Palestinian reporters told an alert journalist on Wednesday that, in the midst of the many tear-soaked international headlines of a threatening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Hamas staged a phony 'photo op' meeting in Gaza City while they were seated in front of burning candles. The picture at right comes from Reuters. Somehow the Pal-Arab journalists - but not the editors at the major international news agencies - noticed that the need for candles was completely artificial. Both meetings were being held in daylight.
The ever-quotable Khaled Abu Toameh writes: "They had closed the curtains in the rooms to create the impression that Hamas leaders were also suffering as a result of the power stoppage," one journalist told The Jerusalem Post. "It was obvious that the whole thing was staged. Another journalist said he and his colleagues were told to wait for a few minutes before entering the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council so that each legislator would have time to light his candle. He said that when he saw that the curtains had been closed to prevent the light from entering, he realized that Hamas was trying to manipulate the media for political gain."
Nothing especially profound here... except that not a single mainstream media channel reports it. But the pictures of a phony blackout are everywhere. And accurate reporting of the facts is practically invisible.
What sort of darkness really descended onto Gaza this week? Consider this analysis from Joel Leyden and Amir Mizroch:
"As the clock struck 8 p.m. this past Sunday night, prime time in the Middle East, Israel and Europe for TV news broadcasts, the Al Jazeera satellite TV network opened its top-of-the-hour news bulletin with a live scene from Gaza City. The footage was powerful and unforgettable: thousands of people gathered to light candles in a Gaza City plunged into darkness. The possibility that the Hamas PR machine itself had switched off the lights in the densely populated city to create the impression of an urgent humanitarian crisis was likely not considered by many watching the broadcast... How could Al Jazeera broadcast if there was no electricity? Where did those candles come from? Who organized this demonstration and how much were they being paid? Why wasn't this information getting out? The Israel decision over the weekend to reduce shipments of industrial diesel fuel to the Gaza power station, still fresh in the minds of worldwide viewers, was presumably seen overwhelmingly as the cause of the outage. Never mind the fact that Israel's Ruttenberg power station in Ashkelon was still streaming electricity into Gaza and that there had been no Israel action that shut the city's lights off."
Noah Pollak points out that less than a third of Gaza’s electricity comes from within Gaza. A tiny amount is supplied by Egypt, and by far the largest share is generated in and supplied by Israel. "It was the power station inside of Gaza that was shut down, and not shut down by Israel, but by Hamas, in order to lend credibility to its effort to generate international pressure against Israel’s blockade of the Strip. For the media, it staged candle-lit scenes and trumpeted the fiction that Israel had plunged Gaza into darkness."
To which we add that the Israeli power station that supplied, supplies and will continue supply electric power to the huddled masses of Gaza living under jihadist rule has been under constant fire (via Qassams) by the armed representatives of those same huddled masses since Israel removed its soldiers and its thriving communities from Gush Katif and the other Jewish enclaves in Gaza two years ago.
Seems the people kept in the dark are not limited to the areas under jihadist control. No sign that anyone's about to turn on the real lights.