University of B.C. students’ inglorious $700 victory on behalf of Gaza

Terry Glavin December 3, 2010 – 9:36 am

The denouement of the historic Struggle To Wrest $700 From The Zionist Clutches Of The UBC Alma Mater Society unfolded Wednesday night with a glorious victory going to the heroic forces of Omar “F*** Canada” Shaban (with whom the Canadian Arab Federation is too embarassed to associate), thus conclusively ending “two weeks of hardline anti-Palestine rhetoric and bullying on campus by pro-Israeli government groups.”

Two quick corrections to the historic record are immediately necessary.

1. The “hardline anti-Palestine bullying” claim appears to have construed events backwards and sideways. The campus rumpus actually started when AMS President Bijan Ahmadian, “shaken from the physical intimidation,” had to call security to escort Shaban from his office.

2. Despite what the headlines say, the measly $700 Shaban and his friends so valiantly procured from the UBC AMS budget is not going to be spent on “aid for Gaza.” Their $300,000 fundraising target is confined to funding the costs of a “boat and crew,” not aid to Gaza. It’s not clear whether their boat is intended to carry anything to Gaza at all.

These flotilla spectacles are objectively pro-Hamas moral-exhibitionism displays, and anyone who says it’s necessary to ply trade with Hamas in order to get aid to the Palestinians of Gaza is lying to you.

If you really want to help the people of Gaza, you don’t need to give your money to creeps like Shaban. In fact, all you need to do is pay your taxes. You can always do more — please do. But paying your taxes will get a thousand times more help into the hands of the people of Gaza than all the money in the bags of cash George Galloway handed over to Hamas strongman Ismael Haniya, and all the flotilla masquerades, and all the Omar Shaban catharsis-shows combined.

The Government of Canada is managing to get in excess of $300 million into Gaza without having to work with Hamas, which Canada lists as a terrorist organization. The Canadian International Development Agency pumps enormous volumes of aid into Gaza and the West Bank through a variety of NGOs and recipient groups in such a way as to ensure the people of Gaza, not Hamas hard boys, get the benefits.

An up-to-date snapshot of some of things the Viva Palestina and the Gaza Boat hucksters are not doing, but CIDA is:

This year alone, CIDA is shelling out $20 million to the UN Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) for West Bank and Gaza — most of it goes to Gaza. Among the projects this money funds is a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) program that delivers food to 675,000 Gazans living in poverty, and a school lunch program that benefits more than 200,000 kids. There’s also the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) aid to 1,200 herders in the West Bank and Gaza. There’s a UNICEF project for psychological support to more than 100,000 children and 40,000 caregivers across Gaza. There’s a “cash for work” program for marginalized youth in the West Bank and Gaza.

There’s also the Canadian contributions to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which supplements a $15- million grant towards UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal for West Bank and Gaza from last December.

Has the brave George “This is not charity, this is politics” Galloway managed to raise anything remotely close to that amount? Not a chance.

Just this past March, CIDA funelled another $18 million through the UN CAP to provide emergency food provisions to 365,000 Palestinians, the recycling of 175,000 tonnes of rubble into road-construction material, the removal of 83 unexploded bombs and the safe removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials from buildings.

Compare that with the scrounger Omar Shaban’s paltry $700.

Canada is also contributing to CARE International’s work with 500 farmers, 250 seasonal workers and 2,000 “food insecure” households. On top of that is CIDA’s $4 million contribution to UNRWA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in January last year, which went directly to the people of Gaza for their humanitarian needs – it didn’t arrive in moneybelts to be delivered to Hamas gangsters.

For all of you who sincerely think that you’ve done some good for the people of Gaza or for the Palestinian struggle for peace and freedom by lending a hand to the “Gaza Boat” crackpots, the “Viva Palestina” crowd or to Omar Shaban, I’m sorry, but someone has to tell you: You’ve been had. You’ve been duped. Check your damn head.

If you don’t get it by now, you’re hopeless, and there’s nothing more I can say to help you.

National Post

Journalist, author and blogger Terry Glavin is an adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of British Columbia and editor of Transmontanus Books. He was awarded the 2009 B.C. Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.

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