Saturday, October 26, 2019

The only real way to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza - by Martin Sherman

In light of the repeated failure of all that has been tried, there seems little point in persisting with similar measures unless, of course, one believes that at some unspecified time, the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza will, for some unspecified reason and by some unspecified process, morph into something they have not been for more than 100 years. But what if such an unlikely metamorphosis fails to materialize? What then?

Martin Sherman..
25 October '19..

… “Arafat was sober, businesslike, almost in awe of the scale of the problems that he faces in turning this impoverished strip of land into the paradise that many of his people expect will come from self-rule.”Los Angeles Times, On Yasser Arafat’s return to Gaza following the signing of the Oslo Accords, July 2, 1994

“We predicted some years ago that Gaza would fast become unlivable on a host of indicators and that deadline is actually approaching even faster than we predicted — from health access, to energy to water.”Robert Piper, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Development Coordination, The Times of Israel, July 11, 2017

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”An aphorism attributed to Albert Einstein

More than a quarter-century has passed since Israel first permitted the arch-terrorist, Yasser Arafat, access to the Gaza Strip in July 1994. He entered the coastal enclave in jubilant triumph to the cheers of thousands, who lined the streets and squares to welcome him. The mood of euphoria reflected the naive optimism of the time, which, as some more sober souls warned, soon proved tragically unfounded.

Of course, it was a euphoria (read “myopia”) that wasn’t confined to the Gazan side of the border. For example, the Israeli foreign minister, Shimon Peres, widely considered the driving force behind the Oslo Process, was quoted at the time as expressing satisfaction with Arafat’s performance as a peace partner. According to Peres: “The test is in the doing and as things have been done until now, things are going beautifully. … Until now it must be said that of all the Palestinian leaders, Arafat … delivered the goods.”

Sadly, but not entirely unexpectedly—at least, for those who opposed the Oslo process—life for the average Gazan has been in a steep downward spiral, particularly after the 2005 unilateral evacuation of the Strip by Israel.

In many ways, Gaza has become the ultimate indictment of the two-state, land-for-peace prescription. After all, after more than two-and-half decades, despite almost unanimous international support and massive financial aid, the attempt to foist self-governance on Gaza has failed dismally.

(Continue to Full Column)

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