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Financing Palestinian dependence

June 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm

The European Commission released a statement confirming the granting of €200 million in financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA. As on other occasions, the importance of disassociating alleged support from historical ramifications and complicity prevails. The financial aid, divided into contributions of €130 million and €70 million to the PA and UNRWA respectively, is expected to “provide vital basic services to the Palestinian people (such as education, health relief and social services)”.

According to the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle, “The EU intends, through its contributions to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, to help sustain key Palestinian institutions and to provide a safety net for refugees.”

The financial contribution is administered through the Mécanisme Palestino-Europeén de Gestion de l’Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE) mechanism, a system emerging from the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) established in 2006, which enabled the EU to adopt selectivity while erroneously promoting itself as a conscientious entity. In its entry on the creation of TIM and PEGASE, The European Institute for Research on Mediterranean and Euro-Arab Cooperation states that: “The EU, as the main donor to the Palestinian people, set up the TIM to be able to continue to address the basic social needs of the Palestinian population and focus on delivering aid to the poorest Palestinians, while bypassing the Hamas-led government.”

The intentional omission, allegedly aids the EU in helping the PA pursue “the fundamental values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law”, always within the imperialist perspective that allows the integration of political violence to amalgamate itself within the framework promulgated by the entity. In the press release, the EU determines the deterioration of the economic situation as a main factor hindering democracy and state building.

However, the EU fails to consider imperialist-supported settler-colonialism as the supreme issue prohibiting any form of rights restoration. As usual, the extensive illusion of Palestinians solely as a humanitarian problem is exacerbated to divert attention away from the colonial state of Israel. The parameters involve regurgitated discussion regarding the deprivation of basic needs, within a context in which the oppressor and its international accomplices are separated from the ramifications, in order to promote erroneous concepts that isolate Palestine and the Palestinians, particularly Palestinian refugees.

Distancing Israel also shields international organisations from closer scrutiny with regards to funding, dependence and complicity. To praise its beneficence, the EU press release does not hesitate to reiterate the reliance of UNRWA upon financial aid; however it predictably fails to mention the roles which the main donors play in ensuring the absolute subjugation of Palestinians.

In a further example of dependence and exploitation, UNRWA is encouraging individual donations for the campaign #giveforfood by utilising the World Cup and Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, who has reportedly autographed football paraphernalia which may be won by individual donors. The campaign essentially promotes selflessness at the expense of other displaced citizens in Brazil, whose lives and dwellings have been deemed of lesser value than a trivial international tournament.

Imperialism and dependence have ensured that contiguity remains eternally fragmented in order to prohibit internationalist solidarity and resistance. UNRWA can also claim its mandate is restricted to Palestinian refugees, yet its oppressive complicity cannot be neglected, despite the constant manipulation of necessity. Beyond the immediate need of financial aid, international organisations affiliated with oppressive entities should begin to challenge the imperialist structure by refusing to succumb to and promote oblivion tactics, assert the integrity of Palestinian history within an internationalist perspective and embark upon an absolute refutation of Israel’s settler-colonialism as an integral part of their mandate.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.