Solving the Gaza impasse

Imagine if something rational would happen in the Middle East...

Contact Editor
Leonie Ben-Simon,

'Leonie Ben-Simon'
'Leonie Ben-Simon'
L.B.

                                     

Would you believe it if this were on the news?   

The United Nations has finally found a way to resolve the billions of dollars that it is spending in Gaza through UNRWA (United Nationals Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees.)  Millions of Gaza residents have been offered citizenship in fifteen wealthy Arab states! 120,000 will be welcomed by each country, starting next month.  The whole process is expected to be completed within a year. Then Arabs living in Israel will have the option of moving as well after this resettlement process.    

Finally, a de-escalation of the whole Gaza problem   UNWRA can be disbanded leaving the United Nations resources and those of the generous donor countries to deal with the current refugee fall-out from the Syrian war and African wars.  

To understand why Gaza has fallen apart one must understand that the policy of UNWRA in the past was to perpetuate a refugee problem, although that was never the function of the United Nations.  Everywhere else in the world refugees have been resettled, whilst in the Middle East UNWRA decided otherwise. The mess that this created, including poverty and lack of services for a burgeoning populating did not have an end date.  The belief that
To understand why Gaza has fallen apart one must understand that the policy of UNWRA in the past was to perpetuate a refugee problem, although this was never the function of the UN.
these people could overrun the State of Israel was never a realistic solution.  

Believing that Gaza has been a state, or even a failed state is a fallacy. Calling it part of Palestine has been one of the biggest propaganda lies of this century.   Its military rulers who live in beautiful houses themselves have no control over that territory as Israeli planes fly overhead at will whilst borders are opened and closed as needed by Egypt and Israel.  Basic human services such as power and sewerage are barely functioning with hospitals short of essential medications dependent upon thet goodwill of Israel.  

The average Gazan is destitute, thanks to Hamas, despite the enormous sums poured into the area. Dissent is met with death without trial, bodies dragged around the streets whilst rocket launchers are located within residential back yards without the free consent of home-owners.  Civilians are powerless.  

There is an erosion of legitimate authority as Hamas rules by force, even using human shields as weapons.  There is no proper economy, unless weapons production and tunnel building aimed at destroying neighbouring Israel are counted.   What we now have is one large disaster area with poverty and insufficient services for a burgeoning population with essential services hanging by a thread.

The money that is now going to the open sore- or is it black hole -  of Gaza could now be used to resettle the millions of refugees from the Syrian crisis.  The United Nations can return to its original mandate without having its humanitarian budget diverted to build military tunnels, train its male population for war and educating children to kill.  

The Arab states will have no problems assimilating Gazans into their populations.  Notably they all speak the same language as their new host nations.  Many of them have roots in those countries, many with surnames such as Al Masri – the Egyptian.  Indeed, the large migration from Algeria, Tunisia, Africa, Lebanon, Syria and other surrounding countries into the area during the 1800’s and 1900’s was one where large numbers of Arabs came to benefit from the work that came as the Jews returned to rebuild the Land of Israel.

The people of Gaza constitute a majority of young people who like most migrants are willing and able to work, contribute to the local economies and pay taxes to the countries who take them. Thanks to the United Nations many are well educated. 

So will the problem of Gaza disappear?  Am I dreaming that that any Arab country would really welcome their fellow human beings?  Israel and many Arab states have now moved forward with economic relations. Israel is so strong that in many respects that the Palestinian and Gaza issue is almost as good as dead and buried.  

It is not in their interests of the wealthy Arab countries and their rulers to have any more upheavals in the Middle East.  Doesn’t the Koran say to take in and welcome the poor, the needy and the stranger? 

The background noise of the Hamas militants does not change reality on the ground.  Today’s young person in the Gaza street knows that he has no future, that he will end up like his father who every year grows older with hopelessness in his eyes.