Friday, December 22, 2006

More on “Democracy” in Palestine

The following news excerpts expand yesterday’s discussion. First, by way of introduction, a recent UN report demonstrates the effects of Israeli occupation and recent American and Israeli obstruction of democracy in Palestine: 65% of Palestinians are living in poverty, 29% are unemployed, healthcare is on the verge of collapse and 50% of Palestinians do not have reliable access to food. With increasing malnutrition in some parts of the Jewish-occupied Palestinian territories, and the severe restrictions on movement imposed by Israel, Palestinians have to negotiate their way through 500 checkpoints and deal with Israel’s “separation” wall. All this on their own native land. Of course the U.S. strangling of normal funding because it did not like the outcome of the January elections is playing a large part in this genocidal picture now.

Al Jazeera (Dec. 22) “Four more people have been killed in violence and revenge killings in the Gaza Strip and West Bank since President Mahmoud Abbas called for early presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday.

“Hamas won a majority in January 2006 parliamentary elections and Fatah has resisted surrendering positions it dominated for decades.

“Some Palestinians say US-led opposition to the Hamas-led government is drawing battle lines for the entire region.

“’The US administration wants to create a new Middle East,’ acting parliament speaker Hassan Khreisheh told ‘This new Middle East demands that countries allied to the US - Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf countries - are pit against Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.’

[But somebody is happy:] “’I am pleased a moderate* axis of countries in the Arab world has been created that wants to take part in blocking Iran's influence on the region,’ Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Elmer said in an October policy speech.

“Regional banks have also stepped into the foray as mounting concern about US anti-terrorism statutes has coerced them to bar transfer of monies to the Palestinian government."

*(“Moderate: One who, while nominally disagreeing with U.S. and Zionist policies, nevertheless does nothing to oppose them.” BUSH DICTIONARY ANNOTATED.)

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