Ceasefire or no ceasefire — the talk is already beginning about what happens next in Gaza? Palestinian leaders are planning to ask world donors in September to cough up $6 Billion to help rebuild what Israel destroyed in just a matter of weeks. (That’s about 2 years worth of USA support given to Israel’s military.)
Should the international community pay for Israel’s wanton act of violence and destruction? Or should Israelis be required to internalize the cost since an overwhelming majority of them supported Netanyahu’s campaign in Gaza?
I opt for the latter.
Nation-states, just like children, do not learn the consequences of their actions unless they are forced to feel the impacts directly. For nation-states, their pocketbooks can be persuasive.
Of course, this is only wishful thinking on my part.
No one will force Israel to pay for the rebuilding of Gaza even though, arguably, Israel has a legal responsibility to rebuild Gaza because of the military occupation it maintains.
It also appears to be an uphill battle at the ICC to hold Israel accountable for war crimes committed in Gaza, so we can expect to see another deadly military operation within the next year or two. Nothing and no one is putting the brakes on Netanyahu.
To top it off, two years ago this month, UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency) issued a report that warned that the Gaza Strip will likely be unlivable by 2020 because of severe water pollution problems, electricity shortages, not enough schools, hospital beds, and doctors, among other things. Read the report here.
Past attempts to rebuild Gaza have failed, as this recent report notes.
In fact, $4.48 billion in pledges were made [in March 2009 following Operation Cast Lead] – 167% more than the PA had requested – a rare event in donor history. But the dire situation in Gaza today, in which infrastructure and people still suffer from the damage inflicted in that war, raises questions as to what proportion of the funds was ever received and if so, how and where were they disbursed. In fact, to this day, no comprehensive account exists that provides this information.
So it looks like Gaza is a very poor investment.
Why pump $6 Billion+ into this sliver of land when either the Israeli military will return to destroy it again, or Egypt will squeeze it, or it will fail under its own weight by 2020?