Israel begs world to keep paying its occupation bills

By paying Israel’s bills, Europe and the US enable greater spending on settlements in the occupied West Bank.

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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.

That approach was articulated clearly this week by Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s interior minister who once infamously promoted a call to exterminate Palestinian mothers “who give birth to little snakes.”

“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.

Double standards

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.




Zionist regime is not a country , it's a terrorist camp ,as khamenei said before...


We always return to the same problem: the rich, colonial countries have backed Israel because it is a settler-colonial project based on racism. As George Orwell wrote in 1944: "You can only rule over a subject race, especially when you are in a small minority, if you honestly believe yourself to be racially superior.." This is the honest belief of the Israelis and has been from the beginning. Ernest Bevin observed that the whole problem of the ME was that the Jews would not accept the Arabs as their equals. The rich countries back Israel because it keeps alive the racism on which their wealth was built. Michael Foot and Richard Crossman wrote a famous pamphlet in defence of the creation of the State of Israel. Crossman explicitly supported the notion that the Arabs were a lesser race who would have to be sacrificed to "progress" and Foot naively imagined a Jewish State would be a bulwark against racism rather a repository for it. Bevan too, supported a Jewish State, bamboozled by the idea that this was a guarantee of safety for the Jews, rather than of the persecution of the Arabs. Simple but devastating mistakes in thinking. What prevails now is dishonesty and cowardice: the political elites of the rich countries refuse to admit they have egg all over their faces - Israel is not a haven of democracy and progress but an apartheid State which denies full citizenship to all but Jews. That's their dishonesty. Their cowardice lies in refusing to face down Israel's racism and to stand for the values they claim to uphold. Of course, they are always hypocritical: they promote a world system which is nothing less than robbery and gangsterism while pretending to be democrats. Our job is to get the message to the common folk who put their faith in democracy. They are significantly on the side of equal universal rights. They don't know what's going on because the MSM makes sure they are ignorant. We have to find ways to let them know.

Maureen Clare Murphy

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Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.