Sunday, April 09, 2006

The real humanitarian disaster

Yet another amazing piece by Gideon Levy of Haaretz:

"The real humanitarian disaster in the territories began a long time ago, and it is not hunger...the thought that if they only have enough food, their needs will be satisfied and our conscience can be clear, is outrageous," writes Levy, explaining in his latest column that it is not simply about the hunger-and the fact that aid agencies have had to exaggerate how bad the situation is just shows how..well, bad it is.

Some excerpts:

"The world and people of conscience in Israel do not need to wait for the first Palestinian child to die of hunger to raise the hue and cry.

But those who regard the Palestinians as only requiring basic food should remember that even in the zoos, where the animals presumably don't lack for a thing, people are often shocked by the conditions of their imprisonment. "

21 Comments:

Blogger shlemazl said...

It's a disaster you brought on yourselves. "Never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity".

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Levy is stunning!!

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shlemazl, do you not have any humanity??? or are you just a jerk? as the saying goes "if you have nothing nice to say then keep you big mouth shut and stay away!!"

am tired of people like you that just want to bash ordinary people instead of the extremist on BOTH sides.

H

1:43 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

H,

I do believe that people are responsible for what is happening to them. Believe me, I am not saying this lightly. I believe Jews are partly responsible for allowing the Holocaust to happen.

Israeli people never let their extremists to get into power. That is the difference with the Palestinian Arabs. I sympathize to individuals, but they have themselves to blame.

1:50 AM  
Blogger johnie said...

shlemazl, a person is responsible for what they do not everything that happens to them.

Laila is not responsible for the militants who fire rockets into israel any more that she is responsible for the bomb that lands in the playing field at the end of her road. Think about it shlemazi, this is the same logic that justifies attacks by militants on israeli civilians and collective punishment by the israeli government. The Palestinian militant thinks I'm really fed up with the occupation I think all israelis are responsible so I'm going to fire this rocket and I don't care where it lands. The Israeli military chief thinks i'm really pissed off with this rocket fire, i think all palestinians are responsible i'm going to drop a really big bomb on a playing field in the middle of gaza city at 3am, wake everyone up scare the living crap out of them and make playing football a lot more tricky.

Making the life of palestinians in gaza miserable doesn't make peace it makes militants.

3:38 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

"Israeli people never let their extremists to get into power"

I guess it depends on how you define "extremist."

5:11 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I definitely sympathize with any civilian caught in the middle of a war zone with her child. Isn't this a parent's worst fear? We must separate the people from their leadership in these circumstances and be humane. This is why I follow this blog.

One of my chief question in dealing with the Palestinian situation is can the Palestinian leadership really control its people? I lived in Northern Ireland. The IRA (PIRA really) are in near total control of the Nationalist population. In the past, no riot or major political activity happened without their authorization. This kind of authority held by a terrorist organization may be frightening but the British also knew that the IRA could deliver the peace. With the Palestinians, you never get a feeling that anyone is really in control. If the Israelis were ready for peace again who on the Palestinian side would enforce the T&Cs? No doubt that the Israelis make this harder, but who helped the IRA? They were able to establish control, negotiate a difficult treaty, enter into the political system in 2 countries and keep the hardliners down. Will Hamas provide this type of leadership? We will see.

5:14 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

Johnie,

Good point, well made and yet... Not right.

A large number of people who died in the Holocaust believed that they should take whatever comes without resistance. After all its all Gods will. Of cause they did not deserve what came their way and yet... they were partly responsible.

Or take Hiroshima. Terrible way to be killed for many innocent civilians. Yet where they really innocent? They did allow the Fascist Government to come to power.

I lived in the Soviet Union myself. Would have considered it fair if we were attacked or blockaded for the agressive behaviour shown by our country. We allowed Communists to come to power and to stay there.

Israel has to defend herself and should never take missiles silently. That is the lesson the history taught us over 2 millenia. Palestinians cannot lob missiles into Israel every day and play football as if nothing were happening.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anon 1:37 said...

The IRA was forced to negotiate because its "war" had failed. The IRA was almost (South Armagh largely excepted) completely penetrated by British intelligence.

Even then a number of hardline units and invididuals had to be killed - Loughgall for instance.

Military pressure can work. From today's Haaretz:

Palestinian sources said that Islamic Jihad had agreed to suspend its Qassam attacks. Jihad's undertaking came during a meeting between Palestinian Interior Minister Sayed Sayam of Hamas and Khaled Batash, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, who spoke after the government was sworn in 10 days ago. The commitment came as a result of pressure exerted by Hamas leaders.

Islamic Jihad's military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, distributed flyers in Gaza Sunday saying that it was halting rocket fire for a week in a bid to get Israel to stop shelling the Strip. The suspension was described as "an attempt to bring about an end to the ongoing shelling of the Gaza Strip. The fire will be renewed if the shelling does not stop."

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila,


The same Levy brought up and admitted in his piece in counterpunch in 2004 that he is living in a sick and inhuman society ( referring to israel)...I guess that is his excuse to write now in a sick and inhuman way about women and children in gaza comparing them with animals in a zoo...I see that the nastyness of zionists become more visible but why should palestinians pay for zionists own sickness and inhumanity...

In the last israeli elections massmedia in the world broadcast the poverty and soup-kitchens in israel...why?...I haven't heard a palestinian smearing that that wasn't true...!

Smearing..., leave it to zionists and watch their selfhate and selfdestruction...

Keep going on with the good work for the palestinians!



http://www.counterpunch.org/levy09302004.html
When You Have Breast Cancer in Gaza
"No danger of a suicide terrorist can justify such behavior. It is possible to protect ourselves against female terrorists without losing our humanity. F.'s story is not exceptional, even if part of it is particularly shocking; there are hundreds of Palestinian patients in a similar condition and every injustice always has a security excuse. There is terror, everyone is only carrying out orders and they are going by the book. But a book that prevents medical treatment to dying patients, hassles them and humiliates them, is a wicked book, and a society in which only the metal detector speaks is a sick society."

Gideon Levy writes for Ha'aretz, where this essay originally appeared.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous George said...

This pattern of thinking is typical of Palestinians. You see, victimhood is a serious business. One has to keep his victimhood tight. Victimhood is very valuable product. Othervice you have to take responsibility for your existence. You need to work, earn a living, compromise.
You see, it's easy to be a victim. Blow up the Karmi passage and than you complain why Israelis don't let you in. Shell Sderot with Kassams, than complain Israel responds with bombing. You see, , they elected their government democratically, so they have a right to terrorize. Why not? They are freedom fighters! Why Europe doesn't send money? Outrageous! They better send some money; otherwise they will hijack planes and blow buses. They have the right. It is written in their book. Their prophet told them. They can kill and trash, because a cartoon. They want to return all refugees to Israel. So why they can not teach them hate of the Jews? Their book tells them Jews are sons of pigs and monkeys. They are NOT responsible. It’s their book. You now, the religion of love, tolerance and universal peace. Even Bush red the Quaran and after many sleepless nights came to this conclusion. You see, they are HU-MI-LI-A-TED. Their culture is sensitive.. They are insulted. Poor babies. Grow up, Palestinians. If you want to have a state, take responsibility.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Looks like Solana is getting serious about Middle East...

"We have to begin thinking about that possibility," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told reporters outside an EU foreign ministers meeting.

The ministers debated if the EU should get tougher with Iran over its nuclear plan, which the West fears is geared toward building nuclear weapons.

Solana ruled out, however, that EU would back any military action.

"Any military action is definitely out of the question for us," he said.

Solana said that the EU would await Iran's response to a U.N. Security Council call for a halt to uranium enrichment before considering any actions. Iran has so far rejected international demands for clarity over its nuclear intentions.

"Iran has to respond to the Security Council. We have to be prepared in case they fail," Solana said."

I wonder if Iran can afford to pay palestinians 1 billion dollars.
Looks like they have thir own problems..

Looks like they compete with Americans for a position of bad cop.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous jasmine said...

"victimhood is a serious business. One has to keep his victimhood tight."
That's true - look at the jewish victimhood!

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Associated Press:

Aid to the Palestinians;

(Does not include anything received from Russia or China)

(Without reference to how much Israel receives....just wondering where it all given to Palestinians goes and who holds those responsible for use of the money accountable)

UNITED STATES: $150 million goes to construction, training government officials and other projects, plus $84 million in humanitarian assistance paid through the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION: $148 million, including $21.6 million in direct aid to the caretaker Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. It gave $345 million in 2005.

GERMANY: $76 million, plus $56.6 million given through non-governmental organizations and U.N. agencies.

FRANCE: $73.9 million, including $30.8 million in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, $6.2 million to the
World Bank, $6.2 million to U.N. agencies.

BRITAIN: $61.6 million, half of which goes to U.N. agencies.

NETHERLANDS: $40.6 million, with $6.2 million of it going to the Palestinian government, and the rest given to U.N. agencies and aid groups.

SWEDEN: $30.3 million to U.N. agencies, plus $35.7 million given though NGOs.

ITALY: $27 million

BELGIUM: $13 million.

DENMARK: $4.1 million.

FINLAND: $7.4 million — half to Palestinian Authority projects, the rest to U.N. agencies.

GREECE: $6.8 million, though aid groups.

IRELAND: $4.9 million in aid, of which $923,400 in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, the rest via aid groups, U.N. agencies.

LUXEMBOURG: $3.7 million, through aid groups.

SPAIN: $2.5 million, to World Bank trust fund for the Palestinian Authority.

LATVIA, LITHUANIA, HUNGARY, ESTONIA, and CYPRUS: Combined total of about $876,000.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do Arab countries give any?

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot to give the site...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060407/ap_on_re_mi_ea/palestinians_aid

Anonymous 5:59

6:04 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

>>Israeli people never let their extremists to get into power

They don't have to!

The Not-Quite-As-Racist coalition always wins.

Their liberals are perfectly capable of hating the Arabs and taking Palestinian land.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Omar Abo-Namous said...

@anonymous:

Europe and the US of A want Palestine to disarm (whatever they have left, next will be getting rid of all stones lying around), or else they would contribute in letting them starve. They want Hamas to recognise Israel or the right of existance of Israel.

In return, nobody is asking Israel to disarm (we are talking about one of the highest armed country in the region!) and nobody really asks them to recognise Palestine or the right of existance of Palestine. Nobody is even pursuing the israeli regime to give the palestinian authority the money, they are withholding from them!

It gets even worse. The biggest part of the US-Aid to Israel is for military use whereas the aid that europe and the US are withholding from the Palestinians is humanitarian. Mear $ 500 million are for economic aid to israel, whereas $ 2.3 BILLION are for military aid!

If we want to help stabilize the region and bring just peace, then this is clearly the wrong way for doing that!

I do think that the palestinian people can and will survive even if europe and the US hold the aid back for longer. But the credibility of these states will be gone, and THAT they won't let happen!

Salam. Omar

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't beleive someone said this!

"Othervice you have to take responsibility for your existence. You need to work, earn a living, compromise.
You see, it's easy to be a victim."

Work... Products in and out of Palestinian areas are controlled exclusively by Israel.. Close the borders and no product to buy or sell... stores are supposed to work under these conditions.. Factories, Farms? Where are these people supposed to make a living? Sell household items to their neighbours and then buy them back the next day maybe? If the internal job market is destroyed by not being able to import or export then where should people work? Egypt? Israel? Well noone is able to commute into Egypt with any degree of certainty and I don't think I have to discuss Israel.. West bank residents can't work in Gaza or vis-versa!
It just boggles the mind that people who wouldn't survive a day in the shoes of an ordinary palestinian manage to shoot off their mouth and criticize... Thank god there are some Jews and Israelis who CAN see the truth that dehumanizing ANYONE is dangerous and can easily bite back... I feel truly sorry for the Israelis who think they can play god because truly! What goes around comes around and I wouldn't want to be in their shoes when the cycle changes and it comes back around at them!!!!

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the real humanitarian disaster started when Arabs did not accept Israel and did not accept responsibility for the relentless violence perpetrated against israelis since 1948.........what are you going to do about it? Now Al Qaeda is also involved. Al-Qaeda is a demented-out-of-control-big disaster for the Palestinian people. TALK PEACE NOT WAR. FIND CORAGEOUS LEADERSHIP THAT WILL ACCEPT PEACE.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous pakistani said...

Hey we don't need this aid from those infadels. They drow and now gonna pay? No we don't need this shame! We in pakestan hate the West for Hippocracy!

NETHERLANDS: $40.6 million, with $6.2 million of it going to the Palestinian government, and the rest given to U.N. agencies and aid groups.

We muslims don't h\need yout charrity!

We beleev in Allah!

5:58 AM  

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