Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Palestinians: It isn't just economics

Karma Nabulsi, a fellow in politics and international relations at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, writes in The Guardian:

"No people, territory or issue on earth have had more international attention devoted to them than Palestine and its people. Yet no conflict looks further from resolution, and no people further from achieving the freedom promised them. More Palestinians lack more basic freedoms today than they did 60 years ago. While an expensive and extensive peace process was in full swing, Israel managed to illegally expropriate most of the occupied West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem, install hundreds of thousands of illegal settlers, kill more Palestinian families, arrest more young men, destroy more crops, homes and businesses, build a monstrous wall deemed illegal by the international court of justice, and set forth, unchecked, a policy of aggressive expansionism in Palestine that continues until this moment.

Citizens of this country may wish to ask why this is so, and what on earth their government has been doing all this time with their money. Yesterday the government attempted to answer this question with the launch of a report on the Economic Aspects of the Peace Process. What the report doesn't explain is the direct link between throwing economics at this conflict and the repeated failures to solve it."

And:

"Two of the most treacherous mechanisms of avoidance need highlighting: diplomacy through international negotiations, and the type of economic assistance given to an increasingly impoverished Palestinian people. Since the Oslo agreement in 1993, every subject Israeli governments refused to discuss was removed from the negotiating table. Unfortunately this required excluding the people and issues essential to resolving the conflict: the Palestinians and their right to their land."

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