Monday, January 18, 2021

  • Monday, January 18, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
One of the implications about the sustained campaign to make Israel responsible for vaccinating Palestinians is that Palestinians do not have the ability to make their own medical decisions.

Even though they have insisted from the start that they can take care of their own people, even though they have undertaken their own negotiations with pharmaceutical companies and decided which vaccines they want, even though they have a fairly mature medical infrastructure in the West Bank, the critics of Israel are saying that the Palestinians are helpless children who cannot be trusted to safeguard their own lives as the wise Western NGOs are. 

Isn't that bigoted?

Sometimes, though, the West treating Palestinians like children encourages them to act like children.

The EU issued this statement when the Palestinian Authority announced elections this May:

On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas enacted a decree-law on holding legislative, presidential and National Council elections in the coming months starting with legislative elections on 22 May.

This is a welcome development as participative, representative and accountable democratic institutions are key for Palestinian self-determination and state-building.

The EU has in the past years consistently supported and funded the work of the Central Elections Commission in order to prepare for holding free, fair and inclusive elections for all Palestinians. 
Palestinians haven't had elections for 15 years. Since then, the EU has been funding support of nonexistent elections. 

The EU even built the Central Elections Commission headquarters, spending €5 million on it.




Has this EU encouragement and funding made the Palestinians any more democratic? (Odds are that the scheduled election will never takes place.)

Or is the EU patronizingly telling the Palestinians, "Let us grown-ups explain to you what democracy is. Here, we'll give you a building and send consultants and election monitors and give lectures so you will know."

Can anyone imagine outside governments "helping" Israel in its first elections?

Eight months after independence, Israel took a census, prepared a thousand polling places, registered voters and held the elections. All without outside help. Most of this during a war. 

If Palestinians want democracy, they can do it without help. If they want vaccines, they can get them without help. If they choose terror or if they choose peace, it will be their decision. 

The people who are telling them that they cannot make their own decisions are interfering with their autonomy - not "occupation."

(h/t Irene)






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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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