Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hamas, the UN, and Accountability

As long as the UN's humanitarian aid continues to pour into Gaza, a Hamas regime will not be held accountable by its people for either supplying or not supplying food, electricity, medicine, and other humanitarian essentials. The same holds, mutatis mutandis, for rogue states around the world.


Zev said...

Why do you need to argue that accountability can only exist if purchase power tends towards zero? Couldn't the bar be much lower, say $100 for bread, or even $20? As I understand it Gaza cannot import any goods, so without UNRWA and Israeli aid staple prices should spike indefinitely. Why can the Palestinians tolerate current artificially high staple prices, but not if prices were to double or quadruple? Is there some ideal staple price point (ie aid level) that promotes accountability?
Personally, I think starving masses make poor political actors.

Yehuda said...

I am not arguing that "accountability can only exist if purchase power tends towards zero." I don't even know what that means.

I am simply pointing out that if the UN, US, and Europe continue to pay for food and medicine, Hamas will not have to do so and can use its money for weapons and fighters.

A couple of other points:
1. I have not heard of a single verifiable case of a starving Gazan. I have heard of some who can't get their medicine or cigarettes, but not one of someone who is starving. There have been no reported deaths from starvation.

2. Is it true that starving people make bad political actors? They are usually revolutionary and that is not always bad.

3. Gaza is an agricultural area, which can produce its own food. Indeed Israel is actually dependent on Gaza for food and the fact that Hamas has outlawed trade with Israel has cost us millions of sheqels.

4. With a non-Hamas, democratic government, Gaza would have no problem establishing more trade with many countries.