Trade Not Aid
by Ken O’Keefe
Normally aid is provided for a relatively short time in the aftermath of a natural disaster. But in the case of Gaza the insidious powers that be have manipulated a largely inept, heavily infiltrated and easily duped “solidarity” movement into a sort of “aid is the way” mentality and focus. The result is the people of Gaza enduring over five years as a charitable dependency. Parents are not only unable to protect their children from Israeli aggression, but they are also incapable of providing even the bare essentials, absent the aid that is. Being the reactionary friends of Palestine we are, we have all too predictably focussed on aid as the solution, this manipulation is fostered more than people in this “movement” would like to admit by the infiltrators who are pervasive and highly effective. I have come to see and experience this reality as a circus.
We are particularly clownish when we bring the aid in then laud ourselves by proclaiming; “We have broken the blockade!” It really is quite comical if it weren’t so tragic.
I know these words will anger many in the Western solidarity movement and to be honest I really could care less. I have spent time in Palestine and more importantly, I have listened to the people of Gaza, they have spoken very clearly and I tell you they are not asking for aid, what they want is justice.
Living on aid is soul-destroying, it steals away a persons dignity, and the Israeli’s know this. They torment the Palestinians in a million different ways but perhaps worst of all is the slow death of living on hand-outs. Parents forced to live this way suffer from diminishing self-respect and depression, children suffer the most, not least of which by gradually losing respect for their parents. When aid becomes institutionalised, as it has become in Gaza, an insidiously destructive weapon becomes self-feeding, wreaking havoc on a society from within. And that is exactly the way the Israeli’s are playing this game, and we in the West, we have played right into this agenda.
At the root of this tragedy is the blockade and the inability of the Palestinians to conduct trade. Palestinians are more than capable of standing on their own two feet, they are doctors and lawyers and engineers and mechanics and some of the most resourceful and resilient people you will ever meet. And yet we, not just Israel, we, have relegated them to the status of beggars. Doctors and engineers are picking up trash in Gaza today because it is the only job they can find. And they are the lucky ones who at least have a job. SIP intends to confront the problem head-on, to strike at its heart, to eliminate this injustice by proactive, intelligent means. We shall import to Gaza, but more importantly, we shall export. If we truly want to help the Palestinians, this is exactly what we will do.
Articles supporting Trade Not Aid
Gazans unimpressed by flotilla
Israeli claims over futility of flotilla receive reinforcement from surprising direction – Gazan businessmen who say it isn’t imports that are problem, it’s exports. ‘Gaza doesn’t need anymore humanitarian aid,’ says Gisha movement director
Gaza Chooses Development
By Mr. Mohammad Y. Hasna
PCHR Response to Publication of New Israeli List of Items Banned from Entry to Gaza
PCHR calls for an immediate end to the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, by way of opening unconditionally all border crossings of the Gaza Strip, to ensure the freedom of movement of all Palestinians. This opening must also apply to the import of goods necessary for restarting the economy and the export of goods.
Gaza closure: not another year!
Geneva/Jerusalem (ICRC) – The hardship faced by Gaza’s 1.5 million people cannot be addressed by providing humanitarian aid. The only sustainable solution is to lift the closure.
Articles of Interest
Made in Gaza: Formula 1-style car
Despite Israeli blockade, Gaza students innovate to create car out of recycled parts.
Agreed documents on movement and access from and to Gaza
Israel’s false commitments and lies are revealed all too clearly in the following link, spend 5 minutes or so to read just what Israel has agreed to and ask yourself, “why is there no trade through Egypt when this agreement was made 6 years ago, before Hamas became the Israeli excuse to blockade Gaza.