Monday, December 22, 2008

World Bank is Really, Really Worried about Gaza

Now the World Bank is worried about Gaza, not for humanitarian reasons mind you but because the blockade is fueling the growth of a black money market.


Israel's blockade of Gaza is pushing the territory to the brink of collapse and fuelling the growth of a black money market controlled by Hamas, the World Bank warned yesterday.

As tit-for-tat attacks across the Gaza border began to intensify following the end of a six-month truce on Friday, the World Bank said that an acute cash shortage in Gaza was playing into Hamas's hands. The militant Islamists, who took control of Gaza in June 2007 following violent street clashes with their more secular rival, Fatah, have large stashes of shekels which they have been selling on the black market at a premium because of the cash shortage.

There is also a worry that Hamas, with its dominant militant and bureaucratic control of Gaza, will begin to replace the shekel with US dollars, which are more easily obtained, to smuggle through the tunnels from Egypt in the south.

Indeed, who worries about the Palestinians who are being punished by Israel for holding a Democratic election which placed Hamas firmly in the Palestinian government? Not too many as you may well imagine for Israel is the Holy Cow of the Western world. Certainly not Obama who has pledged his allegiance to protecting Israel from the people Israel has been slaughtering for over 50 years. Over half of the 1.5 million Palestinians imprisoned in Gaza are living in poverty with people searching through garbage dumps for something, anything, to eat. Almost every time I read an news article in the New York Times or the Guardian or whatever news outlet the impression one would get from these news articles is that there is an equal battle, fight, war, between the Palestinians and the Israeli. And what is particularly irksome is the news articles are framed in such a manner as to be very non-committal not taking sides when indeed they most certainly are. For example this article in the Times is seemingly scolding both the Palestinians and Israel for the violence. While it is true that both sides are participating in the violence what is being completely ignored is the rather one-sided nature of what is actually happening. So by the very silence of the news it is most assuredly siding with Israel all they way. Take a look at this map. It shows quite clearly what is happening. It shows the progress of Palestinian lands being taken from them by Israel from the year 1946 to the year 2000.

Looking at the map one can see that for all intents and purposes Israel has taken almost all the Palestinian land which is now occupied by what is laughingly called “settlers” though thieves is what first comes to my mind. This is no “tit-for-tat” it is the brutal and complete elimination of Palestine at the hands of Israel. And the whole affair was conducted in front of the rest of the world, who has sat by and done nothing nor given any kind of protest except for a few whines here and there. And thanks to our ever vigilant mainstream news media a lot of people have the completely wrong idea of the true nature of the land grabs and murders. The New York Times has all the news that is fit to print while the News Hour is fair and balanced and Tinkerbell is sprinkling fairy dust in Never Never Land.

But what about our national leaders, I mean they have their intelligence agencies who brief them with reports simplified enough that a five-year-old could understand them perhaps complete with pretty colored graphs (or comic strips in the case of Bush). These bastions of justice spout on and on about Democracy, human decency, bringing light to the dark corners of the world, uplifting their fellow man, and working for peace and goodwill for all but what have they actually done -- anything besides greasing their palms with kickbacks and looking the other way while the death and destruction of an entire nation and people is occurring right under their noses? The problem for the Palestinians is they no longer have anything that the ruling class desires. They have already lost their land, have no money and thus no power to speak of so since there is no profit to be had from the Palestinians they have no friends among the ruling class. And besides, Israel can do no wrong in the eyes of the West.

Meanwhile, what is left of the Palestinians, who have been herded into Gaza very much like the Native Americans were herded onto Indian reservations, live in extreme poverty with no access to food cut off from the rest of the world whose leaders while away the hours sitting in ivory towers while congratulating themselves on their own magnificence. But the World Bank is worried about money of course and what a huge surprise that is.

What a great world. We of the west are up to our necks in hypocrisy the stench of which is unbearable but we have been living the lie for so long we no longer smell it. The news continues to warble on about the end of the truce while it is really the end of an half century old occupation for what is left of Palestine?

The picture at the top of this post is of a Palestinian father carrying his dead child, the handy-work of an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip. However it could be any number of scenarios – perhaps an Iraq father carrying his dead child, or it could be a father in Afghanistan after one of our murderous air raids – take your pick for our “humanitarian” work is never done. This is, after all, what we do best -- murder – we have an entire industry devoted to it. But heaven forbid that we should ever question the morals of our beneficent calling, our white man’s burden, our destiny of bringing hope and change to the world. What is a little collateral damage compared to our great shining destiny for when we kill brown people we kill them for their own good. It certainly is difficult to understand why they don’t love us.


At December 22, 2008 3:58 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

It's easy to scold both sides while gliding over the particulars. Americans still rely mainly on US television to tell them what's going on, which is why the man and his dead child pictured are mostly invisible here.

At December 22, 2008 9:05 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Yes, and it was the only lesson our government learned from Vietnam. Other than that the past does not exist.


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