Thursday, December 27, 2007
Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 27 December 2007
"The Quartet's Middle East envoy, Tony Blair, wanted to raise $5.6 billion US at the donor conference in Paris in December 2007. Since 1999 the per capita gross domestic product in occupied Palestine has declined by 40 percent. As a result Palestinians are getting poorer and 65 percent live below the poverty line. To give the hard hit economy a boost, Blair came up with a cure of ten "quick impact projects." The World Bank has another opinion: pouring money into the occupied Palestinian territory will do little to revive the economy unless the occupation is ended. Instead, some of Blair's proposed projects are firmly rooted in the structure of the occupation......
Europe is reluctant to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law like the ongoing construction of the wall and Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land, the transfer of its population to the occupied Palestinian territory and the severe movements restrictions imposed on Palestinians. These violations have a negative impact on the lives of Palestinians and the Palestinian economy. The 2003 advisory opinion of the International Court Justice on the legality of the wall confirmed that Israel as the occupying force should comply with international law and that the international community has the duty to hold Israel to account. However, Europe has chosen to bury its head in the sand by endorsing Blair's quick impact projects that are firmly rooted in the structure of this occupation. This is not the way to gain the trust of the Palestinian people. Putting pressure on Israel to end the occupation is the way forward."
Notice that stupid, fawning expression on the face of the Palestinian "tourism minister" standing with Blair. With tourism she will recover Palestinian rights. By the way she has a few locally made trinkets available at low prices.