Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sami Kishawi, Mads Gilbert and the Electronic Intifada: Wrong again

In an interview that just appeared in the Electronic Intifada (sorry- I don't link to hate sites) Sami Kishawi ( an undergrad at the University of Chicago and member of Students for Justice in Palestine ) publishes a discussion with Mads Gilbert ( Norwegian doctor, and member of the communist party ). Sami's got a history of being rather lose with statistics. Mads is no stranger to controversy himself, once justifying terror attacks against the US, claiming "If the U.S. government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, the oppressed has a moral right to attack the U.S. with the weapons they may create as well." When asked if he supported a terrorist attack against the US he answered: "Terror is a poor weapon, but my answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned."

Regarding health care in Gaza:

SK: What is the health care situation in the Gaza Strip like now?

MG: As a result of the Israeli siege, there has been widespread development of anemia among children and women due to malnutrition as a result of siege and poverty. Stunting, where a child is more than two standard deviations shorter than what it should be, is sharply on the rise. In 2006, around 13.5 percent of children were stunted. In 2009, 31.4 percent under age two were stunted.

In other words, every third child is less developed than he or she should be. And stunting does not only affect growth. It also affects brain development and the ability to learn. This is a direct consequence of malnutrition. Remember, this is not caused by drought or natural disasters, but a deliberate, man-made lack of food and water, imposed, planned, and executed in the most detailed way by the Israeli government. They even calculate how many calories to let in to Gaza to avoid outright starvation but to “just” cause malnutrition since that goes under the radar of human rights abuses.

Except looking at objective indicators, this is simply not true.

According to last years National Nutrition Surveillance Report from the Ministry of Health Nutrition department using WHO statistics in the Palestinian territories:

"The surveillance system shows that major nutrition indicators of underweight (weight for age); wasting (low weight for length); stunting (short for age), tallness, overweight and obesity among children 9-12 months are all within the acceptable national and regional levels.
However, the prevalence of overweight (weight for length) of 26.6 per cent among children 9-12 months is high, and has increased by 2.2 per cent from the 2008 rate (24.4 per cent in 2008).

According to this report, stunting in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as of 2011 are below 5%.

Need some context Sami? In neighboring Egypt, the rate of stunting is 29%. In Jordan, its 8%.

Life expectancy continues to rise under the "brutal and genocidal" Zionist occupation. A Palestinian born in 2010 can expect to live to 73.4, higher than in Hungary, China, and oil rich Saudi Arabia. Its also higher than the Palestinians neighbors in Jordan and in Egypt. Its significantly higher than the world average of 67.2 years.

In the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

Nice try, Sami.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sami Kishawi wishes to go to medical school...but I wonder about his ethics and true motives.