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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Opening Gaza's prison gate

Over the past several days Egyptian officials have indicated that they will permanently open the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, although there seems to be some confusion over it. Israel has of course objected strenuously, but Egyptian officials have pretty much told the "Jewish state" to mind its own business (note that I put Jewish state in quotation marks because its population includes a significant number of non-Jews.)

A press release from the Israeli human rights group Gisha, issued today, shows why we should support the Egyptian decision: Israel is trying to starve the Gazan population into submission, and doesn't want anyone to see the documents that prove it.

Here is the first paragraph of the Gisha statement, but please read the rest:

On Thursday, April 28, 2011, the state appealed the Tel Aviv District Court ruling that the Defense Ministry must provide Gisha with the "red lines" document, in which the Defense Ministry apparently determined the minimal number of calories residents of Gaza should be allowed to consume, as part of the restrictions on the transfer of civilian goods into the Gaza Strip. The district court ruled that the Freedom of Information Act requires disclosure of the document for the sake of public interest in transparency.

The Pope's miracles. It seems that the Vatican has decided to count Sister Marie Simon-Pierre's supposed recovery from Parkinson's disease after praying to Pope John Paul II, despite questions raised earlier about just how miraculous this particular miracle really was. But it will be interesting to see what the Vatican manages to dig up for the second miracle required for beatification. Perhaps if someone recovers from the childhood trauma of the sexual abuse by priests that John Paul II proved to be so complacent about, that might do the trick.

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