Bronner isn't just telling yet another heart tugging sympathy piece about the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza that places all of the blame on Israel and its policies and, in this respect, the Age may well have (albeit unwittingly) provided a small service to its readers reminding them of the harsh reality of this conflict.
Thanks to Bronner and his collaborators (named in the original NY Times version but not by the Age), we learn of how heavy the hand of Hamas on its populace, of the infighting between Hamas and Fatah, of the hatred and mistrust of the various factions and of how this affects the people's lives. Through all of this, we get a taste of the corrupt nature of the sub-state under which the Palestinians are living in Gaza.
The bottom line is that, essentially, the Gazans are living under the fascist boot heel of Hamas. This should not come as a surprise to those who know that Hamas had its roots in the Moslem Brotherhood which, in this region, aligned itself with Hitler in World War 2. If the extreme left which glorifies movements such as Hamas, Hizbullah and the Turkish IHH which commandeered the recent Free Gaza flotilla, only knew or cared?
There is a paradox in Gaza: While Hamas has no competition for power, it also has a surprisingly small following.
Bronner doesn’t hide the racism of the general population towards the "Jews" (and not the "Zionist entity"). Many of the men are portrayed badly as lazy, drug-taking, dysfunctional and useless. Clearly, this is one piece where the blame is not all put at Israel's feet and we get a true feel of what’s happening in the Hamas thugocracy. We also understand that much of the theatrics about starvation and depradation are untrue and that the real problem of Gaza is much deeper.
In fact, talk about food, and people here get angry because it implies that their struggle is over subsistence rather than quality of life. The issue is not hunger. It is idleness, uncertainty and despair.
It is the idleness, uncertainty and despair for which the Palestinian leadership, the Arab world, the international community and the media all bear responsibility for allowing the situation of these people to continue without attention for more than six decades after five Arab states with the support of the local Arab population entered the region bent on a "momentous massacre" of the Jewish population in a bid to destroy the nascent State of Israel.
The Palestinans of Gaza are truly trapped but not by the Israelis and the Egyptians.
The writer’s interviews with Gazans don’t hide the racism of the population to its neighbours.
He does like the fact that, as he put it, Hamas ''refuses to kneel down to the Jews'', but like most Gazans, he is worried about Palestinian
disunity and blames both factions.
People here seem unable to imagine a political solution to their ills.
Ask Gazans how to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict - two states? One state? - and the answer is mostly a reflexive call to drive Israel out.
"Hamas and Fatah are two sides of the same coin," Ramzi, a public school teacher from the city of Rafah, said in a widely expressed sentiment.
"All the land is ours. We should turn the Jews into refugees and then let the international community take care of them."
That's from a school teacher mind you. No wonder Bronner thinks there's no way out.
Of course, there is a way out. It involves the Gazans joining the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and work on developing their own civil society rather than destroying someone else’s. This seems to be happening in the West Bank. Why can't the true peace lovers on the face of this earth form a flotilla to sail into Gaza with that message instead of the usueless provisions and the gangsters that the Mavi Marmara carried at the end of May?