Responding to a recent report lamenting the current plight of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Barbara Kay points to some relevant facts about the radically improved conditions there under Israeli rule, a few effects of which endured even following Israel’s 2005 withdrawal:
[I]n 1967, when Israeli control over the West Bank and Gaza began, life expectancy stood at forty-eight. By 2000, it had leaped to seventy-two, higher not only than in most Arab countries, but higher than in South America and some EU countries. In 1967, infant mortality among Palestinians was at about 157 per 1,000 births. In 2006 it was 21 per 1,000 births, significantly lower than in neighboring Arab and North African countries. Indeed, Palestinian infant mortality rates are now better than in Turkey and Bulgaria, and Gaza still ranks third in the world for natural population increase due to highbirth rates and low death rates.
As for poverty, a little context is in order. Gaza gets plenty of money. . . . But it doesn’t go toward infrastructure. It goes to expanding the public sector, rewarding terrorists and paying religious clerics to broadcast hysterical Judeophobia more or less full time. In spite of all this, Gaza’s gross national income per capita (GNI) is $1,760, which seems nugatory to us but isn’t for the region, where the average GNI is $1,593.
Nobody wants to be ruled by another country, and nobody wants to stop ruling the Palestinians more than Israel does. But if the subject of a report is life under Israeli rule, it is not too much to ask that the report reflect more than superficial knowledge, and provide objectivity and balance. Or is it?