CAMERA Letter in Washington Post Addresses Op-Ed’s Gaza Distortions

The following letter appeared in the Dec. 1, 2007 Washington Post:

Understanding Gaza and Israel

Maher Najjar [op-ed, Nov. 27] attempted to blame Israel for Palestinian Arabs’ self-inflicted problems in the Gaza Strip.

Mr. Najjar claimed that residents “are locked in a pressure cooker in one of the world’s most densely populated areas.” Density in the Gaza Strip is approximately 9,600 people per square mile, only slightly more than that of Washington, D.C.

He also asserted that “Israel controls Gaza’s borders and the movement of all people and goods.” Yet, after the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, residents of the territory gained control of a crossing (the Rafah checkpoint with Egypt) for the first time in their history.

Mr. Najjar lamented Israel’s designation of Gaza as “hostile territory” and its threats to restrict imports of non-humanitarian supplies. But he skimmed over Israel’s reason for these actions: continued terrorism, including thousands of rocket attacks. Mr. Najjar also stated that most Gazans “want to live in peace with our neighbors.” That may be, but in 2006 they elected the terrorist Hamas movement.

The sewage and water crises that Mr. Najjar would blame on Israel are, as he tacitly acknowledged, the result of conditions “long neglected” by Palestinian authorities. They seem to prefer aggression to cooperation.

Washington Director
CAMERA — Committee for Accuracy
in Middle East Reporting in America

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