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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 07, 2003

The Poor Palestinians

Keep your priorities straight.

Dominic Nutt of Christian Aid writes in the Guardian about the "poor Palestinians". He writes of their hunger and fear. To my mind this is obscene coming as it does 48 hours after another Palestinian mass murderer blew up a bus in Israel killing 15 and maiming perhaps for life another 50. One would think that he would at least allow Israel to bury its dead before wringing his hands over the Palestinians.

While acknowledging that Israelis are entitled to security, he avers that "such security will never come without justice for Palestinians.". He assumes of course that Arafat wants justice, as opposed to the destruction of Israel or that, given the conduct of the Palestinians to promote hatred and violence, they are entitled to justice, or finally that there is agreement on what constitutes justice when there are competing claims for it.

He goes on to identify the hunger and poverty of the Palestinians and blames it on the
The Israeli policy of closing down the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, of denying Palestinians the ability to travel into Israel to work and to sell their goods means in some areas as many as 80% of the Palestinian population are unemployed.
Not a word about the fact that whenever Israel lifts the closure, there are more terrorist attacks.

He then compares the poverty of a particular Palestinian woman with the abundance of the Israelis and notes that her husband is not around because he is too "depressed and humiliated". Finally,
Lyla is not a terrorist. And neither are all but a few Palestinians. She is just a poor woman trying to survive and feed her family. But poverty can be a fertile ground for violence and gives further cause to the minority.
Let's get a few things straight here. Israel is responsible for its citizens and Arafat and the PA are responsible for the Palestinians. If they are hungry and living in fear it is a result of their leadership and not Israeli self defense. The moment they stop the violence these problems will cease. He cannot minimize the problem by saying "Neither are all but a few Palestinians," [terrorists]. Regardless of whether there are few or many, a majority of Palestinians support the blowing up of buses and honours the killers. Their depravation is a direct result of the policies they support. It is the Israelis that are entitled to the sympathy as they are the victims. It is the Palestinians that must reap the whirlwind. He argues that "poverty can be fertile ground for violence" which, if it were true, would result in a lot more violence in the world. To the contrary, violence can be the cause of poverty.

He ends the article by comparing the hypocrisy of forcing Iraq to follow UN resolutions, while not enforcing
[...] a tranche of UN resolutions, which apply to Israel, requiring Israeli troops to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza and for the government to dismantle the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
His assertions are totally false. The resolutions naming Iraq are Chapter VII resolutions requiring Iraq to do something. The resolutions affecting Israel are Chapter VI resolutions which don't have the same force or effect. Secondly, the settlements are not illegal and Kofi Annan has acknowledged this. Nor has the UN ordered that they be dismantled. Finally Resolution 242 of the UN Security Council authorized Israel to remain in the territories until secure and agreed borders are agreed upon. So even the occupation is legal.

All this is beside the point. Israelis are being deliberately murdered and the Guardian and Dominic Nutt are worried about the "poor Palestinians". They are condoning terror rather than condemning terror.