Thursday, November 18, 2010

Putting The Palestinians On A Diet: Media Bury Documents Revealing Israel's Deliberate Policy Of Near-Starvation Of Gaza!

Just a while back, I put up an article showing proof positive that Israel is and always has been planning the total genocide of the people of the Gaza Strip through a policy of purposely starving the entire population to death!   Since that time, I, and others, have been trolling through all the media outlets around the world to find out if any of them have had the courage to let people know about this inhuman practice. To this day, we have found none!

As a follow up to that initial article, I want to present this article that has been posted through the website:, by a group calling themselves: Media Lens.  It is entitled: "Putting The Palestinians On A Diet: Media Bury Documents Revealing Israel's Deliberate Policy Of Near-Starvation Of Gaza", and I want to present it here in its entirety for my own readers to view:



November 17, 2010

Israel has been forced to reveal what Palestinians and other observers on the ground have known for a long time: that the blockade of Gaza is state policy intended to inflict collective punishment, not to bolster Israeli "security".

An Israeli human rights group has won a legal battle to compel the Israeli government to release three important documents. These outline state policy for permitting the transfer of goods into Gaza prior to the May 31 attack on the peace flotilla in which nine people were killed by Israeli forces. The group, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, is demanding Israeli transparency. Meanwhile, Israel refuses to release documents on the current version of blockade policy which was "eased" after international condemnation following the flotilla attack.

The released documents, whose existence Israel had denied for eighteen months, reveal that the state approved "a policy of deliberate reduction" of basic goods, including food and fuel, in the Gaza Strip. Gisha Director Sari Bashi explains:

"Instead of considering security concerns, on the one hand, and the rights and needs of civilians living in Gaza, on the other, Israel banned glucose for biscuits and the fuel needed for regular supply of electricity – paralyzing normal life in Gaza and impairing the moral character of the State of Israel. I am sorry to say that major elements of this policy are still in place." (Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, 'Due to Gisha's Petition: Israel Reveals Documents related to the Gaza Closure Policy’, October 21, 2010;

As Saeed Bannoura of the International Middle East Media Center reports, the Israeli government imposed a deliberate policy:

"in which the dietary needs for the population of Gaza are chillingly calculated, and the amounts of food let in by the Israeli government measured to remain just enough to keep the population alive at a near-starvation level. This documents the statement made by a number of Israeli officials that they are 'putting the people of Gaza on a diet’." (Saeed Bannoura, 'Israeli government documents show deliberate policy to keep Gazans at near-starvation levels’, International Middle East Media Center, November 6, 2010 21:32;

Bannoura adds:

"This release of documents also severely undermines Israel's oft-made claim that the siege is 'for security reasons’, as it documents a deliberate and systematic policy of collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza."

When Israel and the United States were reacting to Hamas’s election victory in Gaza in January 2006, long-time Israeli government adviser Dov Weisglass stated:

"The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger." ('Hamas readies for government, Israel prepares sanctions’, Agence France Presse, February 16, 2006)

The released documents contain actual equations used by the Israeli government to calculate the exact amounts of food, fuel and other necessities needed to do exactly that. ('Submitted to Gisha in the framework of a Freedom of Information Act Petition, AP 2744/09 Gisha v. Defense Ministry’, Appendices B, C and D;

The policy is all the more disturbing, indeed repellent, given that almost half the people of Gaza are children under the age of eighteen. One might reasonably conclude that Israel has deliberately forced the undernourishment of hundreds of thousands of children in direct violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Media Response? A Polite Silence

Our searches of the Nexis newspaper database show that, as far as we could determine, not a single UK newspaper has reported the release of these damning Israeli documents. We widened our searches to include all English-language publications covered worldwide by Nexis. We found just two: one from the Palestine News Network on October 21 and one in Palestine Chronicle on November 6.

We were so surprised by the uniform silence across the English-language press that we asked US-based media analyst David Peterson to check our findings. He was able to do so, spelling out his search results as follows (email to Media Lens, November 11, 2010):

Major World Publications: zero

All News (English): two (the same two that we found, as mentioned above)

Broadcast Transcripts: zero

A search of the Factiva database (covering all major English-language newspapers and wire services) found the same results. Peterson commented:

"No mentions in any of the major English-language newspapers or wire services of the fact that someone had revealed the actual Israeli government policy towards the Gaza Palestinians is to force a 'deliberate reduction’ in their access to the necessities of everyday survival."

It takes a peculiar form of social malaise for this astonishing media silence to be maintained in ostensibly free societies.

The Fiercely "Independent" BBC

On November 11, an online BBC article reported on the Gaza blockade but made no mention of the released documents. (Jon Donnison, 'UN: No change in Gaza despite easing of Israel blockade’ BBC news online, November 11, 2010 Last updated at 00:25;

Reporter Jon Donnison wrote:

"The UN says there has been 'no material change" for people in Gaza since Israel announced it was 'easing’ its economic blockade of the Palestinian territory."

Jon Ging, the head of UN operations in Gaza, said few people had noticed any difference:

"There's been no material change for the people on the ground here in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, no economy."

Ging continued:

"The easing, as it was described, has been nothing more than a political easing of the pressure on Israel and Egypt."

The BBC gave the final word to Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry:

"Why is the border blockaded? Because the territory has been overtaken by a declared terror movement."

This assertion that the Gaza blockade is motivated by security concerns went unchallenged.

World News Today, presented by Zeinab Badawi on BBC4, broadcast a piece by Donnison along similar lines to his article. (BBC World News Today, BBC4, Thursday, November 11, 2010, 7pm;

We wrote to Jon Donnison and asked whether he was aware that the Israeli human rights group Gisha had obtained Israeli government documents confirming that the collective punishment of Gaza is based on politics, not security. We asked him:

"Have you reported the release of these documents?

"Will you be pursuing it in a new article?" (Email, November 11, 2010)

We emailed again on November 16 but have received no response to date.

Compare and contrast the BBC’s performance on this story with a new Foreign Office-sponsored piece on the BBC by news presenter Zeinab Badawi:

"Transparency, accountability of government actions is absolutely crucial. And frankly that’s the role of the media. You know, shining a harsh spotlight on truths and sunlight, after all, is a very strong antiseptic, isn’t it?" ('Zeinab Badawi says freedom of expression is cornerstone of democracy in Britain’, November 5, 2010;

Badawi added that "the BBC’s constitution means that we absolutely, +absolutely+ cherish and protect and fight for our independence. We don't even have an arm's length relationship with the government, we just don’t deal with the government at all."

Badawi continued the self-adulation:

"It [the BBC] really is a vital, vital tool for the dissemination of information in all sorts of ways. All these things have really served to underscore that freedom of speech that we have in this country. And I suppose the BBC best epitomises that tradition."

She concluded:

"I'm very proud to be an employee of the BBC."


The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you do write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Write to Jon Donnison of the BBC

Write to his editors:

Jeremy Bowen, BBC News Middle East editor

Steve Herrmann, BBC News online editor

Write to Zeinab Badawi of the BBC

Please blind-copy us in on any exchanges or forward them to us later at: -

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On the Media Lens group page:!/g

The best way to support us is to send a monthly donation via PayPal or a standing order with a UK bank. If you currently support the corporate media by paying for their newspapers, why not support Media Lens instead?

This media alert will shortly be archived here:

The second Media Lens book, 'NEWSPEAK in the 21st Century' by David Edwards and David Cromwell, was published in 2009 by Pluto Press. John Pilger writes of the book:

"Not since Orwell and Chomsky has perceived reality been so skilfully revealed in the cause of truth."

:: Article nr. 71934 sent on 17-nov-2010 19:54 ECT

NTS Notes:  I applaud the efforts of Media Lens for keeping this important story alive, and to go after media everywhere for their continued silence on this atrocity.

Purposely attempting to starve 1.5 Million people to death is a crime against humanity, and it is up to each and every one of us to go after our governments to put a stop to this madness, and our own media outlets to give a fair report on this atrocity.   Spread the word, readers!

More to come



Anonymous said...

Israeli settlements have been dumping untreated waste directly into a sewage
canal that runs through the occupied West Bank, affecting Palestinian
villages along its banks.

The hazard posed is compounded by the dumping of toxic chemical waste on
agricultural land, with villagers reporting a rash of skin diseases and
respiratory problems.

The Israeli government has banned plans by the Palestinian Authority to
build pipes and pumps to treat and divert wastewater away from the affected

Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports. VIDEO

Anonymous said...

Israelis dump toxic waste over vital water supply for the region
Sunday, 25 July 2010 08:35
Written by Omar Ghraieb

UK, July 25, (Pal Telegraph - By Peter Eyre)

Israel's waste that is disposed of in the landfill at Abu Dis (the West
Bank), which is under Palestinian territorial authority is in contradiction
to international law which prohibits the transport and disposal of wastes
across borders without mutual consent. Moreover, the landfill is near
capacity, and additional landfill sites are still undesignated. This fact
further emphasizes the urgent need for a comprehensive solid waste policy
for the area (Solid Waste Management Policy in the Jerusalem District -
September 2008)

An Israeli company - The Ma'ale Adumim Planning and Development Company Ltd
has been managing the Abu Dis landfill, near the neighborhood of Abu Dis,
since 1998. The site receives waste from Jerusalem and the surrounding
localities. The 430-dunam site receives huge amounts of waste every day,
from Jerusalem, Ma'ale Adumim and the surrounding localities. This same
company is also vigorously selling off industrial land development which
also sits over the top of the water aquifers that are so vital to the
region. The combination of the landfill site and industrial development over
such a precious resource will have devastating effects on the population.
When both landfill waste and industrial run off are added together the toxic
plumes that radiate out from such locations will not only contaminate the
public water supply but will also eventually be picked up by submersible
pumps that water vast tracts of agricultural land.

etc etc etc