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Friday, December 14, 2007

Red Cross and World Bank urge risking Israeli lives for 'Palestinian dignity'

Both the Red Cross and the World Bank played Chicken Little yesterday, urging Israel to lift sanctions against the Gaza Strip and security measures in Judea and Samaria to allow the 'Palestinians' to 'live a normal and dignified life' and to 'stem economic decline,' respectively.
"The measures imposed by Israel come at an enormous humanitarian cost, leaving the people living under occupation with just enough to survive, but not enough to live a normal and dignified life," said Beatrice Megevand Roggo, ICRC's head of operations for the Middle East.

Ordinary people were paying the price for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, she said, adding that the violent dispute between the Hamas and Fatah factions was contributing to the problem.

"The Palestinian population has effectively become a hostage to the conflict," Megevand Roggo said.

ICRC appealed for "immediate political steps to be taken to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank," including Israel easing travel restrictions.


The World Bank on Thursday endorsed a Palestinian reform plan that requires $5.6 billion in international aid over three years, but warned that the money will not stem economic decline in the West Bank and Gaza unless Israel also eases Palestinian movement and trade.


The World Bank said the plan is "a process around which the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the donor community can coalesce."

However, if Israel's closures remain in place, these large sums would at best slow a "downward cycle of crisis and dependence," the report said. By contrast, a considerable easing of Israeli restrictions could help the Palestinian private sector recover and lead to double-digit economic growth, the World Bank said.
The Israeli government - for once - does not seem willing to take the blame:
Government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel supports the donors' efforts. "We understand that a healthy, successful, prosperous Palestine is in the interest of the state of Israel," he said. "Living next to a failed state, a failed economy, would only be a recipe for further violence."

He said Israel has already eased some restrictions and planned to do more. However, he said, militants still pose a danger. "Our ability to move further will be a function of the Palestinian security services taking effective control," he said.
Whatever that means. Even moonbat Ron Pundak of the 'Peres Center for Peace Piece by Piece' has apparently realized that just throwing money at the problem isn't the answer. But in his upside down world there is nothing if not moral equivalence:
Ron Pundak, head of Israel's Peres Center for Peace, said the donors should be cautious, making sure the Palestinians carry out promised reforms and that Israel eases restrictions.

"Otherwise, if you are investing in a factory or an agricultural center and the goods cannot move from one place to another, it's a waste of money," he said.
In The Corner, Noah Pollak sets things straight:
It must be nice being able to lecture people about security policy when you don't have to worry about your loved ones being shot, abducted, or blown up as a result of your recommendations.

The Red Cross statement reads in part: "So far, the balance between the legitimate Israeli security concerns and the right of the Palestinian people to live a normal life has not been struck." [Note that the JPost article I linked omitted that part. CiJ] How does the Red Cross know this? What are the metrics they're employing? Exactly how many terror attacks should Israel be willing to endure so that the Palestinian people may "live a normal life"? Did the Red Cross, at the height of the Palestinian terror war against Israel, ever issue a statement criticizing the Palestinians for denying the right of the Israeli people to live a normal life? Or denouncing the "enormous humanitarian cost" of near-daily suicide bombings? Don't be silly.

Confronted with this kind of moral dementia, it would be nice if the Israeli government could bestir itself to offer a reply: That Israel will be happy to reduce its security presence in the West Bank, just as soon as the Palestinian Authority shows any interest in preventing terror attacks against Israel. It might add that the international community's concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people could be more usefully directed at the Palestinian people themselves, who have consistently maintained majority support for terrorism against Israel. What a strange world it would be if the Red Cross and the World Bank were lecturing the Palestinians on their culture of self-destruction, rather than lecturing Israelis on their reluctance to allow their own destruction.

Strange indeed. Sounds like Messiah's time.


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