Monday, August 8, 2016

Foreign Aid: Fantasy vs Reality

Murdoch's lurid foreign aid fantasy:

"If true the charges would have grave implications for Australian and western aid to the Palestinian territories where agencies have struggled in the past to ensure aid funds were not misused by groups with links to extremists." (Palestine aid cut over 'Hamas link', Cameron Stewart*/ Sarah Vogler, The Australian, 6/8/16)

The reality:

"Since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip and the Israeli blockade over Gaza which followed, aid policies in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have been heavily influenced by politics. The decision by the international community and the Quartet to boycott the Hamas government acted as the mainframe for aid interventions in the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008-9, the members of the Quartet, who represent the main international political players in the peace process and the donor community at large, have been accused of steadily supporting the Israeli occupation and turning a blind eye to what John Holmes, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, referred to as the 'collective punishment' of Gaza's civilian population.

"In 2007, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Special Envoy to the PLO and the Palestinian Authority Alvaro de Soto resigned from his position. In his resignation, he submitted an end-of-mission report meant for the use of senior UN officials. In the report, while criticizing Fatah and Hamas for their role in the internal Palestinian split, de Soto condemned the Israeli and international boycott of Hamas as short-sighted and a source of devastating consequences for the Palestinian people. He also accused the Quartet of losing track of its role as a negotiating body by imposing sanctions and preconditions for negotiations on a democratically elected government under occupation.

"Overall, donor policies in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip have been shaped by the political stand of the international community and bodies such as the Quartet toward Hamas. These policies have not been neutral and have not played a constructive role in resolving the Palestine-Israel conflict and enabling Palestinians to achieve their political, social, and economic aspirations. Instead, these policies have played a role in sustaining the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Israeli occupation while fueling the Palestinian internal split by taking sides.

"In the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, the conduct of aid policies under the Israeli blockade has exacerbated the political, social, and economic problems and challenges facing Palestinians. First, aid assistance has been used to undermine Hamas's role in the Strip by supporting and sustaining the Palestinian president's decision to prevent PA public servants from reporting for duty. Such decisions have had very negative consequences, including the deterioration of public services and the expansion of Hamas's ideological influence through its control of such key public sectors as education. Second, donor policies have politicized the presumably neutral role of international aid agencies in the Gaza Strip through imposing many restrictions on their operations, including the no-contact policy. By encouraging Hamas to target them, this policy has also created difficult working conditions for many local organizations partnering with international actors. Third, to a large extent, donor policies have failed to respond to the recovery and development needs of the Gaza residents in the aftermath of the 2008 Israeli war and in the new context created by the tunnel economy.

"Finally, donor policies have failed to challenge the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli blockade is sustained because of the international community's decision to deliver, through its donor groups, assistance aid in a highly constrained environment. This debilitating economic environment has made Gazans increasingly dependent on humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, Hamas has managed to survive the economic sanctions and to entrench its control of the Gaza Strip. Finally, Gaza Strip residents continue to suffer under the Israeli blockade while relying on aid assistance for survival. Meanwhile, international political and donor organizations continue their own policies of denial while implicitly continuing to pay the humanitarian costs of the Israeli occupation." (The Politics of International Aid to the Gaza Strip, Tamer Qarmout & Daniel Beland, Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 2012)

[*Rambammed: 2005]


Mannie De Saxe said...

The Israelis and the rest of the world are well practised in the art of BDS - this is what they have been doing to Gaza and the occupied territories for the last 50 and more years. The usual hypocritical cries from Israel and its "friends" about the Palestinian BDS directed to Israel and Israeli products made in the occupied territories have no legs to stand on. This latest attack on aid agencies such as World Vision show that media and governments continue to plumb new depths every time they write about Israel and Palestine.
In the mean time the Palestinian population suffer more and more until they are forced to reach breaking point which is when, exactly?
The current situation can't go on forever, and is Israel going to starve them and finish the genocide begun in the 1930s or earlier?
One really despairs!

MERC said...

BDS and BS, Mannie.

Anonymous said...

Whatever nonsensical arguments you anti-Semites come up with on twitter Israel is & will remain the Jewish State millennia after you're dead.

Col. Richard Kemp

MERC said...

You mean, like Adolf's Thousand-Year Reich?