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They Always Blame Israel
By Micah Halpern

Friday July 16, 2010


Israel has become the scapegoat for nearly all problems in the Muslim world. Certainly, Israel is the scapegoat for all problems Palestinian.

It's always: Why did Israel do that, or, why didn't Israel do this. If Israel were not there, the regions would be so serene ... the lives of Palestinians would be so much better ... If Israel would only change policy, terrorism would be down ... there would be peace in the Middle East.

What sounds like platitudes and wishful thinking is nothing more than veiled anti-Semitism. Blaming Israel is the excuse for Palestinian failures and ineptitudes. Holding Israel responsible is the way in which leaders of the greater Arab/Muslim world absolve themselves of all guilt, responsibility and shame.

A simple example of just how guileful the international cabal is in their hatred of Israel can be determined by examining the current electricity crisis in Gaza for which Israel is being blamed.

Here's the story: The original electricity agreement for Gaza was for the European Commission to pay Israel and for Israel to deliver electricity to Gaza. Israel is to provide 70% of Gaza's electricity, Egypt 5% and Gaza's own power plant the remaining 25%. After an initial trial period the European Commission chose to transfer all money and all responsibility to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority refuses to pay Israel for Gaza's electricity. Hamas is livid.

It is the PA that has turned off the lights - and air conditioning and ice makers and refrigeration in the 100 plus degree heat of the Gaza summer, not Israel. In response, anger and frustration, Hamas has begun publicly attacking Palestinian leadership. But the PA is not budging, they are keeping Gaza hot, bothered and in the dark. Adding figurative fuel to the flames is the fact that the actual fuel that runs the Gaza power plant is also imported from Israel and the PA is refusing to pay that cost, as well.

So why is there an electricity shortage in Gaza, because of the staunch rivalry between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority ruling and running matters from Ramallah in the West Bank. A little power in the hands of Fatah run Palestinian leadership is turning into a very dangerous tool.

Electricity in Gaza worked perfectly well all the while it was under the administration of the Europeans, but turned to a trickle as soon as it came under the control of the Palestinians. So much for Europe's grasp of the Fatah/Hamas dynamic.

In general, it is almost unheard of for foreign aid organizations to blame the Palestinians for anything - for anything at all. But now, one lone and important voice has spoken out. The voice speaks out of frustration.

The following comes from the transcript of a press conference with John Ging, head of UNWRA, The United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

"It is such a tragedy that, on top of all the other crises that we have in the Gaza Strip, we now have a crisis of electricity."

"It's an unbearable situation here at the moment, and it needs to be solved very quickly. It's a Palestinian problem, made by Palestinians, and causing Palestinian suffering. So let's have a Palestinian solution."

John Ging realized that the entire electricity crisis in Gaza is Palestinian produced. It was not easy for Ging to concede that fact. It was not easy for the head of UNWRA to acknowledged that Gazans continue to suffer only because the PA hates Hamas.

UNWRA has been one of the outspoken leaders in anti-Israel attitude and behavior over the past decade. For UNWRA to go public against Palestinian infighting was a calculated decision, undoubtedly intended to embarrass the PA into changing policy and turning on electricity.

It is time for Palestinians to take responsibility for their mistakes, time for the world to hold them accountable. It is far too easy to cast blame and say simply that Israel and "the occupation" are the cause of all ills that befall the Palestinian people.

4 June 2017 12:13 PM in Columns

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