered almost 300,000 tons of aid into Gaza.  There is a simple solution to the problems that Gaza and the Palestinians do have: Recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, stop all incitement, and negotiate in good faith directly with a willing Israeli government. 

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have said and shown they are simply not willing to do these things.  In short, the admittedly deprived Gazans have, unfortunately, no one to blame but their own leadership.

Best Regards,

Dave Nogradi
FLAME Hotline Contributor


You know by now that the idea of a humanitarian crisis is Gaza is nothing more than a publicity stunt. For more on this false and dangerous narrative, please read FLAME's position paper titled "The Great 'Peace Flotilla' Ambush? How Israel fell into a trap, carefully set by its enemiesies." Most of all, if you agree that this kind of public relations effort on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's powerful ability to influence public opinion comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.

The good life in Gaza
by Jacob Shrybman, Ynetnews, July 20, 2010

This past Saturday night, the Gaza Strip marked the grand opening of its new shopping mall, known as Strip Mall. So as the world continues to chastise Israel over its "blockade," Gaza residents (including the over 10,500 allowed intro Israel for medical treatment in 2009) can enjoy life at the fancy new shopping center.

Curiously, a day after the mall opened, the European Union's Senior Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, called for Israel to lift the Gaza blockade. One wonders whether she found the time, while inspecting all the terrible sights of Gaza's humanitarian crisis during her visit, to stop by the new Gaza mall to check out how sales were going.

Meanwhile, as Strip Mall festivities were on Saturday, Sky News reported on the "still dire" situation in Gaza. The article noted that, "The blockade has meant that only basics like flour, rice and sugar have been allowed into Gaza from Israel." One wonders about that while examining the joyous pictures of the upscale Gaza mall's grand opening and the various goods on offer there.

Similarly, on the day of the Gaza mall's opening, UNRWA President John Ging said the people of Gaza "Can't afford to buy cans of Coca Cola from Israel." But they can afford new clothes, luxury hair products, and children's toys at the new Gaza Mall?

Indeed, images from the new mall make one wonder about the humanitarian crisis all these international "aid" ships are sailing to. Who knows, maybe Libyan dictator Gaddafi, who sent a ship recently, owns a store in the Gaza Strip Mall?

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