Immutable Israeli guilt watch: Jewish state “accused” of ensuring Gazans had proper nutrition

The most interesting aspect of the Guardian/AP report on Oct. 17, ‘Israel used calorie count to limit Gaza food during the blockade, in addition to the extremely misleading headline, is that there is little if anything in the story which demonstrates that Israel did anything improper whatsoever.

However, as we’ve seen time and again, the mere absence of information pointing to Israeli villainy is often no obstacle for Guardian editors.

Though Israel maintains a legal blockade on Gaza to prevent deadly weapons from entering the strip,  thousands of tons of supplies for Palestinians in Gaza arrive weekly from Israel, aid which includes medical supplies, food, and consumer goods, and there is simply no humanitarian crisis to speak of in the strip.

However, the Guardian, in classic propagandistic style, begins by employing the requisite photo of a Palestinian boy crying,

Yet, the strap line begins to provide a clue that there is, in fact, no real story here:

Unpacking this strap line, it seems to acknowledge that Israel was careful to “avoid” civilian malnutrition in Gaza.

So, what exactly is Israel’s crime?

The report begins, thus.

“The Israeli military made precise calculations of Gaza’s daily calorie needs to avoid malnutrition during a blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory between 2007 and mid-2010..” [emphasis added]

So far, we have a story corroborating Israeli claims that, since the blockade was launched, Israeli officials were careful to allow in enough food to avoid malnutrition.

Again, what is Israel’s crime? 

Here’s where it gets strange:

Israel says it never limited how many calories were available to Gaza, but critics claimed the document was proof the government limited food supplies to put pressure on Hamas.

Major Guy Inbar, an Israeli military spokesman, said the calculation, based on a person’s average requirement of 2,300 calories a day, was meant to identify warning signs to help avoid a humanitarian crisis…” [emphasis added]

The average recommended calorie intake according to the UK National Health System is 2500 for men and 2000 for women, indicating that Israel was making sure they supplied Gaza with enough food for Palestinians to consume the the calories necessary for proper nutrition.

So, what’s Israel’s crime?

Indeed, further in the report, Israel is again vindicated.

“The food calculation, made in January 2008, applied the average daily requirement of 2,279 calories per person, in line with World Health Organisation’s guidelines, according to the document.

“The stability of the humanitarian effort is critical to prevent the development of malnutrition,” the document said.

Further in the report, we learn the following:

“ no point did observers identify a food crisis developing in the territory, whose residents rely heavily on international food aid.” [emphasis added]

Ok, in summary:

Israel maintained a blockade of deadly weapons sent to the Hamas run territory to protect their citizens from harm, but carefully avoided a humanitarian crisis from developing in the enemy territory by ensuring the availability of the recommended number calories as determined by international health organizations.

Again, I ask, what’s Israel’s crime?

43 replies »

  1. Doesn’t the G. have more important things to report on in the ME – including I/P – than this non-story?

    • No, nothing at all. Just the massacre of civilians taking place in Syria, the ‘war games’ the IRGC are conducting in Iran in preparation for an outbreak of popular unrest, and the riots in Lebanon that followed the assassination of a senior official in their ISF.

    • The idea that the Government of Israel chose to limit the number of calories that 1.5 million human beings locked in a coastal enclave were allowed to eat is appalling.

      It is equally appalling to discover that Adam Levick thinks there’s nothing shocking here.

      He seems to have forgotten the lessons of the Second World War.

      • “forgotten the lessons of the Second World War.”

        Absolutely correct Nat.
        The main lesson being you should NEVER appease, or attempt to appease, those who wish to destroy you.

  2. Its amazing how the thinking is backwards if it helps denigrate Israel..

    Israel attempted to make sure that enough food was sent into Gaza, since Hamas was busy spending funds it had on weapons rather than food, to make sure that no one would go hungry – and the pictures from the loaded and bustling shuks and supermarkets and malls of Gaza rather than the picture of that crying child show this to be the case.

    So instead of accusing Hamas of misrule and misuse of funds, Israel is accused of trying to starve people who include among them groups daily attacking Israel!

    Its also strange that the same negative reporting has never been attached to UNRWA, which frequently reports on the need for food supplies in Gaza in the face of the obvious surpluses there, which I assume is also based on a calculation of how much food is needed to feed x number of Gazans times y number of calories per person per day.

    • It isn’t amazing at all, AKUS!

      The amazing, and scary, aspect is that the cock-eyed, back-to-front reasoning is now so much the norm in respect of Israel that the perpetrators of it as truth no longer realise or register that they are doing it!

    • The Government of Israel imposed a blockade on 1.5 million hiuman beings, in contravention of the rule of international law which forbids collective punishment on a civilian population.

  3. “Israel attempted to make sure that enough food was sent into Gaza”

    So Israel was acting from the best humanitarian sentiments and not aiming at keeping Gazans just above starvation level.

    If that was so why didn’t the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories proudly publish its ‘Red Lines Report’ to the world instead of fighting a three and a half year legal battle to keep it secret? Why, when it was published, did COGAT refer to the reoort as an “internal staff document” and a “working paper” that was never implemented? Just wondering…

    For an alternative take on this story try Gideon Levy’s recent Haaretz piece:

    • “keeping Gazans just above starvation level”
      2,500 calories a day is starvation level? Most RDA listings (you know, on Nutritional Information labels and similar) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Anything above 1,000 calories is not a starvation level.

    • If Jihadon Levy and Haaretz are your sources for information, you are already in the hand of serial lairs. As we say in Israel, The date and the sport’s results are the only bit of accurate information in Haaretz, and it’s not such a bad idea to double check them as well.

        • You don’t seem to be able to do much in response except point to typos, ‘sencar’, which if you allow for the fact that some visitors here are not Anglophone is a little bit petty of you.

          • I get distracted into typos when posters like yourself fail to deal with the central issue. Adam suggested that the calorie counting was inspired by concern for the Gazans’ health (just as if). The response to publication of ‘Red Lines Report’ from COGAT makes it clear that they found it highly embarrassing and more to do with collective punishment by food restriction than concern for Palestinian well-being.

              • You (Nat and sencar) simply don’t get it, do you? As Adam clearly points out, the existence of a document that says Israel must take care to avoid a humanitarian crisis is precisely the opposite of a document that says Israel intends to limit calory consumption.

                The document sets out a MINIMUM level beyond which Israel needed to be sure not to allow Gazans to stray, NOT a MAXIMUM to which Gazans should be limited.

                Get it, yet? Or are you too blinded by your prejudices?

                • Why on earth would the Government of Israel calcultate the number of calories that another people can eat?

                  It brings back dark memories of dark times.

                  • But according to you, the people of Gaza live under Israeli ‘occupation’. If Israel ignored the basic welfare of Gazans and a humanitarian crisis ensued, you would justifiably be outraged!

                    Please explain what these mysterious ‘dark times’ you refer to were, so we can respond to this point.

                    • Without any input from you, Nat, I will guess. Are you referring to dark times in your youth, when your parents decided you were too fat and set a limit on the number of calories you ate each day? That must have made you miserable, Nat. My sympathies.

    • “So Israel was acting from the best humanitarian sentiments and not aiming at keeping Gazans just above starvation level.”

      Correct. I’m glad to see the medication is starting to kick in.

    • Noone has addressed my central point that COGAT struggled for years to prevent the report from being published and then belittled its significance. Ad hominem stuff about Levy and quibbles about how few calories equate to starvation/malnutrition are beside the point. Please deal with the argument.

      • The problem is that the Israeli government worries more about the calories of Gazans than the security of the population of Southern Israel.
        Rocket barrage rains on southern Israel
        This is the high time to stop every transport to Gaza. They have a government supposed to supply them with food, their border is open to Egypt, their fellow islamofascists should be able to support them.
        If they have the money for rockets they must have the economic base to buy their whatever number of nutritional values.
        Publishing this totally insignificant stuff only gives the opportunity to haters like Levy and his European salon freedomfighters comrades like you to smear the Jews.
        When they stop to bomb Israeli civilians then maybe I’ll give a shit about their humanitarian crisis, until then you are free to supply them on your own expense, but please don’t try to send them doves as your pathetic colleagues did – the dove meat is haram as far as I know..

        • As I pointed out some time ago the cost of rockets is a tiny fraction of what it costs to feed and suypport the Gazan population. Egypt has its own devious reasons for restricting imports (and I have no time for them). That doesn’t absolve Israel, the occupying power (as it remains under international law), from its responsibilities to provide for the Gazan people.

          • “As I pointed out some time ago the cost of rockets is a tiny fraction of what it costs to feed and suypport the Gazan population.”

            If that’s the truth then there isn’t a penny to be wasted on weaponry then, is there?

          • Oh, and by the way, Mr. super duper intellectual spell checking man,
            I notice you corrected some misspelled words of other commenters, probably as a selfless service to humanity, yet you included the word “suypport” in your own comment. Can you tell us what it means?

          • So according to international law – if Israel fully evacuated Gaza and Gaza has an open border with a third country plus the Hamas government is financing these so cheap rockets launched at Israel – Israel is an occupying power responsible for feeding them.
            It is called the abuse of the law sencar. These laws are worth something only if they have been printed on soft enough paper and ignoring them is simply an obligation of every decent law abiding and morally sane person. That you are trying to use them for Israel bashing is only natural – you don’t belong to this category.

          • As I pointed out some time ago the cost of rockets is a tiny fraction of what it costs to feed and suypport the Gazan population.

            The moral world of the Islamofascists supporting sencar.
            Citizen claims help from the National Insurance – he has no money to buy food. The clerk ask him what is the gold rings on your fingers? The answer: They are very cheap and only a tiny fraction of the cost to supply my children…

          • 1. As a client of Iran, the Hamas and the splinter groups get their weapons free, gratis and without payment other than an agreement to use them as decided by the rulers with advice from Iranian advisers.

            2. The transfer of food and other goods via the Kerem Shalom crossing has continued with only minor stoppages for years. Not even UNRWA has claimed that Israel has not lived up to its responsibilities as the de jure( but not de facto) occupier of Gaza.

    • Absolutely. Why was he crying? Perhaps he’d been told he couldn’t stay up late to watch TV? Maybe his football team had lost? Maybe he’d just fallen over and scraped his knee? Had he broken his favourite toy? Maybe he’d been told he couldn’t have any more snacks until bedtime? Just guessing.

        • Or are you saying that children are so numerous that no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t take a photo in Gaza without some annoying crying toddler getting in the frame?

          • Labenal, do you feel disturbed at the sight of this child because you know that he has lived all his life under Israel’s blockade?

  4. What is more telling is the fact that even Morsi has not upped calorie uptake in Aza. So it can’t be ‘that’ bad.
    Like so many topics in this story, this calorie mare is a non starter since it does not have much to do with the facts.
    I am sure that calorie intake is a subject matter everywhere. And since there never has been any malnutrition or starvation in Aza what are we talking about?
    IF the nutrition in Aza were as bad as it is made out to be, how come the population numbers are on the rise? I think maybe even some of the highest birth rates on the planet. So ?