Saturday, November 15, 2003

ICRC to Arabs in West Bank: Drop Dead

. . .and blame Israel:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is ending its emergency food programme in the West Bank, saying the economic collapse there is the direct result of Israeli military closures and that Israel must live up to its responsibility as the occupying power for the economic needs of the Palestinians.

. . .

Vincent Bernard, an ICRC spokesman, said: "This was humanitarian relief designed to assist in a humanitarian emergency, not to address the longer-term problems caused by curfews, closures and the collapse of the economy that has occurred. It is not our responsibility to take care of the economic needs of the Palestinians. We have repeatedly said it is the responsibility of the occupying power."

Mr Bernard denied Israeli press reports that the food programme had been cancelled for budgetary reasons. "As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility to minimise the humanitarian consequences of its actions," he said. "You cannot go on for ever with the curfews and closures which are destroying the Palestinian economy. They have to find a different way to guarantee their security. If they lifted these security measures, the Palestinian economy, though damaged, would start again."
Let me make something painfully clear: my concern is not with the Palestinians. They engaged in mass murder and continue to widely support it; destruction of their economy is a fitting consequence to the stupidity and depravity of their actions and views. I certainly wish no ill to innocent people who happen to share the misfortune of living in Arafat's little fiefdom, but I'm too busy worrying about Israeli children being bombed on buses to concern myself with some West Bank shlub's dozen malnourished rugrats. Sorry, I gotta draw the line somewhere, and they are on the other side.

I do find it most enlightening, however, that when the politics is right, the ICRC is perfectly willing to walk away from a tragedy, wash their hands of it, and say, "Not our problem." Figures.

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