We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Palestinian Capitalists That Have Gone Too Far

Click here to access article by Tariq Dana from Al-Shabaka

I was astonished by the revelations of capitalist cronyism participated in by Palestinian capitalists with their counterparts in Israel and the US. This explains so much about political events and issues regarding Palestine and Israel: the giveaways in the Oslo Accords and why all the negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian government authorities are always brokered by the US. What I cannot yet figure out is how I missed such analyses up 'til now: has no one noticed what was going on there or have I failed in my search of articles?
The political and social influence of Palestinian crony capitalists and their ongoing economic normalization of Israel’s occupation should alarm all those concerned about the future of the Palestinian cause.  ...chasing after profits without regard to Palestinian fundamental rights and national aspirations.... Their mechanisms of social and political control, and their flagrant complicity in normalization projects are a structural obstacle to the anti-colonial struggle and undermine the Palestinian quest for justice.
It was particularly interesting to see the same ploys used to manage and exploit vulnerable Palestinians as are used elsewhere in the world by capitalists: NGOs and the promotion of debt for their government and individual Palestinians.