Orbiting Dicta

When Mercy Seasons Justice

According to the Reuters News Agency, international donors including the Gulf Arab states, the United States, and the European Commission have now pledged over $3 billion to rebuild Gaza after the devastating war waged primarily against civilians by Israel in January. The proviso is that the funds are not passed through the Hamas-controlled government which, while legitimate, rankles European and American sensitivities because it foolishly refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.  That may well be the last trump card it holds, but the time to return it to the desk has long since passed.  So far as I know, Israel has made no offer whatever to compensate for the billions of dollars of damage done to Gaza’s infrastructure, not to mention 1,300 deaths, at least a third of which were those of defenseless women and children.  Police stations, hospitals, and schools were specifically targeted and destroyed.  Already in short supply, electricity, water supplies, and sewage control were all but obliterated in the onslaught.

Israel, which was not represented at the conference in Egypt, will continue to maintain its stranglehold on the border, restricting the entry of both humanitarian and construction supplies as the government sees fit.  Whether Egypt will relax its less stringent but still tight border controls remains to be seen.  In the meantime, the children, women, and men of Gaza, including the elderly injured, and inform, continue to suffer. 

The quality of mercy is not strain’d, Shakespeare told us.  It may well drop as the gentle rain from heaven, but not on Gaza so long as Israel remains committed to corporate punishment and draconian (and outlawed) methods of conducting international violence, not to mention annexing more territory in the West Bank for its illegal settlements.  If Palestinians (and anyone else) nurtured hope that the Obama administration would make a difference to the plight of the poor and suffering in that stricken area, they must be cruelly disappointed.