Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It is quite appalling to witness the way the world is aiding Gaza. Leaders of many countries gathered in Egypt a few weeks ago and flamboyantly declared a staggering total of 4.4 billion dollars in aid to help the people of Gaza get back on their feet again after a devastating month long war with Israel.
Three weeks have passed since then, and Gaza is yet to see a single dime of that pledge. The reason: blackmail.
Nations of the world are literally holding the Palestinian people of Gaza hostages while trying to force Hamas to accept their conditions; the recognition of Israel to name one. Hamas doesn't recognize Israel as a state. Israel doesn't recognize Hamas as a valid ruling entity even though it democratically won the legislative elections back in 2006.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that there will be no aid given to the suffering Palestinian people unless Hamas recognizes Israel.
Blackmail? Perhaps. Either way, the people of Gaza remain homeless, without shelters, with very little food, water and vital supplies and with demolished homes awaiting the most basic of tools and materials to rebuild them. Adding to the suffering is a land, sea, air blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza to punish Hamas. Once again the poor and helpless suffer from the complexities of political wars between sides that refuse them the right to exist.
Aid is humanitarian in nature, it should never be politicized, nor given with strings attached. A million and a half live in Gaza today awaiting a little sign that says the world cares, alas, the sign may get lost and buried in the halls of government houses and political lobbies.