The government must acknowledge the present catastrophe in Palestine is a direct consequence of Israeli intransigence
(fellow in politics and international relations at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University)
Tuesday September 18, 2007
"No people, territory or issue on earth have had more international attention devoted to them than Palestine and its people. Yet no conflict looks further from resolution, and no people further from achieving the freedom promised them. More Palestinians lack more basic freedoms today than they did 60 years ago. While an expensive and extensive peace process was in full swing, Israel managed to illegally expropriate most of the occupied West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem, install hundreds of thousands of illegal settlers, kill more Palestinian families, arrest more young men, destroy more crops, homes and businesses, build a monstrous wall deemed illegal by the international court of justice, and set forth, unchecked, a policy of aggressive expansionism in Palestine that continues until this moment.....
The latest initiative from the government suggests improvements driven by private investment. The absurdity of proposing to stimulate investment in this hell - where because of Israeli closures and checkpoints Palestinians cannot trade between their own towns much less with the outside world - or the fact that the present economic catastrophe is a direct consequence of the military occupation, gets no acknowledgement here. By avoiding the real issue of Israeli intransigence, and with no plan on tackling it, neither jobs nor justice are on offer to Palestinians. They expect international support to help them win their freedom - or at least not assistance in their oppression. As Mary Anderson, a contributor to the Chatham House book, explains: if you can do no good in Palestine, at least do no harm."