The NY Times is taking some wind out of the sails of the Free Gaza flotilla.
Ethan Bronner reports that neediness isn’t so high. Here are some of his findings by the numbers — based on Palestinian sources, no less.
25 percent: Gaza jobless rate in first quarter of 2011 (which is much lower than the unemployment rate described by a slanted UNRWA report just a few days ago).
“Nearly 1,000″: Factories in operation.
130: Engineering and design firms in Gaza, each handling several building and infrastructure projects.
2: Luxury hotels due to open this month.
Hundreds: Homes being built with Saudi sponsorship.
Universal: Literacy rate.
100 percent: People vaccinated against polio, measles, diptheria.
It’s striking that the flotilla movement has dropped all pretense of being a “humanitarian” movement. An Irish ship in the convoy, the MV Saoirse, will be carrying absolutely nothing. And as flotilla organizer Adam Shapiro told the Jerusalem Post:
“It’s about raising awareness of the ongoing occupation in Gaza and the freedom of the Palestinians. The aid has always been secondary to the message of challenging the [Israeli] policy.”