Hamas Torches Children's Summer Camps
by MELANIE PHILLIPS
July 1, 2010
All those who believe Gaza is in need of more international aid should be aware of what has now happened twice to summer camps for children in Gaza that are run by the UN. Foreign Policy magazine reports:
Last night, 25 armed, masked men set fire to a U.N. summer camp at a beach in Nuseirat, Gaza, destroying inflatable pools and tents and roughing up a group of guards protecting the facility. It was the second attack on a U.N. recreation facility in just over a month. On May 23, a group of 30 masked, armed men set fire to another U.N. summer camp facility under construction in Gaza City. They also threatened to kill the U.N.'s top relief official in Gaza.
U.N. officials told Turtle Bay they don't know who attacked the recreation facilities but they suspect the vandals are Islamic extremists who object to programs that allow boys and girls to jointly swim, play volleyball, and learn about the arts, theater and other cultural activities.
This is yet another example of what I wrote about in the Daily Mail the other week – that the principle behind international aid programmes, that humanitarian assistance must be delivered regardless of the political situation because human need transcends politics or war, is totally flawed. All too often that aid is hijacked, trashed or used to prolong and deepen war or repression. In respect of Gaza, Barry Rubin makes a further related and salutary observation:
Prior to turning over the Gaza Strip to rule by the Palestinian Authority in 1994, Israel at times tried to resettle the refugees in new housing. This step was not only opposed by the PLO—which wanted to keep the refugees in temporary housing until their triumphant return to a Palestine built on the smoldering remains of a destroyed Israel—but by a UN resolution. And so Israel abandoned the effort.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) ruled the Gaza Strip for more than a dozen years and received lavish aid funding, some of it specifically earmarked for new housing. But it was PA policy never to move refugees into new housing, for the same reason as before. Their suffering was good propaganda abroad and also was intended to keep the refugees in a dissatisfied state of mind so they would support continuing the battle until total victory and be willing to sacrifice their lives for the cause.
So why do refugees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank live in refugee camps today? For the same reason that there is no Palestinian state: Because of decisions made by the Palestinian leadership, both nationalist and Islamist.
Absurdly (and totally in character) John Ging, the director of operations for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, has reacted to the trashing of the summer camps by saying that the attacks provided
‘...further evidence, if that were needed, of the urgency to change the circumstances on the ground that are generating such extremism.’
Those ‘circumstances on the ground’ are the presence of Hamas. It is Hamas that has to be isolated and defeated if a start is to be made in slowing down the rate of extremism. But that’s not what Ging means. What he means is the idiotic mantra mouthed by the UN, Britain America and the EU who all chant in brainwashed chorus that Israel must not only allow in yet more humanitarian aid but also – increasingly – bring in Hamas from the cold.
In other words, the way to stop more extremism being generated in Gaza is -- to provide more aid, encouragement and legitimacy to the extremists. That is what the UN, Britain, the US and EU are all now doing – supporting the extremism which makes the lives of Gaza’s Arabs such a misery. At the same time they blame Israel, the principal state victim of that extremism, for that misery; and have now even forced it to open up the channels of that western support, with the result that yet more Israelis will also be attacked.
The implacable resolution with which the bien-pensant western world persists in this mad inversion of reality is truly terrifying – and is one of the main reasons why the bad people are winning.