Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pity the poor Palestinians without Israel to protect them from their own government

This paragraph really stood out in an already excellent article about the terrors being visited on the poor denizens of Palestine now that Israel has withdrawn the last of its moderating authority over that region:

One could argue that this is not Israel’s problem and it is still better off having left. Yet, a world that seemingly makes the Palestinians the apple of its eye appears—beyond mouthing the usual inane pieties about the PA “disarming the terrorists”—blithely unconcerned about the transformation of Gaza into a radical-Islamist redoubt, with all that implies for its residents’ rights. It reinforces the impression that this supposed compassion for the Palestinians has always been a smokescreen for downsizing Israel and appeasing the Arab oil barons.
By the way, I'm not being sarcastic when I speak of the poor citizens of Palestine -- not the fighters, but the day-to-day civilians struggling to live there. Here's the before (before the PA took over and eventually booted Israel):
as detailed in a 2002 Commentary article by Efraim Karsh that left little imprint, Israeli rule in the territories was decidedly beneficial. Living standards and life expectancy rose sharply, mortality and infant mortality rates plummeted. “Perhaps most strikingly,” Karsh noted,
"during the two decades preceding the [first] intifada . . ., the number of schoolchildren in the territories grew by 102 percent, and the number of classes by 99 percent, though the population itself had grown by only 28 percent. Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. At the time of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, not a single university existed in these territories. By the early 1990’s, there were seven such institutions, boasting some 16,500 students. Illiteracy rates dropped to 14 percent of adults over age 15, compared with 69 percent in Morocco, 61 ercent in Egypt, 45 percent in Tunisia, and 44 percent in Syria."
Since Israel's withdrawal, first politically by handing the territories over to Arafat, and than physically, with the recent withdrawal, Gaza has descended into chaos -- and it is, as always, the ordinary people (and sometimes the sick) who bear the brunt of this kind of thing.