Gaza-Palestine: aid and terrorism… and water

In Gaza-Palestine, Hamas’s effective dictatorship means it is the authority responsible for infrastructure. In West-Bank-Palestine, the dictatorship of Mahmoud Abbas (president for life) is the authority responsible for infrastructure there. In Gaza-Palestine the aid Hamas receives from international donors goes primarily into funding terrorist activities and since Hamas took control of Gaza and turned the area into a launching pad for its attacks against Israel, ordinary Gazans have suffered.

Even now, in 2014, even after the damage and deaths suffered by Gazans during Operation Cast Lead, Hamas continues to provoke Israeli responses through rocket-fire into Israeli civilian areas. In late 2012, Hamas targeted both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, evidence that its goal is to cause as much human suffering as possible.

Supplies into Gaza from Israel across the crossing-points of Erez and Kerem Shalom are carefully examined and restricted to stop machine parts and other materials that can be forged into weaponry from getting in. This is not an ‘occupation policy’, an accusation which is often levelled at Israel, but rather it is a necessary defensive move taken by an embattled state which is fighting a prolonged conflict. Materials that can be fashioned into munitions still arrive however through the porous and tunnel-burrowed border between Gaza and Egypt.

Occupation policy? What occupation? There are no Israeli citizens in Gaza. There are no Israeli troops in Gaza. The Israeli Navy does however guard against weaponry and other materials that can be forged into weaponry from getting in to the entity. But, this is not ‘occupation’. Since the beginning of January 2014, some 6,762 trucks have crossed into Gaza-Palestine from Israel, and have carried 349,660 tons of food and equipment. 159,092 litres of diesel fuel for the power plant have been imported from Israel. In the short period between 3 February and 6 February 2014, some 1,445 trucks carrying 42,898 tons of goods have crossed. Oh…! Did somebody mention an Israeli blockade of Gaza-Palestine? Some might argue that there ought to be a blockade of the entity, but no, there isn’t.

In addition to the billions of dollars of aid from international bodies and individual countries into the ‘black hole’ which is Gaza-Palestine, and with little public infrastructure to show for it (but then they do continue picking fights with the big boys don’t they, and continue being bombed back to the stone age), the World Bank recently announced that it will be donating US $ 6.4 million to assist in the building of infrastructure. The grant will be augmented to the tune of US $11.1m by an Islamic organisation, the Islamic Development Bank, in order to construct water tanks and distribute water.

This new aid will help them towards ending the digging of ‘pirate wells’ and in allowing wastewater to flow into streams untreated…. both in breach of the obligations they have signed up to through the Oslo Water Agreement.

Imagine that!!!… Palestinians breaching agreements! Who would have thought that !


Egyptian blockade of Gaza: Why no flotillas ? Why no convoys ?

Khaled Abu Toameh, the Israeli Arab journalist, lecturer and documentary film-maker, has asked a very pertinent question. It is this: Since the blockade of Gaza by the Egyptians staring 30 June, where are the flotillas in support of the beleaguered Gazans?

After all, Hamas in Gaza has claimed that Egypt is turning the Gaza Strip into a huge prison as a result of the continued closure of the Rafah border crossing by the Egyptian authorities. The border was even closed during the recent four day Moslem feast of Eid al-Fitr. Previously, such claims of a prison-like Gaza had been made against Israeli actions against the entity, and these would usually capture the attention of the mainstream media, human rights organisations, and of course Palestine solidarity campaign groups. Indeed, one would rather expect a fair rant by now from the these latter groups across Europe and North America… but what is it we hear instead ?… Yep, a deafening silence.

The deafening silence isn’t only because northern hemisphere students are still on their holidays (there are Palestinian solidarity campaign groups in Australia and New Zealand too after all)… it is rather because the border closures don’t implicate Israel. Because Israel isn’t the bad-guy this time, they are all just looking the other way. Activists and solidarity missions that used to visit Gaza to show support for Hamas and the Palestinians have themselves admitted that they can’t go there because of the strict security measures and travel restrictions put in place by Egyptian authorities.

So… the big question again… Why haven’t these activists not tried to organise flotillas and aid convoys to break the Egyptian blockade? Why no pro-Palestinian solidarity groups on the Egyptian side jumping up and down in protest?

Answer…? All along, the main goal of activism in support of Palestine has been to condemn Israel full-stop; to hold Israel solely responsible for Palestinian ‘misery’. They have never cared quite so much about Palestine and Palestinian suffering as they have about advancing their anti-Israeli and anti-Israel agenda.

Oh yes… another important reason… They are too scared to mess around with the Egyptian army and Egyptian security forces… The Israelis were always pretty soft with them really, because they are democrats.

And, meanwhile, daily, just as they have always done – in spite of the lies – Israel sends truck-loads of goods into Gaza via the Erez Terminal.


Israel and Clackmannanshire

A bit of nonsense has emerged in the micro-Council of Clackmannanshire in central Scotland which, across its four wards of Central, North, South, East and West, and among its 18 Councillors, something of a bash-Israel-fest has emerged. With the political balance in the Council being pretty well equal (Labour versus SNP) with 8 SNP, 8 Labour, and one Councillor each for Conservative and Independent, it is not surprising that the Councillors feel they must outbid each other in extreme policies and viewpoints. However it might be interesting for local Clackmannanshire tax-payers to know that their Council Tax receipts are wasted on a Clackmannanshire foreign policy and debates and motions around such a policy!

It would be interesting for them to know too that the Clackmannanshire foreign policy – at least its anti-Israel policy – lacks integrity, honesty, and objectivity. One would hope that Clackmannanshire politics today will not serve as a model for those of an independent Scottish state.

Others have highlighted Clackmannanshire’s political shortcomings… and I repeat them here, following:

Clackmannanshire alleges that Israel’s presence in the West Bank including East Jerusalem amounts to ‘occupation’ and is illegal. To be deemed illegal however, something has to be breaking a law… so which law or laws is Israel breaking? Which law or laws passed by which jurisdiction has/have superseded the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty of 1994?

Clackmannanshire alleges that East Jerusalem belongs to Palestine. However, it would be interesting to know which law or laws enacted, and by which jurisdiction, and on what date, this right or title was conferred?

Clackmannanshire alleges that Israel’s ‘blockade of Gaza’ is illegal, but, again, it would be good to know under which law or laws enacted by which jurisdiction and on what date? In any case, what sort of ‘blockade’ of Gaza sees 25,000-30,000 tonnes of food, medicines, building materials and other products cross from Israel into that entity every week? Indeed… more on this ‘blockade’ fantasy: thousands of Gazan citizens cross into Israel every day for work and medical treatment which their own fascist government is unable or unwilling to provide (although it is happy to spend millions of dollars of international aid on rockets and missiles).

In addition, Clackmannanshire alleges that Israel is an apartheid state. It would be good though to have some substantiation of this. For example: Is there racial/religious segregation in public transport, education, medical treatment, public eating places, shops, local and national government ? I think that is a ‘no’. Are people barred by their ethnicity from certain jobs and professions, and if so, which? Again… ‘no’ should do it. Are they barred by their ethnicity from holding high office in industry, commerce, the professions, public service, in local and national government ? Hmmm… ‘no’ again I think.

Maybe the good ‘burgher’s of Clackmannanshire will be ‘up’ for explaining their definition of ‘apartheid’ and for providing examples of where and how this is found in Israeli society?

aybe the good ‘burghers’ should ask themselves how their foreign policy debates and motions benefit those whom they have been elected to serve (I wonder what their policy on Tamil Eelam is?… or on Tibet perhaps?… bet they don’t have one!)

Maybe the good ‘burghers’ could let us all know how their Council intends to implement policies which will deprive Israel of political or economic support, and how these actions will benefit those whom they have been elected to serve.