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A reply to David Frum's article in the National Post

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Almost a month ago, on 9 July 2011, I sent a letter to the editor of the National Post in response to an article by David Frum (http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/07/09/david-frum-how-israeli-lawyers-stopped-the-second-flotilla/#more-45068). Of course it was not published.

David Frum and the NP should stop spreading lies. Why? Because they do not contribute to the peace process in the Middle East. On the contrary they fuel animosity and violence.

Mr. Frum starts his article with typical bias and arrogance by stating that Israeli lawyers used a new strategy of...boredom to stop the flotilla. He means that the Greek government - admittedly advised by the Israelis - succeeded in stopping the Freedom Flotilla through beaurocratic manipulations and even allowing sabotage while flotilla participants waited.

He goes on to suggest that everything is fine in Gaza as indicated by the development of a shopping mall. Does he think that a shopping mall replaces the trampled dignity of the Palestinians of Gaza? Does Mr. Frum believe that 1.6 million Gazans are just happy to be under a virtual siege imposed by the illegal Israeli blockade? Israelis should know better given their own history.

What follows is my original reply to the NP.

If Israel is using “boredom” as a strategy against the flotilla to Gaza (How Israeli lawyers stopped the second flotilla, NP 9 July 2011), some pro-Israel writers like David Frum have learned the trick very well because I am “bored to death” reading his article. Wordsmith didn’t keep me awake. I have learned nothing new from Mr. Frum’s arguments to undermine an international initiative meant to put a spotlight on the inhumane blockade of Gaza.

Mr. Frum wants us to believe that Gaza is just fine and people go about shopping in markets and enjoying their lives. “Major” documentation for this is... a YouTube video! If Gaza can import “escalators”, as Mr. Frum claims, why can’t people import construction materials to re-build their homes? The truth is that the hardship of the people of Gaza under the Israeli blockade is well documented but I will not bore anyone with innumerable video documentaries showing the suffering of Palestinians, most sadly children, in Gaza. I will only encourage Mr. Frum to rely on, and report from, more objective sources such as the World Food Program, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the U.N. Development Program. These (non media) organizations have documented health problems and unsanitary conditions among the general civilian population and especially children, due to lack of or inaccessibility to food, medicines and water in Gaza.

Some useful reading suggestions for Mr. Frum, among others: FAO appeal “Consolidated Appeals 2010: West Bank and Gaza Strip”, http://www.fao.org/emergencies/tce-appfund/tce-appeals/consolidated-appeals-2010/wbgs10/en/ . UN Report “The humanitarian impact of Israeli-imposed restrictions on access to land and sea in the Gaza Strip” (August 2010). UN Report “Easing the Blockade: Assessing the Humanitarian Impact on the Population of the Gaza Strip” (March 2011). Both UN reports accessible from:  http://www.ochaopt.org/gazacrisis.aspx?id=1000

Finally, what is most disturbing is the unproven accusation that the flotilla initiative “has been organized by London-based proHamas front groups.” Mr. Frum finds this “something almost exquisite about the justice here”.  Quite a sense of “justice”!

The flotilla has always been declared and organized by international civil society as a non-violent, peaceful and humanitarian initiative. Repeated requests from the organizers for unbiased inspection of all vessels by organizations such as the U.N. were denied.

I demand the National Post to ask Mr. Frum to retract such a defamatory accusation without evidence. The burden of proof is on Mr. Frum.

Nino Pagliccia

Canadian Boat to Gaza Activist


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Nino Pagliccia (Nino Pagliccia)
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