Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 22nd, 2018

Why is the Israeli army suddenly concerned about Gaza?

For years, Gaza has been on the brink of collapse. Jonathan Cook looks at the troubling reasons behind a sudden uptick in interest by the Israeli military

More than 10 years ago Israel tightened its grip on Gaza, enforcing a blockade on goods coming in and out of the tiny coastal enclave that left much of the two million-strong population there unemployed, impoverished and hopeless.

Since then, Israel has launched three separate major military assaults that have destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure, killed many thousands and left tens of thousands more homeless and traumatised.

Jonathan Cook. January 21, 2018

Gaza is effectively an open-air prison, an extremely overcrowded one, with only a few hours of electricity a day and its ground water polluted by seawater and sewage.

Last week Israeli military officials for the first time echoed what human rights groups and the United Nations have been saying for some time: that Gaza’s economy and infrastructure stand on the brink of collapse.

After a decade of this horrifying experiment in human endurance, the Israeli army finally appears to be concerned about whether Gaza can continue coping much longer.

In recent days it has begun handing out forms, with more than a dozen questions, to the small number of Palestinians allowed briefly out of Gaza – mainly business people trading with Israel, those needing emergency medical treatment and family members accompanying them.

A Palestinian with blood on his hands reacts as a wounded demonstrator is evacuated during clashes with Israeli troops, near the border with Israel in the east Gaza Strip on January 19. Mohammed Salem / Reuters

One question asks bluntly whether they are happy, another whom they blame for their economic troubles. A statistician might wonder whether the answers can be trusted, given that the sample group is so heavily dependent on Israel’s good will for their physical and financial survival.

But the survey does at least suggest that Israel’s top brass may be open to new thinking, after decades of treating Palestinians only as target practice, lab rats or sheep to be herded into cities, freeing up land for Jewish settlers. Has the army finally understood that Palestinians are human beings too, with limits to the suffering they can soak up?

According to the local media, the army is in part responding to practical concerns. It is reportedly worried that, if epidemics break out, the diseases will quickly spread into Israel.

And if Gaza’s economy collapses too, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians could be banging on Israel’s door – or rather storming its hi-tech incarceration fence – to be allowed in. The army has no realistic contingency plans for either scenario.

Nonetheless, neither Israeli politicians nor Washington appear to be taking evasive action. In fact, things look set to get worse.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week there could be no improvements, no reconstruction in Gaza until Hamas agrees to give up its weapons – the only thing, in Hamas’s view, that serves as a deterrent against future Israeli attack.

Figures show Israel’s policy towards Gaza has been actually growing harsher.

In 2017, exit permits issued by Israel dwindled to a third of the number two years earlier – and a hundredfold fewer than in early 2000. A few hundred Palestinian business people receive visas, stifling any chance of economic revival.

The number of trucks bringing goods into Gaza has been cut in half – not because Israel is putting the inmates on a “diet”, as it once did, but because the enclave’s Palestinians lack “purchasing power”. That is, they are too poor to buy Israeli goods.

Mr Netanyahu has resolutely ignored a plan by his transport minister to build an artificial island off Gaza to accommodate a sea port under Israeli or international supervision. And no one is considering allowing the Palestinians to exploit Gaza’s natural gas fields, just off the coast.

In fact, the only thing holding Gaza together is the international aid it receives. And that is now in jeopardy too.

The Trump administration announced last week it is to slash by half the aid it sends to Palestinian refugees via the UN agency UNRWA. Mr Trump has proposed further cuts to punish Mahmoud Abbas, the increasingly exasperated Palestinian leader, for refusing to pretend any longer that the US is an honest broker capable of overseeing peace talks.

The White House’s difficulties will only be underscored on Sunday evening, when Mike Pence, the US vice-president, arrives in Israel as part of Mr Trump’s supposed push for peace.

Palestinians in Gaza will feel the loss of aid severely. A majority live in miserable refugee camps set up after their families were expelled in 1948 from homes in what is now Israel. They depend on the UN for food handouts, health and education.

Backed by the PLO’s legislative body, the central council, Mr Abbas has begun retaliating – at least rhetorically. He desperately needs to shore up the credibility of his diplomatic strategy in pursuit of a two-state solution after Mr Trump recently hived off Palestine’s future capital, Jerusalem, to Israel.

Mr Abbas threatened, if not very credibly, to end a security coordination with Israel he once termed “sacred” and declared as finished the Oslo accords that created the Palestinian Authority he now heads.

The lack of visible concern in Israel and Washington suggests neither believes he will make good on those threats.

But it is not Mr Abbas’s posturing that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Trump need worry about. They should be listening to Israel’s generals, who understand that there is no defence against the fallout from the catastrophe looming in Gaza.

Hussein Ibish The Trump administration has made a grim situation worse for Palestinians

Zahra Lari Arab sportswomen like me are the role models for the next generation

 

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 133

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Et pourtant, si on ne pend pas un recit de roman pour une histoire personnel veridique de l’auteur, comment peut-on terminer sa lecture?

On ne lit jamais un livre si on a la conviction complete que c’est seulement une fiction totale.

De nos jours, si on attend d’ecrire et publier que lorseque nos parent sont morts, on n’autographe que comme des auteurs seniles.

Le plus triste des dernieres memoires c’est d’avoir entrepris une aventure risquee’ et majestueuse pour se cloitrer dans une cellule etroite et essayer d’accepter l’idee’ de la mort.

On n’entreprend pas la derniere des aventures, essayez d’accepter l’idee’ de la mort, sans perire un minable.

La plupart des aventuriers qui sont revenus vivants ont finis dans leurs propre prisons.

Chauvinistic Europeans are relying on entrenched illusions: They claim that it was Christianity that set the foundation of the individualistic character in Europe, a non-conformist attitude to the collective norms, rituals, and traditions, the will for self-realization rather than clinging to the behavior of rank and file…

For the same quality, would youth and students buy equitable products instead of world trade marks?

In Syria, all war-like empires invaded its land, but never any occupation force managed to administer or centrally hold any power, not even the Romans or the Arabic/Islamic Empires.

Ask the French mandated power how it quickly withdrew from Syria because of resistance to occupation: In revenge, France ceded valuable northern Syrian lands to Turkey in 1936 (the Alexandretta city and the strategic region of Adana). Currently, Turkey wants even larger “buffer zones”, as Israel was always demanding on its borders (Not even delimited in her constitution). Since then, France governments hate the Syrian people.

Historical facts prove that there existed the Province of Judea during the Greek and Roman empires. An Israeli Kingdom never existed, but in imaginary stories to match the history of the Land in the Levant and give a semblance of history to the Jewish Bedouins down south

Are you a Procrastinator? A symptom, a cause,  a delayed diminishing value?

 posted:

Animated: Science of Procrastination and How to Manage I

This is where you insert the meta-joke about what else you’re actually supposed to be doing this very moment.

From AsapSCIENCE —

Who have previously brought us the scientific cure for hangoversthe neurobiology of orgasms, and how music enchants the brain — comes this illustrated explication of the science of procrastination and how to manage it.

A fine addition to these five perspectives on procrastination.

Among the proposed solutions is the Pomodoro technique, a time-management method similar to time boxing that uses timed intervals of work and reward.

Human motivation is highly influenced by how imminent the reward is perceived to be.

Meaning, the further away the reward is, the more you discount its value.

This is often referred to as Present bias, or Hyperbolic discounting.

For a more metaphysical take on the subject, see the fantastic anthology The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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