Nick Dearden of the British NGO War on Want has written an informative article on the frustrations of being an aid worker in the Occupied Territories. He complains that while NGOs are offering the Palestinians palliatives to ease the deprivation caused by Israeli rule, foreign governments are failing to exert the political influence that could force an end to the occupation that gives rise to the deprivation in the first place.
Dearden expresses well the absurd situation of British volunteers who help the PA to build schools, hospitals and government infrastructure, knowing that their own government is at the same time selling to Israel the weaponry that will be used to destroy the very same buildings. And he wonders is it really helpful for NGOs to meet the emergency water needs of parched Palestinian villages? Or does this simply enable governments to avoid asking the occupying power - which siphons off 85% of Palestinian water resources for its own use - why the Palestinians are going thirsty at all?
Nick's article, The End of Their Dreams is a valuable reminder that - regardless of how much hot air and hard cash we expend on the symptoms - the underlying, untreated disease is still the Occupation.