Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Punishing prospects : A humanitarian catastrophe

International law bans collective punishment - a tenet the representatives of the Middle East peace "quartet" should bear in mind when they meet in New York today to consider the grave situation in the Palestinian territories.

The US and the EU suspended their direct funding of the Palestinian Authority when the government of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, entered office last month.

Their purpose was to pressure Hamas to formally recognise Israel, abandon violence, and accept agreements concluded between Israel and the PA when it was being run by Yasser Arafat and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas. The boycott has not achieved these goals. By not paying the salaries of 165,000 public employees it has aggravated the rapidly deteriorating economic crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It may thus achieve an undeclared and highly risky aim: the collapse of the Hamas government.

The quartet - Russia and the UN form the other half - are to discuss creating a special international "mechanism" to bypass Hamas and funnel aid through the World Bank, the IMF or the UN. Optimists hope Israel might agree to use this channel to resume its suspended tax transfers to the PA. It is unclear whether the US will back this. If it does not, the Europeans should for once be prepared to go it alone in resuming aid to the Palestinians, as Russia has done.

That means cash will flow again to health and education, helping alleviate the misery and despair being reflected in new fighting between Hamas and Fatah gunmen. That in turn risks pushing Gaza, already a byword for deprivation and violence, over the edge of the abyss. The normally cautious World Bank is now warning of a "humanitarian catastrophe".

It does not take a genius to work out how to avoid this. Overall, greater imagination and flexibility is needed to handle Hamas. Having carried out 60 suicide bombings against Israeli targets, mostly civilians, it has maintained a ceasefire for 16 months. That is more important than the totemic issue of recognising Israel. Palestinians voted for it because they had despaired of progress towards a just peace under the discredited old PA regime, not because they had converted en masse to jihad.

Hamas won the sort of democratic election which the US claims to be encouraging. James Wolfensohn resigned recently as the quartet's envoy because he thought the aid cutoff was plain wrong. Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has put it well:"Depriving the people of Palestine of their basic human rights just to punish their elected leaders is not a path to peace."

Article Source Here


Blogger 357martini said...

Whadda mess

May 09, 2006 3:28 am  
Blogger sarge said...

Maybe before you start feeling so sorry for those murderous bastards you ought to check out what they are doing with the money they do have!

May 09, 2006 7:56 am  
Blogger Spc. Freeman said...

You know, it's funny, I just wrote a post on the Israeli peace process not long ago. You can check it out under "The Zion Street Allegory: How Not To Resolve a Property Dispute." I think it does a pretty good job of fairly portraying both sides. The peace process is a complex issue, and no side is completely free of blame. Cheers.

May 09, 2006 10:01 am  
Blogger business voodoo said...

yeah ... democratically elect a government ... but if we don't like them, we won't deal with them ... we'll shut them out ... we won't honor them ... we won't respect them ................ darn, i just wish the rest of the world had done that when mr. bush stole the elections here.

UH ... KNOCK, KNOCK ... HELLO, UN ... you can sanction us for our bad behavior too! we know we should be in trouble too!

peace & harmony,
'freedom must be exercised to stay in shape!'

May 09, 2006 10:44 am  
Blogger NYC TAXI SHOTS said...

world peace

May 09, 2006 10:55 am  
Blogger _H_ said...


Please read the posting Policy before leaving comments on this site.

Calling an entire nation of people 'Murderous bastards' says more about you then it does about them

I am disgusted by American foreign policy and how the US government spends its money creating death and destruction across the globe. That does NOT make the american people 'Murderous Bastards'

Hamas has maintained a ceasefire for 16 months something to be noted when everyone simply wishes to make them sound like mini Bin Ladens

Children are starving simply because the Palastinians made a democratic choice and the US simply did not like the choice they made .. and you call them 'murderous bastards'

Please read and apply our posting policy as everyone else has done here..

May 09, 2006 5:04 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

H, you made some pretty bold assertions that I think are just plain wrong. First, Jimmy Carter is arguably the United State's biggest failure as President. He had the best of intentions with the least and worst of results. Quoting him only falls back to the same argument that liberals commonly have: "What we were trying to do was..."

Second thing, at what point did American and the EU take on sole responsibility to "By not paying the salaries of 165,000 public employees" in a nation/territory where they neither hold authority or legal rights? The US and EU do not tax nor control this area, but are expected to pay the salaries of their public employees... reguardless of the political climate and/or activities of their actual "leaders"?

Lastly, you stated: "Overall, greater imagination and flexibility is needed to handle Hamas. Having carried out 60 suicide bombings against Israeli targets, mostly civilians, it has maintained a ceasefire for 16 months. That is more important than the totemic issue of recognising Israel."

You are wrong. The reason they have carte blanche authority and acceptance from most of the Arab world (and Iran) to conduct the attacks they've so graciously stopped for the last 16 months is because no one in the Arab world recoginizes Israel's right to exist. If the Arab world, starting with Palestine accepts Israel as a legitimate state, then they have to stop open attacks on the populace as it is an official act of war as recognized by ALL nations. This is precisly why the more liberal world powers do not fight for exactly that status of recognition, because it would cause them start ACTING on the violence coming from the Arabs towards the Jews instead of just Talking about it. (See: A Recipe for In-Action)

May 09, 2006 5:08 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...


the US and EU are bound by international contracts to make those payments. Its not a moral choice its simply a crime not to pay them. It is assured as long as the palestine authority adhere to these terms Here under These United Nation instructions . In fact as a fully signed up member of the united nations your are legally required to ensure that international humanitarian law [particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention] and international human rights law are fully implemented, as outlined in the World Court Opinion of July 9th 2004
which you are currently failing to do...

So many people twist the meanings of words G , Hatred is one such word..

I hate rap music
I hate fascists
I hate many many things

I dont think for example that fascists have a right to exist ...

That does not mean that i can not co-exist in peace on a planet that contains fascists. Recognising(or not) someones right to exist is just word play G , that does not mean they can't live side by side in peace ..

Even if the Arab world said what you wanted them to hear , it wouldn't change your view one bit would it ?There is a huge difference between words and actions. what matters most is that they have stopped killing (unlike the Israelis)

The way to peace and security in the Middle east is to keep your word and honour your agreements.Hamas is NOT currently at war with Israel and they can choose not to recognise them if they so wish .

Should the children of Palestine be starved to death not because they are being evil or killing Israelis , but because they choose not to recognise them ..

You guys always manage to make the mere freedom to use words sound like acts of terrorism whilst actually dropping bombs onto peoples houses by the US or Israel is defending freedom and democracy .

There is no such thing as thought crime G , this is NOT 1984 , they can think and say what they hell they like . Judge them by what they do , as others judge you by what you do ...

btw on your act of war bit ...

LOL no its not , the UN charter clearly states that you can only use force against another country in an act of clear self defence. you can not attack a country simply because they say bad things about you, thats absurd

Its exactly the same as National laws G , In what democracy can I 'say' something nasty about your wife or kids and you have the 'legal' right to use physical violence against me ...

Of course the US doesn't bother with international law any more so as the leader of the free world , is it any wonder that others will follow suite

May 09, 2006 7:13 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

G, I see that you still haven't read the only study looking at every modern incidence of suicide terrorism. Don't you think that terrorism is an important enough topic that the definitive piece on it should be read?

May 09, 2006 7:25 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

Jimmy Carter

*created a national energy policy and the consolidation of governmental agencies (bush has screwed the energy policy and broadened the gov't agencies)

*enacted strong environmental legislation; deregulated the trucking, airline, rail, finance, communications, and oil industries..(as we know, all these industries have molded back together, except for trucking. bush wouldn't have it any other way)

*In 2002, Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize for his "efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." (Bush will never win a nobel peace prize).

*This man helped (successfully) complete the Camp David Accords, the first ever signed document between Israel and an Arab State for Peace. (Bush would rather just invade Arab States and claim us as liberators, not occupiers)

Bush will never will a nobel peace prize. ever.


May 10, 2006 8:58 pm  

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