The United Nations is warning that Gaza will become uninhabitable in another five years of siege, and it is impossible to imagine a meaner, more uncharitable, Scroogelike piece than the article written by Jodi Rudoren in the New York Times two days ago. All you need to do is read the headline:
Faking Doctors’ Notes to Escape Gaza War Zone
The New York Times is ridiculing and belittling people who are bending the rules to try and get out of an uninhabitable place that is surveilled by Israeli drones, smashed by Israeli missiles.
Here’s the cold vicious heart of the piece:
Fraud is not a new phenomenon. In 2008, the Shin Bet security service in Israel reported that Nasrin Galu, 25, admitted paying $500 to a kidney specialist to refer her to a West Bank hospital because she wanted to see her children who live nearby.
Because she wanted to be near her children! What an awful unimaginable thing. And hold on: Shin Bet investigated this woman! You have the Israeli security service trying to track down a 25-year-old woman because she is trying to see her children. That is the real scandal.
The only voice of sanity in this awful article is a Gaza doctor near the end of the long article:
Dr. Naser al-Tatar, director of Shifa, declined to comment on the woman’s story, calling fraud “a very small problem” compared with the hospital’s lack of M.R.I. and PET scan machines, chemotherapy agents and kidney drugs.
But the very next paragraph gets back to the serious business of vilifying desperate, sick people.
But a surgeon at Shifa, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said buying fake or exaggerated diagnoses was “becoming a norm,” with lab technicians and hospital administrative staff members serving as “brokers.” The doctor said a colleague had gotten a medical transfer for a hemorrhoid that could have been treated in Gaza in order to go to Germany for a job, and another did similar with ananal fissure.
Just one spark of humanity in the piece, and it is snuffed out. The meanness of this piece is simply astonishing. If you want to understand what is happening in Gaza, listen to Sara Roy:
The Gaza Strip cannot simply be rebuilt, [she said last fall per Norman Finkelstein and Bettina Marx]. The wounds of this last war could prove too severe to heal. The 1.8 million inhabitants of this thin coastal region have no hope of any immediate improvement of their situation following this summer’s Israeli military offensive known as “Protective Edge”.
As a result, for the first time in recent history, a true exodus is taking place. Hundreds of Palestinians have already fled the Gaza Strip. . . “People are simply leaving. They are fleeing from the intolerable conditions in Gaza,” says the Boston academic.
Fleeing intolerable conditions. . . A true exodus is taking place.
And the New York Times is x-raying refugees on crutches to find out who is lying.
Sara Roy is one of the world’s leading experts on Gaza. She has studied Gaza for more than 30 years. Anyone who researches Gaza comes across her name within minutes. She is also the daughter of Holocaust survivors, a fact she says has influenced her lifelong inquiry into Gaza. She has stellar academic qualifications, and is affiliated with Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
But a search of New York Times archives shows she has never once been quoted in the newspaper of record. Not one single time. There’s a real scandal.