As if the whole situation wasn't sorry enough, there are a few reports floating about that miasmic whirlpool of filth that we all love and know as The Internet suggesting that the cargo of humanitarian aid halted en route to Gaza by the Israeli Navy was as good as useless.
Arutz Sheva - an Israeli radio station the impartiality of which we would not and could not comment on - claims that following inspection a large amount of the medicine on board was found to be past expiration dates and in a disorganised state, making it practically unusable. Much of the equipment onboard is said to have been in very poor condition.
The flotilla was halted by the IDF on Monday. Some reports now suggest that the aid onboard was as good as useless.
As many of you who regularly read this blog - not that there are many of you - already know, Mrs. Rabbi is employed by a certain very well-known international charity and, on occasion, has the chance to get her perfectly-manicured paws dirty by helping to sort out the donations that members of the public deliver to the organisation's shops. She is often shocked by the utter rubbish she finds therein, with soiled underwear, household rubbish and electrical equipment damaged beyond all repair and often scorched as a result of fire all being a lot more common than anyone would like to think - and it seems from the Mary Queen of Charity Shops television show that this is a common occurrence in charity shops across the land. Such is the low quality of many donations that she has come to the conclusion that some people see charity shops as a simpler means of disposing of their rubbish, especially now that electrical items cannot be simply left out for the bin lorry and, as charity shops are generally in town centres and civic amenity centres (what we used to call dumps) are generally some way out of town, very often a cheaper option too.
However, in the case of the flotilla, simply dumping the rubbish on Gaza is neither simpler nor cheaper due to the logistical challenge of organising a flotilla comprising ships and crews from an assortment of nations in the first place and the cost of fueling those vessels as they schlep their freight across the Mediterranean. It would, doubtless, be a far easier and cheaper act to get rid of waste using the standard methods already in place in those nations from which it came.
So if it turns out that the "aid" was in fact rubbish, why was it being taken to Gaza? Middle Eastern states (with the exception of Israel, which facilitates the delivery of around 15,000 tons of aid to Gaza each and every week) have demonstrated time and time again that they care little about the Palestinians (why else would those Palestinians living as refugees in states surrounding Israel exist in such appalling conditions, shifted around like unwanted cattle, otherwise?) but even they wouldn't go so far as to risk causing innocent people to die by foisting dodgy medicines on them (or at least, we don't think they would. They are human, after all). We have an innate suspicion of conspiracy theories because they A: RE almost all a steaming pile of bupkis and B: almost always contain a political agenda but if the aid is shown to have been useless as well as what seems to be the deliberate provocation of Israel by some of the activists, their refusal to allow their cargo to be inspected and the involvement of the Turkish "charity" IHH - who are widely suspected of maintaining links with Hamas and Al Qaeda - are all taken into account, one cannot help but entertain a sneaking doubt that this humanitarian aid exercise was not intended to help the people of Gaza at all but was, in fact, a propaganda effort aimed at demonising Israel.
One thing's for certain - as is always the case with any event involving Palestine and Israel, the situation is a lot more complex than a large part of the Western media would have us believe, and we all need to ask questions and think for ourselves rather than swallowing any old tripe served up to us.