Since the announcement of the bountiful donations headed for Gaza as a result of the recent summit in Egypt, I have had a niggling irk.
Indubitably, the pecuniary humanitarian pledges are a boon, but they do not resolve the issue of what follows.
In many ways, the notion of vast donations but little action towards preventing further human rights atrocities is merely masking the underlying quandary with £50 notes.
As observed yesterday, the announcement of £30m from Britain is applauded, but the prospect of a further 73,300 new settlements in the West Bank lays the foundations for further conflict in territory that has been granted to the Palestinians.
If representatives of the donor states continually favour cracking open their wallets rather than conducting a staunch tête-à-tête with Israel concerning its actions preceding, during, and subsequent to the Gaza conflict, both Palestinians and Israelis will continue to be victims of the seeping wound that is the contestation of territory.
As Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch notes:
All the pledges of aid this conference is expected to produce will be worth next to nothing if the donors do not demand that Israel open the borders to commercial goods as well as humanitarian essentials…This unlawful blockade is the primary impediment to reconstruction and to the economic activity that is essential to any society. [Source]
Certainly, calls for a lasting solution are rather fanciful; more achievable is the cessation of intentional ignorance towards Israel’s continued victimization, and to an extent, provocation, of the Palestinians in the territories.
Money is well-needed, but action is necessary to ensure an efficient foundation from which to progress Palestinian-Israeli relations.