AID?? Why Not TRADE!??
I recognize the value of aid brought into Gaza and with all my heart appreciate the immense efforts undergone by all sincere conveyers and Palestinian solidarity figures to help the Gazan population. But right as Ken O’Keefe put it ” Bringing Aid… All that does is deal with the results of the problem, it does not deal with the root of the problem… We need to establish trade; once we establish trade, we can get raw materials in, the factories can be rebuilt, people can go back to work, the economy can be developed, Palestinians will have no need for aid! None.”
And that is precisely what I think more energy should be put into, and which I am most concerned with. Trade.
Gaza is more than capable of managing its own business once given the chance (freedom and self-control, that is), and Gazans are more than capable of establishing an efficient economy had the constraints imposed on them and the zionist chains restricting their movement and thought been lifted, and Israel has to stopp its policy of ‘keeping Gaza’s economy on the brink of collapse’. The siege of Gaza has not only prevented trade and prevented an adequate amount of decent goods from entering as well as leaving Gaza, but it has also immeasurably damaged Gaza’s various local professions.
Think of the IT industry in Gaza. In point of fact, Gaza is as advanced in Information Technology as a place could ever be- not in production due to obvious reasons, but in thought and study, maintenance, software, programming, and networking. Had Gazans been ‘permitted’, and I say the word not lightly at all, a better physical connection with the outside world, investments in this field can do so much. There are innumerable IT centers in Gaza concerned for the most part with advanced IT training, local and web networking, and web-design, i.e. things which the siege cannot solidly have a much negative effect on. Yet, power cuts still make even these locally handled matters fairly difficult. Border closures and the obstruction of trade led Palestinians in Gaza to turn to insecure means to bring into the strip as much of advanced technology as possible- a marked example is the tunnels- and also hindered, and blocked if you may, any viable advancement in production in this field. This suffocating strategy forces some IT experts in Gaza to get the hell out to be able to invest in themselves.
Gaza holds an EXPOTECH every year- it is not an EXPOTECH as you would think it should be, but hey at least Gaza tries with all its capacities and capabilities. The video is available here.
Put major matters aside. Think of something as simple as an advertising center. It may not be something so significant in a place like Gaza, you may say; however, the troubles undergone to produce a poster, a logoed t-shirt, a doctor’s stamp, a calendar, a file holder, a street sign, or a banner are ridiculous. The continuous power cuts which affect the computer-dependent design work, the lack of sufficient printing machines , and the lack of the desired, decent material are troubles that managers of advertising centers can’t get off their heads. So innocently I told the manager of an advertising center once, ‘well, you should manufacture your own machines’. His bitter laugh, later joined by mine, said all that can be said in response to me. If we have troubles producing a poster for the lack of material, how are we supposed to produce a machine! Haha… Yeah… Factories are something unusual in Gaza as it is almost next to impossible to have all the necessary components of bringing a certain product into being, and when you find factories, you would find that the entire manufacturing process depends on 3 or 4 machines which they have managed in some extraordinary manner to get into the strip. Not only that, but in owning a factory, you risk being an easy, potential target of an Israeli jet. Israel loves bombing factories under the claim that they are weapon caches (An example to this can be found in my first-hand account of the bombing of the tile factory next to my house during the 2008 offensive).
For my video on the difficulties advertising houses undergo, click here.
Think of entertainment as well! Music, playgrounds, amusement parks that were bombarded… etc
And the list goes on…
ECONOMY, people! ECONOMY…..