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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Much more than power at stake in Israel-Hamas electricity standoff

Click here to access article by Shlomi Eldar from Al-Monitor

Issues among Palestinians and between Palestinians and Israel appear to be coming to a head following the cutoff of all electricity to the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority ruled by the Hamas party. 
It seems real this time. Barring a last-minute turnaround, the Gaza Strip will find itself in the worst humanitarian crisis it has known since the 2007 revolution that brought Hamas to power, with disastrous repercussions for its 2 million residents and for Israel.

On April 27, the Palestinian Authority (PA) informed Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories that it was immediately cutting off funding for Gaza's power supply. Not only will it no longer buy diesel fuel to operate the Gaza Strip’s one and only power station — the PA stopped doing so several weeks ago — it will stop footing the monthly bill for the power supplied by the Israel Electric Corporation to Gaza.
In an article entitled "Abbas fears the growing influence of Marwan Barghouti" is Jonathan Cook's take on the explosive situation. Cook is a British independent journalist who resides most of the time in Nazareth. In this article Cook sees a powerful threat to Abbas's leadership of Hamas that controls the Palestinian Authority.
There is anger in the West Bank, both on the streets and within the ranks of Mr Abbas’s Fatah movement. The trigger is a two-week-old hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.

Last Thursday, Palestinians shuttered their businesses in a show of solidarity, and the next day youths clashed with the Israeli army in a “day of rage”.

About a quarter of the 6,500 political prisoners held by Israel – almost all of them in Israeli territory, in violation of international law – are refusing food in protest at their degrading treatment. They want reforms to Israel’s industrial system of incarceration. Some 800,000 Palestinians – 40 per cent of males – have passed through Israel’s cells since 1967.