The Israeli NGO Gisha – whose stated objective is to “protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents” and uses “legal assistance and public advocacy to protect the rights of Palestinian residents” – recently released a video game called Safe Passage.
Gisha – whose donors include New Israel Fund, the EU, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Oxfam GB, and (George Soros’s) Open Society Institute – is among the NGOs who characterize Israel using apartheid rhetoric. Gisha also, per NGO Monitor:
“promotes the false claim that Gaza remains ‘occupied’ under international law, and that Israel has a legal obligation to grant unfettered ‘freedom of movement’ to Gaza residents. Gisha’s claims were quoted in the Goldstone report in order to accuse Israel of enacting policies ‘in the pursuance by Israel of political goals at the expense of the civilian population, in blatant violation of international humanitarian law.’ “
“Gisha’s highly publicized 2008 campaign condemning Israel for barring Palestinian students’ travel from Gaza to Israel and to the United States under the Fulbright program erased Israel’s legitimated security concerns. Indeed, most of these “students” were refused entry by the American government on security grounds.”
Gisha describes the game as an effort to “inform about the legal and military measures that Israel uses to implement its policy of separation between the Gaza strip and the West Bank.” Their hope is that the game will encourage you to support Gisha in their efforts “to allow for freedom of movement between Gaza and the West Bank…for 4 million Palestinians.”
(To give you a taste of the game, Safe Passage, it actually suggests that WAITING AT A BORDER CROSSING is a human rights violation. As a colleague noted, it seems that such a universal principle would require that US, Canada, and Mexico customs officials be immediately arrested and sent to the Hague. )
Regardless, let’s play the game that – from what I hear – all the kids are talking about!
Like most modern interactive video games, they allow you to choose your own character. I chose one of Gaza’s many friendly ice cream manufacturers.
One day, my character decides that he’d like to start shipping his ice cream to children in the West Bank:
Children in the West Bank eagerly await the arrival of the rich and creamy Gaza treat.
Unfortunately, the dreams of such children are cruelly denied by the Israelis:
This video, which I like to affectionately call, “Israel denies children ice cream”, was brought to you by a generous contribution from the European Union: