Here in Israel, there has been genuine happiness for Gaza winner of Arab Idol, Muhammad Assaf. Newspapers, TV shows and radio DJs have commented on the happy occasion and towed in Israeli-Arab musicians to celebrate the event. Everybody is aware the fraught situation between Gaza and Israel, but as one Israeli-Arab singer – Nissren Kader – put it on a late night telly show, anything that can help us live in peace is good.
Not so for the NTB. Straight away they printed their usual nonsense about Gaza, but this time former conservative MP, Hallgrim Berg, put the record straight:
DUBIOUS ON GAZA
Aftenposten 2013 06 27 p 6, Hallgrim Berg
The NTB again dishes out misleading information on the Middle East. This time it has been wrapped in a package of happiness; on a refugee from Gaza. Muhammed Assaf, having won the Arab version of the “Idol” contest: “The 23 years old idol winner grew up in the Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza strip; one of the world’s poorest and most overpopulated areas”.
Gaza has some 4400 people per sq.km. There are many places in the world where it is far denser, up to four and five times as dense. Neither is it true the “refugee camps” in the Gaza strip are among the poorest areas of the world. The Palestinian areas are about on the median of the UN’s Human Development Index; in which 75 countries are worse off. Most of those 75 enjoys no visible and invisible transfers to the same degree.
As a newspaper seeing to convey information to the public as its purpose, the Aftenposten should be more careful about what they actually receives from the NTB; which throughout many years have supplied prejudiced material- often biased against Israel- when Middle East “news” are reported.
Meanwhile, and probably while listening to Muhammad Assaf on Israeli radio stations, the IDF and Israeli medics are busy saving Syrian lives, which is a heck of a lot more than what can be said about Norwegian medics who recently have been appointed Commanders of St. Olav