Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Remi Kanazi: Bordering Autonomy

Bordering Autonomy


By Remi Kanazi

Last week Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brokered a deal between Israelis and Palestinians on the Rafah border crossing which connects the "disengaged" Gaza Strip with the outside world. Secretary Rice stepped in to help International Middle East envoy James Wolfensohn who lacked the political muscle and persuasion in the border talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Wolfensohn nearly quit due to a months long struggle for an agreement on the issue. The border crossing has been a hot button issue and opening it is considered a prerequisite to improve the quality of life of Gazan residents.

The border is tentatively scheduled to open on November 25. For the first time Palestinians will control the crossing. The European Union, however, will receive a feed of real time images in an office with an Israeli and Palestinian representative. According to the agreement, Gazans will be able to travel to the West Bank in bus convoys by December 15th and truck convoys by January 15th. Rice also urged Israel for further talks on the Gaza airport which was discussed in the negotiations. Time will tell if Rice's words are backed up by the US administration and if the agreement is implemented in its entirety. US President George W. Bush’s lagging domestic support for the Iraq quagmire, the use of chemical weapons in Fallujah, and renewed claims of torture gives him more reason to try and reinvigorate the stalled peace process. But tough words have come from Washington before and fluttered after time.

These measures are crucial for the Palestinian people and are the first step to sustainability and rebuilding after 38 years of crippling occupation. The main issue still remains: will Israel continue its campaign of extrajudicial assassinations, missile strikes, mass arrests and restrictions without warning? The constant fear of incursions in the Gaza Strip still grips the minds of Palestinians and affects the prospects for future tourism as well as housing and business development. The Gazan economy cannot rely on being an export society, with the conditions of the state being interrupted on the whim of its neighbor. Israel used the guise of security frequently in the past to impose its invasive policy on the Palestinian people. While the borders will be under Palestinian control, one must fear the "punishment" given to the residents of Gaza if Israel becomes disgruntled with the border situation. Gazans felt Sharon’s iron fist after the "disengagement" through Operation First Rain and history tells us that the iron fist will make a comeback.

Remaining positive is great for those in the West who don’t have a vested interested in the progression of Palestinian society. For those more practical, we mustn’t forget the promises of Oslo: independence, an “honest broker,” reparations and a fair settlement for Palestinians. During the years of Oslo the Occupied Territories saw the biggest increase in settlements in Israeli history, the transferring of control to the Palestinian Authority came at snails pace, and “renegotiations,” restrictions, and separation strangled the Palestinian economy and workforce. Let us hope for the best in the border arrangement between, but let us also be wary, scrutinize and let Israel and the world know that this is just a first step in a long road to justice.

*************

**Remi Kanazi is the primary writer for the political website www.PoeticInjustice.net

He lives in New York City as a Palestinian American freelance writer and can reached via email at remroum@gmail.com

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Jan Rivers: The New Zealanders Involved In Brexit

There are a number who have strong connections to New Zealand making significant running on either side of the contested and divisive decision to leave the European Union. More>>

Rawiri Taonui: The Rise, Fall And Future Of The Independent Māori Parties

Earlier this month the Māori Party and Mana Movement reflected on the shock loss of their last parliamentary seat in this year’s election. It is timely to consider their future. More>>

Don Rennie: Is It Time To Take ACC Back To First Principles?

The word “investing” has played a major part in the operations of the ACC since 1998... More>>

Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO: