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gorillapaws's avatar

Should the US lead a humanitarian mission to supply the Palestinians with food and medicine?

Asked by gorillapaws (26513points) June 14th, 2010

Would sending in a humanitarian ship of aid to the Palestinian people be the right thing to do, given Israel’s recent behavior? Should Israel allow such an act and would it be seen as a gesture of goodwill between the US and the Palestinians?

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8 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

As it stands, I believe the U.S. should, absolutely. We have given enough support to Israel over the years that has been quite inappropriate, weapons-wise. But that’s because I’m on the Palestinian side of this issue and so, obviously, that’s what I’d think.

prescottman2008's avatar

At least the aid ships coming from the US wouldn’t also be loaded with rockets and mortar shells for the Palestinians to fire into Israel killing both Israeli’s and Palestinians alike.

marinelife's avatar

It is an interesting idea. I am not sure that it will happen.

dpworkin's avatar

We already provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, and have for years. We just don’t make a propaganda set-piece out of it the way the Turkish flotilla did.

Cruiser's avatar

Here it is…

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided the Palestinian people with some indirect economic assistance through funds distributed to U.S.-based NGOs operating in the West Bank and Gaza. According to the CRS report, “Funds are allocated in this program for projects in sectors such as humanitarian assistance, economic development, democratic reform, improving water access and other infrastructure, health care, education, and vocational training. The program is subject to a vetting process and to yearly audits…”

In addition, some funding has occasionally been provided directly to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in an attempt to strengthen it against competing political parties (particularly Hamas) and for use in policing the Palestinian people. Such funds are usually only authorized once Congress has received proof that they will be used for “non-lethal assistance.”

The United States also provides funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), “which provides food, shelter, medical care, and education for many of the original refugees from the 1947–1949 Arab-Israeli war and their families—now comprising approximately 4.6 million Palestinians in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza.” (Learn more about Palestinian refugees.)

$225 million have been appropriated for economic aid to the Palestinians and $75 million for support of PA police training, etc. for FY2009. The U.S. also provided just over $61.5 million (as of February 13, 2009) in emergency humanitarian aid through USAID, UNRWA, and the International Committee of the Red Cross following Israel’s assault on Gaza.

In contrast to…over the last 20 years, the U.S. has been slowly phasing out economic aid to Israel and gradually replacing it with increased military aid. Beginning in 2007, the U.S. has been increasing military aid by $150 million each year. By FY2013, we will be sending Israel $3.15 billion a year (or an average of $8.6 million a day) and will continue to provide military aid at that level through 2018.

anartist's avatar

We shouldn’t need to do it as a further polarizing propaganda action.
As @dpworkin and @Cruiser say we are doing our bit quietly. If we want to do more, we should do that quietly also.

roundsquare's avatar

In my view, there is absolutely no excuse for letting politics get in the way of humanitarian aid. So if you ask, “should” the US do this, I’d say yes. If they want to do it quietly, thats fine with me, as I’m okay with politics dictating what they want to brag about.

I know, I know, its very optimistic of me…. and no, I’m no that naive, but the question was “should” so I say “yes.”

mattbrowne's avatar

I think NATO should be checking the aid ships searching for weapons. Like it’s handled for Lebanon.

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