Global Trends by Martin Khor
Monday 5 January 2009
The world weeps as Palestinian plight deepens
At the dawn of
2009, the plight of Palestinians trapped in
What a bloody start
to the new year, as incessant Israeli bombing turned a large part of
Gaza into rubble and killing over 400 and wounding thousands of Palestinians.
And on Saturday night, Israeli tanks and troops launched a ground
It looks like
That unknown has
become a talking point due to Obama’s deafening silence so far on the
Bush on the other
hand made no secret of his delight. Last Saturday, as bombs continued
to rain on
Calling the rockets
The next stage of
this war on
How much more are the Palestinians expected to take? It reminds one of the old sad parable of Yasser Arafat being asked when Palestinian will be liberated? Arafat cried and said not in his lifetime.
And when the same question was put to God, He too cried. “Not in my lifetime too.” He is supposed to have replied in this parable.
the world weep today for the Palestinians, and most of all for the 1.5
million of them in
In contrast the theft of land, the building of walls, the continuation of Israeli settlements on occupied territory, the siege that has starved the Palestinians and deprived them of electricity and medicines, the killings of leaders and civilians, and now the recent bombings, have not led to condemnation as acts of terror by the major Western powers, nor to any action, including such mild measures as the withdrawal of aid or the discontinuation of exporting weapons to Israel.
There is much to
speculate about the year ahead, and to plan for it, such as the change
of President in the
Important though these are, they pale into insignificance at this moment as 2008 passes into 2009, when the great injustice and cruelty done to the Palestinian people sticks out like more than a sore thumb.
It has sparked the
indignation and outrage of ordinary people who across the world are
demonstrating in their thousands. But it has failed to stir the major
powers that can do something – even if it is just the threat of suspension
of aid to
And so we enter the new year with the hypocrisy of those that rule the world intact and clearly visible for all to see.
That does not augur well for the new year. Our world is in crisis, in fact it faces multiple mega crises, including the economic recession that is about to turn into a Depression, and climate change, which threatens the survival of civilization as we know it.
And lurking below the surface are more crises brewing, such as the depletion and critical shortages of water, and the continuing desperation of people caught up in poverty, homelessness and joblessness.
There is still a sore lack of fair and democratic global governance in the political, economic, social and environmental spheres.
If there is to be one global resolution for the new year, it should be that countries, leaders and people all over the world participate to build that fair, just and sustainable governance in which the voices and interests of the majority, especially the most vulnerable, are given the top priority.
And at the top of that agenda in 2009 should be the ending of the plight of the Palestinians and the attainment of a just and lasting peace in that region.