by JOHN V. WHITBECK
On October 12, at a donors’ conference in Cairo, participants pledged US$ 5.4 billion toward the reconstruction of Gaza. However, numerous participants noted that repeatedly paying to reconstruct what had been destroyed – and was likely to be destroyed again – was an insufficient response and that the core problem must be addressed. However, no original ideas for addressing it were offered.
The core problem is the occupation, now in its 48th year. It was addressed the following night when the British House of Commons voted overwhelmingly (274-12) in favor of the United Kingdom’s extending diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”, implicitly while its entire territory remains under belligerent occupation and without Israel’s prior permission. On October 3, the new Swedish prime minister had announced his government’s intention to recognize the State of Palestine, thereby joining the 134 other UN member states, encompassing the vast majority of mankind, which have already done so.
Europe should not stop there. Imagine that all of the 20 European Union states which have not yet recognized the State of Palestine were to do so and that the EU were then to announce that, if Israel did not comply with international law and relevant UN resolutions by withdrawing fully from the occupied State of Palestine by a specified date, it would impose economic sanctions on Israel and intensify them until Israel did so.
For more on this story, visit: One and Only One Road to Peace for Israel and Palestine » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.