Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Media blackout in North America

You would think that 528 people from 17 countries in a 150-vehicle convoy carrying hundreds of tons of humanitarian supplies all the way across Europe to Gaza would rate at least one line somewhere in the North American press, wouldn't you? But you would be wrong.

You can read about the Viva Palestina convoy in Europe, China, Iran, Malaysia and Brunei; you can even read about it in Israel and Egypt; you just can't read about it in the North American press.

The story has hardly lacked for drama.
In December Egypt refused the convoy entry to Gaza unless it first obtained permission from Israel. 85 year old convoy participant and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein began a hunger strike in protest.

There's a nice business story in there too - Israel and Egypt held the #1 and #2 top spots for US military aid until Iraq took over that honour in 2004. Israel must spend 75% of its $3-billion a year in US aid on military hardware made in the USA.

And for a local angle - as related in comments at Creekside, a Canadian from the Gulf Islands is on that convoy and yet I can't find the expected CBC interview anywhere.

Crickets. Why is that?
I'm guessing that business angle above has trumped every other possible viewpoint and trickled down to put everyone off.

The convoy is due to enter Gaza tonight to deliver its 150 vehicles filled with medical and humanitarian aid.
Unlike the North American press, you can follow their story here, with detailed updates from the UK contingent here.
Buy a t-shirt in support here.

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