Friday, June 29, 2007

Melanie, the Middle East and the Media

Chris Doyle of Caabu has some comments on the recent Media conference and the Melanie Phillips issue:

For your interest, doing even some basic research showed Melanie was I feel misleading on several things. I have not checked it all.

1) Gavin Esler on Newsnight last Thursday 14 June never blamed Israel for what was happening. I reviewed my recording. He said "There are those what say that....." This was when he was interviewing Mark Regev. He never expressed it as his view nor did he imply it.

2) Melanie has made a great issue that "aid to Gaza has at the very least doubled" since Hamas got to power and the sanctions were imposed.I have checked this out. I would like to know where she got her figures from. Aid has rarely been divided in terms of this is for the West Bankand this is for Gaza in any event.



"The International Monetary Fund and the United Nations say the Palestinians received $1.2 billion in aid and budgetary support in 2006, about $300 per capita, compared with $1 billion in 2005." Estimated, and I stress estimated, "Direct Aid to the PA increased but not through the Hamas Prime Minister's office but through TIM. "They estimate that direct budgetary support was about $740 million in 2006, more than double the $350 million it got in 2004 and 2005." EU aid went up by 27% - hardly doubled. The US increased its aid to $468 million in 2006, from $400 million in 2005. Moreover at the same time, the US financial sanctions prevented transfers of money through banks into PA areas. A great deal of promised aid never arrived. There were many more days of closures and inability to trade, hence the increase in aid. And also there was the impact of the bombing of Gaza in the summer of 2006 and the emergency aid needed after the severing of electrical power.


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