Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hey Kids! Want To Help Gaza? Good. You Can Start By Just Paying Your Damn Taxes.

The denouement of the historic Struggle To Wrest $700 From The Zionist Clutches Of The UBC Alma Mater Society unfolded last night with a glorious victory going to the heroic forces of Omar "Fuck Canada" Shaban (with whom the Canadian Arab Federation is too embarassed to associate), thus conclusively ending "two weeks of hardline anti-Palestine rhetoric and bullying on campus by pro-Israeli government groups."

Two quick corrections to the historic record are immediately necessary.

1. The "hardline anti-Palestine bullying" claim appears to have construed events backwards and sideways. The campus rumpus actually started when AMS President Bijan Ahmadian, "shaken from the physical intimidation," had to call security to escort Shaban from his office.

2. Despite what the headlines say, the measly $700 Shaban and his friends so valiantly procured from the UBC AMS budget is not going to be spent on "aid for Gaza." Their $300,000 fundraising target is confined to funding the costs of a "boat and crew," not aid to Gaza. It's not clear whether their boat is intended to carry anything to Gaza at all.

These flotilla spectacles are objectively pro-Hamas moral-exhibitionism displays, and anyone who says it's necessary to ply trade with Hamas in order to get aid to the Palestinians of Gaza is lying to you.

If you really want to help the people of Gaza, you don't need to give your money to creeps like Shaban. In fact, all you need to do is pay your taxes. You can always do more - please do. But paying your taxes will get a thousand times more help into the hands of the people of Gaza than all the money in the bags of cash George Galloway handed over to Hamas strongman Ismael Haniya, and all the flotilla masquerades, and all the Omar Shaban catharsis-shows combined.

The Government of Canada is managing to get in excess of $300 million into Gaza without having to work with Hamas, which Canada lists as a terrorist organization. The Canadian International Development Agency pumps enormous volumes of aid into Gaza and the West Bank through a variety of NGOs and recipient groups in such a way as to ensure the people of Gaza, not Hamas hard boys, get the benefits.

An up-to-date snapshot of some of things the Viva Palestina and the Gaza Boat hucksters are not doing, but CIDA is:

This year alone, CIDA is shelling out $20 million to the UN Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) for West Bank and Gaza - most of it goes to Gaza. Among the projects this money funds is a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) program that delivers food to 675,000 Gazans living in poverty, and a school lunch program that benefits more than 200,000 kids. There's also the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) aid to 1,200 herders in the West Bank and Gaza. There's a UNICEF project for psychological support to more than 100,000 children and 40,000 caregivers across Gaza. There's a "cash for work" program for marginalised youth in the West Bank and Gaza.

There's also the Canadian contributions to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which supplements a $15-million grant towards UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal for West Bank and Gaza from last December.

Has the brave George "This is not charity, this is politics" Galloway managed to raise anything remotely close to that amount? Not a chance.

Just this past March, CIDA funelled another $18 million through the UN CAP to provide emergency food provisions to 365,000 Palestinians, the recycling of 175,000 tonnes of rubble into road-construction material, the removal of 83 unexploded bombs and the safe removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials from buildings.

Compare that with the scrounger Omar Shaban's paltry $700.

Canada is also contributing to CARE International's work with 500 farmers, 250 seasonal workers and 2,000 "food insecure" households. On top of that is CIDA's $4 million contribution to UNRWA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in January last year, which went directly to the people of Gaza for their humanitarian needs - it didn't arrive in moneybelts to be delivered to Hamas gangsters.

For all of you who sincerely think that you've done some good for the people of Gaza or for the Palestinian struggle for peace and freedom by lending a hand to the "Gaza Boat" crackpots, the "Viva Palestina" crowd or to Omar Shaban, I'm sorry, but someone has to tell you: You've been had. You've been duped. Check your damn head.

If you don't get it by now, you're hopeless, and there's nothing more I can say to help you.

9 Comments:

Blogger riaz said...

Surely Canadians, students and others, concerned about the humanitarian fate of Gazans should take their cues from NGO's on the ground. You know groups such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid and Medical Aid for Palestinians--the very organizations that opponents of the Social Justice Centers donations have asked us to support with our money instead. Okay but you've left out their opinions completely. Well, thankfully, 21 international organizations, including the ones I've named above have put out a combined call for international pressure to be put on the Israeli government to end the siege. Here

"The so-called 'easing' of the Gaza blockade does not change the fact that there's still a cruel and illegal blockade collectively punishing the entire civilian population," said Amnesty director Kate Allen. "The only real easing has been the easing of pressure on the Israeli authorities to end this cruel and illegal practice." Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam, said: "Israel's failure to live up to its commitments and the lack of international action to lift the blockade are depriving Palestinians in Gaza of access to clean water, electricity, jobs and a peaceful future."

If you seriously believe that Stephen Harper, who has diplomatically aligned himself with a far right rejectionist government in Israel, is a better moral and political guide to what's going on in Gaza, then say so. And tell us why these groups are wrong in decying the blockade policy.

11:25 PM  
Blogger riaz said...

I'd recommend that you read the strong language that the NGO's you urge us to support have used to describe Israel's policy of isolating and strangulating Gazans. They unanimously call for political pressure to be brought upon Israel and governments such as Canada who have facilitated this inhumane siege.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/30/israel-accused-over-gaza-blockade

11:32 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Fine. Send your money to Oxfam.

7:30 AM  
Blogger riaz said...

That would be all fine and dandy but Oxfam is saying, explicitly, that Israel is blocking material and human aid from getting through. The statement that they've published, with 20 other groups, is all the more remarkable because we're talking here about humanitarian groups that tend to work within whatever existing situations while avoiding taking up political advocacy. But this is a political issue. Oxfam is calling on Canadians to put the apply political pressure needed to reverse the rather draconian position of the Harper government in support of a siege, which aims to punish and isolate Gazans.

9:57 AM  
Blogger riaz said...

"Among the projects this money funds is a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) program that delivers food to 675,000 Gazans living in poverty, and a school lunch program that benefits more than 200,000 kids"

And, for sake of clarity, lets then look at what the UNRWA says about the blockade. Calling the position of the international community "shameful", UNRWA director of Gaza operations John Ging says the Israeli siege is making "750,000 innocent children are paying the toll". He goes on to say that "the political focus should be translated into action rather than discussing improvements or easing the siege. This siege must end completely and immediately.”

RWA chief Filippo Grandi goes on further condemning the “inherently pathological nature” of the Gaza blockade, which he said is “causing human misery on a massive scale.”

It seems to that supporting the Canadian governments position on this issue is to place yourself in direct opposition to pretty much every single aid organization working on the ground in Gaza.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I'm utterly unimpressed with what Ging has to say. His agency runs "concentrations camps" known as Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Gaza, and your backchat is getting boring, Riaz. My point was: "For all of you who sincerely think that you've done some good for the people of Gaza or for the Palestinian struggle for peace and freedom by lending a hand to the "Gaza Boat" crackpots, the "Viva Palestina" crowd or to Omar Shaban, I'm sorry, but someone has to tell you: You've been had. You've been duped. Check your damn head. If you don't get it by now, you're hopeless, and there's nothing more I can say to help you."

Yo clearly don't get the point.

5:50 PM  
Blogger riaz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Go away, Riaz. You're boring.

7:32 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Boring and stupid too.

5:42 PM  

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