Gerade in den letzten Tagen fand ich zwei blogs, die aus Gaza berichten. Der erste von Theodore May, der gerade einen kurzen Aufenthalt dort begann, als wegen einer in Ashdod gelandeten Rakete Israel verschiedene Angriffe flog. Auch seine Tweets finde ich sehr informativ.
Soweit die Sicht eines Besuchers, der natürlich eine andere Perspektive hat, als die Bewohner selbst. Wie z.B. Leila El-Haddad, die als „Gazamom“ bloggt und twittert.
Heute fand ich einen Artikel von ihr im Guardian. Wie in vielen Diskussionen geht es auch hier um die Frage, was und wie die Blockade ist. Ihre Antwort fand ich gut.
During the eight hours of electricity we get each day, I logged on to the internet and browsed the English-language papers. It seemed like suddenly everyone was an expert on Gaza, claiming they knew what it’s really like. Naysayers and their ilk have been providing us with the same „evidence“ that Gaza is burgeoning: the markets are full of produce, fancy restaurants abound, there are pools and parks and malls … all is well in the most isolated place on earth – Gaza, the „prison camp“ that is not.
If you take things at face value, and set aside for a moment the bizarre idea that the availability of such amenities precludes the existence of hardship, you’ll be inclined to believe what you read.
So, is there a humanitarian crisis or not? That seems to be the question of the hour. But it is the wrong one to be asking.
The message I’ve been hearing over and over again since I returned to Gaza is this: the siege is not a siege on foods; it is a siege on freedoms – freedom to move in and out of Gaza, freedom to fish more than three miles out at to sea, freedom to learn, to work, to farm, to build, to live, to prosper.
Gaza was never a place with a quantitative food shortage; it is a place where many people lack the means to buy food and other goods because of a closure policy whose tenets are „no development, no prosperity, and no humanitarian crisis„, Gisha, the Legal Centre for the Freedom of Movement, explained in a press release.
The move from a „white list“ of allowable imports to a „black list“ might sound in good in theory (ie everything is banned except xyz, to only the following things are banned) but in practice only 40% of Gaza’s supply needs are being met, according to Gisha. The Palestinian Federation of Industries estimates that only a few hundred of Gaza’s 3,900 factories and workshops will be able to start up again under present conditions
Sure, there are a handful of fancy restaurants in Gaza. And yes, there is a new mall (infinitely smaller and less glamorous than it has been portrayed).
As for food, it is in good supply, having found its way here either through Israeli crossings or the vast network of tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. Of course, this leaves aside the question of who in Gaza’s largely impoverished population (the overwhelming majority of whose income is less than $2 a day, 61% of whom are food insecure) can really afford mangoes at $4 a kilo or grapes at $8 a kilo. A recent trip to the grocery store revealed that meat has risen to $13 a kilo. Fish, once a cheap source of protein, goes for $15 to $35 a kilo. And so on.
Prices are on par with those of a developed country, except we are not in a developed country. We are a de-developed occupied territory.
All of the above adds up to the erasure of the market economy and its replacement with a system where everyone is turned into some kind of welfare recipient. But people don’t want handouts and uncertainty and despair; they want their dignity and their freedom, employment and prosperity and possibility.
Perhaps most significantly, they want to be able to move freely – something they still cannot do.
Ich denke, das gibt Antworten genug – aus erster Hand.