Israel is not responsible for Palestinian oppression and suffering
Reprinted from Daily Alert, August 9, 2010
Palestinian refugees are a special case. For many reasons, various populations across the planet are displaced; only the Palestinians cling to their “refugee” status decade after decade. Members of other history-battered groups choose to make a new life. Palestinians have a different approach: Sit down, wait, stay angry till the world provides for you.
British historian Andrew Roberts has argued, correctly, that Arab governments “are rich enough to have economically solved the Palestinian refugee problem decades ago.” Why haven’t they done so? They much prefer to let Palestinians remain poor. Every wretched, ill-fed and ill-housed Palestinian can be used as a living rebuke to Israel.
The Arab countries love the Palestinians. They just don’t want them moving permanently into their neighborhoods. The Arab League advises Arab states to deny citizenship to Palestinians. The Palestinians deserve pity, of course, but pity for what their fellow Arabs have done to them. (National Post-Canada)
Politics of Resentment in the West Bank – Salim Mansur
I am struck by the construction boom across the city as I visit Ramallah, the legislative and political center of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. There is money here, plenty of it, and those who have it are not hesitant to flaunt it. New cars, beautiful residences, fancy stores and restaurants will startle any outsider arriving here with his head filled by the mainstream media in the West about the misery of the West Bank.
The politics of resentment spill over any conversation with ordinary Palestinians fed on a diet of half-truths and endless lies by their leaders. But visiting with Palestinians is also an invitation to hear their bitterness about Arab leaders, and of their experience with discrimination and violence in places such as Lebanon and Kuwait. They speak of how the Palestinian leadership resembles Ali Baba and his 40 thieves robbing the people of the money that has poured in as aid from the West.
The term limit of the president and the legislative assembly has expired, and no new elections are scheduled to provide Palestinians with any say on how they are being governed. In effect those in authority have no mandate, and their fear that Hamas will likely win an election whenever held underscores the contempt of ordinary Palestinians for Mahmoud Abbas – the president of the Palestinian Authority – and the men around him.
If it were not for Israel in the middle, the war of words between the two Palestinian entities, or putative states, would become a ghastly shootout between the Iranian proxy in Gaza and mafia dons receiving protection money from the West and its Arab allies in the West Bank. (Toronto Sun)
See also Movenpick to Open Five-Star Hotel in Ramallah This Year (AME info)
Older Gazans Recall Israelis – Ben Hubbard (AP)
Gaza Palestinian Sobhi Hamami, 61, fondly recalls the 23 years he worked on an Israeli kibbutz, where he learned Hebrew, swam in the pool with Israeli friends and celebrated holidays with his Jewish boss.
Older people remember when jobs in Tel Aviv and contact with Israelis were a short drive away.
Israel says the current travel ban will remain to keep out would-be attackers until Gaza is ruled by a government that doesn’t seek Israel’s destruction or consider Israeli civilians legitimate targets. Hamas rejects those conditions.