I have extremely little sympathy for Ms. Booth. This photo of her was taken two weeks ago. She is seen shopping at a grocery store in Gaza City on September 3, 2008. She appears tanned and robust enough, but that might be due to the famous British stiff upper lip, or something. What is strikingly obvious is the dramatic irony implied by the background against which she is photographed: a pretty well stocked mini market, with shelves laden with victuals, such as breakfast cereals, hot chocolate mixes, soft drinks, etc. I mean, it looks exactly like the mini market I shop at, in Montreal.
Yet there is Ms. Booth, for whom her brother-in-law Tony Blair is not lifting a finger in help, seething with righteous indignation:
“You were in the concentration camps....And I can’t believe that you are allowing the creation of such a camp yourselves.”
I can't begin to fathom the shallows of Ms. Booth's stylish humanitarianism.
This is what a concentration camp looked like
And this is what Darfur looks like.
If a genocide, or a holocaust look like the plentiful grocery in the Booth photo, why should anybody give a toss for Darfur? Why should there be a "never again" vow after the Holocaust? What does it say about the validity or credibility of Booth's beliefs, as a self-styled "humanitarian"? And why is she even being taken seriously by the likes of the BBC?
What starvation in Gaza looks like
in December 2009
More: "In Gaza too, the shops and markets are crammed with food and goods. But while photos from last Friday's Palestine Today newspaper, for example, depict sumptuous Eid celebrations, these are not the pictures you are ever likely to see on the BBC or Le Monde or the New York Times. No, Gaza is not like a "concentration camp," nor is the "humanitarian crisis in Gaza is on the scale of Darfur," as British journalist Lauren Booth (who is also Tony Blair's sister-in-law) has said."
Update: June 2010:
"Judging from the media, the situation in Gaza is desperate, everything is about to collapse, and the community is on the brink or at the level of a third world country.The Palestinian community's immediate downfall has been prophesied numerous times in the media. People have nothing to eat, we sometimes know. The UN must from time to time to stop food distribution, either because their stocks are running low, or because they can not get diesel for their trucks, and therefore can not carry food in. And so on.Yesterday I drove into the Gaza Strip. I don't do this as often as before [because it takes much longer to get through the checkpoints now.]This time, I had expected to see real suffering, because with all the fuss in recent days about bringing tons of humanitarian relief in - so much that people actually sacrificed their lives for it - there certainly had to really be a deep, desperate situation in the Gaza Strip. No food. Long queues in front of UN food stocks. Hungry children with food bowls.
But this was not the picture that greeted me.When I yesterday morning drove through Gaza City, I was immediately surprised that there are almost as many traffic jams as there always has been. Is there not a shortage of fuel? Apparently not. Gasoline is not even rationed.Many shops were closed yesterday, Hamas has declared a general strike in protest against Israel's brutal and deadly attack on the Turkish flotilla with pro-Palestinian activists on board. So it was difficult to estimate how many products were on the shelves. Therefore I went over to the Shati refugee camp, also known as Beach Camp. Here is one of Gaza's many vegetable markets that sell much more than just fruits and vegetables.I will not say whether, in better times has been a larger product range than there was yesterday. But there was certainly no shortage of vegetables, fruits or any other ordinary, basic foods. Tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, watermelons, potatoes - mountains of these items in the many stalls.I must admit I was a little surprised. Because when I call down here to my Palestinian friends, they tell me about all the problems and deficiencies, so I expected that the crisis was a little more clear.And the first woman we interviewed in the market confirms this strange, contradictory, negative mindset:"We have nothing," she said. We need everything! Food, drinks ... everything! "It disturbed her not at least that she stood between the mountains of vegetables, fruit, eggs, poultry and fish, while she spun this doomsday scenario.Yousuf al-Assad Yazgy owns a fruit and vegetable outlet here in the market. All his fruit is imported from Israel."