Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chris Gunness: Why Condemn Hamas? Condemn Israel!

Chris Gunness is a high ranking member of the notorious UNRWA - the only special refugee committee to deal with Palestinian refugees instead of handing them over to UNHCR like every refugee, and the committee which seeks to perpetuate the problem of Palestiniain refugees instead of solving it/resettling them/assimillating them into Arab countries.

A day ago, the Elder of Ziyon stumbled upon pictures from the Palestinian media website "Safa."  It showed Hamas constructing a 10,000 square foot stage.  The Elder of Ziyon mentioned that apparently Hamas can find building materials to honor terrorists and cold-blooded murderers who blew up pizza stores and cafes.  But they can't find building materials for the homeless Palestinians who everyone shouts about, "Look at the cruelty of Israel! 5 gazillion Gazans homeless due to Operation Cast Lead!"

His post can be found here.

I decided to email Chris Gunness and see his reply.  Here is my email:


 These pictures show Hamas building a massive stage in support of the terrorists that are to be coming home to Gaza tomorrow.

According to this story, the stage will be 1000 square meters (over 10,000 square feet) and is being built with some 1200 iron poles. 10 people have been working 18 hour days since Thursday to build this, which will include electric generators in case the power goes out.

Imagine how many houses Hamas could build if it wanted to. You know, for all those people that we hear are still homeless since the Gaza war.

A while back, Israel agreed to allow Gazans to export palm trees for the festival of Sukkott (and the Palmer Report states that the Gaza blockade is legal). This would allow millions of dollars to flow into the Gaza Strip. Hamas banned allowing to export them.

Will UNRWA mention this – that Hamas has enough building materials to build plenty of homes, but refuses to use them?  Will you urge Hamas to use it for the greater good?

Or will you condemn Israel for not allowing enough building materials into Gaza?

Thank you,

 His response is a very interesting one (thankfully, unlike many pro-Palestinians, it is not a rant of "ISRAEL SHALL BURN IN THE ETERNAL FIRES OF HELL WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!" aka Ahmadinejad):

Thank you for your mail.

There’s no doubt that right now we all need to redouble our efforts to ease the suffering of the ordinary people of Gaza and to think again about the blockade policy. To take your ideas in order:
  1. I would imagine that the stage is built with materials which came in to Gaza through the tunnels. Because of the blockade policy the tunnels trade from which Hamas takes a fifteen per cent tax is booming. The Israeli blockade policy has empowered Hamas. Another reason you might think to lift the blockade.
  2. I agree that we need to build houses for people who are homeless from the war and since their homes were bulldozed by the Israeli authorities ten years ago in the south. To do that, the UN needs to bring in thousands of trucks from Israel and to do that, the blockade needs to be lifted.
  3. The Palmer report only declared the NAVAL blockade legitimate, not the entire blockade which would include the land blockade, which remains an illegal collective punishment.
  4. We have a humanitarian mandate to work in Gaza to improve the lot of ordinary people and under that mandate we already urge all parties to work “for the greater good”.
  5. While doing all the above, I will continue to advocate that all parties including Israel cease any actions that punish ordinary innocent people just as I condemn the rockets that come out of Gaza as a violation of international law.

In other words, we're not going to condemn Hamas for choosing to build a 10,000 square foot stage over homes of the civilians who are victims of, to put it in his words, "collective punishment" (although they did indeed elect the Hamas government).

Chris Gunness is politely asking for Israel to committ national suicide by removing their blockade, which the Palmer Report upholds, in order that there won't be "collective punishment" on a few innocent civilians who are anti-Hamas and pro-peace (and I would  like to know how many are these numbers).

Does Chris know about the following?

Does he know that the IDF does more to safeguard civilians than any other military?

UN Watch Statement, delivered by Col. Richard Kemp, October 16, 2009, UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Goldstone Report

Thank you, Mr. President.

I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Governments Joint Intelligence Committee.

Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.

Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.

The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.

The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.

More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice their own civilians.

Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets.

And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Does Mr. Gunness not realize that if Hamas didn't launch 5,000 rockets at Israel since Israel uprooted their own citizens from Gaza, there would be no need for Operation Cast Lead? No need for a blockade?  I'm sure Israel would be more than happy to use the manpower and money spent on the blockade someplace else.  But in reality, even if you think it is an evil, then it is a necessary evil, to ensure the protection of the citizens of the soverign state of Israel.

Mind you, they don't get phone calls from Hamas when Hamas intentionally launches a rocket at a civilian, schoolbus, or hospital.  As opposed to Israel, which in response to 5000 rockets, launched Operation Cast Lead, and prior to doing so, distributed 2 million leaflets of warning, and before airstrikes, phone calls, text messages, sound bombs, etc.

Mr. Guness - and UNRWA as a whole - reverts to a 3000 year old tactic of, "When something goes wrong, blame the Jews."  It's much easier than blaming the person responsible for it.

The Elder of Ziyon notes that:

From what I can tell, Gunness is saying that while Hamas is the de facto government in Gaza, they are not responsible for the well-being of their citizens. Only UNRWA builds houses, leaving Hamas without that responsibility.

So, UNRWA's position is that Hamas is perfectly entitled to use building materials that could be used to build houses for people that have been homeless for ten years (way before the Gaza closure, by the way) for whatever it wants - terror rallies, weapons bunkers, tunnels to kidnap Israelis, whatever. Hamas has no fear that UNRWA will say anything remotely critical of it, and it equally has no fear that it will ever have to actually take responsibility for its people the way every other government in the world is expected to (besides the PA.)

No, Chris Gunness' condemnations are never aimed at Hamas, but rather concentrated on one entity in the Middle East, and one only.

1 comment:

  1. Not surprising coming from UNRWA, unfortunately. Especially in this time of a global economic recession (except for Israel!), and when America funds 22% of UNRWA's budget, UNRWA needs to be removed, and the issue of Palestinian refugees needs to be transferred to UNHRC, like every other refugee issue, and which has actually helped solve refugee issues instead of perpetutating the problem.


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