The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The US & Nine Other Nations Now Helping Israel Starve Gazans

So, right after the ICJ enjoined Israel to stop genociding Palestinians, ten nations decided to suspend payments to UNRWA, the agency which feeds Palestinians in Gaza. The excuse is that Israel has accused eight of the 15,000 employees of being complicit in the October 7th attacks.


The only way to win the war is to starve Gazans out, because the Israeli military is too incompetent to win. The countries are major donors and are sufficient to cause real harm to the program:

The countries who have cut funding are: America, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Netherlands, UK, Italy, Australia, Finland and Japan.

The leaders of all these countries are guilty of aiding and abetting a deliberate famine meant to cause a genocide, and all should be tried for crimes against humanity and hung from the neck till dead

The total funding involved is about 700 million dollars out of a 1.1 billion dollar budget. That’s peanuts, and other countries could easily step in and fund UNWRA. We’ll see if any of those who are wringing their hands about genocide do so.

Politically it’s a very cheap way for countries to make big points, but, of course only a few countries in the world who have actually been willing to do anything real: Yemen, South Africa being most prominent.

“Never Again”, it turns out, means, “how can we help commit genocide?”

(Oh, and all those years I was saying the EU was evil? I was right.)

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 28, 2024


And This God Has Granted To Me, That


  1. UphillBend

    Here are some videos, somewhat dated, that shows how much individual American donations contribute to UNRWA. The numbers are approximations.

    As of November 8th, and since October 9th, UNRWA received $10,000,000.00 from 40,000 American donors.

    About 1 minute into the video.

    As of December 21st, and counting from October again, the organization received donations from between 60 to 70,000 American donors with the average donation being $278.00.

    About 14 minutes and a half into the video

    I’m curious whether some in the number of donors might actually be repeat donors and the number would be more correctly described as 60 to 70,000 donations. Nevertheless, the picture emerges that there are donations by American individuals of about $250.00 on average to contribute about $10,000,000.00 per month. A year will mean $120,000,000.00 if the donation amounts hold steady.

    That is about one-third of what the US government contributes per year to UNRWA.

    So the loss of funding from the US, Germany (another very large contributor), and others will be catastrophic. And not just in humanitarian aid. I just learned that UNRWA is the largest or second largest employer in Gaza. A lot of breadwinners will find their livelihoods in jeopardy.

    At the beginning of great tragedies such as what is going on now, one grieves at the loss of lives on the feeling that each life is precious. As the casualties increase, some numbness sets in but with a mix of pity and hope that there are still many precious lives to be saved for good will to mean something. As the situation gets worse, one looks on in disbelief and feels a kind of uselessness of efforts in view of the fact so many have lost their lives. And I’m guessing that at the extreme end of the scale for genocides, one kind of goes back to the beginning when the survivors regain the light of the preciousness of each life, if only because our attentions are more focused on the few and there is some kind of last-minute kicking-in of human duty.

    I’m sure the above doesn’t apply universally but I think it captures the approximate logic of feelings for many. It’s a cruel progression exposing the limits of our humanity.

    Hopefully, the current genocide will not be one of such massive annihilation. I’m conflicted between the fakeness of the moralizing West and the, perhaps foolish, hope that it could not possibly commit such great evil in the open with an already outraged Global South watching on.

    Anyway, we should donate what we can to support UNRAW however meager the total amount from the little people maybe compared to what is needed. Whatever our feelings of helplessness, and the lack of great impact, individual life is still precious. And hopefully those meager sums will help enough of the Palestinian nation to survive to carry its fate to a better future. They have shown themselves as a magnificent people throughout this apocalypse, and the survivors will be a plus for humanity as well as their nation.

    $120,000,000.00 is not small money, just not enough. And hopefully the final sum will be larger than the expectation based on the past two months.

    Also, the news speaks in terms of a suspension, pause, or halting of aid, instead of outright termination. So hopefully the better public figures can pull some levers to renew aid.

  2. UphillBend

    There was a controversial book in the 90s titled Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Going by the logic of the book, we in West are all now, to some extent, Netanyahu’s Willing Executioners.

    The Greeks throwing babies over the walls after the Fall of Troy was ancient history. What the Nazis did was in a feigned atmosphere of ignorance of various degrees of plausibility for the German populace. We now have the evidence in the full glare of our screens, in real time.

    Also, the killing of infants in ancient times was an unfortunate deed that had to be done post-conquest for the long-term safety of the conquerors – according to the alleged thinking of those days. But what we have now is neither that nor the euphemism of collateral damage. Some Israeli officials, as in the anti-UNRWA statements highlighted by our host, makes it out to be one of the very means enabling victory.

    Albright’s “We think the price is worth it” now feels almost useless as a Gotcha against The Powers That Be, when considering the current mass infanticide with its horrific evidence for all to see, day-in and day-out of wailing parents, and at a rate that defies even the worst expectations of callousness in our leaders.

  3. StewartM

    Are individual donations to UNRWA in these ten countries being blocked? That’s not clear to me from this discourse. I believe there are churches and other organizations making donations (I’d have to check).

    If so, does UNRWA accept cryptocurrencies? (I detest the waste of resources that crypto represents, but in cases like these to evade sanctions it could be useful).

  4. Ian Welsh

    Donations appear to be blocked from the UK. I haven’t heard they’re blocked from anywhere else, but they may be. I doubt UNRWA is set up to take crypto, but I haven’t investigated and could be wrong.

  5. mago

    Mind Covid is one description.
    Western leadership infected with toxic substances en utero and toxic ideologies in their upbringing has brought us a cropping.
    How to explain this fragmented cruelty otherwise in short form?
    Samsara on steroids.

  6. Genocide is defense.
    War is peace.
    Heart damaging injections is good health.
    Corporations are people.

    Turn the TV on, ignore the evidence because the channel commands it.
    Take more pills if you don’t love your servitude.
    We have what children crave. It’s got Aluminum metals.

    This isn’t paraphrased quotes from dystopian books and TV. This is the society we were born and conditioned in.

    Consider the implications of it.

  7. Feral Finster

    Of course the US and its puppets are punishing UNRWA, actively supporting Israel’s entirely intentional genocide in Gaza.

    What does anyone propose to do about it?

  8. Forecasting Intelligence

    Why don’t the rich Gulf States support them instead?

    The West has done enough in this God forsaken region over the decades. Its not like they get any thanks.

  9. Soredemos

    That all the others are so pathetically subservient doesn’t surprise me, but to me personally Japan can particularly go fuck itself. If there was ever any doubt at all that it is merely an unsinkable aircraft carrier, a completely compliant protectorate of the US that’s been tolerated enough to maintain various cultural idiosyncrasies, that doubt is now completely removed.

    Also puts into perspective its growing militarism, which is clearly not about reasserting national independence but about the US wanting it to pick up some slack and have its own troops to offer up as fodder when we finally engineer a war with China.

  10. Oakchair

    Yea why isn’t everyone thanking the west for constantly invading, bombing, and waging war in the the Middle east? What kind of privledged whiny ingrates wouldn’t thank me for bombing them? I’m taking my toys and going home! That will show them.

  11. Forecasting Intelligence

    My point being Oakchair its mainly Western countries that have financially supported the UN for decades.

    I’m no supporter of the Iraq war btw, I was opposed, but no appreciation from the Arab world that the main donor keeping the Palestinians alive has been the American government, for decades.

    Americans better off cutting the leash as Trump wanted to do when president.

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