Israel’s enablers met in Europe to discuss aid to the Palestinian Authority earlier this month.
The meeting offers a lesson on how third states use aid to relieve Israel of its obligations under international law and prolong and exacerbate the current state of extreme injustice in Palestine.
Statements made by third states around the donor conference demonstrate a total buy-in to the new Israeli government’s rebranded perpetual military occupation and de facto annexation of Palestinian land.
“There is no real solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Shaked told The Hill. “We should manage the conflict, not solve it.”
What Shaked meant, as analyst Josh Ruebner explained, is that “Israel should exercise permanent apartheid rule over Palestinians.”Norway’s foreign minister seemingly endorsed that view by advocating that the Israeli occupation be slightly less burdensome for Palestinians rather than ending it altogether. Norway chairs the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meetings where third states negotiate aid to the Palestinian Authority with the participation of Israeli officials. Their latest gathering was on 17 November.
The stated aim of the committee “is to develop the institutional and economic foundation for a Palestinian state based on a negotiated two-state solution.”
But the Israeli government – currently led by Shaked’s fellow Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett – candidly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian state without any consequence from their international friends.
The double standards are mind-boggling.
While warmly embracing Israeli peace-rejecting war criminals, US, UN and EU officials treat Hamas in Gaza as a pariah for its principled rejection of the Oslo surrender to Israel.
For this stance asserting their rights, Palestinians in Gaza have endured an Israeli economic blockade for more than 15 years, paying with their lives and livelihoods.
The UN, EU and World Bank have given their stamp of approval to Israel’s cruel siege by falsely stating that it was imposed “due to security concerns,” rather than as a form of regime change warfare.
In its report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee this month, UNSCO, a UN mission that represents the secretary-general, acknowledges that Hamas has consolidated its power and increased its military capacity, despite Israel’s siege on Gaza.
The blockade in Gaza is at once a war crime of collective punishment and a policy failure for those who support Israel’s regime change ambitions in the territory.
But instead of unequivocally calling for an immediate lifting of the blockade, UNSCO urges Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to reunite “under a single governance structure” – presumably, one that does not challenge Israel.
Much is demanded of the Palestinians living under the boot of military occupation, but next to nothing is asked of their oppressor.
Tel Aviv even dares to “beg the international community” for donations to the Palestinian Authority as Akiva Eldar, a writer for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, recently put it.
While openly declaring that it has no plans to return to the negotiating table, Eldar added, Israel “is nevertheless demanding that the world keep serving as the Palestinian Authority’s private charity – that is, that US, European and Japanese taxpayers continue to fund the occupation.”
Relieving Israel of responsibilities
Aid to the Palestinian Authority – which, on paper, is intended to serve as an interim body towards the establishment of a Palestinian state but in reality serves as a policing arm for Israel’s occupation – relieves Israel of its financial responsibilities towards Palestinians living under its occupation.
Funds used before the signing of the Oslo accords in the 1990s to provide for the basic welfare of Palestinians living under occupation are available to Israel to fuel its settlement-building in the West Bank in violation of international law.
According to Eldar, Israel’s spending on settlements “has increased fourfold” in the years since the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee was established.
Zvi Bar’el, another Haaretz commentator, writes that “one could argue that every dollar given to the Palestinians freed up an Israeli dollar for investment in settlements.”
And so Israel approved plans to build more than 3,000 new homes in West Bank settlements two weeks before the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee conference.
And still, the same parties that micromanage aid to the Palestinian Authority impose no conditions on Israel, which continues to enjoy a seat at the international donors’ conference table.