Is UNRWA getting the message at last?

November 24, 2016 22:56

Two articles today, the first in the Jerusalem Post and the second on the BBC website cast an interesting light on the way UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and its chief in Gaza, John Ging, are beginning to speak out against Hamas and its affect on Gaza, rather than Israel's embargo and maritime blockade. Or are they?

During Operation Cast, Ging was scathing of Israel and its putative attacks on UN compounds and its general tactics. The term 'War Crimes' was bandied about and there was a decided lack of interest in the tactics being employed by Hamas.

But now Ging has criticised 'Palestinian infighting'. Why?

"It is such a tragedy that, on top of all the other crises that we have in the Gaza Strip, we now have a crisis of electricity," John Ging, director of UNRWA in Gaza, was quoted by AFP as saying.

"It's an unbearable situation here at the moment, and it needs to be solved very quickly. It's a Palestinian problem, made by Palestinians, and causing Palestinian suffering. So let's have a Palestinian solution," he added.

Strong words indeed. Or are they? 'Unbearable situation' if he believes the Palestinians inflict it on their own people, 'Humanitarian Crisis' if he believes it's the Israelis.

The single power plant in Gaza, which normally generates 25 percent of the electricity used in the Strip, was shut down over the weekend due to a payment dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Do you know where the other 75% comes from? yeah, you guessed it - Israel.

A couple of weeks ago I was reading an article in the JC written by a Palestinian journalist who described the wretched conditions. He said no-one was starving but electricity was unreliable and so was water. He blames neither Hamas (he would be hanged, no doubt) or Israel (his voice may not be heard).

Most people would have concluded that this situation is 100% attributable to the Israeli maritime blockade and embargo (since eased, somewhat).

But if Hamas cares so much for its people's suffering, then how can it allow electricity to be cut in this way? And who is ultimately responsible responsible for the stoppage of fuel required to power the plant? The Palestinian Authority. And where is the world outrage? Where are the flotillas? Where are the emergency sessions in the UN?

The BBC reports that for the second time a children's camp, arranged and funded by UNRWA, has been burned down by 'extremist militants'. Hamas condemned the first attack but even the BBC has to admit that nothing happens in Gaza without the say-so of the Hamas.

And what does Mr Ging say?:

"This is another example of the growing levels of extremism in Gaza and further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the circumstances on the ground,"

What does he mean 'change the circumstances on the ground'?

Does he mean that Israel is to blame for this? Israel, because of the blockade and the embargo? Has he too fallen into the causal quagmire? Does he really think that Islamist extremism is caused by Israel's blockade and embargo rather than the blockade and embargo being a result of Islamist extremism?

Hamas, having gained possession of Gaza, having seen every last Israeli leave, decided to destroy millions of dollars of agricultural equipment left gratis by Israel and then begin a campaign of launching thousands of rockets into Israel.

And what about the 'Freedom Flotilla' aid which was held up for days by Hamas. Does the world expect a ruthless, genocidal, Islamist, terrorist group to care more about its people than Israel?

Or does Ging mean that Hamas and the extremists need to be defeated? Does he 'get it' or not?

You decide.

November 24, 2016 22:56

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive