Well it’s been a week or so, since I last posted an article. I hadn’t realized just how bad the world had gotten, until I started this project, looking back at just 12 months. Sometimes it’s good to step away from it, if only to gain some perspective.
So after a week, what did I find, that I felt should have been a bigger story?
Palestinian police, refugee camp residents clash over U.N. strike
Say what now?
I’m sorry, U.N. Strike? The ‘organization’ that gives aid to the poorest in the world? THAT U.N.? WTF? What have they got to strike about? Oh, poor you, is it getting a bit much feeding the poor? Are conditions just too unbearable for your delicateness? Tell me:
‘The demonstration, in Jalazoun camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was the most violent in a series of protests over the past week stemming from a more than month-old strike for higher pay by local employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).’
WHAT??? These people live in a fucking REFUGEE camp! How much money do they have, do you think? Okay, before I go off on a rant, let’s just look at the actual details of this strike, who is behind it, and what happened, before we get onto the sheer irony of this situation.
‘For the last decade, the socioeconomic situation in Gaza has been in steady decline. Years of conflict and closure have left 80 per cent of the population dependent on international assistance. The tightened blockade, imposed following the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007, has decimated lives and livelihoods, resulting in the impoverishment and DE-development of a highly skilled and well-educated society. Despite adjustments made to the blockade by the Government of Israel in June 2010, restrictions on imports and exports continue to severely hamper recovery and reconstruction.’
80% of the population dependent on international assistance. So, stopping that would do what exactly? Look, I understand that sometimes strike action is necessary however, when practically everybody is dependent on the resources provided by the U.N. purely because of the conflicts, it just has to be the very last resort.
‘The demonstrations come amid an economic crisis that has severely affected the UN agency. Funds have dwindled as aid has been diverted to those affected by the Syrian civil war next door. The UN has said donor countries are taking into consideration the harsh consequences of the Syrian crisis when prioritizing the allotment of funds.’
This is just like putting a gun to some-one’s head or using a cannon to kill a flea, as confucious would say. Holding hundreds of millions of peoples lives’ to ransom over a couple of bucks, a few quid. Nice. Let’s look at just how big this situation is:
‘The U.N. agency has said it is trying to end the strike but does not have funds to meet the wage demands. It also says its employees get paid at least 20 percent and in some cases 80 percent more than public-sector employees in equivalent fields.’
20-80% more? that’s a big difference. I can’t help but wonder who is getting the 80% there?
‘Al Bis was one of scores of mostly young Palestinians protesting the lack of medical and educational services in the camp brought about by the strike.’
‘men set fire to tree branches, tires and trash – which hasn’t been picked up by the UN-run trucks for more than a month since the strike began.’
‘UN workers also operate the health facilities, and those too have been shut down since the strike started.’
‘51,000 students have not been able to attend school in the camps because of the employee strike. Some 132,000 people have also been adversely affected by the closure of 42 health clinics in the West Bank, with an average of more than 5,000 patients a day unable to receive medical care as a result. In addition to the cessation of services in the camps, more than 20 employees of the UNRWA job creation programme are on hunger strikes to protest against the end of their short-term contracts.’
Where is the National Guard? You know what I mean. When ever there is a strike in the US or UK or even France (such as Police, Fire etc), there is always the National Guard or even the army to step in and cover those duties. Why is this not happening here? Perhaps this will give us a clue:
‘Most of UNRWA’s funding comes from European countries and the United States. In 2009, UNRWA’s total budget was US$1.2 billion, for which the agency received US$948 million. In 2010, the biggest donors for its regular budget were the United States and the European Commission with $248 million and $165 million respectively. In addition to its regular budget, UNRWA receives funding for emergency activities and special projects. In 2011, the United States was the largest single donor with a total contribution of over $239 million, followed by the European Commission’s $175 million contribution. According to World Bank data, for all countries receiving more than $2 billion international aid in 2012, Gaza and the West Bank received a per capita aid budget over double the next largest recipient, at a rate of $495. In 2013, of the total of $1.1 billion was donated to UNRWA, $294 million was contributed by the United States.’ – Wikipedia
Okay, so the money is there, and behold, America are the single biggest contributor.
It’s not just this one area, by the way. Have you looked at the UN website? This strike action has affected Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank. Would anybody like to have a look at how many people are affected by this strike? Not receiving medical aid, food, water or even having the trash removed? What would you do, if this happened in your town?
So, tell me, what is happening to the refugees? Are they well? Probably not. Let’s face it, without food and water, nobody is going to survive.
I just can’t understand why this isn’t bigger news? I would have thought that the imminent demise of hundreds of millions of people would have rated a bit more than the odd article on a news website.
And the strike action is not just limited to this situation:
Liberia medics on strike as WHO calls Ebola ‘worst health crisis’
Ebola burial workers’ strike action in Sierra Leone
I am not saying this is ALL Americas fault, but WHO pushed for war in those countries? Who prides themselves on being the ‘Most Powerful Country in The World’?
Who talks about Freedom and Unity? Is that just for show?
If that is true, then why haven’t you done something? Where is all the money that you and other countries gave to the UN? Why are you banging on about giving more money to military aid instead of addressing this Global genocide?
‘American taxpayers give Israel $9.9 million per day.’
Why haven’t any of these countries asked these questions?
My biggest question here, is how come this strike was allowed to continue, when strikes in our home countries are dealt with swiftly?
Why does nobody care more?
Click the links (they open in a new window) please, and read the articles. There is so much more than I have written. See the dots, join them up. Open your eyes.