Cairo Donor Conference Nets $5 bn for Gaza Reconstruction; Israelis Block Gaza Reconstruction

Shorter AFP: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will try to tell Binyamin Netanyahu, the far rightwing prospective prime minister of Israel, that he should allow the rebuilding of Gaza and start up a peace process that leads to a Palestinian State. Netanyahu ask her to let him bomb Iran and go on colonizing the West Bank and making sure there is a never a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu probably won’t get his way on Iran, but he likely will keep the Palestinians stateless, i.e., in subhuman conditions.

Clinton arrives in Israel from a donors conference in Cairo that raised $5 bn. Unfortunately, Israel won’t let most of it in, since it is trying to half-starve the Palestinians into submission. And the only realistic conduit for that amount of money is the Palestinian Authority bureaucracy in Gaza, which was taken over by Hamas when it won the January, 2006 elections. But the US and Israel refuse to deal with Hamas and won’t let the money go through bureaucracies it controls (all the relevant ones). Washington and Tel Aviv will probably try to use the money to bolster Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction within the Palestinian authority. What they can’t understand is that Palestinians have excellent bs meters, and don’t support people they view as corrupt collaborators. The frantic search for the ‘good Palestinian’ only creates unpopular failures over time, in the nature of the case.

Anyway, rebuilding is pretty hard when Israel won’t let in concrete for . . . rebuilding.

Aljazeera English reports on the challenges of rebuilding Gaza and the Israeli blockade that is keeping basic materials out. 90% of Gaza’s water is unsafe to drink, and the damage the Israelis did the sewage treatment plant has sent raw sewage into the drinking water.

Veteran journalist and Palestine expert Helena Cobban is in the area and has been filing some eye-opening reports at her blog on the condition of the Palestinians.

Although the Israeli Right is basking in its electoral victory and confident it can pound Gaza into submission, in fact, the current situation is just not viable over time. Here is a glimpse of what the future looks like if there is no progress on peace (translated by the USG Open Source Center):

Nabulus Governor: ‘Armed Struggle’ Fatah’s ‘Only’ Option If Peace Talks Fail
“Muhaysin at al-Bay’ah Festival: Armed Struggle Fatah’s Alternative If Negotiations Fail” — Ma’an
Ma’an News Agency
Monday, March 2, 2009
Document Type: OSC Translated Excerpt . . .

Nablus, 25 February (Ma’an) — Nabulus Governor Jamal Muhaysin warned of the repercussions of the failure of the negotiations with Israel and stressed that Fatah’s only alternative would be the armed struggle in case the negotiations failed.

In a speech he delivered at the PLO’s al-Bay’ah festival attended by over 100,000 demonstrators in Nabulus, Muhaysin said: “He who thinks that Fatah’s only alternative is the negotiations is wrong. Rather, all alternatives, including the armed struggle, would be open if our extended hand for peace were not met with reciprocity,” adding that “Jerusalem is the gate of both peace and war, and Israel’s practices on the ground, such as the settlement construction as well as other practices, are actions of war.”

He also said: “Thousands have gathered on 25 February to express their support for the PLO as the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people. By doing so, these demonstrators are heeding the call of the martyrs, injured and prisoners who have sacrificed their lives to ensure that the PLO retains its status as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinians.”

Muhaysin stressed that the PLO had opened 120 Palestinian embassies all over the world throughout its 40 years of struggle and sacrifices. In addition, he delivered a fierce attack on Khalid Mish’al, chairman of HAMAS political bureau, accusing him “of sparking the rift in Palestine.”

End/ (Not Continued)