The sister-in-law of former British prime minister Tony Blair described Gaza as a “concentration camp” and a “humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur.” during an interview on television. She was being questioned by anti-Israel activist, George Galloway who asked her: “Why are they keeping you cooped up in the concentration camp called Gaza” and Lauren Booth responded: “I want to thank you for using the word concentration camp because the word prison has been applied for a few years and that’s a lie. In a prison you get three meals a day, a nourishing diet, visits from outsiders and some hobbies and rehabilitation and a date for your release.’
Ms. Booth visited Gaza in August and decided to remain after most of her colleagues left. She apparently is a visitor in Gaza although Ms. Booth claims no such visits are allowed by Israel authorities. Unfortunately, Lauren Booth undercuts many issues related to Gaza by her intemperate and illogical remarks that compare Gaza to Darfur. The comparison is ludicrous and insulting to those who suffer in the madness known as Darfur. Comparing the deaths of 200,000 people, the rape of thousands of women and the starvation of thousands of children to conditions in Gaza may be a nice sound bite that ensures being shown on Arab television stations but it damages efforts to solve the problem.
Israel has made many blunders, it has displayed a lack of humanity to conditions in Gaza, but part of the responsibility for conditions must also be placed on Hamas which insists its goal is destroying the nation of Israel. Intemperate language sounds wonderful to one’s supporters but only arouses a sense of not-listening by one’s opponents. Does Ms. Booth offer any concrete solutions which might be agreed upon by both Israel and Palestinian authorities?