A skeptical Israeli reader expressed doubt about my claim in yesterday’s post that Israel had shut down Gaza’s power station. He pointed to an Israeli foreign ministry statement, which I find one of those head-scratchers that make you wonder if anyone there knows what they’re talking about or cares a whit whether anyone in the world believes them:
“The supply of electricity to Gaza from the Israel and the Egyptian power grids (124 Megawatts and 17 Megawatts respectively) has continued uninterrupted. These 141 Megawatts of power represents about three quarters of Gaza’s electricity needs. While the fuel supply from Israel into Gaza has indeed been reduced, due to the Hamas rocket attacks, the diversion of this fuel from domestic power generators to other uses is wholly a Hamas decision – apparently taken due to media and propaganda considerations.”
…Noteworthy is the fact that while the Gaza population remains in the dark, the fuel generating power to the Hamas rocket manufacturing industry continues to flow unabated.
Israel, with a totally straight face is claiming that Hamas has deliberately diverted fuel from the power station as part of a propaganda campaign against Israel. That means that over a million people sit in the dark without water because Hamas has determined that their suffering has more propaganda value than their comfort. In addition, Hamas, if you choose to believe the foreign ministry, places a higher priority on firing rockets at Israel than keeping the lights on in Gaza homes. The sheer effrontery of such a statement boggles the mind. The underlying intent is to divert blame from Israel and claim that Hamas somehow has rigged this humanitarian crisis to milk a few tears from world opinion.
I’m aware of how cynical the IDF and some Israeli officials can be. But this goes beyond mere cynicism into a whole other realm. And not to recognize that this statement is, in itself, Israeli propaganda (and not very effective propaganda) would be a serious mistake.