OX­FAM AND PEACE

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

I would like to ask Bar­bara Stock­ing ( JC, Oc­to­ber 9) what does Ox­fam ac­tu­ally do to pro­mote peace? The usual stance that Is­rael is to blame achieves noth­ing. For ex­am­ple, take the block­ade. I would sug­gest that no re­spon­si­ble gov­ern­ment would al­low free­dom of move­ment by land, sea, air or tun­nel, when they are at war — and it is a war — with an en­emy whose rai­son d’être is to de­stroy their coun­try.

As must be clear to any NGO work­ing in Gaza, the civil­ians’ dire sit­u­a­tion is a di­rect re­sult of the ide­ol­ogy, aims and ac­tiv­i­ties of their leaders.

When will the NGOs have the hon­esty to ac­knowl­edge that the re­spon­si­bil­ity rests with those leaders? All they seem to do is say, with an ad­mon­i­tory tap on the of­fend­ers’ hand, that they crit­i­cise the send­ing of sui­cide bombers, the send­ing of rock­ets and the at­tempts to kid­nap sol­diers. When Is­rael with­drew from Gaza, what did NGOs do when Pales­tini­ans went on the ram­page and de­stroyed all that was left for their ben­e­fit, in­clud­ing the hot-houses that were pur­chased for mil­lions of dol­lars?

I ac­cept that they pro­vide aid, which prob­a­bly helps per­pet­u­ate the regime — but is there any move­ment on peace?

Aid work­ers could do worse than read the JC in­ter­view with Yvonne Green in March and her Jerusalem Post ar­ti­cle or study Colonel Richard Kemp’s con­tri­bu­tions to the de­bate. He­lena Abram info@mideast­study­group.com

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