Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Romney, Economic Realities and one Palestinian's story

After today's election, the issues discussed in this good article will still factor in to the economy and the human rights situation in Palestine. It's from Aljazeera, written by Kristin Szremski, director of media and communications for the American Muslims for Palestine.  

Romney, economic realities and one Palestinian’s story
Murad's story typifies Palestinians' experience of running into proverbial roadblocks at every turn of their development

The combined results and fall-out from the Oslo peace accords, Israel's siege on Gaza and the loss of freedom of movement under a military occupation are some of the reasons why the Palestinian economy barely sputters alongside a more robust Israeli one. The anaemic economy has nothing whatsoever to do with a less-than-desirable Palestinian culture, as presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Israeli guests at a $25,000-a-head fundraiser in Jerusalem on Monday. 

By now, Romney's comments have been thoroughly dissected, deconstructed and also, from Romney's camp, even denied. But they bear looking into again in light of the personal story of a Palestinian agronomy student who wants to contribute positively to his society, finding himself thwarted by the occupation and the maze of rules governing international aid agencies. His story typifies Palestinians' experience of running into proverbial and actual roadblocks at every turn of their personal development - while it also helps explain that economic problems are occupation-induced, not the result of a population devoid of a "divine Midas touch", which Romney intimated "Providence" bestowed upon Israeli Jews.

Murad Amro, is a 23-year-old agricultural student from Hebron who goes by the name of "Murad Palestina" on Facebook. According to his timeline, Murad divides his time between his studies, his horses and participating in non-violent resistance to Israel's occupation with the group Youth Against Settlements. When his posts aren't related to the group's efforts to open Shuhada Street, which is closed to Palestinians, or documenting violence at the hands of Jewish settlers, they reveal the reflective and romantic side of a young man who says he wants to "plant peace in the hearts of all people."

(...)  [Murad was distressed upon learning] he did not get an internship with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a special agency of the United Nations - not because his credentials were lacking, but simply because of who he is. He graduated on June 20 from Al-Quds Open University with a degree in plant production and hopes, one day, to go on to earn a PhD, he said. The internship would have been an important learning tool toward his goal of contributing to Palestinian agriculture. But IFAD refused to consider his application because Palestine is not a UN member state.

"Unfortunately we require our interns to have a nationality from a member state and Palestine is not part of this … So unfortunately, we would not be able to consider the application. I hope this helps," a human resources clerk reportedly wrote in an email response to his application.  PLEASE READ THE FULL STORY AT THIS LINK.

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