As the world continues to chastize Israel for allegedly causing material deprivation in the Gaza Strip, the residents of Gaza have just witnessed the grand opening of a new luxury shopping mall. The gigantic, futuristic complex is aptly called the "Strip Mall," and in it, Gazans can peruse the finer amenities of the modern world in an atmosphere of comfort and security.
The day following the mall’s opening, the EU's Senior Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, called on Israel to lift its “blockade” of the Gaza Strip. Ashton’s call was no great surprise -- coming from a person who, on her last visit to the region this past March, was in such a hurry to get to Gaza that she didn't care to comment on Manee Singmueangphon, a Thai worker who was was murdered by a Gaza qassam rocket in nearby Netiv Ha’asara that very same day.
On this particular visit to Gaza, Ashton was apparently so overwhelmed by all the terrible sites of the well-promoted “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, that she was unable to find the time to stop in to check the Strip Mall’s opening day sales. Nor did she have the time to look into all the efforts Israel has made to try to improve the economy in Gaza -- and all the efforts Hamas has made to block them.
As the Gaza Strip Mall opened, Sky News reported on the "still dire" situation in the region. The article asserted: "The blockade has meant that only basics like flour, rice and sugar have been allowed into Gaza from Israel." Interestingly enough, one does not see any of these items in the pictures of the Gaza Strip Mall’s grand opening.
Also on the day of the opening, UNRWA President John Ging stated that the people of Gaza "can't afford to buy cans of Coca Cola from Israel." But they can, apparently, afford new clothes, luxury hair products and children's toys at their new mall. Let’s not forget, the UN gave nearly $200 million in aid to Gaza in the six months following Operation Cast Lead, while, in comparison, it gave only $10 million in aid to Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. Rather than spread disinformation, perhaps it would be wiser for the UN to investigate how that money was used. The international community should also be pressing for an account, especially in light of the fact that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat stole billions of dollars worth of aid meant to improve the lives of his own people, and stashed the money in secret Swiss bank accounts.
The new Strip Mall also raises a serious question: what humanitarian crisis are the recent, news-grabbing international "aid" ships bound for? Does the Libyan dictator Qaddafi, who sent a ship of goods this past week, own a store in the mall?
Many people are tired of being fed continuous lies about Gaza. But if you happen to be one of those who is not, take the day off and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of shopping at the new Gaza Strip Mall.