Based on all the hysterical news stories today, almost all of which are complemented by gratuitous pictures of Gazans posing by candlelight, one would think so. The LA Times (headline: “Gaza dark amid Israeli blockade”), the AP, Reuters, and, of course, the Guardian, have all run such stories. (It should be mentioned that in the rogues’ gallery of Middle East reportage, the Guardian’s scribbler in Israel, a hack by the name of Rory McCarthy, is possibly the worst — just about everything he writes from here is grotesquely cheap and unfair and dripping with a contempt for Israel that McCarthy barely bothers to conceal.)
Anyway, the contours of this story are as follows: Israel supplies about two-thirds of Gaza’s electricity, an amount that, contrary to the news stories, quite simply has not been reduced. The rest of Gaza’s power is generated at an electricity station inside Gaza. Hamas chose yesterday to shut that power station down, in protest of Israel’s reductions in diesel fuel supplies to Gaza. The voluntary shutdown by Hamas of a plant that supplies less than a third of Gaza’s electricity is the source for all the lachrymose photos of children sitting in candle-lit rooms in Gaza and sensational news stories of Israel’s “collective punishment” of Gaza.
Of course the question becomes: Why did Hamas shut down Gaza’s only power station? Look at the international media reportage from Israel today and you have your answer. And then the question becomes: Who is worse, those who create propaganda, or those who help disseminate it? Over to you, Rory McCarthy.