The US has a notorious record of imposing economic or political sanctions against any nation daring to operate outside of Washington Consensus political and market rules. It’s also quick to levy trade sanctions for corporate friends whose notion of “free trade” is the one-way kind benefitting them. The Clinton administration was a frequent abuser of these practices imposing them unilaterally against 35 or more countries during its eight years in power. They were also in place against the Soviet bloc during the Cold War and other nations aligned with it. The Bush administration currently has them in place against such countries as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Burma, Belarus, Sudan, and Venezuela. It’s our way of saying we’re boss, what we say goes and no outliers are tolerated even when they only wish to govern independently from us or are targeted by a close ally we support.
That’s the plight of the Palestinians who’ve been “screaming” for six decades following Israel’s “war of independence” they call al-Nakba, the catastrophe. In May, 1948, they were deprived of four-fifths of their former land and the remainder for the past 40 years. Conditions then became especially harsh after January 25, 2006 when they rejected ruling Fatah’s institutionalized corruption and willingness to be Israel’s enforcer for the benefits it afforded its leaders. They defied predictions and democratically elected a majority of Hamas members to Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) seats because they promised to do what Fatah wouldn’t–serve their own people, not the state of Israel against them.
Ever since, they’ve paid dearly for their choice. Israel, the US and West ended all outside aid, imposed an economic embargo and sanctions, and politically isolated the ruling Hamas government. Repressive Israeli rule was tightened and harsh intervention and daily attacks in the Territories followed. It included fomenting internal conflict on Gaza streets leading up to Hamas defeating the heavily US and Israeli-armed opposition Fatah insurgent forces, regaining control of its own territory in a surprising show of strength.
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, in league with Israel and the US, then declared a “state of emergency” June 14 and illegally dismissed Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and his national unity government. On June 15, he appointed former IMF and World Bank official Salam Fayyad prime minister (whose party won 2% of the 2006 election votes), and on June 17 swore in a new 13 member illegitimate “emergency” cabinet with plans for future elections excluding Hamas. On June 16, the US said it would lift its ban on the Abbas government and did it formerly on June 18. read more