Ben Levitas
Ben Levitas

Aid donors perpetuate Palestinian hate

Countries and aid agencies offering aid and assistance to Gaza have blood on their hands. While food and other humanitarian assistance has been pouring into Gaza, the democratically elected ruling party Hamas, has been funneling funds and huge resources into manufacturing and acquiring rockets.

Palestinians, and Gazans in particular, have carefully cultivated an image of themselves as poverty stricken victims of Israeli aggression. They portray themselves as harmless refugees, living in impoverished conditions without access to basic foodstuff and medicines due to an Israeli blockade of their borders.

They claim to be hemmed into a large open air prison. Yet they share a border with a friendly country, Egypt. While on the so-called hostile border with Israel, even during the exchange of rockets, many Gaza children were being treated in Israeli hospitals.

“We at Rambam Medical Centre are taking care of sick children and adults, and we are not looking at their religion or where they come from. At the moment, we have four – a baby girl in the nephrology department, two children in oncology and an adult in urology,” Rambam director-general Prof. Rafael Beyar said.

“Family members accompanied them,” he said. “It’s absurd that we are doing this at the same time Israelis are being attacked, but there is no other way. We are used to it. We are very far from politics.”

Between January – October 2012, approximately 14 500 patients and their accompanying chaperones entered Israel from Gaza for medical treatment.

99% of the medical requests by Palestinian residents of Gaza were approved by Israel.

Even during the time of active warfare, Gaza was not experiencing any food scarcity. Israel did not block the entry of goods into Gaza, except for weaponry and dual-use materials.

Construction materials could be imported to Gaza under the supervision of international organizations.

Israel continued with its annual supply of five million cubic metres of water to Gaza, despite the rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns and continued to supply electricity to Gaza.

International aid to Palestinians has been justified by the donors as a means to keep the peace process going. It is apparent that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have, over the years since 1948, received the highest levels of aid in the world.

Aid has been offered to the Palestinian National Authority and other Palestinian non-governmental organisations.
Aid to the Palestinians from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) has, since 1949, provided health, education and social services to over 5-million descendants of the original 650 000 refugees.

It is the largest UN agency and is the only agency dedicated to a specific group of refugees. The institutionalisation of UNWRA has served the political agenda of the Arab cause, by perpetuating the victimhood of future generations of Palestinians.

Arab states, namely Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, by deliberately separating the Palestinians into camps and restricting their movement and work opportunities, have been guilty of perpetrating ‘apartheid-type’ policies and practices.

These policies which have been in place since 1948, have no plans to terminate the refugee status, which has already persisted for longer than ‘apartheid’ did in South Africa.

Even in other Arab States, such as the Emirates, where Palestinians have been lured by the job opportunities, Palestinians experience discrimination and have not been granted the rights of citizens.

In a critique of UNWRA in January 2009, James G. Lindsay, a former UNRWA general counsel asserted that there have been insufficient steps to remove terrorists from the organisation, and that “no justification exists for millions of dollars in humanitarian aid going to those who can afford to pay for UNRWA services.”

Lindsay also stated that UNRWA’s failure to match United Nations Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) success in resettling refugees “obviously represents a political decision on the part of the agency” and “seems to favour the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a ‘return’ to the land that is now Israel”.

He argued that UNRWA’s education system is highly problematic, the schools’ curriculum is “highly nationalistic” and “not a ‘peace curriculum'”, and stated that the textbooks fail “to identify Israel on maps”, and that they avoid “discussing Jews or Israelis as individuals, thereby dehumanising them.

Subsequent to Parliamentary elections for the Palestinian National Authority in 2006, a Donor Conference was held in Paris in 2007 followed shortly thereafter by the Annapolis Conference, where the two state solution was presented as the most viable solution to the intractable Palestine-Israel conflict.

In Paris the international community pledged over $7.7-billion for 2008–2010 in support of the Palestinian Reform and Development Program (PRDP).

The World Bank estimated that the Palestinian Authority received over one-billion dollars of international aid in 2010, $1.4-billion in 2009 and $1.8-billion in 2008. Last month Qatar alone promised another $400-million.

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