Globe & Mail Columnist Says Israel Has Sought To “Deprive Palestinians Of Food” – A Demonstrably False Claim

June 10, 2024

Thanks to the power of the World Wide Web, almost instantly, it is possible to gain access to an incomprehensible amount of information. And while much of it may be harmful, fake or even downright dangerous, much of it is valuable, insightful and true.

All of which means that in 2024, there is little excuse for ignorance, particularly on the part of an educated and otherwise knowledgeable individual, and which makes Doug Saunders’ May 31 opinion column in The Globe & Mail entitled: “A war-crimes investigation against Netanyahu is a favour to Israel and the world,” so perplexing.

Saunders, the newspaper’s international affairs columnist, wrote that the International Criminal Court (ICC), by seeking the arrest warrants of Israeli leaders alongside senior Hamas terrorists, is “doing everyone a favour.”

Pointing to the allegations laid out by the ICC against Israel, Saunders wrote that “the proposed Israeli charges are narrowly limited to the issue of humanitarian aid – specifically, the effects of their orders to deprive Palestinians of food, medicine and other necessities of life, sometimes violently, and ‘starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.’”

He added that these accusations are “apparently based on (Israeli Defense Minister Yoav) Gallant’s Oct. 9 announcement – ‘I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly’ – and Mr. Netanyahu’s repeated rejection of urgent requests by the United States and other parties to end that policy.”

What Saunders seems strikingly unaware of is that despite Gallant’s admittedly bellicose and emotional rhetoric – made 48 hours after the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust – has not become Israeli government policy in the slightest.

Israel has not “closed” Gaza to food, electricity or the like. In fact, more food trucks are entering Gaza each and every day now than were entering the coastal territory before Hamas’ genocidal mass killings on October 7. As a natural result, video footage shows market stalls teeming in Gaza, hardly in line with the hysterical and entirely unsupported claims made by some commentators that minimal aid is entering Gaza.

But to the ICC, and Saunders, it seems, who swallow their judgments without evidently conducting even a modicum of research, words matter more than actual actions.

Since Saunders places complete and total trust in words, and not what actually happens on the ground in Gaza, he could have quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as promising that “as much (aid) as is needed” should be entering Gaza

In short, there is simply not a scintilla of evidence that “a complete siege” has been imposed on Gaza, and yet the entire ICC case, as Saunders describes it, rests on what is essentially a complete fiction.

Saunders makes another immensely problematic statement in his column, without providing any extremely important details, when he wrote of  the: “horrifying images of families burned alive in the Israeli bombing of the Rafah tent displacement camp.”

Israel did not, in fact, bomb the Rafah tent displacement camp, based on all the available satellite and video evidence. Israel, using specific munitions aimed at minimizing blast radius, struck Hamas terrorists. However, the terrorists, it’s suspected – in line with Hamas practices – were hiding a weapons depot nearby, which subsequently exploded, causing a chain reaction and secondary explosions.

Incredibly, none of these details – which clearly demonstrate that Hamas, not Israel, is the war criminal – made it into Saunders’ column, despite them being freely available for him to find and report.

The Globe & Mail is Canada’s newspaper of record, and Saunders’ sloppy lack of research in his May 31 column is as disappointing as it is beneath the calibre of The Globe & Mail.

Take action now by sending a letter to the editor to the Globe and Mail. Send letters to: letters@globeandmail.com.

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