Israel bashers - eat your hearts out!
ISRAEL WORLD'S 8TH HAPPIEST COUNTRY
ISRAEL WORLD'S 8TH HAPPIEST COUNTRY
The Painting Blue Skies Over Gaza exhibition opened at the council-run Prahran venue in May.
Australians for Palestine organised the art show, which had Gaza-related paintings by Parkville artist Dora McPhee and works by Palestinian children.
A number of flyers, some describing Israel as an apartheid state with accusations of ethnic cleansing and racist policies, were left about the venue during the show.
A resident who complained to Stonnington Council, Leah, said “many, many individuals” had been concerned by the flyers.
The exhibition was “just a disguise for distributing propaganda,” she said. “It is a publicly-funded place and here we are funding propaganda for Hamas. We were just dumbfounded.”
When the iconic 1970s disco group Boney M rocked Ramallah this week, the local music festival prevented the band from performing one of its biggest hits.
Lead singer Maizie Williams said Palestinian concert organizers told her not to sing "Rivers of Babylon." The song's chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people's yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel.
Palestinians often question the Jewish historical connection to the Holy Land. Organizers said they asked for the song to be skipped, deeming it "inappropriate."
In Turkey, life expectancy is 72.23 and infant mortality is 24.84 per 1,000 births.
In Gaza, life expectancy is 73.68 and infant mortality is 17.71 per 1,000 births.
Turkey has a literacy rate of 88.7% while in Gaza it is 91.9%. (It is much lower in Egypt and other Arab countries where Israel did not establish colleges and universities in the 1970s and 1980s.)
Gaza’s GDP is almost as high as Turkey’s and much, much higher than most of Africa that gets 1,000th of the aid per capita that Gaza gets from the West.
Meanwhile Western governments, misled by Western media, continue to pour more and more money into Gaza for people that don’t need it, while allowing black Africans to starve to death.
As the correspondent for one of Japan’s biggest newspapers said to me last week, “Gaza and the West Bank are the only places in the world where I have seen refugees drive Mercedes.”
There is a paradox in Gaza: While Hamas has no competition for power, it also has a surprisingly small following.
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.
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."
1. An analysis of the names of the Turks killed in the violent confrontation with the IDF aboard the Mavi Marmara shows that almost all of them (eight of the nine) belonged to IHH or to Islamist Turkish factions or groups affiliated with IHH.
2. The one exception was a 19-year old named Furkan Dogan who had dual Turkish-American citizenship and whose involvement in the confrontation was unclear. In effect, according to an article in Radikal, a small intellectual Turkish newspaper which offers varied points of view, before the confrontation with the IDF Dogan wrote a diary entry attesting to his desire to become a shaheed.
3. The article in Radikal criticized the Turkish government's policy of referring to those killed as shaheeds because their activity was civilian and not religious. According to the paper, it was enough to quote the diary of high school student Furkan Dogan, who wrote the following on the morning before the confrontation: “I think there is not much time left for that moment of martyrdom. Is there anything more honorable? If there is, it should be my mother. I am not sure of that either. Which one’s better? My mother’s compassion or dying for a noble cause?" (radikal.com.tr, June 16, 2010). The same quote appears on another website, which notes that they were his last words (sailanmuslim.com).1 (Note: The above quotation was taken from the Sailanmuslim website.)
4. In addition, a report in the Turkish paper Zaman (quoted by the Israeli media) stated that before Furkan boarded the Mavi Marmara he asked for his parents' blessing. His brother Mustafa said that "we did not expect him to return to us like this. But we are not sorry he was killed as a shaheed." His father said that the family believed Furkan died an honorable death and was blessed in paradise (Haaretz.co.il, June 3; Ynet.co.il, June 4, 2010).
However, it expressed the sort of extreme views that are widely shared and growing worldwide but on reflection I realise that they should be not be given further oxygen and publicity.
Reaction to my tweet was immediate, overwhelming and a provides a good lesson on why 140 characters should not be used to comment on controversial or sensitive issues, especially those dealing with the Middle East.
It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I'm sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah's life's work. That's not the case at all . . . .
Revered across borders yet designated a terrorist. Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It's something I deeply regret.
Turkey was the most prominent country in the recent flotilla, but according to a number of indicators, the humanitarian situation in Turkey is worse than it is in Gaza.
Infant mortality in Gaza is 17.7 per thousand; in Turkey it is 24.8. Life expectancy in Gaza is 73.7, whereas in Turkey it is 72.2.
Most of the world's inhabitants are - according to objective data - in a worse situation than the residents of Gaza. This includes those who live in Turkey under Erdogan's rule.
Even by other indicators, such as personal computer use or Internet access, the situation of the residents of Gaza is much better than most of the world's inhabitants.
Two years ago, a British politician claimed that life expectancy in Glasgow East was much lower than in Gaza. The claim caused an uproar. Britain's Channel 4 carried out a scrupulous check and found the claim to be true.
Thus, it is a little strange that humanitarian aid comes from people whose situation is worse. It is Turkey that needs the help.
American aid per capita to Gaza is 7.5 times higher than aid per capita to Haiti, though by any possible indicator, the residents of Gaza are incomparably better off than the residents of Haiti.
What is true is that, thanks to the "brutal" occupation, the Palestinians in Gaza are better off than most of their brethren in neighboring countries.
It also calls on Muslims to fight Jews everywhere, and engages in vicious anti-Jew invective. Last month, HT in Bangladesh issued a press release to advertise a demonstration about the Gaza flotilla which said: "O Muslim armies! Teach the Jews a lesson after which they will need no further lessons. March forth to fight them, eradicate their entity and purify the earth of their filth."
HT explicitly rejects the use of violence in its quest for an Islamic state. But it supports militant campaigns against Western forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and opposes the existence of Israel, which it calls an "illegitimate" state that "must be removed".