Israel’s starvation diet formula in Gaza and the expansion of the ‘Dahiya doctrine’

Mohamed Jamaleh WFP n
Food aid in Gaza. (Photo: Mohamed el-Jamaleh/ World Food Programme)

Six and a half years go, shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian national elections and took charge of Gaza, a senior Israeli official described Israel’s planned response. “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Although Dov Weisglass was adviser to Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the day, few observers treated his comment as more than hyperbole, a supposedly droll characterisation of the blockade Israel was about to impose on the tiny enclave.

Last week, however, the evidence finally emerged to prove that this did indeed become Israeli policy. After a three-year legal battle by an Israeli human rights group, Israel was forced to disclose its so-called “Red Lines” document. Drafted in early 2008, as the blockade was tightened still further, the defence ministry paper set forth proposals on how to treat Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day.

The Israeli media have tried to present these chilling discussions, held in secret, in the best light possible. Even the liberal Haaretz newspaper euphemistically described this extreme form of calorie-counting as designed to “make sure Gaza didn’t starve”.

But a rather different picture emerges as one reads the small print. While the health ministry determined that Gazans needed daily an average of 2,279 calories each to avoid malnutrition – requiring 170 trucks a day – military officials then found a host of pretexts to whittle down the trucks to a fraction of the original figure.

The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 trucks – much less than half of the minimum requirement – entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began.

To achieve this large reduction, officials deducted trucks based both on an over-generous assessment of how much food could be grown locally and on differences in the ”culture and experience” of food consumption in Gaza, a rationale never explained.

Gisha, the organisation that fought for the document’s publication, observes that Israeli officials ignored the fact that the blockade had severely impaired Gaza’s farming industry, with a shortage of seeds and chickens that had led to a dramatic drop in food output.

UN staff too have noted that Israel failed to factor in the large quantity of food from each day’s supply of 67 trucks that never actually reached Gaza. That was because Israeli restrictions at the crossings created long delays as food was unloaded, checked and then put on to new trucks. Many items spoiled as they lay in the sun.

And on top of this, Israel further adjusted the formula so that the number of trucks carrying nutrient-poor sugar were doubled while the trucks carrying milk, fruit and vegetables were greatly reduced, sometimes by as much as a half.

Robert Turner, director of the UN refugee agency’s operations in the Gaza Strip, has observed: “The facts on the ground in Gaza demonstrate that food imports consistently fell below the red lines.”

It does not need an expert to conclude that the imposition of this Weisglass-style “diet” would entail widespread malnutrition, especially among children. And that is precisely what happened, as a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found at the time. “Chronic malnutrition is on a steadily rising trend and micro-nutrient deficiencies are of great concern,” it reported in early 2008.

Israel’s protests that the document was merely a “rough draft” and never implemented are barely credible – and, anyway, beside the point. If the politicians and generals were advised by health experts that Gaza needed at least 170 trucks a day, why did they oversee a policy that allowed in only 67?

There can be no doubt that the diet devised for Gaza – much like Israel’s blockade in general – was intended as a form of collective punishment, one directed at every man, woman and child. The goal, according to the Israeli defence ministry, was to wage “economic warfare” that would generate a political crisis, leading to a popular uprising against Hamas.

Earlier, when Israel carried out its 2005 disengagement, it presented the withdrawal as marking the end of Gaza’s occupation. But the “Red Lines” formula indicates quite the opposite: that, in reality, Israeli officials intensified their control, managing the lives of Gaza’s inhabitants in almost-microscopic detail.

Who can doubt – given the experiences of Gaza over the past few years – that there exist in the Israeli military’s archives other, still-classified documents setting out similar experiments in social engineering? Will future historians reveal that Israeli officials also pondered the fewest hours of electricity Gazans needed to survive, or the minimum amount of water, or the smallest living space per family, or the highest feasible levels of unemployment?

Such formulas presumably lay behind:

* the decision to bomb Gaza’s only power station in 2006 and subsequently to block its proper repair;

* the refusal to approve a desalination plant, the only way to prevent overdrilling contaminating the Strip’s underground water supply;

* the declaration of large swaths of farmland no-go areas, forcing the rural population into the already overcrowded cities and refugee camps;

* and the continuing blockade on exports, decimating Gaza’s business community and ensuring the population remains dependent on aid.

It is precisely these policies by Israel that led the United Nations to warn in August that Gaza would be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

In fact, the rationale for the Red Lines document and these other measures can be found in a military strategy that found its apotheosis in Operation Cast Lead, the savage attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09.

The Dahiya doctrine was Israel’s attempt to update its traditional military deterrence principle to cope with a changing Middle East, one in which the main challenge it faced was from asymmetrical warfare. The name Dahiya derives from a neighbourhood of Beirut Israel levelled in its 2006 attack on Lebanon.

This “security concept”, as the Israeli army termed it, involves the wholesale destruction of a community’s infrastructure to immerse it so deeply in the problems of survival and reconstruction that other concerns, including fighting back or resisting occupation, are no longer practicable.

On the first day of the Gaza offensive, Yoav Galant, the commander in charge, explained the aim succinctly: it was to “send Gaza decades into the past”. Matan Vilnai may have been thinking in similar terms when, months before Operation Cast Lead, he warned that Israel was preparing to inflict on Gaza a “shoah”, the Hebrew word for Holocaust.

Seen in this context, Weisglass’ diet can be understood as just one more refinement of the Dahiya doctrine: a whole society refashioned to accept its subjugation through a combination of violence, poverty, malnutrition and a permanent struggle over limited resources.

This experiment in the manufacture of Palestinian despair is, it goes without saying, both illegal and grossly immoral. But ultimately it also certain to unravel – and possibly sooner rather than later. The visit this week of Qatar’s emir, there to bestow hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, was the first by a head of state since 1999.

The Gulf’s wealthy oil states need influence, allies and an improved image in a new Middle East wracked by uprisings and civil war. Gaza is a prize, it seems, they may be willing to challenge Israel to possess.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.
Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation | Tagged

{ 24 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    A great analysis from Mr Cook who really knows his stuff.

    “The goal, according to the Israeli defence ministry, was to wage “economic warfare” that would generate a political crisis, leading to a popular uprising against Hamas.”

    These Zionist military delusions. Refashioning the region to suit the goals they never reach. They have been doing it to Lebanon for so long. And they think that poverty will drive the Palestinians out. They simply don’t understand their opponents.
    They always underestimate the locals. Gaza understands the system and its place in the system. It has very little to do with “Khamas” , “Khezbollah” or Iran. The system is Zionism. The system is where the evil is to be found .

  2. Eva Smagacz says:

    Lets see: according to Israel’s own calculations 170 daily trucks entering Gaza would allow average of 2290 calories per person. In reality, they allowed the average of 67 trucks creating an allowance of 902 calories per day or, to put it another way: deficit of 2290 – (67/179)x2290 = 1388 calories per day.

    I know our new comments policy wishes to concentrate on here and now, but can I quote from United States Holocaust Memorial museum own website:

    “Food allotments rationed to the ghetto by the German civilian authorities were not sufficient to sustain life. In 1941 the average Jew in the ghetto subsisted on 1,125 calories a day. Czerniaków wrote in his diary entry for May 8, 1941: “Children starving to death.” Between 1940 and mid-1942, 83,000 Jews died of starvation and disease. Widespread smuggling of food and medicines into the ghetto supplemented the miserable official allotments and kept the death rate from increasing still further”

    I guess Gaza people owe their lives to smuggling tunnels.

    • marc b. says:

      grotesque. and, yes, eva, the historical analogy in this case is perfectly appropriate, in my opinion, if not in the eyes of the editorial staff.

      i’ll continue to promote eyal weizman’s piece i linked elsewhere, given its relevance.

      link to e-flux.com

      a few more points made in the article:

      weizman describes the evolution of ‘humanitarianism’, although that word begins to lose its meaning, and in particular cites rony brauman of MSF, and brauman’s scaled down version of humanitarianism.

      Rony Brauman, president of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF), to the philosopher and publisher Michel Feher in a famous interview. Brauman went on to note that at the beginning of the wars of the former Yugoslavia, “we were very explicitly influenced by Hannah Arendt, [as] Bosnia seemed like the traditional confrontation between liberal democracy and totalitarianism … and I responded in the liberal way, by raising the flag of human rights.”But as raising the flag of human rights meant military intervention, this position also clashed with Brauman’s aversion to a humanitarianism that could be absorbed into state politics and military strategy. Moreover, he thought making public MSF’s opinion on juridical categories such as “‘crimes against humanity’—which has always had an implicit reference to the Nazi camps—has political, military, and legal consequences beyond our control. The language one uses both frames the problem and determines the kind of response. To say ‘crimes against humanity’ is to call for immediate military intervention to stop it—and this is beyond the mandate of humanitarianism.”

      that’s a curious thought process. the prevention of ‘crimes against humanity’ completely divorced from its modern origins, the nazi genocide, and uncoupled from military intervention. but i thought that the failure to prevent the nazi genocide was ultimately a military failure, once the war started?

      later the lengthy money quote on 21st century humanitarianism:

      This minimal approach to humanitarianism has found its spatial manifestation in what Brauman called a “humanitarian space.” In his conception, the humanitarian space is a form of spatial practice rather than an actual space or a territorial designation. Against the tendency of conflicts since the 1980s to generate integrated and entangled political-military-humanitarian spaces, mainly around refugee camps, this space is conceived in order to hold relief work at a distance from political and military practice.

      Driving the humanitarian present is no longer a sense of naive yet dangerous compassion, but rather a highly specialized and concerted international effort to manage populations that are seen as posing risks. In his work on the refugee camps of Africa, the anthropologist Michel Agier refers to contemporary humanitarianism as nothing less than “a distant and delegated form of management, a government without citizens.” He describes the humanitarian zones as heavily guarded and tightly policed “waiting rooms on the margins of the world,” built and maintained for the purpose of the “total government of the planet’s populations who are most unwanted and undesirable.” In them, the well-meaning humanitarians “find themselves acting as low-cost managers of exclusion on a planetary scale.”Refugee camps are part of an overall system of migration control, he says, intended to provide for displaced populations at a discreet distance from Western shores.

      “Driving the humanitarian present is no longer a sense of naive yet dangerous compassion, but rather a highly specialized and concerted international effort to manage populations that are seen as posing risks.” that sums up israel’s treatment of gaza fairly accurately. i don’t necessarily believe that the overthrow of hamas is its ultimate aim, or that it’s even relevant. gaza is a neat little pen for surplus palestinians, helping to solve the demographic crisis, and its puny military responses to israeli aggression, which are naturally inverted in the press, help to justify israeli bellicosity.

      the article goes on to discuss ‘lawfare’ quoting the repulsive daniel reisner, who is discussed in the dayiha doctrine link in the post. more or less reisner’s plan has been to push the envelope of the ‘elastic boundaries’ of ‘the lesser evil’ justification for lawful military conduct.

      According to Eitan Diamond, the legal scholar and adviser for the ICRC in Israel, “the architecture of international humanitarian law is typified by ‘rigid lines of absolute prohibition’ and ‘elastic zones of discretion.’” The rigid prohibitions are derived, he states, from the law’s origins in the nineteenth century, “a time when legal thought was dominated by a positivist-formalist approach that conceived of law as a closed system distinguished from politics and ethics.” Today, he fears, “states and their advocates are using arguments based on the logic of the ‘lesser evil’ to subvert the law’s absolute provisions and to subject them to malleable cost-benefit calculations.”

      reisner later states in the article, more or less, that his client intentionally pushes the boundaries of permissible conduct, arguing, for example, that targeted assassination is regrettable, yet less costly for all than engaging the enemy on a traditional battleground. once such conduct is approved and employed by one state, its use spreads, and similar to the legal standard for business conduct (i.e. where a court looks to industry standards of conduct for guidance on legality/permissibility), its use becomes accepted, and the law is effectively changed. and, again, I think that’s what’s been done in gaza. israel ostensibly adhered to the international standard for minimum dietary needs, it failed to satisfy those needs, there was no mass death or other overtly dramatic public consequences, nor mass protests to its conduct, and so it keeps turning the screw even tighter.

      • Eva Smagacz says:

        Marc b,

        Very pertinent comment, thank you. I have encountered a number of commemnts from Israeli politicians that International Law is there to be disregarded/reinterpreted as this is a movable entity.

        Your comment on refugees is perfectly in line with what Jeff Halper from Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions called Israeli policy of permanent warehousing of population of unwanted (e.i. Non-Jewish) race.

    • jon s says:

      Your comparison of Gaza to the Holocaust is , as always. obscene. It can also be seen as a form of Holocaust denial.
      In the Warsaw Ghetto the Nazis perpetrated a deliberate policy of starving the population, as part of their plan to annihilate the Jews. As for Gaza, sure, the calorie-counting doesn’t look good image-wise, but the intention was the opposite : it was to make sure that no one in Gaza was in danger of starving. The intentions were different and so was the reality: in Warsaw thousands of Jews, especially children , starved to death, while in Gaza no one has starved.

      • seafoid says:

        “For Gaza, sure, the calorie-counting doesn’t look good image-wise, but the intention was the opposite : it was to make sure that no one in Gaza was in danger of starving”

        The cruelty of Israel can’t be spun, jon. Nice try but no cigar.
        This policy is dynamite if it gets into the MSM. Israelis are just like us, are they?

      • marc b. says:

        Your comparison of Gaza to the Holocaust is , as always. obscene. It can also be seen as a form of Holocaust denial.

        that’s ludicrous and slanderous. i dare you to find one comment by eva (or me) ever denying that millions of european jews were murdered by the nazis. and, in fact, if someone is making an analogy to two historical events, then as a matter of logic they accept the legitimacy of the history of those two events. the comparison is not a ‘form of holocaust denial’, its the exact opposite, a warning that history, or at least tactics, are being repeated.

        As for Gaza, sure, the calorie-counting doesn’t look good image-wise, but the intention was the opposite : it was to make sure that no one in Gaza was in danger of starving.

        another bald faced untruth. the israelis calculated the minimum necessary volume of foodstuffs to meet dietary requirements, and then deliberately let in substantially less. that calculus does not add up to making ‘sure that no one in gaza was in danger of starving.’

      • MRW says:

        @Jon,

        “As for Gaza, sure, the calorie-counting doesn’t look good image-wise, but the intention was the opposite : it was to make sure that no one in Gaza was in danger of starving.”

        In your dreams, Jon.

        MJ Rosenberg: “Is Harvard Prof Advocating Palestinian Genocide?”
        link to huffingtonpost.com

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “Your comparison of Gaza to the Holocaust is , as always. obscene. It can also be seen as a form of Holocaust denial.”

        And your excusing of the crimes against the Gazan people is, as always, no less obscene than Holocaust denial.

        “As for Gaza, sure, the calorie-counting doesn’t look good image-wise, but the intention was the opposite : it was to make sure that no one in Gaza was in danger of starving.”

        Nonsense. If that was the goal, the sensible solution would be to simply not limit food importation into Gaza. But the israelis in charge of that state, like thugs everywhere, want to turn the food of civilians into weapons.

      • eljay says:

        >> As for Gaza, sure, the calorie-counting doesn’t look good image-wise, but the intention was the opposite : it was to make sure that no one in Gaza was in danger of starving.

        Beating a person to within an inch of his life also doesn’t look good image-wise, but I guess we can all rest assured that the intention is the opposite: it’s to make sure that the person is not in danger of dying.

        Hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists sure are twisted…

  3. seafoid says:

    Hard to see Israel changing its policy.

    link to haaretz.com

    • Psychological research has shown for many decades that human beings are incapable of seeing themselves as bad in the long run. If a group does something that is immoral under a given value system, it cannot in the long run bear the cognitive dissonance. As a result it will tend to change its value system in order to avoid feeling bad, guilty or ashamed.
    • The implications for Israel are clear: The longer Israel holds on to the territories, and discriminates against Israeli Arabs the stronger the psychological need to adjust core values, to avoid feeling bad. If Israel has ruled over Palestinians for so long without giving them political rights, the consequence will be to simply say that it is justifiable to discriminate against Arabs.

    • piotr says:

      I think an INDIVIDUAL can be chronically depressed with low self-evaluation or be cynical. However, groups create their own norms of what is good and what is bad. One of the moral axioms is that “our troops are innocent”. In actuality, the innocent troops may have nightmares after what they have done but as a society we are firmly convinced that they are always innocent.

      No traitor is as loathed as one who discloses facts that may put that innocence in doubt: behold Bradley Manning. Israel apparently had more such cases, say Anat Kamm. And when the facts are disclosed, traitors captured and punished, it is amazing how forgettable those facts are. And we are talking about the age of internet!

  4. Refaat says:

    what scares me most about the situation in Palestine is that israel’s hideous brutality against humanity and life has become familiar stories we read in the news….

  5. AlGhorear says:

    There are just no words to describe this kind of policy. When will Americans wake up and stop supporting politicians (almost all of them) who are in lockstep with the GOI?

    I lived in Haret Hreik which is in the Dahiya in 2003 and was shocked to see how that entire area was destroyed in 2006. Many of my friends lived there and as I looked at the satellite map, I could see that all of their buildings had been leveled. Those were people’s homes and not a military target. Just like in Gaza, Israel bombed Lebanese infrastructure including power plants. The purpose was collective punishment of all Lebanese, especially the Shia population. Denying adequate food is collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza and a crime against humanity.

  6. ritzl says:

    If you read the whole “red-lines” document, it is shocking to come to the inescapable and horrific realization that a few people had to sit around a table and decide how little is acceptable for 1.5M men, women, children and infants were going to be allowed to eat. In 30 pages of excruciatingly malicious detail. Depraved, really.

    If you craft a distribution curve (I wish pix could be posted here in comments) of the “allowed” calories, the people around the table had to know that more people at the already impoverished and food-insecure end of the spectrum in Gaza were going to die from any further artificial/intentional restrictions (and/or the increase in food costs that automatically follows intentional scarcity). From hunger, disease, or whatever demise that malnutrition induces.

    But then add to that the actual implementation of those restrictions with that foreknowledge and the mind boggles. Mine does anyway. I just can’t picture it.

    • seafoid says:

      “But then add to that the actual implementation of those restrictions with that foreknowledge and the mind boggles”

      And then any attempt to condemn this and bring the international community around to support the rights of the Palestinians who are the targets of this policy and suddenly it is all about something else entirely

      link to haaretz.com

      “The Congressional letter of October 5 must be seen in this context. Criticism of settlements is completely legitimate; I am an outspoken settlement critic myself. But the Protestant leaders made no effort to include in their letter words that might have reassured Jews and others that this effort was not motivated by hostility to Israel. They could have expressed the hope that the Palestinians would return to the negotiating table in the days ahead. They could have said that just as the Jewish people must welcome the Palestinian people as neighbors in a sovereign Palestinian state, so too must the Palestinian people welcome the Jewish people as neighbors in a sovereign Jewish state. They could have said that just as a two-state solution will require Israel to radically change its settlement policy, so too will it require the Palestinians to renounce the Right of Return and to declare the conflict with Israel over—once and for all. ”

      Gaza – It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again

  7. RE: “While the health ministry determined that Gazans needed daily an average of 2,279 calories each to avoid malnutrition – requiring 170 trucks a day – military officials then found a host of pretexts to whittle down the trucks to a fraction of the original figure.
    The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 trucks – much less than half of the minimum requirement – entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began.” ~ Jonathan Cook

    DICK CHENEY SEZ: “So?”

    “So?” says Dick Cheney [VIDEO, 00:51] – link to youtube.com

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    RE: “If the politicians and generals were advised by health experts that Gaza needed at least 170 trucks a day, why did they oversee a policy that allowed in only 67?” ~ Jonathan Cook

    DONALD RUMSFELD SEZ: “Stuff happens and it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.”

    “Stuff Happens!” – Rumsfeld on looting after fall of Baghdad [VIDEO, 00:27] – link to youtube.com

    • P.S. RE: “The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 trucks – much less than half of the minimum requirement – entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began.
      To achieve this large reduction, officials deducted trucks based both on an over-generous assessment of how much food could be grown locally and on differences in the ‘culture and experience’ of food consumption in Gaza, a rationale never explained. . .
      If the politicians and generals were advised by health experts that Gaza needed at least 170 trucks a day, why did they oversee a policy that allowed in only 67?” ~ Jonathan Cook
      ~

      MITT ROMNEY SEZ: “Culture makes all the difference.”

      SEE: Romney’s ‘Racist’ Reference to Palestinian Culture”, FactCheck.org, 8/01/12
      LINK – link to factcheck.org

  8. RE: “Even the liberal Haaretz newspaper euphemistically described this extreme form of calorie-counting as designed to ‘make sure Gaza didn’t starve’.” ~ Jonathan Cook

    MY COMMENT: Gee, I wonder if the IDF censors might have something to do with this (even if only by “virtue” of their “chilling effect”). After all, this story specifically deals with the IDF, and a highly unflattering article about The Most Moral Army in the World™ might very well present what Michael Oren refers to as a “security concern”! ! !

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Israeli Military Censor]:

    The Israeli Military Censor (Hebrew: הצנזורה הצבאית‎) is a unit in the IDF Directorate of Military Intelligence which watches over the publication of information regarding the military network, and generally, the security of Israel. The Military Censor, as part of its duty, has authority to suppress information it deems compromising from being made public in the media. . .

    The Censorship Agreement
    In 1966, the Censorship Agreement was signed between media representatives and the IDF. The media agreed to abide by the orders of the Military Censor, while the IDF agreed not to misuse its role. Three main points of the arrangement are:
    • The purpose of the censorship is to prevent the publication of security information which could benefit the enemy or harm the State.
    • There will be no censorship on political issues, on expressions of opinion or assessments, unless they hint on classified information.
    • The Military Censor will inform the media which issues demand its approval. The list is subject to change, but always includes two overarching issues: the security of the State, and the immigration of Jews from nations hostile to Israel.[3]

    Parliamentary and judicial oversight
    During the 1990s, the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee appointed a subcommittee, chaired by Yossi Sarid, to examine the existence and role of the Military Censor. The subcommittee recommended to keep the Censorship Agreement in place, but amend it by:
    • Extending the terms of the Agreement to all media outlets in Israel, not only media outlets with representatives in the Editorial Committee.
    • A simple appeal of a decision rendered by the “Censorship Committee” will not be heard by the Chief of Staff but by a Supreme Court Judge, or retired Judge with an Arbitrator status in the Arbitration Law.
    The terms of the Censorship Agreement will also be extended to foreign journalists working in Israel
    • A newspaper will be allowed to cite anything published in another newspaper, unless the Military Censor decides the material poses “imminent and immediate danger” in the spirit of the terms established by the Supreme Court.
    • The Military Censor or the Interior Minister are to be prohibited from shutting down a newspaper that is not part of the Agreement without giving it the opportunity to appeal the decision in the courts.[4] . . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  9. piotr says:

    It is easy to harm correct growth of babies, but otherwise humans are amazingly resilient. Simply cutting the food supply to half of the recommended supply is leaving folks very much alive, if less energetic, more prone to infections etc. As Germans discovered and documented, even cutting the food supply 4 times was not killing Jews in ghettos in satisfactory numbers. (Like in Gaza, smuggling of food was part of the reason.

    Rather than homicidal, this process was more like torture when the health indicators of the subject are carefully monitored, and staff psychologists selects the least violent measures that are sufficient to drive the subject insane.

  10. ToivoS says:

    I have become extremely impressed with the ability of the Gazans to survive in this environment. When the siege was first laid my biggest concern was a cholera epidemic. I see reference to their water treatment plant. Whoever manages that plant and directs public health with the limited resources they have should be proud of their achievement. The conditions seemed terribly conducive to either a cholera or other bacterial diarrhea disease and this has been avoided so far.

    When it was first reported that the Israelis were holding up the delivery of chlorine, my first paranoid reaction that it was a deliberate attempt to provoke such an epidemic. Either cooler heads prevailed in Israel or the Gazans figured away around that problem.

  11. Sam905 says:

    Brilliant, An Israeli’ Weight Watcher Program

  12. Israeli navy attacks on Palestinian fishing vessels, often drowning or otherwise murdering the fishermen, can also be viewed as part of the strategy to impoverish the diet of Gaza residents.