INTO THE FRAY: Gaza: Let their people go!

By MARTIN SHERMAN

Instead of pouring millions into inoperative desalination plants & rusting sewage treatment works, humanitarian aid should be generous relocation grants to help Gazans find safer, more secure lives elsewhere

“If the borders opened for one hour, 100,000 young people would leave Gaza”  –  Rashid al-Najja, vice dean, Gaza’s Al-Azhar University; “

…I’d go to Somalia, Sudan — anywhere but here” –  Salim Marifi, student, Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, in Al Jazeera, May 6 2015.

“96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable” –  i24 News  April 9, 2017.

“Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront … turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone” – Associated Press , May 3, 2016.

“Gaza’s sole power plant runs out of fuel” – Times of Israel, April 16, 2017.

The endeavor, spanning almost a quarter century, to transform the coastal enclave of the Gaza Strip into a self-governing Arab entity (or even part of such an entity) has failed.

It has failed resoundingly and irretrievably.

After two-and-half decades of futile effort, the time has come to accept this—and to acknowledge that further pursuit of this  ill-conceived objective will only compound the current tragedy—for both Jew and Arab alike.

Incapable and uninterested

Indeed, with the passage of time, it is becoming increasingly clear, that as a collective the Palestinian-Arabs, in general, and the Gazan-Arabs, in particular, are totally incapable of, and largely uninterested in, creating and sustaining an independent political entity for themselves, by themselves.

Underscoring this dour assessment is the increasingly frequent —and increasingly ominous—flow of reports warning of imminent  collapse of virtually all the basic infrastructure in Gaza—electric power, water, sewage and sanitation systems—and the impending catastrophe this is likely to precipitate.

This raises a trenchant question and one which advocates of Palestinian statehood must be forced to confront: Why has a Palestinian state failed to materialize up to now?

This is not a trivial question that can be avoided or circumvented.

After all, it is difficult to identify any other “national liberation movement” that has enjoyed circumstances more benign for their cause than that of the Palestinians-Arabs.

Since the early ’90s, the Palestinians have had:

  • Virtually wall-to-wall international endorsement of their claims;
  • Almost unanimously supportive coverage in the global mainstream media;
  • Generous financial aid – reportedly among the highest per capita in the world; and
  • Successive willingly compliant Israeli administrations that not only accepted their claims, but built much of their political credo on that acceptance…and gambled much of their political capital on it.

Yet, despite these bountiful benefits, the Palestinian leadership have produced the most meager and miserable results.

Corrupt kleptocracy or tyrannical theocracy

Other national freedom movements, with far less funding, far less armaments and far less political support, have cast off mighty empires. By contrast, the Palestinian-Arabs have, after decades of “resistance”,  not only proved unable to assert their political independence from a tiny mini-state, beleaguered  in the region and berated by all and sundry in the international community;  but they have failed abysmally to create anything remotely approaching a stable, and productive civil society.

Under Fatah in Judea-Samaria, they have spawned a corrupt kleptocracy.
Under Hamas in Gaza, they have imposed a tyrannical theocracy.
Under neither is there any horizon of hope for a better, more peaceful, more prosperous life for the general public, nor is there any prospect of such hope dawning in the foreseeable future. Both are critically dependent on the (ill-advised) largesse of its alleged “oppressor”, from whom they purportedly strive to liberate themselves.

The magnitude of this failure can be gauged from  a recent  report by the Congressional Research Service entitled, “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians:”:  “Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.”
The futility of international aid

The report goes on to stipulate the intended objectives of this generous aid: “Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:

  • Promoting the prevention or mitigation of terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations;
  • Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance …that may incline Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
  • Meeting humanitarian needs…”

Seen against the grim realities today, this aid has failed miserably in achieving any, and all, of its declared goals!

The motivation for terror attacks against Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian-Arab terror organization have been neither prevented nor mitigated.  Indeed, with Hamas  still actively engaged in enhancing its offensive capacities—both underground tunnel networks and overhead missile capabilites—there are few  illusions in Israel that a fourth round of fighting  is merely a question of “when”, not “if”

Neither stability, nor prosperity, nor effective self-government have been in any way significantly fostered. Indeed, quite the reverse seems to be the case. Thus,  despite decades of generous international goodwill, all the Palestinian-Arab leadership has managed to create is an untenable, divided entity, crippled by corruption and cronyism, with a dysfunctional polity, incapable of holding even municipal elections; and a feeble economy that, with its minuscule private sector and bloated public one, is utterly dependent on external support.

Moreover, humanitarian needs have not been met in any meaningful manner. If anything, the opposite seems true with the entire civilian infrastructure system teetering on the cusp of collapse.

Powers outages, undrinkable water, untreated sewage

With perennial power outages, undrinkable water supplies, failing sanitation services, and awash in uncontrolled and untreated flows of raw sewage, life for many in Gaza is becoming unbearable.

Earlier this month, the media abounded with dire warnings of an impending shut down of power supplies in Gaza. One headline proclaimed   Gaza Electricity Crisis Deepens as Sole Power Plant Shuts Down; while another declared Gaza’s Sole Power Plant Runs Out of Fuel

The shutdown would leave many with barely four hours of electricity a day and would impact virtually all walks of life.

One member of Gaza’s Chamber of Commerce warned that factories will be forced to shut down, because the owners cannot afford to run generators as an alternative source of electricity: “The continuing stoppage of the Gaza power plant for 20 hours a day foreshadows a real catastrophe that might affect the basic food security of the people as well as the health and education sectors,” he lamented.

The power shortages have also crippled the operation of a new desalination plant and sewage treatment plant and undermines the regular operation of sanitation services.

Significantly, the reasons for the shutdowns are not related to Israel’s security quarantine of Gaza, but rather to intra-Palestinian quarrels between the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza; and to Hamas’s own priorities in the use of electrical power .

Indeed, senior figures in Hamas put the blame squarely on Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah for imposing exorbitant taxes on fuel imports into Gaza – see here and here .

Moreover, several reports indicate that Hamas has deprived Gaza’s desalination and sewage  plants of electricity, opting to use the available power for other purposes—such as Gaza’s luxury hotels, which cater for the enclave’s wafer thin affluent class.

Calamitous consequences

The grave results of this dysfunctional governance are not difficult to discern.

iTV News reported that both international and Israeli bodies “estimated that some 96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable after the collapse of the enclave’s main aquifer”.

Al Jazeera carried an account of the appalling conditions that inadequate sewage treatment has brought, from a local farmer in Wadi Gaza, a valley in the central Gaza Strip: “Farming is ruined. The plants are diseased. There are flies, worms, and it is spreading.”  The report added:  “Animals and birds were soon replaced by swamps of sewage, swarming flies and thriving bacteria. Residents began to suffer from an increase in allergies, inflammation, fevers and weakened immunity.  Disease-ridden mosquitoes feasted on the community at night. The stench was overpowering.”

Thus, with much of the sewage conveyance pipes in a state of disrepair, leaking into the coastal aquifer, Gaza’s sole source of natural water; with the aquifer itself being depleted at three times its recharge rate from rainfall; with massive flows of untreated sewage flowing directly into the sea, making the beaches and swimming a distinct health hazard, future prospects for the average Gazan look bleak indeed—with little hope for improvement on the horizon.

Accordingly, it is hardly surprising to learn that polls conducted by Palestinian institutes consistently show that almost half (and occasionally more than half) of the Gazans would like to emigrate—even without there being a tangible economic incentive offered.

The only real “reconstruction” in town

Of course, many of Israel’s detractors will attempt to lay the blame for this dismal situation on the “Occupation” and the “Siege”. But, this is merely a flimsy pretext that is sounding increasingly hollow.  After all, as we have seen previously, virtually the entire crisis is a result of intra-Palestinian decisions regarding resource allocation and taxation.

Indeed, the validity of this contention is bolstered by examining just how the Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza have chosen to invest their energies and divert their resources.

Last year, high level Israeli sources revealed that Hamas was seizing over 90% of cement supplies entering into Gaza for its own purposes, such as construction of terror tunnels.

But Hamas’s efforts were not confined to underground terror installations. The organization invested considerable effort in replenishing and enhancing its overhead weaponry.

Thus, last December, Hamas Political Bureau Member, Fathi Hammad,  proudly informed Al Aksa TV : ..our Jihadi, ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam units have become an army, Allah be praised…This army has its own industry. Incidentally, we are now ready to sell our missiles to Arab countries. These are advanced missiles. If you look into the missile or weapon industries of developed countries, you will find that Gaza has become the leading manufacturer of missiles among Arab countries…

Showing commendable commercial enterprise, he went onto propose a new export industry for the beleaguered enclave “We are prepared to sell them (to Arab countries) – so that they will launch them against the Jews…”

Significantly, according the Guardian, IDF assessment shows that by the beginning of this year, Hamas’s “military capabilities had been restored to their pre-2014 war strength”—which is, of course, an impressive feat of “reconstruction”

So, despite Israeli restrictions, it appears that, where mobilizing against the hated “Zionist entity” is concerned, Gazans seem able to find the ingenuity and productive energies that evidently elude them in other fields of endeavor.

The need to restructure humanitarian aid

The current situation in Gaza, and the accompanying misery, are the direct result of the misguided attempt to foist statehood on the Palestinian-Arabs.

It was Albert Einstein who famously said that one could not solve a problem with the level of thinking that created it.

The problem of Gaza was, irrefutably, created by the belief that land could be transferred to the Palestinian-Arabs to provide them a viable opportunity for self-governance.

Accordingly, the problem of Gaza cannot be solved by persisting with ideas that created it – i.e. persisting with a plan to provide the Palestinian-Arabs with land for self-governance. This concept must, therefore, be abandoned for any lasting solution to be possible.

Clearly then, persisting with humanitarian aid, as in the past, will yield essentially similar results to those of the past.  Any improvements in the humanitarian conditions will be at best marginal, probably imperceptible.

The only real way to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is to offer the Gazans what they really want – a better life elsewhere, out of harm’s way, free from the clutches of the cruel, corrupt cliques, who have lead them from disaster to disaster for decades.

Thus, rather than pouring millions into inoperative desalination plants and rusting sewage treatment works, the aid should be  in the form of generous individual relocation grants to allow non-belligerent Gazans to seek a safer, more secure future elsewhere, outside the “circle of violence” that inevitably awaits them if they stay.

This should be the real humanitarian effort to effectively eliminate the suffering in Gaza.  This should be the call to the international community: Let their people go!

Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

April 20, 2017 | Comments Off on INTO THE FRAY: Gaza: Let their people go! | 80 views

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17 Comments / 0 Comments

  1. xx

    I more or less agree with the article. However I take exception to just one little word “beleagured”. The meaning is clear, and it should have been IMMRDIATELY been followed by the reason for the “beleagurment”, that being terrorist attacks , thousands of rockets, horrendous murders, and much more, all emanating from this one area, purely of it’s own volition and choice. The “beleagurment” is really just a defensive attempt by Israel-and Egypt- to protect their people from these deliberate assaults from Gaza all intended to murder and destroy.

    Common humanity could do no less than to ameliorate the results of these wanton attacks from mad-dog terrorist psychopaths.

    The proper treatment of course is to utterly stamp them into the ground militarily until the area is completely rid of the germ, but International weepers and gnashers of teeth throw up their hands in horror.

  2. A significant problem is that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Israel is likely to be blamed for the deterioration of Gaza. It should be broadly made known that Hamas rules Gaza for the purpose of terror and not for the benefit of Gazans. Money and resources given to Gaza will not be productive unless strictly accounted for and it’s hard to see how the iron rule of Hamas can be thwarted.

  3. In their quest To destroy the Jews they are willing, with the help of the antisemitic NGOs, to destroy the world!

  4. @ Stuart L. Meyer:

    “Manfred: “Oh, God, The Israelis are quite aggressive. They close down the borders so that other people don’t get food, they starve the Palestinians of Gaza, they’re very engaged militarily. They don’t want peace, they want war.”
    Nicely put, but there’s a little problem here: Gaza is sandwiched between Israel and Egypt. While the Israelis allow passage of some food and medicine into Gaza, the Egyptians do not allow anything through and keep their border with Gaza hermetically closed.
    Does it bother you that Egypt closes the border even more than the Israelis do?
    “I don’t know why the Egyptians do it, so I can’t make a judgement.”
    But, of course, he knows The Jews.
    Maybe he even knows I’m no Pole. I feel exposed. I sit here, eating this delicious cake in Munich, while I starve the Palestinians in Gaza. Horrible man I am. I’ll get no heaven. I won’t sit next to Ms. Ritz up there. Horrible, horrible, horrible. A horrible Jew, that’s all that I am. Tomorrow I’ll go to confession.”

    – excerpt from “I sleep in Hitler’s Room – An American Jew Visits Germany” by Tuvia Tenenbom. Kindle Edition. New York. 2011. p. 49 of 336, location 743 of 4292.

  5. Stuart L. Meyer Said:

    Money

    xx

    Has it occurred to anyone that the Gaza terrorists are DELIBERATELY there and won’t move even if enticed by enormous wealth, just to cause the most problems for Israel. That they were placed there by OUTSIDE entities and are doing their bidding as part of a huge conspiracy to wear the Jews down by their terrorism, the PA, and the World International Community useful idiots. All zooming in on that micro-dot of space on the globe. Just to get rid of the Jews. It may even be orchestrated by a group we have never heard of. Maybe an entity associated with Soros who hates Jews.

  6. EoZTV: The starving high-tech entrepreneurs of Gaza
    TheElderOfZiyon

    Published on Nov 27, 2016
    At the very same time that BDS is targeting HP, the company is featured at a high-tech expo in Ramallah and Gaza this week.
    https://youtu.be/6rFxcIx0yuo

  7. @ Edgar G.:
    “Has it occurred to anyone that the Gaza terrorists are DELIBERATELY there and won’t move even if enticed by enormous wealth”

    You miss the point.

    The emigration grants are indented for non-belligerent family heads. The point is to cease current “humanitarian” aid which only prolongs the conflict and to offer non-belligerents grants relocation grants.

    Clearly this presupposed coercively dismantling the the current regime

  8. There is no deal , no escape , no solution . The show mst go on and on . This is the show of Old Europe which hates till this very day the jewish people . This is the lutheran ultra-utilitarist credo which produced the death camps . This is the vatican enduring hope to see the jews convert , and disappear . This is the european union slander and boycott campaign . this is the UN Geneva Human Right Commission grotesque show condemning Israel every six months . BUT this is also the fruit of the israel leadership ignorance of those european cultural distortions, which helped the Peres-Rabin Oslo swindle game and the Sharon gross stupidity . And it is also the inertia of most of the israeli public which naively believed the hatred would disappear with an economic betterment . And it is also the same wicked gale that the USA have constantly played with the jewish people and since 1948 with Israel . To sum it bluntly ” If they could die at someone else hands we would be relieved ” . This is what FDR and John Mc Cloy did during the WW II . This what the State department is trying to do until Reagan , then Trump became POTUS. To push the jewish people to the brink , that’s their game . But why do WE accept that rule ? Why do we refuse to hear the prophets of our time V.Z.Jabotinsky , Uri Zvi Greenberg ? Because we don’ t want to face the truth ; we look for rosy glasses and we pay ten times their prices . We refuse to reach victory , we prefer half baked ” solutions ” an infected root canal in our mouth which are ten times worse than expelling the rotten element; Stupid ? Sick ? Shortsighted ?

  9. As Israel celebrates nearly 7 decades of turning malaria ridden swamps into an earthly Gan Eden, Gaza has taken flourishing Gush Katif communities and turned them into a nightmare. And all the money in the EU won’t help the Arabs love life and pursue accomplishment. As a nation, even with worldwide assistance, they appear incapable of bringing benefit the world – or even to their own people.

  10. Get rid of all the terrorists in Gaza, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, etc.

    Polls plus those trying to escape from Gaza indicate that large percentages of Gazans want to leave. I agree with Martin assist them in this endeavor provided they are not terrorists or active supporters.

    Realistically I do not believe all will leave. For those (excluding terrorists and supporters). I take the Feiglin approach those swearing loyalty to the Jewish State of Israel can stay as residents not citizens. Citizenship would be a completely different criteria. Israel may choose to offer citizenship to those few who do agree to national service and have demonstrated loyalty and exemplary behavior over a period of at least 10 years. This is not automatic nor would it be easy to come by.

  11. this aid has failed miserably in achieving any, and all, of its declared goals!

    :
    Government programs typically accomplish the *opposite* of their purported goals.

    A very somber fact.

  12. [The Arab economy, with its] minuscule private sector and bloated public one ..

    :
    Well, well.

    Look who’s advocating for the private sector and less government.

    Of course, his opinion about the benefits of less government seems to be that it offers benefits only to Arabs, but only in the logically tangled cases which he favors. He wants Israeli Jews to pay higher taxes in order for their (more) government to redistribute the money to foreign Arabs.

    You know, as a way to wean those Arabs off of poisonous, foreign government aid.

  13. Most of the so-called humanitarian crisis in Gaza is fake, a means of extracting still more assistance from the “international community.” Photographs and videos from Gaza show thriving markets, bustling, well-dressed people on the street, luxury hotels and condos, office buildings, etc. As for the filth and sewage, most ‘third world” countries have similar conditions, and the people survive. A desalination plant is in the pipeline that will solve most of the water crisis. The Palestinians do have two states, which function after a fashion despite the corruption and inefficiency that are endemic to the “Third World.” While most Palestinians undoubtedly wish to emigrate (also true of every Third World country, including most Latin American countries), no country is going to invite mass immigration by Palestinians. They don’t have a great reputation for being peaceful and loyal to their host countries, Unfortunately, Dr. Sherman lives in a fantasy land in which other nations are willing to help Israel solve its Palestinian problem. Actually, nearly all of the world’s governments want the problem to persist and get worse. Either they are dominated by antisemites, or they think that the jihad against Israel will distract their people from misgovernment and poverty at home, or they think that encouraging and financing the jihad against Israel will buy them friendship in the Arab world. Usually a combination of two of these motivations,

  14. Some european countries are thirsting for a new wave of muslim immigration ; Germany Belgium Sweden and to a lesser degree France . This thirst of muslim invasion is part of the oligarchy charade which plays as : 1) ” We are NOT racists so let’ s mix our european population with muslims ” 2) ” The muslims new comers have not high requests for socila protection and democratic rights , they accept mini wages and no voting rights – that ‘s just great for the oligarchy ; Why ? The Oligarchy wants to reproduce the Emirati Model ; pakistani-bangladeshi construction workers + Indo-Malaysian workers in the commerce-services activities + African medecine workers in the health public-private industry + Arab doctors in public hospitals + European westerners in the banking-financial sector ; on the top of the European/Emirati pyramid the factions from the ” enlightened elites ” owners of the top conglomerates are the rulers ; they just delegate the democratic throne to some former banker ( Macron in France – or as in the last London municipal vote a Goldsmith scion vs a radical pro-islamist lawyer ) . The deep tidal transformation of those europeans countries is the local-ABORIGINAL expulsion-estrangement from their own soil . They have been pushed away ( unemployed + positive discrimination ) to make room for the new comers . The ruling elites still keep the ” moral ” pressure by organizing new waves of immigration from Libya ( Khadafi demise was a Oligarchy coup by Sarkozy-Cameron ) to bring into europe more african invasion. Therefore in this ” grand scheme of replacement ” there is a lot of room for the gazans who are desperate of the hamas militant crooks . Israel MUST help the gazans to emigrate to europe exactly as the european oligarchy engineer the african-muslims mass immigration : Humanitarian crise + some flotilla of travel agency will help the gazans to find greener pastures on the northern coast of the Mediterranean sea .

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