"Accuracy nevertheless demands that your emphasis of Israel’s October 2023 violation of its Fourth Geneva Convention obligations, with this medieval starvation warfare, also makes space for the illegal 16-year siege (2007–2023) that this collective punishment punctuates. Corrections to this story for accuracy are therefore a necessary correction for fact."
October 19, 2023
Manuela Vega, Reporter, Toronto Star
Jordan Himelfarb, Managing Editor, News & Opinion
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Dear Manuela Vega, Jordan Himelfarb, and Donovan Vincent,
I am writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, cjpme.org) to insist on correction of your October 19 report, “Israel will allow limited aid to Gaza through Egypt + Parliament to re-examine MAID expansion.”
While understandable, your reference in this article to “a crack in the 10-day siege that has blocked Gaza from access to water, food and other supplies” is false.
Some reference is necessary to the sixteen-year “siege” or “blockade” of the Gaza Strip from which which Israel’s latest, medieval starvation tactics extend.
It was in 2014 that Filippo Grandi, one of the lead United Nations officials concerning this file, whom I once had the honor to host, said (see p. 14) that “the siege on the Gaza Strip which has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than half a decade is considered the longest in history.” Around the same time, the Economist, which on these questions parses its words carefully, affirmed the same plain fact: after the 2014 war, “the siege continued.”
Now, for you to place special emphasis on the tightened Israeli suffocation policy of the last ten days is reasonable. Under Article 55 of the Geneva Convention,
“the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.”
The organization named by the Geneva Convention, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), insists Israel has maintained a continuous occupation of the Gaza Strip since 1967 – despite the 2005 “disengagement” – as Canadian media (CTV, the Globe) report.
Accuracy nevertheless demands that your emphasis of Israel’s October 2023 violation of its Fourth Geneva Convention obligations, with this medieval starvation warfare, also makes space for the illegal 16-year siege (2007–2023) that this collective punishment punctuates.
Corrections to this story for accuracy are therefore a necessary correction for fact.
Feel free to reach me at 438-380-5410 should you wish to discuss this matter further. I appreciate that this is a hard story to cover and thank you for your time.
PhD, University of Exeter
Postdoc, Canada Research Chair in Québec and Canadian Studies
Director of Strategic Operations
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/
Canadiens pour la Justice et la Paix au Moyen-Orient