Fair Policy, Fair Discussion

January 13, 2010

Solidarity with Haiti

Filed under: Global concerns — Helena Cobban @ 10:35 pm

I’ve been devastated by the reports of the tragedies still unfolding in Haiti as a result of the natural disaster of the earthquake there last night.

There are natural disasters and there are human-engineered disasters. The plight of the people of Haiti is caused overwhelmingly by the forces of nature. The plight of the people of Palestine has been caused overwhelmingly by the deliberate decisions taken by Israel and those governments around the world, including the U.S. government, that give Israel generous and continued support.

If the Madrid Conference of 1991, or the Oslo Accords of 1993, had led– as the overwhelming majority of the people of the region and  the world hoped at the time– to the securing of a sustainable and fair final-status peace, then all the  massive amounts of international aid that since then have been shoveled into Israel, and into maintaining that endlessly “interim” entity, the Palestinian Authority (PA), would have been available instead to help the very poorest peoples of the world… including the people of Haiti.

Nearly all Palestinians hate the fact that so many of their people have to live on an international dole. Palestinians are hard-working, well educated, and (absent the fact of military occupation) would be well connected through their family ties to entrepreneurs and business institutions all around the  world. But the policies of the Israeli occupation have kept the Palestinian economy in chains since 1967.

And meantime, through the aid that western aid donors have given to the PA, since 1994 they have been picking up just about the entire (non-trivial) cost of actually administering the occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories– a cost that, prior to the Oslo Accords, Israel used to bear directly, as the occupying power.

In Israel and Palestine it is ways past time to secure, and to speedily implement, a fair and sustainable final peace.  In Haiti, it’s a time to save the living, mourn the dead, and rebuild a better-functioning, more robust social and physical infrastructure.

But it’s still worth remembering that all those crises that are human-engineered around the world can and should be resolved quickly… through human vision, compassion, and the dedicated, problem-solving engagement of the world’s major governments.



  1. You can find links to lots of relief agencies working in Haiti here:

    Comment by Joe in Australia — January 14, 2010 @ 12:07 am | Reply

  2. for many years i have questioned, before it became fashonable,”why we give isreal,a very rich country,thousands of miles away billions of dollars when we have [as i have written to pres. obama on 5/12/09] a country living in the same building as us, who literally don’t have a pot to piss in, 9 million people living in abject poverty, so poor that mothers are forced to bake dirt pies for thier children to alleviate the pains of hunger? people forced to cut down every tree to be used for cooking an occasional bowl of rice, and by doing so create mud slides that cause scores of deaths every time it rains hard. we recently [before 5\129] pledged 280 million-too little too late! hallelujah never the less.” also in the letter i confessed that i was forced to vote for yhe old white guy with the questionable running mate. when you generously gave jerusalem to isreal [somethingthat wasen’t yours to give] my heart dropped”. another candidate running for the u.s.of isreal. that’s why i voted for ralph nader for the third time. if ”wilt the stilt” chamberlain had the misfortune of being born in guatemala, he would have been a jockey and the 20,000 babes he claimed to have bedded would have been just wishful thinking. are we know going to wait for a catastrophe to occur in order to discover another very poor country living in our own back yard called guatemala? although palestine is also thousands of miles away, they first and foremost deserve our aid in light of the fact that we are the most responsible for thier demise. please read david brooks n.y.times column of [i believe 9/11/10] regading just how great a shape isreal is in. its sad just how poor my u.s.has become in the last 10 years due to a very bad foreign policy and a bad domestic policy.

    Comment by carl of queens,ny — January 14, 2010 @ 1:18 pm | Reply

  3. the david brooks column titled ”the tel aviv cluster” is 1/11/10 not 9/11/10.

    Comment by carl of queens,ny — January 14, 2010 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

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